Indian Ambassador To U.S. Subjected To TSA Pat-Down Search

Well this is certainly an embarrassing diplomatic incident:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed concern Thursday that India’s ambassador to the U.S. was patted down by a TSA agent in Mississippi.

India’s foreign minister called last week’s pat-down of Ambassador Meera Shankar unacceptable. Shankar had attended a conference at Mississippi State University and was catching a flight to Baltimore from Jackson-Evers International Airport.

Witnesses told the Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson that Shankar was told she was singled out for additional screening because of her sari, which drapes across the body and is worn by many Indian women.

Clinton told reporters that the State Department was looking into the matter, which she said was under the jurisdiction of the Homeland Security Department. A Transportation Security Administration spokesman said diplomats were not exempt from searches.

The Indian Embassy spokesman, Virander Paul, said the State Department had offered regrets to the ambassador.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jack says:

    This is exactly why the Fourth Amendment was felt to be necessary. Dipshits with authority ALWAYS over-reach.

    Unfortunately, we have forgotten this…

  2. Tano says:

    Huh? The Fourth Amendment was meant to prevent ambassadors from India from being subjected to the same security measures as anyone else? Who knew?

  3. John Burgess says:

    Granted that I wasn’t Ambassador, but still, as a US diplomat, I never got on an Air India domestic flight without being ‘intimately frisked’. Matches, lighters, and the batteries from everything that held batteries were confiscated for the duration of the flights, too.

    I, as well as my Ambassador, had our suitcases emptied by US security (pre-TSA days), in the name of security, too. Maybe it was random; maybe it was all those Middle Eastern visas in our passports.

    I’m not sure why I should be feeling much sympathy toward Madam Ambassador.

  4. Sharon keutmann says:

    Why is Hillary upset that the Ambassador of India was but throught what “we born and raised” US citizens with Parents, siblings and nephews served and are serving in the US military? This is BS and setting us up to be a Communist Country. Let the Elite go through and check the serfs? It is really scary how Obama, Pelosi, Reed and the democrats are passing laws at a rapid rate. The “Dream Act” was suppose to allow Congress 24 hours to review, they only had 3 hours. The Dems passed in flying colors. The last 8 months are unbelievable! The book of Eli is our destiny if we continue to allow the wackos to “rule” us. I just hope God includes myself, family, friends and all animals in his rapture!

  5. Mogsmogs says:

    Oh Lord – its only a matter of time before this happens….