It only takes one person standing up to authority to start a snowball effect. Let’s hope that John Tyner’s act of bravery in refusing to be body scanned or intrusively patted down starts a resistance to the whole airport security nonsense, related to a phony “war on terror,” carried to perverse lengths. Thanks to Jude.
San Diego Man Balks at Scan
By Mike Krumboltz – Sun Nov 14, 2010, Yahoo News, http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_newsroom/20101114/tr_yblog_newsroom/san-diego-man-balks-at-scan
Folks have been surrendering their dignity in the name of safe air travel for years. Most of the time, this happens without incident. But John Tyner, who was scheduled to fly from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field to South Dakota for a hunting trip on Saturday, drew the line when he was asked to submit to either a full-body scan or a very personal pat-down.
As a consequence, he was threatened with a civil suit and a $10,000 fine if he left the airport’s secured area. An in-depth article from the San Diego Union-Tribune explains that Tyner was wary of full-body scanners for both health reasons and privacy concerns. He even went so far as to check the Transportation Security Administration’s website before leaving for the airport to confirm that Lindbergh Field didn’t use them. (When he arrived, he was surprised to see that the airport did indeed have them.)
[Related: Doctors concerned about airport scanners]
The incident itself started when Tyner, 31, was directed toward the full-body scanner in the security line. Tyner refused, opting instead for the traditional metal body scan and a pat-down. When he was told that the TSA agent would have to conduct a kind of “groin check.” Tyner balked, saying, “You touch my junk and I’m going to have you arrested.”
That’s when things got interesting. Various supervisors got involved, Tyner was pulled aside, the police came by, and a supervisor told Tyner that he wouldn’t be allowed to travel unless he submitted to the check. Tyner opted to leave instead, getting a full refund for the ticket, but not before he was told that if he left the secured area he would be “subject to a civil suit and a $10,000 fine.” Tyner left anyway.
After leaving the airport, Tyner wrote up a post on his blog detailing the incident as well as posted the video of his confrontation on YouTube. Both are drawing big clicks and even bigger searches. Many commenters on Tyner’s blog are applauding him for standing up for himself. One person wrote, “My full admiration. Well handled, and well done.” Another pledged to give Tyner $100 if the fine is actually levied.
In an email interview, Tyner said he isn’t sure of what consequences, if any, he will face. He’s not aware of any legal action “beyond what was threatened in the airport.” When asked whether he was concerned about the possibility of being placed on the no-fly list, he said he wasn’t “that concerned.” However, he says he is troubled by the government’s ability to limit his methods of travel because he exercised his right to privacy.
The TSA did not immediately returned to a request for comment.