TSA Week In Review: Agency Bullies, Humiliates Ailing Woman
In a fresh outrage, the Transportation Security Agency violated a middle-aged woman’s Constitutional rights, assaulted her dignity, and put her at risk of a medical crisis when it swabbed her feeding tube in an outrageous search for bomb making materials.
On its blog, the Transportation Security Agency proudly displays its “greatest finds” in its week in review. Among the terrorist tools the agency captured recently were inert improvised explosive device training aids that “non-TSA instructors” had placed in their checked baggage. Also nabbed by the TSA’s intrepid investigators was, supposedly, a “Six Bladed Star of Death” throwing star and a grenade-shaped tobacco grinder. The agency also tracked down and captured some fireworks, some marijuana and a knife that it said was 13 inches long.
Most of these items were innocuous. In context, they probably all were. Meanwhile, the agency made no mention that there has been no mention to date of the most significant recent event related to TSA.
On July 18, Melinda Deaton was at the Dallas Love Field for a flight to Minneapolis where she was to visit her doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Deaton, who has a four-inch feeding tube protruding from her stomach, was traveling alone but had with her medical documentation explaining her condition.
Naturally, this being somewhat out of the ordinary, it was a screaming red flag for TSA apparatchiks out to flaunt their authority. They pulled her aside and strip searched her.
Mrs. Deaton’s husband, John, described what happened in comments to the local Dallas-area NBC affiliate.
"They had physically stripped her and saw the tube coming out of her stomach, and they decided that they needed to check it for explosives, so they had to physically handle the tube," John Deaton said according to NBCDFW.com.
One wonders just how many middle-aged American female terrorists have contemplated gastric surgery and the implantation of a feeding tube as a bombing strategy.
Unlikely in the extreme though this may be, the enterprising sleuths from the TSA decided to swab Mrs. Deaton’s tube for bomb making material in boneheaded and invasive move that put her at risk of infection.
"Any time you put a harsh substance on it, you run the risk of contamination," John Deaton said. "They put stuff on there that we don't know what it is and identify. She has a weak immune system as part of her medical condition, and it can be very fatal to her."
The TSA, however, issued a statement assuring Americans that it is a sensitive and caring agency and that it, as usual, did nothing wrong.
"TSA's mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly 2 million passengers each day at airports nationwide,” the agency said in a statement. “In this specific incident, an investigation was initiated and it was determined that the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) followed standard operating procedures conducted in the presence of a Supervisor TSO.”
Translation: “Uncaring and malicious stupidity is normal procedure for us.”
The Deatons have filed a complaint with the agency in the wake of the outrageous treatment Mrs. Deaton received.
Mr. Deaton, though, indicated that he believed the agency was picking on someone who wouldn’t, by dint of her condition, be able to respond and stand up for her rights.
"It outrages me to think that they can get away with that because they have a single female with a medical condition that is not going to stand up to authority figures and TSA, and say, 'Guys, this is really across the line,'" he said.
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