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Naked at the airport: Portland businessman strips to protest TSA

April 18, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Businessman John E. Brennan, naked, at Portland International Airport on Tuesday night.
Businessman John E. Brennan, naked, at Portland International Airport… (Brian Reilly / Associated…)

Businessman John E. Brennan said he is so sick of being harassed by the TSA when he travels that he stripped down to his birthday suit at Portland International Airport on Tuesday night in protest.

And he wants you to do the same.

Reactions varied to Brennan's decision to remove all his clothes to prove that he was not carrying an explosive device -- or anything dangerous, for that matter -- beneath his clothing.

Parents reportedly shielded their children's eyes and looked away themselves. Some passengers scattered to the other side of the room. Of course, someone took a picture. (You'll have to click here for a full length version of the above picture -- don't worry, there's a black bar over Brennan's bare rear -- because L.A. Times photo editors wouldn't let us use it on this post.)

The next photo the media received of Brennan, however, was his mug shot.

Authorities repeatedly asked Brennan to put his clothes back on. He was ultimately wrapped in a towel and then taken to Multnomah County Jail and booked on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure, according to Oregon's KTVZ TV. 

Here's how the incident started, according to Oregon's KGW News, which interviewed Brennan about the ordeal:

Brennan, who identified himself as a businessman and frequent flier, was passing through security Tuesday night when he somehow set off one of TSA's security devices.

"The machine went off, and I asked what it was and he said 'nitrates,' which I know from Oklahoma City is one of the explosive ingredients," Brennan told KGW, "and I was not interested in being hassled so I took off my clothes to show them I was not carrying any explosives."

Brennan told KGW he hopes other Americans will follow suit.

"I don't think Americans can sit around and put up with this anymore. TSA needs to just do their job and not intimidate people."

Random observation: Brennan seems absolutely unfazed to find himself standing naked in the middle of PDX. Everyone else in that photo seems unfazed as well.

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rene.lynch@latimes.com


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