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Oceanside man challenges airport's full-body scan [Updated]

A recording made by an Oceanside man who refused to undergo a full-body scan at San Diego International Airport over the weekend has gone viral as Internet viewers ferociously debate whether airport security measures have gone too far.

John Charles Tyner, 31, said he wasn't trying to pick a fight when he refused an X-ray scan of his body Saturday, but he was ready to defend his rights, according to his blog, if they made him do it. He is opposed on principle to the X-ray machines because it would show an image of his naked body, said Tyner, who blogs as "Johnny Edge."

[Updated at 9:33 a.m.: At one point, as the airport screener explained that the patdown would include brushing his groin, Tyner replied, "You touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested."

He also refused to be patted down by a TSA agent, Tyner says on a blog post recounting the details of his confrontation with airport security. Tyner recorded most of the face-off on his camera phone, and the images and audio have gone viral on the Internet.

Tyner said he wanted to draw attention to an erosion in liberties and "senseless" efforts by the government to detect terrorists before they board a  plane.

"Every attempt to blow up a plane since 9/11 has been stopped by passengers after the government failed to provide protection for them.... All I did was draw attention to this," he wrote.

Tyner said he would have gone through a metal detector but that airport security did not give him that option. Instead, they refused to allow him to board his plane and he had his ticket refunded.

As he was preparing to leave the airport, another unidentified security official told him he could be sued civilly and fined $10,000 if he exited without undergoing a search, Tyner said on his blog.

Tyner refused and left the airport.


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Comments () | Archives (291)

I believe the x-ray and pat down are to detect weapons not terrorist, what an idiot...I think they have an elaborate computer screening process to detect terrorist...don't allow him to fly, I don't want him on the same plane as me...I don't trust him...

How long did the legitimate passengers have to wait...Couldn't this guy have written a letter, he already knew the process...He should receive a heavy fine...

Touching my junk is a privilege, not a right.

The bottom line:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

I'm confused- which is it, government is supposed to 'do its job' protecting us, or the private sector is going to do it if the TSA simply goes away?
And if the airlines take on the job, what do you suppose the fee will be if a pillow costs $8?
Or, we could issue weapons to 100% of passengers, as a condition of boarding, so everyone feels safe.
As Condoleeza Rice aptly put it, we have to catch 100% of the terrorists to be successful; they only have to be successful once.
And he's just calling attention to what?

Hats off to him! Bravo! At least the 4th amendment still has meaning for some individuals. The government failed to protect us by sloppy immigration oversight on 9/11. The response was to create another huge government agency (we already had a "defense" dept) and the manufactureing of these machines. We now watch 80 year old women in wheelchairs getting patted down. Years ago,one guy tried something with his shoe and now 400 million pairs of shoes have been taken off . The government is all reactiuon, no action. This is what happens when you lose a war - you start doing nonsense things to try and con the people that you won.

Dude clearly has a small package

Two years ago I swore I would never again travel by air. Delays, extra fees, extra taxes, lost baggage, invasive security.... It is an industry that is openly hostile and contemptuous of its customers.

You don't have to fly. Stop sniveling.

Good for him! After reading the blog in its entirety (which I recommend) the government is clearly far overstepping its bounds. A government in the grip of fear, as shown through its low-ranking minions, is a government destroying itself. Air travel has become extraordinarily unpleasant without the governments representatives behaving so stupidly.

I'll keep saying this: I dont know X-rays, pat downs, etc etc are done by trained pros....I do mind if its done by TSA/high school drop out who goes to ITT Tech to become a "security professional."

I do not some stranger to touch my penis. What's next, a finger in the rectum? Thank you Mr. Tyner.

i believe that ameri cans are the dumbest people in the world. this is another reason why.

In response to TheBigPicture: "I don't want him on the same plane as me...I don't trust him..." This couldn't possibly be due to the fact that this gentleman is a man of color, or Allah forbid, a Muslim? I applaud anyone who stands up to this out of control TSA nonsense. I'm also kind of looking forward to "my junk" being touched. Cheers.

what a tool. Come on now, if the TSA agent really had a choice to you think he wants to touch your junk in the first place. Who cares, so you get a full pat down, whats the big deal. Not really gonna change you life. All for safety

In regards to the "80 year old woman" being patted down, I'd like to point out that a couple of weeks ago, a passenger in China boarded a flight appearing to be an old man, only to have it discovered that he was wearing a mask, and was in fact, a much, much younger man. So just what are the authorities supposed to do, when you can't even take for granted that an old person is in fact, an old person?

The issue really still needs to be the SAFETY aspect of the does of RADIATION your body is going through, from the scanners. The science is still out of the effects, especially since the majority of the radiation is concentrated on the skin. Shown to had significance chance of increasing cancer, especially if the operator doesn't know what he / she is doing (you trust the skill of the NSA workers). Yeah, I will continue to refuse the scanner.

besides, pat down can't be all that bad. Wanna cop a feel ... power to you.

If you're looking for some perspective, check out this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/05/if-the-tsa-were-running-new-york/39839/

"The point of terrorism is not to "destroy." It is to terrify. And for eight and a half years now, the dominant federal government response to terrorist threats and attacks has been to magnify their harm by increasing a mood of fear and intimidation. That is the real case against the ludicrous 'orange threat level' announcements we hear every three minutes at the airport. It's not just that they're pointless, uninformative, and insulting to our collective intelligence; it's that their larger effect is to make people feel frightened rather than brave."

So with all the scanning and groping, please tell me exactly how many times TSA has actually FOUND somebody trying to smuggle a bomb on board? And why just scan at the airport? How about scan-and-grope for all public buildings, especially arenas, government buildings, schools... gosh, the person sitting next to you at the movies might have a bomb strapped to his ankle! Is that really a box of crackers in that woman's grocery cart, or is it a disguised bomb??? Best to just stay home and hide in the basement.

He should take the bus instead.

Every week in the USA more people are killed in automobile accidents on the highways than have ever been killed in terrorist attacks on airplanes in the entire history of flight.
They don't care about the safety of travelers.
What they care about is protecting their precious, really, really expensive jet airplanes. And to achieve this end they compromise our freedoms as well as our dignity.
All in the name of "security".
Just say NO to this bullshit fascist "security" which is also a pathetic excuse for dumb people to rip off defenseless travelers.

Flying on an airplane is not a right. If you don't like the procedures then don't fly. Easy enough.

The issue is that flying on an airplane is not a right it is a priviledge like driving a car if you dont go through the nessesary procedures then you cant do it. This guy just want attention and its disgusting that were giving it to him

And for the bottom line post not everything ben franklin says is perfect he was just another person

This just another example of how fear has gotten the best of us in the USA. If these precedures are allowed to continue then we have given in to the "Terrorists" and the Russan's had nothing on us even in the deepest form of communisum. We have volunteeraly given up our "Civil Rights". All American's should remember that our civil rights are not "Technicalities"!

What a jerk. Here's a newsflash for this guy: TSA agents would rather do a hundred other different things instead of touching your "junk". Your "junk" doesn't have any magical properties which makes it better than any of the millions of people who have been "patted down" in history, so shut up and follow the rules. Your right to disobey security procedures is not more important than my right to not be blow up in mid-air by a non-metallic explosive device.

I commend this gentleman. He's right.

These measures and threats are abusive and shades of Soviet

Russia. The employees of D.H.S. are arrogant and abusive.

Notice how they followed him and threatened him. It's not

the fault of the people if the U.S. had gotten into corrupt

and stupid intervention

abroad. The government meddled in the middle east dumbly

while ignoring dissent and complacently hands us the bill.

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