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“TSA Rape” Blog Post A Matter of Free Speech?

First Amendment rights on the internet at the heart of this case

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“TSA Rape” Blog Post A Matter of Free Speech?
[ Social Media]

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, many will take the time to not only reflect upon the day itself, but also the decade following the WTC attacks. American life has changed dramatically since that day, but it’s not always easy to cite tangible examples of how it has changed.

But sometimes it is. And the TSA is one entity that has gained quite a bit of attention since then. As airports have continued to implement stronger safety measures over the last decade, many have put the Transportation Security Administration into the crosshairs, railing against random searches and pat-downs – which they say violate some of their basic human rights. One thing on which we can all agree – getting patted down in an airport isn’t a whole lot of fun.

What is the limit of free speech on the internet? In a situation where no facts have been entered into the legal record, should someone be able to make accusations in a blog post? Let us know in the comments.

One woman had a particularly nasty experience during a TSA pat-down. According to columnist and blogger Amy Alkon, her experience with a particular TSA agent went way past uncomfortable.

In a blog post, Alkon details a March 31st incident where she accuses a TSA agent of “raping” her with her hand during a public pat-down in Los Angeles.

Alkon writes about her disapproval of the whole procedure in general, saying that the pat-downs are both a physical violation as well as a constitutional one. On that day, she admits that she decided to make a scene on purpose, to bring attention to what she thinks is an unfair act, “to make it uncomfortable for them to violate us and our rights,” she said. So she began sobbing, loudly. According to Alkon, this was what happened next -

Nearing the end of this violation, I sobbed even louder as the woman, FOUR TIMES, stuck the side of her gloved hand INTO my vagina, through my pants. Between my labia. She really got up there. Four times. Back right and left, and front right and left. In my vagina. Between my labia. I was shocked — utterly unprepared for how she got the side of her hand up there. It was government-sanctioned sexual assault.

Upon leaving, still sobbing, I yelled to the woman, “YOU RAPED ME.” And I took her name to see if I could file sexual assault charges on my return. This woman, and all of those who support this system deserve no less than this sort of unpleasant experience, and from all of us.

Apparently, the lawsuit idea fell through as her lawyer told her she had an unwinnable case.

But now, the TSA agent in question is threatening to sue Alkon for her blog post, claiming defamation. Thedala Magee has asked for $500,000 as well as the removal of the blog post.

It doesn’t look like Alkon is going to comply with that request, as she writes today on her blog –

Magee is looking for me to pay her $500K, apologize to her, and take down my blog item about her — because I had the nerve to exercise my First Amendment rights and complain after she jammed her hand sideways into my vagina four times. (Unfortunately for Ms. Magee, I’ve always made a pretty crappy victim.)

She has also gained the services of a First Amendment lawyer named Marc Randazza who is working the case pro bono.

The letter that Magee sent Alkon requesting the monetary damages and the retraction of the “rape” allegations says that the “outbursts in public and writings on the internet” have subjected Magee to “hatred, contempt, and ridicule” and caused her “severe emotional distress, fear, and problems doing her duty.”

Alkon’s lawyer Randazza sent a letter back, saying –

Your client aggressively pushed her fingers into my client’s vulva. I am certain that she did not expect to find a bomb there. She did this to humiliate my client, to punish her for exercising her rights, and to send a message to others who might do the same. It was absolutely a sexual assault, perpetrated in order to exercise power over the victim. We agree with Ms. Alkon’s characterization of this crime as “rape,” and so would any reasonable juror.

He then quotes precedent defending the use of the word “rape” as hyperbolic language. So even if Magee didn’t “rape” Alkon in some meaning of the word, he says that she has the right to characterize it as such.

TSAAlkonThedalaMageeLtr

Response to TSA Agent legal threat

TSA pat-downs have remained a hot button issue for years. Recently, the Texas legislature was forced to pull their “Groping Bill” when the U.S. Attorney for Texas warned that the passing of said bill would most definitely result in flight shutdowns. The “Groping Bill” would have made any TSA pat-down that involved the anus, buttocks or sexual organs a crime.

If everything actually happened as Alkon reports, then you have to agree that this TSA agent’s actions crossed the line – no matter where you stand on the larger issue. Still, some would argue that penalizing the agent for enforcing policies under the instruction of the federal government is the wrong approach. Although it’s highly unlikely that a superior has ever told an agent to go as far as Magee allegedly went.

At this point, it seems to be a case of one person’s word against another person’s word. Should Alkon have the right to make these statements about her experience on her blog? Does a blog post like that fall into the realm of defamation of character? Let us know what you think.

“TSA Rape” Blog Post A Matter of Free Speech?
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  • http://spyimplants.webs.com don muntean

    What a disgusting thing to have happen! Clearly any thinking person can see that the ‘agent’ acted very inappropriately – disgusting. What is worse; her employer sanctioned the behavior! Ten years after 9/11 and it’s pretty clear that the Islamists have changed who we are! We need security BUT we also shouldn’t hand over our rights in the process.

    Over 300 years ago that great American statesman Benjamin Franklin stated:

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    Just see the relevance of this idea today!!

    On the matter of the Blog post – yes the victim does have a right to share that information and she has a right to characterize it in the manner she has! The truth IS a good defense!

    In fact I too have an online protest of [in my case] a medical professional [and a government agency] here in Saskatchewan Canada.

    On June 05, 2002 I went for a routine tooth extraction and I had my legal and human rights violated. In my case I was implanted with some kind of hardware! All the details can be found on my protest website:

    My Protest Website:

    http://spyimplants.webs.com

    One might say I too was ‘raped’ in a way!! It would be my prerogative to refer – if even figuratively – to the abuse as a kind of rape.

    In the case of Amy Alkon – it’s not a figurative expression – she was inappropriately touched!

    My protest has been online without interruption – for over 5 years – the dentist tried/failed to have me charged with defamation.

    The fact is ‘authorities’ and other professionals with whom we place ‘blind trust’ DO have to know that we are now in a time when the population can be informed of any incident – nearly instantly and globally!

    Our collective ‘at the fingertips publishing’ – is a good thing!!

    If it were not so I would have no voice – the media won’t run my story, despite clear evidence – such as x-ray and doctor’s letter – they won’t run the story!

    Yes there are people claiming they have been implanted and it makes people look ‘strange’ to claim as such – but notwithstanding – it did happen to me and – I do have clear evidences!

    In any case what happened to Amy Alkon is disgusting and she has every right to post details of her experience and her related opinions in connection.

    Why hasn’t Thedala Magee been able to get police to file defamation of character charges against Amy Alkon? That would be a starting point to a defamation case? Has Magee actually proved that Amy Alkon is engaged in defamation of character? Not so far! So why is the lawyer writing a cease and desist?

    People need to realize that we are living in a heads-up reality now – with all the nonsense going on in our world and what are at times very duplicitous authorities willing to manipulate the population’s rights…

    I hope this image tag resolves the picture below!! Sorry if not!

    http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/6135/bigbrother21.gif

  • concenred

    Are Muslim women wearing a burka [and thus concealing identity] thus searched? I have my doubts…

  • IHateStupidPeople

    While I’m not a fan of the TSA pat-downs, I don’t have much sympathy for someone that by her own admission was deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation – well, she got one. Even more, her story doesn’t hold water.

    To quote Alkon: “…the woman, FOUR TIMES, stuck the side of her gloved hand INTO my vagina, through my pants. Between my labia. She really got up there. Four times. Back right and left, and front right and left. In my vagina. Between my labia.”

    There’s no way that a TSA agent could have gotten a hand where Alkon claims she did during a patdown. Ignore the fact that since Alkon was wearing pants, the TSA agent couldn’t have seen exactly where she was touching. But through her pants and into her vagina? With the SIDE of her hand? And according to Alkon’s attorney, the TSA agent “jammed her fingers between my client’s labia”? Again, really? Through a pair of pants? Are the pants torn? And how do you jam fingers between the labia while touching with the side of the hand?

    And I’m just about sick of the ‘She did it four times, oh the horror of it all!’ nonsense. Give it a try some time. A pat down will be both legs, front and back, top to bottom. If you’re patted down, you’re going to get a hand in your crotch four times – there’s no way around it. (The side of the hand, from the bottom of the thumb up along the index finger.) And yes, they’re going to touch you. It would be a pretty useless patdown otherwise.

    I don’t like the regulations the TSA is operating under, but the agent at the airport gate isn’t the person who decided on those procedures. Alkon chose to try to make them miserable at the gate, which was bad enough, but after being told that she had neither a criminal complaint or a lawsuit, she’s decided to just make the woman’s life hell.

    That’s not the behavior of someone fighting a righteous fight. That’s a spiteful, petty temper-tantrum.

    • W.Wallace

      Hmmm are you one of those TSA agents? Or maybe a friend of the agent in cause? Because yes IT IS POSSIBLE THIS TO HAPPEN!!!! I dont travel to USA for this obvious reason and also a flight ticket to USA to me would be a ticket to jail because I would honestly start kicking anyone trying to touch my private parts in airports.

      WE ARE IN A HIGH TECHNOLOGY ERA!!! Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, ATos claim the best technologies come from USA so where is the use of it? These giant software companies offer free products to university students in USA but the only thing students come out with is a Facebook. This must be a joke!!!

      Portable X-Ray? Metal detector and identifier of the metal substances? And other infinite list of technologies could be used instead of breaking Human Rights International Laws!!! And as someone mencioned here, are muslims women being touched? I honestly doubt that too…

    • BPaLM

      Couldn’t agree more. Just flew this weekend. They tested my 12 yr old to see if she had handled explosives recently. Used some sort of material to swab her hands and then put it in some sort of machine. TSA asked me to accompany her so I could see what exactly they were doing.

      I also think this woman is full of crap because when have you ever seen security checkpoints that weren’t crowded? Are there no other witnesses?

      I have no problem with the TSA. I haven’t seen any other jumbo jets fly into buildings…

  • reybo

    The hater who knows better than the victim what happened to the victim (!) is someone we always find when things turn nasty. It should remind us all of this famous quote:

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    • http://www.davidbatterson.com David

      Couldn’t have found a better quote to use my friend! Excellent!

  • Alex K

    This is a SLAPP suit to intimidate the public into silence, not just Amy Alkon. Many women have been patted-up this way. TSA and their unions want us quiet.

    No one is safer for sexual battery on air passengers. Americans sign the paychecks for these disgusting acts on fellow travelers. This is insanity. We might as well be loaded onto boxcars. Whoever wanted to enslave Americans and destroy their freedoms has won, if we meekly accept such “screening” as normal.

  • http://www.davidbatterson.com David

    This doesn’t intimidate me! I think the TSA are a bunch of losers! More like pedophiles. And yeah! I believe in freedom of speech!

  • Tony

    Here is my take on this situation, the alleged victim “Amy Alkon” is a complete idiot..!!! We all know what is happening to our FREEDOMS here in the USA and that the TSA are simply out of control, as are many Government Departments and Agencies (can we all say “OPERATION FAST and FURIOUS”)…!!!!

    But it is not an excuse for Alkon to with purpose and malice create a situation or incidence, specifically with the intention of intentionally setting the stage for her protest scene and Alkon is is surprised that she is being sued “WHY”…!!!

    Look there are better ways to protest the situation with the TSA than that and the Internet is a good place to start it from, but not that way.

    The TSA will place you on a NO FLY list if you refuse to be submitted to there vulgar and I agree unconstitutional Pat Downs, why not fight fire with fire and start a NO FLY Petition and Boycott PLEDGE.

    If even only 20% of people that fly on Airlines REFUSED to buy tickets until the TSA was brought to there knees, then the Airlines well paid Lobbyists in Washington would be working 24 hours a day to get the TSA under control at least…

    Believe me the only way to get at the TSA is via the Airlines Wallets, hit there sales and watch how quick things happen….!!!

    We still have freedoms here in the USA, we all just have to learn how to use them smarter and stand together with some sacrifice for a common goal to EXERCISE that FREEDOM….:)

    • Mike

      Great post! We The People need to step up to the plate. It’s time
      for us as a group to make changes, like removing the too big to fail companys. Let’s take banks, move your accounts to small and mid sized banks. You have a problem with federal spending, then send a message, change your withholding status, have less deducted, deposit the difference and in the 4th qtr change your withholding status back then divide the amount you have deposited during the 3 qtrs by the number of pays left in the 4th qtr and have that amount added to your federal deduction.

  • http://ampuku.com Jack

    Summary of my long response below: Maybe we should prefer to be blown up than patted-down?

    I also believe in Freedom of Speech but there are limits to it. Especially when it involves unsubstantiated accusations that are criminal in nature (His word against hers). And if they added security monitors to monitor the pat downs to stop these type of incidents; that would also upset some of us and be claimed a violation of our rights. I think I will exercise my right to Freedom of Speech and say if you can’t show them a way to protect all of our lives without violating someone’s perceived and stated rights then maybe you need to give them some slack for trying. This is not condoning any abuse or criminal acts that happen which of curse should be prosecuted by the full extent of the law.
    I am positive, if these pat-downs were in place on 9/11/2001 and averted the attacks; everyone of the passengers would have gladly consented to any pat-downs.
    I am not saying that in this case, the complaintant was or was not abused as she stated, that is not the question presented to us to answer. I do think that if someone bumped into me in public and I blogged to the world that he purposely and inappropriately touched me, he would be the first to say that is slander and not Freedom of Speech protected. Her proper resonse as it would be for everyone finding themselves in her predicament would be to address the issue immediately and directly to the TSA supervisor on duty.
    Or maybe if our plane was blown up, we would be bitching because TSA did not do enough to protect us. And isn’t that what they are doing. I want, as everyone, the “Freedom” to fly anywhere in the world as well as our own great country without fearing for my life because our governemnt succumbed to that opinion; protecting our citizens is an infringement of their rights. If she had reported it immediately when it happened she would have much more favorable results,if that was what she really wanted to start with.

  • Mark

    Here’s a couple of things that stand out to me.

    First of all, this was not just someone who happened to get searched. As she said she went in there to make a big of a scene as she could. That kind of makes me question what else she is doing to try to inflate her story.

    Secondly, even in the USA, you do not have absolute freedom of speach. If I tell people to go kill so-and-so, and they do it, then I can be charged. Likewise if I start screaming that someone is a thief, a pedofile or a rapest, then I can be sued if I can not prove that it is true. I am not sure why she thinks that just because it is in a blog, she can say things like that. It seems that by her logic, I could tell her local news that she raped me and she couldn’t do a thing about it.

  • David Holt

    Systematic abuse of people using the excuse of prevention of terrorism is in itself a form of terrorism. Society’s own goal as it were.

    What was described is a sexual assault, shall we now accept ‘I didn’t rape her, I thought she could be a terrorist so I entered her vagina’ as a reasonable defence for all those accused of rape?

    If that had happened to my wife and I defended her honour,as is my duty, I would be persecuted and criminalised.

    The definition of a bad law is : A law that makes criminals of honest men.

  • http://www.aedaily.com Debbie R

    Speech sensorship has gone way to far. Obama and the Democrates are trying very hard, and mostly succeeding at sensoring speech, from private citizens,to news casters – especially fox — and to blogers.
    Freedom of speech is (as of now anyway)protected in the constitution, so if bloggers want to state their opions — they should certainly be free to do so.
    That being said: The blogger who called the TSA “rapist” are “in my opinion, correct. I mean what the heck else could you call their over zealous actions?

    • Roger Humes

      Debbie, it is from both sides of the aisle. Bush & Cheney did their share of placing pressure on those who disagreed with them.

  • http://www.scubalessonsinc.com Tina O’Connell

    I think she should scream it from the internet mountain tops.. this is a serious abuse of power, and I see it all the time. Those in uniform are trusted by us all and when one person abuses that power they abuse all of us and our trust in the system.

    We all work very hard to keep that civility.. with only a few bad apples.. it is just sad.

    However, with that said.. Mag, your a drama queen and you need to grow up! That does not mean I accept the agents behavior but your crying and refusing the standard body scan was not good either. If you don’t want to go through it then take a train for God sake. You know what to expect. To expect less than than a scan or full search is just stupid.

    • chris

      You dummy, Those who give up there rights for safety will get neither. Thomas Jefferson

    • Mike

      Some people or should I say most people in this country don’t respect freedom.

      • Frank

        This is the way the government has taught them through control of the education system, ask your children, most will be appalled by what their learning, if they were not brainwashed too.

    • Frank

      Seems you might want to get help for the bi-polar

  • chris

    I don’t fly anymore. TSA is a police state training us to submit to government doing anything they want.. TSA will soon be at a mall, grocery store, train station, designated traffic stop near you. Ron Paul will eliminate the tsa, Legalize freedom.

  • Roger Humes

    If she was writing a “he said, she said” blog that MIGHT be a chance for a lawsuit against here. However, since it was personal experience I doubt it. As it is, I always believe in erring on the side of caution in free speech issues. I believe the true bedrocks of our systems are free speech and presumed innocence a trial by a jury of one’s peers.

  • Vicki Hopkins

    If the matter had been reported by the media instead, would they have been sued for calling it “rape” and reporting the occurrence naming the TSA agent? Why should the victim of the assault be penalized for blogging about her experience at the hands of a TSA representative? Probably not using her name would have helped, but the matter itself should have been shouted form the rooftops. It’s sickening.

  • Kathleen

    I think the victim has every right to speak her mind and I cannot understand why this outrageous assalt and others like it are not being fought in court right now.

  • http://www.kid-friendly-homeschool-curriculum.com Karen Newell

    All pat downs should be video-taped from two angles; and both the TSA and the airline customer should have access to the tape. Otherwise, in this case, it is just one person’s word against the other.

    However, there has been an outcry from the public against TSA agents and their pat-downs. Granted, she was looking for a scene – but she was doing it to document what the public has been complaining about. There is no proof of her claims, except for the weight of hundreds of people saying the same thing.

  • Danea

    What this women experienced in any other situation would be a sexual assault. This is not the first case of such an incident…why are we so shocked? The victim knows she will not be able to receive justice on this issue…so posting a blog about it is really her only way to receive justice. As American citizens we need to let the world know what is really going on by blogging or creating videos on our own personal experience. I commend the blogger on having the courage to describe her experience in such detail.

  • Tracy

    Very interesting article, while I am not American, I have see how the people of US have changed over the pass 10 years – and its not been for the better that is for sure. Like the rest of the world I watched the towers fall, absolutely horrified!!

    As Alton lawyer states, it did turn Americans into sniveling cowards, who have sold out the one of their most precious “gifts” – their FREEDOM – people are dying everyday fighting for that precious gift – which you just gave away.

    I think the case here is alot more serious that sexual abuse or defamation, you are now talking about censoring the net – where does it stop, your question shouldn’t be if Alton has the right – it should be how much more are you Americans willing to sacrifice for the illusion of safety.

    • Frank

      Added fear into the lives of all Americans, Yes, made us all cowards, i don’t think so, certainly not me.

  • http://clickbankmarketingtips.blogspot.com/ Ashley Maynard

    It looks like we have two victims here. Both parties have a legitimate claim.What might be considered rape,and defamation of character.

    • Chris

      Also we should question the airport, were they aware that the TSA was using sexual assault in their part downs… if so why did the airline continue to allow the abuses to take place?

  • Denise

    She had every right to post a blog on her experience. The agent that did this has no right to sue her for posting it on a blog. I will NEVER fly on a commercial plane after reading this.

  • Chris

    I support the woman that was allegedly sexually assaulted by the TSA agent… Im sure they have cameras in the airport that recorded the incident. It is disgusting that the agent added insult to injury by trying to sue the victim.. Sexual assault is not part of a standard patdown.

  • http://None Betty Johnson

    It would help greatly, if you explained WHAT ‘TSA’ and ‘WTC’ intials stand for? Betty

  • http://www.bestfreewoodworkingplans.com Jodawg

    The problem with the law is that most people don’t know it nor understand it. As a US citizen, you are bound by the laws of the land whether you are in China, in the US, or on the internet. Defamation, slander, liable, or whatever is punishable in no matter what country you are in as long as you are a US citizen.

    The “Freedom of Speech” issue on the internet is one that gets on my nerves more than anything else. You do NOT have freedoms from your country on the internet because the internet is not owned by your country. If you are writing on your own blog which is operated by you on your own webserver and no one but US citizens are allowed on the server, then I might say you have a case. I don’t want the US government to get involved in policing the internet any more than they do.

    • Frank

      “As a US citizen, you are bound by the laws of the land whether you are in China, in the US, or on the internet. ”

      Can you please state which article this statement is under, and which part of the Bill of Rights it annuals?

  • http://www.ealtbay.com F Simmons

    In the strictest legal sense she was probably raped, and can tell her story. Sadly government is immune to prosecution for the transgression. The TSA techniques are aggravating the traveling population, these will spur a push back. Also, the TSA is finally moving toward a form of profiling, in an attempt to detect bad intentioned persons instead of bad items.

    • john guest

      I agree

  • Mike

    I had a bad experience in Boston with TSA.

    the TSA agent said he had to put his hand down my pants because the body scan showed something…

    to which I told him I would drive.. because he wasn’t my type… (trying to make light of it all)

    he then informed me that I didn’t have the choice and before it was all over a local policeman was involved…

    I emptied my pockets (we found 1 cough drop that I missed the first time) and re scanned and I went on my way..

    If it wasn’t for an intelligent policeman I would have ended up in jail, cause some worm half my size told me I didn’t have a choice but to get felt up by him.

    I used to fly twice a week till this happened.. I drive now, yes it takes longer.. yes it costs more (tires, gas, oil changes, TIME)

    but I have never had a gas station attendant try to assault me..
    and I haven’t been treated like a criminal since.. (was even shown respect with the speeding ticket I got last month)

    TSA is nothing but a TON of untrained, Low paid, under qualified rent-a-cops that have been given way to much authority..

    • Frank

      Thank You! Maybe someday all will get the hint not to take these abuses.

      Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

  • http://www.zoomtanzania.com Kirk Gillis

    She’s crazy, but of course she should be able to post whatever she wants on a blog. It’s a blog, not the New York Times, and therefore not subject to the same kinds of checks and protocols. How many blogs are out there about UFO and Alien sightings, none of it substantiated, but no one is questioning their right to post it.

    There are few places with more security cameras than an airport. If she was physically violated, it would be on film, and she would be suing the TSA and not just blogging about it.

    Why anyone would be stupid enough to intentionally create a scene at an airport security check is a mystery to me. I don’t like it any more than she does, I’m just glad its not my decision to make. Lesson security and possibly allow a disaster, or keep the security and make people uncomfortable. Not an easy choice, but making a scene at the one place other than jail where at that moment in time she has fewer civil liberties than any other is just plain stupid, regardless you opinion on the justification. Claiming “TSA Rape” over a pat down is another level of nuts altogether.

    • Frank

      Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

  • Petra

    I don’t know whether I believe the blogger or not. But that is irrelevant. She should have the opportunity to bring legal action, whether it is the US Govt or not. Perhaps this needs to be a high profile Civil Rights case. Me, I don’t fly anymore. Who needs it. So as to whether the blogger has the right to publish, well – the Electronic Frontier Foundation https://www.eff.org/ is pretty much my source for how to handle speaking about alleged incidents when blogging.

  • jr maxwell

    I think the woman had a right to complain, and to yell louder. I think the TSA goes overboard to search. More like it is to watch the passengers and seed out them that appear nervous to an extent, or “flighty”, those that are facial recognized as potential problems. I fail to see how the actions of the TSA are saving anyone in the air. The xray machine, metal detector, and the newer see through machines do a great job. Get rid of the patdowns for normal people. Lets get rid of the illegals that come from terrorists countries that are now living here unmolested in the USA!

  • Anthony

    Yes, it’s free speech, yes she has the right to do it, but this has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment prohibits government from abridging an individual’s right to express themselves. It says nothing about civil suits for the content of that expression.

  • Frank

    If a government employee can touch any part of your body, which would be considered illegal in most venues, then anyone can write, print and say anything thing they want. I don’t have to read it, i don’t have to like it, but i am not going to let a total stranger touch my privates. Yes, i do not fly. I can’t believe the people who fly put up with this.

    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

  • David Brown

    Until the airlines realize that these extreme measures are actually bringing down their revenue, nothing will be done. But if they, as a block, decide to protest actions such as these, we may get some relief. I do not know this woman and have no basis to believe or disbelieve her story. But I see other kinds of abuses myself. When traveling through MCO recently, I counted no less than 16 TSA agents standing around in the hall where the trains to the terminals depart. For some time, one has been tasked with placing a movable belt over a barrier in front of the automatic glass doors. I’m sorry, but there simply is no need for this. Let’s use TSA appropriately and take a good hard look at their duties and how they go about them.

    • Michael

      It could happen quite easily if there was a flying boycott for a period of time that would get the panties of the airline execs in such a bunch that Congress would have no other choice but to take action or fore-go any corporate campaign dollars.

  • john guest

    i guess now days a person waives their right to having dignity/private areas ,if they decide to fly in a commercial aircraft.

    I say it was free speech because , it was her interpretation of the events.tsa people didn’t like it , but come on , what are they doing?

    With all the sophisticated training and equipment, you are telling me they cannot tell the difference between someones privates and a weapon ???????????? without taking 4 tries ? No WAY!!!!!!!!!

    There has got to be a better way.

  • http://www.bestdefensesite.com W A Reich

    It was a frivolous suit to begin with. Her actions in attempting to file a criminal complaint for sexual assault negate her argument that she is entitled to characterize her experience as ‘rape’ simply as a matter of hyperbole. Her experience with the TSA officer doesn’t fit the classic legal definition of ‘rape’ in California (or anywhere else, for that matter). In order to prove ‘sexual assault’ she would have to prove the TSA agent’s actions were motivated in pursuit of sexual gratification. He job description and the TSA policy and procedures guidelines as well as their training curriculum will very probably bury any ‘sexual gratification’ assertion or argument. I think the TSA agent has a pretty strong case.

    • DG

      Rapists – they are typically not out for sexual gratification they are out for control.

    • Michael

      An act is considered criminal sexual contact if it is done for sexual gratification OR to degrade or humiliate the victim.

  • lia sha

    I applaud Alkon for making known this violation of her person by a vicious TSA Agent.

    We have gone from living in a “free” country to one in which we’re forced to endure groping or dangerous x-rays that take away our dignity by viewing us naked, if we wish to fly.

    I have read countless articles stating that the measures TSA uses hasn’t resulted in any prevention of terrorism, it is simply a way to take away more and more of our rights as citizens. TSA has far too much power and is planning yet more in bracelets that can issue a shock.

    I do hope that they don’t decide to punish her each time she attempts to fly in the future.

  • Steve Watson

    I believe that Mr. Randazza’a letter states the fact very well, although he goes a bit far with the, “will not dim the… candle of liberty” phrase. I could see him stomping his foot, pounding his fist on the table and waiving a US flag all at the same time.

    Ms. Alkon had every right to feel violated and so express that feeling in any way that she might choose. “Saying” something on the internet makes it no different than “saying” it in any other way – verbally, in writing, etc. I disagree with one of your comments that considers different forms of speech to fall under different rules (laws).

    I also believe that it should have been Ms. Alkon’s responsibility to foramally complain in writing to the TSA, airport, airlines and whomever else and to pursue the issue in those means before or at least at the same time as including it in her blog. By doing so she may have gotten some satisfaction (please, people, don’t pick on my use of that correct legal term) and prevented this from happening in the future for herself and others.

  • http://roomswithgreatviews.com Bill

    The blogger has a right to say what she wants. The TSA worker has a right to sue. Who knows what a jury would decide? The pat down was waaay beyond the necessary, but she can’t prove it happened. BUT it would certainly disgust a jury. The TSA worker probably CAN prove that she suffered because of the article, but wouldn’t get much sympathy. My guess is that it would be a hard case for the TSA worker to win. This is America, baby. Free to say; free to sue.

    • Jack

      Im sure there are video recordings the airport and possibly others that recorded the incident. All they have to do is analyze her arm and hand movements to determine if it matches what the victim claims.

  • http://massimmedia.co/ Kenneth Ford

    If the TSA agent probed the woman through the pants penetrating her in the manner described, she should both be able to press charges, as well as civil suit, and by all means write anything she wants to. The Agent violated her rights, and should be held accountable for it.

    Kenneth Ford

  • william phillips

    it is time that we take measures shorten the reach the long arm of the law.
    Everything that is done is not done in the name of National Security!

  • Dan

    A similar incident happened to a man.

  • http://my-gem.net James

    Getting the pat down is awful. I always feel violated everything. That is why I hate traveling.

  • http://www.gregannett.com Greg

    Regardless of whether Alkon’s lawyer says her case is “unwinnable”, if Magee thinks she can threaten to sue, then Alkon has ten times the right to sue, and should be suing for even more than Magee has asked. Either way, I hope the case goes to court, that justice prevails, and Magee loses her job and her financial security. Nobody deserves to be rewarded financially for this kind of bogus security which is actually molestation pure and simple. There should be limits on how these patdowns are conducted, they should be rigorously enforced, and any agent that goes anywhere near the private areas of the body in a way that distresses the traveller, should be fired without warning. Why is there no accountability in the US government? America has come a long way (downhill) since Truman famously sat his “the buck stops here” sign on his desk in the Oval Office. Obama should hang his head in shame that he allows this stuff to carry on under his watch. So much for change. How about some change for the better, Obama?

  • DG

    Here’s is the reason that my wife will not fly. At 68 years old she now has a beautiful new niece in California, were in PA and she can’t bring herself to be subjected to this BS. My opinion is we need more people like Ms. Alkon not less . . . if the people (or more appropriately sheeple) had any guts they would boycott the airlines for 30 days and demand that security be taken over by the airlines where it belongs. All this nonsense that “we won’t change our lives because of these 9/11 terrorists” well golly gee we surrendered everything for some perceived security. They just don’t get it – when you move the crowd you move the target. And as Bed Franklin said “for those that would surrender liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security“.

    • Michael

      I wonder how many people actually know who Ben Franklin is, let alone his words of wisdom quoted in your post.

      • DG

        My fear is that we are lost from those connections that made us great. It’s a sad loss to a great experiment.

  • Robert Cerveny, Jr.

    If you dont like how the TSA or other security officials do their job, dont fly. It is that simple. But on the other hand, 4 times is 3 times to much. We have all read about these incidents, but you go ahead and fly. Whose fault is that. As for the TSA agent sueing you, she does have a case. You wrote about the TSA ” raping you” and you also shouted rape after the search. No where was the TSA agent removed or arrested for ” rape “. The secong thing is: they are not allowed to do this type of search by federal law and protocals unless there is suspicion of something. Since the TSA agent did not know you, why were you searched? You never explained this, you just ran your mouth without really explaining anything to us. I hope this works out for both of you and neither gets sued or collects money. This yelling and the blog is not free speech as you accused someone of a crime.

    • Michael

      You don’t know much about the first amendment, do you?

    • Anthony

      If I feel someone “raped” me by telling me I’d get a simple pat down and I end up getting a colonoscopy, Yes I have a right to express my opinion that I was raped.

      I think that is the point of this discussion. They don’t say – “we’re going to jam our fingers in your “areas” and if you don’t submit to that you shouldn’t fly.” They say it’s a simple pat down that often ends up being much more and you CAN’T resist or else you’ll be detained because then they think you have something to hide.

      Yes, they where not charged with a crime. That is the other point of this discussion. The abuse is sanctioned by the federal government and it shouldn’t be no more than a waiter at a restaurant has the right to check your vaginal area with their finger before you eat lunch.

  • Michael

    I don’t know what is worse. A TSA agent jamming fingers and/or hands into an airplane passengers vaginal area, the said TSA agent feeling that she is the victim, or the 58 percent of naif Americans who favor random searches involving full-body scans or pat-downs of airplane passengers.

  • http://dailyprayer.us Mason

    This isn’t a matter free speech. She unquestionably has a right under the First Amendment to post her remarks.

    The area of law in question is “defamation”.

    The question “In a situation where no facts have been entered into the legal record, should someone be able to make accusations in a blog post?” is ill-informed. Neither the First Amendment nor defamation law depends on whether a fact has been entered into a legal record (except in the specific case of someone quoting the allegations of a legal pleading and identifying it as such).

    If it is true, you can say/blog it without being liable for a defamation verdict. (And I’m going to guess a jury will believe the woman.) In fact, if you say it about a “public figure”, you have to know that it is false and maliciously lie to be liable. (I don’t know whether a TSA screener would be a public figure — interesting question.)

    I would be very surprised if her lawyer doesn’t file a counterclaim for assault. And if she’s in Georgia by some chance and needs more help — give me a call!

  • Jessica Gale

    I think the Scotts felt the same when their young daughters would have their Virginity taken by the Sergent of the British Army before they could marry the man they loved. We better stop this before it grows, it is already to far out of control.

    • Michael

      If a guy did this to Amy Alkon in a bar, he would be charged, convicted, sent to prison and forced to register as a sex offender for life. So, how is it that so many feel its OK for this to happen before boarding a plane?

      • Youseff

        What a great answer! Because it is so very true. This brings up acting under color of law. Meaning, the appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right. Misues of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible because wrongdoer is clothed with authority of state. Atkins v. Lanning D.C.Okl., 415 F. Supp. 186, 188. AMY – THIS APPLIES TOO!!

  • Phil

    The craziness of the TSA is the reason I will not fly anymore. I am innocent until proven guilty. The government and the TSA tell me I am guilty of being a terrorist when I enter an airport or board a cruise ship and it is up to me to prove my innocence. Truly a compromise can be found. In a police interrogation you are presented with the police interpretation and you get a chance to defend yourself. If the TSA would give a reason why the suspect me then I could defend myself accordingly. But that would lead to stereotyping and would probably offend someone.

  • Susan Marzipan

    I think when a person is violated by a TSA official, they have every right to speak their outrage on a Blog.

    I remember the headlines not long ago wherein a very elderly woman, in a wheelchair, was forced by a TSA official to remove her adult diaper before she was deemed fit to board her flight.

    To this day I hope that woman sues hell out of that TSA official personally, and TSA itself for thinking it has the right to rape a womans dignity like that. Having her expose her female parts in a diaper because some TSA zealot thinks she might be hiding something there, as a potential terrorist.

    It was easier to board an airline when the Soviet Unions Aeroflot was in business. There isn’t another country anywhere on earth wherein it is as abusive and violating as is every airport security check point in America. And that includes China, Russia and Iran!

    Blog posts are free speech and anyone who’s been violated by TSA, when they aren’t able to address TSA themselves or they’ll be arrested, possibly tasered, thrown to the ground by a group of TSA thugs, etc… have every right to speak their outrage somewhere where it stands to be heard!

    Not to mention how TSA officials predispose little kids to being molested by pedophiles, who can pretend to be an official in their own right and feel them up, because prior to that sick encounter the child’s own parent or guardian told them they have to stand still at the airport check point to be felt up by someone there who’s posing as an official.
    I’m waiting for the TSA official who makes a mother remove her newborns diaper, so that TSA pervert can do an anal cavity search of the baby just in case there is an explosive device concealed in the anal cavity.

    That’s how sick and twisted TSA perverts are, not that they know there is no agency able to reign them in. They are an autonomous entity. Or so they want everyone to believe. And thus far, with the Fed turning yellow and away from all the abuses TSA has committed against the traveling public, there’s a reason to believe it will NEVER change!

    • SLBushway

      The issue seems to be a lack of training and an unfounded fear of body scanners. Just keep in mind that it is not a right to fly – these are private businesses and if you don’t like what they do they don’t have to serve you. Also, keep in mind that every time you push someone to sue and should they win – you as a customer pay the price in terms of airline fees and ticket prices. So at the minimum you should know both sides of the story before you advocate the American way of making money which is to sue.

      • Michael

        Its not a private business that is feeling up airline passengers, the TSA is. The TSA is an arm of Homeland Security, so your point is moot.

    • Youseff

      Following up on your comment about the Soviet Union, we are not very far behind. Her are U.S. Executive Orders, which are equal to the ones put in place by the Third Reich. Most I believe are already in place. Read them and know for yourself.

      Executive Orders which can threaten American’s Freedoms:

      EO 10995- All communications media seized by the federal government: Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, CB, HAM, short wave, telephones, satellites, and the internet. The First Amendment would be suspended.

      EO 10997- Seizure of all electrical power: fuels, including gasoline, and minerals.

      EO 10998- Seizure of all food resources: farms, and farm equipment. Anti-food hoarding will go into effect.

      EO 10999- Seizure of all kinds of highways, seaports, waterways, rail ways, airports, and public storage facilitates. The government can seize any vehicle.

      EO 11000- Seizure of all civilians for work under federal supervision.

      EO 11001- Federal takeover of all health, education and welfare, including hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and schools.

      EO 11002- Postmaster General empowered to register everyman, woman, and child in the U.S.A.

      EO 11003- Seizure of all aircraft and airports by the Federal Government.

      EO 11004- Housing and finance authority may shift populations from one locality to another. Hosing may be seized.

      EO 11005- Seizure of railroads, inland waterways, and storage facilities.

      EO 11051- The director of the Office of Emergency Planning authorized to put Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tension or “financial crisis.” He is also to perform such additional functions as the president may direct.

      EO- 11490- Presidential control over all U.S. citizens and businesses (including churches) in time of emergency.

      EO- 11921- The government would seize control over education, welfare, mechanisms of production and distribution, energy sources, wages, salaries, credit, and the flow of money in U.S. financial institutions and impose total censorship.

      EO 12919- Directs various cabinets’ officials to be constantly ready to take over virtually all aspects of the U.S. economy during a State of Emergency- at the direction of the president.

      EO 13010- Directs FEMA to take control over all government agencies in time of emergency. [Note: FEMA is now directly under the control of the president a his National Security Council]

      EO 13011- Creates a national information system, a massive new bureaucracy with authority to manage “Federal Information Technology” (signed by President Clinton on July 16, 1998) It links the data gathered by the health, Education, and Labor Departments to the data assessable to the FBI,CIA,EPA, and other federal agencies.

      Nazi Weapons Act of 1938 – A Gun Control Law Passed by the German Government One Day After Kristallnacht

      Read Hitlers Enabling Act – Law passed by the German Reichstag in 1933 that enabled Adolf Hitler to assume dictatorial powers. Deputies from the Nazi Party, the German National People’s Party, and the Center Party voted in favor of the act, which “enabled” Hitler’s government to issue decrees independently of the Reichstag and the presidency. It gave Hitler a base from which to carry out the first steps of his National Socialist revolution.

      An enabling act is a piece of legislation by which a legislative body grants an entity which depends on it for authorization or legitimacy the power to take certain actions. For example, enabling acts often establish government agencies to carry out specific government policies in a modern nation state. The effects of enabling acts from different times and places vary widely. You will find pretty much the equivalent of all the Executive Orders listed above, including the U.S. Patriot Act.

  • Youseff

    Information for Amy.

    Yes, you can and will win this case. However, this must be understood. I am going to give to you plenty of lawful information, that will be helpful.

    Freedom of speech. Right guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To express one’s thoughts and views without governmental intrusion. The lawful definition of this also includes something that no on ever uses See also, Fighting Words Doctrine; (Liberty of Speech), or debate clause. All of which are very important. If you look up Fighting Words Doctrine, you will find, this. The First Amendment doctrine that holds that certain utterances are not constitutionally protected as free speech, if they are inherently likely to provoke violent responses from the audience. N.A.A.C.P. v. Clairborne Hardware Co., Mass., Mass, 458 U.S. 886, 102 S.Ct. 3409, 73 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1982). It also states that The ‘Freedom of Speech’ protected by the Constitution, is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances. If you want to find all this information, the best place to locate it, in the shortest case supported definitions is in Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, pages 627 & 628. There is much to people shouting freedom of speech, it also means your are unwittingly screaming for what most wrongfully call government to uphold this doctrine also. Meaning the government is still in complete control of what is determined to be FREE SPEECH, and that is in every incident! Free speech needs to be shouted, about and for, but differently.

    In this matter, there are thee questions that must be answered.

    1. Was there threatening danger?

    2. Does the regulation involve a constitutional right?

    3. Is the regulation reasonable?

    I do not know all that lead to this incident. I do know that if you and your lawyer are making it a constitutional matter, which you can in many ways. I am sure your lawyer can point all of them out to you. In doing so, you can also prove that your opposing attorney has no jurisdiction to operate in this matter. Below are all the reasons I can think of at this time that are in your favor, if this is made into a constitutional issue, which I know this is.

    “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436, 491.

    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional Right cannot be converted into a crime.” Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. 486, 489.

    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional Rights.” Snerer vs. Cullen, 481 F. 946.

    “With regard particularly to the U.S. Constitution, it is elementary that a Right secured or protected by that document cannot be overthrown or impaired by any state police authority.”Connolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 US 540; Lafarier vs. Grand Trunk R.R. Co., 24 A. 848; O’Neil vs. Providence Amusement Co., 108 A. 887.

    “The police power of the state must be exercised in subordination to the provisions of the U.S. Constitution.”Bacahanan vs. Wanley, 245 US 60; Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. vs. State Highway Commission, 294 US 613.

    “It is well settled that the Constitutional Rights protected from invasion by the police power, include Rights safeguarded both by express and implied prohibitions in the Constitutions.” Tiche vs. Osborne, 131 A. 60.

    “As a rule, fundamental limitations of regulations under the police power are found in the spirit of the Constitutions, not in the letter, although they are just as efficient as if expressed in the clearest language.”Mehlos vs. Milwaukee, 146 NW 882.

    “There should be no arbitrary deprivation of Life or Liberty …”Barbour vs. Connolly, 113 US 27, 31;
    Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 118 US 356.

    “We find it intolerable that one Constitutional Right should have to be surrendered in order to assert another.”Simons vs. United States, 390 US 389.

    “It is the duty of the courts to be watchful for the Constitutional rights of the citizen and against any stealthy encroachments thereon.”Boyd vs. United States, 116 US 616.

    “Disobedience or evasion of a Constitutional Mandate cannot be tolerated, even though such disobedience may, at least temporarily, promote in some respects the best interests of the public.”Slote vs. Examination, 112 ALR 660.

    “No public policy of a state can be allowed to override the positive guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.”16 Am.Jur. (2nd), Const. Law, Sect. 70.

    From all I have read, all the violations of constitutional guarantees listed above, in this incident, happened to you. Meaning that since the officials opposing you are not upholding anything that is constitutional.

    Followed by

    Unconstitutional Official Acts

    16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256: Volume 16 of American Jurisprudence second edition, Section 177. The later edition you will find this information in section 256.

    Any unconstitutional act of an official will at least be a violation of the oath of that official to execute the duties of his office, and therefore grounds for his removal from office. No official immunity or privileges of rank or position survive the commission of unlawful acts. If it violates the rights of individuals, it is also likely to be a crime, and the militia duty obligates anyone aware of such a violation to investigate it, gather evidence for a prosecution, make an arrest, and if necessary, seek an indictment from a grand jury, and if one is obtained, prosecute the offender in a court of law. That includes lawyers, attorneys, judges, and the rest.

    Stump v. Sparkman, id., 435 U.S. 349 A judge is not immune for tortious acts committed in a purely Administrative, non-judicial capacity. These two together, mean you can sue them all in a judicial as well as non- judicial capacity.

    Also know that – The practice of Law CAN NOT be licensed by any state/State. Schware v. Board of Examiners, 353 U.S. 238, 239. The “certificate” from the State Supreme Court only authorizes: To practice Law, “in Courts” as a member of the State Judicial Branch of Government. A bar card holder can only represent “Wards of the Court”. The state bar card is NOT a license; it is a Union Dues Card of a Professional Association.

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