It’s one of the busiest travel weeks of the year and many people are complaining about new airport security measures as too invasive, with pat-downs and full-body scans. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley takes frequent flights between Iowa and Washington D.C. and says he hasn’t yet had to endure one of the new forms of pat-downs, where gloved T.S.A. agents probe your privates.
“No, but I’ve only flown once or twice since that rule went into effect,” Grassley says. “I’ve gone through those new scanners once, but I would rather go through the metal detector and if people have suspicion of me, like if it goes off, then to be patted down.” Grassley understands why some people oppose the full-body X-ray scanners, which essentially lets the screening agent see them naked. He says two of his Senate colleagues recently visited the Netherlands while investigating the case of the so-called Christmas Day bomber.
“There’s some piece of equipment over there that they think does a better job without this sort of humiliation,” Grassley says. “You just walk through it and it will detect anything like what the Amsterdam bomber would have had.” Grassley says those senators, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Susan Collins of Maine, asked the security agents in the Amsterdam airport where they’d obtained such an advanced screening machine.
“They thought something high-tech like that would be Germany,” Grassley says. “They bought it in Boston, can you believe that? And we’re not using it. So, Chambliss and Collins write to the Secretary of Homeland Security, a couple times, and still don’t have an answer on why we aren’t using this.”
He says it leaves him with the impression America’s Homeland Security guardians aren’t doing their homework. He says, “We’d better see what else is available before we settle on one thing.”