by Dan Gibson
While dealing with the TSA at the airport can certainly be a hassle, and there are a number of legitimate complaints to be made about the process, it doesn't really help the cause when a senator gets fussy about a hourly employee doing what they're supposed to? Yes, "detain" can mean to "hold back from proceeding", but nearly everyone is going to assume the other main definition, "to keep someone in custody", which isn't what happened to Sen. Paul today:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was blocked from boarding a flight Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tenn., after refusing a full body pat-down, POLITICO has confirmed.
“I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely,” Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley said. “The image scan went off; he refused patdown.”
The TSA disputed this characterization of the incident.
The Kentucky senator triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and declined to finish the process, said a TSA official, but was “not detained at any point.” A targeted pat-down is usually used to address the alarm.
“Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement,” the official said.
Shortly before noon, the TSA said Paul had been re-booked on another flight and went through the screening process again without incident.