He stood there naked as mothers gasped and covered the eyes of their children. Others laughed and took pictures. But he didn’t even notice. He just stood there. The only thing covered was his neck, by his big shaggy beard.
A Portland man heading to San Jose on business yesterday afternoon stripped down to his birthday suit at a TSA security checkpoint inside Portland International Airport in protest. He’d had enough of the heavy-handed petting and nonsensical charade that is so often 21st-century airport security screenings.
And so John E. Brennan, 49 and a Pacific Grove native, was arrested on charges of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.
He said he also wanted to prove that he wasn’t carrying any explosives. He told the Merc:
“They are just doing their job and as citizen of the U.S. I’m doing my job to protect my Constitutional rights to privacy. The TSA had already violated my privacy by doing a pat down and being pulled out of the line. It’s stripping me of any dignity… I’m not carrying a bomb.”
Brennan had declined to walk through a new scanning device at the airport so TSA workers patted him down, put on gloves and wiped his clothing to test to for explosive. Somehow his clothes tested positive for nitrates. And that’s when he got naked.
He figured he’d be allowed to board his flight after proving he was not carrying a bomb.
He figured wrong.