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Napolitano: Pat-downs are here to stay

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Airline passengers should get used to invasive full body scans and enhanced pat-downs, the Homeland Security secretary suggested Sunday.

CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Janet Napolitano if she expected changes to the controversial Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening procedures in the near future.

“Not for the foreseeable future,” Napolitano replied.

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“You know we’re always looking to improve systems and so forth, but the new technology, the pat-downs — just objectively safer for our traveling public,” she said.

About 70 airports have put into use more than 400 backscatter x-ray machines that can see beneath passengers’ clothing. Passengers who set off a metal detector or body scan machine or refuse to be scanned receive an invasive physical pat down.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it received over 900 complaints from travelers in November who were subjected to the new screening procedures of the TSA.

“Under the newly implemented enhanced pat-down, a TSA officer slides his or her hands over an individual’s breasts, buttocks, groin, and inner thighs, and inserts his or her fingers inside the entire circumference of the pant’s waistband,” a lawsuit filed against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA administrator John Pistole stated.

“Although it is well established that subjecting airline passengers to limited searches designed to detect weapons and explosives is consistent with the Fourth Amendment, it is equally well established that such searches must be reasonable,” the lawsuit added.

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Crowley pressed Napolitano to explain how she could claim security is improving when a recent ABC News report found a nearly 70 percent failure rate at some major airports.

But the Homeland Security secretary brushed off those reports.

“I think I know the test to which you refer, many of them are very old, and out of date and there were all kinds of methodology issues with them. Let’s set those aside.”

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“We pick up more contraband with the new procedures,” she added.

This video is from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Dec. 26, 2010.

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Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

— with earlier reporting by Eric W. Dolan


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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California cop shoots through his own windshield to kill suspect on his knees — after mistaking his hammer for a gun

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A police shooting in the California city of Vallejo has a community on edge, according to a report from NBC Bay Area.

Sean Monterrosa, 22, was kneeling when a Vallejo police officer shot and killed him. The shooting happened while police were trying to stop looters from invading a local Walmart.

"This individual appeared to be running toward the black sedan, but suddenly stopped, taking a kneeling position, and placing his hands above his waist, revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun," Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said.

But Monterrosa was carrying a hammer, not a gun.

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‘Party of Lincoln is dead, dead, dead’: Ex-House Republican lawyer says it’s time to give up on ‘hopeless’ GOP

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Former House Republican Congressional Committee Investigative Counsel Sophia Nelson this week published a scathing column about her former party in which she encouraged Americans to simply give up hope that it will ever properly serve as a check on President Donald Trump.

In her latest Daily Beast column, Nelson called the GOP "hopeless" and declared that "the party of Lincoln is dead, dead, dead" after so many of its members stayed silent in the wake of Trump's widely panned photo-op stunt at St. John's Church in Washington D.C.

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2020 Election

Pulitzer-winning historian issues dark warning about Trump’s GOP

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Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Anne Applebaum fears President Donald Trump and his Republican allies might complete their authoritarian transformation by stealing November's election.

Applebaum appeared Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss her latest column for The Atlantic, where she warns that Republicans have been complicit in Trump gathering authoritarian powers over democratic institutions -- and they may soon finalize that process.

"What would come next?" Applebaum said. "In a lot of liberalizing countries or countries that cease to be democracies, what comes next is the attempt to steal an election, and what I hope all Americans will be focused on over the next several months is will Trump and will the Republican Party collaborate in an attempt to steal this election?"

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