This particular traveler had prostate cancer and had to wear adult diapers for his incontinence. A TSA agent apparently didn’t know what incontinence was, and when he found out, thought it was worth snickering about. This story was posted to CafeMom.com by the man’s wife:
After he [the husband] emerged from the scanner the TSA officer (a female) asked if he was carrying liquids in his clothing. He explained his condition and what had happened. In the past, it was embarrassing enough for him to just tell a TSA employee that he was wearing an adult incontinence garment, but now he was also announcing that he had wet himself.
She called over to another (male) officer (the boss, I guess) and explained the situation to him out loud in front of everyone else still going through the line. The problem was he did not understand what an “incontinence product” was when she told him. Myself, DH [Dear Husband], and the female TSA employee tried explaining a few times before the woman finally just shouted “HE IS WEARING A DIAPER” which caused pretty much everyone to turn and stare at us (smaller airport so not that many people). The TSA officer then snickered which was almost enough for me to go off but I really didn’t want to make an even bigger scene then there already was.
The man was told that “further review” of his diaper was required before being led into a back room with four TSA screeners who kept asking the man if he had liquid in his pants, seemingly unable to grasp the meaning of the term “incontinent.”
After the man was forced to repeatedly explain that he had wet his pants due to his medical condition, TSA screeners subjected him to another pat down before asking the man to “drop his pants” so that they could see the “suspicious padding” around his waist.
The man was then forced to change out into a separate adult diaper and the TSA agents confiscated his used diaper so that they could subject it to further scrutiny. After ensuring that the wet diaper was not an explosive item, the couple were finally allowed to leave and board their plane.
But terrorists might hide explosives in diapers, right? Yes, they very well could. They could also hide explosives inside their own bodies. Would that justify giving every traveler (or as many as possible) full body cavity searches to make sure no one was hiding explosives? Never mind the fact that if a terrorist wanted to blow up a plane or commit some other kind of attack, he’d almost certainly hire someone on the inside to get him through “security.” Or he’d be someone on the inside. How often do you think TSA agents and other airport “security” officers are given full pat downs/cavity searches just in case? Probably never. So, is it really about safety, or just conditioning Americans to respond to “authority” like frightened bovines?