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Congressman Slams TSA as Beleaguered Agency Takes to Web to Defend Itself

Photo: tsa.gov/blog

Calling the recent controversy over full-body scanners and enhanced pat-downs a “calamity,” Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced legislation in the House because “something has to be done.”

Everybody is fed up. The people are fed up, the pilots are fed up, I’m fed up,” he continued.

The “American Traveler Dignity Act,” which Paul introduced, seeks to limit Transportation Security Agency authority to conduct the enhanced pat-downs by stripping federal employees of immunity to perform what some have characterized as invasive procedures at the airport.

“Private property should be protected by private individuals, not bureaucrats, but the bill that I’ve introduced will take care of it,” Paul said.

Paul also called for every member of Congress and the president’s cabinet to “get the x-ray,” and “go through the groping pat-downs.”

As the rhetoric surrounding TSA’s controversial new practices ratchets up and the holidays quickly approach, TSA has taken to the web to defend itself, InformationWeek reports.

TSA has regularly provided Twitter and blog postings to refute the recent bad press.

TSA’s Twitter has been working overtime, responding directly to other users and media companies, such as Wired magazine that have tweeted what TSA sees as misleading postings.

YouTube has proven particularly helpful for the besieged agency to rebut some airline passengers’ recent claims that TSA officials acted inappropriately. TSA released security footage of an incident in which a radio host claimed she was handcuffed to a chair and berated by TSA officials.

“The episode appears shorter and less severe than [the host] described on radio,” InformationWeek reports.

An anonymous TSA official, writing on the agency’s blog, said TSA takes the situations seriously.

“But when inaccurate passenger accounts are made either via media outlets or on the blogs,” the blog post continues, “TSA works to resolve them and present both sides of the story.”

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