John Brennan decided to go 'full monty' at the Portland airport before boarding a flight to San Jose. He said security screeners were too aggressive, so why not prove he had nothing to hide.
A high-tech worker from Silicon Valley stripped naked during a TSA security search last week before trying to board a flight from Portland International Airport to San Jose. The voluntary strip search served as a protest against airport security screeners in an act John E. Brennan, 49, deemed protected political speech.
Brennan was charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after removing more than the TSA agents asked of him.
“The most effective way to tell them I’m not carrying a bomb is take off my clothes,” Brennan reportedly said.
Brennan previously criticized TSA on Twitter last year, saying that airport security crossed the line between security and privacy during a pat down in San Jose: “#tsa violated my privacy today at SJC. Headed home, went through full security then additional pat down. They won’t provide doco of event.”
Brennan told Business Week that he did not arrive at Portland’s airport with the intention of baring all. He only decided to get naked when he was pulled aside after going through the metal detector and receiving a pat down, he said. Brennan then decided not to respond to multiple requests to get dressed. He was led from the screening area with a towel around his waist and transferred to a downtown Portland jail. He was released later in the day and the disorderly conduct charge was dropped at Brennan’s arraignment Wednesday.
A TSA statement said: “TSA partners with the traveling public to screen all passengers safely and efficiently. When a passenger chooses to be purposefully disruptive, we notify law enforcement.”
Brennan’s father, also John Brennan, said when interviewed by KATU News Tuesday night: “This is quite a shock. He hasn’t been under any stress that I know of. He’s never really under any stress. He works for a computer company in California. He does something with the Internet, which is just kind of mystical to me. This is quite a surprise.”
This is Brennan’s first arrest, but it’s not the first time Brennan has stripped to make a political point. Brennan has also participated in Portland’s World Naked Bike Rides, which attract thousands of people each year to protest oil dependence.