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Video: Beauty queen takes on ‘touchy’ issue with TSA

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    >>> we are back with the latest uproar over the tsa airport screening procedures. it comes from former miss usa susie castillo . she made an emotional video after receiving a pat-down at the dallas -ft. worth airport.

    >> here i am crying. never did i think this would make me cry. i'm crying because i'm just really, really upset that as an american i have to go through this. i do feel violated. i didn't think that i would when i opted out of the machine, but i completely feel violated. this woman touched my vagina four times because she went up my leg, up both legs from behind and then turned around and did it from the front.

    >> susie castillo is with us exclusively. good morning to you.

    >> good morning.

    >> that must bring back memories of the day.

    >> it does.

    >> you were at the dallas -ft. worth airport. you didn't want to go through the body scanner because you are concerned about radiation and other things.

    >> yes.

    >> you chose a pat-down. did the tsa agent say what she was going to do?

    >> yeah. they explain beforehand and as she was doing it she explained it. i was travel on work and when i was leaving l.a., i had a pat-down there that was completely different. these procedures are supposed to be textbook. so because of the huge discrepancy in both pat-downs, i chose to speak out.

    >> you asked to see a tsa supervisor and she told you something that surprised you.

    >> she did. yeah. she told me the reason the pat-downs were so different --

    >> between l.a. and dallas .

    >> was because tsa agents themselves are uncomfortable. she said a lot of them are uncomfortable touching people this way. they don't want to be touched that way themselves. i said, well, there is a huge loople hole in the system right now. if they are uncomfortable and aren't doing the pat-down as they are supposed to, as invasive as they are supposed to, you know, why are you putting us through this? why are you violating our 4th amendment rights? it's not correct. it's indecent.

    >> we contacted tsa and they released this statement. we reviewed this passenger's screening experience and found that the officer followed proper procedures. we cannot forget that terrorists will continue to try to manipulate societal norms to evade detection. we wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren't necessary but that just isn't the case. i think a lot of people would agree.

    >> yeah.

    >> unfortunately we live in a dangerous time.

    >> i agree. i care about safety very deeply. i don't think we have to sacrifice our constitutional rights in the name of safety. there has to be a better way. since this happened to me i have been doing research and found that in other countries which seems to be more effective and less invasive is the use of metal detectors in conjunction with behavioral profiling, not racial profiling . there is a huge difference, of course, and dogs as well whiches what they use at the pentagon, at the white house .

    >> but they're not dealing with thousands of people in the airport every day.

    >> sure. but is it correct, right to touch little kids, grandmas, moms and sisters. even men. i have received well over 1,000 messages on twitter or facebook.

    >> have most been supportive?

    >> most have been supportive, absolutely.

    >> there is a bill in the texas state house that would make it a felony for a screener to touch a passenger inappropriately. do you want to press charges against the tsa? is that part of the plan?

    >> you know, i don't. why i'm here, why i chose to speak out on this issue is because it does violate our rights. i feel it's a slippery slope . you know, you hear of drug dealers and bombers, terrorists who are puttingaphernalia in their rectums. are rectal exams in our future? i hope not. that's the day i stop flying. already people who haven't experienced this, don't want to put their children through it have chosen not to fly. i have gotten messages from around the world from people saying they are not flying to the united states for that reason. they don't want to be violated this way. eventually it will hurt the tourism industry here.

    >> susie castillo , thank you very

TODAY.com
updated 5/3/2011 3:04:33 PM ET 2011-05-03T19:04:33

Former Miss USA Susie Castillo said Tuesday that she recently posted an emotional video about an airport pat-down she received that she equates with being molested because she believes "there has to be a better way."

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"What's next? How far are we going to let this go? Are rectal exams in our future?" Castillo told TODAY's Meredith Vieira.

Castillo said that she flies frequently for work but that the pat-down she received at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport was completely different than one she had received earlier in Los Angeles.

"These procedures are supposed to be textbook," Castillo said. "Because of the huge discrepancy in both pat-downs, that's why I chose to speak out."

Castillo, who filed a complaint with the Transportation Security Administration, also spoke with a TSA supervisor. She said that the supervisor told her that the reason the pat-downs were so different was because a lot of the agents are uncomfortable touching passengers.

In an emotional video posted last week on YouTube, Castillo complained about her treatment at the Dallas airport, saying a TSA agent touched her "vagina" four times during a pat-down.

"I'm crying because I'm really upset that as an American, I have to go through this. I do feel violated. ... I completely feel violated," Castillo said in a video of the April 21 incident. The video, posted April 27, has received more than 1 million hits.

Castillo said the pat-down resulted after she deliberately stood in a security checkpoint line that lacked full-body scanners because she "didn't want to be radiated on" any more than she normally is from her frequent travel and from everyday life.

TSA agents can request a pat-down of passengers that set off metal detectors or who opt out of going through the full-body scanners, which have also been a polarizing issue for air travelers. The agency said that less than 3 percent of passengers require pat-downs as part of secondary screening.

Story: TSA to review frisking after kid gets pat-down

In a statement, TSA spokesperson Kristin Lee said: "We have reviewed this passenger's screening experience and found that the officer followed proper procedures. ... We cannot forget that terrorists will continue to try to manipulate societal norms to evade detection. We wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren't necessary but that just isn't the case."

Castillo, who was Miss USA 2003 and was a former MTV VJ, said that she hopes her experience will encourage others to speak up.

"I don't think that we need to sacrifice our constitutional rights in the name of safety," Castillo said. "I think there has to be a better way."

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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