Special to the Phoenix Network by Michael Maharre, the Tenth Amendment Center
(Washington, DC) – On Monday, TSA agents escorted Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) from the security checkpoint at the Nashville airport when he refused to submit to an invasive pat-down, once again focusing attention on this out of control federal agency. But even as the TSA continues its heavy handed treatment of Americans, a number of states around the country are currently considering legislation to put a stop to such actions.
Paul says he missed his flight, but later rebooked and passed through security without further incident.
The confrontation started after the Kentucky senator walked through a scanner and it alerted to an irregularity. Paul says he offered to walk back through the scanner again, but TSA agents insisted he must undergo a pat-down.
Paul refused. He says he showed them his leg, the area supposedly causing the problem, but that wasn’t good enough. When he tried to use his cell phone to call TSA headquarters in Washington D.C. to get clarification on the rules, he says agents told him that he would have to endure a full body pat-down.
“For an hour and a half, they said ‘absolutely, I would have to [accept a pat-down],’” Paul said in a phone interview with the Daily Caller. “And, because I used my cell phone, they told me I would have to do a full body pat down because you’re not allowed to use your cell phone when you’re being detained.”
Paul says agents detained him in a cubical area, actions TSA officials deny. They say local law enforcement officers simply escorted him away from the secure area and did not detain him.
“I tried to leave the cubicle to speak to one of the TSA people and I was barked at: ‘Do not leave the cubicle!’ So, that, to me sounds like I’m being asked not to leave the cubicle. It sounds a little bit like I’m being detained,” Paul told the Daily Caller.
Paul’s father, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul reacted strongly to the incident.
“The police state in this country is growing out of control. One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors, and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities. The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe,” he said.
The White House defended the TSA’s actions.
“I think it is absolutely essential that we take necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Read the full article from the Tenth Amendment Center here.
Michael Maharre is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky..