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Short diary - but interesting happenstance to me.

US Senator Rand Paul (KY) was in Nashville, Tennessee today, trying to return to Washington, D.C. and went through a scanning device, which then triggered an alert.

It apparently lit up on his calf area, and he raised his pant leg to show that there was nothing there, and he explained to TSA that he didn't have a steel rod inside his leg either, so he requested to go through the scanner again. TSA demanded that he get a pat-down, and he refused that as too invasive.

He again requested to simply go through the scanner again, and TSA told him "No", and refused to let him fly.

Instead of arresting him, they let him be taken away from the security area by local police working at the Nashville airport. Local cops and the TSA have denied that Rand Paul was detained. Local police are not currently holding him, nor does it appear that he'll be charged with anything.

Rand Paul told his staff in Washington, D.C. that he was detained, and that's what they told news reporters. His father, presidential candidate and Republican/Libertarian House member Ron Paul, from Texas, said the same thing.

So, why wasn't Rand Paul detained, when others who have done similar things been detained? Why is he seemingly "above the law" here?

According to the TSA's most recent statement

In response to the incident, the TSA said in a statement, "When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport. Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling."

From the ABC News blog

Sen. Rand Paul told his communications director this morning he was being detained by TSA at the Nashville airport.

The Twitter account associated with Paul staffer Moira Bagley, @moirabagley, tweeted around 10 a.m., ET, “Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville.”

Paul's Congressional office called TSA Administrator John Pistole today - isn't that an overstep of their rights, connections and privileges? Trying to directly contact a Washinton authority to get special treatment that an average Joe would never be able to access?

RonPaul saying via Twitter:

My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville

"I'll share more details as the situation unfolds," he added via his Facebook page.

Still, the situation appeared to be at least somewhat fluid as of 11 a.m. ET, with The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville writing:

There has been conflicting information about whether Rand Paul, the son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, was actually detained.

But Rand Paul's office claimed Rand Paul set off the full body scanner and then refused a full pat down.

Ron Paul pointedly used the word "detained" in his posts both on Twitter and Facebook.

Rand Paul's staff also used that wording, with his communications director Moria Bagley tweeting this just after 10 a.m. ET:

Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He's currently being detained by TSA in Nashville

Back in June, 2011,

Rand Paul criticized TSA Administrator John Pistole and called the TSA "clueless."

So, why wasn't Rand Paul detained, when others who have done similar things, been detained? Why is he seemingly "above the law" here?

From ABC News blog

Sen. Rand Paul told his communications director this morning he was being detained by TSA at the Nashville airport.

The Twitter account associated with Paul staffer Moira Bagley, @moirabagley, tweeted around 10 a.m., ET, “Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville.”

Paul's Congressional office called TSA Administrator John Pistole today - isn't that an overstep of their rights, connections and privileges? Trying to directly contact a Washinton authority to get special treatment that an average Joe would never be able to access?

RonPaul saying via Twitter:

My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville

"I'll share more details as the situation unfolds," he added via his Facebook page.

Still, the situation appeared to be at least somewhat fluid as of 11 a.m. ET, with The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville writing:

There has been conflicting information about whether Rand Paul, the son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, was actually detained.

But Rand Paul's office claimed Rand Paul set off the full body scanner and then refused a full pat down.

Ron Paul pointedly used the word "detained" in his posts both on Twitter and Facebook.

Rand Paul's staff also used that wording, with his communications director Moria Bagley tweeting this just after 10 a.m. ET:

Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He's currently being detained by TSA in Nashville


9:12 AM PT: Update - from another diary's comments, it appears that the reason Senator Ron Paul  wasn't detained was because he was able to argue, justifiably, that he was on his way to the Senate, and the Constitution has a provision that no one can be detained while in Senate or House chambers or while travelling there, and Rand Paul was headed to the Senate to do work on one of Obama's nominees. Thanks for pointing that out! But that still raises the question - Why is Rand Paul, his staff and his father, Ron Paul, claiming that he was detained?

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