A congressman from Georgia has sent a letter today demanding the resignation of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole. Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA), who serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, had already sent a letter in November of 2011 because of his concerns, as his current letter relates: “I last contacted you in November of 2011 in response to a news report featured on WSB-TV, Atlanta’s local ABC affiliate, which detailed potentially lax security standards at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.”
Broun’s letter today tells Pistole that “over-the-top behavior” by TSA agents has become routine:
“Unfortunately, numerous other allegations have since surfaced across the country which indicate that a number of TSA agents lack either proper training or simple professionalism when dealing with airline passengers. Even worse, recent news reports have even alleged outright corruption within TSA’s ranks. It is clear that the TSA has become nothing more than a bloated, broken bureaucracy which uses its extensive power to violate traveling Americans’ civil liberties while doing little to ensure their safety.”
Broun then cites various examples of TSA malfeasance: a TSA agent in Wichita, Kansas patting down a frightened four-year old girl after she hugged her grandmother; TSA workers in San Diego invasively patting down a 95-year old, wheelchair-bound Air Force veteran and his 85-year old female companion, during which they also allegedly stole $300 in cash from his possessions; a TSA agent in Kauai, Hawaii forcing a nursing mother to openly demonstrate her breast milk pump in a restroom to prove that it was real; a woman in Dallas-Fort Worth being forced to walk through the full-body scanner three times, while they remarked on her “cute figure”; and the indictment of two current and two former TSA agents in Los Angeles on charges that they took bribes to allow narcotics to pass through security checkpoints.
Asserting that TSA has yet to catch a single terrorist, Broun states:
“Although SPOT has resulted in hundreds of innocent Americans being forced to submit to invasive, and sometimes humiliating, screening procedures, not one terrorist has been caught as a result of this costly program. Americans can no longer tolerate the flagrant violations of their civil rights which are occurring at airports nationwide in the name of ‘security.’ More importantly, the corruption and continued lack of security among TSA’s own personnel puts our country at extreme risk of another terrorist attack. The time has come for serious action to be taken. As such, I request your immediate resignation from the position of TSA Administrator.”