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Rape Survivor Devastated by TSA Enhanced Pat Down

Enhanced pat down
© CNN
An area Wiccan discovered first hand what most of us are still unaware of - many flyers are now being forced to choose between allowing a TSA agent to see them naked or to have their genitals touched and squeezed as part of what the TSA terms "enhanced pat downs." Celeste, a survivor of rape, described her experience with the new TSA procedures as devastating.

Celeste is a seasoned air traveler. She estimates that she flies upwards of 60 times a year for her job and she knows all the ins and outs of most airports in the USA. Want to know which airport has the best sushi? Celeste can tell you. What she, and most other people didn't know, was that on October 29th the TSA changed their security guidelines. "I flew to Chicago with no problems. Everything was the same as before. It was when I attempted to fly back to Minnesota that I found out about TSA's new rules. What they did to me, in full view of everyone else in line, was like being sexually assaulted all over again. I was in shock. I hate myself that I allowed them to do this to me. I haven't been able to stop crying since."

Previously, flyers walked through a metal detector and some persons were randomly selected for a pat-down that avoided the face, genital areas, and hair. This was the procedure that Celeste was familiar with.

Eye 1

TSA: Travelers Who Refuse Scanning Can't Leave, Will Be Fined

cell
© Unknown

Faced with the prospect of large numbers of people refusing the invasive "screening" measures they've implemented this holiday season, the TSA is hoping to fight back with threats of fine and arrest.

"Once a person submits to the screening process, they can not just decide to leave" warned Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokesperson. TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the "full body scanners" and the "enhanced pat down" procedures will be taken into custody.

Eye 1

TSA agents took my son

As I sit and write this post, 24 hours after this event took place, my hands still shake... with rage and with terror.

I woke up this morning to my husband's alarm clock, sat straight up in bed and thought "Where's Jackson?" with fear paralyzing me.

My worst nightmare took place yesterday. Worse than events that have taken place and that I have survived in my short 28 years of living. Worse than my wildest of dreams could conjure.

My son was taken from me.

Taken.

My son was taken from me by the TSA agents at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport yesterday.

Handcuffs

SOTT Exclusive: The Stench of American Hypocrisy, Part 2

Image
© Desconocido

In a recent column, "The Stench of American Hypocrisy," I noted that US public officials and media are on their high horse about the rule of law in Burma while the rule of law collapses unremarked in the US. Americans enjoy beating up other peoples for American sins. Indeed, hypocrisy has become the defining characteristic of the United States.

Hypocrisy in America is now so commonplace it is no longer noticed. Consider the pro-football star Michael Vick. In a recent game Vick scored 6 touchdowns, totally dominating the playing field. His performance brought new heights of adulation, causing National Public Radio to wonder if the sports public shouldn't retain a tougher attitude toward a dog torturer who spent 1.5 years in prison for holding dog fights.

I certainly do not approve of mistreating animals. But where is the outrage over the US government's torture of people? How can the government put a person in jail for torturing dogs but turn a blind eye to members of the government who tortured people?

Under both US and international law, torture of humans is a crime, but the federal judiciary turns a blind eye and even allows false confessions extracted by torture to be used in courts or military tribunals to send tortured people to more years in prison based on nothing but their coerced self-incrimination.

Compare Vick's treatment of dogs with, for example, the US government's treatment of Canadian "child soldier" Omar Khadr. Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002, the only survivor of a firefight and an air strike on a Taliban position. He was near death, with wounds to his eyes and shoulder and shot twice in the back. The Americans accused the boy of having thrown a hand grenade during the military encounter that resulted in the death of a US soldier.

Star of David

The Road To Hope Convoy For Gaza - Sott Report Interviews Ken O Keefe

The SOTT Report's Joe Quinn speaks with Ken O'Keefe in Athens following the abduction of members of the Road to Hope convoy that was attempting to bring much needed aid to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.


Eye 1

'Porno Scanner' Scandal Shows the Idiocy of America's Zero Risk Culture

body scanner
© John Wildbo

The lede on the Drudgereport most of Monday showed a Catholic nun being patted down at an airport security checkpoint, with the caption starkly declaring that "THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON."

He's right.

Ten years after 9/11, Americans who fly are facing a Faustian choice between subjecting themselves to a virtual (and potentially medically damaging) strip search conducted in questionable machines run by federal employees or a psychologically damaging pat-down of their bodies. Osama bin Ladin must be giggling himself silly this week.

But what should we expect in a society that requires adults to wear bicycle helmets while pedaling in the park, provides disclaimers of liability on TV advertisements, or prints warnings on fast-food coffee cups? The name of the game is zero risk. Not risk mitigation, or accepting responsibility for one's actions, but risk aversion. It's a failure to acknowledge that we can't protect against everything bad that can happen to us, so we must protect against everything we think might -- might -- be harmful at some point.

It's living in fear.

USA

The Wrap Up: Here's What's Been Going On In US Airports

The correct response to this is out-rage - mass public outrage. Do not allow yourself to be cowed, that is precisely what they want.


Ambulance

No Way Through

Image
© Unknown
What would it be like if British or American or French or German (or any other) people were treated in the same way that the Israeli government treats Palestinians?

The short film (7 minutes) entitled No Way Through brilliantly depicts the effects of mobility restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities and soldiers on Palestinians living the West Bank. These restrictions limit Palestinians access to health care, thus violating a fundamental human right.

Take Action to help people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories get justice.


Vader

Israel: The Holocaust survivor whose life is in danger again

eli Tzavieli
© Quique Kierszenbaum
Eli Tzavieli has been harassed for renting part of his house in Safed to Arabs

In the Israeli city of Safed, an 89-year-old man has been accused of treachery for welcoming Arab students. Catrina Stewart reports

First they threatened to burn his house down. Then they pinned leaflets to his front door, denouncing him as a Jewish traitor. But Eli Tzavieli, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, is defiant. His only "crime" is to rent out his rooms to three Arab students attending the college in Safed, a religious city in northern Israel that was until recently more famous for Jewish mysticism and Madonna.

A campaign waged by Shmuel Eliyahu, the town's radical head rabbi, culminating in a ruling barring residents from renting rooms to Israeli Arabs, means that Safed is fast emerging as a byword for racism.

"I'm not looking for trouble, but if there is a problem, I'll confront it," says Mr Tzavieli, a Jew who survived Nazi forced labour camps and whose parents perished in Auschwitz. "These [tenants] are great kids. And I'm doing my best to make them comfortable."

Video

Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screening

Image
© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
TSA Transportation Security Officers, in blue uniforms, screen airline passenger as they check-in at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. U.S. officials are defending new anti-terrorism security procedures at the nation's airports that some travelers complain are overly invasive and intimate.
Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. "As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law."

In addition to being large, impersonal, and top-heavy, what really worries critics is that the TSA has become dangerously ineffective. Its specialty is what those critics call "security theater" -- that is, a show of what appear to be stringent security measures designed to make passengers feel more secure without providing real security. "That's exactly what it is," says Mica. "It's a big Kabuki dance."