Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA) of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today sent a letter to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole demanding his immediate resignation.
As he explains in his letter (Rep Broun May 9, 2012 TSA Letter.pdf), the Georgia congressman had previously contacted Pistole regarding disturbing reports about the TSA in his home state:
“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 tells Pistole that “over-the-top behavior” by TSA agents has become a daily occurrence (emphasis added):
“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.”
“Since the beginning of 2012, rarely has a day gone by without at least one report of over-the-top behavior by TSA agents. Some of the more noteworthy incidents include:
- A complaint that a TSA agent in Wichita, Kansas patted down a scared four-year old girl after she hugged her grandmother at the security checkpoint;
- A video shot by a fellow passenger depicting a woman in Madison, Wisconsin sobbing as she was roughly patted down;
- A complaint that TSA workers in San Diego administered an invasive pat-down to 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 complaint that a TSA agent in Kauai, Hawaii forced a nursing mother to openly
- demonstrate her breast milk pump in a 11M!W& restroom to prove that it was real;
- A report that a woman traveling through Dallas-Fort Worth was forced by TSA agents to walk through the full-body scanner three times, while they remarked on her ‘cute figure;’
- The indictment of two current and two former TSA agents in Los Angeles stemming from allegations that they took bribes to allow narcotics to pass through security checkpoints at the Los Angeles International Airport.”
Rep. Broun also notes that the TSA’s “vaunted SPOT program” for airport security has done far more harm that good – especially, since not a single terrorist has been caught by it:
“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."
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