Reporting from Washington — As reports surface that U.S. officials are concerned about terrorists smuggling explosives into the U.S. within their bodies, one presidential candidate would do away completely with the government agency charged with screening passengers.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a libertarian, would instead privatize airline security. In his weekly "Straight Talk" telephone address last weekend Paul said the agency infringed on privacy rights of passengers while doing little to keep the nation safe.
'Ninety-five year-old women humiliated; children molested; disabled people abused; men and women subjected to unwarranted groping and touching of their most private areas; involuntary radiation exposure," Paul said. "If the perpetrators were a gang of criminals, their headquarters would be raided by SWAT teams and armed federal agents. Unfortunately, in this case the perpetrators are armed federal agents. This is the sorry situation 10 years after the creation of the Transportation Security Administration."
Paul called the treatment of passengers at the hands of the TSA "appalling" and "abusive" and said he would introduce legislation in the House to ensure agency screeners were not exempt from laws prohibiting unlawful touching of the body and invasive picture-taking.