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External Articles | Posted: March 12, 2011

Critics say TSA comment 'opens door to pedophiles'

Children's advocates warn touching kids not a 'game'

By Bob Unruh
WorldNetDaily, December 12, 2010

It was a suggestion from a Transportation Security Administration official from several years back that airport security personnel should treat as a "game" their pat-downs of little children, but it's raising alarms among those who advocate for children because the agency has not repudiated it.

The comment was from James Marchand, who was serving as TSA director in Houston, over an apparently aggressive pat-down of a 3-year-old child that left the little one screaming, "Don't touch me!"

Marchand, in his explanation at the time, said, "You try to make it as best you can for that child to come through. If you can come up with some kind of a game to play with a child, it makes it a lot easier."

A video of the incident, which has attracted renewed interest because of the enhanced screening procedures that were instituted just weeks ago by the TSA, is posted:

The issue is that experts confirm that making a "game" of touching often is how pedophiles will approach and then groom small children they intend for their victims.

Join tens of thousands of Americans in a petition demanding action against the intrusive airport screening procedures implemented by Janet Napolitano and send a letter to Congress, President Obama and others telling them exactly what you think about the issue.

"Of course this opens the door to future pedophiles, teachers, little friends and others 'playing' the 'pat down game' with children, and taking it further as the traumatized child tries to understand what is happening," Dr. Judith Reisman told WND.

"The pedophile 'grooming' process made into international training. With congressmen lusting over Playboy on the airplane, hundreds of Pentagon officials downloading child pornography, and university officials 'objectively' wanting child pornography made legal, who is going to be left in our society to understand what normal, moral sexual conduct is all about?"

Reisman, whose work on pornography has spanned the decades and who has served on presidential commissions dealing with the issues, also is a consultant, has been the scientific adviser for the California Protective Parents Association and is former president of The Institute for Media Education. She's also consulted for four U.S. Department of Justice administrations, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Her most recent work, "Sexual Sabotage," explains how sex "scientist" Alfred Kinsey corrupted an entire generation by presenting "findings" that children were sexual from birth and vast numbers of citizens engaged in illicit sex.

She argues, "During World War II and the decades that followed, Kinsey and his Indiana cohorts sabotaged our nation by entering our libraries and schools as 'sex educators' - ridiculing marriage, fidelity, and chastity. They preached widespread sexual experimentation, succeeded in nationwide fraud campaigns, and gutted the tough laws that kept pornography and predators at bay."

She told WND that pedophiles have revealed that they often get jobs in schools, hospitals, child centers and other locations where they have access to children.

"What a fantasy! Here they can molest whom they wish freely and with the imprimatur of the state, to 'protect' the population. If roughly one in four girls and one in six boys are identified as early molest victims, how many are to be additionally traumatized by these invasive molestations, which indeed they are. If the Israelis can fully protect their travelers with the simple procedure of profiling, it is unconscionable for our government not to do the same," she said.

While government officials have said children are exempt from pat-downs, a multitude of videos have documented that that is not always the case.

"That 6-year-old, traveling with her Anglo Saxon mom, born in New Jersey, is not carrying explosives, period, nor are the males who do not fit the well established profile of terrorists. To allow men and women to sexually molest children under the heading of 'security' while refusing to profile for terrorists is criminal, in my opinion," Reisman said.

Her previous references in were to Michigan Congressman John Conyers being caught on video looking at Playboy on an airplane, how workers at the Pentagon were found to have downloaded pornography and how a University of Hawaii professor suggested that child pornography actually can do good.

WND requests to the TSA whether the Marchand's statement still was supported, or had been rejected, both by telephone and e-mail, did not generate a response.

But on a website for technical issues, Ken Wooden, who runs an organization trying to prevent sex abuse of children, was quoted, "How can experts working at the TSA be so incredibly misinformed and misguided to suggest that full body pat-downs for children be portrayed as a game? To do so is completely contrary to what we in the sexual abuse prevention field have been trying to accomplish for the past thirty years."

Hundreds of commenters were in agreement.

"Are these people totally insane? ... I do care that groping children would be referred to as a game. The person who came up with that concept needs to be removed from his position ... now. He obviously is not capable of rational judgment," said one.

Added a second, "I'm a survivor of sexual abuse. This policy disgusts me on so many levels. No one and I mean NO ONE should touch a minor in this manner other than a parent or a medical professional at the request of a parent. Keep your groping hands off of America's kids TSA!"

"This is sick," said a third.

At the Sovereign Independent blog, Wooden elaborated on the dangers of making pat-downs a "game" for children.

He said children "don't have the sophistication" to tell the difference between an intimate pat-down by a security officer and the same touching by someone else.

The government procedures actually could desensitize kids to "inappropriate touch," he said.

Added the Mediaite, "Whether the quote is three years old or not, it certainly doesn't take a child abuse expert to guess that that's a terrible, terrible idea and one that we hope the TSA squashed quickly."

The original video that prompted the comment was made by Chattanooga TV newsman Steve Simon whose daughter, Mandy, 3, had a close and uncomfortable encounter with a security agent.

A report from Howard Portney in the Examiner said TSA administrator John Pistole confirmed the agency could change its screening requirements for victims of sex abuse, but no details were revealed.

But posted on the We Won't Fly website, which advocates against using airlines until the TSA procedures are changed, there was an explanation:

"Grooming is a process of desensitization that predators use on children to prepare and trick them into accepting sexual abuse. Once the predator has gained the child's trust and confidence, they use everyday behaviors, like telling an inappropriate joke, a touch on the upper arm that lingers a little too long or a kiss on the lips to test whether your child is likely to tell on them. If the perpetrator is satisfied that your child won't tell, the predator moves onto other forms of bad touching. If the child still doesn't tell, then the abuse continues along the continuum..."

The issue of the invasive searches has erupted into headlines and protests during the last few weeks as the agency rolled out new requirements that demand passengers go through a scanning process through which essentially nude images are produced for TSA agents to screen, or submit to a hands-on full-body pat-down that includes agents touching private areas of the passengers' bodies.

Several lawsuits have been filed over the procedures, and there also have been announced state plans to prosecute TSA agents who violate state pornography or sexual assault laws. Also, doctors have warned of a long list of contagious diseases agents could pass from one passenger to another in the process. And there have been warnings the scanning machines could cause cancer.

Further, a petition, already signed by tens of thousands, was launched demanding action against the intrusive airport screening procedures implemented by Janet Napolitano, and a campaign was assembled to allow Americans to send a letter to Congress, President Obama and others telling them exactly should happen with the program.