TSA Mulls Revising Screening Methods amid Outcry

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WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Security Administration officials indicated, Sunday, they may revise the ramped up security screening techniques being used at the nation's airports.

The implementation of the body scanners and full body pat-downs has drawn widespread complaints that they're too invasive.

After first taking a hard stance declaring the new measures are here to stay, TSA Administrator John Pistole issued a statement on Sunday saying the organization would try make airport screening practices less intrusive.

Do these enhanced security procedures make passengers any safer? Terrorism expert Walid Phares, with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has more, following this report. 

"We will try to make the screening procedures as minimally invasive as possible while still providing the security that the American people want and deserve," the statement read.

Pistole said trying to strike that balance is not easy.

"Clearly -- it's invasive; it's not comfortable," Pistole said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "It really comes down to what is that balance between privacy and security."

Tales of Horror

The news comes amid horror stories of passengers going through airport security and dealing with new procedures that, at best, can be only be described as too close and personal.

"She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?'" said Cathy Bossi, an airline traveler. "I said, 'It's a prosthesis because I've had breast cancer' and she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.'"

Tom Sawyer, a bladder cancer survivor, said he was humiliated when the seal between his urostomy bag and his stomach was broken during a full-body pat down and he ended up drenched in his own liquid waste.

"Here I am in this room with no windows, I've got urine, two men I don't know, my underwear had been dropped to the floor," Sawyer recalled. "I'm standing in front of them without my underwear and had to ask to pull it up."

"I was embarrassed and so petrified going out into the airport thinking people would see me and, quote-unquote smell me," Sawyer added.

Somewhere around 25 million people are expected to travel by air this week. Some of them will see the TSA's ramped up security measures for the first time.

"Oh, I'd rather do the full body scan rather than having somebody handle me," one passenger said.

"Well, they'll never see me again, so oh well," another passenger said.

As for the "minimally invasive changes," there has not been a confirmation on how soon they'll be implemented.

Body Scan Boycott

In the meantime, a loosely organized Internet campaign is underway, asking passengers to boycott airport body scans on Wednesday.

But travel experts warn that even if only a few flyers participate in the National Opt-Out Day campaign, it could cause major delays.

"Just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays," said Paul Ruden, a spokesman for the American Society of Travel Agents.

"It doesn't take much to mess things up anyway - especially if someone purposely tries to mess it up," he added.

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