The government’s more intense scrutiny of travelers has led to a fierce backlash, even as recent terror attempts indicate that air travel remains a prime target, says USA Today. Just days before a busy Thanksgiving travel weekend, frequent travelers, unions, passenger groups and civil libertarians are filing lawsuits and urging boycotts of new airport screening procedures. Those procedures include machines that see through passengers’ clothing, and more aggressive pat-downs by security personnel, which some travelers say amount to fondling or strip searches.
As some senators on Wednesday urged authorities to scale back the measures, Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole said the intensified screening methods are necessary. He said the agency would not back down. Some changes already have been made to the TSA’s enhanced-screening plan, however. The TSA said Tuesday that children age 12 and under would not have to undergo the more intensive pat-downs and would instead be given a “modified” search if security personnel believed they needed additional screening. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she’s open to adjustments of the procedures. A CBS News poll finds that 81% of Americans approve of the body scanners, while 15% disapprove.