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Techie gets naked to protest TSA

A Portland, Ore., man, who is reportedly Silicon Valley-bound, removes his clothing at Portland airport to prove he doesn't have a bomb.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am generally in favor of nudity as a form of self-expression.

I am not sure, though, how often it has been successful when that self-expression involves protest.

Portland, Ore., resident John Brennan, however, who reportedly works in tech with a major Silicon Valley company, got to Portland International Airport and decided to bare his soul. And a little more. For he dropped everything in order to get the TSA operatives to drop, some said, their harassment of his being. His explanation, though, proved a little different.

I am grateful, in a way, to the Associated Press for revealing some details. Brennan was on his way to San Jose Tuesday night when he decided that the only way to get through the security checkpoint was to bare his innocence to the bone.

It seems that Brennan was taken aside for extra invigilation while going through the security motions. It was at this point that he decided to only keep his glasses on.

This morning, the San Jose Mercury News managed to speak to Brennan on the phone to see what had made him turn the other cheek.

He explained that he had tested positive for nitrates and wanted to prove that this cannot have been right.

"When I tested positive I just took off my clothes. I'm not carrying a bomb," he told the Mercury News.

Naturally, there were families with children present and expressions of shock and disgust were reportedly uttered. Because, of course, the naked human body is America's most pressing red-level threat.

For his public-spirited expressiveness, Brennan has been charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.

He explained to the Mercury News that he wasn't protesting harassment, but the pat-down process. Clearly an intelligent and publicly aware man. Brennan said that the Supreme Court had ruled that nudity is protected speech.

KATU 2 in Portland also delved into the arrant buffness.

It spoke to Brennan's dad, who divested himself of his feelings: "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."

People who work for computer companies in California are, indeed, rarely under stress.

The younger Brennan declared that when told to put his clothes back on: "I stuck to my guns."

I am not sure that his guns are in perfect condition, but one should surely laud the fact that he was prepared to stick to them. We should all admire those with a broad base. Without them, the narrow-minded would truly take over the world.