Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. demanded the resignation of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole Wednesday for “flagrant violations of [Americans’] civil rights occurring at airports nationwide.”
In a letter to Pistole, Broun, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, highlighted incidents in which passengers have been harassed and humiliated by over-exuberant TSA agents — including thievery among agents, the recent indictment of two current and former TSA agents for bribery, and incidents such as forcing a woman to openly demonstrate her breast milk pump, a woman made to go through the body scanner 3 times due to her “cute figure,” and a child forced to undergo a pat down after hugging her grandmother at a checkpoint.
Broun’s demand comes in the wake of news that TSA has allowed airports, specifically Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, to hire screeners without full background checks.
“It is clear that the TSA has become nothing more than a bloated, broken bureaucracy which uses its extensive power to violate traveling American’ civil liberties while doing little to ensure their safety,” Broun wrote in his letter.
According to Broun, Pistole must resign immediately.
“Americans can no longer tolerate the flagrant violations of their civil rights which are occurring at airports nationwide in the name of ‘security,’” Broun said. “More importantly, the corruption and continued lack of security among TSA’s own personnel puts our country at extreme risk of another terrorist attack. The time has come for serious action to be taken. As such, I request your immediate resignation from the position of TSA Administrator. The safety of our country’s travelers requires drastic change, and the time for that change is now.”
Broun’s office added that the demand comes following numerous attempts to incite administrative and personnel changes at TSA.
Broun told Politico in late April that he also believes Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano needs to go as well. Broun has prior called for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over Operation Fast and Furious.