Mar 28 2008
This is story illustrates how bureaucracies can lose their focus regarding threats to this nation:
A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.
“I wouldn’t wish this experience upon anyone,” Mandi Hamlin said at a news conference. “My experience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to be treated this way.”
Hamlin, 37, said she was trying to board a flight from Lubbock to Dallas on Feb. 24 when she was scanned by a Transportation Security Administration agent after passing through a larger metal detector without problems.
The female TSA agent used a handheld detector that beeped when it passed in front of Hamlin’s chest, the Dallas-area resident said.
Hamlin said she told the woman she was wearing nipple piercings. The agent then called over her male colleagues, one of whom said she would have to remove the jewelry, Hamlin said.
Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked whether she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was out, she said.
I know the security agents have final say on these kinds of things, but the last time I checked it was not illegal to wear jewelry on a plane. I fly with my wedding ring on all the time and never take it off for the security screening.
Americans will not take the threat of terrorism seriously with this kind of idiocy. The TSA agents should be reprimanded and sent back to training as to the purpose of their jobs.
We are fighting a war on terrorism, not nipple piercing for heaven’s sake. And yes, the woman is owed a huge public apology.