Interview With Woman Detained by TSA For Opting Out of Nude Body Scan

The TSA chose Meg McLain for special screening. They wanted her to go through the new porno-scanners. When she opted out, TSA agents raised an enormous ruckus. When she asked some question about what they planned to do to her, they flipped out. TSA agents yelled at her, handcuffed her to a chair, ripped up her ticket, called in 12 local Miami cops and finally escorted her out of the airport.

Comments

20 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Man, this episode of Security Theater keeps getting worse and worse. It’s like the show doesn’t have any good writers anymo–

    Oh, wait. This is real. Crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. Mike K,

    If enough people in a row decide to “OPT OUT!!!!” that will tie up enough TSA thugs and cops so the real bomber can get through. Sounds like a pretty good diversion scheme.
    John McClain, where are you when we need you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. nick,

    The odd thing here is this — who cares if anyone sees you naked.

    While this may not stop any terrorists — indeed, it is absurd — the reason for not going into the scanner should not be “they see me naked” but rather that there may be health risks. The ‘see me naked’ argument just shows how uptight people are. I will walk through the place naked if it actually stopped terrorists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

    • d,

      Here’s the thing: by the simple fact that we have to shed our dignity in order to go about our lives, [and I hate this phrase] the terrorists have won. If the whole point was to make us live in fear, mission accomplished. When I fly, I not only have to be afraid of the minute possibility that my plane will blow up, but I also have to be afraid of the people who are trying to stop the bombs.

      Nick: I am, by no means, a prude; who doesn’t enjoy a naked strut about the house with one’s partner. However, I am in no way comfortable being strip searched IN PUBLIC, WITHOUT CAUSE. I have broken no laws. I have endangered no person. I have caused no problems. I just want to fly me and my dignity to ORD without incident.

      side note: could those TSA people be more asinine than they already are? I’m sick and tired of being talked to like a criminal/idiot every time I shell out $750 to get somewhere. I recently discussed my discomfort with my company, and my female HR person was quite sympathetic. I wonder what would happen if unions, companies and the families that keep airlines in business and band together to stop the public strip searches.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Kodie,

      They should not need to see me naked. Are you making a value judgment on modesty? It’s an invasion, they are taking more than anyone owes them, no matter how little you care that anyone sees you naked. I’m not that concerned about the rays – that could turn into something or maybe not. I’m really concerned about the procedures used here. In this case, they singled out one woman and forced her to go through extra screening while everyone else went through. Because she didn’t want to go through the scanner, which, to begin with, is an invasion, they go to psychological manipulations to use her as an example if you resist. Nobody else waiting through that line had to submit to the scanner in the first place.

      I do not care to go through the nude-scanner, for my rights – it is an invasion. The TSA are now the terrorists, as far as I’m concerned. If one is shown to the scanner, the only way to protest it is to submit to the penalty of humiliation and groping, causing a big scene, embarrassing people, and then touching them intimately. They have gone past the bend of security, and are invading people.

      For the record, I haven’t flown since 1993 and have no immediate plans, but I do have family on the other side of the country, and I did want to go to Europe next year or the year after. I don’t particularly want people I don’t know to see me naked, but if it happened accidentally, oh well. If I want to stand in line where people I don’t know require me to show them my body or feel my body, that’s an invasion. You don’t seem to know the difference between being comfortable with your body and being required to display it to get on an airplane.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • Mike K,

      Personally, I don’t care if a stranger that will never see me again sees my naked image on a monitor either, but that’s just the way I feel. I can understand how other people do have a problem with that, if not for reasons of modesty, but because of the principle of being exploited for the excuse of security. And that’s not counting the feelings of rape/molestation survivors and children. The problem I have with this program is that it’s a slippery slope if we accept this without at least expressing how invasive it can be. Who knows – if the TSA thinks this is acceptable, in a few years they may decide that choosing the less of two evils (scanners or grope-downs) still isn’t secure enough and start literally strip-searching passengers. A lot of layers of security have been added since 9/11. They can add a lot more.

      We definitely need tight security on airlines, but just as much, we need tight accountability for the screeners.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • 1984,

      0% terrorism stopped with nudity:
      http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9351/index1.html

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Mike E.,

    I wonder if a casual observance over a day or so would show a profile of who is chosen to get digitally naked by the TSA – wouldn’t it be a kick in the teeth to find they were singling out the young, attractive people…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Catrin,

    You have to wonder about the type of people that are attracted to these jobs. They’re given way too much power and spend their day getting off on that fact. They enjoy bullying people, yelling at them, humiliating them… and they’re not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed either. I was once yelled at in Heathrow to take off my jacket. I wasn’t wearing a jacket… So I took off my jumper, which, had I been wearing a jacket, would have been the uppermost layer once I’d taken it off.
    But that’s neither here nor there.
    The only stranger I’d allow touch me in such a fashion is a doctor, and that’s only because they’ve had years of training and could possibly prevent a terminal illness. But I’d be out of there like a shot if he/she yelled out the door to the receptionist that they were about to check me over.
    Don’t take this lying down, folks. The mark has been well overstepped.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • lucy,

      Catrin, you make a good comparison to allowing the doctor to see/touch my naked body (or my child’s if I had one). On top of the training, the truth is that if having my gynecological exam didn’t decrease my chances of dying of cervical cancer or other diseases, I wouldn’t have it done and doctors would hopefully not offer it as a procedure.
      The nude-body scans and the grope-fests do nothing to increase our safety, but they are still doing it!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. E.V.,

    So hot girls are pulled out of line to go through the scanner so some asswipe can get a freebie peepshow in the name of national security? Wet dreams for little dictators. Not my wife or daughters, you don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. XXX,

    If you think that’s bad, look what this poor guy had to go through! –>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRpWnK6Rg3E

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Debbe,

    I have a sense that We Won’t Fly will become a movement whose numbers will make the Tea Party envious–and THIS movement is based in sanity and sense!

    I’ve only flown twice, and those were in 1979. I have no reason nor need to board an aircraft, thankfully. Besides, if it gets me to my correct destination, I’d rather take the train; far more comfortable and romantic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. XXX,

    It might be especially embarrassing if you were a teenage boy with an unstoppable boner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Stove,

    So… if I just show up at the airport naked, that’s OK right?

    Who polices the Police?
    Who judges the Judges?
    Who touches and gropes the TSA Workers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. WordyGrrl,

    That last point was an idea, Stove. Offer to go along with it but only if you’re allowed to touch the TSA groper exactly the way they touch you at every stage of the “pat search.”

    I work in a prison, and we don’t even pat search the inmates like that. It’d be a lawsuit in a heartbeat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Rampage_Rick,

      Hell, soldiers in Afghanistan can’t search people that way either.

      Think about it people, they’re doing stuff to you that can’t be done to prisoners or our “enemy” Remember this while goose-stepping through the airport lineup. Perhaps someone DOES have to blow up a terminal for things to change? (Hello FBI… Tea?)

      “Body scanners don’t violate privacy because they don’t distinguish genetalia” FALSE

      “Naked images won’t be stored” FALSE (all machines purchased by the TSA must have the ability to save and transmit stored images of travelers)

      “We need body scanners to catch the likes of the underwear bomber” FALSE (body scanners likely wouldn’t have caught him)

      Not just airports doing this though, there was a Florida courthouse that stored over 35,000 naked images from it’s body scanner: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20012583-281.html

      Absolute power corrupts absolutely… And the emperor has no clothes!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Julia S.,

    I used to love to fly. Now I can’t bear the idea of it anymore. The last time I went to India, myself and one other woman who were the ONLY American dressed people on the plane were the only two people pulled over to have our luggage searched by customs. Bastards ripped apart my luggage as an ENTIRE planeload of Saudis went waltzing right by. Plane full of foreigners and the two citizens were the ones harassed. The guy was nasty to me too (I was quite polite and helpful but he insisted on jamming my things back into my bag willy-nilly) I don’t fear terrorists. I fear the sick bastards who enjoy this kind of thing. They have DESTROYED my love of flying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0


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