GOP's Rep. Chaffetz Irked Over TSA Child Patdowns

Thursday, 12 May 2011 04:47 PM

By Martin Gould

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Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz is demanding answers from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as outrage grows after a series of Images of airport security guards patting down young children appeared online.

Chaffetz, Napolitano, TSA, patdown, child, baby, AP photoOne picture shows two Transportation Security Administration officers apparently laughing as they give a young baby a full body search as the child’s mother holds the tot in the air.

Chaffetz, the chairman of the National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations Subcommittee says the “enhanced procedures” go against the TSA’s own guidelines exempting kids under 13, the Daily Caller reports.

The TSA has defended the most notorious of the videos, posted on YouTube by the parents of 6-year-old Anna Drexel, saying the officer who patted the little girl down at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport “followed the current standard operating procedures.”

This is despite the video clearly showing the agent feeling all over Anna’s body and even poking her fingers down the girl’s pants.

Chaffetz, R-Utah, said he is “still failing to see” how the officer’s actions were within guidelines and questioned Napolitano’s assertion that the TSA had reviewed the YouTube video.

“If the department has indeed conducted a thorough review of the incident, then I ask that it immediately produce its step-by-step analysis and findings to this subcommittee,” he wrote to Napolitano.

Since Chaffetz’s letter, even more disturbing images have appeared online including the baby picture taken at Kansas City International Airport. Passenger Jacob Jester took the shot and posted it on his Twitter page saying “Pretty sure that’s extreme.”

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