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November 23, 2010 / J. Shaw

TSA revolts grow at grass roots

Regional airports and some local officials are joining the swelling protest against more intrusive “pat-downscreening measures at airport security checkpoints, eyeing new laws against so-called “naked X-ray” machines and perhaps even opting out of the Transportation Security Administration screening altogether.

“Our Constitution encourages local governments to stand up when the federal government goes too far,” New York City Council member David G. Greenfield, who is exploring a move to ban the X-ray machines from the city, told The Washington Times, “These naked X-ray machines … constitute an unreasonable search,” which violates the Fourth Amendment, he said.

The rebellion erupted as TSA Administrator John Pistole expressed concerns about a threatened nationwide passenger protest Wednesday that could worsen delays and spark chaos on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

“One of the great things about America is that people can protest,” Mr. Pistole told reporters at a Monday breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

“My real concern for this is that vast majority of travelers who are simply trying to get home to be with loved ones for the holidays, if they miss a flight because a group of people are blocking access or because they’re taking extended periods of time, I feel bad,” he said.

But Obama administration officials were standing firm on the security policies despite the outpouring of protest. Mr. Pistole said his agency was fully staffed and was hiring support workers where needed.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Although he said no changes were in store in the short term, Mr. Pistole left the door open to reconsider and refine the program should the backlash continue to grow.

“What I’m doing is going back and [asking], ‘Are there less invasive ways of doing the same type of screening?'” he said on ABC‘s “Good Morning America.”

New York is not the only locality questioning the new federal security program and looking to private security firms to replace TSA inspectors

MORE…..washingtontimes.com/   By Shaun Waterman and Sean Lengell

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