Monday, November 22, 2010


Why the Hell did this man have to be humiliated?

[Thomas D.] Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his abdomen. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

Sawyer wears pants two sizes too large in order to accommodate the medical equipment he wears. He’d taken off his belt to go through the scanner and once in the office with security personnel, his pants fell down around his ankles. “I had to ask twice if it was OK to pull up my shorts,” said Sawyer, “And every time I tried to tell them about my medical condition, they said they didn’t need to know about that.”

Before starting the enhanced pat-down procedure, a security officer did tell him what they were going to do and how they were going to it, but Sawyer said it wasn’t until they asked him to remove his sweatshirt and saw his urostomy bag that they asked any questions about his medical condition.

“One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”

The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”

Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up.

“I am totally appalled by the fact that agents that are performing these pat-downs have so little concern for people with medical conditions,” said Sawyer.

Are any of us more safe because we can be groped and soaked in our own urine before flying? Is there some history of seniors with colostomy bags hijacking or plotting to hijack planes I'm unaware of?

Hey, Madame Secretary--it's against *my* religion to be groped by someone who isn't my wife. When can I expect some "adjustments" on *that*?


  1. Dale:

    You're a lawyer. How long before TSA gets hammered with one civil action after another over this? I see so much civil responsibility as well as possible criminal charges.
    In any case, people natural law sensibilities are becoming so affronted that it won't be long before TSA agents get slugged.

    I can see Americans going Bunker Hill over this

  2. Very belated comment to Xavier:

    TSA is immune from civil and criminal action. And they know it.

  3. Dave:

    TSA is but not the Attorney general nor the President nor Homland security. Eventually people will become fed up enough that the congressmen and senators will take a hard look at the financing of the TSA and start withholding money.

    MSM should be jumping up and down for expose journalism that the TSA patdowns offer. You can imagine the ratings galore with the latest outrage du jour.


  4. Xavier:

    Trouble is, the TSA doesn't care about the bad publicity, and has said so. I can even imagine them openly defying court decisions they don't like...


Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.

It'll be fine.

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