Denver's crowded airport before body scanners, July 2010. (photo: quinn.anya via Flickr)

Recent polling of American adults has been cited by TSA and its proto-authoritarian defenders as an indication that the swap of privacy for alleged security is peachy-keen. Ignoring Ben Franklin’s dictum, those polled seemed to be A-OK with scans and patdowns, in initial polls by huge margins although that’s fallen off as word’s gotten out.

Not so fast: the USA Today (pace Colbert) has a new poll of the actual traveling public. They’re not happy.

Most air travelers are bothered or angry about thorough pat-downs at airport security checkpoints and many dislike the alternative at many airports, a full-body scan, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

The thorough pat-downs, akin to what police give suspects and which were in place at all airports Nov. 1, bother or anger 57% of adult fliers, according to the poll conducted Nov. 19-21 of Americans who have flown at least twice in the past year and released Tuesday.

This is who I have wanted to see polled, and congratulations to the USA Today for actually asking people who fly — and who presumably have been or will soon be subject to the new invasions of privacy — what they think. Many are also unhappy with the porno-scans:

Passenger rights advocate Kate Hanni of FlyersRights.org says the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll sends an obvious message to TSA.

“The poll shows the nation is against these intrusive pat-downs, and nearly half of Americans are against the body scanners,” Hanni says. “Most Americans haven’t yet experienced either screening method but may do so over the holidays, and support for these measures will further erode.”

Hanni says that more travelers would oppose the scanning machines if pat-downs were not the only alternative.

As we’ve learned from our elites like the Bidens, Janet Napolitano and even the President, it’s very easy to enthusiastically support these new invasions of privacy when you’re not subject to them. This also now appears to be true among those who support the procedures for the very simple reason that they do not fly.