Monday, August 20, 2018

My Daughter Molested by TSA; Me Nearly Arrested for Objecting

By Daniel McAdams

As I begin writing this, my innocent 13 year old little girl is in tears sitting in the terminal at Reagan International Airport. Somewhere back at the TSA checkpoint there is a middle aged woman who has just, in clear view of law enforcement, committed a sexual crime against her, a minor child. I have it all on film.

I nearly went to jail. The TSA agent continues her crime spree.

Returning from the Ron Paul Institute’s Washington conference, where my family all pitched in to make the event possible, we found ourselves at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint.

To this point in our occasional travels, my wife had been able to accompany our two young daughters through the metal detector, while my teenaged son and I had been forced to undergo a “pat-down” because we refused to submit to the scanner. All of a sudden this time was different. An aggressive TSA officer barked that my 13 year old girl could not accompany her mother and younger sister through the metal detector, but rather would have to submit to a “pat-down.”

Meanwhile my 10 year old daughter had already been sent through the detector and was far out of our sight on the other side of the machine. That made me anxious, as it would any parent.

They would not allow my wife through to accompany the 10 year old, insisting she had “opted out” and must wait for “female assist.” She had done no such thing. We had no idea where our 10 year old was, no idea where our possessions were, and no one would let my wife through to re-join her. It was obvious retaliation for our refusal to go through their machine.

I strongly objected to the separation of my family. I was told to not raise my voice.

Finally they allowed my wife through the detector to join our 10 year old. Then they ushered my son, my 13 year old daughter, and me to undergo a “pat down.”

I watched in agitation as a woman put on gloves and began to grab my young daughter’s genitals. I yelled at my wife to catch it all on the iPhone and she did.

As Agent Cohen started my own pat-down it was clear he was agitated. He did not like that we dared object to their demand for total submission. He began his run across my genitals and I turned my head to watch the sick scene of my 13 year old being assaulted. BAM! Agent Cohen’s hand banged my genitals and I nearly doubled over. “What a sick way to make a living,” I commented.

That was all it took for Agent Cohen. He was immediately on his radio calling for the police. I asked him the reason for calling the police. “Interfering with an investigation by moving during a pat-down,” he answered. I was to be arrested because I happened to move as he jabbed me in the groin!

I dared to express displeasure over being subject to his sexual assault. For that reason I “deserved” to be arrested.

Fortunately the Washington Metro Police Authority officer was cool and calm. He did not seem surprised at our situation at the hands of an extremely aggressive TSA. He asked our side of the story and then asked whether I required medical attention. I declined medical attention but remain in pain. He then encouraged us to discuss the matter with a TSA supervisor, which we agreed to do.

The TSA supervisor was a man of I would estimate 60 years. He first spoke to Agent Cohen, who lied that my wife had “opted out” and that was why she was forced to separate from our 10 year old.

The supervisor then turned to me and explained that once a child turns 13 that child is considered an adult and thus subject to a full body pat-down if the child refuses to go through the scanner.

I threw him off guard, asking him, “are you a father?” I repeated the question.

“I am a grandfather,” he replied.

“How would you feel if your young daughter or grand-daughter was forced to submit to a woman grabbing her genitals?”

His face darkened: “I wouldn’t like it; I don’t like it at all.”

“It’s sick what our country has become,” I added.

“It sure is,” he agreed. “But there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s policy.”

I know some who will read this will smugly scoff that I should not fly at all. But is that a solution? We go around the world bombing for “peace and democracy,” while at home middle aged women sexually assault little girls in plain sight “for our own good.” To “keep us safe.” But hey, it’s “just policy.”

My daughter has stopped crying now. But like all crime victims, that does not mean the pain is over.

Daniel McAdams is the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.


  1. "“It sure is,” he agreed. “But there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s policy.”

    And there you have the state bureaucracy in one concept: slavish devotion to "policy." No common-sense exercise of discretion. No weighing of the costs and benefits of aggressive pat-downs. Bureaucrats getting giddy with their coercive power over others. Chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom applying at even the lowest level of the state.

    1. Terrorist: "I didn't want to murder all those people, but it was policy"

      Judge:"Well why didn't you say that to begin with?"

    2. Comment from an older post: "Rulers call something a "rule" to depersonalize their will when imposing it upon the ruled. It is a mental trick used to insulate the ruler from responsibility and confuse the matter in the mind of the ruled. The "rule" is presented as something abstract and external to the ruler, who presents himself as a disinterested middleman with no choice but to enforce the "rule". The purpose is to trick the ruled into accepting that he is helpless before the "rule" by making a show of the ruler's helplessness before the "rule". The ruler might even say he doesn't want to enforce the rule, but he has to, because it's a "rule". But there is no rule. It doesn't exist. The "rule" is an illusion conjured up by the ruler in the mind of the ruled to keep him in his place. What's real is the ruler's will and the gun in his hand."

    3. Money talk's but lack of income also talk's. Boycott flying. The tsa is the foot stompers of the future.

  2. The bit about blaming policy obsecures another fact: While Mr TSA agrees with Daniel, he's unwilling to quit his sick job.

  3. I am American, but have lived in Sydney, Australia for nearly six years now. When moving here, I made what I believe is a common assumption among Americans, and even among libertarians, namely that life here would feel more controlled and less free than in America. In some respects there is some truth to this (most notably when it comes to gun control laws and attitudes I've had plenty of discussions on that topic). But when it comes to flying, whether domestic or international, the difference is stark. Here, there are only metal detectors for people to walk through, none of the scanners produce nude images of passengers that pass through (that I'm in the habit of opting out of when I'm in the US). No groping, either. And we can leave our shoes on. And the security is conducted by private companies contracted by the airports. Is it perfect? No, but by comparison it's fairly minimal, and takes much less time. You also don't need a boarding pass, so one could accompany family to the gate for a domestic flight, a nice throwback to what my family used to do. I think it goes without saying that practically speaking, it's perfectly possible for airlines to be kept safe with much less invasion of privacy, loss of rights, and inconvenience than Americans are presently stuck with.

  4. The TSA is a test of your resolve. By agreeing to it (opting out or not) your allowing it to continue.
    I don't' think flying is worth putting my family through an opt out. I suspect you don't either anymore.

  5. TSA screens 2.1 million passengers and crew per day on average.

    What reduction in business would it take to have the airlines demand change in screening policies? My understanding is the airlines profit margins have risen in the last few years. The extent to which their profitability relies on filling their planes I suspect is great. What would happen if there were a 10% reduction in passengers in a 12 month period? Would the airlines crack and demand change? Maybe it will take a 15% reduction for 18 months. The point is it is up to the customers.

  6. The TSA is nothing but a giant government jobs program sucking up more of your tax dollars. And now their moving to the subways, soon to R&R and buses and then the street.

  7. "Soldiers and police officers must not abandon their own judgement, even if it means they sometimes have to disobey the ill conceived or mad orders of their political commanders." -- Sun Tsu