The TSA: protecting us from 95-year-old wheelchair-bound leukemia sufferers. But hey — at least they’re not profiling Muslims, and that’s all that matters!
A woman has filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her elderly mother was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend.
Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.
Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.
“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”
Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami, said she could not comment on specific cases to protect the privacy of those involved.
“The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” she said.
Weber’s mother entered the airport’s security checkpoint in a wheelchair because she was not stable enough to walk through, Weber said.
Wheelchairs trigger certain protocols, including pat-downs and possible swabbing for explosives, Koshetz said.
“During any part of the process, if there is an alarm, then we have to resolve that alarm,” she said.
Weber said she did not know whether her mother had triggered an alarm during the 45 minutes they were detained.
She said her mother was first pulled aside into a glass-partitioned area and patted down. Then she was taken to another room to protect her privacy during a more extensive search, Weber said.
Weber said she sat outside the room during the search.
She said security personnel then came out and told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled and was impeding their search.
Weber wheeled her mother into a bathroom, removed her diaper and returned. Her mother did not have another clean diaper with her, Weber said.
Weber said she wished there were less invasive search methods for an elderly person who is unable to walk through security gates.
“I don’t understand why they have to put them through that kind of procedure,” she said.
Koshetz said the procedures are the same for everyone to ensure national security.
“TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability,” she said….
How admirable: the lone sentinel, willing to take the heat to do what is necessary to protect us all. Except, of course, take into consideration in any way whatsoever the nature of the actual terrorist threat, the ideology behind it, and the likelihood that some groups are more likely to commit terrorist acts than others.
Weber said she plans to file additional complaints next week.
“I”m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong. People need to know. Next time it could be you.”
That’s fine. As long as it isn’t Ibrahim Hooper or Ahmed Rehab or Nihad Awad or Reza Aslan, or Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; or Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; or Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; or Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood jihad mass-murderer; or Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; or Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; or Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; or any of their coreligionists who might want to launch a similar attack, then all is well.