When You're About To Fly, Who Do You Fear More: Al Qaeda... Or The TSA?

from the you're-doing-it-wrong dept

Kashmir Hill highlights a great quote from Elie Mystal discussing the insanity of the TSA's "standard procedures" in cases such as the groping of a dying woman:
TSA. You are supposed to be protecting us, but at this point you are... terrorizing us.
But I think the even better quote comes from Julian Sanchez, discussing these same two articles:
At this point, is the average person boarding a plane more fearful of Al Qaeda or TSA?
It's a damn good question, though I think we all know the answer.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Quantum TSA-ics! Schroedinger's Terrorist! Heisenberg's Uncertainty Flightpath!

    Hang on a second...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ComputerAddict (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    I worry about Al Qaeda TSA agents...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:30am

      Re:

      "I worry about Al Qaeda TSA agents..."

      Oooooh, imagine what a threat THAT shit would be! It seems like there's only one solution to make sure that Al Qaeda is not infiltrating the TSA.

      Now announcing the TSASA (Pronounced Sah-sah, to make it fun). Yes, the Transportation Saftey Administration Safety Administration will carry out its duty (ha ha, I said duty) to proactively screen, monitor, and scrotum-twist TSA employees on a random basis.

      Step one of this procedure is a pre-employment screening and background check. Once passed, the candidate will be hired on an interim basis, during which he/she is subject to random searches, nudie-scans, and beatings. After three months of this interim employment, the candidate is then considered a vetted employee and may forgoe these checks in favor super-painful ongoing testicle scans (SPOTS, like on puppies, you fools!) and random anal cavity exams (RACE, but this won't be fast, bitch).

      With the TSASA (SAH-SAH!!!), you can rest assured that the TSA will be free from Al Qaeda terrorists and octegarian grandmothers wearing diapers (you ever sat next to one of those stink bomb ladies? They're the real terrorists, I can assure you).

      But wait, what if Al Qaeda infiltrates the TSASA....

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Donnicton, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re:

        Eep, opp, ork, Sah-Sah, that means I grope you!

        I went to the airport's terminal space,
        (Eep opp, ork, Sah-Sah!)
        And got groped by a man with a funny funny face,
        (Eep opp, ork, Sah-Sah!)
        He claimed he would take my shampoo away,
        (Eep opp, ork, Sah-Sah!)
        And he would threaten me for every word I say!
        (Eep opp, ork, Sah-Sah!)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        nasch (profile), Jun 30th, 2011 @ 12:32am

        Re: Re:

        Will TSASA be part of DHS, or DHSS?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        grumpy (profile), Jul 3rd, 2011 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Re:

        It's Security Administrations all the way down!

        (With apologies to Bertrand Russel...)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        OldLady, Jul 4th, 2011 @ 3:33am

        Re: Re:

        "octegarian grandmothers wearing diapers (you ever sat next to one of those stink bomb ladies?" They're the real terrorists, I can assure you).

        Had me laughing until that part. Now I just feel sick.

        If you ever watch the life dwindling out of your grandma due to illness, with an already broken spirit from the indignity and humiliation of needing to wear "diapers", perhaps you'll have the nads to apologize to "old ladies" for calling them terrorists you asshole.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        iBelieve, Jul 4th, 2011 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re:

        Al-Queeda will be flocking to TSA to get those jobs now..

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Without a doubt..

    I'm more afraid of TSA. You get insulted, groped, and things get stolen from your carry on bag while it goes through "screening".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      nunya, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:48am

      Re: Without a doubt..

      you probably never really flew

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

        Re: Re: Without a doubt..

        you probably never really flew

        Nope, I think Thomas pretty much got it right. I've flown quite recently and was insulted, rapescanned, and then groped. And to add insult to injury, when I returned back to the US from Japan, TSA in San Francisco *added* a camera to my bag that wasn't there when the Japanese equivalent of TSA rifled through my checked baggage (with me present, unlike the TSA,) and sealed my bag before loading it on the plane. And to add insult to injury...I called TSA looking for a way to send the camera back so that it could be returned, and after spending several hours on the phone and a couple more via email filling out various report forms, nobody ever gave me an address to send the camera to. So not only do they steal your stuff from the bag, but they put your stuff in other people's bags.

        I prefer the Japanese way...open the bag in front of the individual, so that they can see exactly what you are doing. Opening the bag in secret, the TSA way, is how things get stolen. If Al Queda did infiltrate the TSA, it wouldn't be too difficult for them to add a bomb to some unsuspecting person's luggage, since they steal or mix up contents of luggage and don't have any sort of oversight to speak of (TSA told me that they did have cameras watching the area, and would review them, but I figured that was a farce because they never called back.)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          nasch (profile), Jun 30th, 2011 @ 12:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Without a doubt..

          That's interesting, because I had a bag inspected in San Diego and they did it with me watching, and were very courteous and even asked permission to search the bag before starting.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      haha that's funny because..., Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

      Re: Without a doubt..

      ... I once flew in the U.S. with a suitcase that had a neat little M&M Chocolate lock on it (so I could easily pick out my black suitcase out of a crowd of black suitcases).

      When I got off the plane, the suitcase hasn't even been opened... but my lock was stolen!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bill C, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    No question...

    I'm not the least bit afraid of Al Qaeda when I fly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    SmokeMagnetic (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Well since you asked..

    I fear Al-Qaeda the most. While i do not agree with all of the TSA tactics, common sense tells me that the TSA is one of those "neccesary evils" that are put in place to "scan" hundreds of thousands of people everyday just to catch the few people that would potentionally be out to hurt us, wether it be Al-Qaeda or some other terrorist. Al-Qaeda is obviously only out there to hurt us, anybody they can and as much people as i can. And while the odds that out of those thousands of daily flights a day, that just one of them that i would be would blow up or be crashed are slim to none, i still dont want that happenning to any of us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:36am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      WTF? I don't think it's "magnetic" you're smoking, pal.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        SmokeMagnetic (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re: Well since you asked..

        The question was.. "Who Do YOU Fear More?"

        I answered the question. I have never had a finger layed on me by a TSA agent, and never went through a full body scanner. I have gone through the exact same procedure that i would at a Six flags theme park, except Six flags doesn't make me take my shoes off, but big deal. They search bags also, just without a xray scanner.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          SmokeMagnetic (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

          And i meant full body scanner as in the naked scanner, not the regular scanner that you walk through.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            SmokeMagnetic (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

            And i shoulda been more specific, but by layed a finger i meant in a bad matter, like being groped. Never have..

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Richard (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

              You've also never been the victim of Al Qaeda either - so it's at most a no-score draw.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

                ""You've also never been the victim of Al Qaeda either - so it's at most a no-score draw.""

                I would rather take my chances getting groped then to fly with with a terrorist with the intention of doing harm. So if the score is 0-0, i will still stick to one side over the other.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  jackwagon (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

                  How about you get groped and still fly with a terrorist with the intention of doing harm?

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:01am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

                    Then if the plane is going down, i won't be worried about the guy who fondled me at the airport, i can assure you.

                    But this sounds like a trick question, to where if the TSA agent is doing groping and all that good stuff then there is no reason why there should be a "terrorist on the plane with the intention of doing harm".

                    I see what you did there.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      icon
                      SomeGuy (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:08am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

                      You're aware of the fact that (1) ever attempt since 9/11 has been thwarted by pre-TSA tools and techniques and (2) none of what the TSA is doing now would have stopped 9/11, or the underwear bomber, or anything else?

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

              you're more likely to be groped and put through a naked scanner or even detained for lengthy amounts of time and possibly miss your plane than you are to be harmed by al qaeda.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      DevConcepts (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:40am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      Those horns must be growing into your head.

      Our "Safety" for flying (And coming soon, trains and cars!) is 90% theater and 10% active security. Have you ever watched the TSA employees? I don't see much of a difference in attitude on the job from a Walmart employee. I can't really blame them, I wouldn't want a job where all day I had to grope guys all day for "Security". I just want to know when the fat lady sings so the acting is over.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:20am

        Re: Re: Well since you asked..

        That's because most of them probably were former Walmart or McDonalds employees. All the one's at Sky Harbor airport anyways look like burger flippers and door greeters.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:50am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      I don't have the statistics off hand; but if I remember correctly, the plain is more likely to spontaneously crash then a terrorist causing it. I think you're also more likely to get struck by lightning and win the lottery. So if you get struck by lightning and the next day win the lottery, for god's sake don't fly.

      You are definitely more likely to get to second base with a TSA agent without the wining and dining. Hell, from the sounds of it I'm more likely to get groped by the TSA, and I don't fly.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      grav (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:50am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      I usually just keep silent and observe the antics that are the TechDirt Comments from the comfort of my chair, but something about this post inspires me to speak up.
      First of all, running the risk of sounding arrogant (of which I'm sure I will be accused anyway) am I the only one that can't seem to take seriously posts that are attempting to be intelligent, yet are riddled with poor spelling and grammar?
      Second, Al Qaeda isn't even a real organization - it's a trivial name that the US Government created and applied as a label to give us yet another something to fear - and one that Osama Bin Laden only began referencing after we applied it and it was clear that's what we were dubbing him and his ilk.
      Third, (and here's where I usually try to keep my mouth shut because I know if I haven't lost the reader yet, I'm about to) 'Al Qaeda', or more appropriately the un-related group of people we have dubbed Al Qaeda, wasn't even responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th (you know, the ones that sparked the creation of both the Dept of Homeland Security and the TSA). The only reason those attacks happened was because they were allowed to happen by the same people that brought you the TSA; planes crashing into buildings poses about as much threat to this country as does a polio outbreak.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re: Well since you asked..

        "planes crashing into buildings poses about as much threat to this country as does a polio outbreak"

        Based on your third point, expect a polio outbreak (or something similar) that will be allowed to happen. If people are catching on to the truth, they may need a new boogie man. Although, there are many possibilites of what that could be.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Liz, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

        Re: Re: Well since you asked..

        Second, Al Qaeda isn't even a real organization - it's a trivial name that the US Government created and applied as a label to give us yet another something to fear - and one that Osama Bin Laden only began referencing after we applied it and it was clear that's what we were dubbing him and his ilk.


        As I recall, bin Laden created the group, "al-qa`ida al-jihad" soon after the Soviet forces were in Afghanistan. At a time when the CIA funded and armed these "resistance fighters." Over time the media just dropped the 'al-jihad' part when referencing the group. There've been reports lately from the mass intel gathered from his compound in Pakistan that bin Laden wanted to change the name of the organization to bring back the religious overtones of their message. This in order to draw more Muslims to their cause. Without the "al-jihad" part of their name being spread in the world's media outlet - even al Jazeera no less - the al Qaeda name lost its religious meaning.

        With the political war being lost on top of the deadly attacks against other Muslims, al Qaeda had become less of an idealized institution with a Holy Cause to a centralized, yet loosely organized system of thugs with little more motivation than common street gangs.

        All this from memory. Imagine if someone did a simple online search for references.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        anymouse (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re: Well since you asked..

        It's just you...

        It's a wel doucemnted fcat taht as long as the fisrt and lsat leters of the word are accrutate, the rset can be jubmled or mising and your bran wil still inertrpet the croerct meaning.

        Got it? So getting 'hung up' on intelligent people using bad grammar or spelling is a personal hangup that people need to get over, thinking that everyone has to use language the same way you do, or our 'grandmothers' did is a hangover from what I call the 'educated snob' era where education was somehow a measure of status (only the rich could afford to go to school, and looked down on everyone else). Now that information, knowledge, and 'everything' is out there on the internet for all those 'unsophisticated' people to use, it's harder to look down on their education, so we look down on the fact that they don't write the way we think they should.

        If the meaning and the concepts are communicated, does the spelling or grammar really matter that much? Other than to the elite who want something to look down on?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Chargone (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

          well, other factors aside, it's generally a good idea to keep the spelling and grammar as close to the norm as possible, for while it is possible to understand it reguardless, it takes more effort and can cause confusion.

          perhaps more significantly, in more formal contexts (not so much in short comments, but when you're trying to make a point and go into a fair bit of detail) it does make it look like you don't care enough to pay attention to the details and such... which is an attitude that often carries over into other aspects of how one thinks about things, thus undermining one's credability.

          but only to a point. getting massively hung up over a few minor errors in a context that lacks professional editors and proof readers (who SHOULD know what they're doing and get mocked/reprimanded for failing at it) is quite silly when the message is understood and intelligent. getting your spelling, grammar, and punctuation right is just useful. the closer it is to correct, the lower the barrier for entry into understanding what you are saying.

          the tone of combined arrogance and paranoia without reference in grav's post does more to undermine credibility than such errors unless such errors are so rampant as to render the post unintellegable.

          (added fun fact: a lot of the rules for 'proper' english grammar that people get all strung out about don't apply to english and never did. they're from Latin. oh, and about never ending a sentence with a preposition? not only is it wrong as used, it's misused. you can't end a sentence with a preposition, not because it's a rule of english, but because if you DO, by the 'rules' of linguistics, it's a POSTposition. which, just by the by, english has. their use is entirely correct)

          and yes, i am aware of my own lack of capitalisiation, use of commonwealth spellings, and general spelling/typing issues. not necessarily the specific instances, but in general.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Well since you asked..

            well, other factors aside, it's generally a good idea to keep the spelling and grammar as close to the norm as possible, for while it is possible to understand it reguardless, it takes more effort and can cause confusion.

            From someone who apparently doesn't understand capitalization in English.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        techflaws.org (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:01pm

        Re: Re: Well since you asked..

        'Al Qaeda', or more appropriately the un-related group of people we have dubbed Al Qaeda, wasn't even responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th

        Says who?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      CommonSense (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:54am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      I have never told you any such thing, nor would I, because it simply isn't true.

      What is it they say though, "if you can't beat them (Terrorists), join them (TSA)" ??

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:18am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      I guess when I rob you, and fondle your wifey, ill pass it off as one of those "necessary evils"....

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      SomeGuy (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:52am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      Imagine a scenario where a new disease is discovered. It's generally quiet, rare, but inevitably fatal. In order to protect us from this disease, the government implements a policy (and accompanying enforcement agency) to periodically inject every citizen with a toxic cocktail of various medicines; this too is intensely painful, but less painful (I assure you) than the disease itself. No further move is made to better diagnos the disease because this preventative measure is accepted as sufficient.

      That is what the TSA is. It is practically the definition of "unnecessary," since in the last 10 years every attempted terrorist act in or around an airport has been thwarted by pre-9/11 tools and techniques. They have only succeeded in convincing us that they're necessary using the phantom of terrorism. Nothing Al Qaeda has done in the last 10 years has caused anything near the anxiety, confusion, and loss of liberty that has been inflicted on us by the TSA.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Havoc (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:02am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      The problem here is that in reality nothing- absolutely nothing- has changed since September 10, 2001, except that the perception you've been fed and subsequently adopted as 'necessary' was successful.
      There are NO more terrorists than before, we are in NO more peril than before.
      Mission accomplished, George!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Forge, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:48am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      The problem is, Al Qaeda has hurt us once, in a very visible and serious fashion. The TSA insults and offends us thousands upon thousands of times an hour.

      Still worth it, you say?

      TSA has also NEVER caught ANY terrorist. Not once, ever.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:52am

      Re: Well since you asked..

      I want it happening to loads of people. They're stupid and deserve to die. I don't know you well enough to say whether you're one of them, but I don't know many people that aren't on that list.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    MRK, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Odds of getting killed by a terrorist? About 1 in 100 million. Odds of getting abused by the TSA? about 1 in 10.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    JohnFive, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Freedoms

    If the terrorist's goal is to take away our freedoms, then the TSA terrorists are accomplishing just that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    I'd much rather tackle and duck-tape an attempted hijacker than deal with the TSA.

    It's not so bad at my small regional airport, but they have made me dread going through security at larger hubs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    Why would I be afraid of a towel head with a boxcutter? to quote the winklevii(movie edition) i'm 6'3 190lbs and theres two of me. im frankly terrified of the tsa tho, ihave no recourse to their abuse, just like police, if they decide to abuse you, trying to stop it will only make it worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    jenningsthecat (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    TSA is just SOOOO thankful for 9/11

    At this point I think it's obvious to anyone whe hasn't 'drunk the Koolaid' that TSA doesn't care about security, (other than job security), in the least. Their laughable and ineffectual security theatre, and their rampant abuse of helpless travellers, are all about power, control, and empire building, with more than a little delusional paranoia thrown in for bad measure.

    Al Qaeda are doubtless very happy with the TSA, the DHS, and the ICE. These organizations are wreaking far more damage to America than Al Qaeda could ever directly cause.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      A non-mouse, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:28am

      Re: TSA is just SOOOO thankful for 9/11

      "Al Qaeda are doubtless very happy with the TSA, the DHS, and the ICE. These organizations are wreaking far more damage to America than Al Qaeda could ever directly cause."

      Bingo! This is exactly the point our wonderful overlords keep ignoring. "Terrorism" is never about killing people or knocking down buildings, it's about striking fear in your victim's hearts and changing the way they think & live. So when you look at Americans as a whole, which has had a greater impact on our daily lives: the terrorist actions carried out on 9/11, or the govt actions since then? In a land of roughly 300 million people, the terrorists managed to reach 0.001% (real number there, rough 3000 died that day). Not to be outdone, the govt has since carried on the terrorist mission & changed absolutely everyone else's lives. Well done, gentlemen, well done!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    False choice you put out there, Mike.

    "Al-Qaeda" and the TSA are but two parts of same authoritarian beast, intent on stealing your rights, by tricking you if possible, by force if necessary. All dictatorships need an enemy; when don't exist naturally, they're created.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Isn't TSA and Al Qaeda the same thing if you follow it up the food chain? I mean didn't the U.S. start Al Qaeda and the TSA? Sure Al Qaeda may have grown in a different direction than we planned, but what happens when the TSA does something similar? So my answer... Yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      The United States didn't "start" Al Qaeda, although we did fund help create its predecessor in Northern Africa to assist us in fighting the Nazis.

      The CIA in turn funded what became Al Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, as we funded and armed Saddam to act as a barrier to Iran.

      Why is it everyone we fund ends up turning around and trying to bite us in the balls?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Richard (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re:

        The United States didn't "start" Al Qaeda,

        Actually the USA did encourage Bin-laden against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. All those athletes who were pulled from the Moscow Olympics must feel pretty sore about the subsequent history.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think I mentioned that in my comment, actually. But the intelligence community didn't "start" Al Qaeda they way they did their predecessor in Egypt....

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Richard (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            whoops - poor reading - sorry!

            The moral here seems to be that the old "enemy of my enemy" adage is dangerous and can backfire badly.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Hephaestus (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The moral here seems to be that the old "enemy of my enemy" adage is dangerous and can backfire badly."

              It should be "The enemy of my enemy, will be the death of me in the end"

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        mr winkie, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re:

        We have tasty tasty balls!

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:43am

        Re: Re:

        Why is it everyone we fund ends up turning around and trying to bite us in the balls?

        Cuz we keep funding the wrong guy. We funded Iraq, cuz the CIA screwed up in Iran.

        Most of "our" (US) problems are due to the CIA being mostly idiots back in the day trying to fight communism with anyone that also was fighting them. They seem to have lived by the idea of: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        anymouse (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Wait, I thought it was just groping, is there oral action from the TSA as well now?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Chargone (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          give it time, mouse, give it time.

          take a look at south america... you know all those wonderfully non-democratic states down there? yeah? thank the CIA for most of them. assassinating a democratically elected leader and setting up a dictatorial puppet government in the name of democracy? (actually, more in the name of US hegemony and corporate profit, but having people Know that would make things more difficult)

          s good job. /s

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    The answer is pretty simple: I would rather that someone bumps my junk before I get on the plane, knowing that I will still have that junk attached to my body when I get home, as opposed to leaving the security wide open and having a bunch of terrorists, hijackers, and other ne'er do wells using my flight as a way to make their political or personal statements.

    You have to frame the question correctly: What do you fear more, someone patting you down or someone shooting you in flight or blowing up your plane?

    When you frame the question correctly, there is really only one answer - and it isn't giving the terrorists seats in first class.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Hothmonster, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:58am

      Re:

      you are more likely to die in your bathtub than a terrorist attack. So would you rather have the TSA going around checking your bathtub for adequate traction or rubbing your balls?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:04am

      Re:

      I would rather that someone bumps my junk before I get on the plane, knowing that I will still have that junk attached to my body when I get home...


      The thing is, even with the TSA, you still don't know that as an absolute. There's more than one way to get inside the secure area of an airport.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:05am

      Re:

      Chance of getting groped, insulted, etc by the TSA? Pretty damn good. Chance of a terrorist being on my plane? Pretty close to zero. And with the terrorist I can fight back. You could bring the 9/11 terrorists back from the dead, give them their box cutters back on stick them all on the same plane and they couldn't hijack it - the passengers wouldn't let them.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re:

        You guys are funny because you are falling for the false choices you are given.

        The TSA isn't just for stopping terrorists (like Bin Ladin's left overs), but for stopping all sorts of potential risks to airline passengers.

        You have to look back and see how many hijackings we use to have, how many times planes ended up in Cuba, or sat for hours on the tarmac as a crazed gunman held a planeload of people hostage, or how often flights would be diverted for security issues. It was insane.

        TSA isn't just about groping your junk. If it was, it would be cheaper to send them to lapdance strip clubs.

        Hothmonster: I know the odds, but at the same time, anything above zero is above zero. I appreciate that there are standards and norms for bathtubs, hot water systems, electrical systems (for the jets on my whirlpool tub) and so on. No, those inspectors aren't going to bump my junk, but I am glad they are there. Without them, perhaps it would be safer to walk alleyways in new york at night than it would be to take a bath.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "You have to look back and see how many hijackings we use to have, how many times planes ended up in Cuba, or sat for hours on the tarmac as a crazed gunman held a planeload of people hostage, or how often flights would be diverted for security issues. It was insane."

          Sweet. Where do I find those tantalizing statistics to back up your claim?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1651409

            that might help you out.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cuba_%E2%80%93_United_States_aircraft_hijackings

            hij ackings... notice the last out of the US commercial hijacking to Cuba was in 1980. in 1970 and 1971 (before pre-boarding screening started) hijackings were a monthly deal.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1651409"

              Did you even read that abstract? It basically says that policies instituted in the 70's were sufficient in reducing hijackings and then concluded that the cost of doing so was out of whack. How does that prove your point?

              "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cuba_%E2%80%93_United_States_aircraft_hijackings"

              Here again we have the hijackings falling off in the late 70's. All this suggests to me is that security in the 70's was probably sufficient. Have the terrorists technological weapons changed so drastically that our increase in airport security is an appropriate reflection?

              They used BOX CUTTERS on 9/11 in a hijacking suicide plan that can ONLY WORK ONCE. It will NOT happen again, not that way.

              What exactly did you think you proved with those links??!!

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                DH, the point is that while the costs may be out of whack (in his opinion) it is clear that the changes did lower the number of hijackings out of the US.

                The point of the second one is that when all the hijackings were going on, there was no security at all (you could just walk to the gate... any gate). The changes made in the 70s (adding metal detectors, moving towards screening carry on luggage) were sufficient to stop the hijacking. At the time, it might have been considered security theater, but it has been shown to be effective, even by your own view.

                It's only to show that increases in security do help, even if they are not cost effective (depending on the price you apply to lives).

                The box cutter thing showed only that the security checks needed to be closer, and that objects that might have been let through in the past (box cutters, example) were no longer permitted. If there was no change, you can be certain that many other box cutter attacks would have occurred.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  identicon
                  DCL, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I had a very good family friend that was on board a hijacked airliner with his wife in the late 70s. He was a Police officer for a major city at the time (but wasn't carrying).

                  His take on hijackings is that they are very different now than before since then the passengers were leverage to get something and were only valuable as living hostages. If you chosen to die it was extra bad luck, but not likely for all on board. Being quiet and cooperative was the best way to survive. Unfortunately he passed away from cancer or I would get him to post here in person.

                  9/11 changed that view point for the public in that a hijacking was only done to kill everybody on board so sitting quietly is no longer seen as a viable survival technique since the perspective is everybody was gong to die if nothing is done.

                  Keep in mind that back in the 70's it was still common practice to dress in a suite and tie when you were going to fly. now it seems pajamas are more common then suits. Personally I go with a more modest comfy shirt and jeans.

                  If the hijackers blow you up via a bomb then it would need to be big enough (a shoe bomb in the cabin is not quite enough explosive to guarantee total destruction) and would have to get in some other way or put it in a sensitive spot like next to a gas tank or in the cockpit. They wouldn't go through passenger screening.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The shoe bomb (and underwear bomb for that matter) were more on the prototype level than anything, it seems. The idea was more about seeing what could get into the system, rather than completely success of the attack. For those who fall for the "security theater" argument, it could be said that it added more for the security people to check.

                    You are sort of missing it on the size of the bombs used. What they are looking for isn't total destruction, rather they are looking to breech the pressure envelop, potentially damaging flight control wiring systems or otherwise disabling some part of the aircraft, making it difficult if not impossible to fly. The idea isn't to blow it up in midair, the idea is to make it crash, in 1 or more pieces.

                    It is hard to tell, but it is easy to see intent.

                    Yes, I agree also, people are realizing that just sitting and eating it isn't a good option. But the crazies who would try to take a plane over know that too, and I am sure they will come up with ways around that.

                    One thing for sure, if you can keep the truly dangerous weapons (guns, knives, similar) off the planes, it makes it safer.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      icon
                      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "You are sort of missing it on the size of the bombs used. What they are looking for isn't total destruction, rather they are looking to breech the pressure envelop, potentially damaging flight control wiring systems or otherwise disabling some part of the aircraft, making it difficult if not impossible to fly."

                      I vehemently disagree. While the rank and file terrorist might think his mission is to kill people on a plane, it isn't. Al Qaeda brass, crazy as they may be, were far more interested in weakening American influence, economy, and our ability to act militarily around the world, particuarly in places where Islam is prevalent. They wanted to achieve this by creating initial chaos at in the States followed by us reacting in a way that would turn the world against us, followed by us eventually showing how hypocritical we are regarding freedom.

                      In the words of one of the people responsible for completing Al Qaeda's immediate goals: Mission Accomplished....

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "The box cutter thing showed only that the security checks needed to be closer, and that objects that might have been let through in the past (box cutters, example) were no longer permitted. If there was no change, you can be certain that many other box cutter attacks would have occurred."

                  This is my point, that on this last part you are super-duper-completely wrongo. What 9/11 showed us is that hijackers no longer wanted ransom, some of them wanted to use the hijacked planes as guided missiles. All the security updates done to stop another 9/11 are completely worthless, because box cutters or no, hijackers can't pull this shit anymore. The passengers simply won't allow it. Unless a terrorist can somehow smuggle an automatic weapon on board, the passengers will always be able to over power them.

                  And now that they know there's a liklihood that the hijackers want death and not ransom, they're pot-comitted to fighting back.

                  9/11 can NOT happen again.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    icon
                    ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    9/11 can NOT happen again.

                    9/11 pretty much stopped on the fourth plane, once the passengers found out that the terrorists were using the planes as guided missiles. Had that plane left the same time as the others, and had no contact been made after the other planes hit the towers, it likely would have ended differently. However, once the passengers realized that they were in a no-win situation, they were determined to stop the terrorists...and are lauded as heros (and they were.)

                    However, given the number of incidents that have happened since where passengers brought a swift end to problems in the air...even when those problems weren't terror related...the days of hijacking are over, period. At least until we get complacent and go back to the "don't do anything and you'll live" attitude. But I don't think that will happen again.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  jenningsthecat (profile), Jun 30th, 2011 @ 4:31am

                  Re: security lowering hijackings

                  "It's only to show that increases in security do help..."

                  Pointing to one instance of increased security being effective, and concluding that ALL such increases are effective - well, I could call that a specious argument, except that it's not even superficially plausible.

                  Maintaining vigilance is one thing - creating a police state in the name of 'security' is another. And if you believe that examining the diaper of a 95-year-old woman is somehow an appropriate response to 'terrorist threats', then you should bend down now and kiss those terrorists' feet, 'cause they already own you.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2011 @ 8:11am

                    Re: Re: security lowering hijackings

                    You said: "Pointing to one instance of increased security being effective, and concluding that ALL such increases are effective - well, I could call that a specious argument, except that it's not even superficially plausible."

                    Me: that is pretty much how everything is done to prove things on Techdirt, my friend. Exceptional cases are used to prove that copyright sucks, patents are horrible, and all other things are just terrible because of exceptional cases.

                    Vigilance requires that you apply the rules equally to all. When you stop doing that, you create the type of hole that a terrorist would exploit. You honestly don't think they would use their own ailing parents to carry a bomb onto a plane? Adult diapers are huge, and could certainly carry a significant amount of explosives. If they didn't check those sorts of things, they would be leaving a huge hole in the system.

                    I am sorry that someone's 95 year old ailing relative had to deal with it, but that isn't the security people's fault, it's the terrorists' fault. When we stop blaming our security and start putting the blame where it belongs, thing will make more sense.

                    Sadly, some blogger types like to make a living running off at the mouth about these issues. They don't point out that hundreds of thousands of people a day go through security without an issue, and feel more comfortable flying because of it. Instead they choose to focus on exceptional cases, and try to make a case to take down the entire system because on 0.000001% of cases, it isn't good.

                    So pointing out one instance where things are better because of security is at least on par with the arguments from the other side. We will never know how many other attacks were stopped because of the security, because, well, terrorists and nutjobs won't bother when they have to face security.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2011 @ 1:03am

                      Re: Re: Re: security lowering hijackings

                      Sadly, some blogger types like to make a living running off at the mouth about these issues. They don't point out that hundreds of thousands of people a day go through security without an issue, and feel more comfortable flying because of it. Instead they choose to focus on exceptional cases, and try to make a case to take down the entire system because on 0.000001% of cases, it isn't good.

                      It seems to me that the exceptional case is the one where they caught a terrorist trying to blow up a plane by hiding a bomb in an old person's diaper. In fact, it's so exceptional that it hasn't happened. Yeah, talk about exceptional cases.

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          ComputerAddict (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'd be interested in knowing if there were stats for increased bomb attempts vs weapons..

          It seems like there has been an increase in explosive devices and I wonder if that is because metal detectors and other scanners are better at detecting weapons vs explosives.

          SO instead of them hijacking you they resort to blowing everyone up because they can't get another type of weapon on board.

          I think a new security slogan like "Knives save Lives" should be adopted. I'm Pro-Hijacking and anti-blowing-my-nads-up.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I am not an expert, nor will I even play one on TV, but I can see that there are things that happen when other avenues are shut down.

            Before there was pre-boarding screening (aka security theater), hijackings were common, often with guns, hand grenades, and all sorts of weaponry. As those avenues got shut down by security theater, those who wish to do harm have had to go down different routes and look for other security holes to exploit.

            The Air India bombing and the Lockerbie bombing played on the lack of security for checked luggage or cargo. That hole has generally been blocked off these days, and doesn't seem to be the way to go anymore. Generally these are also not the most desirable ways to go because they tend to require more people, which goes against the idea of "small cell" and "small exposure" terrorist acts.

            The 9/11 attacks pretty much sealed the deal on hijacking, as the US took significant steps (that dreaded security theater again) to limit what could get on planes, and at the same time took measures to separate the flight crew from the on board passengers.

            The results that followed are moves by terrorists to try to exploit the small remaining holes. Shoes, underwear, and the like are all holes they have tested out. It seems mostly they are pushing wild eyed morons out to make the test for them. The underwear bomber got very close to getting the job done, but likely wouldn't have had the explosive power to take the plane down. The shoe bomber was similar. The failure of these methods likely discouraged terrorists groups from trying the same thing.

            I think they continue to look for holes. Most of the activity at this point seems to be concentrated on finding places with the lowest levels of security at their local airports (Africa seems popular), and use those to connect in transit to international flights.

            While it is popular to call the TSA actions "security theater", but from the evidence, it appears to have at least shifted the terrorist actions to areas outside of the US.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              DCL, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You forgot about the Bung Hole! get a few people to sit together on a plane after they change from Teepee to c4 and you got a potential successful bombing...

              How is the TSA going to check for that?

              But I am not worried the TSA requires my pinky finger sized non-locking multi-tool pocket knife to be left at home and all my liquids fit in a quart bag.

              I forgot about the small knife (1in blade) on my money clip once... when they saw it in the bin they told be I had to ship it or get it confiscated.. since it had personal value I opted to ship it... by walking away from security, putting it in my cell phone case behind my cell phone and going through security again. I still have the money clip. I was young and scared at that time... but I am not sure if I was more scared of getting caught or the fact of how easy it was to get it by security when I tried. I have lost at least 4 nail clippers to security, I feel better about that.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          JEDIDIAH, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:05am

          One Trick Pony

          The pre-911 security regime was more that sufficient. The "security failure" with 911 was assuming that previous policies applied to a hijack in progress would always be appropriate.

          Al Queda didn't take advantage of "poor security". They took advantage of policies created in response to PLO hijackers in the 70s.

          An "exploit" like that only works once. So long as the "terrorists" only have box cutters, they have little chance of holding out against a plane full of people that think they are going to die anyways because Al Queda changed the rules.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:08am

      Re:

      You have to frame the question correctly: What do you fear more, someone patting you down or someone shooting you in flight or blowing up your plane

      Bear in mind that the junk patting doesn't do anything to stop the blowing up - and may in fact make it more likely - how about a suicide bomber in the security queue?

      As you say, when you frame the question correctly the answer is obvious - but it isn't your answer.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      DCX2, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:26am

      Re:

      You still didn't frame the question right. What you're not taking into account is probability.

      I have no fear - none, zero, zilch, nada - of dying in a terrorist attack while flying on a plane. Yes, if it did happen I would probably die, but the *chance* of happening is pretty much zero. You could fly every day for your whole life and you wouldn't die in a terrorist attack.

      The chances of 9/11 ever happening again are almost non-existent. Passengers will no longer think "oh, we'll be diverted and this is just an inconvenience", if there's a hijacker then the passengers will be taking him down. The cockpit door is also locked, so they can't crash the plane. Security is pretty good without groping, so there won't be any bombs or guns getting on board, regardless of any groping policy.

      However, the chances of being groped at the airport are significantly higher. You could fly every day of your life, and you WILL be groped, many times. This is very likely to fill most people with a sense of dread at the very real possibility of being sexually assaulted in order to fly on a plane.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      SomeGuy (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:06am

      Re:

      You have to frame the question correctly: What do you fear more, someone patting you down or someone shooting you in flight or blowing up your plane?

      When you frame the question correctly, there is really only one answer - and it isn't giving the terrorists seats in first class.


      I disagree entirely -- I would rather risk serious personal injury or even death than compromise the freedoms and liberties this nation was founded on.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      grav (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      Someone patting me down. Because someone shooting me in flight or blowing up my plane isn't going to happen if everyone doesn't get patted down.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:05pm

      Re:

      I would rather that someone bumps my junk before I get on the plane, knowing that I will still have that junk attached to my body when I get home, as opposed to leaving the security wide open

      Hilariously wrong dichotomy you got there.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Hothmonster, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    I just got groped on the way home from vegas, I should have just skipped the strip club and hung out at the airport. I would certainly have saved some money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Hmm.

    The shills are a bit slow today.

    C'mon you lazy shills, get it gear! Where's the hordes of ignorant "the TSA makes me safe" claims resounding from the hills?

    ... laziness. I barely care that the shills are lying to my face, if only they could just be consistent and punctual.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Paul or your friendly TSA "agent"....either one makes me shiver when "it's probin' time" ....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    InfoWarrior, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    One in the Same

    Only terrorists these days are from our government plain and simple. They use the stools to bring in their own terrorist (TSA) to keep us scared and get us conditioned to being herded around like the sheep that 95% of you are. So if you think for one minute that the AL-CIA-DA wouldn't like even more control of our pathetic slave lives then you are sadly mistaken. More is coming. This is only the beginning of the end.. (what next? I state sponsored cam in my living room to protect me and the kids from the terrorists?) When tyranny comes to your door, it will be wearing a badge and a gun..

    tyrannytalkdotcom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    2 extra questions

    How many attacks on our liberties have been made by Al-Qaeda?
    How many attacks on our liberties have been made by the TSA?

    I fear the TSA more, because they are designed to infringe on our liberties, Al-Qaeda's intentions are more to strike fear rather than infringe.
    Besides that, the chance of me getting hit by one of their attacks is sooo much lower than the chance of me being subjected to one of TSA's gropefests or nudescans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      SomeGuy (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:15am

      Re: 2 extra questions

      Both are offensive to our freedoms.
      TSA has the force of law behind it.
      There's your answer.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Havoc (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re: 2 extra questions

        "TSA has the force of law behind it."
        And, as American citizens, we SHOULD be able to change this, but we can't.
        Remind yourself how much YOUR VOTE MATTERS.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Chargone (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: 2 extra questions

          what, you mean not at all because you don't control who the options are?

          seriously, you're better off in a properly organised feudal system than the utter farce that is 'representative' democracy, especially when one lives in an empire the size of the USA. (the British empire was larger, but due to the limits of geography and tech, it's colonies were in many ways functionally more independant than US states... well, after the successful american revolt, anyway :P still, when something went wrong, it was usually possible to directly lay it at the feet of the individual responsible and have them replaced, minimum.)

          at least then an Actual majority, properly employed, is irresistible. Aku Soku Zan and all that. something representative democracy prevents in the name of stability (NOT freedom.)

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 30th, 2011 @ 2:21am

        Re: Re: 2 extra questions

        The offensiveness to our freedoms of Al-Qaeda is done by agencies like the TSA, Al-Qaeda itself is offended by our freedoms, but doesn't offend them by themselves.
        All they do is try and strike fear.

        And apparently they struck gold with our governments who would like us all to cower in fear of the terrorist boogeyman. Because a scared nation is easier to lead.

        Well, I'm not convinced that Al-Qaeda poses much of a threat.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Brandon (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    But, what if you like the groping?

    I mean hell, its cheaper than the happy ending at some of the local massage parlors.

    Joking aside, I kinda fear both equally. Al Qaeda not for their terrorist attacks but that every time they sneeze the TSA has to come out with some new way to make our lives hell. Gotta give props to AQ though, not many outside organizations can make our lives hell like AQ can and they aren't as powerful as they used to be. There are terrorist organizations that are far more deadly (ahem - Mexican drug cartels that are being ignored?) here in the US than AQ.

    For cryin out loud, how many kidnappings you see in the US from AQ? Yet its happening in what feels like a monthly basis here in Florida and up in Georgia thanks to drug cartels.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Ackronyms?

    Terrorists Search America!

    Testies Search All!

    OK creative juices depleted. Your ideas?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Jimr (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    TSA

    At least with the Al Qaeda you can at least fight back. With the TSA they can violate you can there is absolutely nothing you can do or do afterwards - it all in the policy and the TSA agent was just following orders.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    jonvaljon, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    and even when something does go wrong..

    we have only had one incident of snakes on a plane since 9/11, and even in that case the TSA did nothing, we had to contract samual l. jackson to deal with the security threat.

    TSA is worthless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Here is the math.

    There are roughly 25,000 flights each day (I'm using NPR's numbers).

    25,000 x 365 = 9,125,000 flights a year (in the US)

    How many terrorist attacks have we had within the last 10 or so years? 4? 6?

    6 in 91,250,000 odds, you have better odds of most state lottos (Power ball) then being the victim of a terrorist attack or hijacking while flying in America.

    Are those odds enough to require we get molested or have low quality, cancer inducing porn images taken of us? I don't believe so, I wish others did as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

      Re: Here is the math.

      You are making the standard error that most people make. You fail to consider what changes have been made over 40 years, and how they have changed the results.

      In the 70s, there were tons of hijackings. Dozens a year. If nothing had changed, that number would have likely grown. Can you imagine a situation where there is a hijacking every week? by your own number, 50 hijacks a year, 500 every 10 years... 500 in 91,250,000 starts to look less enjoyable. That would be 1 in 182,500, which would be more than good enough odds for most people to buy a lottery ticket.

      It is similar to car safety. Devices put in place in the last 40 years, combined with design changes, have made significant steps to reduce death by car. From seat belts to airbags, from crumple zones to changes in placement of fuel tanks, actions have been taken and safety improved. It would be misleading to say "see, fewer people are dying in cars, so we didn't need to make all those changes". It's the changes themselves that directly contribute to the safety.

      If you ignore the effects of the TSA and other programs on airline safety, you can easily draw the wrong conclusions. Shut down the security checkpoints for a while, and let me know how much you enjoy your flights. You may want to bring your own handgun for cover.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

        Re: Re: Here is the math.

        And you're making the foolish assumption that AIRPORT SECURITY stops ALL forms of terrorism.

        Why would the TSA scare off a terrorist trying to bomb a train? Or a hospital? Or a government building?

        You honestly think religious fanatics who want to give their own life for their cause are going to shrug their shoulders and say "Oops, security guard, guess I'll throw away my beliefs"?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    TSA hands down!
    but remember all you obama fans... it is his policy that is allowing us to be groped and raped by the TSA... I'll remember that when I cast my ballot in 2012

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    deane (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    tsa of course since they now want to branch out from the airport to well EVERYWHERE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    DB, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    TSA

    I avoid flying because I do not want to deal with TSA, not because of some terrorist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:08am

      Re: TSA

      Me too. And I've got the disposable income and time to travel for pleasure. But I won't. Nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the terrorism of the TSA.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chargone (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

        Re: Re: TSA

        sad part is that this means the terrorists are winning.

        the Terrorist Society of America, at least.

        at least they're not an industry association yet?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    jackwagon (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    FAIL

    If the terrorists agenda is to strike terror into me, they've failed. They don't scare me a bit. If the TSA's agenda is to make transportation more secure, they've failed as well. There have been plenty of examples of people 'testing' the system and getting all manner of banned items past TSA, not to mention thefts of goods. If the TSA's agenda is to make me hate travel then they're doing a bang-up job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:13am

      Re: FAIL

      Agreed, and airlines didn't need any more help in that area. Last I flew was just before they instituted these grope and scan measures and the travelling part of travel already sucked (long lines, long waits, crap signage, cramped seats, and not one but TWO screaming infants on the flight home).

      I feared the escape of my boiling temper more than anything.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    TSA is no different from elephant repellent.

    "I don't see any elephants!"

    "See? That's how well it works."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    TSA For The Win!

    I'm much more afraid of the TSA. That means that they've won out over AQ!
    T S A!
    T S A!
    T S A!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    BongoBern (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Fear of Flying

    What I fear most is actually airlines cutting corners on safety, controllers falling asleep, pilots falling asleep, pilots without enough hours in their book to qualify to fly the equipment...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 7:46pm

    Al Queda...

    ...never fondled my balls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 10:13pm

    I fear the child just learning to drive.

    I fear the prescription using stoner driving a tractor trailer.

    I fear the drug adict looking to rob someone for thier next fix.

    I fear a lighting strike while hiking.

    I fear getting bitten by a rattler while hiking in the desert.

    I do not fear terrorists. My chances of dying at a terrorists hands are far less than all of the above combined.

    I do not fear the TSA. For people who just follow orders, and tell you it is their job, with no reguards for consequences, and no compassion for other. We have a court just for them, the International Criminal Court.

    Yeah, I know, I am guilty of an indirect Godwin's Law violation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chargone (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

      Re:

      actually, generally speaking the kid just learning to drive is less likely to screw up in a life threatening way than the 30 year old who thinks they know everything and had one too many beers (or just anger management issues)

      just, ya know, putting that out there.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

      Re:

      I do not fear the TSA. For people who just follow orders, and tell you it is their job, with no reguards for consequences, and no compassion for other. We have a court just for them, the International Criminal Court.

      US officials are immune from prosecution in the ICC.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2011 @ 2:01am

        Re: Re:

        "US officials are immune from prosecution in the ICC."

        If I am remembering correctly, all "acknowledged" heads of state are immune from prosecution. "Until such time as" ...

        Most people do not realize that all actions have consequences even if you are ordered to do them. Shoot this man in the head he is a traitor. Grab this childs crotch, she may have explosives in her diaper.

        I ask a question ... Why didn't you dig through the poop in the diaper if you thought it was an explosive? Yeah, I know you wanted to run off to the bathroom and flip off.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This