Fact Check

Ground Approach

Man is outraged because airport security personnel touch his pregnant wife's breasts.

Published Dec 23, 2002


Claim:   Man is outraged because airport security personnel touch his pregnant wife's breasts.

Status:   Undetermined.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

Coffee, Tea, or Should We Feel Your Pregnant Wife’s Breasts Before Throwing You in a Cell at the Airport and Then Lying About Why We Put You There?

This morning I’ll be escorting my wife to the hospital, where the doctors will perform a caesarean section to remove our first child. She didn’t want to do it this way — neither of us did — but sometimes the Fates decide otherwise. The Fates or, in our case, government employees.

On the morning of October 26th Mary and I entered Portland International Airport, en route to the Las Vegas wedding of one of my best friends. Although we live in Los Angeles, we’d been in Oregon working on a film, and up to that point had had nothing but praise to shower on the city of Portland, a refreshing change of pace from our own suffocating metropolis.

(Rest of article at https://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/monahan1.html)

Origins:   I was once good friends with a woman whose husband (whom we'll call John) was, to put it charitably, a decidedly "act first, think later" type. One afternoon I received a frantic phone call from this woman because John was in jail, and she couldn't raise the money to bail him out. Why had he been arrested? Well, it had to do with a routine traffic stop — this couple had been carrying Oregon license plates on their cars for years even though they lived in California (because it was cheaper to register automobiles in Oregon), and a patrolman had pulled John over for a routine traffic

stop to investigate why he was driving around in a car with an expired, out-of-state registration. John, irritated that a policemen would have the effrontery to accuse him of engaging in something illegal, took a swing at the cop and was hauled off to the hoosegow for assaulting a police officer. Of course, to hear the couple relate the incident later, John hadn't done anything wrong — that he had done something illegal and had tried to punch out a cop was irrelevant; John's actions were a perfectly reasonable employment of self-defense, and if only that mean, terrible policeman hadn't provoked him, none of this would have happened. I suspected there was lot more to this story than I ever heard from John and his wife.

What to make of the airport outrage story related above? Reading between the lines of the one-sided account, we find something that sounds to us like a man and his wife being pulled out of line for a routine random search (an unfortunate byproduct of enhanced post-September 11 airport security) and searched in a generally reasonable manner (even if the airport security personnel didn't handle the procedure in proper fashion, it is reasonable for them to verify that a woman who appears pregnant really is pregnant, as a faked appearance of pregnancy is a time-worn smuggler's and
technique). Then, after hearing but a single statement with no context from his upset wife ("They touched my breasts . . ."), the husband immediately goes charging off to angrily confront security personnel, shouting and raging at them, even though he as yet has no idea what occurred during his wife's security screening. (Acting hostile with airport security, yelling at them, and ignoring instructions to calm down are actions almost guaranteed to get one taken into custody, no matter what the circumstances, as a matter of standard procedure.) And we're supposed to be shocked and outraged that this man got arrested? We suspect there's a lot more to this story than we're hearing.

Last updated:   27 November 2007