Video: Woman Sobs Through "Sexually Violating" TSA Pat Down

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A man at the security checkpoint in the Madison, Wiconsin, airport shot a disturbing covert video of a TSA agent callously probing a sobbing woman in the middle of the terminal.

The video (embedded below) is only a few seconds long, but it clearly shows a TSA agent kneeling and frisking a woman while she cries and shakes uncontrollably. Jim Hoft is the guerrilla journalist responsible for the exposé. He wrote on his political blog Gateway Pundit, “This morning at a Midwest airport I witnessed this poor woman suffering through this horrible sexual violation.”

Hoft’s video is the latest PR blow to the government agency, which has been under fire in recent years for abusive search practices, invasion of privacy and overall lack of discretion. In his blog post, Hoft suggests that the sobbing woman may have been experiencing a post-traumatic stress episode, though it is unclear what qualifications the political writer has to make such a diagnosis.

No stranger to public outrage, the TSA issued a statement early Monday claiming that it is committed to treating its passengers with the respect they deserve. When pat downs are necessary, the agency insists that they are performed as unobtrusively as possible.

“In this case, the passenger chose to receive a pat down rather than be screened using Millimeter Wave technology,” the statement says. “She was offered the opportunity to move to a private screening room, but declined. Although TSA has not been contacted by this passenger, an internal review shows that our officer took extra time and care to explain the process before screening and during the pat down. The passenger completed the screening process and proceeded to the gate to board her flight.”

What do you think? Are TSA screening procedures excessive and “sexually violating,” as Mr. Hoft insists? Or are these civil servants just doing the bare minimum required to keep commercial flights safe?