Want to fly without the pat-down? You'll have to get appointed or elected:
WASHINGTON — Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-sanctioned security details.
New heightened security procedures by the Transportation Security Administration, which require either a scan by a full-body detector or an intimate personal pat-down, have spurred passenger outrage in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday airport crush.
The senior government officials can opt out of such measures if they fly accompanied by government security guards approved by the TSA. The agency would not explain why it makes these exceptions, but many of the exempted government officials have gone through several levels of security clearances, including FBI background checks.
Here's an easy way for presumptive Speaker John Boeher, R-Ohio, to pull a win out of this situation: Announce that he'll be going through security just like everyone else.
It's obviously a waste of resources to pat down these public officials, but I think we need to do it anyway. Unless they are subjected to the same level of harassment and inconvenience that ordinary people experience, they'll just go on imposing new layers of harassment and inconvenience. It doesn't make us any safer from terrorists, but it will make us safer from the TSA.