Extreme litigation

Why 'The Body' is slamming the TSA

By Charles P. Pierce
February 20, 2011

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Dear Jesse Ventura: A lawsuit?

No elbow drop? No power dive from the top rope? Nothing you learned out in San Diego as a Navy frogman? I know you’re as frosted as the rest of us semi-frequent fliers are at the pat-downs and porn scanners that are now, like Panda Express and juice bars, a part of the American air-travel experience. I’m not real happy at getting pawed by some guy with a badge and a YouTube account back home, either. And, frankly, our side could use a few former professional wrestlers who were trained by the Navy to kill someone with 90 percent of the objects in any room. But the one thing I never thought you’d do was file a lawsuit. Apparently, you’ve decided to take the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to court on Fourth Amendment grounds. (Again, we civil libertarians historically have had a lot of short, feisty lawyers, but not enough people with 48-inch biceps, so good on you.) It seems that as a result of your previous career, you have a titanium hip, which sets off the conventional scanners and sends you inevitably into the big-government netherworld of strange-hands-in-interesting-places and “Hey, Bob, get a load of this.” But I was hoping for a lot more, and something perhaps a little less civil. A ferocious encounter with some anxious bureaucrat who never previously in his sorry life had to confront a 250-pound man wearing a feather boa. We’re going to need a bigger witness stand.

Charles P. Pierce can be reached at