UPDATE: TSA stripper John Brennan wants trial

by Lisa Simeone on May 3, 2012

John Brennan, the man who stripped naked at a TSA checkpoint in Portland last month to prove he had no contraband, is declining to admit guilt for anything and wants a trial to plead his case.

Brennan was charged in the incident with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.

As we’ve seen, some passengers who are charged for defending themselves from the TSA take plea deals; others, such as Phil Mocek and Nadine Kay Hays, refuse to acquiesce and go to trial. (Both were vindicated: Mocek was found not guilty; the TSA’s case against Hays for “assault” was thrown out of court.) Passenger Aaron Tobey turned the tables and sued the TSA. And, of course, Jon Corbett is also suing.

It’s time-consuming and expensive to go to court. Most people can’t afford it. That’s why it’s cold comfort when Americans are quick to say about an injustice, “Sue them!” A lawyer — a litigator who spends her life in court — gave me a piece of advice a long time ago: “Stay out of court.”

For those who can afford it, more power to them. John Brennan is clearly one. As his lawyer said, Brennan won’t apologize because he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.

Neither do I.

Brennan, in fact, proved that TSA procedures have nothing to do with security. If they did, he would’ve been allowed to board his flight after irrefutably demonstrating that he wasn’t harboring any weapons, explosives, or incendiaries, the only things the TSA is allowed to search for.

In other words, he was safe. He should’ve been cleared. Instead, he was arrested.

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