Katie Kieffer

The New York Times writes: “The machines move a focused beam of high-intensity radiation very quickly across the body, and David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center, says he worries about mechanical malfunctions that could cause the beam to stop in one place for even a few seconds, resulting in greater radiation exposure.” The Times reports further: “A recent study reported that radiation from the machines can reach organs through the skin. In another report, researchers estimated that 1 billion X-ray backscatter scans per year could lead to perhaps 100 radiation-induced cancers in the future.”

Many independent researchers concur that the safety and radiation levels are still unknown because the TSA has actively kept its research in the dark and has redacted public reports.

The next time you fly, opt for the pat-down as a form of healthy protest. For now, it’s better than getting cancer from supposedly “fail-safe” body scanners. And if enough Americans congest airport traffic by choosing pat-downs, perhaps the TSA will eliminate its unconstitutional rubdown and radiation parlor.

Petting Zoo

Pat-downs do not keep us safe. They merely serve to treat Americans like animals. I may have long hair but I’m not a fuzzy tarantula or a furry bunny rabbit. I wear earrings in my ears, not bombs. Yet every time I get a pat-down, it starts with a TSA agent tugging down on my hair with clingy plastic gloves.

Last September, a Dallas woman named Isis Brantley (wearing a large afro hairstyle) cleared the checkpoint at Atlanta’s international airport as she had for the previous 20 years. Brantley had made it to the escalator when two TSA officers changed their minds and decided she was a terror suspect—perhaps imagining she used her hair to disguise a diminutive flamethrower. The agents chased her down the escalator shouting: “Stop—the lady with the hair, you!” They began parting through her hair on-the-spot without offering her a private screening area.

The TSA treats humans far worse than animals. For, petting zoo owners do not grope their cows, de-shoe their ponies and pluck their chickens before letting them into the barn. We are rational beings, not sheeple, and our bodies are our private property. It is time we speak up against the unconstitutional, carcinogenic petting zoo known as the TSA.

Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.