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5 times you should stand up to the TSA

Francisco Canseco took a stand when a TSA agent tried to give him an enhanced pat-down last spring.

Canseco, who happens to also be a Texas congressman, objected to the agent’s forceful frisking, and a few days later, to being singled out for a secondary screening. Police had to be called in that incident.

A report published by the San Antonio Express-News last week, which retrieved an incident report under the Freedom of Information Act, paints a complex picture of Rep. Canseco’s confrontation: A legislator who had already taken a public stand on the agency’s effectiveness — or lack thereof — and airport agents who may have wanted to show the congressman who’s in charge.

But it also raises a bigger question: When do you say “enough” to the TSA?

After I wrote about the things you shouldn’t say to the TSA, I sustained a little friendly fire from agency critics, who believe you should always give agents a piece of your mind.

I understand where they’re coming from, and I agree with them, in principle; you shouldn’t ever feel like you have to remain silent. (And yes, I was horrified that a majority of those polled said they were afraid to speak up. Come on, people!)

Sure, there are times when you want to skirt the issue. For example, when you’re running late for your flight, you don’t want to get into an argument with an agent about the Fourth Amendment. The luxury of a debate is something you forfeit for sleeping in that morning. Likewise, you probably don’t want to find out how photogenic your screener thinks he is when your flight is already boarding. Keep the camera in your luggage, keep your head down, and be done with the screening.

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Christopher Elliott

About Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate and syndicated columnist who has covered the TSA since its inception. Christopher writes for the TSA News.

View all posts by Christopher Elliott →

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We are tired of watching our government give us the cold shoulder. We think you are too. That's why Conbustible.com is here. Daily we work to give you the real news – real news you can influence directly. Whether through email, fax, or phone call, use Conbustible.com to put the slow burn on those politicians that have forgotten one crucial part of their job description - they work for us. 
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