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The TSA harasses senselessly

DINA Frank of Long Island experienced a medical miracle when for the first time in her seven years, she was able, thanks to Botox, to take a few steps unaided.

She has cerebral palsy and is developmentally disabled.

A few days later, her federal government rewarded her by having one of its agents conduct a pat-down roughly in the name of airport security.

She's 7.

She's physically and developmentally disabled.

And our government treated her as if she were a terrorist of some kind.

This was not the first time Transportation Security Administration agents unnecessarily roughed her up, said her father Dr. Joshua Frank, a pediatrician.

"They make our lives completely difficult," Frank told the Daily.

"She's not a threat to security."

He videotaped the latest encounter and sent it to TSA.

The agency not only did not issue an apology and change its misguided policy, but was indignant that anyone would dare question its authority.

"TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child," the agency said.

Here is what the policy should be on patting down children:


Not allowed.


A fireable offense.

Frank should report the TSA for child abuse. There was no reason for screeners to touch his little girl.

TSA abuses of power are many.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported on TSA agents holding down and intrusively searching a 4-year-old girl who made the mistake of breaking the line and hugging her grandmother at an airport in Kansas.

Also on Thursday, a TV station in San Antonio reported that a TSA agent felt up Rep. Francisco Canseco, D-Texas.

I call things what they are and this is feeling people up, because it is a crime to touch another person intrusively unless they are in prison, or jail or being arrested.

The complaints against the TSA are not a matter of just a few bad apples either.

Perhaps the worst was the reporting the London Daily Mail did last August of a TSA agent confiscating the insulin and ice packs of a pregnant and diabetic woman.

"I got a bottle of nail polish," she told the newspaper. "I got hair spray bottles. I got needles that are syringes. But yet I can't take through my actual insulin?"

The TSA has become an expensive and outlandishly repressive agency. Congress needs to rein TSA in.

The agency engages in security theater by bullying little girls instead of quietly observing passengers and checking out likely suspects.

You don't have to take my word for it.

"We have the capability to do that behavior [screening]," said Kip Hawley. "These are smart people and they're well trained, but if you just tell the work force to get into people's bags and fish for stuff, they're not using their brains."

Hawley headed the agency in President George W. Bush's second term.

Let's stop being stupid. Let's stop treating every passenger as a criminal. Let's stop bullying little girls.

Of course, by publicly complaining about the TSA, I risk being placed on the terrorist watch. Criticizing TSA is one of the traits that TSA has used to identify suspected terrorists.

Most Americans probably figure this is a small price to pay for security.

But we are too willing to trade our liberty for temporary security.

My question is this: After seeing all this, why wouldn't a terrorist bring a little girl to the airport to use as a diversion so he could board the plane with his arsenal of bombs and guns and knives?.

Oh yes, and insulin.

Surber may be reached at


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