TSA skips hearing on inappropriate pat-downs, stating congress doesn’t have proper “jurisdiction”

The incident included the niece of a U.S. congressman whose breasts were revealed during an enhanced pat-down.

An agency spokesman said TSA doesn’t believe the committee has proper “jurisdiction.”

wsbtv.com | Nov 29, 2012

WASHINGTON — Congress had some hard questions for the Transportation Security Administration after a security worker disrobed a 17-year-old girl during an airport pat-down.

Channel 2’s Scott MacFarlane broke the story about the investigation but has found out Congress still isn’t getting answers from the TSA.

The girl was traveling with a youth group from a Christian school in Texas and was wearing a sundress.

During a pat-down, the girl’s dress slipped. Her breasts were exposed in a terminal at the Los Angeles airport.

The girl is the niece of a Texas congressman.

In a U.S. House hearing Thursday, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., wanted to know how it happened.

“A TSA agent who cannot look at a 17-year-old girl in a sundress and say she doesn’t pose a risk without subjecting the traveling public and an innocent young lady to this kind of embarrassment?” Mica asked.

But TSA’s top administrator, John Pistole, couldn’t answer the question because he didn’t appear.

The TSA snubbed the House Transportation Committee’s investigation of aviation security and pat-downs Thursday.

An agency spokesman said TSA doesn’t believe the committee has proper “jurisdiction.”

Most of those who did show up represent the air travel industry, and much like some of the pat-downs themselves, the TSA’s no-show didn’t go over well.

“Their absence today shows why the public is so frustrated by the TSA. These people are public servants and should reflect that in their attitude, instead of the arrogance we see,” said Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis.

MacFarlane confirmed the agency did conduct an internal investigation of the incident with the teenage girl and ruled it accidental.

The employee wasn’t fired but was given extra training.

The teen isn’t alone in complaints about pat-downs. MacFarlane found 17,000 passengers have filed formal complaints with the TSA since 2009 about their pat-downs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s