– Sen. Rand Paul challenges TSA chief (Tenth Amendment Center):
WASHINGTON (June 22, 2011) – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unmasked the inane nature of the standards guiding TSA checkpoint procedures during a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee meeting Wednesday.
“Currently the invasive pat-down searches are random and not based on risk assessment?” Paul asked John Pistole.
Speaking typical bureaucratic gobbledygook, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicated that they were, but they weren’t.
“No, actually they are based on intelligence that we know specifically from Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the way he concealed that device. There are some random pat-downs if that’s what you’re referring to, but it is based on intelligence.”
The ridiculous nature of the response apparently wasn’t lost on Paul.
“I guess this little girl would be part of the random pat-downs, this little girl from Bowling Green Kentucky, one of my constituents. They’re still quite unhappy with you guys, as well myself and a lot of other Americans, who think you’ve gone overboard. You’re missing the boat on terrorism because you’re doing these invasive searches on 6-year old girls.”
Paul went on to relate another incident at a TSA checkpoint involving a Kentucky child on crutches and defended the right of American citizens to travel, countering an earlier Pistole statement on air travel.
“This kind of gets back to this whole idea of what are willing to do, what are we willing to give up as a country. In your interview with ABC News, you said, ‘I see flying as a privilege.’ There are those of us who see otherwise.
Paul emphasized he wasn’t opposed to security in general.
“ But I think I feel less safe when you’re doing these invasive exams on a 6-year old,” Paul said. “It makes me think you’re clueless, if you think she’s going to attack our country and you’re not doing your research on the people who want to attack our country. It absolutely must involve a risk assessment of those who are traveling. And the fact that she’s being patted down and I don’t feel comfortable really with your response that we are no longer doing random pat-downs. I think you ought to get rid of the random pat-downs. The American public is unhappy with them. They’re unhappy with the invasiveness of them.”
Pistole defended the TSA actions, insisting the searches were based on intelligence, countering that terrorists have used children in other settings.