Sen. Rand Paul sets off alarm at Nashville airport, refuses TSA pat down

Monday, January 23, 2012 at 11:49am

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul claims to have been detained at Nashville International Airport this morning after he refused a full body pat down, but a government source denies any detainment.

Paul, a Kentucky senator and son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, set off the body scanners at the airport, then refused a pat down search, according to an interview with the Associated Press.

However, a Transportation Security Administration source denied that he was detained, saying he was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement.

An official TSA statement read:

“When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport. Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.”

The senator was rebooked on another flight and rescreened without incident.

This isn’t the first time Sen. Paul has butted heads with TSA. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Paul spoke out against the pat down search of a 6-year-old Bowling Green, Ky., girl last June.

"They're still quite unhappy with you guys as well as myself and a lot of other Americans who think you've gone overboard, you're missing the boat on terrorism because you're doing these invasive searches on 6-year-old girls," Paul said.

Ron Paul took to social media to defend his son.

“My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville. More details coming,” he tweeted.

35 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 1/23/12 at 11:46

I'm not surprised!

By: MusicCity615 on 1/23/12 at 12:17

This is one of the reasons why I do not support the Pauls. What makes you so special? TSA is doing their job, and I thank the TSA for helping keep our country safe.

People are trying to bomb our planes and you're complaining about being patted down for 30 seconds? Please, Stop living in the 1800s.

By: nnoseworthy on 1/23/12 at 12:45

Article 1 Section 6 of the US Constitution.
“They (senators and representatives) shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.”

But I guess "we" don't care about the Constitution.

The TSA misses more than they catch, and if you can't trust an elected official not to blow up the plane taking them back to their job (of effin'-up the country), I guess you out to keep strip-searching 12 year old girls.

By: MusicCity615 on 1/23/12 at 12:55

nnoseworthy-

The Pauls don't want anyone to have to be patted down, that is where my objection comes from.

By: wataboutbob on 1/23/12 at 12:58

Does anyone really believe that terrorists have any qualms of planting weapons or explosive on young girls to bypass security scans?

By: nnoseworthy on 1/23/12 at 1:04

When is the last time the TSA found any young girl with weapons or explosives planted on them?
Perhaps we should all walk around naked so our liberties are protected at all times.

By: MusicCity615 on 1/23/12 at 1:17

I do not support patting down children, but at what age do you say is too young?

I'm willing to believe if people are crazy enough to fly planes into buildings and kill thousands of innocent people and leave thousands of innocent children without parents, they wouldn't budge on planting a bomb on a child if they knew TSA would never check them.

By: WickedTribe on 1/23/12 at 1:21

I don't want anyone to have to be patted down either, especially when it's so idiotically restricted to airports. If a terrorist blows up a grocery store with a bomb, are we all going to have to be patted down every time we want to go into a grocery store? The paranoia in this country is to the psychotic level.

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

By: pswindle on 1/23/12 at 1:39

The scan went off. He should have been detained and patted down. He is not better than anyone else.

By: wataboutbob on 1/23/12 at 1:56

As soon as they find any gap or weakness in security they will exploit it.

and to Wicked . . . when is the last time a grocery cart was flown into the World Trade Center killing 3000 innocent civilians?

By: NewYorker1 on 1/23/12 at 2:25

OH NO!!!! That poor baby.

By: nnoseworthy on 1/23/12 at 2:26

It was "his knee" that set of the initial scan, but a repeated scan did not detect anything. Seems like the hardware/software in place is fallible.
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_RAND_PAUL_FLIGHT?SECTION=HOME&SITE=AP&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

...Or perhaps not good at much except creating the illusion of safety.
http://m.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jan/06/just-how-good-are-tsas-body-scanners/

Scans didn't stop the Underwear Bomber.

My problem is that the TSA apparently violated the senator's constitutional rights as a senator to get to the senate for a vote. As a person he might not be better than anyone else, but he is a senator and the TSA acted in a way to prevent him from fulfilling his duties.

By: NewYorker1 on 1/23/12 at 2:33

I get patted down every time because TSA folks just want to feel on my sculptured, delicious, amazing, and spectacular body.

By: MusicCity615 on 1/23/12 at 2:59

New Yorker,

You don't have your own private plane?

By: mewzikman2000 on 1/23/12 at 3:03

Politicians are not exempt from normal procedures as the regular citizen is. They should have put their knee in his groin, bet he would have been patted down then.

By: nnoseworthy on 1/23/12 at 3:07

That's it, violence is the answer. Solves so many problems. Kudos, mew.

By: yogiman on 1/23/12 at 3:18

Why have I read about women in Muslim dress being exempt from pat downs? Are they less suspicious than a senator?

By: NewYorker1 on 1/23/12 at 3:19

MusicCity615, no I don't. I actually enjoy the pat downs when the TSA guy is cute.

By: TITAN1 on 1/23/12 at 6:16

Sounds like he is using it as a publicity stunt for his father. His father is trying to get the whiners vote.

By: dargent7 on 1/24/12 at 6:32

I encourage the "pat-down". If someone wants to "feel me up" and I don't have to pay for it, I say, "Go for it..." "No, a little more to the right..."
"What's that hard object in the center of your pants, sir"?
"My car keys, stupid". "I drive a Lexus".

By: TOPDOG... on 1/24/12 at 7:10

These guys sit up all night making up laws and rules they expect everyone else to obey. But they sure have no gut for obeying them themselves. Just another fine example of the corporate sell out hypocrites we have in office

By: wataboutbob on 1/24/12 at 7:36

Wrong again nnose - he was not on official business which is protected by the Constitution. He was on his way to a Right To Life ralley in DC.

By: tenn.Big Dog on 1/24/12 at 7:53

Tenn. Big Dog does this arrogant ass think that he is above the law put in place since 911?

PROBABLY A PUBLICITY STUNT BECAUSE HIS DADDY ISN'T DOING VERY WELL AS A CANDIDATE. GIVES HIS DADDY SOMETHING NEW TO BITCH ABOUT. SORT OF REMINDS ME OF THE BUSH BROTHERS HELPING GEORGE W. WITH THE CHADS IN FLORIDA TO ELECT HIM PRESIDENT..

DOES ANYONE ELSE SMELL A STINKING RAT?

By: Nitzche on 1/24/12 at 8:06

he should become a democrat, then "free pass"

By: NewYorker1 on 1/24/12 at 8:56

If Sen. Rand Paul was smart, he should vote against any and everything Tennessee going forward. I know I would if I was treated like that.

By: Left-of-Local on 1/24/12 at 9:20

FIRST... TSA is full of crap, out of control, and part of a VERY bad problem with civil liberty.

SECOND... Suspecting him of possibly being a gun-toting whacko... not too hard to fathom. However, TSA is still bunk.

THIRD... There are no free passes, and he did nothing to indicate expecting such.

The ONLY place for blame/concern/frustration/misconduct is the Dubya-created TSA and their agents: who most seem to have quit their jobs at the Blue LIght Special line at K-Mart last week to become the keepers of our national security.

By: orangey on 1/24/12 at 10:07

He didn't want to be patted down but hewas willing to pull up his pants leg once the news cameras arrived, showing off his spindly, pale leg. He is a joke. I reserve the right to not fly with anyone who does not pass through thorough TSA screening.

By: vebiltdervan on 1/24/12 at 10:18

nnoseworthy wrote: "Article 1 Section 6 of the US Constitution: 'They (senators and representatives) shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.'...But I guess 'we' don't care about the Constitution."

Utterly irrelevant. Sen. Paul was A) not on official gov't business, & B) not arrested, but merely escorted out of the screening area.

Article 1 Section 6 confers a very limited immunity during a limited number of activities upon legislators; it is very far from issuing the sort of blanket immunity that noseworthy thinks it does. 95% of the time, they're supposed to obey the same laws the rest of us do. And that's a good thing.

By: 1kenthomas on 1/24/12 at 12:53

TSA: Security Theatre.

Rand Paul: Sideshow.

By: TITAN1 on 1/24/12 at 12:59

Lefty of local, you are welcome to tell my friend who is a TSA screener how you feel anytime you want. I want to be there when you do! BTW, he does his job very well and takes it seriously! Oh, and he is a family man with a teenage daughter and son. People like you make me sick how you lump people together. If you know someone who has violated someone's rights or did not do their job correctly report them and leave the good people alone!

By: wataboutbob on 1/24/12 at 3:13

You're so right Titan, and lefty seems to have a problem with K-Mart associates also.
He/she must be one of those folks that are better than everyone else.

By: 1kenthomas on 1/24/12 at 5:03

TITAN1:

Care to provide a phone number :) ?

I've met a lot of TSA folks and most of them seem fine, and they do provide a function. Unfortunately, the whole top-down nature of the organization seems to have created a mess, which some (ahem *lefty* *choke choke*) people seem to prefer to blame on the people at the bottom, instead of the peopel at the top who dreamed up the who darned mess.

The bottom line is that I feel a lot safer on a flight out of Israel than I do on a US flight, because Israeli actually targets suspicious people, and makes sure everyone on a flight is who they say they are, doing what they claim to be doing.

In contrast, the USA seems to be playing a sort of Russian Roulette: granny got #68, we'll pull her aside and strip search, while the terrorist sitting next to her can walk right on (wouldn't want to offend anyone by searching someone who *looks* like a terroriest).

Better than anyone? Not me, but I sure would like whomever's doing our security to be better than the rest of us! As far as I can tell, they're worse.

By: sidneyames on 1/24/12 at 7:27

By: wataboutbob on 1/24/12 at 7:36
Wrong again nnose - he was not on official business which is protected by the Constitution. He was on his way to a Right To Life ralley in DC.

I heard he was on the way to Washington for a vote on something. Gee when I was at the airport, Al Gore was there and he breezed right on through. But that was ages ago!

By: oldbailey on 1/25/12 at 7:55

Typical. Politician not given special treatment, acts goofy, gets publicity. Typical.

By: yucchhii on 1/31/12 at 9:47

yucchhii "ARREST HIS ASS!!" He is NOT above the law. He is a politician and a terrorist just like all the other politicians! If he don't want to comply with the law...then he gets the SAME THING WE GET!!! "JAIL"!!