Report on TSA


MESERVE (voice-over): Privacy has become a punch-line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what TSA stands for? Does everybody know? Touch someone's ass. That's what it stands for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The excessive body pat down, there's your stimulus package, hello.

MESERVE: Even overseas, the new protocols are generating laughs. A Taiwanese animation asks, what's next? But not everyone is amused, including members of Congress.

SEN. GEORGE LEMIEUX, (R) FLORIDA: I wouldn't want my wife to be touched in the way that these folks are being touched. I wouldn't want to be touched that way.

MESERVE: The head of TSA said he and other top officials had gotten the pat-downs. Yes, they were intrusive, but --

JOHN PISTOLE, T.S.A. ADMINISTRATOR: If you're asking me am I going to change the policies, no.

MESERVE: Pistole said that old pat-downs procedures weren't thorough enough to find threats like the underwear bomb. But he said technologies being tested now might provide us solution. The images created by next generation scanning machines look like paper doll cutouts. Possible threats are highlighted, but there is no anatomical detail. But in tests, he says, the machines are sounding alarms when they shouldn't.

PISTOLE: With high rate of false positives, that results in more pat-downs toward trying to stay away from that.

MESERVE: In the meantime, a few passengers receiving pat-downs have become angry, belligerent, even physical. A group representing screeners says in Indianapolis, one screener was actually punched by a passenger.


MESERVE (on-camera): That group, the American Federation of Government Employees is asking TSA to distribute educational pamphlets explaining the new procedures to every traveler and asking them to respect screener right to be treated to dignity and respect -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Is there any way to determine how deep this resentment toward these new procedures are?

MESERVE: It really is very difficult. A lot of people were on the internet talking about this very unhappy, but the TSA says since the new pat-downs were implemented on November 1st, it has received only 700 formal complaints, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Jeanne, for that.

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