At TSA, the hits just keep on coming

Perhaps the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently has received reliable intelligence that al Qaeda has been busy recruiting cancer survivors as sleeper terrorists, and grade-school students travelling with their parents as suicide bombers.  Or maybe TSA’s leaders recently reminded the agency’s many thousands of security screeners that using common sense when deciding which airline passengers to subject to the most intrusive and demeaning security check possible, would result in an unsatisfactory rating on their next performance evaluation.

Whatever the reason, and despite a rising tide of criticism and resistance from the travelling public, the parade of  horror stories emanating from airport security check points continues.

A North Carolina breast cancer survivor was forced to remove her prosthesis during a “pat-down.”  At Detroit Metropolitan Airport a male bladder cancer survivor was forced to remove his urostomy bag, during his screening by a TSA agent so devoid of decency that the passenger wound up covered in his own urine.

In Salt Lake City, a young boy was pulled aside for “secondary screening.”  A video of the incident shows a TSA worker patting down the shirtless child while his father stands behind him watching.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently has documented more than 900 complaints from passengers, whose experiences at the hands of TSA left them feeling violated and humiliated by screeners who went too far in carrying out their duties.

Sadly, these stories are becoming all too familiar as the government refuses to back down from these invasive tactics; largely a show of security theater.

Yet even as TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), are sticking to their story that the full, naked-body scans and the intrusive manual body searches are absolutely essential to maintain the security of commercial air travel, questions abound.

Reports are surfacing, for example, that in response to a pre-Thanksgiving Day call for air travelers to “opt out” of the full-body scanners, at many TSA checkpoints the scanners were purposefully turned off in order to minimize the chance for a successful “Opt Out Day,” and to ease the PR problems faced by TSA.

In another incident, Adam Savage of the television show Mythbusters, was subjected to a full-body scan as he was making his way through security to board a flight to speak at a conference. In a video available on YouTube, Savage explains how he usually goes through his luggage to remove any items that may be potentially harmful; noting that in this particular case he forgot to do so. Savage pulled out two 12-inch steel razor blades that were accidently left in his inside jacket pocket. Holding the razor blades at the audience, he says, referring to TSA, “You’re going to look at my junk, and somehow you miss this?”

And it is not just at airports any longer. Some federal office buildings apparently are turning to the naked-image body scanners.

For DHS, the airports may be just the starting point.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano already has floated a plan to add additional security measures to mass transit, trains, and boats.  While it is not yet clear whether such measures would be as invasive as those now employed at airports, I would not recommend holding your breath waiting for a more reasonable approach.

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Joel Edge

November 26th, 2010
7:05 am

They’re going to keep going until they restrict travel. You won’t be able to go anywhere without the government watching.

Bill Johnson

November 26th, 2010
7:05 am

Welcome to the police state. Your last chance to protest was DUI checkpoints. The fourth amendment died when the supreme court upheld warrantless, probable-cause-less DUI checkpoints. It is NOT OK to violate my rights, even if you promise to violate everyone else’s.

Remember to thank a liberal for this.

Mr Chips

November 26th, 2010
7:47 am

Yawn! The ‘parade’ consists of the same 3 incidents mentioned over and over again.
The TSA was formed after 9/11. How are you blaming a liberal for that?
If you don’t like the searches, opt out by driving.

joyce

November 26th, 2010
8:08 am

Mr Chips, let’s just say you have a 5 year old daughter (or son) that you’ve taught, ‘if a stranger tries to touch you in a wrong way or grabs you, scream!’ So you go to the airport and you’ve tried you best to assure your child that it’s ok for strangers to touch you inapproprately and they begin their search on your child and your child begin to scream and they become even more determined, holding the child down to accomplish their goal…what would you do? For one, you’ve just taught your child that you can’t be trusted.
We’ve taught our children from early on, strangers touching or grabbing you is wrong…scream and try to get away…now we are teaching our children strangers grabbing or touching you in a wrong way is ok…what’s wrong with this picture?
Yep, I certainly will drive.

whatmeworry

November 26th, 2010
8:09 am

There are mobile scanners that can be used on your car as you drive down the highway unaware. If you think this makes you safe then you are your government’s favorite type of citizen. A citizen that ponies up the money to make all of this posible without asking any questions. So go ahead keep quiet, pay up and feel safe until someone’s bottom line needs improvement and a new threat emerges.

Chris Sanchez

November 26th, 2010
8:13 am

TSA is very much in a “responsive” mode. What will their response be after someone tries to detonate a bomb hidden in a body cavity? Random cavity searches? Seriously…how far are We The People willing to allow this government to go before we say no more?

Mr Chips

November 26th, 2010
8:18 am

BTW, does everyone understand that you only get a pat-down if you refuse to go through the scanner?

deborahinAthens

November 26th, 2010
8:23 am

The TSA has been doing an enhanced pat down on me since I had knee replacement surgery several years ago. I couldn’t figure out why, all of a sudden, there was this hue and cry. Then, I discovered that there is a private security firm that wants the TSA contract. They paid lots and lots of $$$$ to the legislators that were running for office. It is now payback time, so the legislators started pulling the strings of the Hannitys, the Rushs, the Boortzs, and here you have it. This push to “privatize” the TSA. The reps were bought and paid for. Follow the money before jumping on the bandwagon. It is a testament to the intelligence of the average American, that very few did the “opt out”. I think, instinctively, most travelers knew they were being manipulated. Do I like the pat downs? No, and I don’t think they stop would be terrorists. But for goodness sakes, don’t be the puppets of these corporations. A private security firm will just as onerous.

Too Easy

November 26th, 2010
8:25 am

Janet Napolitano through the scanner? (My eyes!!!)

uncommon logic

November 26th, 2010
8:25 am

Barr: using common sense to screen passenger:

You would trust the common sense of hourly employees? There’s your weakest link: common sense. Sometimes I think Barr just loves to hear himself click click click, and a thought just drops out of his head onto the page like a gumball machine and a penny.

Pathos. Derision. Acrimony.

Shame.

The Turkey Diaries

November 26th, 2010
8:26 am

Enter your commentAt best, it would have been a far, far better Thanksgiving had I not prepared the driest turkey that I had ever overdone. At worst, A stick-to-the-throat course of cous-cous and polenta stuffing cursed our Horn of Plenty. I think that I shall never see a blander pie than my apple-cranberry. Of course, I know now what came first: the egg nog and rum. My guests rummed and rummed until not a creature was stiriing, not even their spouses. And as I pondered weak and weary, the beds they’d need this midnight so dreary, a craven thought came to me from over the river and through the woods: shall I volunteer to host the feast ever again?

Nevermore.

Fred

November 26th, 2010
8:45 am

Gee Turkey Diaries, that EXACT post is on Jay’s blog under a different name…………

richardtede

November 26th, 2010
8:50 am

Al quad a is a big thereat to all the world !!

ml

November 26th, 2010
8:52 am

possibly overheard “well, this year we have a tie, as Director of the TSA, I’d like to announce to you our Co-Inspectors of the Year…Peeping Tom and Chester the Molester”

Nick B

November 26th, 2010
9:00 am

deborahinAthens: Just because some people are misusing this to achieve their goal of privatization doesn’t mean the underlying argument is wrong, which you mention. So why don’t you support the anti-TSA movement AND make your voice against privatization known?

ml

November 26th, 2010
9:00 am

to the 10% of you that think you brought somethng for everyone by bringing that lame green bean casserole, here’s a little tip, if the dog doesn’t want to eat it, it’s not good enough for a holiday. do everybody a favor and just bring a few cans of the Durkee’s French Fried Onions. everyone will like that better and most of the cans will be empty as opposed to that more than half way filled casserole dish sitting on the table at the end of dinner. another sign to bring something else. all the other gals will just swoon over it and the Southern Living Cookbook and Campbell’s will tell you that it’s just wonderful. but trust me, nothing says ‘I’m cheap, I’m lazy and I don’t give a damn about you people’ at the Holidays like a Green Bean Casserole. now get out there ans next year bring something that everybody really wants to eat, even if it’s just those french fried onions in a can.

Bob

November 26th, 2010
9:04 am

I fear that we will have a full police state before the 2012 elections. Then what will we be able to do? As both parties make a head long rush to kill off the Bill of Rights to give us nothing but temporary safety our only hope it to instill fear into our politicians, fear of the end of their political careers by the ballot box. It is rare that unhappy constituents continue to vote in the source of their continued frustrations. Write them a letter, and Email, or visit their office. This, and only this, we can do before 2012.

Do not believe the astroturfing and the spin control that DHS and media outlets are doing to get us to accept this, for any survey can be rigged to get a desired result. They wish us to believe that 99% of us will do anything for any security, even if it nothing but unconstitutional security theater. They wish us to believe we are all running to the government screaming “protect us from the bogeymen”. Remember when the government says “we will protect you” watch out!! That means you are going to lose more of your rights.

May the hits at TSA keep coming with greater frequency and strength!

BS Aplenty

November 26th, 2010
9:04 am

“ The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. ”

I’m curious as to how the government can use any evidence so obtained by scanning and/or body search to prosecute said individual? How does this type of warrantless search compare to the random DUI stops made by the police. Just seems like we’re getting awfully close to a violation of the Fourth Amendment. I don’t want to be subject to an auto accident caused by drunk drivers or terrorist bombers, but the airport screenings are moving us all down a slippery slope. And “not flying” or “not driving” don’t seem to be reasonable alternatives just yet.

J.B. STONER

November 26th, 2010
9:09 am

GOVERNMENT…………………BO= POLICE YOU ======================

WATCH FOX NEWS ,DUMMIES………………..

Jimmy62

November 26th, 2010
9:10 am

We spent 8 years hearing about how Bush was taking away our civil liberties, even though few could point to a concrete incident of such beyond perhaps Jose Padilla. Now we’re getting searched and patted down without probable cause (or subjected to a machine that statistically has as much chance of giving you cancer as you have of being on a plane that blows up), and liberals are cheering it on and telling us we’re fools to object.

Funny how views of civil liberties change for liberals depending on who is in office.

bethinaz

November 26th, 2010
9:47 am

Hey J.B. Stoner, I think you got that backward – it’s “DUMMIES WATCH FOX NEWS”

Elizabeth Conley

November 26th, 2010
10:20 am

The current TSA shenanigans are a national civil rights crisis. We must insist our legislative branch respond quickly or face the prospect of being replaced in the next election cycle.

As everyone with a lick of sense clearly understands, the random invasive searches are violations of our 4th amendment rights. That’s bad enough, but because the current administration and TSA officials are actively conspiring to deprive citizens of the free exercise of their rights,

the failure to prosecute these conspirators represtents failure to enforce federal laws against conspiracy. 18 U.S.C. 241 applies.

Further, many of us don’t realize we actually do have a federally recognized right to air travel:

See 49 U.S.C. § 40103 : US Code – Section 40103: Sovereignty and use of airspace, section (a)(2): “A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit through the navigable airspace.” This right has been upheld in several previous court cases.

If the blatant malfeasance on the part of the TSA and the current federal administration go unpunished, the precedent set will have far reaching consequences.

It has gone so far that prosecution is the only remedy. Such blatant criminal behavior MUST be prosecuted. The alternative is to face a virtually unstoppable trend of civil rights infringements invading every aspect of Americans’ lives.

If we simply force the TSA to stop, but fail to prosecute the conspirators, then various government agencies will take it as a sign that the can tread on civil rights without facing real consequences. They’ll conclude: “Sure it’s illegal and immoral, but it’s not like we’ll ever be punished for it!”

will

November 26th, 2010
10:25 am

Bill Johnson: “Remember to thank a liberal for this.”
Actually, the law and order people tend more towards conservatism. But until people of whatever party or political leaning they identify with quit looking to the force of government to shape the world into their image, the power of the state will keep on creeping on.

luangtom

November 26th, 2010
10:26 am

I guess this all would not be so bad if TSA themselves have not painted a negative picture of themselves. First of all, they lied. They were adamant in telling the world that they did not retain full-scans and then, mysteriously, over 30,000 of them are found online. Hmmmm, they did not retain them? Second, they said the scans were for ALL that went on planes. NOT. They exempted this group and that group and lo and behold, only the complaining public were subject to pat-downs and the groping. Hmmm? As said before, first it was DUI check-points and now it is air-travel safety. When is the loss of rights going to quell? Good old Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson had it right those many years ago when they asked, “What price security, when freedom is sacrificed in its name?” I will drive…………..

mike

November 26th, 2010
10:27 am

So the problem is you want the government to provide security only not when it comes to you. Well you could always drive or better yet stay home and do something positive in your neighborhood. How about trying to get those incidents verified before putting them in the news without all the facts. Oh I forgot that is generally a conservative ploy to sway opinion.

quinzz

November 26th, 2010
10:28 am

2500 years ago this was foretold about the ANGLO AMERICAN WORLD POWER

Daniel 8:23-25 (New Century Version)

23 “When the end comes near for those kingdoms, a bold and cruel king who tells lies will come. This will happen when many people have turned against God.24 This king will be very powerful, but his power will not come from himself. He will cause terrible destruction and will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy powerful people and even God’s holy people.25 This king will succeed by using lies and force. He will think that he is very important. He will destroy many people without warning; he will try to fight even the Prince of princes! But that cruel king will be destroyed, and not by human power.

bank walker

November 26th, 2010
10:39 am

PROFILE……end of discussion!!

TSA News 11-26-10 | Dprogram.net

November 26th, 2010
10:40 am

[...] (BobBarr) – At TSA, the hits just keep on coming – Read More Here [...]

TruthBe

November 26th, 2010
10:56 am

USA = Police State today. We are sheep. And we are the ones who caused this by setting back and doing NOTHING about it. We have a CONSTUTITION and sould use it instead of abusing it. The liberal democrat progressives are the real emenies of America and should be destroyed of any power. That includes the liberal progressive perverts that run the government,media,hollywood, music studios, schools, and the board rooms.

bob

November 26th, 2010
10:57 am

Mr. Chips, TSA performs random searches. Libs whined when Bush was listening in on cell phone calls from suspected terrorists but defend Obama’s genital patdowns of little boys and girls.

Lee

November 26th, 2010
11:13 am

The only way this is going to change is when the airlines start seeing a significant drop off in ridership and then begin lobbying their congressmen to reign in the TSA.

Unfortunately, as evidenced by many posters on this blog, Americans are too blind to see the destruction of their rights even though it is as plain as the gloved hand between their groin.

“Rights? What rights? I can fly to Disneyworld for $99.”

Here’s an idea. Make every congressman, every Supreme Court Justice go through the same invasive procedures every time they enter the Capitol building. When Obama goes to address congress, make him go through the screening process as well. Oh yeah, make sure you post all the “nude” pictures online.

You know, maybe Obama could show his support for TSA by having a photo op with a TSA agent giving his wife and daughters a full body grope, er, pat down. Be sure to click to photo right when they have a hand up in their crotch.

Chip

November 26th, 2010
11:26 am

We’ll never get anywhere complaining to the Feds about TSA (well, short of finishing a conservative revolution in 2012), so for now here’s what we need to do… everyone who is furious about this needs to repeatedly write (on real paper, not e-mails) to EVERY AIRLINE and tell them that they are losing business over this. In the letters, suggest that they ask airports to opt out of using TSA personnel.

In the mean time, everyone write all airport managers and local elected officials and demand the same… don’t use TSA at your local airport. MAYBE that kind of pressure will accomplish something.

[...] At TSA, the hits just keep coming [...]

nelson

November 26th, 2010
12:15 pm

I have been “skimming the internet’ looking for a good comment for today. I have not found a single one. I admit defeat.
That being said, I still say “reciprocal transparency” for airline personnel like pilots and flight attendants. They very definitely should go through the whole process that the flying public does. The TSA has decided they can go through the old fashioned, archaic metal detector. The Pil;ots will get biometric ID cards. That is a deal where the fingerprint on the card[or something similar] is scanned.
Transparency is when all have the same routine to go through. No exceptions, transparency is democracy.

Bill Parker

November 26th, 2010
12:28 pm

The national 21 drinking age was Reagan’s baby. There are just as many, if not more DUI’s now than there were before those conservative, draconian laws. Therefore, Reagan was a failure. Reagan also put the war on drug on steroids. Drugs are more prevalent now than the heyday of the Beatles, so Reagan failed there too.

The real enemies of this country are the churches, the military, money lenders, big-box retailers, the petro cartel, standardized testing, private security (mercenary), and corporate media including Fox TV and AM talk radio.

carlosgvv

November 26th, 2010
12:40 pm

Since Israel never seems to have any of it’s planes blown up, why not do what they do when it comes to security. Of course most of you would say “that will never work here”. Actually, it would but it would cost money and be inconvient and heaven knows we can’t have that.

concerned

November 26th, 2010
1:03 pm

First airports and government buildings, then trains and buses – - when does the TSA begin “securing” our right to entering voting booths and town hall meetings.

Marisa

November 26th, 2010
1:34 pm

carolosgvv: There was a great article a few days ago about Israeli airport security and in the long run it would probably be less expensive than these ridiculous full body scanners and invasive pat-downs. In a nutshell, they have 6 security checkpoints everyone must go through before getting on a plane. Every step of the way they do behavior profiling and if you are acting suspiciously, you get pulled out of line. Even if there is a legitimate bomb threat (i.e. in a suitcase) they don’t even have to evacuate the terminal, they just cart it away and a bomb team takes care of it. Everyone gets through security in under 25 minutes. The last security breach they had was in 2002, and that’s because a civilian forgot he was still carrying his gun; he wasn’t actually a “threat”… just forgot he was armed. This is not a secret… and it is truly terrifying that our politicians (and worse, our fellow citizens) claim that the way we do things is the “only way” and that it’s for the “greater good.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/744199—israelification-high-security-little-bother

ironboltbruce

November 26th, 2010
2:45 pm

Nowadays if I need to get from anywhere to anywhere on the continent, a motorcycle is my primary–nay, exclusive–means of motorized transportation. Rain or shine, it’s worth the extra time. And compared to the headaches, humiliations and horrors of post-9/11 TSA goodie grabs … chronic departure delays … tarmac torture sessions … and peanut-free (Hell, nothing’s free) no-frills airline flights, that “extra time” can be a small price to pay. Allow me to explain: http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/32

[...] At TSA, the hits just keep on coming | The Barr Code. [...]

Nick

November 26th, 2010
3:45 pm

carlossgvv-

On 9/11, the terrorists flew out of airports that were all under the security of one company: ICTS International N.V. This is the same company that was in charge later on during two separate occasions—first when The Shoe Bomber got on board a flight—and then again, more recently still, when the Underwear Bomber boarded a plane last year.

As you’ll recall, both post-9/11 airline incidents resulted in failed attempts to detonate incendiary devices on the planes by the terrorists. Fortunately they failed because they were both inept—but not because they were stopped from getting on board by ICTS International N.V.

ICTS International N.V. is actually an Israeli-owned company based out of Holland. The company was started in 1982 by former members of El Al airlines and also Shin Bet—both Israeli organizations, obviously.

Given the fact that El Al itself has a perfect security record, it does seem rather odd that ICTS International N.V. keeps accidentally letting terrorists on board commercial airplanes bound-for or flying within the United States.

Given the poor security record of this one particular Israeli company with its many different subsidiaries with different names, I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable boarding a plane at any of the airports where this company has been placed in charge of security.

Unpainted Huffhines

November 26th, 2010
3:49 pm

IBB, i agree with your strategy, even going as far as Texas I will take 2 extra days and drive. However, one time it took 9 hours to drive from ATL to Valdosta. We saw no wrecks; it was bumper to bumper the entire drive. We even took some back roads, but they were crowded too. Unless you are going international or transcontinental, flying doesn’t save enough time to justify the hassle anymore. As important as tourism is to this economy, something’s gotta give. Of course, the car companies will continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

iaintnohick

November 26th, 2010
5:41 pm

Those whose problem-solving skills are limited to “If you don’t like it, stay home” need to do better than to just offer a false dichotomy. TSA, under competent leadership, and with the state of the art of today’s technology, should be able to provide for both our privacy and our safety using their $7 billion annual budget. All they need is competent leadership.

Anonymous Oathkeeper

November 26th, 2010
5:59 pm

Dear Mr. Pistole, Director of a new Terrorist Organization in America

Have you ever read the US Constitution? Have you ever read the definition of Terrorist?

If you would feel up the breasts of a woman with an implant or make her remove it as the result of cancer, you are a TERRORIST. Your staff has done this.

If you would make a handicapped individual remove his/her URINE bladder device (a bag holding urine) and cause it to leak all over them, you are a TERRORIST. Your staff has done this.

If you would grope a 3 year old girl or take a nine year old boy into another room away from his/her parent and think you are stopping Al Quieda, you are an even bigger TERRORIST and PEDOPHILE. Your staff has done this.

There are hundreds of cases of HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES by the TSA. There are thousands of cases of US CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS by the TSA. The TSA MUST UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION – it is THE HIGHEST LAW OF THE LAND. Have you read the FIRST or FOURTH AMENDMENT. By violating CITIZEN RIGHTS because you believe it is an order from HQ to follow, you are not only a TERRORIST, you are a NEW GENERATION (NEO) NAZI. If asked to put all americans through a gas chamber to keep your job, if HQ tells you to do it, you and your MORONIC friends probably would do so.

You have NOT protected anyone from any terror threat because they are all FALSE FLAGS anyway. When the powers that be who have usurped authority in America choose to do another FALSE FLAG it will happen on your watch and it has nothing to do with X-ray naked body scanners or GROPING AMERICANS against their rights and human dignity.

There is evil in the world and you are part of it by defending it and justifying it. Reminds me of the SS under Hitler.

When I see you head to Disney with your children (if you have any) and watch them be groped (unless they are dragged off into a private screening by your pedophile staff), then I will be certain you are absolutely a member of the NEO NAZIs. You and your team are terrorists.

Americans will fight back. If Ron Paul does not become President, someone like him will and people like you and your employees will go to Guantanimo where you belong, on the inside of the cage.

Oathkeeper

marko

November 26th, 2010
7:13 pm

Being closer to 60 than 50, there’s not much chance of me being confused for a someone a year or two short of my twenty-first birthday. Still I’m required to show my ID if I want to buy a six pack. The problem with electing idiots is that they feel compelled to do something to impress the idiots that voted for them. Teen age drinking remains a problem whether you ID senior citizens or not. Do you really think crack dealers are asking our kids to show their ID’s before they purchase their dope. We live in a world where where threatened by madmen, but don’t worry we’re being protected by idiots.

carlosgvv

November 27th, 2010
7:37 am

Nick

I did not say we should hire an Israeli-owned company for our security. I said we should do what EL AL does.

The Turkey Diaries

November 27th, 2010
8:36 am

EL AL, et al, have evolved defense effective defensive strategies that we should pay strict attention to.

Dr Bob

November 27th, 2010
10:08 am

@ Bill Parker November 26th, 2010 12:28 pm

Are you a government employee or democrat, or both?

You irrational anger is going to get you in trouble.

Earl

November 27th, 2010
11:24 am

TSA screener has to be one of the most miserable jobs on the face of the earth. How’d you like to spend eight hours a day groping strangers’ groins and backsides, for any amount of money?

Your biggest fear would be that the guy whose posterior you’re checking out just came from a chili cook-off.