Jesse Won’t Fly Anymore

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Jesse Ventura, the libertarian former governor of Minnesota known as The Body during his pro wrestling career, said he has stopped flying because he won’t let Transportation Security Administration officers grope him anymore.

“I’m not with you in the studio because I’ve quit flying,” Ventura told CNN’s Piers Morgan in New York this week. “I have metal in my body so every time I go to an airport the metal detector goes off. And they treat former governors like criminals and I’ve had enough. I won’t be treated like a criminal anymore so the only alternative is not to fly.”

The former wrestling star last year sued the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA for subjecting him to “warrantless and suspicionless” scans and body searches.

Ventura received a titanium hip replacement in 2008 and afterward set off airport metal detectors. Instead of being screened by a noninvasive hand-held wand as he was before the implant, he was instead subjected to a pat down that “exposed him to humiliation and degradation through unwanted touching, gripping and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body,” he said.

The lawsuit was eventually thrown out by a federal district judge in St. Paul, Minn., who ruled it should have been filed in a circuit court of appeals. The decision prompted the always colorful Ventura to vow to “never stand for a national anthem again,” he said. “I will turn my back and I will raise a fist.”

“It was a constitutional question so if she doesn’t have jurisdiction no one does,” he told Morgan. “People in this country need to understand when you go to any airport in the United States, you are not protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They can do anything they want to you and there is no where you can go to seek redress.”

The former governor isn’t the only one feeling hassled by airport security. A recent survey of air travelers found most complained about checkpoint screening.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I flew into LAX last weekend for a friend’s wedding.

    The flight from PHL was uneventful. The airport had a regular security check with a metal detector. I did not like it but I have been through metal detectors over the years.

    On the return trip the LAX security check had the body scanners set up. I backed out and went for the pat down. The guard was pleasent enough and had a sense of humour. He asked if I was sensitive at all. I replied that if he poked me between the legs I would be very sensitive. He laughed. He then proceeded to pat me down on my collar, front, back, legs. Thankfully he did not go into my groin. He then took a piece of paper and rubbed it into his rubber gloves. He put the paper into a machine that anaylized the paper for any residues. (I assume for any unauthorized substances.) I passed with no further problems.

    My fellow traveler unfortunatley had a 16oz jar of honey confiscated. We did not check any bags so they took the jar of honey. The annoying thing about this is they did not open the jar and empty the contents into the garbage. They took the sealed container and put it in a plastic can. If someone wished they could go later to the bin and retrieve the honey for home consumption.

    I was not the only person that opted for a pat down. Too bad more people did not request the pat down.

    I did not like the check and if it was not my desire to see my friend’s wedding I would not have flown to LAX.

    I do not like the choice presented us. Don’t fly or be prepared to be treated as a criminal.

    • I’ve had to stop attending what are called “long lead” press events – basically, the automakers provide access to a coming-model car several months before it will be available at dealerships – because I cannot submit to the TSA rigmarole. I lack the ability to put up with it. My body language would be radiating incandescent hate – and when some pot-bellied little cretin started barking at me, the urge to at least mouth off would probably overwhelm me.

      Since I do not wish to be Tazered or imprisoned I do not fly anymore.

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