I've been following this for a few days. Anyone else? The story is interesting. The man refuses a body scan, then objects to the pat down because they may touch his groin area. He talks to several supervisors, and finally decides not to board the plane. Yet, he is detained and told that he cannot leave the airport, lest he face a civil penalty of $10,000. He is told that he must complete the screening process in order to be able to leave. He finally did leave...but whether or not he was "allowed" to is in question. Now, the TSA has announced that they will investigate this individual.
My take: I understand the need for security and realize that when I fly, I give up certain rights. It's just the way it is. I do think that we should spend more time and resources looking for terrorists instead of the tools they use (not racial profiling per se, but behavior profiling that can use race as a component..just like any criminal investigation). I really don't care about the body scanners or who sees me naked, provided the scanners are safe (which may be debatable). I think that limitations on liquids and things like taking off my shoes are inconvenient, but I understand the need.
I do, however, have a problem with with this "enhanced" pat down (for lack of a better term). Rumor has it that they are touching the genital areas of children, the elderly, etc. They are essentially groping anyone who doesn't go through the scanner. This I have a problem with, and where I think Mr. Tyner has a point. He didn't sign up to be molested. If anyone else did this to someone that was not a criminal suspect, it would be molestation. The agents have no probable cause, and as such I believe such an intrusive pat down is a Fourth Amendment violation. I see no reason why a standard pat down, explosive sniffing dog and metal detector wand won't do.
Further, the fact that the TSA can investigate Mr. Tyner outside the confines of the airport is chilling. Did anyone else know the TSA had that power? Not I. I'm sure there is more to this story, but in the absence of Tyner making threats, I fail to see how the TSA can go after him for a civil penalty. What did he do? It seems to me that what the TSA is saying is "once you come in contact with us, we own you until we choose to let you leave." Why would be be subject to completing the security check if he was not going to board the plane? I'll tell you why: Because the TSA is the new Gestapo.
One more point: I love airplanes and used to love flying. I now despise it. The airlines treat their customers like garbage. Their fees are outrageous. A $200 ticket will cost one $400 by the time one gets down with the ticketing fees, bag fees, seat selection fees, and now...carry-on bag fees (Google it).
They used to provide a fairly comfortable seat. Now, we are jammed into cramped ones. A 2.5 hours flight from Philly to Orlando once included breakfast...as in eggs, toast, whatever. Now, if you're on a long flight, they might let you buy a sandwich for $8. Security is a huge pain. It's nerve-racking for some reason. The ticketing agents and gate personnel are rude. Delays are the norm. Bottom line? I hate it. Meanwhile, the airlines continue to cry poor and receive subsidies from the government. How is it possible that the industry has gone so wrong?