• Jurist rules parents can be jailed for objecting to “porno-scanning” of children
By Keith Johnson
In a vicious assault against the First and Fourth amendments of the United States Constitution, a judge in Nashville, Tennessee has ruled that a parent cannot voice an objection if a government employee decides to grope his or her child’s body. This precedent-setting decision is just the latest development in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) long history of tyrannical abuse.
On October 23, Judge Joe J. Binkley, Jr. sentenced 42-year-old Andrea Fornella Abbott to a year’s probation for disorderly conduct. Why? Because Mrs. Abbott is like many Americans who are fed up with unreasonable searches of her body, and those of her loved ones, simply because they choose to travel by air. Mrs. Abbott’s crime was that she spoke out against it, and had the audacity to try to film the pending molestation on her cell phone.
The case against Mrs. Abbott stems from an incident that occurred on July 9, 2011, at Nashville International Airport, where she and her then-14-year-old daughter were traveling to Baltimore via Southwest Airlines. As they were escorted through security, the daughter was selected to have her body inspected by a gawker in the X-ray booth. The mother objected, telling TSA agents that she was concerned about the harmful radiation put out by the scanner. It was at this time that Mrs. Abbott allegedly became “verbally abusive” to the TSA agents, who then called Department of Public Safety officer Jeffrey J. Nolen for assistance.
According to Nolen’s affidavit:
“I advised Abbott that she and her daughter would have to be screened or they would be escorted by me out of the secured area of the airport. Abbott then became verbally abusive toward me as well as the TSA agents. Abbott stated she did not want her daughter to be ‘touched inappropriately,’ have her ‘crotch grabbed,’ or be further screened. Eventually Abbott agreed to allow her daughter to be screened by TSA. Abbott retrieved her cell phone and was attempting to film her daughter being screened. I advised Abbott to put her cell phone away. Again, Abbott was verbally abusive. After her daughter was screened, TSA advised Abbott would have to be screened as well to continue down the concourse. Abbott stated this was ‘[expletive removed]’ and became verbally abusive toward TSA and myself again. I advised Abbott numerous times she was disrupting the screening process and flow of passengers through the area. Abbott refused to calm down. At this time I placed Abbott under arrest for disorderly conduct.”
Mrs. Abbott has given no media interviews, but she did authorize her defense attorney, Brent Horst, to release a brief statement that tells her side of the story. “The officer was rude and bullied me,” said Mrs. Abbott. “He had no intention of resolving the problem and assisting in the situation, but his solution was to put me in jail and threaten to put my daughter in foster care. I was simply trying to protect my daughter.”
Horst added that Mrs. Abbott was told to “shut up,” proving once again that “fly the friendly skies” is just another obsolete slogan laid to rest on 9-11.
Though Mrs. Abbott was denied the right to document her accuser’s missteps on her cell phone, the airport’s security cameras were rolling and captured the incident as it unfolded. A review of the footage, which is now circulating on the Internet, clearly shows people going around Mrs. Abbott, proving that Nolen perjured himself when he claimed that Mrs. Abbott was “disrupting the screening process and flow of passengers through the area.”
Despite Nolen’s obvious lie, the jury took only four hours of deliberation to find Mrs. Abbott guilty. Though she faced up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine, the judge slapped her with probation because she had no criminal record. To add insult to injury, the judge chastised Mrs. Abbott, telling her that the sentence was carried out “to be certain you don’t get into any further problems with the law.”
Actually, the only people who seem to have a problem with “the law” in this case are Judge Binkley and the jury, who completely discarded the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech and protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Mrs. Abbott was not only well within her right to protest, but she also had good reason to fear that her daughter would be molested at the hands of the TSA. In March, this AMERICAN FREE PRESS writer reported on the story of Sommer Gantry, a mathematics professor who experienced abuse at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
“I was flagged because I was wearing a skirt,” Ms. Gantry told me. “The screener placed a hand-held metal detector between my legs and pushed it up into my body. . . . I cried for hours.”
More recently, conservative talk show host Dana Loesch complained that she is groped almost every time she flies. The latest incident occurred on October 14. According to Ms. Loesch: “They performed the regular pat-down and then the agent informed me that she would be using the front of her hands to ‘sweep’ my groin. She pressed and swept across my crotch three times horizontally and three times vertically. [T]his [is] sexual assault.”