Wednesday, 13 April 2011 19:06

New Orleans Airport TSA Child Groping Incident Defines Friendly Skies

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Jeff CrouereOn April 5, Todd and Selena Drexel, a young couple from Bowling Green, Kentucky, were departing the Louis Armstrong International Airport, outside of New Orleans, and returning home. Before boarding the plane, the couple watched in horror as their six year old daughter was subjected to outrageous groping by a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officer.  

The entire incident was captured on video and has been widely viewed on the Internet. Thankfully, the world has been able to witness this latest airport outrage. Here is a link:

The video clearly shows a TSA agent placing her hand inside the jeans of the youngster and rubbing the little girl’s inner thighs. Incredibly, the TSA administration announced that the pat down was handled correctly and the agent did nothing wrong. Of course, that is the problem for our children are not a terrorist threat and should not be groped at airports.   

Parents try to encourage their children to report any inappropriate touching by adults, so it is more than confusing to have it done by a TSA official in full view of the public. According to Selena Drexel, “We struggle to teach our kids to protect themselves, to say ‘no, it’s not ok to touch me in this way in this area.’ Yet, here we are saying it is ok for these people. If we don’t find other ways, we’re making them more vulnerable.” 

Sadly, the six year old was horrified by the incident and later cried. Todd Drexel noted that his young daughter was “confused” and worried that she had done something “wrong.” In this horrific case, the TSA is clearly in the wrong and should immediately implement new airport screening procedures.  

Is this type of groping making flying any safer? Are six year old children potential terrorists? According to “Moe,” a caller on my Ringside radio program (WGSO 990 AM, M-F, 7-11 a.m.) the TSA is so inflicted by the disease of political correctness that they rarely stop Muslim travelers for pat downs, but instead focus on travelers who are less likely to complain. The caller noted that he has experienced the same sort of situation during his last six flights. Is this double standard going on across the country? Does our TSA grope the elderly and young children, but allow Muslims to board airplanes without any significant hassle. If so, this is political correctness to the extreme. In our quest not to offend Muslims, the TSA seems to be focusing on young children and the elderly, not exactly terror threats. 

Our entire airport security system is an outrage. The current system of naked body scanners and invasive body groping is an infringement of personal liberty and privacy. The procedures are humiliating and ultimately ineffective, since body cavities are not searched. The treatment is even more outrageous when young children are targeted, for it is pure and simple child abuse.


Congress must act immediately to stop change this entire system. While the inappropriate touching, especially involving children, is bad enough, the exposure to new full body scanner machines is also very troubling. Of course the machines give clear “naked” pictures of travelers, but are unable to detect items hidden in body cavities, which is exactly the method used by recent terrorists. In addition, the scanners emit high levels of radiation, in fact, ten times higher than initially expected. The radiation report was released by the TSA in March. Along with the uncovering unacceptable amounts of radiation exposure, the report highlighted sloppy record keeping, poor documentation, errors in calculations, as well as other glaring mistakes. The report did not exactly instill confidence in the TSA.  

While it is understandable to investigate amounts of radiation coming from the nuclear power plant in Japan, there should be much more concern about the massive amounts of radiation being directed at airport travelers.  

With all of these problems being exposed, it is time for a full scale congressional investigation about airport security and immediate changes to the current procedures. Groping youngsters and exposing our citizens to radiation at the airports is the worst type of abuse and reminds us that the flying the skies in our country is anything but friendly.

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at E-mail him at [email protected].


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