Outrage over the Transportation Security Administration’s new “strip and grope” airport searches seems unlikely to die down anytime soon, because most people sense a big difference between the mere hassle of being told what you can’t bring onto a plane and removing your shoes as opposed to the invasiveness of being put through full-body scanners and patting down children.
The latest soundbite, from “Hannity,” isn’t actually as shocking as the headlines suggest, but it’s still troubling. The Right Scoop reports that Michael Roberts, an airline pilot suing the Department of Homeland Security over being subjected to the new security measures, put things a little more bluntly than Sean Hannity was expecting:
ROBERTS: I was stopped along the way by federal agents, and, uh, they wanted to see my penis. And when I told them that was not okay, they said all right, it’s optional-
HANNITY: Woah woah woah, wait wait wait a minute, Michael, I-hang on. They wanted to see what?
ROBERTS: You heard me. They wanted, or, as John Tyner put it, they wanted to see my junk. And I said, uh, that’s not okay, guys.
HANNITY: Wait, when you say, hang on, wait a minute. They wanted to see it?!
ROBERTS: Well, that’s what those machines do. It’s a virtual strip search.
So the agents didn’t actually ask to specifically see his “junk,” despite the attention-grabbing impression Roberts initially gave—perhaps under the advice of his attorney, John Whitehead, who also boldly proclaims:
If we don’t stop this at airports, in my opinion, you’ll see these machines on streets, in front of buildings, I mean this is going to expand. So I think the real issue here…is that, are we gonna allow a police state to be erected? This is the first step, folks, we’re getting conditioned for accepting very invasive police state tactics.