Thursday, December 09, 2010

I sent an e-mail to Senator Hutchison

It was about that video I posted that showed the Poenix TSA retaliating against an American citizen. The one where they put her into a glass cage for almost an hour and made her miss her flight- all because she wanted them to follow their own procedures.

This is what I just got back from my Senator:

Dear Friend:
Thank you for contacting me regarding airline safety and security. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Since our nation was attacked on 9/11, we have instituted many effective policies to protect us against the threat of future terrorist attacks. Many of these policies impact the transportation sectors in the U.S., particularly at airports. Unfortunately, these security policies systematically failed with the nearly successful terrorist attack on one of our airliners on Christmas Day 2009 by an Al Qaeda-trained Nigerian terrorist. This disturbing incident, as well as the more recent Yemeni-based cargo terrorism plot, highlights the evolving nature of terrorist threats against our country.

In response to the December 25, 2009 attempted attack, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced plans to enhance passenger screening and detection capabilities, including an increase in the nation-wide deployment of advanced imaging technology (AIT) machines, also known as "body imaging scanners". The AIT produces an image that a screener can use to identify objects or anomalies on the outside of the physical body.

As the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, I appreciate the importance of aviation security. On November 17, 2010, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing to examine the re-authorization of the TSA. During this hearing, AIT deployment and other changes to the TSA passenger screening procedure dominated the discussion. Specifically, travelers who are uncomfortable passing through the AIT, as well as the very small percentage of travelers who raise an alert from the AIT, must submit to a "pat-down" that some may find to be uncomfortable and invasive.

I believe TSA must continue to develop technology and adapt security measures to meet the ever changing threats to our passenger aviation system. Yet there must be a way to accomplish this goal while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of the traveling public.

During the hearing, I urged the TSA to take seriously the public's privacy concerns with the screening process. The screening process can only be effective if it serves as a partnership between the screeners and travelers. We must balance security and privacy.

Please be assured that I will continue to do everything in my power to hold security providers accountable. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Do you think anyone bothered to read beyond the TSA concern I had to check?

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