Will TSA Groping Destroy Tourism In The United States?

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One of the things that has not been considered in the debate over the horrific new TSA security procedures is the economic impact that all of this is going to have.  The rest of the world is watching what is going on, and millions of people are going to decide that they simply do not want to go through the hassle of flying to the United States.  There are some cultures where allowing a strange person to touch your private areas is unthinkable.  In 2009, 54.9 million tourists visited the United States, and those tourists spent approximately 93 billion dollars.  That doesn’t even count all of the internal tourism in the United States which is far greater.  Tourism is the first, second or third biggest employer in 29 U.S. states.  So what happens if a significant chunk of tourists decide that they are simply not going to fly because of the new full body scanners and the new “enhanced pat-downs”?


In our obsession with “underwear bombers”, we could literally kill the goose that laid the golden egg.  The United States is still one of the favorite destinations in the world for tourists, and many areas of the country are highly dependent on tourist dollars.  So are we willing to take a hit to our economy that could reach into the tens of billions of dollars just so that we can all feel slightly safer from “underwear bombers”?

Even before these new security procedures were implemented a lot of tourists were already staying home or avoiding having to fly because of our ridiculous air security system.

According to a 2008 survey, air travelers in the United States avoided 41 million trips because of perceived problems with the air travel system.  The U.S. Travel Association says that those avoided trips cost U.S. airlines 9.4 billion dollars.

So how damaging to our economy will all of these new security procedures be?

The truth is that the rest of the world is watching what we are doing.

They are watching as little boys are being strip-searched at U.S. airports.

They are hearing the reports that TSA officials are actually reaching up the skirts of female passengers and slamming their hands into their private areas.

Thanks to the Internet, they are reading all of the worst TSA horror stories.  For example, one 61-year-old retired special education teacher was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an “enhanced pat-down” went badly.

That doesn’t exactly scream “welcome to America” now does it?

The TSA is literally taking a sledgehammer to our tourism industry.  They are going to cost us tens of billions of travel dollars.  These are tourist dollars that our economy desperately needs.

But even more horrifying is what all of this says about how far America has fallen.  We are rapidly becoming a Big Brother police state where average citizens are routinely treated like dehumanized prison inmates.

It is a national disgrace and the rest of the world is watching all of this.  Barack Obama and many of our other top politicians continue to stand up and defend all of this abuse by TSA officials.  They are making us look like scum to the rest of the globe.

Unless the American people stand up right now and refuse to accept these ridiculous new security procedures the rest of the world will never look at us the same way again.

  • VegasBob

    I won’t fly domestically as long as these Nazi-style police state security procedures are in place.

    If I knew of any county that was better, I’d be on a plane out of the US tomorrow.

    As it now stands, the only flight I plan to take in the future is the flight I board to leave this God-forsaken country permanently.

  • transplantella

    Of course it is a national disgrace, and foreigners should very rightfully bypass the opportunity to be treated like prisoners for the privilege of spending their money in the US.

    But I did have to snicker at the airline ad at the bottom or your post…..hehehe. ;-) What’s up with that?

  • Richard

    “There are some cultures where allowing a strange person to touch your private areas is unthinkable.”
    Oh yeah? Pray tell, which are the “cultures” where “allowing a strange person to touch your private areas” are “thinkable”?

  • Mark …

    I am from Canada. We visited California last summer for two weeks.

    Entering the U.S. without a Canadian passport was already a nightmare. If on top that they would strip search the entire family, for sure we would not fly to the U.S. anymore.

    We were thinking about Disneyland or a cruise in March, but I really don’t feel to be treated like a criminal.

    So, no, it will likely be a week in Europe or Cuba instead.

    BTW, as long as the U.S. doesn’t collapse, things are still going really well in Canada.

    My estimate, from what I saw along the road in California, is that 30% of houses had for sale signs. The further away from the coast the more signs it seemed.

    In our neighborhood, houses are still sold within a week. We are getting at least two phone calls per months from brokers asking if we want to sell our home.

    I am not sure what makes such a bigger difference between the two countries? But it is scary.

  • Mr Carpenter

    I think the powers that be are intentionally destroying the US economy.

    Isn’t that another way of saying they are all treasonous? High treason, in fact.

    What’s the penalty for High Treason? You know, don’t you? You all know.

    Interestingly enough, since High Treason may only be committed by citizens, that’ll ensure that The Occupant declares that it’s all been a mistake – gee whiz, his dad was born in Kenya, a British protectorate; he’s not really an American citizen…..

    (Of course, once that happens, it’ll be realized by anyone with common sense that EVERY SINGLE THING done by a non-citizen acting as President is null and void – every single law signed into effect from Congress – null and void. Every action, including putting GI’s in harms way – and which would then open the United States to WAR CRIMES tribunals)

    There’s a way out.

    The Occupant should resign. The government should stand down. The banksters should all quit. The Fed should be abolished. The TSA should be disbanded and private enterprise (taking a cue from El Al airlines) should make sure of security – and stay within legal, Constitutional bounds.

    Then we should get Constitutionalists to take over Washington, dismantle the 99% illegal systems there in place, pull us out of the United Nations, and demand the UN leave the US.

    But of course, none of this will happen.

    So instead, we get to watch as our nation deteriorates and implodes. With no consequences to those who purposefully are destroying it.

    FDR once said “there are no accidents in politics”. In other words, if you have high inflation, and no rights, high taxation and no Constitution, that’s because the people in politics have decided that’s what is going to be.

    So, now what do we – the people – do?

  • Thierry Bouchard

    I use to travel to either Boston or new York nearly every year up to 9/11. Last time I went was 2002. By plane, bus or car, I feel like a criminal everytime I cross the border. Many of my friends have stopped travelling to the US because of that.

  • I’m from Canada and most of my clients are from the States. I get flown down for on site work about 5-7 times per year and my last two TSA experiences were LAME. How lame? I’m not going to bother coming down for a while from what I’ve been seeing in the past week. Kinda stinks when I’m helping American businesses grow =/

  • Sam

    “The TSA is literally taking a sledgehammer to our tourism industry.”

    Are TSA employees actually taking a sledgehammer and slamming it into the side of tourist buildings? If not, then they’re doing it figuratively, not literally.

  • zack

    Today I went through security and “opted-out” of the “naked body scanners” – mostly on the grounds of wanting to defend our civil liberties and Constitutionally protected rights. To be honest, I didn’t find the pat down to be that intrusive or uncomfortable. The TSA guy didn’t grab my junk or probe me. When I explained to some TSA agents afterward that I understood that they are just doing their jobs, but I needed to opt-out to make a political statement, they were understanding. Their attitude was pretty positive and easy-going, which isn’t what I’m used to with the TSA.

    My conclusion is that we still should try to abolish the TSA and protect our rights, but the media is really sensationalizing this.

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  • mondobeyondo

    The infamous “shoe bomber” (Richard Reid) boarded a flight to the U.S. from London, England.

    The “underwear bomber” boarded a flight to the U.S. from Amsterdam, Holland.

    Neither of the originating flights was from a U.S. city. Yet this country insists on frisking and scanning its citizens to “ensure safety and security” in the air.

    If you really want security and safety in the skies, have every international airport with a destination to the U.S. to employ the same procedures. Scan and frisk every Briton, Frenchman, Australian, Spaniard, South African, Nigerian, etc. They may be tourists, but they are all a potential threat! Oh sure, they’ll complain -but it’s all in the name of “security”. The public must be kept safe!

    Perhaps we should look more closely at Israel. They are very experienced in the area of air travel terrorism, and terrorism in general. They seem to have gotten it right.

    P.S. There’ll be an extra cavity search if you’re flying from London to New York City or Washington, D.C.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    The cruel irony is that as this Third World horror movie called The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA) becomes more repressive and more of a police state, it won’t become any safer. Actually, it will become increasingly dangerous when more and more formerly middle class Americans become the neo-poor and turn to crime. Breast cancer survivors will have to remove their prosthetic breasts at the airport; anti-war activists will be blacklisted, spied on and harassed when the Republi-kkkons and Democraps take us to war in Iran; DEA thugs will still abuse seniors during their botched raids (oops, Granny, sorry we got the wrong house, shot your dog and pistol-whipped your wheelchair-bound husband), and selling vibrators will still be illegal in some states. But good luck walking the streets of major BRA cities at night without being mugged, stabbed or robbed at gunpoint.

    Benjamin Franklin famously said that those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. And sure enough, Americans will have neither liberty nor security in this hopeless mess called The Banana Republic of America.

  • Nick

    I used to be a TSA screener so I will offer you my personal perspective on all of this. It is outright amazing to me to see all of this crying and “outrage” by the American people.

    The TSA is doing their job. Which is to identify risks and then to counter those risks. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. God forbid if a plane goes down, then it’s all of TSA’s fault. But if nothing happens then the public will say “they are idiots, they don’t know what they are doing”.

    Remember, the terrorists have to be right only ONCE. While TSA has to be PERFECT all the time. Ever since they took over, there hasn’t been a successful act of terror related to the transportation sector. Think about that! (The shoe bomber, underwear bomber, etc…. all started their trips from outside the USA.)

    All of this can be broken down into what I call “the cry baby/me first American syndrome” and that is what is truly destroying our nation. People want to exempt themselves from airport security, from taking difficult coursework in college, from rigorous projects at work, etc… all the while demanding higher standards from everyone else, EXCEPT THEMSELVES.

  • Iskandar

    Nick, what a bunch of scaremongering claptrap. I am doing everything within my power to make sure your former co-workers lose your jobs.

  • Mr Carpenter

    Nick, you’re a putz.

    Try reading the Constitution of the (once) United States of America. Specifically, the 4th Amendment.

    I’m not a guilty party. I don’t deserve being treated as a criminal. Where is your search warrant? What am I being charged with, to “warrant” being searched?

    Don’t give me that bullcrap about “giving up my rights to fly” or “flying is a privilage not a right.” The Constitution gives us the right to TRAVEL. It does not give the Government the right to interfere with travel insofar as to stop people who mean nobody any harm, just because they refuse to kow-tow to an illegitimate government. You read it right; ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT. Because, if the government is not following the foundational law of the land, then it is NOT LEGITIMATE.

    Israel can keep their flights safer than ours. We only need to swallow our PRIDE and learn how to do it RIGHT instead of taking away peoples RIGHTS.

  • Mr Carpenter
  • Nick

    Wow, it’s amazing how people forget so easily what happened on that beautiful, clear blur sky Tuesday morning in September in the year 2001.

    Like I said, we have become a nation of crybabies: “I want my Ipod and I want it now”, “I don’t want to be patted down”, “I want extra large french fries”. May God help our nation. Because our citizens are certainly not doing their part.

    Americans want higher standards for everyone else but not themselves. May God help America and help us all.

    Mr. Carpenter, the TSA or even the police don’t need a search warrant to do a pat down. You are the putz. Ever heard of a Terry Stop? Police officers do it all of the time.

  • Mr Carpenter

    So, Nick, you can’t click on a link? OK fine. I’ll use quotations for you.

    “quote from a Supreme Court case (U.S. v. Guest 383 U.S. 745 (1966)): “In any event, freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution.”

    Another US Supreme Court case, Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969) very strongly supports the right to travel.

    “‘The constitutional right to travel from one State to another . . . has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized.’ United States v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745, 757 . This constitutional right, which, of course, includes the right of ‘entering and abiding in any State in the Union,’ Truax v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33, 39 , is not a mere conditional liberty subject to regulation and control under conventional [394 U.S. 618, 643] due process or equal protection standards. 1 ‘[T]he right to travel freely from State to State finds constitutional protection that is quite independent of the Fourteenth Amendment.’ United States v. Guest, supra, at 760, n. 17. 2 As we made clear in Guest, it is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. 3 Like the right of association, NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 , it is a virtually unconditional personal right, 4 guaranteed by the Constitution to us all.”

    Pistole is also wrong to say that “the government” has a role to play in public safety and specifically airline safety. The national government has no such constitutional safety role. The only time the term appears in the Constitution is where it says “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

    The TSA is violating due process at every turn. They do not have warrants. They detain persons (keep them from proceeding) unless they bow to the TSA’s will and be x-rayed or molested. This detainment is assault in and of itself!”

    Nick, this has NOTHING to do with childish selfishness, contrary to your scribblings; it has EVERYTHING to do with who is in charge.

    Is it a very few elite who now run the country (and therefore, the United States Constitution is null and void – as is the United States itself), or are We the People in charge, hiring (via election) a few (supposedly) servant-leaders to represent us in running the Republic?

    We also are NOT foregetting about 9/11. However, you might have seen the quotation of some old guy called Ben Franklin?

    Paraphrased: “People willing to give up liberty for a little security deserve neither.”

    And yes, by God, the police can only search your person IF they have a warrant or believe there is some criminal activity going down.

    Just walking into an airport expecting to be able to travel doesn’t really translate into “ok we’re going to treat you worse than a prisoner and feel you up, your 3 year old daughter, too, and we’re not even changing our dirty gloves – which are only here to protect we the TSA Gods of the Airport – not you or your health.”

  • nakedguydb

    you would have to be gay to work for the TSA , now if you print t-shirts i will buy one

  • mondobeyondo

    The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Is the TSA violating your right to be secure in your person (heaven forbid!) by conducting unreasonable searches? REASONABLE searches, yes. That’s what warrants are for. But Grandma with a couple of apple pies in the suitcase?!

    At least they haven’t gotten around to your house, papers, etc… but they will. Just keep sleeping, sheeple…

    Violate your rights? Hell, let’s just violate YOU!!

  • Sithicus

    I was going to spend some quality time during Chrismas and visit wife’s family in Florida, so my little son could enjoy Disneyland. It would require however changing planes in NY. Anyone trying to get his hands on my kid gonna end up with multiple skull fracture. Sod it all. I’m going to spend that time visiting Dominicana – I’ll rather risk cholera then TSA. And I’m gonna spend my money there.

  • nonutx

    when I left the us to another residence 20 years ago, I was told I am nutx, now my friends tell me I must have known otherwise. it reminds me of the feelings jews had in germany before 1939, its time to get out! the smart ones did, the others, well we know the rest of the story, maybe alex jones has it right?
    ron paul said it right, unless you stand up to abuse, you accept it and suffer the consequences! the treatment is a contract, accept it, or reject it, americans due to public school education, just don’t understand it, so they accept it and WILL suffer the consequences.

  • John


    Wake up! It’s all about government control of the people. What’s next at the airport, body cavity searches?

  • paladin

    i am from turkey,thats why i dont want to come your country ,i dont have problem with american people but i have problem with nsa ,big brother ,novus ordo seculerum rockafeller rothschild and manipulators etc they are absolutely criminals they are imperialist exploitives their targets not just other countries like us ,you and us are the same victims
    sorry for wrong english mistakes

  • Stephanie

    We were thinking flying from Canada to Disney World in Florida as our family holiday but no way are we going to now with what is happening with TSA-Airport Abuse. USA, you’ve gone too far this time.

  • S Barringer

    I decided to stop flying long ago. At the first sign of making me feel like a criminal, not an upright citizen, by starting to check everyone out at the airports using wands, etc–the first implementation of checking everyone including granny, I refused to submit to even that, which seems kind of mild in comparison to what they are doing now. Why would anyone put up with this? Because they claim to be be making us safe? That’s propaganda and pure crap. This excuse, in various forms, has been used throughout history to rob citizens of their rights and privileges, and crack-down setting up a dictatorship. Read history; get wised-up. A lot of people are allowing themselves to be jerked around like a puppet, and they don’t even know it, nor do they understand the ultimate cost they will pay for submitting.

  • Protection is crucial but you will find obvious breaks with the efficiency of specific airports. Objects accidently get left inside purses and so on and never found by screeners in addition to big mistakes that may ended up costing our lives! You’ll find politicians trying for restrictions on the number of individuals that receive pat downs and tests, which achieves nothing! It ought to be all or none! It all would seem to me the old approach has been working, so why did individuals change it out!

  • Greg Martin

    According to the American propaganda machine, the public has accepted the screening x ray strip searches and enhanced pat downs. If this is so, which I seriously doubt is the case, the American public should ready itself for even more invasive acts by the TSA. Acceptance will fascillitate racheting up screening in other venues other than the airports. I am amazed at how complacent and servile the American public has become.

  • G Martin

    So tell me Nick exactly how is it that a Catholic nun, a 3 year-old toddler, an elderly woman in a wheelchair, a woman who is pregnant or menstruating, or an old man who’s had his knees replaced are a threat to the flying public? You are intentionally seeking out the weakest and the most vulnerable in our society, and YOU are the one who is terrorizing them, and on a highly personal level! This isn’t about “safety,” this is about government harassment and intimidation. It’s all a big power trip and you know it. THAT IS WHY I NO LONGER FLY!

  • John Merry

    According to Janet Napolitano, “Our societal norms are going to have to change”. She’s right. We’re just going to have to get used to being photographed nude and groped. It could be a little tricky, though, teaching our young children how to differentiate between when it’s OK for someone in uniform to put their hands down their pants and when it’s not. Soccer coach? No. Felony on him. Airport Security? $10,000 fine on you for refusing to comply. Mall cop? Depends. Does he have a government-issued badge or private contractor and what’s your cup size?

    We need to remember how many folks are being killed by terrorists in this country every year compared to those killed by automobile accidents, smoking, and choking to death on ham sandwiches before we can fully realize the magnitude of the problem. Only then does it become clear that no cost is too high when it comes to keeping us safe from those who would steal from us the freedoms that so many have died for.

  • Even this little pig has an opinion on all the overly aggressive TSA security procedures going on at the airports: Click to watch the TSA in the USA Music Video

    It’s a sad day having to watch our rights literally stripped away from us. :(

  • Jan

    As world-traveller, I can tell that the discrimination at “Homeland Security” did it for me.
    Waiting lines of 40 – 100 minutes for foreigners, while US people were through in 10 minutes.
    After these 10 minutes, the officers just leave their booths and the travellers are left standing in lines.
    I will definitely NOT visit US voluntarily anymore.