On Monday, TSA Administrator John Pistole received a strongly-worded letter from Rep Duncan Hunter of California, asking why on earth Cpl Toran Gaal, a double amputee Marine, was forced to remove his new prosthetic legs and later had to stand on them and walk without the use of his wheelchair when going through airport security. The TSA quickly fired back, saying they didn't ask that of Gaal -- and that they have the security footage to prove it.
According to the TSA, CCTV footage shows Cpl Gaal passing through the security checkpoint at Arizona’s Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on March 13 without removing his prostheses. But Joe Kasper, Rep Hunter's Deputy Chief of Staff, told the Daily Mail: "Witnesses said he took off his legs. At a bare minimum, he was at least asked to take off his legs." Also, in Hunter's letter, he reportedly included two photographs of the Marine, saying they confirmed Cpl Gaal's complaint.
There seems to be a lot of evidence backing up Gaal's awful complaint, but a conclusion can't be jumped to just yet, as the TSA claims they have video footage backing their account. Regardless, I think something with the TSA needs to change here.
This isn't the first time a double amputee soldier has been (or claims to be) humiliated by the TSA -- and lord knows there are plenty of other people who have been humiliated or violated by the TSA. No one wants to do away with the group. Of course we need them. But I think some policy changes are in order, along with maybe a bit of sensitivity training.
It would be pretty disturbing if this story was fabricated out of thin air, but at the same time, a part of me hopes it isn't true. Humiliating a double amputee Marine -- it really doesn't get much lower than that.
What do you think of this?