Photo by @jacobjester via Twitter
BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA) --- Joe Seehusen thinks the Transportation Security Administration is hiding something and his group Liberty Guard is suing to find out what it is.
Skeptical of what they believe are airport scanning machines which are too intrusive, some privacy activists planned to exercise their choice to opt out of the scans and submit, instead, to more time-consuming patdowns, effectively slowing the screening lines on one of the busiest weekends of the travel year.
"The media was going to come on Thanksgiving day 2010 to kind of observe this and others, and the TSA, much to everyone's surprise really stopped these machines. They did not use these machines and, as a consequence, the question is: Were Americans traveling through the air, were they less safe because of that or did the TSA, trying to be political and avoid an embarrassing situation, just go back to the old methodologies that they used, using the wands and different things as well? It's a critically important question for the safety of American travelers," Seehusen told 9News Now.
The TSA rejects the basic premise of Liberty Guard's question and denies the machines were pulled from service.
Seehusen says the TSA failed to comply with provisions of the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to provide to Liberty Guard documents related to the dispute. Liberty Guard sued this week, claiming those FOIA violations.
"Americans need to know this, Seehusen said.
"Our real question is did the TSA intentionally abandon what they would say is their most important technology in defending Americans from terrorism really to intentionally avoid a media embarrassment," he said.
Responding to 9News Now inquiries Friday night, the TSA issued a statement.
"TSA does not comment on pending litigation. Advanced Imaging Technology operations were normal throughout the 2010 holiday travel period and any suggestion otherwise is false."