Last week we told you about CNN commentator Angela Rye’s uncomfortable encounter with a TSA agent in a Minnesota airport. And while she may have been left in tears after the pat-down went very left, she made it clear that she was ready for a fight to push the TSA to look into their policies and procedures. When she said that she was going to use the video to give voice to those who’ve gone through similar intrusive pat-downs, she was not kidding.
Not only did she talk to TMZ about her experience this week, but she was also interviewed on CNN and wrote an op-ed for CNN.com called “Dear TSA: The country is not safer because you grab vaginas,” where she gave a first-hand account.
“What ended up happening was not just the back pat, it was also the agent going all the way up to my labia, frankly — from the front side and the back side,” Rye told TMZ. “It startled me because what was described to me versus what actually happened was different.”
Rye said that such intrusive measures seem unnecessary considering that touching someone’s vagina is not going to find anything — but a vagina.
“If there was anything in my vaginal cavity, them going all the way up slicing me is not going to find it anyway,” she said. “There wasn’t anything.”
While the commentator understands the necessity of thorough searches considering all of the recent terrorist attacks and attempts, she believes there needs to be a change in TSA methods to find things that really matter.
“We need to start asking questions about what it is we’re looking for,” she said. “What is it we’re saying is securing and protecting the country and is that really the case? If it was, then why in 2015 did an inspector general’s report find that 95 percent of the time, when TSA is used and they’re basically planting things, fake explosives, that kind of thing, why couldn’t they find those? It’s because they’re too worried about patting down and feeling up to find the things that they really need to be searching for, which are potential weapons that would cause more disaster and more terrorist attacks. They’re going about this wrong way and I think it’s time for a new mission focus.”
And in that opinion piece for CNN, Rye further shared the reasoning behind taking her experience public.
“I initially recorded the video so I could send it to TSA to raise questions about the process and challenge the agency on whether these incidents of violation truly prevent terrorist attacks,” she wrote. “I began to think about friends of mine who are victims of sexual assault. I worried that if they were subjected to the same kind of search it could have disastrous emotional impact.”
There have been people who have responded to Rye’s video and feelings on the situation by claiming that such pat-downs aren’t that big of a deal. It’s what needs to be done to keep people safe. However, she maintains that there has to be a better way to ensure the safety of travelers without violating them in the process.
“I shared the video on social media. I shared my humiliation. I shared my feelings on Periscope after the incident, so we could have a constructive conversation about altering practices,” she wrote. “Of course, we want America to be safe and protected but we should not violate the emotional and physical safety of our nation’s citizens at the same time. Things don’t change unless we ask questions and demand answers. We do not have to do something because it’s always been done — that does not make it right.”
TSA has responded to the controversy by issuing a statement. They said that they plan to address Rye’s concerns, which are the concerns of more individuals than people think.
“The Transportation Security Administration takes reports of alleged impropriety very seriously,” the statement read. “TSA is currently looking into the specific details as to what occurred during the screening process to ensure our security protocols were followed. We regret any distress the security screening process may have caused the passenger. We have reached out to the passenger and will work with her directly to address her concerns.”
In case you didn’t see the original video recorded by police:
Images via WENN and Twitter
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