The TSA asks airport patrons to slip off their shoes, unbuckle their belts and empty their pockets before being screened at security checkpoints. John E Brennan didn’t see a reason to stop there.
Brennan, 50, was arrested Tuesday evening at the Portland International Airport in Oregon for engaging in what was a ballsy protest, to say the least. According to the man, agents with the Transportation Security Administration were harassing him as he readied to board a flight. While the TSA officers’ exact actions are likely to not be debated until Brennan’s day in court, the way in which the would-be flier protested their behavior is something more suitable for a bathhouse than a busy airport.
Unhappy with how the TSA was conducting their screening, Brennan stripped naked at the security checkpoint in plain view of the airport’s other patrons. According to police that spoke with CNN, Brennan was asked “numerous times” to put on his pants, but the naked man had already made up his mind. Eventually the authorities arrested Brennan and charged him with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.
"When interviewed about his actions, Mr. Brennan stated he fly's (sic) a lot and had disrobed as a form of protest against TSA screeners who he felt were harassing him," reads the police report filed for the incident. "Mr. Brennan's actions caused two screening lanes to be closed and while some passengers covered their eyes and their children's eyes and moved away from the screening area, others stepped out of the screening lanes to look, laugh and take photos of Mr. Brennan.”
The good news, at least, was fliers could be certain that they wouldn’t see a repeat of the underwear bomber.
Mr. Brennan’s demonstration was unlike most people’s reactions to the invasive TSA pat-downs, but it’s not the only case in recent months of passengers driven to protest. A 61-year-old woman was arrested last year after she grabbed and twisted the breast of a security screener.
"I go through [security] every week, and every week there is some problem," Yukari Mihamae told KDDVR News in June after her incident at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.
Earlier this year, Texas Congressman Ron Paul said he would abolish the TSA if elected. His son, Senator Rand Paul, was delayed during a trip to Washington, D.C. in January after allegedly refusing to submit to a hands-on pat-down.
“The police state in this country is growing out of control. One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities. The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe,” said Ron Paul.