Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul told the Transportation Security Administration today that it should end what he called the “universality of insult” of random pat-downs of passengers.
In a meeting of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Paul grilled TSA Administrator John Pistole over the recent pat-down of a six-year-old Kentucky girl, a video of which went viral over the Internet.
“It makes me think you’re clueless, if you think she’s going to attack our country and you’re not doing your research on the people who want to attack our country,” Paul said. “It absolutely must involve a risk assessment of those who are traveling. And the fact that she’s being patted down and I don’t feel comfortable really with your response that we are no longer doing random pat-downs. I think you ought to get rid of the random pat-downs. The American public is unhappy with them, they’re unhappy with the invasiveness of them. The Internet is full of jokes about the invasiveness of the pat-down searches and we ought to just consider, is this what we’re willing to do.”
TSA Administrator John Pistole acknowledged that “we need to be smarter and use a little more common sense.” He said that TSA is working toward improving risk-based assessment. Pistole also said airport screeners are now told to make repeated attempts to screen young children without using invasive pat-downs.