The Young Turks has featured recent reporting by Bloomberg with regard to a new "enhanced pat-down" that will be put to use by the Transportation Security Administration, replacing "five different types of physical pat-downs" agents previously had the option of using. The new pat-downs have been variously described as "more rigorous," "more thorough," and "comprehensive." Bruce Anderson, with the TSA, stated that travelers will "notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved."
Ana Kasparian, with The Young Turks, noted that the administration is not being "transparent" with regard to exactly what the new procedure includes, saying only that it will be "universal," replacing the five options currently available to agents. Ms. Kasparian reports that the choice "confuses" a group of TSA agents, which is said to be behind the change to a one-size-fits-all, universal pat-down. She explained that Bloomberg became aware of the change after police departments were warned to expect complaints from travelers.
Front-of-the-hand pat-downs called 'incredibly invasive'
TYT founder #Cenk Uygur, a frequent traveler, explained what is involved with a pat-down. He described two different types, one where agents use the front of their hand, and another where they use the back. Mr. Uygur described TSA agents touching his genitals with the front of their hands, while undergoing an enhanced pat-down while traveling. He described the procedure as "incredibly invasive." #Ana Kasparian recounted an inside-the-underwear pat-down she once received, which she described as "insanely invasive."
Mr. Uygur quoted the TSA with regard to a reduced "cognitive burden" for agents previously faced with a choice of different types of pat-downs, lowering the possibility of "confusion" occurring. The TYT host cited criticism the administration had received over how agents selected which passengers would be subjected to which types of pat-downs. Kasparian satirized officials with the TSA fretting over the "cognitive burden" placed on their poor agents. "Are they going to have to think too much?" the TYT host asked.
Changes said to be a result of TSA safety failures
Ana Kasparian asked what more the TSA could want, with travelers already submitting to full body scans and pat-downs. Cenk Uygur responded that, despite these efforts, the TSA is failing "safety tests." He cited Department of Homeland Security tests that have successfully smuggled prohibited items past TSA security checkpoints. Uygur also criticized the new plan, and stated that the type of pat-down given should be based upon behavior, not race, and other quantifiable factors, and that applying a "really invasive" universal pat-down for everyone is something that the United States doesn't want every citizen subjected to.
Saying that "ethnic profiling is... inherently American," Ana Kasparian continued,"It's not supposed to be." She observed a lack of resources adding to challenges faced by TSA agents, and described the U.S. administration of security at airports as also being "very American," with its understaffing, and invasive pat-downs. She predicted that the federal government is "not going to spend money" to staff the TSA at a level where agents can effectively carry out their duties.