Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld patted down by TSA

The man who was Defense secretary in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that spawned the Transportation Security Administration received a pat-down at a Chicago airport, reports said Thursday.

The celebrity gossip website TMZ first posted pictures of Rumsfield being searched by hand at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Wednesday afternoon. Chicago media outlets later pickd up the incident. 

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Chicago's NBC affiliate WMAQ Channel 5 reported that Rumsfield cooperated with the pat-down and was allowed to continue onto his flight. The television said he was recognized by other passengers, including a group of soldiers he waved to.

Republicans in Washington have harshly criticized the TSA for pat-downs after reports of elderly passengers and children receiving them.

The House Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing Wednesday at which lawmakers lambasted TSA officials for breaches in airport security perimeters.