As I begin writing this, my innocent 13 year old little girl is in tears sitting in the terminal at Reagan International Airport. Somewhere back at the TSA checkpoint there is a middle aged woman who has just, in clear view of law enforcement, committed a sexual crime against her, a minor child. I have it all on film.
I nearly went to jail. The TSA agent continues her crime spree.
Returning from the Ron Paul Institute’s Washington conference, where my family all pitched in to make the event possible, we found ourselves at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint.
To this point in our occasional travels, my wife had been able to accompany our two young daughters through the metal detector, while my teenaged son and I had been forced to undergo a “pat-down” because we refused to submit to the scanner. All of a sudden this time was different. An aggressive TSA officer barked that my 13 year old girl could not accompany her mother and younger sister through the metal detector, but rather would have to submit to a “pat-down.”
Meanwhile my 10 year old daughter had already been sent through the detector and was far out of our sight on the other side of the machine. That made me anxious, as it would any parent.
They would not allow my wife through to accompany the 10 year old, insisting she had “opted out” and must wait for “female assist.” She had done no such thing. We had no idea where our 10 year old was, no idea where our possessions were, and no one would let my wife through to re-join her. It was obvious retaliation for our refusal to go through their machine.
I strongly objected to the separation of my family. I was told to not raise my voice.
Finally they allowed my wife through the detector to join our 10 year old. Then they ushered my son, my 13 year old daughter, and me to undergo a “pat down.”
I watched in agitation as a woman put on gloves and began to grab my young daughter’s genitals. I yelled at my wife to catch it all on the iPhone and she did.
As Agent Cohen started my own pat-down it was clear he was agitated. He did not like that we dared object to their demand for total submission. He began his run across my genitals and I turned my head to watch the sick scene of my 13 year old being assaulted. BAM! Agent Cohen’s hand banged my genitals and I nearly doubled over. “What a sick way to make a living,” I commented.
That was all it took for Agent Cohen. He was immediately on his radio calling for the police. I asked him the reason for calling the police. “Interfering with an investigation by moving during a pat-down,” he answered. I was to be arrested because I happened to move as he jabbed me in the groin!
I dared to express displeasure over being subject to his sexual assault. For that reason I “deserved” to be arrested.
Fortunately the Washington Metro Police Authority officer was cool and calm. He did not seem surprised at our situation at the hands of an extremely aggressive TSA. He asked our side of the story and then asked whether I required medical attention. I declined medical attention but remain in pain. He then encouraged us to discuss the matter with a TSA supervisor, which we agreed to do.
The TSA supervisor was a man of I would estimate 60 years. He first spoke to Agent Cohen, who lied that my wife had “opted out” and that was why she was forced to separate from our 10 year old.
The supervisor then turned to me and explained that once a child turns 13 that child is considered an adult and thus subject to a full body pat-down if the child refuses to go through the scanner.
I threw him off guard, asking him, “are you a father?” I repeated the question.
“I am a grandfather,” he replied.
“How would you feel if your young daughter or grand-daughter was forced to submit to a woman grabbing her genitals?”
His face darkened: “I wouldn’t like it; I don’t like it at all.”
“It’s sick what our country has become,” I added.
“It sure is,” he agreed. “But there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s policy.”
I know some who will read this will smugly scoff that I should not fly at all. But is that a solution? We go around the world bombing for “peace and democracy,” while at home middle aged women sexually assault little girls in plain sight “for our own good.” To “keep us safe.” But hey, it’s “just policy.”
My daughter has stopped crying now. But like all crime victims, that does not mean the pain is over.