TSA strip-searches another woman, messes with feeding tube

TSA agents have, yet again, strip-searched another woman. But that wasn’t enough. They also endangered her life by handling her feeding tube.

Melinda Deaton was detained by TSA agents at Dallas Love Field Airport, said her husband, John Deaton. She has to travel back and forth between her home in Texas and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for medical care:

“They had physically stripped her and saw the tube coming out of her stomach, and they decided that they needed to check it for explosives, so they had to physically handle the tube,” Deaton recalled, adding that swabbing the tube for explosives put his wife at a risk for infections.

“Any time you put a harsh substance on it, you run the risk of contamination,” he explained. “They put stuff on there that we don’t know what it is and identify. She has a weak immune system as part of her medical condition, and it can be very fatal to her.”

I don’t know what it will take for people in this country to wake up. The TSA is bullying, harassing, threatening, robbing, and sexually assaulting people, every day. Yet the deniers and naysayers continue to stick their heads in the sand.

What will it take? Will someone have to die? Someone like Melinda Deaton?

  • PhilWeber

    Not surprisingly, spokeshole Bob Burns has refuted this story. He has also called the victim’s husband a liar:

    TSA does not conduct strip searches. Since the traveler did not let TSOs know that she was wearing a medical device, an alarm went off, requiring a resolution. Our investigation concluded that proper procedures were followed: The passenger, in a private room with a supervisor as a witness, patted down the area around her feeding tube, as required by our standard operating procedures. At no time did an Officer touch the feeding tube area. The TSO then swabbed the passenger’s hands and tested the swab for explosives. Contrary to what is being reported, the individual was not asked or required to remove her clothing at any time.

  • Magellan

    Americans can thank the current administration in the White House for putting that person, who I think is a suspiciously un-natural woman, Janet Napolitano, in charge of DHS as well as all those politicians who apparently don’t seem to give a hoot about representing their constituents and grow cojones to stop this nonsense.

    • Politicians of both parties are at fault. Most of them are worthless. But comments about the admittedly incompetent Janet Napolitano’s sexual proclivities are irrelevant.

      • Magellan

        If you read carefully you’ll see I didn’t single out one political party when referring to politicians, and “un-natural woman” doesn’t refer to her sexual procliviites. Sometimes being single, over 50, along with other psychological characteristics, is not irrelevant.

  • Bob
    • The TSA already got slapped down for this stuff over a year ago, when they illegally detained and threatened Steve Bierfeldt, who was traveling with a large sum of money. His money was none of the TSA’s business, yet they threatened him and implied that he was a criminal. He sued. He settled. The TSA was forced to admit wrongdoing, which is good, but it would’ve been better if he could’ve slapped them down in court and extracted a big fat penalty.

      As we’ve written repeatedly here at TSA News, the TSA has no right to search anyone for anything other than weapons, explosives, and incendiaries. That’s it. Not drugs, not money, not anything else their idiotic little heads come up with.

      Unfortunately, most Americans don’t know this, and too many of them don’t care.

      • Bob

        The difference Lisa is now there is a legal ruling. Now the 9th ckt has said YES your search is administrative. Which means it has limits.

        A settlement avoids a ruling.

        • I understand. That’s why I’m sorry Bierfeldt settled and didn’t push it all the way through the courts. But I don’t fault him for it. Lawsuits are expensive and soul-sucking. Most people can’t afford to file suit.

  • RB


    “TSA spokesman Luis Casanova would not comment on what chemicals were on the swabs but did say that touching the device is not supposed to happen.”

    “The TSA issued a statement Thursday that said:

    “TSA’s mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly 2 million passengers each day at airports nationwide. We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels. In this specific incident, an investigation was initiated and it was determined that the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) followed standard operating procedures conducted in the presence of a Supervisor TSO. We take the professionalism of our workforce and the integrity of our security procedures very seriously and will address any alleged issues directly with the passenger.”

    Two statements from TSA. Which one is the lie?

    • So they’re, once again, defending the indefensible. They screwed around with a woman’s feeding tube. Do Americans get this?? Do they get what’s going on??

      • Silence Dogood

        Not only did they do that, but they also called her a liar.

        Bob Burns is clearly a douchebag.

    • Daizymae


  • Drontil

    The TSA is apparently contending that the TSA followed proper procedures in this matter. As there is, allegedly, no video of resolution pat downs, I am certain they asked the screeners involved if they touched the woman’s tube and they denied it. TSA then took them at their word.

    It’s always the passenger who is to blame, never the TSA.

    • The TSA always “follows proper procedure.” That’s their default line. They could kill someone (and probably will) and still claim they “followed proper procedure.” And the pathetic thing is that millions of Americans would go along with it.

      Meanwhile, where are all the “anything for safety” folks re the Colorado shooting and the Bulgaria bombing??

      While the TSA is busy sticking its hands down people’s pants at the airport, hundreds of millions of venues of all types all over the world are exposed. Because that’s life. There’s no such thing as 100% security, anywhere. But Americans don’t seem to get that.

      • TSAisTerrorism

        Lisa, this unfortunate incident in Aurora, CO illustrates exactly what we’ve been saying all along. While I don’t buy into the current terrorism hashtag, as the kids would say, we certainly could make the argument that what happened there is indeed an act of terrorism as our overlords would label in today’s post-9/11 world TM.

        So, indeed, it is time, it is PAST TIME, for body scanners, gropings and baggage x-rays to show up at movie theaters. What better place to put on a security theatre showing?

        • Exactly. Give them time. The military industry is slavering to put these scanners everywhere.

          And yes, the attack in Aurora was terrorism. And you know damn well that if it had been a Muslim or Arab or even swarthy-skinned man who’d done it, that’s precisely what all the fear-mongering screechers out there would be calling it. But now, it’s just a “tragic incident.”

          Where are all the Islamophobes now?? Non-Muslim, non-Arab men kill more people in this country every year than were killed on 9/11. So why aren’t we profiling them? Why aren’t we profiling white men?

  • Kitten

    It has been my observation that TSA targets women traveling alone. As a woman with medical conditions myself, my heart goes out to Melinda Deaton, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t take her death, or the death of some other innocent victim to make people wake up to the dangers posed by TSA’s uncontrolled behavior.

    • Phil

      That’s been my observation as well, but it’s not just women. Instead of targeting those who would do harm, TSA has a pathological fixation on the weakest members of our society: children, the elderly, the sick and disabled.

      Do we need to say anything more about the character of a person or an organization that preys upon the least-able among us?

  • PeriPeri

    USA and its FACIST Expessions…