Airports Consider Congressman's Call to Ditch TSA

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With both travelers and pilots crying foul over the new enhanced pat-downs and full body scanners, airports are considering ditching Transportation Security Administration agents altogether.

The news comes after Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a longtime critic of the TSA, suggested airports hire private contractors to do security screenings instead.

"Shoe bombers - we had to take off our shoes, liquid - we have to take out of liquid," Mica said. "Now we're being groped because of the diaper bomber. What's next? You know -- the proctologist? The gynecologist?"

Mica said the best way to put travelers at ease is to remove TSA employees out of their posts at the ends of the snaking security lines.

"I think we could use half the personnel and streamline the system," Mica said Wednesday, calling the TSA a bloated bureaucracy.

Should airports opt to replace TSA agents with private contractors, the contractors would still have to follow all TSA-mandated security procedures, which include pat-downs when necessary.

Meanwhile, TSA officials are not backing down on the enhanced security methods.

TSA chief John Pistole said the scanners work because they've caught passengers carrying marijuana, whiskey, and even knives. As to those intrusive searches, he said he's undergone one himself and that they're necessary to keep people safe.

Nevertheless, the TSA has now made one change -- exempting children under 12 years old from the pat-downs.

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