Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UNACCEPTABLE! Miss USA Susie Castillo Sexually Assaulted by the TSA

Susie Castillo, who held the 2003 Miss USA title, posted an article and video to her blog Monday to courageously share with her readers an experience that no woman should ever have to go through-- a sexual assault by a TSA agent at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport-- and urge her fans to take action to end the TSA's invasive pat downs. Here's the video that Susie Castillo recorded moments after the assault happened, relating how her vagina had been fondled four times by a TSA officer:



Castillo actually started off her April 25th blog post with a quote from Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, writing: "Those that would give up their liberty for security deserve neither and lose both." She went on to write:

Dear Friends,

...in the situation I’m about to describe, I felt truly violated and believe I should let my voice be heard. Ultimately, I hope others will do the same....

On my flight back to Los Angeles last week... I connected in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) where I had the misfortune of being selected to go through one of those full body scanners that emits radiation... after “opting out,” I proceeded to follow a very nice older female TSA employee to the “pat down” area. It was an inconvenience, but I thought, “No biggie. I just went through this at LAX for the first time and it wasn’t too bad, so let’s just get it over with.”

Well, this pat down was completely different. It was MUCH MORE invasive than my first one at LAX, just a week before. To say that I felt invaded is an understatement. What bothered me most was when she ran the back of her hands down my behind, felt around my breasts, and even came in contact with my vagina! Honestly, I was in shock, especially since the woman at LAX never actually touched me there. The TSA employee at DFW touched private area 4 times, going up both legs from behind and from the front, each time touching me there. Was I at my gynecologist’s office? No! This was crazy!

I felt completely helpless and violated during the entire process (in fact, I still do), so I became extremely upset. If I wanted to get back to Los Angeles, I had no choice but to be violated, whether by radiation or a stranger. I just kept thinking, “What have I done to deserve this treatment as an upstanding, law-abiding American citizen?” Am I a threat to US security? I was Miss USA, for Pete’s sake!

Besides, is this procedure really protecting us? I remember hearing about an Al Qaeda terrorist successfully evading security detection by placing a bomb in his rectum. All in an attempt to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. So what if that happened in the US? Would we then be subjected to random rectal exams in addition to x-rays and being groped by strangers? How far is this going to go? More specifically, how far will WE let this go? As they say, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I think it’s time to stand up for our personal liberty.

...I have never felt more violated in my life than I did that morning at DFW, and I’ve heard of others feeling the same way after these “pat downs.” Just a couple weeks ago, a video of a six-year-old girl being patted down by TSA made headlines. Talk about unjust and unacceptable. So I decided to speak to a TSA supervisor about how I felt, and make a video about what happened to post on my blog.

This “pat down” is a total violation of our rights (we shouldn’t be searched this way without probable cause or a search warrant), therefore I will be filing a complaint via phone, online and also in writing with the TSA to complain each and every time for as long as the TSA is violating my rights. I’m 100% against it, and if you care about your freedom, you should be too. This is precisely the kind of unjust search and seizure our Constitution was created to protect us from.

In my conversation with the TSA supervisor, I expressed to her how physically violated I felt. She was kind and understanding, but was nonetheless in charge of a department that was violating the rights of countless Americans every day. At one point during our conversation, I told her, “the fact is, if someone wanted to harm us, they simply would.”

Guess what. She agreed! She even went so far as to say, “We’re not allowed to touch children like we do adults. If someone really wanted to hide something, they could use a child. I know. There’re definitely loop holes with this.” So apparently, not even TSA employees believe this unconstitutional invasion of privacy works!

Here’s the video I made right after going through the invasive, unjust, unconstitutional and ineffective “pat down.” Honestly, I don’t like that I’m putting myself out there like this, but I wanted you to know what happened, what I was feeling, and that I hope you, too, will speak up if and when this happens to you. We shouldn’t be giving up our liberties as Americans because of our fears. The government can’t keep us safe. No matter how much they promise us they can, it’s a false promise...

You can read her entire blog post at SusieCastillo.net. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch a girl describe an assault she just suffered through on video only minutes after it happened, and it is at the same time incredibly heartwarming and encouraging to read Castillo's words and see how brave, principled, and articulate she is. The beauty pageant queen understands constitutional law better than our sitting President.

While it is good to keep our pressure on the U.S. Congress and White House Administration as she suggests, Castillo should absolutely contact the local police and D.A. for the Dallas Forth Worth area and file a criminal report that she was sexually assaulted. We cannot rely on the Federal Government to police the Federal Government. When comedian and magician Penn Jillette was sexually assaulted by a TSA officer in 2002, he called the local police right on the spot and refused to leave the airport until the police arrived and took his report that a crime had been committed. You can read Jillette's incredible story of that incident here. If any of you go through what Castillo did, do what Jillette did and call the local police.

My hat's off to you, Susie. You are a true hero and I admire you for your courageous stand against tyranny and institutionalized sexual assault by the TSA in this country. Even in your Final Answer segment of the 2003 Miss America pageant, you described the power of cell phone and computer technology as characterizing our era. Now you are using that technology to help fight against Washington's out-of-control police state. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
Wes Messamore

A final note for two GOP contenders for the 2012 nomination: You want to play politician, Mr. Trump? One of the contestants in your beauty pageant was sexually assaulted. Please SPEAK OUT against this injustice and stick up for your 2003 title winner. Show us you mean to really change things by lending your voice and celebrity to this grave matter and I will start to have a little respect for you.

Governor Romney: Susie Castillo represented your state of Massachusetts when she won Miss USA in 2003. Speak up for this role model and resident of your state. Defend her against Washington's encroachments and prove to us that you are more than an empty suit.