TSA chief John Pistole wants to bring airport screeners to Capitol Hill so senators can “fully understand” how controversial and unpopular pat-downs are conducted.
Pistole also told senators on the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee that he himself “insisted” on submitting to a pat-down to “experience what [it] involves, so [I] would know before we rolled it out.”
“Honestly, any member who has not experienced that pat-down [and] who would like to do that – I would not offer it – but an experienced qualified security officer would be glad to do that,” Pistole said in an official statement quoted by The Hill.
Perhaps surprisingly, Pistole also admitted that the procedure was “more invasive” than what he expected or was used to.
“Of course, what’s in my mind…is what are the plots out there, how are we informed by the latest intelligence and latest technology and what do we need to do to ensure the American people that as they travel that we are being thorough.”
“So yes, it is clearly more invasive. The purpose of that is obviously to detect the type of devices that we had not seen before last Christmas.
“[But] I am very sensitive to and concerned about people’s privacy concerns and I want to work through that as best we can.”