Daily Mail UK: A former TSA officer has confirmed many of the worst suspicions about airport security screeners: they stop passengers for having an attitude, they confiscate snow globes from children and nail clippers from pilots, they profile passengers based on their nationality.
And yes, they do see travelers naked in the X-ray photos.
In a confessional piece for Politico, former TSA agent-turned-writer Jason Harrington spills the secrets on the ways that the security workers pass the time during their long shifts.
‘I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying,’ he wrote.
One of the most coveted rotations while he worked at Chicago’s O’Hare airport while Harrington worked there from 2007 through 2 013 was the secretive Image Operator room where guards took turns sitting in the windowless room- that also lacked security cameras- viewing the pictures of passengers that the x-ray machines took.
‘Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display. Piercings of every kind were visible. Women who’d had mastectomies were easy to discern—their chests showed up on our screens as dull, pixelated regions. Hernias appeared as bulging, blistery growths in the crotch area,’ he wrote in the Politico article.
‘All the old, crass stereotypes about race and genitalia size thrived on our secure government radio channels.’
The I.O. room turned into its own experiment in explicit behavior as agents would use it as a secret meeting point for mid-work rendez-vous since the lack of security cameras kept them from being busted.
The TSA issued a statement in response to MailOnline, saying: 'Many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in this article are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately.' source - Daily Mail UK