At least they didn’t show favoritism

Rand Paul, with his family and a staffer, arrives at an airport during his 2010 campaign./photo by Gage Skidmore

Sounds to me like the TSA people did what they should in this case:

Sen. Rand Paul, an outspoken opponent of the TSA’s pat-down searches, says he was “detained” in the Nashville, Tenn., airport on Monday morning after refusing to undergo the search himself.

The news originally came via his communications director, Moira Bagley, who tweeted: “Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville.”

The Associated Press quickly followed up with the libertarian-leaning Republican with a phone interview, during which Paul explained that he had been “detained” by TSA officers after setting off one of the airport’s image scanners and subsequently refusing to submit to a pat down. As a result, he said that he missed his flight to Washington, D.C., where he was slated to speak at the March For Life later Monday.

A TSA spokesperson released a statement to Politico about its protocol in such situations, but did not refer directly to the specific incident. “When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport. Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling,” said spokesperson Jonella Culmer.

Makes sense to me. If somebody’s making a point of being uncooperative with the established procedures for keeping terrorists off an airliner, being pulled off to a separate room is the very least that should happen.

If you want to fly on an airliner with other human beings, you should be prepared to be a big boy about it, and follow the rules.

12 thoughts on “At least they didn’t show favoritism

  1. Brad

    Whoa. I wonder what Rand would have said if TSA had said, “We want to check under a couple of layers of the lady’s Eileen Fisher…”

  2. Brad

    Well, somebody’s gotta do it, Charlie…

    Folks, just in case anyone is perceiving this the way Charlie does… a police state is one in which the people’s rights are crushed in order to serve the interests of the oligarchy, or ruling party, or some other clearly defined entity that is pulling the strings and running the society.

    The TSA’s procedures are what we, acting through our elected representatives, came up with as a way to make sure people can get on airplanes without getting blown up or flown into buildings, after we discovered how very dangerous it was to innocent Americans not to do a better job of screening people getting on airplanes.

    In a police state, they grab you and throw you onto a plane that you didn’t want to get on at all, and fly you to Moscow and put you in Lefortovo prison, where you would eventually get a 9 mm headache. Just for an example. Another sort of police state might put you on cattle cars you didn’t want to get on, and take you to Auschwitz.

    In our liberal democracy, we have laws designed to make sure that the plane that YOU choose to get on is safe. We may or may not do the job very well, but that’s the purpose.

    Just in case anyone was confused…

  3. Doug Ross

    Seems like you left out most of the story (i.e. the important parts). Paul walked through the scanner the first time and it was set off due to a malfunction. He offered to walk through again and was not allowed to do that. His only option was the patdown. Just because there are stupid rules doesn’t make them right. And those stupid rules don’t make the airlines one iota safer. It’s like the U.S. War or Terror – using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat – because the government is unable to do anything without making it inefficient, overly expensive, and burdened by so many rules that it could only exist under the threat of detention.

    As someone who flew 150 flights in 2010 and 80 last year, my observation has been that the TSA is a massive waste. I could think up a half dozen ways around the system in 15 minutes.

    Would you be okay with watching a patdown of your wife or granddaughter? I got the patdown once because the TSA said I walked too fast thru the scanner. Again, no offer to walk through again. Having a guy press the back of his hands on my butt and inner thighs is not usually how I like to start my day.

    At Reagan Airport in DC last week, I counted 11 TSA agents in a ten yard area.

  4. Doug Ross

    And how many terrorists have been stopped? Is there ANY evidence that even a single terrorist act has been prevented by the TSA?

  5. Jeff Morrell

    In many ways haven’t those who wish to inflict harm on us gained somewhat of a victory by inflicting such inconveniences on us, not to mention the economic costs?


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