American Morning

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November 24th, 2010
08:08 AM ET

TSA chief responds to ‘Opt Out’ protesters

The man in charge of those full-body scanners and pat downs tells American Morning how the TSA is bracing for the busiest travel day of the year.

TSA Administrator John Pistole joins AM’s John Roberts from Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport.

He responds to protesters who are opting out of the scans over health and privacy concerns. And, Pistole says he willing to meet with the cancer survivor who was humiliated and embarrassed by a TSA patdown earlier this month.

Filed under: Airline safety • Airlines • American Morning
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Average American

    It would be different IF the Government was imposing on the public at large but they're not. I am all for keeping the government out of our lives as much as possible but this doesn't rise to that level. It keeps going back to the same answer – don't like it – don't fly. Problem solved. I bet the people that are opposed to the pat downs would be the first ones screaming for the Government to protect them if they were the target of a terrorist or a plane gets brought down.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  2. Walt Tressler

    My approach is going to be to boycott CNN for trying to stir up another fake controversy. Kudos to TSA work working hard and smart and around the clock to keep travelers safe. Boo to CNN for seemingly forgetting that that we are at war with terrorists whilre repeating over and again just how terrible body scans and pat searches are. We win when terrorists don't . Simple as that. Bye CNN!.

    November 25, 2010 at 7:06 am |
  3. Jeffrey

    Some people don't want to live in a police state where our liberties are constantly undermined by a heavy-handed and intrusive government. Blood was spilled and inexplicable risks were taken to secure those freedoms. The terrorists have won without detonating one bomb when we readily forfeit our freedoms for some nebulous promise of safety. The airlines are only one potential means of executing a terror attack. Where does this slippery slope end? Should every citizen be subjected to polygraph testing and have their hard drive scanned by the federal government? Should we strip search customers entering a crowded shopping mall? The threat of repressive and tyrannical government is as unpalatable as the threats posed by terrorists.

    November 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  4. Mark

    Finally, Average American, ( Malon) I agree with you about what you are saying about the security, and pat downs. However, I would like to add something. Cnn said that only about 15 to 20% were complaining about the airport security problem. Don't you think that CNN, and the other News stations are just flaming the fire???? If only that many people are complaining does this justify 24 hrs of news on this subject over, and over, and over, and over. Guess Cnn had to find something else to stir up due to the elections being over.

    November 24, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  5. Average American

    It's not "unconsitutional searches" – not even close to it. You don't have to fly. You don't have a RIGHT to fly. When you fly you are using a company's services and by flying you agree to follow that company's policies. Don't like the policies... take GreyHound, drive yourself or walk. Nobody is making you fly. Do anything but stop whining and trying to gamble with the public's safety.

    Your "statement" is completely without merit and your comparsions are both illogical and foolish.

    November 24, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  6. TimothyCrowe

    I won the war on terror when I stopped fearing terrorism. I would rather have the Christmas day bomber on my plane then the TSA in my airport. Thats right, I said "the TSA are worse then terrorists". I would rather die with dignity then watch my nation turn to cowardice.

    November 24, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  7. Weedstomper

    Give me a clue who else besides the Muslims is it I havnt seen any other threats but by the Muslims .

    November 24, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  8. StevenV

    He does not cover the most important thing. These are unconstitutional searches of people who have been accused of no crime. remember, They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    In addition, both the scanners and the patdown are utterly ineffective reactionary schemes designed to catch what the terrorists were doing last year. They would not stop a bomb put in a body cavity, they would not stop a person who has been purposely infected with a biological agent, they wouldn't catch any of likely thousands of different ideas that we haven't even thought of yet. But, the terrorists have. All the while we, the traveling public, are being subjected to unconstitutionally invasive searches of our person.
    The oft-heard argument that flying is not a right is a sham. While the act of flying in an airplane may not be an inherent right, we do have the right to travel. And for many destinations, even within our own country, flying is the best method. Another way the argument breaks down is that it is not the airlines doing these procedures, it is the government. An analogy wherein I say that I must check you for contraband before you get in my car doesn't work. It is more like a police officer frisking every person who gets into any car in the country.

    November 24, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  9. Average American

    @ the hater ... it's not just MUSLIMS that are a threat. Get a clue. Try to educate yourself before saying something stupid again. Thanks.

    November 24, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  10. Jeff

    The Israelis are the pros from Dover when it comes to security. What are they doing at their airports and how does that compare to what TSA is doing?

    November 24, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  11. Weedstomper

    The T.S.A. should also search the Islamic people also instead of paying all there attention to the Christians since Islam is the threat every time I see a news reel there's no Muslims being searched .

    November 24, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  12. Margaret Grover

    I don't understand what all the uproar on full body scanners at the airports is about. We flew out of Tulsa and went through one, there was nothing to it. You're not in there more then a few seconds and then the next person is in. Nobody is closely examining your body, they don't have the time. Of course I had an anomaly and had a modified upper body pat down and even that wasn't upsetting. She was polite but never did tell me what the anomaly was. I think it was because I wear front hooking bras. At 67 years old it's harder to hook a bra in back like most women do. So my advise to people give it a try there really isn't anything to it and who knows it may save lives

    November 24, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  13. Average American

    Americans should "opt-out" – opt-out listening to the fools that are constantly complaining about the security and pat downs @ airports. Those type of people complain about everything and want everybody else to risk their safety and well being.

    If someone managed to smuggle a bomb onto a flight and bring it down I would consider the people that are whining about the pat down as aiding and abiding those terrorists that done it.

    People don't have a RIGHT to fly especially if they refuse to comply with the standards in place. As I said before ... don't like the pat downs DON'T FLY THEN.

    November 24, 2010 at 8:29 am |