Not sure what it is with our dear elderly folks feeling the need to carry items stuffed up the sleeves of their cardigans and down into their full-cup support bras, but TSA agents at the Portland International Airport in Oregon forced a 90-year-old woman to do a waist-up strip down – brassiere and all – after the scanners picked up an “abnormality” in her bra.
Security alarms a’blarin, these outstanding agents took the woman aside, demanded she disrobe, and searched her while she sat there topless. We would like to take this opportunity to personally recognize the TSA’s stalwart efforts in protecting our borders from incoming nonagenarian lingerie terrorists.
According to KATU.com out of Portland, Alan Charney brought his mom, Harriette Charney, to the airport after a two-week visit. He watched her go through the full-body probe scan, and saw that she had set off the device’s bells and whistles.
Screeners were evidently alerted to a “secret pouch” in Charney’s bra, and wanting to make sure she didn’t stuff any illegal immigrants, sacks of pot or weaponized Kleenex in there, they did a thorough search of Charney’s unmentionables while she sat on a cold metal table.
“It was obvious,” says Alan Charney, “they were going into a search, but I presumed they were just going to sort of pat her down.”
As it turns out, she just had a little money wadded up in here, in case she loses her purse. That of course, could not have been determined by our diligent government sleuths unless they did a hands on inspection of the secret 007 bra.
“They wanted her to take, I guess, take all of her clothes off from her waist up,” says Charney, “and so she took off that and took off her bra … and I’m like ‘what?’ There was no sanity or sensitivity at all to the work that they were doing.”
Sanity and sensitivity are unfortunately not in the TSA handbook. To wit: The TSA’s blanket statement about how their technology works, without an ounce of anything that even touches on the fringes of sympathy, empathy or an apology.
The TSA said “it appears the security system worked as it should….Advanced Imaging Technology safely screens passengers without physical contact for both metallic and non-metallic threats…pat-down screening is used to resolve alarms and anomalies found during the screening process at the checkpoint, including those triggered by imaging technology.”
Remind me to never wear a padded bra through the checkpoints.