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TSA Under Fire for Patting Down Toddler in a Wheelchair

Posted on the 20 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
TSA under fire for patting down toddler in a wheelchair

Airport security in America. Photo credit: Inha Leex Hale

Everybody’s least-favourite airport security agency, the Transport Security Administration (TSA), has struck again. Not content with provoking outrage by strip-searching grandmothers and humiliating breast cancer sufferers, TSA officials have taken things up a notch by patting down a three-year-old. In a wheelchair. With a broken leg. Who’d just returned from a trip to Disneyland.

The boy’s father, Matt Dubiel, filmed a TSA screener swabbing the young child for explosive residue at O’Hare airport in Chicago, and the resulting footage has gone viral. “There hasn’t been one instance in the United States of a 3-year-old carrying explosives onto an airplane or doing ill will to anyone,” Dubiel told CNN, adding that he was not allowed to comfort his son during the process.

Reviewing the footage for Infowars, Paul Joseph Watson was not entirely convinced by the TSA’s airport search policy. “While the boy is being harassed, an old woman with a cane is also told to stand back and wait for an advanced pat down, with the TSA again proving themselves adept at being able to single out the most likely terrorists – nearly crippled senior citizens and toddlers with broken legs in wheelchairs,” said Watson.

But is everything as it seems? According to The Kansas City Star, there are some inconsistencies  - not least that the child seems unaffected by the pat-down in the video, which is at odds with the accompanying text that describes the toddler as “nervous and squirming”. And questions remain about the date and location of the footage: ”It purportedly happened at O’Hare International Airport, according to the text with the video, neither of which provided the date. Not true, according to TSA spokesman Jim Fotenos in Chicago. It actually was at Chicago’s Midway Airport. The incident took place in the spring of 2010, well before the TSA in September 2011 eased its rules regarding screening procedures of children 12 and under, Fotenos said.”

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