TSA: Some Gov’t Officials Exempt From Scans, Pat-Downs

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — The backlash over full-body scans and pat-downs conducted at airports by Transportation Security Administration agents is growing as new details are revealed as to exactly who is permitted to skip the controversial security measures.

Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-sanctioned security details.

New heightened security procedures by the TSA, which require either a scan by a full-body detector or an intimate personal pat-down, have spurred passenger outrage in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday airport crush.

The senior government officials can opt out of such measures if they fly accompanied by government security guards approved by the TSA. The agency would not explain why it makes these exceptions, but many of the exempted government officials have gone through several levels of security clearances, including FBI background checks.

Flights attendants are joining pilots in getting to skip the new enhanced security procedures at airports, as well.

The TSA confirmed the change on Tuesday after The Associated Press asked about it.

On Friday the TSA said pilots could skip the more intense screening, including full-body scanners. Flight attendants argued they, too, should be exempt.

TSA spokesman Nick Kimball confirmed that flight attendants and pilots will be treated the same. Both groups must show photo ID and go through a metal detector. If that sets off an alarm, they may still get a pat-down in some cases, he said.

The rules apply to pilots and flight attendants who are in uniform when they’re traveling.

On Friday, TSA chief John Pistole said pilots ensure the safety of millions of passengers every day, and that putting them through a faster screening process would be a more efficient use of the agency’s resources.

The TSA still plans a nationwide rollout for CrewPass, a program that clears pilots through security faster. It’s currently being tested in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Columbia, S.C.

However, the program does not currently include flight attendants. Kimball said TSA is committed to discussing the issue with them.

  • Jane Doe

    I wonder what big corporation is being paid by our tax dollars to produce such xray machines including the highway vans on our nations roads at the expense of exposing all of us to huge amounts of radiation! This all started on George Bush’s watch and now the new puppet is just enforcing it.

  • Devenio

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, and Warrants shall not be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. The 4th amendment

  • devoung

    why in the hell do they keep saying that you have a choice of a body scan or pat-down. at o’hare they scan you and pat you down, i know because when i flew out there on the 13th of nov. this year, they told me i had to have both, and no, i did not set off any alarms, thats bulls#$%, you do not have a choice. i stood by and seen others go through the scan and set off no alarms and still had to have a pat down. who ever wrote this peice is a damn liar

  • Imjusttiredofitall

    “…an exclusive group…”

    Yes, obviously.

    Sigh. How nice it must be to belong to an “exclusive group”.

    • Anne Vandersmissen

      Yeah it is… Want my job ?

  • otto

    Of course … they are our rulers. Why should they have to be subjected to the TSA rules … they MAKE the rules … they are not subject to them. Jeez folks, why is this a surprise???

    Remember … the answer to 1984 is 1776.

    I hope the body scan protest goes well tomorrow … God bless those who do participate & “gunk up the machine” :)

    • Anne Vandersmissen

      How many times a year do you this versus crews who do it 25 or so times a month in some cases. Did you ever think about it ? Did you ever think that if you are on a flight that has a problem you will look at me /us to get you out of it and save your ass !

  • NOMOFly

    The government will keep these measures in place because they are exempt.

  • Spencer

    Typical case of do as I say, not as I do.Let them stand in line with their Govt paid security details too like the rest of us

  • ed

    Welcome to government of the elite, for the elite, by the elite. Its commonly called SOCIALISM.

  • steve

    Honeslty does this surprise anyonw?

  • steve

    If people would avoid airports as much as possible,we could starve out the airlines and the TSA. Money is the only thing that they will listen to.

    • Me

      What the hell’s the matter with you? that’s exactly what the globalists want, for us to starve out the airports & then how will we travel when there are no more commercial airlines? Use your head & read more: The airline CEOs are against these non-sensical procedures. This is straight tyrannical government in action, not the airlines.

      • Me

        What more, you can NEVER starve out a government agency because they are literal parasites. Once they airline are gone you think they will lay off TSA agents? HAHAHAH. Nope, they will next invade the bus stations & subway station, and eventually set up checkpoints in the streets.

    • Anne Vandersmissen

      The airlines did not ask for this… get your facts straight beforee opening your sorry mouth !

  • Big George

    These are the same bureaucrats that will be exempted under “Obamacare” rules & regulations. Can you ever imagined Nancy Pelosi having to be patted down? God help the TSA worker who had to do this!

  • joe

    well us little people line up like good little people . maybe they should do it just to show they are normal like the rest of us ! oh yes there not they are important !!!!

  • KarenMarie Saracino

    we now Totalitarianism. While the ppl worried about Dancing With the Stars and the latest iPad we were systematically deconstructed at a Constitutional Republic.

  • DAV

    “Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures”, BECAUSE THEY ARE GODS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pete Bogs

    Some of the same officials who are telling us this is for our own good, no doubt.

  • Jimmy

    really, is anyone surprised?

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