Absurd: Rand Paul detained by TSA

Rand Paul was detained by the TSA this morning on what he believes was a random pat down, which he refused. He said he walked through the scanner and it beeped, but then after the whole ordeal was over he went back through the scanner again and nothing. He says that it’s an indignity to have to go through this and that these screenings aren’t making us any safer:

To this day I’m not sure why a single GOP candidate hasn’t even mentioned these airport screenings as part of their platform. This incident underscores the absurdity of the system and how it doesn’t keep us safe. It’s a politically correct solution that doesn’t really address the problem.

And I’m sorry, but when an elected official doesn’t even get the benefit of walking back through the scanner to check again, you know that the system has broken down.

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  • He’s lucky he doesn’t have a colostomy bag or pacemaker… TSA is pathetic. We need to impliment the same system Israel has, but of course under the present “administration” anything having to do with looking at Israel is apostacy.

    • KenInMontana

      Here is one persons experience with El Al security; http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/10/01/elal-usat.htm#more

      • B-Funk

        Wow, good article. Thanks for finding that. I have heard they are the securest airline to fly with, but to have a personal experience shared is very useful. It would probably be a much bigger operation here, but if our goal is to have secure airlines, it’s worth it. Especially if we can overhaul the TSA- or do away with them.

      • Written just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks. We all expected some sensible changes to be made to airport security at that time. We expected too much.

      • Thanks for the link to a good article.

      • Anonymous

        Good article, thanks for that. I flew in the fall to Florida. The TSA employee that first looked at my ticket, looked like a leftover hippie from the 1960’s. He was skinny with grey hair, pulled back in a pony tail. He was polite enough, but I can’t take someone seriously that looks like that. I thought maybe he would pull out a joint at any moment.

        The next person I saw was a young black woman, with dreadlocks all over her head, sticking up. No dress code I guess. And the blue gloves, don’t get me started on that. Maybe we should call them the Blue Man Crew?

        It’s a freak show. America is being dragged through the mud. Of course the accessories to murder, and the thieves who have looted our Treasury in the White House think it’s perfectly alright. Stupid Americans that put this crime syndicate in the White House. Shame on those that continue to allow it to happen. May life get even with all of them.

      • Anonymous

        The article was written in October 2001, just 1 year after 9/11 in USA. Security has been changed since then.

      • Sheya

        I have flown ELAL many times and I can tell you that what that person writes is basically true. But they do the checks in a way that you don’t feel like crap, they make you feel like, it’s for your own good.

        In Israel it starts on the highway leading into the airport, There are security checkpoints with armed guards, every car is stopped, looked into and a random question asked.

        I personally have never gone through the interrogations, I’m just asked some weird questions and that sit. But I speak fluent Hebrew so that helps. But I have seen them doing it to other people.

        Once on the plane their service is amazing, they treat you with the utmost respect and will do their best to accommodate your every need.

        I have travels many airlines, my two favorite airlines are British Airways and ELAL.

      • I never, never, never sleep on an airplane. My longest, 24 hours, meant lots of coffee.

    • I think there are certain aspects of Israel’s security we could implement, but overall, I don’t want Americans to have to go through that sort of screening. It is absolutely necessary for El Al to take those steps and, sometimes, violate their customers’ civil liberties in order to ensure the survival of their tiny country. That simply isn’t what America does.

      What I really think should happen is security should be removed from the government’s jurisdiction and be turned over to the airlines. Set minimum standards and then let Delta, American and Jetblue etc. determine who they want to let on their flights. Then the customers can choose the level of security screening they are willing to undergo in order to feel safe while they’re flying.

      It is widely accepted that the current process does nothing to improve safety. I guarantee that nearly everyone would skip the demeaning striptease we have to do now if we were given the opportunity to choose a screening that actually enhanced air travel safety rather than just adding layers of inconvenience.

      • KenInMontana

        El Al has undergone privatization, but they have retained their security measures because they are proven to work. Their measures are successful due in large part the level of training their security personnel undergo. They also employ a particular form of screening that would have many in this country screaming and beating their collective chests over, ethnic profiling. Why do they do this? Because unlike us they are not afraid to acknowledge just who the enemy really is. I agree that the security of the airlines should be privatized and then let the people decide the level of security they want from an air carrier. At the same time let us not forget that air travel is not a “right” it is a “good or service” and that by purchasing a ticket you agree to the “terms and conditions” of use.

        • That’s my point exactly. The US doesn’t face the constant security threats that Israel does, so, at least at this point in time, it wouldn’t be necessary for us to go to the same lengths. But some of the more basic, common sense measures should have been implemented decades ago. One simple example would be looking into the travel history and past destinations of the traveler. Having people watch the behavior of the travelers while they’re waiting in line and questioning those who look nervous is another one. None of the 9/11 hijackers would have passed these tests.

          Instead, we have a federal bureaucracy that is obsessed with fighting the last battle, so we’re stuck with our current system… until some Somali guy gets past security with a bomb embedded in his inner ear that’s supposed to blast the window out of the plane. Then they’ll be checking everybody’s ears and making it illegal to allow the airlines to pre-assign the window seats.

          • KenInMontana

            All the more reason to take a very serious look at how the Israelis do things. However, just because we haven’t heard of on going threats does not mean they are not out there.

          • Wrong again. When you fly, you face constant threat. Death is a few feet away. You probably want to smoke, also, disreguarding smoking has downed at least 5 air carriers. You cannot have the freedom, to do anything you want, in an airplane. Live with it.

      • Maxsteele

        Have you ever flown EL AL? Or any other airline into Ben Gurion Airport? I have and my civil liberties have never been violated. They have a very sophisticated process of isolating suspects and it has to do with statistical analysis and very specific racial, cultural and visual profiling with regards to more then a single factor. They will look at a specific person, ask specific questions, look at their travel history, and so forthe. If a traveller raises a number of flags they then take them aside to do a more in depth search. The Israeli’s were all to happy to share their techniques with the USA after 9/11 and it was refused. So now there is this so called “random” searches and pat downs which are ridiculous.
        What Paul suggests is even more further from what the successful Israeli system uses, if you travel frequently then you are more of a risk. It is one of the various warning flags. A friend of mine had a girlfriend in Israel and traveled there a few times a year. He was dutch, white, blue eyes and blonde hair and had to under go a full strip search and cavity search on departure and arrival one time. Just due to his frequent trips in and out of Israel.
        So, no offence, but I think you need to know what you are talking about before mentioning anything about El Al and the Israeli airport security system.

        • I haven’t had the opportunity to travel El Al… yet. However, I used to work in the airline industry and El Al was a partner airline. As part of my job, I was required to know what our customers could expect if they were connecting from one of our flights to one of theirs. So, yes, even though I haven’t experienced it for myself, I have some industry expertise and am aware of their procedures.

          From my conversations with our common customers, my guess is that 99% or more of their customers would agree that their civil rights had been violated. Most appreciated the screening process. I only talked to one who didn’t care for it. Most knew that, because of that extra 10-20 minutes, they would be on a secure flight. You shared two anecdotal experiences. I dare say one of them (your Dutch friend) might have a different opinion as to whether his civil rights were violated. Then again, he may have just accepted it as a consequence of his choice to travel. I doubt everyone who goes through such a thorough screening would see it that same way.

          Implementing such a security process here, though, would be a logistical nightmare. Israel is smaller than VT and only has about 100 flights in and out of the whole country all day. Some US airports will see that many departures and arrivals a single hour. It’s easy to delay a flight to ensure it’s secure if it’s the only flight that aircraft will be operating that day. However, when you’re dealing with dozens of airlines competing for (and paying for) coveted time slots in crowded airspace, flight delays can cost tens of thousands of dollars (lost revenue, downline delays and potential fines).

          • Maxsteele

            I do not think you got the point. Israel does not do this type of screening with everyone just those that raise warning flags. I used my two anecdotes to prove the point.
            They do not strip search and cavity search everyone. Yet, of course, that’s all you read because that makes your argument for you. The American airline industry is one of the most inept in the world and the delays, cancelled flights, lost luggage, and over bookings are infamous. But you worry about a tried and true security apparatus…interesting.

            • I disagree about the US air industry being inept. At least, not on its own. The ineptitude of the industry is due, at least in part, to the fact that it is laboring under a regulatory regime comparable only to oil, banking and medical industries, and, in many cases, being strong-armed into idiotic business practices by unions.

              I understood your point and I acknowledge your experience but I don’t think it’s feasible or necessary to implement those practices on such a large scale. Again, I only made statements based on my experience with El Al’s customers and the policy information which was shared with me. According to that experience, I have learned that everyone is screened. Security knows who will be boarding their flights before they even arrive at the airport and then makes one-on-one contact with every customer. I’ve been told this contact usually only lasts a few minutes. One man who traveled there frequently and had for years told me that, even though he had come to know all the security personnel, they never engaged in any small talk with him or exchanged any pleasantries. They were always totally focused on the job. Most pass the screening with no issues, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t screened. It only means the airline had no reason to go into greater depth.

              Doing the same sort of pre-screening as El Al would cover most of the security issues we have here and is financially feasible. However, the expense of manning the airports in the way they do would likely put the airlines out of business.

            • Oh, and I do think most people would agree that it is a violation of one’s civil rights to detain him for three hours for committing the terrible crime of boarding his sixth flight from L.A. to Cleveland to visit his ailing grandmother. Comparing security procedures of an airline that operates fewer daily flights than many US regional carriers servicing a country with a population smaller than Virginia, to that of the busiest air-traveling country in the world borders on silliness. It only works for them because they’re a small country. Israel has also had socialized health care since 1948 and it works for them, but that doesn’t mean we should adopt it here.

          • One airplane, one procedure.

      • You understand, what you want, and what is going to happen, are 2 different things. You want to run to the plane, at the last minute, and get on. Actually, you are many times more safe, than before 9/11. Sad, but true, enemies are sitting beside you. You do not understand the situation. 30 years taught me. If you really don’t like the screenng, I suggest you walk. Or. learn to fly, yourself, and fly your self. I did.

    • ABC if you think TSA is bad, you wouldn’t like flying in my airplane. While I do not have technology, I have the Israeli method of screening. I, myself, am proud of the TSA. You would be amazed how much info, I can get, in just a few moments of talking. It is far far better than just nodding, as they go by. Did I forget to mention, I worked for 30 years at USA airports?

  • I love how rational he is – and humble. And he mentions the Right to Life speech as one of the biggest in his career. I think his dad is crazy, but I really like Rand Paul..

    • Anonymous

      I agree with dad. Rand I like, Ron is a whack job.

      • Anonymous

        That ‘whack job’ has advocated for the end of the TSA since he announced his candidacy. Gingrich, Romney and Santorum will suddenly be appalled about this at the next debate, then forget about it in a few weeks.

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps they will be appalled enough to throw out the TSA!

  • Joe

    I’ll bet $10,000 that the Rand Paul incident will come up tonight – as well it should !

    The TSA is crazy

    Allow illegals in with phony ID

    Help drug dealers traffick drugs

    They let guns pass

    Strip search Senior Citizens

    Feel up little children

    Let terrrorists pass for fear of profiling

    Steal cash from luggage

    Eat cupcakes

    Take electronics and then sell them on Ebay before they leave their shift

    Search for “intimate items” in luggage

    Detain Senators

    Blah – Blah – Blah

    Let the fun begin!


    LOCK and LOAD! (The ballot box of course)

  • Maybe an obvious voice of reason like this after an incident like this will get the ball rolling on a more logical approach. Oh, wait. That would be logical.

  • Anonymous

    That’s whatchacall exercising your firmly held beliefs there Rand. I like it.

    This is the lead story on Drudge right now. “The Whitehouse backs the TSA”.

    • I missed your comment before I added mine. Great minds think alike. : ) We must dethrone our dear leader.

    • Anonymous

      Yes the White house IS the TSA!

  • You see ‘ol eagle-eye back there watching the interview, heh.

    He brings up a good point that the TSA should be making lists of trusted flyers. You gotta believe Israel’s system has a very comprehensive list, and in our large economy it would help screen a lot of people more quickly.

    • Anonymous

      I would be nervous about our gov’t getting lists with the names of innocent Americans on it….they could become fodder for FEMA camps!

  • Anonymous

    I find this shocking… a U.S. Senator

    • Anonymous

      I find it shocking that the TSA is allowed to do this to any American…

  • Amy

    Listening to him right now on Hannity. I think this might have legs actually ~

  • It’s very politically convenient for the Pauls…..but I have little doubt that he wouldn’t have acted differently if his father wasn’t running for POTUS.

    • KenInMontana

      That same thought did cross my mind as well, but I went with “ironic” instead of “convenient” in a comment on this incident on one of the Rush threads. It does seem a bit strange that a Senator as well known as Rand Paul is in that area (a neighboring state), would be “detained” in an Airport he likely is a frequent user of.

      Heh, now where did I put that tinfoil….

      • Heh, now where did I put that tinfoil….

        I stole it all, but if you’d like to buy a custom hat, I have plenty for sale. 🙂

  • Article I, Section 6 states:

    “The Senators and Representatives…shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same….”

    Uh-oh. This could be verrry interesting.

    • Anonymous

      Great find. Someone had better get drilled a new orifice on this one.

      • mike payton

        Doubtful. The lawless fascists in this White House will probably give their Brownshirt here a raise and promotion for a job well done.

    • Anonymous

      The ramifications of this incident are enormous. If this is not exposed as the unconstitutional act that it is, will the TSA and other agents of the Obama administration use these detention methods to make sure that Senators do not arrive in time to filibuster or vote on a bill?

      That is exactly why it is in the Constitution!

      Only ABC has mentioned this constitutional prohibition against detaining members of Congress. I’m surprised it was ABC but I’m shocked that it’s not every media outlet. If this happened to a Democrat under Bush can you imagine the outrage?

  • Anonymous

    EL AL believe our security practices are an absolute joke. We are to damn politically correct to profile individuals. Flew to Cleveland last week. The people managing the security checkpoints were people I would never hire myself.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, the TSA usually only assaults innocent Americans.

      Anyone wonder how many terrorist the TSA actually snags?

      • Amy

        Answer: 0

        Even when tipped off by the no fly list and relatives of crazy jihadists

        • I think you need to access the FAA files on detained passengers.

  • Anonymous

    Heres hoping that the senator shows some real moxy and goes after TSA.
    We the People will be keeping a very close eye on you Sen. Paul. You have an opportunity to really display to the nation as a whole your constitutional principles, or the lack of them as so many in the congress have.
    Ball is in your court,sir. Don’t let us down.

  • Anonymous

    We must not fly or take any transportation until the TSA is thrown out.

    • Amy

      I’ve actually made a personal decision not to fly – I made it the summer of 2010 when they put in these absurd ‘precautions’ that violate my 4th amendment rights. Unfortunately, so many people take the attitude that they just want to be kept safe that they will willingly give away their freedom.

      I think Ben Franklin said something about that??…. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

        -Ben Franklin

    • Anonymous

      I have to. Important meeting I am required to attend and I have to fly out for it. Why should I have to stop travelling in order to keep my rights? Why should I have to give up my rights in order to travel?

      It’s madness! Detaining a US Senator should not even be the last straw – there have been plenty of “last straws” already!

      • Anonymous

        Get them in the pocketbook…

        Our politicians are not stopping the TSA from violating our rights at airports and bus terminals at present so it seems to me that the only way we are going to stop the TSA from violating our rights is for the American people to refuse to fly. The airlines could be easily bankrupted with-in days around holidays (as an example), consequently, the airline’s under financial duress, will put pressure on the Govt and the Govt will stop the TSA.

      • Buy your own plane.

    • I haven’t and I won’t. I’d rather drive anyway 😉

      • Anonymous

        Good for you ABC. We need about one million more Americans to do the same thing and let the airlines know what they are going to do….

      • If my old brain serves, it is 12 times more dangerous to drive, than fly. Then, people ski down mountains, too. Enjoy.

  • Anonymous

    “To this day I’m not sure why a single GOP candidate hasn’t even mentioned these airport screenings”

    Ron Paul does. Often.

    • He said “candidate.” Ron Paul is only there for show and has said so himself.

  • This is just a mechanism by which the citizens are conditioned into thinking and believing this is NORMAL behavior and a small price to pay for the “freedom” and “safety”.

    I’ll take the telecommute airline thank you very much.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Rand should have taken his gold-plated Constitution out of his ankle holster and put it in the tray like a good citizen 😉

  • Anonymous

    Harassment of political opponents. It will get worse as the left gets more desperate. We haven’t seen anything yet.

    I am fortunate that my job does not depend on me traveling by air. I’d have quit if it did. I’d like to see heavy-duty payback for the molesting and “airport porn” these scum are responsible for.

    A friend who was in airport security when this started told me she quit when she saw that TSA was hiring immigrants to do the pat-downs and the porn – because people have no rights where they come from, they had no problem molesting people. These things were just a fringe benefit to them.

  • The US government and all its agencies excel at only two things: inefficiency and incompetence. The government can take the best idea in the world and mess it up beyond all recognition (see: government cheese) so it’s no surprise that government-run airport security would be a joke. If we want secure air travel, the only way to get it is to eliminate government meddling and allow the airlines to do their own screening.

    The government will, of course, be resistant to any such changes. Most airports are owned by cities or states, so I wonder if this could be done at the state level. I’d love to see a governor ban the TSA from his state’s airports and turn security over to the airport tenants.

  • Not to mention the indignity; what the TSA did is illegal and unconstitutional. It is illegal to detain a congressman while in session or while traveling to or from Washington. This is another wake-up call that our dear leader feels no fealty to our law.

  • Anonymous

    And does it take having one of our “representatives” going through what we suffer on a daily basis for them to wake up and start representing us?

    I have to fly in a few weeks, and the TSA alone makes me not want to go. I book a flight and I feel like it may end up with my arrest for failure to comply with a pat down. You shouldn’t have to feel that way just to make a business trip.

    • A few years back, my wife had to take a business trip and she’d let her driver’s license lapse. The TSA agent nearly denied her boarding for traveling with ID which had expired 10 days before. She finally got a supervisor with the tiniest amount of common sense to agree to let her board since the photo on the ID was obviously hers and she had not ceased to be herself even though her license had expired – also she wouldn’t be using her expired license to fly the plane. Obtuseness on constant display.

      • I appauld the TSA. A little conversation, another opportunity to check it out. Then, cleared, she flew. Maybe another aircrash avoided.

  • Anonymous

    The Obama administration looks at all conservatives as the enemy and therefore potential terrorists. I want my US Constitution back!

  • Anonymous

    He must have tripped something off. KBNA is my home airport. I’ve been through the airport many times over the last three years and have never had a pat down from TSA.

    • KenInMontana

      The story mentioned he tripped something going through the scanner, supposedly a glitch, at which point they wanted to “pat him down” which he refused. When he went through the scanner a second time nothing was set off.

  • Anonymous

    …welcome to OBAMA VILLE !”

  • Anonymous

    According to Obama administration’s definition of a terrorist, I have to wonder why Rand Paul wasn’t detained prior?

  • Anonymous

    The real villains: those barbaric followers of that lunatic cultist. They’ve already defeated us by terrorizing us into removing our own freedoms.

  • Anonymous

    “To this day I’m not sure why a single GOP candidate hasn’t even mentioned these airport screenings as part of their platform.”

    Eliminating the TSA has been a part of Ron Paul’s platform since he announced his candidacy.

  • Anonymous

    My respect goes to Rand Paul.

    Time dust off our copies of Civil Disobedience.

    “If the machine of government is of such that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law”.

    “Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil.

    But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?”

    Henry David Thoreau,

    • Yeah, the old communist was eloquent. This nation is the rule of the majority. Period.

  • Anonymous

    Americans are being assaulted while those who are supposed to be guarding the rights of Americans are collaborating with the Islamo-NAZI’S.
    They still haven’t figured out that Zero is an infiltrator.


  • StNikao


    I am boycotting the whole business and WILL NOT FLY until they stop the pat-downs and intrusive X-Rays.

    The Airlines can all go bankrupt for all I care.

    • Goody. Another disgruntled person, out of the airplane.

  • Anonymous

    Kinda brings it home when a member of congress gets harassed. Good thing TSA unionized, huh? Privatize airport security and this sort of nonsense would cease immediately.

  • Anonymous

    I am an old lady, not an elected official, and I have been subjected to this embarrassment on several trips…two replaced knees and one hip always made the thing bleep…I stand for the pat down while people look and say that the little old lady really does not look like a terrorist….
    Let’s do it like they do in Israel.

    • My mother in law is tiny-less than 100 lbs blue- eyed blonde hair and was pulled out and had the xray or whatever it is. She verbally gave them what for and they just ignored her but unless people stand up for their Constitutional rights they will keep doing this and worse.

      All the while they are checking her out-they are probably missing the “terrorist” somewhere in line. I agree with you do what they do in Israel!

      • Come, they strap bombs to children.

  • Anonymous

    Obsurd and – oh, by the way – UNCONSTITUTIONAL

    Meanwhile, the nuts in the white house back the TSA decision…even though it explicitly says in the constitution that apprehending/detaining lawmakers on their way to Washington is prohibited.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, Ron Paul is the only one who mentions the abject failure of the TSA, but he’s a nut, remember?

    • Anonymous

      Here’s an interview with Ron Paul on the subject.

  • Anonymous

    i hope the tsa gestapo get radiation in their bungholes.

  • It’s all about selling scanners. Who was it that had stock in the company that makes them and then turned around and made an official recommendation that they be used? Conflict of interest, I’d say.

  • mrcombi

    “Make a phone call and you’ll get the full body treatment”
    Now there’s a brown shirt talking…

  • Thanks for posting this RS!