(NEW YORK) -- As the nation marks 10 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, it may be hard to remember, but there was a time before we had to take our belts and shoes off while going through security at airports.
Today, the screenings have become more invasive; even children have been subjected to a thorough pat down. And Transportation Security Administration Chief John Pistole has come under fire as a result.
"That makes me think you're clueless. That you think she's gonna attack our country," said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., criticizing Pistole after a 6-year-old girl was patted down by an airport security officer in April.
Pistole has since promised new rules to minimize pat downs for kids, but warns of the risk: "We don't see children as terrorists, but we know that parents and others use children to do bad things."
After incidents involving the underwear bomber and shoe bomber, the TSA has had to evolve to cope with new kinds of threats. Pistole has stepped up security checks on trains, mass transit and other areas.
He says his agency screens 1.8 million people every day.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio