WASHINGTON- The chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security is demanding answers from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole on another shocking incident of TSA misconduct. The letter was prompted by a video posted online over the weekend showing a small girl, reported to be six years old, undergoing an invasive pat-down at the hands of TSA personnel while her mother pleaded for them to stop.
“I am personally outraged and disgusted by yet another example of mistreatment of an innocent American at the hands of TSA,” wrote Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “This conduct is in clear violation of TSA’s explicit policy not to conduct thorough pat-downs on children under the age of 13.”
In 2010, full committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote to Pistole after the screening of a four year-old disabled boy who was forced to hobble through a metal detector with neither his leg braces, nor his father’s assistance. In March 2011, Chaffetz held his first in a series of hearings on TSA policies, where Alaskan State Rep. Sharon Cissna, herself a victim of TSA misconduct, spoke to the impact invasive pat-downs have on sensitive populations like children and survivors of sexual abuse.
Chaffetz blames these incidents on a failure of TSA leadership to address the problem.
“The agency must get serious about the manner in which it seeks to balance national security with personal privacy. At the very least, it cannot continue to operate under the belief that little girls and handicapped children pose such a serious threat that TSOs must abandon all manner of decency when interacting with them.”
The letter can be viewed here.
Congressman Chaffetz will be introducing legislation later this week that would require parental supervision during the pat-down of a child.
|Letter to TSA Chief Pistole||Document|