ABC producer says TSA agent felt inside her underwear

By David Edwards
Monday, November 22, 2010 9:09 EDT
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Pat-down ‘worse than the gynecologist,’ producer says

As the busiest travel days of the year approach, more and more passengers are accusing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of going too far with their screenings.

Earlier this month, the TSA began new security procedures in many airports including scans that produce images of the naked body and pat-downs.

One employee of ABC News who opted for the pat-down instead of the full body scan claimed that a TSA agent actually felt inside of her underwear.

“The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around,” said ABC News producer Carolyn Durand. “It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist.”

“It was embarassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate,” she said.

Other passengers are also complaining.

A retired teacher from Lansing, Michigan, says he had to walk through an airport and board a plane covered in urine after TSA agents tore open his urostomy bag during a pat-down.

A flight attendant who is a breast cancer survivor says she was horrified when, during an “aggressive” pat-down at the Charlotte, North Carolina, airport, she was ordered to expose her prosthetic breast to two female TSA staffers.

Video of TSA agents searching a shirtless 5-year-old boy has become an internet sensation. A Utah man reportedly removed his son’s shirt during the screening process after the boy was too shy to let TSA agents search him.

Luke Tait, the man who filmed the video, said that the TSA agents asked him to delete it but he refused and left for his gate.

ABC’s Robin Roberts asked TSA Administrator John Pistole if some of the more invasive searches were even warranted.

“I don’t want to tell you how upset people are and some people saying that TSA agents are even going into their underwear as part of the screening process,” Roberts told Pistole Monday. “Is there ever any circumstance where that is warranted?”

“No, no, there should never be a situation where that happens,” the TSA chief replied.

“So what happens, what kind of recourse do they have if they do the things that people are saying?” Roberts asked.

“Again, the security officers are there to protect the traveling public,” Pistole explained. “And there are specific operating protocols in which they are to follow. With the advanced imaging technology, the walk-through metal detectors, all of these different layers of security that we have, there are specific standard operating protocols that they follow.”

This video is from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Nov. 21, 2010.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BXI4SZV3CI2EDOAW6FTUGGM3YI NICOLE

    Hi Lexi! This is a horrible thing. I am researching the laws for the media and I came across your post. How terrible for someone to just invade your privacy and to that extreme! Also, I wanted to say to you don’t fear being hurt. Experiences are for your growth. We live and we learn. Your knight in shiney armour could be waiting for you!