I recently took a short trip to Florida  and ran smack dab into the body scanner issue at our little, ole airport.  Now,  I am not sure what basis is used to establish the need for these things, but Fort Wayne is no Chicago, New York, LA,  or any other huge city- although we are now the 71st largest city in the United  States.

I had made up my mind quite some time ago – when I first learned of the invasion of the body scanner – that if I flew, I would not go through it.  I got my chance to refuse the scan this past month.  After I removed my shoes and put them along with my tote in a plastic bin, I told the security officer I didn’t want the body scan and would submit to the full body pat down instead.

You would have thought I had shot someone.   It totally threw her off.  She asked if I really understood them, assured me that there was no harm, and asked me at least twice why didn’t I want one.  After a brief  “I know what they are, what they show, and I don’t want one” instead of my desire to lecture on invasion of privacy and constitutional issues, she finally yelled out “opt-out female.”

Ah, but the next part was really good.  I was informed that the full body pat down would be done in front of everyone – the security personnel and other passengers going through.  I looked at her and said okay – perhaps it was a tactic to intimidate me, but it didn’t work.  She did the full body pat-down in front of men and women alike.  So much for any modicum of privacy.

I made it through and sat down to put my shoes back on and headed on my way.  The rest of my flight to Florida was uneventful with the exception of a few bumps.  I enjoyed my three days immensely, and, I knew for my return trip it wouldn’t be an issue because Tampa-St. Pete doesn’t have a scanner – yet.

However, when I went to check in at the Tampa-St. Pete airport, the clerk pulled up my info for boarding, took my driver’s license, and disappeared into the back for about 10 minutes.  I actually started thinking I was not going to be allowed on the return flight.  He finally returned, assigned my seating, and handed my license back with no indication as to why he took it into the back room.  I will bet you that my name is now on a list somewhere for not going through the body scan.

I am ten times – maybe a 100 times more offended by invasion of privacy issues occurring than an insurance company being told it cannot discriminate against me because of a pre-existing condition. Yet, the Republicans continue to moan and cry about our march toward socialism all the while ignoring our privacy rights that have slowly fallen by the wayside since 9/11.

I believe that the liberties we are giving up to obtain security – just like Benjamin Franklin – entitle us to neither.   I read where 98% of people go through the scanner – only 2% opt-out.  Apparently, the increased invasion of privacy at the Fort Wayne airport appears to have gone pretty much unnoticed.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Rights and Liberties and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Charlotte,

    This is a truly excellent post. I am also sick and tired of the Government slowly marching towards socialism and I am tired of them eroding my rights.

    I am puzzled by why they asked for your drivers license and went into a back room for ten minutes for the return flight. How would they even know that you did not get a body scan? When you did not get a body scan did they ask for your name and record it somewhere?

    The phrase in your post that I truly want to discuss is “Yet, the Republicans continue to moan and cry about our march toward socialism all the while ignoring our privacy rights that have slowly fallen by the wayside since 9/11.”

    First off I 100% agree with your statement. It is true and it is shameful. That being said you do realize that the Democrats have had majorities in both the House and the Senate for almost four years right? You also realize we have had a Democratic President for almost two years right?

    While it is true the Republicans started these policies; it is equally true that the Democrats have not repealed them and in fact have in some cases expanded them.

    You have to blame this on BOTH political parties at this point.

    Mike Sylvester

  2. Mike:

    I knew I would have to show my driver’s license to get my boarding pass; however, when he took it and disappeared and didn’t come back, I really started getting concerned. When several minutes went by, and he didn’t return, I tried to think of reasons why he took my license with him. I even thought maybe he had to use the rest room, but then I thought it wouldn’t make any sense to take my license with him.

    I would imagine the ability exists somehow to note that a person refuses the body scan. I am just not sure how it is done. I had to leave my boarding pass in the tote as it went through the belt scanner, so maybe they check that. That was also new – instructing us to place our boarding passes in the tote.

    And, yes, I blame both parties. I am not happy at all about the push to make it even easier to invade private communications. I am just puzzled why Americans are not jumping up and down with as much fervor about the privacy issues as they do about the economic issues.

  3. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte – The economic issues still fall under, ” It’s the stupid economy” banner ( or was it ,”it’s the economy, stupid”). After 9/11 everyone has been gun-shy about anything having to do with security and I think that’s human nature – maybe not right, but understandable.

  4. John:

    Have you seen how revealing those scans are? I made up my mind a long time ago – in fact I wrote a blog piece months and months ago about the scans – that I would not submit to them.

    And, if the day comes that I am told that the only way I can fly is to go through one, then I will be driving or taking a cruise ship.

    As far as being gun-shy, pretty much all the focus has been placed on flying. What about our other forms of transportation? The ports? The trains? The subways? We have left entire sectors unguarded with our myopic focus on air travel.

  5. Wimpie says:

    You have the RIGHT to OPT-OUT.
    Click on my name above or go to:
    for important safety and privacy information as well as actual images, not the propaganda that TSA is spewing.

  6. iceironman says:

    You said “Now, I am not sure what basis is used to establish the need for these things”
    Answer: Psychopathic muslim extremists flew suicidal missions with jets into buildings. Its called 911, I try not to forget. I dont mind the body scanners, pat downs, after all, I would like to get back home to see and take care of my children.
    This isnt a Republican, Democrat thing, its a progressive thing, and yes we have progressive republicans. McCain, Grahm, all of the RHINOs.

    I suppose the loss of privacy started with the social security and income tax, both progressive ideas. Where the govt knows to the penny how much I make? Isnt that a little intrusive? With social security, they have to know where I live, work, etc. I have to tell the govt where I spent my money and prove it?? I have to tell them where my charity dollars went??? I have to tell them where my investments are.

    I think conservatives are very worried about big govt getting intrusive, I complain about it constantly. If you would take the time to listen to a conservative talk show host you would see once or twice a week they talk about privacy factors being walked on by an ever growing govt. The Patriot act was ok, but it needed a stronger deadline, a begining and an end.

    Youre ok with showing your drivers licence at the airport, but ask someone for a voter ID card and we are a bunch of communist tyrants giving up liberty? Would you let folks on a jet with a mere signature??

    At this point, NY is planning on telling food stamp users that they cant buy soda and other treats? You may say, good. But look further downt the road, If we are getting assistance for healthcare down the road (because private healthcare was doomed by Obama) can they tell us what to eat? What to drink. You now say, you guys are using scare tactics all the time. My last statement should be framed for 40 years. It would be comparable to you and I standing outside a bar in 1970 and having some fear monger telling us in 40 years you wont be able to smoke in a BAR!!!!! That crazy old fool. Big govt freak!! Paranoid conservative.

    Isnt it a right to privacy for the owner of a private establishment to be told they cannot do something that is legal? Where do we draw the line?

    • Wimpie says:

      A major problem with naked body scanners is that MUSLIMS ARE IMMUNE!
      The Muslims issued a Fatwa, and they will NOT be using the scanners, opting for the pat down, which is allowed.
      Nice – Only the non-Muslims are subjected to this!
      I suggest we all Opt-Out, as this solution is clearly junk.

  7. iceironman says:

    Another key to the scanners is to rapidly and carefully check every person. The problem with body checks is that if the person happens to be muslim the airline company will get sued for profiling. Its amazing how much damage to every sector of the American lifestyle and business lawyers have done. Pat downs have to be random(thanks lawyers),they take too much time and are not thorough enough.

    I guess when I go to kings Island, and they seach me, its ok. I dont consider it giving up freedom or privacy. I consider it an act that I perpetuated. I dont see Obama reading my emails with out a warrant something I perpetuated. Or listening to my phone calls.

  8. Ice:

    When I made the statement about the “basis”, I said I was talking about how Fort Wayne – a city of 250,000 rates a body scanner. Like I said, we aren’t New York or Chicago. Maybe you missed that because you were too busy trying to think of a put down.

    You don’t need to lecture me on 9/11. It is simply ridiculous to use 9/11 as an excuse for every blessed invasion of privacy that happens.

    How on earth do you connect body scanners with progressives?

  9. iceironman says:

    Airports are airports, Fort Wayne or Atlanta, Jets are jets, terrorists are terrorists. Size doesnt matter.

    I equate the progressives of the early 1900s getting more and more intrusive. Thus the Social security and income tax statement.

  10. Ice:

    One of those progressive “ideas” ended up in the Constitution. The right to vote for women was added as an amendment, but I would wager that if people were asked whether or not that progressive idea should be negated, they would say no. The amendment was drafted and passed by the federal Congress and then sent out to the states for ratification.

    So, way to go, big, bad federal government.

    Again, just like I stated about Constitutional principles – simply picking and choosing.

    One of the progressive ideas didn’t work – prohibition. It was in place for 14 years, but it was impossible to control, so the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st amendment.

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