Moscow News reports that a Russian celebrity named Ksenia Sobchak claims she was asked to strip naked by the TSA at Miami International Airport after it was found that she supposedly had “explosive residue” on her hands.
Readers of this blog know what “explosive residue” means: hand lotion, glycerin, gardening fertilizer, etc. Because as we’ve reported umpteen times, all those things and more cause false alarms. All the time. To the point, again as we’ve reported, that TSA clerks themselves joke about it.
The Moscow News report is confusing. Though I wouldn’t put it past the TSA to coerce anyone into stripping, especially a beautiful woman (just ask Nina Gilkenson), especially celebrities, and because we know they’ve done this so many times and lied about it, it’s not clear from the story what actually happened.
Was Sobchak taken to a private room and “asked” to remove all her clothes? Or was she asked at the checkpoint, did she balk, and refuse to do it? Or did the TSA back down? The TSA is not allowed to ask anyone to remove any clothing ever, according to TSA administrator John Pistole; but as we’ve demonstrated at this blog countless times, TSA clerks routinely disregard their agency’s rules and regulations and make up new ones on the spot. And as these photographs show, clothing is “optional” in the eyes of many TSA agents.
Sobchak is Russian. She wouldn’t know the rules and regs of the TSA anyway — most Americans don’t — and would naturally feel intimidated by thugs in blue barking at her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she agreed to take her clothes off so the “security” goons could get a good look at her. We’ll have to wait until more details come out; a tweet doesn’t exactly allow for full explanation.
But in the end, does it matter? This has been happening for years, and nothing has been done. People continue to fly, they continue to reward the airlines for their complicity in this system of abuse, they continue to stand with their arms up in the air like criminals in the profit-driven nudie scanners, they continue to allow themselves and their children to be pawed by strangers, all so they can get to Disneyworld or Vegas or whatever other important place they’re dying to get to, and the worthless wankers in Congress continue to do nothing about it.
In short, Americans don’t care who gets abused, as long as it’s “someone else.” Just get me to my flight on time!