Four-year-old girl detained as terror threat; drug runners allowed to pass
Rather than harass grandmothers and little girls, the TSA would be wise to keep a closer eye on its own people
By Keith Johnson
American travelers have been repeatedly subjected to humiliation by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents. But one recent case went too far, sparking an outcry across the country that federal security officials were out of control.
This was the case of four-year-old Isabella Brademeyer, who was recently left traumatized. TSA agents deemed her a “high security threat” after she hugged her grandmother at an airport in Wichita, Kansas.
The girl’s outraged mother gave an account of the ordeal on her Facebook page, writing: “It was implied, several times, that my mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter.”
Just prior to the confrontation, Mrs. Brademeyer and her two daughters had passed through security without incident. However, the grandmother was flagged for additional screening after triggering an alarm on the scanners. That’s when, according to Mrs. Brademeyer, Isabella “excitedly ran over to give her a hug, as children often do. They made very brief contact, no longer than a few seconds.”
Security agents seized the girl and told her mother she would have to be frisked. Rather than have her body probed by strangers, Isabella tried to run. Of course, she didn’t get far, and was dragged off by the agents into a small room where, according to Mrs. Brademeyer, “The [TSA agent] loomed over my daughter, with an angry grimace on her face, and ordered her to stop crying. When my scared child could not do so, two [TSA agents] called for backup saying, ‘The suspect is not cooperating.’ The suspect, of course, being a frightened child. They treated my daughter no better than if she had been a terrorist.”
The TSA has since responded regarding the incident but denies any wrongdoing.
“TSA has long had a security procedure where if somebody has contact with a person who is undergoing additional screening, they must also undergo additional screening,” writes Bob Burns on the TSA’s website. “Why, you might ask? You’ve probably heard the old saying that the hand can be faster than eye? Well, that’s the reasoning behind this procedure. There’s always the chance that a prohibited item could be traded off during contact. I’m sure you’ve watched the scene play out in more than one movie where two people collide or shake hands and an item is traded off? Same thing.”
In other words, the TSA is now explaining away their actions by referring to fantasy plot lines from movie scripts.
Absurd situations like this are becoming increasingly routine as the TSA’s reputation, never very good, continues to disintegrate. Just recently, four TSA agents assigned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) were arrested and charged with narcotics trafficking and bribery after it was discovered that they allowed “drug mules” to pass through screenings unhindered.
Rather than harass grandmothers and little girls, the TSA would be wise to keep a closer eye on its own people. WSBTV in Atlanta revealed that this is apparently a low priority. According to a recent report: “In a move that could affect security at airports around the nation, TSA confirmed Wednesday it had such a backlog of background security checks, airport employers were allowed to hire any employee needed. . . . TSA officials said the background checks are delayed, but they are processing them as fast as they can.”