TSA chief says pat downs are invasive, but necessary

Anissa Ford's picture

A lot of angry passengers, flight attendants, and pilots have been waiting for Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole to defend TSA's new and controversial pat-down procedures.

Pistole testified before the Senate Commerce Committee today and stuck with his story—TSA pat downs are invasive but have to be done to prevent terrorist attacks. Pistole said that he understands that the pat downs make people, including himself, uncomfortable, but he said the new screenings done in the US are performed in other parts of the world and are in line what European nations are during. Furthermore, Pistole added, the US procedures are less invasive.

TSA pat down procedures are invasive but have to be done

Pistole underwent the pat down procedures and was asked by a Senate committee member, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.) how he felt after the pat down and if he was uncomfortable. Pistole replied that yes, his screening was uncomfortable and that he is “sympathetic to privacy concerns, but the bottom line is we need to provide the best possible security.”

In response to criticism about the lack of privacy people feel with the full body image scans, Pistole said that the screening does not have the ability to store or transmit images and maintained that he believes the TSA has implemented adequate privacy protections.”

Add new comment