At this point most people are probably aware of TSA's detainment of U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). The story was broken when Senator Rand Paul's Comm Director tweeted this.
As would be expected, this set off a firestorm in the media. Most of the relevant background information is detailed by The Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle here
. Both pieces are highly reommended reading, but the essence of the incident is summed up thus:
Sen. Rand Paul’s chief of staff Doug Stafford told The Daily Caller the Senator “was detained by the TSA after their scanner had an ‘anomaly’ on the first scan.”
“He offered to go through again,” Stafford said in an email. “The TSA said he could only have a full body pat down. He would not consent to it. He offered to go through the scanner again. The situation is ongoing.”
The irony of this situation is the senator's outspoken position on the indignity of the full body pat downs. Not surprisingly, TSA denied actually detaining Senator Paul,
“It was a big headache,” Paul said in a phone interview. “I missed my speech here. I was supposed to speak to the Right to Life March, probably the biggest audience I’ll get to speak to, and I missed it.”
The White House, through spokesman Jay Carney, defended the TSA’s actions during Monday’s press briefing by arguing that Paul wasn’t technically “detained.”
“Let’s be clear,” Carney said. “The passenger was not detained. He was escorted out of the area by local law-enforcement.”
This could not have happened to a politician more likely to actually do something to remedy these intrusive measures by TSA. Anyone who flies routinely (or reads the countless horror stories in the press, such as TSA doing a full body pat down's on 83 year-old women) is aware of the risk of unwanted fondles by grumpy TSA agents. The efficacy of TSA's security protocols have their detractors.
This entire incident raises the question, what will Senator Paul do from a legislative perspective, having now been subjected to detainment by TSA?