TSA Agents Absolutely Hate New Pat Downs, Find Them Disgusting And Morale Breaking

from the this-is-what-you-get-with-security-theater dept

One of the common themes that people keep mentioning in talking about the new TSA pat down procedures is that those involved must “enjoy” the groping they’re giving people. But, of course, most TSA agents are normal every day people who don’t actually want to grope random people. Chris Tolles points us to a post from BoardingArea.com, who reached out to some TSA agents and found that many TSA agents hate the new rules and find it to be sapping morale to have to grope passengers. Some of it appears to be the verbal abuse they’re getting from travelers, but some of it is just the fact that they have to keep touching people they’d rather not touch in that way:

“It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another man?s private parts, their butt, their inner thigh. Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!”

Of course, it does seem like a lot of the “morale” part comes from everyone accusing them of molesting them. I recognize, they’re not the ones making policy, but many of the people being groped do feel violated and it’s not surprising that many of them speak out.

“Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn?t change in the next two weeks I don?t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

This is going to be a serious problem for the TSA if it doesn’t figure out something quick. So far, the TSA seems to be in near absolute denial that this is actually a problem, but if these TSA responses are indicative of how most TSA agents feel, there are going to be a lot fewer security people at airports very, very soon.


Of course… it could be true that at least some of those actually are enjoying the process. Reader Lance point us to (an admittedly hearsay) story of a pilot traveling with his 18-year old daughter. As they approached the naked image scanner, the pilot overheard a TSA agent say into his radio: “heads up, got a cutie for you.” One of the points the TSA has been making is that the folks looking at the images are off in another room somewhere, unable to see the people — but they are in contact with those at the security checkpoint, and you’d have to imagine this kind of thing happens.

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Comments on “TSA Agents Absolutely Hate New Pat Downs, Find Them Disgusting And Morale Breaking”

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236 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’m rather glad that this topic keeps popping up. It’s pretty obvious that the American public are starting to find their voice on this issue. It takes a while to get the word out and engage the country in conversations (Outside of a politician repeating it over and over during election years.) that are important.
I agree that the topic is getting a bit hashed but I’m encouraged to see more and more people speaking up.
Apathy is the cancer of our society.

Chris Maresca (profile) says:

Sad day for the USA

From Dictionary.com:

“ter?ror?ism
   /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Show Spelled[ter-uh-riz-uhm]
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government. “

Mission accomplished, apparently. People are intimated, coerced and in a state of fear & submission.

Hugo Chavez says:

Keep up the pressure

Without agents to enforce unconsitutional TSA policies, the policies will wither and die.

TSA agents will soon realize they are not serving their country, but only serving the corrupt Obama regime, which has no respect the citizens of the USA.

No one compells TSA agents to work for the TSA, they freely choose to do so. No one compells TSA agents to touch travelers’ genitals, they choose to. If they choose not to, the policy is ended. Soldiers are not compelled to carry out unlawful orders, and federal agents are not compelled to enforce unlawful federal policy. Let there be no doubt, this is unlawful federal policy.

Same is true for pilots, flight crews, other airport employees, and travelers. An airport strike by all involved would stop this TSA nonsense. I think it would take about one day, maybe two, before the airlines, et al., exert enough pressure on DC to end TSA’s failed security theater.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

None of it is defined or described, that’s the whole point. The TSA can do whatever it wants and is not accountable to explain itself to us, nor to our elected representatives.

I am glad this problem is getting more visibility, as these ‘custody searches’ (which are actually closer to all-out cavity searches than a normal, slightly less embarrassing clothed custody search) are not new but have been applied to those million folks on the watch list since the inception of the TSA.

I personally stopped flying as a form of boycott after being selected to receive such treatment in the mid 00’s. For the TSA and politicians to now attempt to pass this jailhouse routine off as “just pat downs” is the height of arrogance. The ‘porno-scanners’, too, seem like something out of a sick joke or a nightmare.

Donvin (profile) says:

Re: Keep up the pressure

If you want to object to the new screening procedures, fine, do so. But, lay off the TSA agents as they are not the enemies. Your elected Congress, or even the TSA director under the direction of your elected President, could change these policies tomorrow. So, direct your preaching to toward those elected officials with the power to change the policies.

And, yes, TSA agents are compelled to follow standard procedures, if they want to keep their jobs. And many agents have families to feed, and I am sure you know plenty of people willing to do ANYTHING to keep a roof over their head and feed their families. So, drop the high-and-mighty attitude. I don’t work for the TSA. I am one of the privileged few with a very well-paying private sector job. However, although I worked hard to graduate from excellent undergraudate and graduate schools and build my professional career, I know that it is really only by the grace of God alone that I am not struggling to get by as so many people in our nation and around the world are doing. I don’t scoff at anyone who works hard for a living.

I am sure there are a few jerk TSA agents, but in my frequent travels, the ones I have encountered have always acted with courtesey and professionalism. I respect what they do for a living, and I hope that safety procedures are modified for their benefit as much as for that of the general flying public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

“And many agents have families to feed, and I am sure you know plenty of people willing to do ANYTHING to keep a roof over their head and feed their families.”

Sorry to play Devil’s Advocate here, but that if they don’t like what they do in their job, they have every right to go and find a new one. It is the same argument I heard in regards to wait staff/bartenders when states were trying to ban smoking in bars/restaurants.

Trust me, I understand that the job market isn’t the greatest right now, but no one should have to EVER put up with doing something that they find is morally wrong and unconstitutional, even if they are ordered to do so.

Will Sizemore (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

“…but no one should have to EVER put up with doing something that they find is morally wrong and unconstitutional, even if they are ordered to do so.”

That’s actually when its acceptable for a Service Member, even required of them, to speak up and disobey. If the TSA Agents believe themselves to be serving their country in the same manner as any member of the Armed Forces, then they have an obligation to stand up and protest.

Each time I took MY oath, I was sworn to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and also to obey the LAWFUL orders of those appointed over me. since when is something unconstitutional truly lawful?

THAT being said, where in the US Constitution is groping not allowed? Hell, require everyone who has the right to bear arms do so on a plane and ban all alcohol onboard or in the terminals.

We’re never going to please everyone and threats are always going to be easier to conceal and will always require MORE invasive/intrusive searches. Its a never ending downward spiral.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Keep up the pressure

“…where in the US Constitution is groping not allowed?”

If you consider the Bill of Rights and the Amendments as part of the Constitution, then the 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, would apply. And yes, I consider an employee of a government-sponsored organization performing any kind of pat-down on someone with no probable cause unreasonable. I also consider the back-scatter and millimeter-wave machines unreasonable as well.

joh6nn says:

Re: Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

“but no one should have to EVER put up with doing something that they find is morally wrong and unconstitutional, even if they are ordered to do so.”

no one should have to, but many people frequently do have to. even when the economy is better, not everyone has the resources to switch jobs easily. you can argue that it’s their own fault for not managing their finances better, or that they should have done better in school, or whatever you like, and there may even be some truth to that. but regardless of the reasons, the reality is that many people are effectively trapped in their jobs.

and even if they weren’t, there is always someone who is even more desperate, who will take that job when the current guy quits.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Keep up the pressure

As I stated early in my post, I was playing devil’s advocate on that point.

However, I do believe that people have a responsibility to report uncomfortable working conditions and questionable practices to their superiors, and in turn they should not have to fear any repercussions from that. I would hope that a person’s morals could not be bought for such a low price as their current salaries.

kyle clements (profile) says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

“And, yes, Nazi are compelled to follow standard procedures, if they want to keep their jobs. And many soldiers have families to feed, and I am sure you know plenty of people willing to do ANYTHING to keep a roof over their head and feed their families…”

I hate to be the one to invoke Godwins’s Law, but the excuse “I was just following orders” simply doesn’t cut it.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Keep up the pressure

depends what level you look at it from.

there’s the ‘all actual wrongs are wrong and should be resisted’ concept

then there’s the ‘some wrongs are more wrong than others and no one should complain about the lesser ones because they’re not the bigger ones’ concept.

there may be more, but if one can’t see the problem with the second concept, one really should be removed from any situation where one can interact with other human beings.

Chris Hanson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

The TSA agents are following an illegal order, in that they are performing unreasonable search under the 4th Amendment.

They must be held individually responsible for their actons because “just following orders” is never a defense: One of the things that prevents wholescale atrocity by those under someone else’s authority is the understanding that one has not just the right but the responsibility to refuse an illegal order.

Anna Keppa says:

Re: Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

No court would ever convict a lowly TSA agent for “following orders”, while letting the higher-ups continue their policies.

The policies need to be attacked in court as unconstitutional, but that’s not the approach.

The People can just continue to tell our Masters that we…do…not…want…these…practices to continue.

Everyone should learn who the Congressmen are who oversee the TSA and its budget, and go after them, just as the Tea Partiers went after Congressmen who voted for ObamaCare.

Scare the crap out of them politically. It worked, just a few weeks ago!!!

Fedup says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

Sorry, but do not lay off the TSA agents. If I could get to the TSA rulers, I would do so, but I can’t. So like any big organization, I’ll put the pressure on those I can reach in hopes that if enough of us do, TSA will be forced to react. If we all pressure the TSA agents so they either start quitting or relaying the pressure up the chain, then we can get TSA to change. If Big Sis put herself on the line for me to abuse I would prefer that, but she doesn’t – so I have to hit TSA where I can. Sorry guys, but that’s the real world – don’t like it? Then quit your TSA job.

Fedup says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

Sorry, but do not lay off the TSA agents. If I could get to the TSA rulers, I would do so, but I can’t. So like any big organization, I’ll put the pressure on those I can reach in hopes that if enough of us do, TSA will be forced to react. If we all pressure the TSA agents so they either start quitting or relaying the pressure up the chain, then we can get TSA to change. If Big Sis put herself on the line for me to abuse I would prefer that, but she doesn’t – so I have to hit TSA where I can. Sorry guys, but that’s the real world – don’t like it? Then quit your TSA job.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

That’s pure crap. The TSA agents themselves are the problem. If there are no agents, there are no pat downs. Embarrass them, harass them, ask them for a happy ending, make sure they cry them selves to sleep.

If my boss asks me to do something the is clearly illegal or immoral, I will object. If he insists, I would quit my job.

I understand that is a tough economy and you need to feed your family, but somethings are more important. Ask the TSA agents to choose between no job or a job at an abortion clinic. I dare say that 90% of them would rather not work than work at an abortion clinic.

Cypheros says:

Re: Re: Keep up the pressure

You are correct. It did start more than 2 years ago. It did start with the Patriot Act–which Obama railed against on the campaign trail. The Democrat congress railed against the Patriot Act when they were running for office.

But **NONE** of them have repealed the Patriot Act. In fact, they have just continued like it was business as usual. (And the Democrats are wondering why they just got voted out?!)

Most Americans, Liberal and Conservative alike, HATE the Patriot Act, as well as the innumerable assaults on the freedoms we have fought for. But, for the past 22 years, every single Congress and all 4 Presidents have steamrolled those freedoms–almost as fast as was done under the first 3 Presidents of the 20th century. (And for the record, FDR even outshines those 7 US Presidents put together when it comes to usurping power and attempting to rule like a dictator.)

We are tired of the Political Elite ruling this nation, rather than serving it–and both sides are to blame. We need to UNITE–not as Conservatives, or Liberals, or Communists, or Nazis, or any other divisive lablel, but as Americans who are tired of being RULED. WE are the President’s boss, and he is OUR employee. Its time we/he acted like it.

Bronwen says:

Re: Keep up the pressure

Wait, what? Obama’s corrupt regime?

Did you forget that the TSA was started by Bush, AND that allegations of abuse were going on since the very beginning? That even Penn of Penn and Teller was talking (in 2002) about sueing the TSA because of them “touching his junk”?

It’s only now, because a white man had his genitals touched and went public about it that it’s become “a problem”. It’s BEEN a problem for people of color and women since this first began.

“Obama’s corrupt regime” huh? So, how’s that revisionist history workin’ for you anyways?

uh_oh (profile) says:

Re: Keep up the pressure

hmmm…the corrupt Obama regime…

well, let’s not forget that the person responsible for these machines, michael chertoff, was in charge of “homeland” security under the bush administration…how did he decide that stripping americans would keep us safe? because the company that makes these machines was one of his clients

don’t even start with the “corrupt” BS until we finish our discussion & prosecution of the war criminals (not to mention they bankrupted our country in more ways than one) of the previous REGIME

Anonymous Coward says:

Interesting development- in the business of lobbying for grope-free passes

It seems the reason pilots are now given a grope-free boarding pass is because the Pilots Union contributed to election and re-election efforts of many of the people on the Homeland Security committees, just like some of the manufacturers of these devices.

Source: http://www.opensecrets.com

Methodology: Look up contributions of manufacturers of the X-Ray machines, and in many cases where there was a contribution from a manufacturer, there is also a contribution from the pilot’s union.

uh_oh (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Interesting development- in the business of lobbying for grope-free passes

bottom line is, there is no safe course

if someone wants you dead, they will find a way

although, you CAN live your life preparing for every possible threat, and then you die anyway, which is what many americans seem prepared to do, live in fear, every day, in every way

this is ridiculous

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Interesting development- in the business of lobbying for grope-free passes

Always with the union bashing at every possible opportunity. You must really hate the notion that anyone might have a level playing field who works for a living.

Never mind all that, though: here’s a notion for your right-wing brain to ponder. Maybe they’re exempting pilots from this because pilots were among those leading the charge against this insanity and the security officials want to try to make them be quiet? Ever think of that one?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Interesting development- in the business of lobbying for grope-free passes

The reason pilots are FINALLY given a grope-free boarding pass is that THEY CAN ALREADY TAKE DOWN THE PLANE. The pilots cleared to carry LOADED GUNS are being patted down. Wha?

Forcing them to go through additional screening is a completely brain-dead policy.

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: Forgive me if I get a VERY small violin for them.

It started as looking at X-Rays of people’s luggage, which probably never got an agent called a pervert, embarrassment, or molester. There’s a large number of agents today who are not necessarily doing the job they signed up for. Not that you need to feel bad for them, but don’t assume they all signed up for this when they took the job…

Ellen says:

Re: Re: Forgive me if I get a VERY small violin for them.

“This isn’t the job they signed up for.”

Right. The world can sneak up on you. I have a friend who lives near the airport, right under the flight path. The local airport commission has been paying for soundproofing, but it’s still unnerving.

“Why did they build houses here?” I asked him.

“When they were building houses fifty years ago, the airport wasn’t that loud.”

The situation snuck up on the TSA screeners a lot faster than that. But I still think it’d be more honest to quit.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

So let's tally it up....

The new TSA guidelines:

1. Creep out and upset passengers, taking away their rights and civil liberties

2. Creep out the TSA workers and make them cry

3. Lower overall security by wasting everyone’s time, money, and efforts which could be better spent elsewhere, thereby increasing the danger to public officials as well

So…who DOESN’T get harmed by these new procedures?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: So let's tally it up....

You forgot to mention that the act of the government demoralizing the public with the premise of security from the “evil doers”, equates to the “evil doers” winning. Terrorize is about disrupting normal life by fear, even if the fear is distributed by the local government. “A person willing to give up freedom for security, deserves neither.” Benjamin Franklin

Thanatossassin (profile) says:

...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

If you want the peace of mind that someone’s not going to pull out a box cutter and slit you carotid artery, you’re going to have to deal with a disgruntled employee touching your junk.

I don’t like these new touchy-feely techniques, but what I don’t like even more is the populous changing there minds so damn fast.

Go back to the old security measures, tragedy strikes, everyone demand strict measures again, wait another 10 years… wash, rinse, repeat

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Nonsense.

The INSTANT that passengers realized that the rules of hijacking had changed, the passengers took charge and set about stopping this nonsense.

This was even before any “enhanced security procedures”.

9/11 was dependent on the free pass that had been given to hijackers in the past. That ended on 9/11.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Except that the underwear bomber wasn’t noticed until AFTER his explosive device caught fire instead of detonating. So, in my mind, he won that one… he had assembled his bomb, probably gave a quick silent prayer and pushed his button… but his device failed. He didn’t resist when the passengers ‘subdued’ him.

Richard Kulawiec says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

“If you want the peace of mind that someone’s not going to pull out a box cutter and slit you carotid artery, you’re going to have to deal with a disgruntled employee touching your junk.”

Really? What stops them from doing that while I’m waiting in line at the security checkpoint? At the ticket counter? Grabbing a beer at the bar? Waiting into the terminal? Riding on the shuttle bus? Walking through the parking garage?

If someone wants to harm you, there is very little real defense. If someone wants to harm you and is willing to die in the process then there is no defense. Never has been, never will be. There’s just a lot of very expensive theater.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

True security of a state is only brought about when the members of that state take personal responsibility for their own security.

If Americans are such pussies that some asshole with a box-cutter represents a real threat… like seriously? What, did your balls drop off? What exactly is the problem? Break the guy’s nose, followed by his arm. Turn him in to ‘security’ when the plane lands. Problem solved.

This latest shit is nothing new, it’s just in a new form. We’ve had these exact same dilemmas repeatedly since the founding of this country. But hey, if you like creeps on your junk, whatever freak, it’s your nickel. I, on the other hand, believe Americans should be capable of defending the own lard-asses. Seriously, how fucking hard is that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Honestly, seriously, I am not worried. I know that I have a far higher chance of getting killed on my drive to and from work.
I see and understand you point about the wash, rinse and repeat. I think you’ve nailed that.
Some politician will want to make points with the public and will start crying about our security at that stage. Basically abusing the situation and the peoples feelings to make points.
I plan to make my voice heard then too.

bah. says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

The tactics used on Sep. 11 were a one time deal, based on the knowledge that flight crews and passengers were effectively trained to comply with terrorist demands with the understanding that the terrorists didn’t want to die and would be dealt with once the plane was on the ground.

Anyone dumb enough to try a similar tactic again is going to get their ass handed to them in a hurry by the nearest able-bodied set of passengers – hell, even the passengers on the 4th plane on September 11th figured it out in time to stop the plane from hitting its target.

As far as Richard Reid and Captain Fruit-of-the-Boom? Has it occurred to you that the fact that they didn’t succeed actually made the ‘attacks’ immensely more effective from a terrorism perspective?

I can see OBL now, giggling to his buddies “Hey, Ahmed, check this out – I sacrificed one wannabe putz who doesn’t know anything useful about the organization, and the americans respond by spending $gazillion on crap that won’t work the next time”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Over the years, taking an airplane trip went from an event that passengers looked forward to. Now it’s something that’s low-class, an annoyance, stressful, with a strangely sexual Government twist.

The silence from the airlines indicate a benefit of some type. Maybe they benefit with a lower cost of insurance, or other discounts. It would be interesting to see if there’s a correlation between hubs where the X-Ray Machines are installed compared against both airline brand, and aircraft servicing each hub (make/model).

Once that is compete, look into both SEC and financial statements, quarterly earnings reports of insurance and other financiers within the airline industry.

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Oh, by the way, I just heard on a radio interview I mentioned earlier in this forum that our Lord of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff may have a monetary interest in these scanners, making them more about profits and less about real effectiveness anyway…

http://www.redstate.com/moe_lane/2010/11/19/michael-chertoff-behind-tsa-pornoscanners/

lester says:

Re: Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

I could easily sneak a blade the size of a box cutter on a plane. Other weapons as well. It is not hard, seriously. One does not have to me McGiver to figure out how to fashion all kinds of permitted things into weapons. I small team of imams could smuggle enough explosives up their butts to bring down a plane.

It’s all for show.

Meanwhile, if all this carp would be doing any good then maybe, but this is just for show – worse, it is a complete distraction and lack of focus. We are profiling STUFF and we should be profiling people.

lester says:

Re: Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

I could easily sneak a blade the size of a box cutter on a plane. Other weapons as well. It is not hard, seriously. One does not have to me McGiver to figure out how to fashion all kinds of permitted things into weapons. Your carryon luggage does not go through the metal detector, einstein.

I small team of imams could smuggle enough explosives up their butts to bring down a plane.

It’s all for show.

Meanwhile, if all this carp would be doing any good then maybe, but this is just for show – worse, it is a complete distraction and lack of focus. We are profiling STUFF and we should be profiling people.

interval (profile) says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

“If you want the peace of mind that someone’s not going to pull out a box cutter and slit you carotid artery, you’re going to have to deal with a disgruntled employee touching your junk.”

That’s not how the Israeli’s see it. Just listened to an interview on the radio with a reporter and an Israeli security expert. Ben-Gurion International is the safest airport in the world, and its smack dab in the middle of one of the hottest regions in the world. How do they do it? Not by patting down 3 year olds other reactive methods.

Termin8or (profile) says:

Re: Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Israeli security might approve your travel without laying a finger on you. BUT, it might take three hours or more!
This is the “I want all, and I want it now”, fast food, instant gratification-generation!
Look up how many people fly out of Ben Gurion each day. Try their methods on the day before Thanksgiving at ATL or LAX…..

Happy Holidays

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

If you want the peace of mind that someone’s not going to pull out a box cutter and slit you carotid artery, you’re going to have to deal with a disgruntled employee touching your junk.

It would be fairly easy to put a box cutter in a cavity, which the scanners can’t see and the agents can’t feel. Moot point, hon.

I don’t like these new touchy-feely techniques, but what I don’t like even more is the populous changing there minds so damn fast.

The ‘populous’ had nothing to do with rolling out these scanners or pat-downs. The use of these scanners is totally political. When they were first mentioned, there was a public outcry about their safety, effectiveness, and cost. That outcry is now coming to a crescendo.

Go back to the old security measures, tragedy strikes, everyone demand strict measures again, wait another 10 years… wash, rinse, repeat

Actually, that’s not true. We’ve had plenty of terrorist actions without flipping out about security. We’re not even flipping out now, you know? What’s happening is politicians taking advantage of the situation to force changes that benefit their financial contributors that their constituents neither need nor want.

John Hedtke (user link) says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Thanatosassassin: “If you want the peace of mind that someone’s not going to pull out a box cutter and slit you carotid artery, you’re going to have to deal with a disgruntled employee touching your junk.”

A popular argument, but shockingly stupid. If the TSA procedures ACTUALLY worked, I’m sure that there’d be less complaint, but they don’t.

Getting a box cutter on a plane is child’s play. (How many of us have discovered we had a pocket knife, an edged weapon, scissors, or even a real box cutter in the bottom of a carryon bag we’d forgotten about and then found it after we’d flown?) Hell, getting loaded weapons with extra ammo on a plane right through security isn’t difficult if you’re willing to risk getting caught. Want a good weapon to take out a whole plane? Laptop batteries burn at 900F about an hour after they’ve been punctured. 2 or 3 of them together will set a plane on fire from the inside and kill everyone on board. Enough cyanide gas to kill everyone inside takes a can of potassium cyanide and another common white chemical the size of a standard baby powder container. Just add water and die! There is nothing–absolutely NOTHING–the TSA is currently doing that will in any way prevent someone from attacking a plane or even killing everyone on board through fire, poison gas, or possibly explosions.

So if the TSA isn’t able to stop any of this, why haven’t there been problems like this? Because nobody’s tried. (And thank heavens for that!) Nobody’s NEEDED to try because we’ve done all these stupid things to ourselves. The terrorists are probably laughing themselves sick at our stupidity… and they’re right. They DID win: we’re stuck with the Keystone Stasi.

The Brits have good security. The Israelis have GREAT security. Instead of security, we have the TSA. We should follow the Israelis’ lead and put security in place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Are you really that worried that a terrorist is going to attack you with a box cutter when you fly?

there are tousands of way terrorists could have impacts on the nation and box cutters on a plane aren’t really one of em anymore.

So many dangers in life, choosing this one as the line at which you are willing to give up your civil rights makes you a fool and a coward.

Michael Fox says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

Man up. The odds of someone pulling out a box cutter on a flight that features metal detectors — and no genital groping or porno vid scans — is zero, unless the the cutter wants to stick the tool up their ass, which the two aforementioned techniques won’t detect.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ...and I want Bacon Cheeseburgers without the fat.

box cutter = metal : therefore metal detector takes care of this issue. Air sampling takes care of bomb residue, but the units were employed incorrectly (they were the puffer units that failed). Has ANY one mentioned that both males and female can still “hide” things if they really want to. I wonder when that will become the new normal search technique. If you can not figure it out the hiding places – “insertion”. Or simple watch “Lockup” on MSNBC, you’ll figure it out.

Gracey says:

Is there any age limit for these security measures? Please tell me children aren’t subject to this.

The minute someone laid their hands on a kid for one of those searches I imagine I would break somebody’s fingers…possibly worse. I’ve got a 12 year granddaughter already looking close to 16…I couldn’t imagine putting her through one of those searches.

Gracey (user link) says:

Re: Re: @Gracey

12 being the age limit? OMG…I’m fairly certain I might kill someone if they touched my granddaughter that way…or seriously disfigure and disable them.

It is completely insane that any parent (or relative) would even allow this to happen to a kid. God almighty.

Seriously…I’m pretty sure we aren’t going to be traveling anywhere by air anytime soon 🙁

Markle says:

Re: Gracey

Is there any age limit for these security measures? Please tell me children aren’t subject to this.

Yes, after it blew up on Monday, Tuesday they came out and said 12 and under would be exempt. Predictably, the idiot crowd screamed about how the terrorists had no qualms about using children, blah, blah.

No more screaming 3yos, but 12 is such a wonderful age break. Especially for girls. Their bodies are changing. They feel gawky and insecure. Let’s give them a choice of a virtual strip search in front of a stranger or, if they trigger the metal detector, let’s have them felt up by a different stranger 3-4 times their age!

Will Sizemore (profile) says:

I, for one, don’t enjoy getting groped, BUT, I have tolerated it. It really doesn’t bother me that much. It’s not like TSA is checking my prostate. That takes day or so to get over.
I don’t particularly want to be photographed or video recorded nude, either.

Do I think a box cutter or a nail clipper is a real threat on an airborne plane? No, that’s not very practical. I can probably do more damage with my cane than some jackass with a box cutter.

The REAL problem is fear. People in America fear discomfort and disfiguration more than pain or death. The same is probably true elsewhere, but I haven’t seen behavior to this extent while living/visiting in Germany, Italy, France, or Korea.

Twenty years ago I had the chance to meet a very beautiful young woman in high school who had been in a car accident and had hundreds of tiny scars all over her face. She had absolutely zero confidence in herself and her appearance. She was, at least during our short acquaintance, also a very nice girl with a lot of talent in many areas. But in the time that I knew her, she could not accept that despite these tiny blemishes she was a true beauty inside and out.

Those of us who travel the airways are so afraid of a little discomfort, we’d rather risk death over discomfort. We’ve created a culture in which death is more favorable than living with consequences and the fear is worse than reality.

I don’t mean to say that it should be allowable that some agents should give a heads-up on a ‘hottie’ or even feel comfortable taking advantage of someone in the name of security. Those agents should be ridiculed in front of their passengers by requiring them to stand in the scanners while being groped and the passengers should be able to record the act and put it up on Youtube.

But if it gets me through the security terminal faster, grope me nude, on camera, any day of the year. I’ve been groped, and I’ve had to conduct these searches on my fellow soldiers for training overseas, and its really not that big a deal.

KM_Jones says:

Re: It's not a big deal

It may not be a “big deal” to you. It may not be a “big deal” to a lot of people, but to someone suffering from PTSD from a sexual assault, I assure you, it is a huuuuuge fucking deal. To someone suffering from conditions mastalgis, in which being touched at all is extremely painful, this is a massively big deal.

Just because you are lucky enough for it to be “no big deal” for you doesn’t mean that your experience is universal.

Anonymous Coward says:

amazing

it completely amazes me how the TSA sympathizers cannot grasp the concept that they [mr gubermint] cannot even prevent violent crimes (including MURDER!!!!) from occurring inside the most maximum security prisons.

there is no such thing as security from a determined person.

watch your own back and stop being pussies.

R D says:

Re: amazing

Apart from other points you make, I’m wondering what it is, exactly, about vaginas you find to be particularly in-adept at defending oneself that penises are so much better for?

Last I checked, you don’t generally take control of a situation with your crotch when facing an armed person, it’s usually one of the more major limbs.

interval (profile) says:

Re: amazing

“…watch your own back and stop being pussies.”

I would LOVE to be able to be responsible for my own security. Unfortunately the Fed and most local governments have seen fit to make sure that I receive the maximum amount of pain and annoyance if I were ever to make use of any effective security. We’re all pretty much relegated to a telephone as our first line of defense. So, as the villain rides off after raping and murdering my daughter I feel secure in the knowledge that that cell phone is fully charged and ready to dial at a moment’s notice.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re: amazing

Amen brother… Personally, I feel that if I have the ability to defend myself, I should be allowed to. If some asshat decides to endanger me and mine, why should I have to protect HIS rights in defending myself?

I’m a responsible gun owner and licensed for concealed carry. Yet I’M restricted in defense while criminals who don’t give a shite are free to be ready to cause greater harm than I ever would. But I guess locking them up AFTERWARDS is such a wonderful way to handle it. /sarcasm

Patriot1776 says:

TSA workers are people too

TSA Agents, if you truly hate these patdown procedures, and also feel dehumanized having to do them, then protest. On Nov 24th call out sick from work.

You work hard, so your leaders who sit in ivory towers away from the comments can make 6 figure salaries while you deal with all the dehumization of yourself and others. Enough is Enough- Call out sick on the 24th

Patriot1776 says:

TSA workers are people too

TSA Agents, if you truly hate these patdown procedures, and also feel dehumanized having to do them, then protest. On Nov 24th call out sick from work.

You work hard, so your leaders who sit in ivory towers away from the comments can make 6 figure salaries while you deal with all the dehumization of yourself and others. Enough is Enough- Call out sick on the 24th

Phillip (profile) says:

Serving their country?

How clueless can they be to think this is serving their country? The idea of serving your country is to protect your compatriots from abuse like the current sexual assault practiced. Next they’ll be waterboarding passengers to check they really did pack their own luggage.

Fiddling with somebody’s penis or breasts/vagina is certainly not going to help national security. If the staff are so upset they should refuse, go on strike, or leave their job. It is not like they are in the army, where you cannot escape and there are strict penalties for disobeying or desertion. They are just bog standard security guards.

The sad thing is that the security theater drains cash from the real anti-terror initiatives.

Phillip.

mojo says:

frak the children

I am SO SICK TO DEATH of hearing “think of the children!!” I’ve seen so many responses to this saying “if they tried to pat down MY kid this way I’d kill that SOB.”

As if anyone is doing this to get their jollies.

Adults have feelings of shame and humility too, and frankly any adult who feels upset at a pat-down is just as deserving of being protected as any child.

In fact kids are far more robust than the over-protectors give them credit for; if anything, a kid is more likely to giggle through the whole thing and forget it five minutes after it’s over than these crybaby “he touched me and i’ll never get over it” adults.

In fact the only reason “the children” might be traumatized by the pat down is due to their screaming parents making such a big deal out of “how wrong” it is. If the kid sees their parents upset about it, THEY are going to be upset.

In any case, the whole pat-down thing should be moot because anyone who really thinks they are being violated by the x-ray is a paranoid freak with an overblown sense of self-worth.

Do you REALLY think a bunch of airport screeners are getting off on watching a few seconds of a black and white x-ray, their minds focused on anything that might look like a threat? Give me a damn break, it’s YOUR PROBLEM if you think people are oggling you under these circumstances.

Walk through the x-ray and just get over yourself, no one is looking at your barely discernable, technology-filtered boobs.

Gracey (user link) says:

Re: frak the children

I don’t care whether they enjoy it or NOT – this is totally unacceptable when people are trying to teach their kids to stay safe from freaking idiots who want to grope them.

NOT acceptable under any circumstances. Guess you don’t got kids. I hope you never do.

I’m also not talking about the scanners (if you can read, you’d have got that part, eh?), but the physical touching.

Anna Keppa says:

Re: frak the children

How about YOU “walk through the X-ray” four or five times a week, the way a lot of Road Warriors do?

The TSA (to be renamed the T&A, by the way) won’t say definitively how much harmful ionizing radiation each scan subjects a person to, what a permissible annual dose is, or how/howoften/by whom the scanners are re-calibrated to make sure they aren’t zapping people with high doses.

Should we just “get over ourselves” and just assume the government knows what it’s doing?

HAH.

Inquisition (profile) says:

Plan B

It is too coincidental that these more rigorous pat downs started at roughly the same time that the porno-scanners were starting to be used. Here is how I imagine it was discussed.
TSA guy #1: “You know that people are going to protest these new scanners, don’t you?”
TSA guy #2: “We’ll have to convince them that it is to keep them safe.”
TSA guy #1: “Um, I don’t think that it will work this time.”
TSA guy #2: I know! We’ll make the alternative to the scanner so uncomfortable and embarrassing, that people will line up like sheep to be scanned!”

The pat downs are just a way to intimidate us in to stepping into the scanner without question.

Mojo says:

frak the children

Gracey: “NOT acceptable under any circumstances. Guess you don’t got kids. I hope you never do.”

Another famous line from all the self-appointed protectors of children, assuming anyone who dares to not lock away kids can’t possibly have any.

What about the doctor? Is the doctor’s office also part of your “never under any circumstances” mantra?

Of course not. You’ll tell your kids it’s ok if the doctor touches them because the doctor is there to make sure your child is healthy!

Well, like it or not, agree or disagree, the security agent is there patting people down to make sure NO ONE IS GOING TO BLOW UP THE PLANE.

I’d say that person is also trying to insure your child’s health, since most doctors recommend their patients avoid fireballs.

Look, I don’t really believe that these pat-downs are going to catch anyone with a stick of dynamite hiding in their groin, but that IS the idea and that IS why it’s being done.

The intentions are good and they are doing this (even if it’s not effective) to protect people.

That is just as good a reason for your child to “endure the horror” as it is at the doctor’s office.

Hey, at least at the airport they don’t have to take their clothes off!

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: frak the children

“Gracey: “NOT acceptable under any circumstances. Guess you don’t got kids. I hope you never do.”

Well I do, and I would rather her grow up in a free society, and take the chance, than grow up in what we are becoming. The “terrorists” have already won.

The doctor argument is a straw man. My kid knows her doctor, she has been seeing him since birth. If he started doing something that caused her pain or fear, HE WILL STOP. Not so with the TSA.

“Look, I don’t really believe that these pat-downs are going to catch anyone”
But you defend them anyway? Troll.

“The intentions are good and they are doing this (even if it’s not effective) to protect people.”
Yeah Hitler was protecting Germany with good intentions.

“Hey, at least at the airport they don’t have to take their clothes off!”
No need to. They can get the same view without you going through the motion.

The greatest weapon of the fascist is the tolerance of the pacifist.

mary s says:

Re: frak the children

Aww I’m so glad to know they have good intentions. They just want to protect us.

The road to tyranny is paved with good intentions.

I wonder where you’d draw the line on that though. I’m always so curious to know when people would draw the line. Would you still argue “well they have good intentions, we should just put up with it” if they were requiring you to strip naked in front of the public and subsequently feel you up? I honestly want to know where your line is between liberty and security. Because my line is when a complete stranger is allowed to see me naked for the paltry reason that “I might be a terrorist” with no other evidence than immediate distrust and suspense of all citizens. Even my husband has to have permission to see me naked or feel me up; why should a stranger get rights that he doesn’t have?

Markle says:

Re: frak the children

Well, like it or not, agree or disagree, the security agent is there patting people down to make sure NO ONE IS GOING TO BLOW UP THE PLANE….

Look, I don’t really believe that these pat-downs are going to catch anyone with a stick of dynamite hiding in their groin, but that IS the idea and that IS why it’s being done.

Thanks for illustrating for us exactly what is meant by Security Theater. You don’t expect it to work, but you want us to go through the motions anyways. At least you’re one up on Cargo Cult Science where they actually do expect it to work.

How about instead of spending $167,000,000 on these machines, we have a group of real experts in behavioral profiling(not racial profiling, that doesn’t work) write up a textbook for screeners. That should cost about $500,000. Then we spend $1,000 or so each on the 50,000 screeners to attend seminars where they learn the techniques. 3 months out, 6 months out, evaluate and pick the best as trainers. This is what we do with fighter pilots. We have the best fighter pilots in the world. It’s doable.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: frak the children

What about the doctor? Is the doctor’s office also part of your “never under any circumstances” mantra?

I have three children. They have had several didn’t doctors over the course of their lives, but none of them have ever touched them the way that TSA agents do, or even in the same areas. There’s no need for that until the child hits puberty, and can then understand and consent to the procedure.

You’ll tell your kids it’s ok if the doctor touches them because the doctor is there to make sure your child is healthy!

No, I’ll tell my teenagers that it’s okay for them to undergo those procedures, because that’s the truth. I wouldn’t tell my teenagers that it’s okay for them to be groped because there isn’t any reason for them to be groped. Maybe you lie to your kids, but I don’t lie to mine.

Well, like it or not, agree or disagree, the security agent is there patting people down to make sure NO ONE IS GOING TO BLOW UP THE PLANE.

Not true. The TSA scan-and-grope can’t look in cavities, so while a health exam by a physician is useful, a grope by the TSA is not.

Look, I don’t really believe that these pat-downs are going to catch anyone with a stick of dynamite hiding in their groin, but that IS the idea and that IS why it’s being done.

If you don’t believe that these measures are useful, then you should join us in protesting them. We should never waste time or money on things that don’t work, and when you add the actual abuses and hurt that this causes people, it’s time to stop.

That is just as good a reason for your child to “endure the horror” as it is at the doctor’s office.

As I’ve shown, no, it’s not.

Hey, at least at the airport they don’t have to take their clothes off!

At their doctor’s office, they have never been asked to remove their clothing. In the future, when they’re teens and can understand and consent to the procedures, they’ll be asked to change into a gown that still covers their body to undergo health exams by people that they know and are comfortable with.

At an airport, children have to get naked and be looked at by strangers and/or be groped and touched all over by strangers, without understanding, consent, or purpose.

In what way are these two situation analogous?

techturf (profile) says:

Suggestions from earlier today

on the TD article on the TSA from earlier today, I liked these two suggestions from readers the most:

1. Wear a kilt and, of course, go commando

2. Note that when being harassed by authority figures it’s _never_ in _your_ best interests to go somewhere private. Sure it may be a little more embarrassing, but it’s ultimately _much_ safer.

If I were flying, I would;

1. Make sure to opt out of any screening that you can.

2. Where hard athletic protection (the kind you use for football or some other contact sport).

3. When the confused / frustrated TSA ‘agent’ asks you to go to a ‘private area’, refuse. Tell them, “If you want to sexually assault me, I want as many witnesses as possible.”

#2 protects your ‘junk’
#3 almost guarantees that they’ll end up sexually assaulting you.

Mojo says:

All this would not even be neccessary if...

They wouldn’t even have gotten to the point of needing these x-ray machines had airport security not utterly and completely failed to catch the “underwear bomber” before he got on the plane.

People may forget, but here was a single, middle aged guy who bought a ONE WAY TICKET WITH CASH and was NOT red-flagged for further questioning and/or screening.

Especially after Sept 11, these criteria (one way tickets and cash) were considered pretty big red flags for potential terrorists, and rightly so. In fact i’m surprised the Underwear Bomber was stupid enough to buy a one-way with cash and NOT expect to be singled out!

But no one along the entire chain, from ticketing to check-in to security thought to check this guy out. Had they done so, they almost certainly would have discovered something was amiss long before he boarded.

These are elementary, rudimentary counter-terrorism tactics that even a moron in a hurry should be able to implement, and it scares the crap out of me that the people working security let this all get past them.

And THAT’S why we have x-ray machines now… because the machines are, unfortunately, smarter than the people.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 9/11

Incorrect.

There was a LOT of people (myself included) who immediately argued against the so-called Patriot Act. Not that the wonderful government listened to us.

Besides, you’re confusing security theatre with security. What the TSA has been doing the past nine or so years has very little to do with actual security. It’s mostly an annoying play to make the average citizen “feel” safer, while doing very little to actually protect citizens.

The scanners were brought into play because someone got paid off — not because they’re actually effective.

BruceLD says:

Subject

TSA perverts gawking at naked pictures of your children, daughters, wives, husbands, etc. TSA perverts groping the breasts, vaginas and anuses of your underage daughters and wives. TSA perverts violating the penises and anuses of your underage sons and husbands.

And the government sanctions this. If you choose to not go on to the plane due to the scanners and pervert groping, you get slapped with a $10,000 fine.

We can thank the terrorists for all this. We are now all being treated like those that they are supposed to protecting us from.

Terrorist WIN. Citizens FAIL. Wasn’t this part of the plan on the terrorists to make our lives even more stressful and difficult?

TJ says:

Only Following Orders?

At the end of the day, I don’t care whether or not this crap is morale-breaking. I don’t care if they go home, every day, and cry. I don’t care if they’re just the front-line troops and are just following orders. I don’t care if the feel like they’re being crucified just for serving their country.

There’ve been a lot of people throughout history who’ve excused abhorrent behavior by saying, “I was only following orders.” Wrong is wrong. Whether you want to accept responsibilities for your actions or your complicity doesn’t change that wrongness. There’s a toll to be paid. If you actually have a moral compass that’s worth a damn, that toll will be paid from your morale.

doctordrewl says:

This is why 9/11 Truth is such a big issue.

If our government or our media had bothered to investigate what really happened on 9/11, on 7/7, with Richard Reeves, or with the Underwear bomber… they would see that all the terror events used to justify the War on Terror and the TSA’s aggressive new actions, are all highly suspicious events that are invariably carried out by people linked to government intelligence agencies during drills, that almost always mirror the actual terror event. It’s ridiculous…and pathetic, and only truly independent thinkers are willing to call this terrorism what it really is… synthetic. When we as a country rolled over, and let Bush and Cheney influence the narrative and investigation surrounding 9/11… we fell right into their trap, and we walked right into this bizzarro world of fear and hate… where we’re being forced (not asked) to give up our rights and privacy, in exchange for protection against an enemy that many believe, just doesn’t exist.

Get over you’re shock and awe, America… and start listening to your neighbors for a change… not the wind-up dolls on TV. Investigate 9/11. Google WTC7. Fires alone can’t drop 40 story skyscrapers… 1,300+ Archtects and Engineers agree…. and as of last week… so does Geraldo Rivera.

dejected says:

Imoral

This is government mandated immorality.

The Japanese government forced women into prostitution. What else are you prepared to do as a TSA employee?

Shame on the perverse TSA workers for accepting to molest innocent children, wives and grandmothers.

As a TSA worker, you have turned into a molester and child sexual abuser.

Shame on you. Obeying commands was the excuse of the NAZI’s. It did not fly at the end and it will not with you either.

You must be prosecuted by local authorities. Local DA’s must stand against federal government sexual abuse of the population.

Shame on you all Americans for accepting your freedoms to be taken away for a sense of false security.

Israel did not have an incident in 20 years and they don’t have sexual molestation nor sexual screening.

Saudia Arabia, where most of the 911 terrorists came from do not accept screening as it is contrary to their morals.

But you, Americans, sell your freedoms for trash.

Your parents are ashamed of you as they watch over generations in horror.

You, my fellow Americans, do not deserve this country any more.

Anonymous Coward says:

The next big news will either be “Bomber got with explosives trying to board a plane” or “Bomber detonate bomb inside a plane”, regardless I’m musing on a couple of points.

– People are trying to stop rare attacks on U.S. soil but they don’t have authority to do so overseas, if other countries are not doing the same and attacks are not happening why is that there are a need for this now?

– With no real threat since 9/11 why is that is now groping that important? After all they didn’t do this after they caught to would-be-bombers on planes, why is that they want people to submit to groping just after they put scanners on the airports, this seems to me is not about security is about forcing people to accept something and it is clear as day, you either pass through the radioactivate scanner or we will touch you where the sun don’t shine.

Hoth says:

You are NOT “honorably serving your country”. You are engaging in an act of theater that makes some people feel safe while actually accomplishing nothing. You waste time checking over people you have no suspicion of being terrorists, simply to make things “fair” and avoid being accused of profiling. Well, profiling is EXACTLY what you should be doing. Not groping three year olds and nuns.

Patriot1776 says:

 Dear John Pistole and Janet Napolitano,
As leaders, you have issued an unlawful order to your troops. As a veteran, this makes you fully responsible and them responsible for followig it. Those are the rules we have to follow in war zones defending the freedoms you are stripping from our family we have left in our care while we fight this war based on lies.
You have issued an unlawful order, against the US Constitution. You both took the same oath I took to defend the Constitution and have abadoned it and that is an act of treason. Those troops under you following your orders will share your shame when you are prosecuted.
TSA employees do not share the shame. When a soldier follows an unlawful order he is just as responsible as the commander issuing it, and disobeying that unlawful order is your duty
Molesting, groping, improper touching of innocent people is not legal and we cannot do it in War Zones to innocent people, so why are you touching my wife and kids I left in your care? Thank you TSA for demoralizing the troops overseas and violating our families we left in your care.

Frank (user link) says:

Correct Except for the Part About Serving Their Country

They are not “serving [their] country”, they are serving their government. And, their government has interests that are the exact opposite of their country’s interest. Just because being a soldier, cop, TSA agent, SS, brownshirt is a legal job provided by the state does not change the fact that it is wrong. If you choose to do wrong for money, don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for you. And definitely don’t give me some bs that you’re “serving your country”.

GT (profile) says:

Diddums

“I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

You have got to be kidding me – these whip-kissing retards try the ‘Duty to Country” schlock?

I sincerely hope that they ALL get cancer from Chertoff’s pornotron scanners; anybody who participates in this security-theatre (designed to impress COMPLIANCE upon the State’s livestock) is a subhuman.

Cheerio

GT

lester says:

Nothing

Nothing in this new process is keeping us safe. This is all for show and to prove that even if a person has a connection to a muslim group, even a radical muslim group, they will be treated the same as granny from Chattanooga.

We need to seriously ramp profiling. Every terrorist in the last decade had a muslim connection. We need to focus on them, people with muslim connections.

And CAIR can kass my iss if they do not like it.

Anna Keppa says:

Follow TSA's pretzel logic

It’s been pointed out that a few months ago some guy using explosives packed in his anus tried to kill a Saudi prince.

Didn’t work: would-be assassin was blown to pieces, and the prince escaped unharmed. Clean-up was a bitch, or so I’m told.

So when another terrorist makes it through airport security with PETN up his butt— the scans won’t detect it, patdowns won’t find it, and they’ve stopped using sniffers—and then removes the explosives while in the lav and blows up a plane — will TSA decreee that we all have to endure body cavity searches?

It’s the “logical” next step to “protect” us— at least if you’re a crazy-assed TSA type.

John DeVita says:

Freedom Airlines

Sometimes, I like to save money by shopping at a discount store where I bag my own groceries. I think we need an airline where people can save time, money, dignity and freedom by bagging their own terrorists.

Just completely seal the cockpits, separate entrance, their own bathroom. Only pilots get in the cockpit, no one can enter the cockpit during flight.

If a terrorist causes trouble the passengers bag him, like they did on flight 93, Like they did to the shoe bomber, and like they did to the underwear bomber.

Sorry haters, but passengers bagged the last 3 in a row, and I trust them more than all this TSA nonsense.

M.Dunn says:

I worked for TSA for two years

I never got repeated verbal abuse from passengers and no one I worked with suffered with any type of psychological fatigue from the job. Most people appreciate what we do.

One thing to keep in mind when you read this story is that my home airport screed over 1 million passengers a year. So, if you read 100 of these stories a year that’s .01% of the passengers in my home airport alone. Just think about that…

Mike C says:

TSA Staff Round On Their Own Bosses

February 20, 2011:

Demoralized TSA staff have banded together with the flying public to demand an end to invasive, ineffective screening and scanning procedures, and to advocate adoption of the Israeli method of air security. Both groups also demand prosecution of former DHS secretary Janet Napolitano.

bugmenot (profile) says:

Don't blame the TSA employees - this is Obama

Obama appointed the progressives to high positions in his administration. He has approved the TSA’s actions. Your child is being sexually assaulted on Obama’s orders. Obama is the lead pedophile! the lead pervert attacking your spouse! Go after Obama if you object to sexual perversion. Demand that his kids be put in a foster home! Have him charged as a pedophile! He is the leader. He approved the sex. He is responsible for the result.

kelly says:

Respect the Rights of Good Citizens!!!

It seems that our current administration is more concerned with respecting the rights of terrorists and illegal immigrants than the the rights of its citizens who are working hard trying to do the right thing for their family and country day in and day out.

This new “enhanced” security policy has me seriously thinking about changing travel plans to visit my elderly parents… Beyond a hand shake or a gentle touch to the shoulder, I do not want a stranger touching any part of me! And I certainly do not want strangers looking at images of me unclothed… not to mention the health risks of the ful-body scanners that have yet to be determined.

We have to use a common sense, intelligent approach to security. Identify passengers who may pose a risk based on intelligence, profiling and behavior and screen them!!!

matt says:

They are not "Serving our country honorably"

TSA employees are not “Serving our country honorably.” They are bilking taxpayers for a meal ticket and in doing so are shamefully rolling over to demands that they sexually molest all airline passengers.

The employees should band together and staunchly refuse to violate our rights just for a $30,000 a year job.

Ryan says:

Keep it up

People should keep up the taunting. If the TSA agents refuse to perform these searches, it will become untenable for them to continue on such a massive scale.

People need to resist each as much as they can. For some people, that’s refusing to use the body scanners. For others, that’s telling the people doing the searching what they think about the search. For others, it’s the “don’t touch my junk” recording, and being willing to take a huge fine by refusing to comply. Go as far as you’re able to reasonably go and these violations of our civil rights and human dignity will stop.

George says:

Honorably serving your country? No you are not. You are working for an organization that is being rather callous and disrespectful towards Americans when it is supposed to serve them and protect them.

Look, I used to work for the fed .gov myself. What it came down to was I was being directed to do stuff that was far from being in the best interest of the citizens of this country, so I got out. Any of these TSA screeners could do the same. Leave an unethical and out of control organization and get a job that doesn’t involve violating people. You might end up stocking groceries at Walmart, but at least it’s HONEST work and you can live with yourself, plus you don’t have to feel up the fatties…

Leaving fed .gov employment was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

Robert Clay says:

Sad day for the USA

Are you saying you would rather have planes falling out of the sky again?

The US has been very lucky, for almost a century, in avoiding massive terrorist attacks (Before you scoff about “Almost a Century” please read a book, any book). Our time has run out and we now have to face the same choices the Brits did in the early 1900’s with the IRA.

If I’m faced with the choice of having my privacy violated by the TSA or by having my plane hit the ground at 400mph; I will choose the TSA.

This manufactured outrage racing about the country has done nothing but encourage the bad guys and made the US laughing stocks in the eyes of our allies.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Sad day for the USA

“Are you saying you would rather have planes falling out of the sky again?”

Absolutely not… but we WOULD like some kind of verifiable evidence that these processes have helped keep that from happening. The one time someone asked, they were told “sorry, that information is a state secret”. ref: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101119/18284511954/whether-not-tsa-has-ever-caught-terrorist-is-apparently-state-secret.shtml

“The US has been very lucky, for almost a century, in avoiding massive terrorist attacks (Before you scoff about “Almost a Century” please read a book, any book). Our time has run out and we now have to face the same choices the Brits did in the early 1900’s with the IRA.

Before you start drawing parallels between the Taliban and the IRA, you better make sure you understand their ideals and the reasons behind their actions. I’m sure that you know that the IRA in the early 1900’s was a self-proclaimed ‘freedom force’ fighting to overthrow British rule. Sound familiar? Because if you’re saying they’re the same as the Taliban, they so are we. We were a self-proclaimed freedom force fighting to overthrow British rule back in 1776… we just happened to win and wrote the history.

Now, if you’re talking about the IRA that most people would call terrorists in the 80’s, you?re talking about a splinter group that broke off of the ‘official’ IRA. Both groups denied the validity of each other, but the splinter-group (later called the Provisional IRA) are the ones most people mean when they say “The IRA” in the same sentence as “terrorism”. And if you’re going to point out the Belfast incident as one of their actions, remember that that engagement was actually between the two factions of IRA, not the British. It seems that the P-IRA and the IRA were as focused on killing each other as they were with ?terrorizing? Britain.

“If I’m faced with the choice of having my privacy violated by the TSA or by having my plane hit the ground at 400mph; I will choose the TSA.”

Ok, but the rest of us are not so ready to surrender our constitutional rights, especially since the payment for buying our rights is an empty wooden nickel that has no value. Again, no proof that any of this is even effective at its stated purpose.

“This manufactured outrage racing about the country has done nothing but encourage the bad guys and made the US laughing stocks in the eyes of our allies.”

I’m interested in your definition of ‘manufactured’ in this. Is everyone who’s been in the news being paid to do this by the Right (or is it Left, I can’t tell any more) just to stir up trouble? Is the Taliban paying American citizens or placing terrorists in here just to cause this stink?

And I think the US being laughing-stocks of the world-at-large has already happened and had nothing to do with the TSA Security Theater.

MikeInPlano says:

Sad day for the USA

If we’d start making tactical strikes in the countries we know are harboring the terrorists – Osama et al – those countries would be forced to come to grips with the issue.

Yes, there’d be a lot of international press about the U.S. being a bully, but the standard response is “Nuts! We’ll defend our country proactively, and if you don’t like it go blame the terrorists.”

global village idiot says:

Keep up the pressure

Your premise is entirely flawed. You fail to see the forest because of all the trees in the way.

Of course there will be plenty of thugs to take the place of the ethical worker who quits in protest. The problem isn’t that there aren’t ethical people in those jobs – it’s the job itself that needs to go!

It’s sad that otherwise respectable people must suffer because they took a job that more resembles the work of the Sonderkommando than a defender of the Nation. But what they’re doing must stop.

There’s something in communications called “mirroring.” There is nothing morally or ethically questionable in getting a TSA worker to realize he’s doing something immoral and illegal.

My only fear is that of seeing things play out kind of like they did in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

Angela (profile) says:

Their complaints are not credible.

These people make very little money – minimum wage or something like it. Only a very sick person would do a job like that. I had trouble with U.S. Customs many years ago and the behavior is the same. If you are a woman flying alone and you get off the plane, these people will approach you with a glint in their eyes and a bulge in their pants. The airports have long been havens for sexual perverts. I believe they are honing their numbers – purposely hiring people who enjoy sexually bullying and molesting other people. Women and girls have borne the brunt of this perversion for years. I am stunned that after all these years it is getting any kind of attention.

anonymous says:

Besides getting sexually assaulted or raped by TSA, they do one dangerous thing. They don’t wash their hands and replace their glooves after each person they molest. This could be dangerous because it could spread chicken pox, flu, E.Coli, bacteria, viruses, etc. They clawed my ankles in 2002 and caused to develop a panic disorder which I feel is causing a digestive disorder and my salivary gland has been swollen since that time. I just HATE, HATE, HATE, TSA PIGS.

guest says:

Keep up the pressure

Excuse me but no matter how one tries to spin this..these pat down’s are obscene as well as illegal. Tsa agent’s who agree to this behavior are thug’s. They are sexully molesting grandmother’s and children.To think otherwise is to have somewhere forfieted one’s decernment of decency. Nazi Germany after the war claimed they were just following order’s much as tsa agent’s are claiming. What they are doing is wrong..morally wrong.Our country can keep american’s safe by profiling yet won’t due to not offending the muslim terrorists. Good grief.

Paul (profile) says:

Keep up the pressure

Yup, and the folk that guarded the concentration camps and shovelled jews and communists and homosexuals an gypsies into the gas ovens were also just doing their job. “Befehl ist befehl” was not considered a decence in Nuremburg, and while this is obviously a different degree, it is the same issue.

Doing something illegal because your employer tells you to is no defence in law. Of course, if the employer is the US Government, somehow no-one gets to prosecute you (torturers, purveyors of child sex slaves, illegal wiretaps, …)

Paul (profile) says:

Keep up the pressure

Yup, and the folk that guarded the concentration camps and shovelled jews and communists and homosexuals an gypsies into the gas ovens were also just doing their job. “Befehl ist befehl” was not considered a defence in Nuremburg, and while this is obviously a different degree, it is the same issue.

Doing something illegal because your employer tells you to is no defence in law. Of course, if the employer is the US Government, somehow no-one gets to prosecute you (torturers, purveyors of child sex slaves, illegal wiretaps, …)

Paul (profile) says:

Keep up the pressure

Yup, and the folk that guarded the concentration camps and shovelled jews and communists and homosexuals an gypsies into the gas ovens were also just doing their job. “Befehl ist befehl” was not considered a defence in Nuremburg, and while this is obviously a different degree, it is the same issue.

Doing something illegal because your employer tells you to is no defence in law. Of course, if the employer is the US Government, somehow no-one gets to prosecute you (torturers, purveyors of child sex slaves, illegal wiretaps, …)

steven says:

I worked for TSA for two years

some people just dont get it
first of all it a job and if all you who are complaining didnt have a job and couldnt provide for your family and TSA came to your door you would jump for it.
Second if your dont like what is happening keep complaining to everyone and to your congressman and dont fly. take a bus or a boat. Dont harrass someone who just trying to put food on the table for his or her family. this agency has been around for almost 10 years it isnt going anywhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

So, guys, I work for the TSA.

I don’t work here out of some ideological BS, I do it for the $12.50/hour and benefits. If you haven’t noticed, the economy is in the toilet, and I have to help out my family and save up what I have left to pay off college loans. And this job is like gynecology but worse, mind you: like hell, I want to touch your malodorous man-thighs.

“Taking away our freedoms”? You folks haven’t seen what they do to people like you in China: now, that’s totalitarianism. Suck it up, you lot of goddamn deluded, histrionic (wo)manchildren, and when there are signs saying not to bring bottles of liquids, don’t bring bottles of liquids, you insufferable illiterates. I don’t want to do body searches, either, and the only reason I’m compelled to do so is because many of you seem to lack the mental capacity to follow the simplest of instructions. Stay home and save us the trouble.

As for speaking out against my employer, how can I do so when I’m getting paid peanuts as it is? That’s your job; the US is a democracy, in case you fell asleep during civics class. Don’t vote for dimwitted politicians who believe that these policies will stop terrorism, and you won’t have the TSA groping your privates.

Things are bad, certainly, but some of you are literally comparing us to Nazis, for god’s sake. Do you know what you’re saying? Is airport screening morally equivalent to genocide now? Go get reality checks.

Proof of TSA idiocy says:

TSA agents know nothing about security. Many things look good on paper but don’t work in reality. I have done security for years and its about being observant. That’s it these new policy’s are a joke and before you wine about 12.50 an hour I get paid less and have no benefits yet I know more and have more experience than any TSA agent. I would tell my supervisor where they can go if they wanted me to break the law like tsa does. Believe me I have told off supervisors for things many times. Its called grow some balls and quit acting like a little girl. BTW explosives and guns are the only thing we need to screen for because the passengers will beat the living crap out of anyone else just like any real american would. The only safety in this world comes from ourselves the government can’t give you safety. Learn to protect yourself and be observant that is the responsibility of every american.

Stephen (profile) says:

TSA

To the TSA agent who stated they were “serving their country” No you are not serving your country! That’s what you are being told you are doing when in fact you are serving your employer! The government. What you are actually doing is participating in phony theater of this fake ass “war on terror” The reality is that you are participating in an indoctrination process, tricking the public to accept that this groping bullshit actually does anything to deter terrorism. How about the 80% of the commercial cargo that fly’s along with us on every flight that goes unchecked?? That’s what should be scrutinized but that cost too much and besides the public wouldn’t get to see this and therefore does not enhance the “police state” mentality of rogue elements of our government. It is your duty as an American to refuse to violate your fellow American’s rights under the supreme law of the land, the United States Constitution. After all, being a so called federal agent I am certain you were administered and subsequently agreed to uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC! Correct!

Anonymoushieronymous says:

Serving one's country....by molesting people??

I shed not one single tear for the “poor” TSA agent who cries every day and bemoans the taunts for “serving his country”.
MY FOOT!! The ignorance….Aaarrgh!
Look here buddies, let’s get real.
What the TSA is doing—what you are doing, you “poor” TSA agent—is virtual gunpointing of people.
Either submit to being molested, or nude scanned, or don’t fly, or be jailed.
You are doing exactly what the rapists on the streets get jailed for. Wearing a badge is no “Excuse”.
How can anyone in their right mind call this “service” and how can anyone say that being virtually gunpointed, molested, in public…makes us *Safe*???? My god, wake up! Sheesh. Lifelong trauma to little children makes us “safe”?

At this point, I am rolling my eyeballs and even wondering if the CIA planned the underpants bomber on purpose, just to scare us all and start molesting us, as a way to close down the borders to travelers. Paranoid? Well do your research folks, before you ever make such assumptions!
Think about CAPPS II, it’s not an accident that the unconstitutional bill was overthrown by the airlines…it would have profiled passengers. After this was toppled, the ACLU reported that the Feds were planning US travelers to have to wear electronic stun bracelets! Can you imagine? Stunned by remote control, in The Land of the Free? Well, now they are molesting us instead. Because they only think we will never Just Say No.

Well, I beg to differ with their evil designs and perverted thinking. Spit on them!

I say: Submit graciously while at the airport. Make no fuss. Smile nicely, be a “good boy/girl”. Then…Take the name and badge number of the TSA agent who is thus breaking moral and legal law by touching you in this way. Then go and report them! Contact the ACLU, contact the District Attorney of the area, and use your peaceful but vocal pen to post online, write letters to the editor, and expose this creep by name as you do so!

It’s time to end this nonsense and put these folks in jail. The Nuremberg trials did not approve “just following orders” as an “Excuse”.

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