WASHINGTON — A third elderly flier who relies on a medical device says she was “traumatized” by a search at a Kennedy Airport security checkpoint after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Linda Kallish, 66, of Boynton Beach, Fla., counts on an insulin pump and a stash of fruit juice to control “erratic” diabetes, she told the Daily News.
Screeners from the federal Transportation Security Administration kept the fruit juice from her for 10 minutes while she waited for a pat-down and a second search in which she had to partially remove clothing to show an official her pump implant.
Kallish said she is willing to accept heavy security — including intrusive searches — but said the TSA must come up with a better way to check over fliers with acute medical needs.
“There has to be a way to address this,” she said.
Kallish’s ordeal happened on Nov. 29, the same day Lenore Zimmerman, 85, of Long Beach, L.I., ran into trouble with TSA at the same airport.
Zimmerman claims the TSA took her to a private area after she decided not to pass through a scanning machine for fear it would cause problems with her heart defibrillator. Once in the private room, she was ordered to remove some clothing and back brace, exposing her private areas.
Zimmerman cut her leg in the process, and missed her flight, she said.
The previous day at the same checkpoint, cancer survivor Ruth Sherman, 88, of Sunrise, Fla., was forced to show TSA screeners her colostomy bag, which can cause pain if it is touched.
TSA officials maintain that in each case, its screeners followed procedures aimed at detecting threats from terrorists.
“TSA does not strip-search people,” TSA Administrator Joe Pistole said, according to Bloomberg News.
He said pat-downs of elderly passengers who do not consent to passing through whole-body scanners, or those whose medical devices lead them to trigger the devices' alarms, must be done because it is possible terrorists could deploy an older person to carry a bomb.
“Terrorists are willing to exploit societal norms,” Pistole told Bloomberg News.
This is heresy to say, nut I believe the people in charge of this country - the real owners, as George Carlin would say, were not saddened by the 9/11 attacks at all.
Rather, post-Cold War, these attacks gave them excuse to ramp up another "Forever War" to replace the Cold War, gave them an excuse to spend trillions on the military-industrial complex (and enrich themselves in the process) and gave them the excuse they needed to clamp down on constitutional rights and freedom in the name of safety.
And of course we keep creating more terrorists with the blowback from our policies and bloody actions in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Yemen and Somalia and Pakistan.
It's a never-ending cycle in which fear of terrorism allows the powers-that-be to clamp down on our freedoms and engage in "anti-terrorist" actions abroad that ultimately create more terrorists and give them the excuse to clamp down on more and of our rights.
And so, now we hit that point in the country where the colostomy bag might be a bomb and the elderly ladies have to be taken off the line at the airport and strip searched for bombing materials.
The TSA can say they're not strip-searching elderly people all they want - when it gets down to underwear and the colostomy bag, as it did with two of these ladies, they're doing exactly that.
Alas, it's what we have to do to remain free...