Local TSA Agent Speaks Out On Pat-Downs

By Jon Delano, KDKA Political Editor

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Passengers may be unhappy over long lines and enhanced security at the airports, but it’s a feeling shared by many at TSA.

“There’s a lot more tension both by officers, fellow officers, and passengers,” one Pittsburgh TSA officer told KDKA’s Jon Delano in an exclusive interview.

TSA officers don’t like the new aggressive pat-downs of passengers either.

“I truly feel that it is morally and ethically wrong to do it,” the agent noted. “This does not make flying safer. It’s just taking away American citizens rights.”

And all the horror stories at other airports only make things worse.

“Everybody shudders when they hear that because they know that is not what we’re supposed to be doing,” the agent said.

Although trained, every officer has a different way of doing pat-downs, leading to inconsistencies.

“If you do it properly, you’re not touching the genitalia. But there is so much room for error, that’s where the problem comes because you’re in such close proximity of the areas that you are checking, it could happen.”

And some officers are more aggressive than others.

“Some people have worked in the military, some people have worked in the police force.”

But some at TSA question if the new rules are making anyone safer.

“I myself would be just as confident flying before these new procedures took place as I would be flying right now.”

The irony is that the person most likely subjected to an enhanced pat-down is not someone acting suspiciously.

It’s America’s seniors that are most often the targets of a pat-down, says this local TSA officer.

“These are your mother, your father, your grandparents. They’re the ones who have to put up with this every time they fly.”

And it breaks the heart of some local TSA officers.

“Just the looks on their faces, some of them, the fear.”

America’s older folks seem targeted because their artificial hips, knees, plates, and pace-makers most often trigger the metal detectors.

“They are the ones who get the brunt of the pat downs. Most of the American public will not have any difference in their screening. The people who alarm the MAG are the ones that will get this invasive pat down.”

And it targets the wrong people, some TSA officers believe.

“The ones who are least likely to be terrorists, the elderly, are the most likely to get the pat downs?” KDKA’s Jon Delano asked a local TSA officer.

“Correct. And that’s the big problem with this system.”

One local agent says, ironically, the controversial full body scanner may be better for seniors because it may avoid a pat-down, a pat-down, he says, that violates basic American values.

“It goes back to, ‘Do upon others as you would wish others to do upon you.’ And I would not want that done to me, or my family, or my mother, or my grandmother.”

  • joan

    Nice interview Ms J

  • Henry

    Although Mr. Delano kept referring to the TSA officer as “he”, everyone can tell this is a female officer

    • Michael

      I you would read the article more closely, your sexism might vanish. Clearly there are two agents, one, whom the article is about, another, “he” who comments on pat-downs in general. Get over yourself, feminist sexist.

  • nancy

    IF DHS can’t figure out who this annouymous person was, the whole Dept should be disbanned.

    Happy holiidays honey

    • delquattro

      Sure, add the abrogation of the first amendment to the fourth amendment violations.

  • TSA

    I am pretty sure that anyone that works at TSA PIT can tell who that officer was. I know I sure can.

    • JohnWoods

      So If you are really one of her co-workers, out her! I dare you. Let’s see the news report of her getting fired. Won’t happen because you aren’t real.

      • Jo

        You want her to get fired for telling the truth? Aren’t you nice!

    • NotFlyAgain

      That tyrannical, and threatening attitude RIGHT THERE is why so many Americans are outraged at you a-holes.

    • paul

      Why aren’t you coming out and saying something also??

  • TSA

    She should be fired.

    • JohnWoods

      You should be fired. I’ll bet you are one of those who abuse the system.

    • Keith in Seattle

      And you should be banned. Or disbanned, whichever comes first you traitor.

    • Bob

      Not only should she be fired, the entire TSA should be eliminated. ! Useless, immoral, illegal, rights violating taxpayer funded sexual predators. Arrest them all and disband TSA, NOW!!!!!

    • Retired Leatherneck

      and you should be treated no different than your fascist brethren in Nazi Germany. One day, I assure you, you will be.

    • John

      If I had to choose between you and the interviewee, I prefer that you be fired because you obviously don’t know right from wrong and good from evil! This is the fundamental problem with TSA!

  • Joan of Arc's co-worker

    Sheer hypocrisy. You categorize the mission as morally and ethically wrong but you continue to draw a paycheck from it. What a way to stand up for the senior citizens Joan of Arc!

  • TSA

    This person is one voice only. My co-workers and I have been put thur enough with alll the media attention and still remain professional. It has been hard on us all. Takes a shallow minded person to speak for us all here at Team-PIT. If there will be a next time SPEAK FOR YOURSELF Ms J

    • Keith in Seattle

      You’re an idiot. Can you justify this intrusive search? Have you really stopped anything? No, you haven’t because if you did, you’d be screaming at the success of your idiocy but you can’t as there is no proof or justification. You might as well go get a real job as this is going to stop one way or another. You aren’t going to like either way either which is going to be funny. Buh bye loser.

    • JohnWoods

      You are hypocritical. In your post you are in fact speaking for who you think are “everyone.”

    • John

      So you think it is “PROFESSIONAL” to be a Fascist Goon doing what you’re told rather that defending the US Constitution?

  • TSA

    Ms. J and her “U crew” should take their agenda and leave if they don’t feel it is moral to protect the traveling public. PIT TSA has some of the most professional and dedicated employes in the US.

    • William

      why are liberals so quick to give into this government harassment?
      This does nothing to make us safer.
      How many terrorist has TSA caught since inception? (none)

      • James

        Don’t blame liberals, for I am a liberal progressive and I HATE the new TSA screening. I also feel the DHS should be disbanded and the fed should be audited, liberals are not the problem neither are conservatives. It is the democrats and republicans that scare me, the establishment is our enemy not the people.

      • Ditto

        I thought conservative pundits were the ones supporting this.

    • Newt

      Protect=Control in your world.
      Groping the genitalia of innocents, is not the answer. Reducing your bloated salary in order to pay someone from an Israeli security service just might be.
      You folks are disgusting. I hope that I never have to fly again.

    • Bob

      TSA shouldn’t even EXIST!!!!!!! Totally useless, and a horrible invasion of privacy and violation of the 4th amendment. Take all the money and put it to good use, like arming pilots and passengers. THAT would stop terrorists, not some stupid, useless government authorized sexual assault. When more and more leaches off the taxpayer(oopps I mean government employees) get arrested for assault, then this will stop.

    • JohnWoods

      Their professionalism is not the issue. The issue is what these “professionals” are required to do. Which most of us feel are unnecessary invasion.

    • paul

      Yes, she just HATES protecting the public. That is the reason and only reason she is upset about all of this. Don’t look any further, you’ve got it down. moron…

    • TSA-Not

      You;re definitely right. The TSA are the best fingers the Neo-Gestapo could ask for!


    Jo, Jo, Joan! Not the news! Its so distorted already! Hey if you go back on, keep your head STILL!

    • janeofarc

      You are a dolt.

  • Are you kidding me?

    Shame, shame Mr. Delano, this is what gives journalist a bad name. Trying to hide this person’s identity made you look as credible as her! Next time, refer to her as only an officer. You won’t look so silly.
    If this officer had a sincere message to send, she wouldn’t have done it in disguise.

    • Publius

      Bull. Anonymous speech is an important facet of free speech. Our Founding Fathers wrote papers signed with fake names to hide their identities. But I wouldn’t expect a government worker of the Thugs Standing Around to understand the concept of individual rights.

    • janeofarc

      Oh, right. So please explain why we have the term “whistleblower.” Divulging information anonymously has its place. Journalists often interview anonymous sources. Your argument is silly.

  • TSA/TommyII

    This “Joe” Scmo fro Kokomo needs to get a chin tuck and being such a bobblehead. Speaak for yourself!!!

    • JohnWoods

      Oh, so you are one of those who enjoy groping. I see.

  • Mary Smith

    This is all about control not safety. It is untested, unsafe, illegal, and most importantly IMMORAL. Anyone who complies or pushes this program is not only complicit, but Unamerican. It is quite interesting that if you can afford it, charter and private flight has zero security and never has and there are more of those flights in the US every day than commercial. I haven’t noticed these planes exploding or falling from the sky lately.

  • Robin

    If the TSA security groups at the aiports have a problem with the new security measures that are being implented by there governments & them being forced to implement such demeaning measures on flying passengers,then why don’t some of the security officers have the guts to take a stand against there government and say NO,we will not implement such rules that supposedly gives them the right to molest regular peoples & children at the same time.It’s IMMORAL & wrong and only Cowards would okay this

  • CAT


    • RoboMonkey


      I don’t know how many times I’ve pointed out that “I was just following orders” is no defense vis-a-vis the TSA when they try to sympathize with the “poor employees”. I have no sympathy for anyone who thinks it’s OK to molest and terrorize three year olds (or just about any other innocent traveler).

  • http://theindependentview.com/index.php/675/ Anonymous

    […] “I truly feel that it is morally and eth­i­cally wrong to do it,” the agent noted. “This doe….” Obvi­ously, how­ever, the agent doesn’t com­pletely agree with his own words, or he’d quit. Tags: airport security, Barack Obama, Constitution, pedophilia, sexual assault, strip search, TSA […]

  • mark edward marchiafava

    if TSA agents truly don’t like it either, there is one option not discussed: they can quit.

  • NewOrleansAnn

    Makes me very sad to think the senior citizens are most likely to be screened. I have no procedures that leave me vulnerable, but I would be furious to be screened because I do. I cannot imagine how I would feel about this happeneing to me, 20-30 years from now. I feel like they, just like me, are law-abiding citizens, and have to be very upset with this.

    We need to find a better way to protect ourselves.

  • Justin

    This video busts down their wall of lies :


    Paul Craig Roberts states this in a recent article:

    “Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to
    board an airplane. All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers
    waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has
    conveniently assembled the targets.”

    Further, isn’t it time we also started profiling people for security checks when flying just like the Israelis do?

    • Sorry

      This is all too true. It seems the terrorists are too smart to do this. This would lead to the removal or drastic reduction of all of these illegal, immoral, and expensive checkpoints. The terrorists enjoy watching the stupidity and loss of our freedom.

  • RDH

    All this just because liberals are against profiling. It is stunning how stupid this is. But so is a lot of what liberals force on America.

  • Ben

    Nice testimonials from sheeple

  • NotDeadYet

    Looks like a lot of TSA employees don’t feel a bit bad about the grope sessions. They are coming out of their holes to out the person who made this statement. I hope he/she is ultimately protected by whistle blower laws.

  • Allie F.

    The TSA is a sham! This whole process is BS! PROFILE! Better background checks at ticketing. Grandparents and children, most men and women ARE NOT TERRORIST!!!!

    I had to laugh when Obama stated that Al Quida “might” be using women with breast implants – duh…probably middle eastern women 20-35 years old – just like the highjackers….male, 20-35 years old, middle eastern.

    This has to stop. It is an affront to our rights, freedoms and the Constitution. Why should travelers be subjected to the scruntiny of hard core criminals???? And finally, TSA does not do thorough background checks on their own employees – half are thugs, bullies and criminals.

  • http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security/1154051-tsa-screener-speaks-out-finds-pat-downs-offensive-unnecessary-article-removed.html#post15330027 TSA screener speaks out, finds pat-downs offensive and unnecessary article removed - FlyerTalk Forums

    […] Correction, the article was not removed, just moved it's now here: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/…-on-pat-downs/ […]

  • Choose 2 B Grounded

    To all the co-workers of the whistleblower. Notice how you were incapable of staying on topic while disagreeing with the TSA agent being interviewed. You couldn’t keep the vile. personal opinions and attacks against her >to yourself>NOT<< MAKE THE COUNTRY SAFER. Why does pointing that out become a problem for you? Is there an explanation for YOUR behavior?

  • NowYouKnow

    Since the instrumentation inserted into knees, hips and backs is non-ferous titanium, it should never trigger the metal detectors. Just walk on thru the metal detector and fall back on the “I’m old and I get confused” defense if needed.

    • sorry

      it’s a METAL detector, not a ferrous metal detector. All metals affect electromagnetic fields due to their high conductivity.

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