The outcry over airport screening techniques has prompted some activity in Washington.
The full body-scanners and more invasive physical examinations at airport gates by the Transportation Security Administration have even prompted calls for a boycott of flights leading in to the Thanksgiving weekend. Senator Bond says it’s a delicate balance.
“In the post- 9/11 era, it’s critical that TSA be able to inspect passengers to ensure air traveler safety. But their actions should not leave travelers feeling violated. This is just another in the long line of government intrusions,” Bond told reporters on a conference call.
When asked again about his stance on the issue, Bond continued to toe the line.
“It’s a very tricky question. Unfortunately with the new things that terrorists are trying, without having some kind of thorough screening it is very difficult to balance privacy and security,” Bond said.
Bond, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he’s not sure his committee will have time to take up the issue in the final weeks of the session. But he says he’s not deaf to the complaints.
“The Homeland Security Committee is going to be having a hearing. We’re going to be talking to those people. But we’re hearing from lots of folks back home who really are concerned about it, so we’re going to share those comments,” Bond said.
As the head of the TSA meets with that committee, Bond hopes compromises can be made.
“We hope that they can find a middle ground and I think that’s the primary thing. We’re going to continue to work on the intelligence committee to try to catch the terrorists before they arrive or before they strike,” Bond said.
He says that’s really the best way to prevent terrorist attacks.
Numerous national media outlets have been reporting that some Americans are crying foul over the new full-body scan that essentially produces a naked image of an airport traveler. There are concerns that some of the images taken by the scanners were saved and have now been posted to the internet. They are never supposed to be saved. There are also complaints about more invasive pat-downs that are now being used, that require searches that make contact with a flyer’s private areas.