TSA Abuse Document
By Lisa Simeone
If you’re looking for the most recent incidents of abuse, skip to the end of the document.
been writing about TSA abuse for several years – and since August 2010 specifically
about the grotesquely euphemized “enhanced patdowns” -- to almost universal
derision or indifference. I kept warning people that these things were coming,
that they were being “tested” by the TSA in two airports – Las Vegas and Boston
– in preparation for a national roll-out. Few of my friends and colleagues
Since November 1, 2010, when millions of passengers started being subjected to the gropefests, people have been slowly waking up. The expected abuse has, of course, gotten worse. Not only are we subject to groping, but many TSA agents, predictably, have taken it one step further: groping INSIDE people’s underwear, or taking them to private rooms to disrobe.
What did people expect? Ever heard the saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely? Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram amply demonstrated abuse of power in their famous experiments over 40 years ago. But many people prefer to stick their heads in the sand.
is a compilation of stories and sources so far, to which I keep adding as new
ones appear. Some are headlines and links only, others text (I started
including text because links can go out of date, sites can remove stories, and
when you have a broken link you’re stuck). Some links contain multiple
stories. Obviously, these are only the accounts that happened to receive
publicity or that were recounted to me personally. We have no idea how many
other incidents there are that never get reported to anyone but family and
friends. No one person can keep up with them all.
This list includes various kinds of TSA abuse – physical, sexual, financial, psychological – inappropriate questions about personal finances, passenger’s money being confiscated, harassment that forces people to miss their flights, bullying of various kinds, children being molested, groping, assault, etc. It’s in roughly chronological order, so if you’re looking for more recent incidents, skip to the end. But be aware that this abuse has been going on for a long time.
Final note to those who object that some of these accounts don’t contain people’s full names: I have included links to every single account. If a reporter doesn’t believe these accounts and wants to find out who a person is, he or she can easily find the IP address and, often, the original email address. Second, many people don’t want their full names exposed because they’re afraid of retaliation when they next fly, or because they’re simply humiliated and don’t want to be further humiliated by having their names out there. That’s their choice. I applaud those who aren’t afraid to use their real names, such as Prof. Sommer Gentry, but I can also understand why not everyone does that. -LS
Sunday, August 22, 2010
TRANSPORTATION – Associated Press
'Enhanced patdown' tested at 2 airports
Federal security screeners at two airports are using an "enhanced patdown" on passengers who decline to go through full-body scanning machines, a technique that is renewing the debate over how to balance privacy and security.
The Transportation Security Administration says the technique -- a palms-forward, slide-down search -- is being tested at Logan International Airport in Boston and at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas before a national rollout. It replaces the old back-of-the-hand patdown.
The American Civil Liberties
Union of Massachusetts is questioning whether the new technique is effective
enough to justify what it calls a "seemingly constant erosion of
3.Gimme a break
November 16th, 2010
This past Thursday while waiting to board a flight from Tucson to Chicago I witnessed two women who were thoroughly patted down per the new regs with a new twist, both women were asked if they minded a quick peek into their panties. The looks on their faces spoke a thousand words. They both apparently submitted to this intrusion, but were very unsettled. One women was 40-ish the other, older at maybe 65-70. Give me a break.
(A well-known national TV reporter’s response to me about the above comment, on Nov 16, 2010, and I quote from her email: “I don't believe that for one second. Out in the open for all to see?? Come on. Even you can't believe they asked to look in someone's underwear where others could see and hear. I go thru airports two, three, four, sometimes more times each week. That is not how it's done. It simply isn't. Whoever wrote that was trying to stir something up.” A few days later, this reporter’s own colleague, a producer at ABC named Carolyn Durand, was sexually assaulted by a TSA agent at Newark airport Link below. –LS)
SkiAdcock in FlyerTalk
(Nov. 10, 2010 ):
Was chatting w/ someone who was at SMD2 (don't remember who), & she
mentioned that when she opted out & went through the patdown that the agent
pulled her pants forward & backward from her body & looked down inside
her pants, both front & back! I would have gone ballistic at that
TSA-SEXUAL ASSAULT (her
title, not mine -LS)
This woman is a 30-something mother, cookbook writer, and devout Christian. She was groped on her buttocks and labia. According to her lawyer, she was sexually assaulted. http://www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/2010/11/tsa-sexual-assault.html
says TSA agents harassed him
June 20, 2009|By Jeanne Meserve and Mike Ahlers CNN
Steve Bierfeldt says
the Transportation Security Administration pulled him aside for extra
questioning in March. He was carrying a pocket edition of the U.S. Constitution
and an iPhone capable of making audio recordings. And he used them.
On a recording a TSA agent can be heard berating Bierfeldt. One sample: "You want to play smartass, and I'm not going to play your f**king game."
Bierfeldt is director of development for the Campaign for Liberty, an outgrowth of the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He was returning from a regional conference March 29 when TSA screeners at Lambert-St. Louis (Missouri) International Airport saw a metal cash box in his carry-on bag. Inside was more than $4,700 dollars in cash -- proceeds from the sale of political merchandise like T-shirts and books.
There are no restrictions on carrying large sums of cash on flights within the United States, but the TSA allegedly took Bierfeldt to a windowless room and, along with other law enforcement agencies, questioned him for almost half an hour about the money.
The American Civil Liberties Union has taken up Bierfeldt's cause and is suing Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, whose department includes the TSA. Their complaint alleges that Bierfeldt was "subjected to harassing interrogation, and unlawfully detained."
UPDATE: Bierfeldt sued,
dropped charges when TSA finally admitted wrongdoing:
How My Lawsuit Against the TSA Made Airports Safe For the Constitution Again
Now Putting Hands Down Fliers’ Pants
Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Prison Planet.com Tuesday, November 16, 2010
. . . Going through airport security this past weekend, radio host Owen JJ Stone, known as “OhDoctah,” related how he was told that the rules had been changed and was offered a private screening. When he asked what the procedure entailed, the TSA agent responded, “I have to go in your waistband, I have to put my hand down your pants,” after which he did precisely that.
Stone chose to conduct the search in public in the fear that the TSA worker would be even more aggressive in a private room.
“If you’re wearing sweat pants or baggy clothing, I was wearing sweat pants they’re not baggy, they’re sweat pants,” said Stone, adding that the agent pulled out his waistband before patting his backside and his crotch.
THE ALEX JONES SHOW 11/16/2010: Video (see link already indicated above)
. . . “I didn’t really expect her to touch my vagina through my pants,” said Kaya McLaren, an elementary schoolteacher from Cle Elum, Wash., who was patted down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport last Saturday because the body scanner detected a tissue and a hair band in her pocket.
. . . According to information the T.S.A. has shared or published, the airport pat-downs are supposed to be conducted by officers the same sex as the traveler, and passengers can request a private screening and have a traveling companion present during the search. Agents are not permitted to look inside passengers’ underwear or reach inside a skirt . . . . [but they do anyway –LS]
on November 8, 2010 by caraschulz
181. HIGHLIGHT (NYT)
Kathleen, USA, November 19th, 2010, 8:11 am
This is a ridiculous policy and it needs to stop.
I fly regularly for work. Last week, even though I had set off no alarms, a TSA agent made me unbutton my shirt exposing my bra and THEN frisked me under my shirt, focusing on my breasts. She also spent a lot of time "frisking" my genital area, again *under* my skirt, which exposed my underwear. It was humiliating. I debated canceling my trip home for Thanksgiving, I was so upset about it.
I complained but was told since anything that falls under the umbrella of "security procedure" there is zero recourse. So why is the TSA so far above the law? There is nothing you can do if they do something incredibly abusive.
923. HIGHLIGHT (NYT)
Sam, Florida, November 19th, 2010, 4:56 pm
. . . I knew what to expect on the pat down put was still
bothered by it. My crotch area was well probed by the TSA agent, my breats
were well probed, I had to lift my shirt up while the TSA agent shoved her
fingers into my the wasteband of my pants, etc.
TSA Forces Cancer Survivor Flight Attendant to Pull Out
Prosthetic Breast During Patdown
Lawsuit: Airport search indecent (with update below)
Posted: October 10, 2010 - 11:57pm
By Jim McBride
An Amarillo woman is suing the
federal government for intentional infliction of emotional distress after
Transportation Security Administration agents allegedly humiliated the woman
when her breasts were publicly exposed during an "extended search"
two years ago at a Corpus Christi airport.
The suit, filed earlier this year in Amarillo's U.S. District Court, alleges the woman was singled out for "extended search procedures" while preparing to board an aircraft destined for Amarillo on May 29, 2008.
The Amarillo Globe-News has declined to identify the woman for privacy reasons.
"As the TSA agent was frisking plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff's blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs' breasts to everyone in the area," the lawsuit said. "As would be expected, plaintiff was extremely embarrassed and humiliated."
The suit said the woman filed an administrative claim against the TSA, but the agency never responded, sparking the lawsuit.
The suit also claims that other TSA employees continued to joke and laugh about the incident for an extended period of time. The woman was distraught over the incident and left the screening area so an acquaintance could console her, the suit said.
When the woman re-entered the boarding area, employees once again began joking about the matter, the suit said.
"One male TSA employee expressed to the plaintiff that he wished he would have been there when she came through the first time and that 'he would just have to watch the video,'" the suit said.
The lawsuit claims, among other allegations, that federal employees were negligent and that employees intentionally caused the woman severe emotional distress by joking about the incident after the woman re-entered the airport screening area.
In court documents, government attorneys acknowledged that the woman went through secondary screening at a TSA checkpoint, but denied the suit's claims.
The woman's attorney, Jerry McLaughlin, said the woman, now a 23-year-old college student, believes TSA employees acted improperly after a female TSA agent pulled off the woman's top during the screening.
"It was kind of a bad situation. They didn't handle it correctly," he said. "One of our major complaints is that even after it occurred, they started making jokes about it."
Allison Sands, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said the office does not comment on pending litigation.
UPDATE: Woman whose breasts exposed in pat-down settles with TSA
. . . Murley claimed that a TSA agent pulled her blouse completely down, exposing her breasts to everyone in the area. Despite her embarrassment, the lawsuit claims that TSA employees in the area continued to joke and laugh about the incident for an extended period of time . . . the male TSA staffer said he was disappointed that he missed her blouse being yanked down, then said “he would just have to watch the video."
More TSA Abuses: Woman
Beaten; 71-year-old man & 16-year-old girl groped, stripped – and other
Violates 10-Year-Old Child at Reagan National Airport
My youngest daughter is a trauma victim and severely developmentally delayed and travels in crowded places in a Convaid wheelchair stroller along with her service dog (Grizwald). . . . I told the agent when I realized what was happening that he couldn't do this to her because of her disabilities. She is a trauma victim and has had every kind of abuse a child could endure before we adopted her (including suspected sexual abuse) so having an adult male take her from us was way over the top to begin with. I told the TSA agent my daughter was a victim of trauma a number of times. I am talking some serious life threatening trauma that has caused extensive neurological damage . . . I was told to be quiet and to mind my tone. I was frantic knowing the kind of fear and damage was being done to my daughter. I also asked for a CRO and was told no! . . As a result of this encounter we are not going to be able to fly for some time to come until we can help my daughter heal from being re-traumatized by these "screeners".
(The veracity of this account has since been called into question, and the blog page has been scrubbed from the web –LS)
Local man claims TSA pat-down went too far
Thursday, November 11, 2010
By Andy Cerota
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The holiday travel season is about to get underway and if you haven't flown in a while, you may be in for a surprise. Airport security screenings are becoming more thorough, and some believe they are becoming too invasive.
With one of the busiest travel days of the year right around the corner, the backlash over the TSA's full body scanners and enhanced pat-downs is growing. A Missouri City man says what he experienced at a security checkpoint in a Florida airport was nothing short of criminal.
Thomas Mollman says he'll never look at flying the same way again.
"I felt violated. I felt abused," Mollman said.
The 54-year-old Missouri City man had recently undergone surgery and was on pain medication. He was headed home to Houston when a TSA officer stopped him as he was going through security at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
"He found the cell phone. He found my watch. I said, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I'm not thinking too straight.' I showed him what my head looked like," said Mollman.
Mollman was patted down and taken to a body scanner, where he claims a TSA officer inappropriately touched him in what was now his third search.
"I was wearing shorts at the time - between the underwear, right on the skin, all the way around the back, all the way around my front, 360 degrees, touched inappropriately," he said.
Mollman, who by this point is humiliated, says he was never given a reason for the invasive searches and was sent on his way.
"This was an assault. This was no different from a sexual assault," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.
Androphy says the TSA officer not only broke the law, but he violated Mollman's civil rights. Passengers who find themselves in similar situations have options.
"I would tell him stop, get over a police officer and get over a supervisor and if they didn't I would call the police over," said Androphy.
Mollman says while he still plans to fly, he won't be returning to Fort Lauderdale any time soon.
The Transportation Security Administration released the following statement to us: "There's nothing punitive about it, pat-downs just make good security sense. All passengers have the right to request a private screening at any point and a traveling companion present."
Mollman says he plans on filing a complaint with the Broward County Sheriff's Office in Florida.
The public outcry against the TSA's body scanners and intrusive pat-downs is growing. One group is calling for citizens to boycott these security measures later this month.
(Copyright ©2010 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
I wanted to say thank you for your concerns that you have in relations to the TSA body-image scanners that are located in some of the airports. Unfortunately, I was not given a choice of being patted down and I was told by the TSA security that I was not allowed to catch my flight back home from the Dallas airport to Va Beach unless I went through the body-image scanner. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant and TSA security made jokes about how they were going to be able to tell the sex of my unborn child. I went through the scanner crying and went to the supervisor to file a complaint. However, it didn't matter how I felt violated and humilated; instead it remained on the safety issues.
Thanks you for being my voice!!
California DA Vows to Prosecute Airport Screeners Who Touch Travelers Inappropriately
Published November 17, 2010
The public outcry over the government's new pat-downs gained momentum Wednesday, as a California district attorney vowed to prosecute any complaints of inappropriate touching by airport security screeners and a U.S. congressman called for screeners to receive improved training.
The developments came as the head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, acknowledged that the new pat-downs are more invasive than what travelers were used to in the past.
The "enhanced" pat-downs of airline passengers who opt out of using the high-tech body scanners require screeners to touch travellers' breasts or genitals.
Airline passenger John Tyner drew national attention after recording on his cell phone an encounter with a TSA screener in which Tyner warned he would have the male screener arrested if he touched "my junk." Tyler was thrown out of San Diego International Airport and faces a $10,000 fine if he is sued by the TSA.
Steve Wagstaffe, the incoming district attorney in San Mateo County, told FoxNews.com that he would charge screeners with sexual battery for complaints of inappropriate touching with sexual or lewd intent.
But if the complaint is simply that a TSA screener went too far with a pat-down, "That's not a crime," Wagstaffe said.
"It becomes a crime when someone does that touching, reaches under the blouse and fondles breasts," he said. "That's a crime under California law."
If convicted of a misdemeanor, TSA screeners would face up to one year in the county jail; for a felony, which would involve skin-on-skin contact, they would face up to three years in state prison.
Wagstaffe said he has not received a complaint yet and he believes all the attention on airport screening will cause TSA to be more careful.
After appearing on a Fox News show, Pistole declined to comment to FoxNews.com about Wagstaffe's comments.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is calling for improved training procedures after a government report found some flaws with the oversight of TSA's training program.
"In light of recent aviation security events and the new pat down process for screening passengers, training is more important than ever in both securing the aviation system and maintaining suitable privacy and customer service standards," he said in a written statement. "Training is the critical lynchpin in an effective aviation security program. Without suitable training, technology and established screening processes are ineffective."
The Office of Inspector General in the Department of Homeland Security released a report that showed TSA did not establish a lead office to organize and coordinate the training program until 2006, and that office didn't actively start overseeing the program until 2009.
"Without a documented process for updating training based on screener performance data and changes in technology or equipment, the Transportation Security Administration may be missing opportunities to enhance its officers' skills and abilities," the report read.
In testimony to a Senate committee about TSA policies and procedures, Pistole said he has received the new pat-down, as has his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Pistole said he understands the privacy concerns but added that the government must provide the best possible security for air travelers.
TSA Molests 3-Year-Old Child at Chattanooga Metro Airport
My Very Own TSA Nightmare
I guess there is a new category of suspect persons to the TSA: “traveling with scars."
November 17, 2010 - by
Andrew Ian Dodge
. . . I went through the scanner fully cooperating and followed the instructions. Yet I was still taken aside as I exited the machine. No warning bells went off like with the old metal detectors, so I thought it might be random . . .
I informed the TSA officer that it was the scar from my colon cancer operation that went from my crotch to my sternum. A day later the scar still hurts from the kneading and prodding. I was informed they were checking in order to determine if I had anything sewn into my stomach. I offered to lift my shirt to show the TSA officer the still rather graphic scar, but he refused.
So in just five minutes I was told I looked like a notorious porn star by a TSA female employee and then had my scar examined by a man. I was so very pleased to be reminded of the painful and frightening (I had post-op complications including “dying several times”) experience of a few years ago.
I guess there is a new category of suspect persons to the TSA: “traveling with scars . .
Surely it would have been better had the dozens of staff on hand been inspecting packages in the holds of airplanes instead of kneading my scar."
(Nov. 21) -- A
Michigan man who survived bladder cancer in 2007 has now been forced to survive
humiliation at the hands of the TSA, whose airport screeners spilled urine on
him during a recent security check at Detroit's airport.
Thomas Sawyer, 61, was flying to Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 7 with his wife to attend a wedding. Since having part of his bladder removed because of cancer, Sawyer wears a urostomy bag attached to a tube from his abdomen.
He said he asked TSA agents if he could be screened in private because of his medical condition. "One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn't have any place to take me," the retired special education teacher told MSNBC. "After I said again that I'd like privacy, they took me to an office."
"I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me," Sawyer said. "Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants."
"I was just so embarrassed, so humiliated," Sawyer also told The Detroit Free Press. He's filed a complaint with the Transportation Security Administration.
TSA Forces Disabled
Boy, 4, To Remove Leg Braces
"Unfortunately, it's no joke," writes Daniel Rubin for Philly.com. The child, Ryan, was en route to Disney Land to celebrate his fourth birthday when TSA officials ruled he must clear customs without his leg braces, on his own two feet. To prevent injury, his parents walked just ahead and just behind him though security.
The boy's furious father, a police officer, complained to a TSA manager at the airport, and was told to "calm down and enjoy his vacation," Rubin writes.
Reading the TSA Web site, it would appear that the agency has very clear guidelines regarding "Prosthetic Devices, Casts, and Body Braces." Although the officers will need to examine your device or brace, they "will not ask nor require you to remove" it. In fact, the agency makes the following request of passengers: "During the screening process, please do not remove or offer to remove your prosthetic device."
The TSA has apologized and agency spokesperson Ann Davis tells the Associated Press that the TSA believes the family's account.
Rubin's column chronicles other incidents of bizarre behavior by security screening personnel at the airport of the City of Brotherly Love, including a TSA worker who pretended to find a bag of white powder in a traveler's carry-on bag (the worker was fired, according to the Inquirer).
Rubin writes in a separate column, however, that he has received "scores of tips of other alleged abuses by those who work to keep us safe," and that most of the stories happened in other airports.
. . . In a follow-up
article mostly critical of the TSA's effort, the Boston Herald offers this
description of the procedure from 50-year-old Las Vegas passenger Rob Webster: "It
was extremely invasive. This was a very probing-type touching - not just
patting over all your areas, but actually probing and pushing and seeing if I
was concealing something in my genital area."
Daniel Rubin: An
infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 18, 2010
At what point does an airport search step over the line?
How about when they start going through your checks, and the police call your husband, suspicious you were clearing out the bank account? . . . screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said.
Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.
"It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.
She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. "That's my money," she remembers saying. The officer's reply? "It's not your money."
****** THIS VIDEO OCCURRED AT SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON NOVEMBER 19TH AT AROUND THE TIME OF 12 PM **********
Lets get the facts straight first. Before the video started the boy went through a metal detector and didn't set it off but was selected for a pat down. The boy was shy so the TSA couldn't complete the full pat on the young boy. The father tried several times to just hold the boys arms out for the TSA agent but i guess it didn't end up being enough for the guy. I was about 30 ft away so i couldn't hear their conversation if there was any. The enraged father pulled his son shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent to search, thats when this video begins.
After I finished videotaping the incident I went through the check point myself. I collected my things and went over to talk to the father and son. Before I could get to them a man in a black suit who had been talking with the other TSA officials approached me. He asked to speak to me and I obliged, wondering what was to come. He then proceeded to interrogate me about why I was videotaping the "procedures of the TSA". I told him that I had never seen such practices before on a young child and decided to record it.
The man being
frustrated at this point demanded to know my plans with the video, of which I
didn't respond. Repeatedly he asked me to delete the video, hoping his mere
presence could intimidate me to obey, but I refused. By this point it
became obvious that he felt TSA had done something wrong and that I caught it
on tape. After the interview, I left for my gate. I called my brother who told
me I should put the tape on YouTube because this had been a recent hot topic in
gate was a long way off, but about 15 minutes after arriving 2 TSA agents came
and sat 15 feet or so away from me. I stood up and moved so that they were in
front of me and then took a picture. A 3rd and then a 4th agent came and sat
down with the others. They would occasionally glance at me and talk on their
walkie-talkies. I don't know why they were there or if it was a huge
coincidence but they stayed for 30-45 minutes and left just before I boarded
the plan. Interesting to say the least, intimidating? Maybe a little...
lukemtait | November 19, 2010 |
TSA Pat Down Went Too
Far, Agency Chief Says
by David Edwards, Monday, November 22, 2010, Raw Story
The beleaguered head of the Transportation Security Administration said today that at least one airport passenger screening went too far when an officer reached inside a traveler's underwear, and the agency is open to rethinking its current protocols.
An ABC News employee [Carolyn Durand] said she was subject to a "demeaning" search at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday morning.
"The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around," she said. "It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate."
That search was against protocols and "never" should have happened, TSA Administrator John Pistole told "Good Morning America" today.
"There should never be a situation where that happens," Pistole said. "The security officers are there to protect the traveling public. There are specific standard operating protocols which they are to follow."
Pistole, reponding to complaints from passengers, has maintained that the TSA will not change its pat down procedures. But today he said the agency is "open" to changing security procedures.
"The bottom line is, we are always adapting and adjusting prior protocols in view of the intelligence and in view of the latest information we have on how the terrorists are trying to kill our people on planes," Pistole said. "If that means we need to adjust the procedures, then of course we're open to that.
Pistole said the key to travel security is finding the proper balance between protecting against very real threats -- such as the failed cargo bomb plot and the current search for two suicide bombers believed to be at large in Germany -- and protecting individual privacy, something that some passengers claim invasive pat down procedures have taken away.
In recent days, several passengers have come forward to tell shocking stories about their experiences with TSA officers.
Thomas Sawyer, a bladder cancer survivor, said he was humiliated after a pat down broke his urostomy bag, leaving the 61-year-old covered in his own urine. Sawyer said he warned the TSA officials twice the pat down could break the seal.
"I was so embarrassed and so petrified of going out into the airport and people would see me and quote unquote smell me," Sawyer said. "My underwear had dropped to the floor and I'm standing there in front of them with my underwear and had to ask to pull it up."
Cathy Bossi, a long-time flight attendant and breast cancer survivor said the TSA made her take off her prosthetic breast.
"She put her full hand on my breast and said 'What is this?' I said 'It's a prosthesis because I've had a breast cancer,'" Bossi said. "And she said, 'You'll need to show me that.'"
A video of a father taking his young son's shirt off so he can be searched has gone viral online with nearly half a million views in just three days.
On "Face the Nation," Secretary Passengers aren't the only ones calling for a new look at security procedures.
President Barack Obama said Saturday that he understood people's frustrations and told the TSA that there needs to be a constant refinement and "measure whether what we're doing is the only way to assure the American people's safety and you also have to think through are there less ways of doing it that are less intrusive."
On Face the Nation Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there's an ongoing question of assessing risk.
"I think that we have to be constantly asking ourselves, how do we calculate the risk?' And sometimes we don't calculate it correctly, we either understate it or overstate it." she said.
When asked if she would submit to a pat-down, Clinton said: "Not if I could avoid it, no. I mean, who would?"
Pistole said he is "very aware" of the concerns raised by passengers and said if anyone feels their privacy was violated, they can file a complaint on the TSA's website or ask for a supervisor at the airport.
"We're here to protect you and your loved ones, especially this weekend when you're flying home," he said.
"We all wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren't necessary but that just isn't the case," Pistole said in a statement Sunday.
'Opting Out' Protest to Cause Travel Gridlock?
Geoff Freeman with the U.S. Travel Association said the new procedures has prompted an important debate about what passengers would do for the sake of national safety.
"For the first time in a post 9/11 environment, travelers are now saying they're willing to discuss risk, they're willing to discuss trade offs, that's the discussion we need to have," he said.
A grassroots internet campaign to encourage travelers to "opt out" of the full-body scans on Wednesday or the busiest travel day of the year, has officials concerned over a possible travel gridlock.
Though thousands of Facebook users have said they vowed to opt-out, some say the movement may be overstated and overblown.
"The truth is, most travelers just want to get to their destination as fast as possible," said Genevieve Shaw Brown, Senior Editor at Travelocity.
Across the nation, there are 385 of the new full-body scanners at airports, but there are 2100 total security lanes.
That equals about 80 percent of security lanes won't have the machines in place.
"Most people will go through business as usual, the metal detector that we've all become used to, taking off the shoes, pouring our liquids in to the tiny little containers, business as usual for the vast majority of people," Brown said.
ABC News' Kevin Dolak and Ryan Creed contributed to this report.
Ticket agent suspended after objecting to TSA’s search of her wallet:
I just had my second run-in with TSA while attempting to go to work. I was refused the right to go to work because after I willingly handed TSA my lunch bag (which only contained my pocketbook, 2 restaurant paper napkins, and a piece of a news page crossword puzzle), they proceeded to empty my pocketbook, piece by piece, and go through my wallet, credit card by credit card, checking every nook and cranny in both my purse and my wallet. When they began going thru my wallet, I objected. I may have lost my job because of these arrogant and ignorant individuals.
In clear contradiction
of what Transportation Security Administration officials have stated in the
past, a man was arrested for videotaping TSA officials at San Diego
International Airport Friday.
Sam Wolanyk was also charged with "failing to complete the security process" - even though he seemed more than happy to allow them to search him when he stripped down to his underwear.
Wolanyk initially was asked to step into the see-through scanner, but opted to have them pat him down instead.
That was when he stripped down to his underwear . . . Wolanyk was then paraded through two terminals in his underwear. At one point during this interaction, he videotaped TSA officials with his iPhone, which was confiscated.
The incident was confirmed by Harbor Police Sergeant Rakos who said Wolanyk was arrested on two misdemeanors, “failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01 and illegally recording the San Diego Airport Authority (they confiscated his iPhone); violation number 7.14 (a).”
It is not clear which "violation codes" he violated. A search though several San Diego city and county codes did not produce anything remotely close to what is listed above . . . .
Rosemary: "I'd decided months ago that I was NOT going to be microwaved on 'medium defrost' and have my 51-year-old body ogled by a TSA employee. So the angry TSA attendant parked me next to the scanner, and I kept looking at the scanning device and wondering (and hoping) that the Plexiglas shroud blocked all the radiation generated by the machine. What a perfect punishment for someone who fears being exposed to whatever health risks: Park them NEXT to the machine so that they get mega-doses. I literally pleaded with the TSA attendant to allow me to retrieve my personal possessions and she refused. I was traveling alone (as I often do). I then pleaded with her to allow me to at least be in the line of sight of my wallet and cell phone and she again ordered me – again in a loud voice – to remain still. She was demanding, harsh, and unyielding. I kept thinking to myself, 'This is what happens when you opt out. You lose your wallet and your laptop. Very, very effective."
Dotty: "It was nearly midnight as I entered the Las Vegas airport on a mobility scooter to fly to Hawaii for a niece's wedding. I told the TSA agent that I wouldn't go through the 'naked machine' but preferred to hobble through the metal detector. The supervisor was called and screamed at me for between 7 and 12 minutes straight, saying I was rude for being scared of her agents. She said the machine didn't show people naked and showed me a sample picture of a scan to prove it. I pointed out the man's genitals on the sample picture which made her even more angry. 'That's just because you're looking for them,' she yelled."
LIFE WITH BIG BROTHER
TSA checkpoints: Real-life horrors
'Security is one thing, license to molest people is another'
Editor's Note: Some of the links in this report lead to graphic images that have been taken from current airport security scanning procedures. Use caution in viewing the links.
Spreadin' the glove: TSA infecting U.S.?
Latex coverings “have been in crotches, armpits, touching people who may be ill”
November 22, 2010 11:04 pm Eastern
Those latex gloves Transportation Security Administration agents wear while giving airline passengers those infamous full-body pat-downs apparently aren't there for the safety and security of passengers – only the TSA agents.
That's the word being discussed on dozens of online forums and postings after it was noted that the agents wear the same gloves to pat down dozens, perhaps hundreds, of passengers, not changing them even though the Centers for Disease Control in its online writings has emphasized the important of clean hands to prevent the exchange of loathsome afflictions.
"Herpes via latex
glove ... ewwww," wrote one participant on the independence-minded AR15
website forum. Responding
to the question, "Does the TSA change latex gloves after each sexual
assault?" another wrote on the same forum, "I seriously doubt it. Gloves
are for their protection, not yours."
Martha Donahue in a commentary at Resistnet said she'd spent 30 years in the medical industry.
"For those of you who fly and opt for the 'pat down,' you need to demand the TSA thugs change their gloves. I've been watching on the news how they operate. People are being searched [with] dirty gloves ... gloves that have been in crotches, armpits, touching people who may be ill, people who pick their noses. Do you want those gloves touching you?
"These thugs are protecting themselves from you. You need to be protected from them," she wrote. "In a hospital, nursing home, in-home care, or even labs, that would never even be considered an option."
Asked today about the possibility of contamination being spread from one passenger to another on the gloves of TSA agents, a spokesman for the CDC bailed.
"Please contact the Dept of Homeland Security and/or TSA on this issue," the spokesman told WND.
But in its online writings, the CDC repeatedly makes clear the importance of maintaining clean hands to avoid such transmission of communicable and contagious afflictions.
In a forum on The Hill, writer Carol Felsenthal said agents should, simply in the course of their work, change gloves between passengers.
"Anyone who has visited a fast food joint, a doctor's office, or a hospital has watched as workers change gloves between servings or exams. And if they don't, the customer/patient would surely say something," she wrote. "How often do the TSA agents doing the 'enhanced pat-downs' change gloves?"
On a TSA blog promoting the agency's actions and policies, one screener explained, "Changing gloves is fairly simple ... . When I gate screen I carry about 10-12 pairs in my pockets."
Respondents to the comment were outraged, "That's just plain disgusting and most certainly not acceptable ... procedures as set forth by the CDC for usage of gloves for protection," said one. "Reasoning being is that the bacteria count in your pockets is about the same is your mouth or armpit."
Wrote another forum participant, "Those gloves are soiled if they come out of your pockets and before handling my stuff you will be expected to obtain a clean, from the original container, pair. ... Who knows what filth inhabits your pockets!"
Officials at the city-owned Denver International Airport, some 20 miles northeast of downtown, said they had no participation in making any health policy regarding the gloves used by TSA screeners on Denver passengers, and, in fact, did not know if there was a policy . . . .
. . . A passenger
named Barbara wrote to WND: "Coming directly from a 2-week hospital
stay, arriving in a wheelchair, unable to walk or stand, and just less than 2
hours out of the hospital, I was met by the 'security' folks who seemed angered
that I couldn't walk through their scan. Instead, in front of everyone, I was
groped like a rapist might attack a victim. The probing certainly did not
help alleviate the intense pain I had when I arrived at the airport. Shameful
and inconsiderate behavior, totally inexcusable! I am an 84-year-old white
female, 4'10", 110 lbs.”
Another passenger, David, told WND he traveled to attend a sister's funeral in Los Angeles – his description of what happened to him at LAX:
"This screener made me turn all my pockets inside out, patted me down four times, being particularly attentive to my crotch and butt. I asked him if he just wanted me to strip down naked and he said go ahead. My wife then approached a nearby sheriff, who brought these violations of my privacy, and person, to a halt . . . Oh yeah, it took him half an hour to maul me, misplaced my boarding pass, and almost made me miss my flight. Security is one thing, but a license to molest people is another," he said . . .
. . . Lana: Finally, a Delta agent checked again for me and said, "Yes, there is a flight I can put you on, but it leaves in 5 minutes, here is your ticket and boarding pass, RUN." So I did and [he] came with me. He told the situation to the first TSA agent and there weren't many people in that line, so I moved quickly up to the security check. A man, was scanning my OVERNIGHT bag (no big luggage at all) and my purse and motioning me through. A big stern-looking African American woman stopped him and said that she needed to pat me down, wan[d] me, go through my luggage, etc. The other TSA man told her that my flight was about to leave and that he knew that my purse and bag were fine. I was wearing open flip-flops, a cotton skirt and a t-shirt. Then my nightmare started. She had me spread my legs and she SLOWLY frisked me. Then I said, "Can I go now, my flight is so important to me, I'm attending a funeral?" That made her furious. She informed me that I was NOT co-operating with her and that she was IN CHARGE, and that crying (I was sobbing) would not do me any good at all with her. The other TSA officer begged her to let me catch my flight … she blew him off.
The result was that the woman, Lana, missed her flight and the funeral.
TSA “Thugs” Lose Case
Against Woman with Applesauce – April 21, 2010
(VIDEO EMBEDDED – see link below)
. . . Just another example of why we should not allow the government to “protect us”. Her mother died 3 weeks before the verdict, she was travelling with the applesauce for her elderly mother.
Arrested, handcuffed, and STRIP SEARCHED.
Tags: airplane, arrested, checkpoint, DHS, strip searched, tsa
This entry was posted on April 27, 2010 at 9:41 AM and is filed under interesting reads, war at home. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
SAME STORY FROM CBS NEWS:
Airline Security "Applesauce Assault"
Grandmother arrested after refusing to delete JetBlue fight video
AUGUST 14, 2008
[No TSA involved? –
still underscores police powers and citizens’ lack of rights –LS]
Marilyn Parver filmed an altercation between two passengers on a recent JetBlue flight. When she refused to delete the footage from her video camera, she says the airline threatened to blacklist her and accused her of interfering with a flight crew, which is a federal crime.
You can read the account of Parver’s flight and subsequent arrest here. And look for Parver on ABC’s Good Morning America, along with the incriminating footage.
Parver contacted me yesterday to, as she put it, “get the word out.”
I am a 56-year-old grandmother who has never had so much as a speeding ticket. But on July 26th, I was taken by armed officers, in handcuffs, off JetBlue flight 195 for refusing to delete a video I had taken of a minor altercation between passengers over a screaming kid.
The flight crew made up a charge of interfering with the crew. My recording proves I did nothing wrong. I never even stood up. I was left with the threat that I will never be able to fly on JetBlue, that I will go on the no-fly list, and have a report written about me filed with the FAA.
I only refused to delete a legal short video. This is a complete misuse of power and what happened to me could happen to anyone.
I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t find any rules that would prohibit a paying passenger from filming the interior of a JetBlue aircraft or of any commercial plane. Parver said she phoned JetBlue later, and that a representative told her she could tape whatever she wanted.
My reading of the law — and again, I’m no expert — suggests the JetBlue flight crew overstepped its boundaries. In a big way.
I asked Parver if she would consider posting her footage to the Web so that we could see what the fuss was about. She said the JetBlue crew specifically told her they didn’t want the material posted on YouTube, which is why they were so insistent that she delete the videotape.
Instead, Parver is taking her case to ABC News, where its legal department can fend off any attack from JetBlue. I think that’s probably a smart move. YouTube might delete the footage, anyway.
This case underscores the travel industry’s sensitivity to the growing influence of social media, and particularly to viral videos. Makes me wonder how many other passengers have been asked to delete images that were not flattering to an airline.
✓ Get the latest travel news, tips and commentary from Elliott’s E-Mail, the subversive newsletter from consumer advocate Christopher Elliott
Chris Elliott’s addendum: You can record the encounter on your phone (that’s allowed) and you can take pictures of your screening, but please refrain from criticizing, mocking, or threatening the agents.
Am I in the Terrorist Screening Database? - by Christopher Elliott
Groin Searches Menstruating Woman
Barefoot Blonde Reporter Gets TSA Feel Job After “Opt-Out” 2010/11/17
What happens if you decline a full body-scan? By Fran Golden
Hartsfield TSA worker allegedly abducts, assaults woman
King, a behavior detection officer, has been with the Transportation Security Administration for nearly five years, spokesman Jon Allen told the AJC.
TSA Harasses Woman, Forces Her to Miss Flight Over Breast-Milk
. . . After begging him to figure it out, they finally let me through. I called and complained to TSA and was instructed to travel with the TSA breast milk rules printed out and present them whenever there is a problem.
As my items come through security this time, I notice immediately that I was dealing with the same people from the week before. The woman tells me right away that my milk might have to go through the x-ray, and then I tell her I printed the rules. I go to grab the rules on top of my bag and she freaks out and pushes my arm away. Another guy comes over and calls for “back up” and they put in me back in the glass cage. Standing 50 ft away are the same manager and supervisor I had dealt with the previous week.
They will stall for 20 minutes before coming over to me.
Meanwhile, one of the guys comes over to me and tells me “to be quiet if I know what’s good for me.” At the end of this portion I have been locked up for just under 10 minutes. The whole ordeal takes just under 1 hour.
. . . In this segment, the TSA manager tells me I can leave security, redistribute the milk into half full containers (his completely made-up rule) and go through security all over again if I want to avoid x-rays on the milk.
With tears continuing to stream down my face, I did that.
I also missed my flight playing along with his ridiculous game. Curiously, my second screening video (another 20 minutes) has been erased . . . .
http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2010/11/tsa-harasses-woman-forces-her-to-miss-flight-over-breast-milk.htmlUPDATE: Stacy Armato files lawsuit
$11,000 fine, arrest possible for some who
refuse airport scans and pat downs
By John Lantigua
Palm Beach Post 8:59 a.m. EST, November
November 30th, 2010, 10:41 am
some more anecdata: My wife, my toddler, and I were not asked to pass through
AITs at OMA on 11/18, though we observed several people, apparently randomly
selected, pass through them and we observed at least two Freedom Fondles take
place. And on 11/26, we passed through a lane set aside for families at SJC
Terminal B. We observed that the AIT in that lane appeared to be turned off.
No one was asked to pass through it.
November 30th, 2010, 10:41 am
through Charlotte on my way to Florida, and there's not a question: the
machines were physically in place but not operative at any of the several
entrances I canvassed. They were roped off. No one was going through them.
The TSA has ably played the media for fools. There was no chaos, because opting
out wasn't an option in many places.
4. Jackie Lawson
New York, NY
November 30th, 2010,10:43 am
I flew out of Reagan National in DC on Wednesday. I was asked to go through the AIT machine and declined. I was then asked to go through the regular metal detector, and when I did not set off the metal detector I was sent on my way without being given any kind of a pat down.
I am a very frequent flyer, and I have always opted out of the AIT machines whenever asked to pass through one. I had never before been spared a pat down after opting out. My guess is that I was not included in whatever "opt out" statistics were published for Reagan National Airport that day and that TSA has been fudging the numbers to make the initiative look like a failure when in reality most people were either simply not asked to go through the AIT machine or were allowed to submit to go through the non-enhanced line (sans pat-down) when they declined the AIT machine, contrary to standard TSA procedures.
The only solution for this kind of manipulation, assuming that is what occurred, is for us to make EVERY day "opt-out" day. Everyone who flies and who objects to the new technology should simply refuse to participate, every flight, every time. If that's enough people, the procedures will have to stop.
TSA Seizes Computer
from Travel Blogger [and Threatens More]
Posted: December 30, 2009 10:34 PM By Blake Fleetwood
This morning two black sedans with TSA special agents came to the Connecticut home of blogger Steven Frischling and walked out with his laptop computer. They promised to return it, but later claimed that there were "bad sectors" on the drive. He is not sure when he is going to get it back. The agents were looking for the anonymous source who leaked a TSA Security Directive which advised airlines to restrict passengers from getting out of their seats, concealing their hands, or accessing carry-on luggage an hour before landing.
Frischling, home alone with three young children, was intimidated by the armed agents who had driven from Newark and Boston to central Connecticut. The agents threatened to get Frischling -- a blogger for KLM airlines -- fired from his job, confiscate all his electronic devices -- phones, computers, and iPods -- and declare him a security risk -- which would get him on the No Fly list -- unless he cooperated. Frischling -- who has worked for Life, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, and was embedded with troops in Iraq -- didn't know what to do. He couldn't reach a lawyer. The civil subpoena threatened a fine and up to a year in jail for failure to comply.. . .
So instead of catching terrorists, they go after bloggers who got ahold of their stupid security procedures that make them look like idiots. Standard big government. How about they just act like professionals and admit their SD was crap and a knee jerk reaction. Rescind the worthless procedures and focus on keeping terrorists trying to kill us all off the plane in the first place.
Read the whole thing here:
TSA admits to
by Charlie Leocha on August 24, 2010
. . . In your previous discussion it was mentioned that TSA policy claims to not require removal of protheses, casts, etc. while screening. Apparently they haven't all gotten the directive. Returning on a flight home from the major bone surgery center where five days before, my college-aged son had had long-scheduled reconstructive surgery to his wrist which involved pins, screws, wires, transplanted tendon and cadaver bone, he sported a thick protective clamshell cast and was heavily medicated (obviously). TSA required that he get out of his sling, remove the cast, and then of course put it all back together. As his mother it was all I could do to remain non-confrontational--we were trying to make the last flight of the day. I could hold the sling, but only he could re-seat the cast because only he could gauge which movements were tolerable--any movement of the wrist was excruciatingly painful.
All of this was ridiculous and crazy as well as clumsy. The flight was less than an hour's duration. But he was informed that he might be harboring some sort of explosive powder in the cast. Such was the zeal of the Sea-Tac TSA. Permanently employed and apparently with a growing "mandate." Don't remember the color of the terror alert level that day.
Posted by: nancy | October 03, 2010 at 08:06 PM (I know her real name –LS)
Coffee, Tea, or Should
We Feel Your Pregnant Wife’s Breasts Before Throwing You in a Cell at the
Airport and Then Lying About Why We Put You There?
by Nicholas Monahan
December 21, 2002
Coast News Group - Carlsbad woman suing TSA over what she calls invasive search
ALBUQUERQUE — Adrienne Durso, of Carlsbad,is suing the TSA for an invasive pat-down at the Albuquerque Sunport back in August.
Durso said the TSA was "heavily concentrating on my breast area where I told her I had a mastectomy the year previous and in just seemed to go on and on."
She says she felt humiliated as the extensive pat-down happened in front of her 17 year old son and hundreds of other travelers.
"I felt as though I didn't have any rights other than I had to stand there and let them do what they want to do to my body," Durso said.
She says she knew her rights had been violated so she asked to speak to a supervisor who she thought would help.
All the while her son stood by her side and couldn't remain silent anymore
"My son, who I'm very proud of spoke up and said 'I went through the metal detector and I did not get a pat-down' to which the supervisor said 'well you don't have boobs'," she said.
That statement was the last straw for Durso - so she contacted the lawfirm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath. Her attorney, Alex Brodsky, says this whole ordeal violates her 4th Amendment rights which protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizure.
"We think that these searches given the invasiveness and given the extensiveness of these searches are really more akin to something like a strip search and certainly as a result we think we have a strong case," Brodsky said.
Durso says she isn't doing this for money or fame but rather for countless other Americans who take to the skies for travel.
"I thought, 'you know, surely this story must mean something to somebody, maybe this will help somebody who is trying to change the situation at airports because I don't think anybody should have to go through this," Durso said.
The TSA says it's asking government security experts if there is a way to make the security pat-down less invasive but just as thorough but they haven't commented on this case specifically.
Violated by TSA at
Posted: Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010 by Lisa Daidone
On Dec. 3, my friend and I flew back to Charlotte from Tampa, where my friend had been to see a medical specialist.
At the Tampa airport, we were both randomly selected to go through the full-body scanner. Going through the scanner was uncomfortable and a bit creepy, but I didn't think it was a big deal until I tried to leave the scanner.
I assumed I was finished, but a female Transportation Security officer yelled at me for "trying to get away from her." She told me I had to stand in front of her - while I was still barefoot and trying to watch out for my stuff, which had gone through a different scanner - until my scan was read.
I told her I had never undergone this process and was a bit afraid, and she laughed at me and told me I didn't know what I was talking about.
The woman grabbed my wrist and said she had to look at my plastic watch. I tried to take it off and hand it to her, and she yelled at me not to interfere with her search.
Then, with no explanation, she pulled up my shirt, exposing my stomach and the top of my underwear, and stuck the top half of her fingers inside the waistband of my pants. I yanked my shirt down and told her she was not showing the top of my underwear and my naked stomach to anyone.
She put her hand up in front of me, threatened to call security and have me arrested if I "tried to get away from her again," and called security for a private screening.
I was not allowed to get my things. I was not allowed to put on my shoes. I was taken through a side door, down a dirty hall, to a dark dingy windowless storage room.
I had to pull up my shirt, and the woman put half her hand down my pants to search me. She complained that I should have cooperated originally and this would not have happened. Then I was allowed to put on my shoes and get my things.
I left the area and cried. I was touched and humiliated in ways that have never happened to me.
My friend was told nothing about me. She was made to wait, then also taken back for a private search, without being told why.
I had heard horror stories about TSA searches on the news but had no idea how bad I would feel until it was done to me. I was put in a frightening situation, had my body exposed to strangers, had nothing explained to me and felt dirty. I wasn't treated with the basic respect human beings deserve.
Next time I travel, I'll drive before I even consider flying. The time saved is not worth feeling the way I still do about what was done to me.
TSA Backs Down on
Shirtless Boy Story
BY THOMAS BURR AND MATT CANHAM
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Dec 17, 2010 04:30PM
It appears Rep. Jason Chaffetz is already enjoying his new-found authority with regard to the Transportation Security Administration. The Utah Republican, who soon will take charge of the House subcommittee overseeing the agency, says he forced the TSA to come clean on an incident in which a young boy was given a pat down at Salt Lake City International Airport, prompting the child’s frustrated father to remove the boy’s shirt to allay any concerns.
TSA’s initial statement on the incident said the boy set off the alarm on the metal detector, a point disputed by a man who taped the screening and posted it online. Chaffetz says the airport’s top TSA official admitted the boy didn’t trigger the alarm and the congressman went to bat to get the agency to correct its statement.
“I said, ‘You guys knew that at the beginning. You lied at the beginning,’” Chaffetz said Friday.
The TSA’s blog now says that the boy was given a pat down because of bulky clothing and not because metal was detected.
“New information was brought to light that indicated the initial report was incorrect,” the TSA said.
HANDCUFFED, ARRESTED AT AIRPORT
Claire Hirschkind couldn't go through the stripsearch scanner because of a pacemaker-type device in her chest. So she was taken to a female TSA officer to be groped.
"I told them, 'No, I'm not going to have my breasts felt,' and she said, 'Yes, you are,'" Hirschkind told KVUE in Austin.
After refusing to acquiesce, she was arrested.
"The police actually pushed me to the floor, and handcuffed me," she said. "I was crying by then. They drug me 25 yards across the floor in front of the whole security."
Hirschkind had planned to visit friends in California for Christmas. Now she's banned from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
And as I’ve been
saying from the beginning, it was only a matter of time before the TSA brought
its abuse from airports to every other kind of transportation hub –Lisa Simeone:
has received over 1000 complaints from travelers in the United
States about the TSA's new pat-downs, providing a unique vantage point on what
is taking place at airports around the nation. These complaints came from men,
women, and children who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by these
searches, and, in some cases, comparing their psychological impact to sexual
Recurring themes in these reports include: • The searches are extremely invasive • Many travelers are reporting intense feelings of violation and humiliation • Some report being physically hurt by the searches • Some feel their searches are punitive • Reports of gawking by agents • Reports of seemingly unnecessary repeated touching of intimate areas • Many vow not to fly any more • Any traveler may be forced to undergo one of these searches
(These quotations have been lightly edited for clarity and length. Please be aware that due to the nature of these searches, these complaints often include graphic and sometimes disturbing language.)
The TSA's state-mandated molestation
The humiliations of
the patdown policy, which Janet Napolitano wants to expand, are an Orwellian
assault on American freedom
By Jennifer Abel, The Guardian, Wednesday 29 December 2010, 18.00 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/dec/29/air-transport-terrorism
TSA bans bikini woman
for ‘unusual contour’ around buttocks
By Daniel Tencer Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 -- 6:08 pm
By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin
Washington Post – Series – 2010
A few tidbits from the series:
Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America.
The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. It is accessible to an increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal investigators, increasing concerns that it could somehow end up in the public domain.
Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies.
The Department of Homeland Security, for example, does not know how much money it spends each year on what are known as state fusion centers, which bring together and analyze information from various agencies within a state.
The total cost of the localized system is also hard to gauge. The DHS has given $31 billion in grants since 2003 to state and local governments for homeland security and to improve their ability to find and protect against terrorists, including $3.8 billion in 2010.
And what kinds of things are these fusion centers finding out?
In Virginia, the state's fusion center published a terrorism threat assessment in 2009 naming historically black colleges as potential hubs for terrorism.
From 2005 to 2007, the Maryland State Police went even further, infiltrating and labeling as terrorists local groups devoted to human rights, antiwar causes, and bike lanes.
Woman: TSA Agents Singled Me Out For My Breasts
POSTED: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
1:19 pm EST November 24, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The head of the Transportation Security Administration said the agency will look further into allegations that two male TSA workers picked a woman for additional screening because of her breasts.
Eliana Sutherland recently flew from Orlando International Airport and told Local 6 she felt the two male TSA workers were staring at her breasts and chose her for additional screening because of their size.
"It was pretty obvious. One of the guys that was staring me up and down was the one who pulled me over," said Sutherland. "Not a comfortable feeling."
. . . Colleen Moskaly went through a full body scan recently while her security agents performed a pat-down on her infant son. She said, "I'm not good with people touching me and touching my son."
Copyright 2010 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and ClickOrlando.com.
TSA to Me: “You’re a
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
TSA strikes again – This time it’s ME
March 14, 2011, By Fred Hoot in Airlines and TSA
Stepping into the electronic stripper, hands above my head like a common criminal, I was given a long dose of those rays. The guy examining the display seemed to be a little too interested in me.
I was asked what I had in my pocket and I told them money and that was all. They had the nerve to make me fan the money so they could see between each bill and counted it! This is a ridiculous invasion of privacy. The TSA has absolutely no reason to know that I had $87 in paper money (four $20’s, one $5 and two $1’s). I might have seen that if I had a wad of 85 $1 bills in my pocket.
After this I was then pulled aside to be wanded.
The guy operating the wand went up my leg all the way into the crotch area until he could go no further and slowly moved it back and forth. I nearly asked him if he was getting excited and nearly reminded him that the wands do not work properly when contacting the body, but I needed to get to Philadelphia.
Amputee Coalition of
America unhappy with TSA
Abuse and disrespect rampant
Many complaints at this WSJ page:
to White House, April 6, 2010, from 4 scientists/physicians about radiation safety
concerns re scanners:
Posted by waterthink at 1/21/2011 9:17 p.m. #913523
Just this week, on returning from a family vacation in CA over MLK weekend, myself, my wife, and our two children were detained by the TSA because we refused to have our children go through the back-scatter machines. When my wife told them we were opting out the TSA woman at the metal detector said "Do not touch your children." I then went through the metal detector and waited with my son as my wife and daughter were escorted away. When another TSA agent came to take me and my elementary school age son to be searched, I put my arm around him and the woman yelled "DO NOT TOUCH HIM!" All four of us were then subjected to approximately 5 minute searches each. It is a truly surreal experience to watch your child being searched by uniformed agents. Really just unbelievable. I watched the people going through the line watching this and I think most were aghast. Never thought I would live to see this happen in this country. Never.
Posted by SeattleMommy at 1/22/2011 1:57 a.m. #913549
This past weekend, I was called "SO STUPID" by a TSA Agent. Why? My son is deaf and cannot go through the metal detectors (he has a cochlear implant and it sets them off). I get a pat down with him because he doesn't understand why he has to do it alone and it freaks him out. The agents get so irritated when I tell them this and they try to separate us. My son is FOUR. When we were walking together through the gate on the way to get our pat down, an agent made sure to say "SO STUPID" as I walked by. I could hardly believe it. I hate that we have to be treated this way. We are not criminals or idiots. There are medical reasons people cannot go through the metal detectors and I think a certain amount of civility is not too much to ask. It is disgusting to be insulted this way. Especially in front of one's child. http://www.seattlepi.com/soundoff/comment.asp?articleID=433918#913523
TSA Agents Sneak Mystery Package on Plane
The TSA is usually given media attention for its intensive screening practices and controversial body scanners at airport check-in stations. But this is the first time we’ve actually heard about TSA agents going undercover and trying to find out just how easy it really is to bypass security.
This undercover mission took place at Charlotte, N.C.’s Douglas Airport where the agents were testing out JetBlue’s security. The point of the mission was to see if an unaccompanied package could be snuck onto a plane without having to go through the entire security process.
The agents succeeded with great ease. The only thing that they needed was a corrupt ticket agent and $100. The TSA agent simply told the ticket agent, who is now fired, that he needed to get the package to Boston and would give him $100 for helping.
Apparently, seeing the $100 was more important than the threat of what could be in the package, so the ticket agent pulled up a passenger at random and grouped the questionable package along with his possessions. The package then went through the basic luggage scanning and was set to be on its way to board the plane.
“That’s really alarming,” Anthony Amore, a former high-ranking TSA official at Logan Airport told a local Boston CBS station. “When you have multiple layers in place you hope that they all stand in the way of a terrorist or someone who wishes us harm. In this instance, many of the layers were cast aside and we were left with this one layer of checked baggage screening.”
After seeing that there are other ways that terrorists can manage to sneak explosives onto planes, the TSA will investigate how to secure the airports at all angles and not just at the front door where the regular passengers board.
cleared after TSA stare-down
Posted in ID, 25th January 2011 22:27 GMT
A Seattle man has been acquitted of all charges brought against him when he refused to show ID to TSA officials and videotaped the incident at an airport security checkpoint. Prosecutors' case against Phil Mocek was so weak that he was found not guilty without testifying or calling a single witness.
“The Body” Ventura sues TSA over 4th Amendment violations
Tuesday, January 25th 2011, 1:54 PM
JESSE VENTURA LAWSUIT UPDATE – JULY 22, 2011
Amy Alkon January 29, 2011 at 10:22 am
I was sexually assaulted as a condition of flying at the Vegas airport. I had a ticket I’d paid for to San Francisco, and another ticket from SF home to LA, and an already-paid-for SF hotel room at a newspaper conference I had to be at. This was before the recent TSA stuff (last January) and I’m still disturbed by it, and I’m no priss, but an advice columnist who gets letters about people’s weird sexual issues, among other things.
This happened in
*2009*before the mandatory gropefests were initiated:
karen diamond July 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm
As a 64 year old woman born in Phila, Pa. I am totally disgusted at the intrusive, offensive, and humiliating manner in which folks with joint replacements are treated by the TSA agents. I’ve had both a hip and knee replacement and bring my own scooter to the airport since I can’t walk any distance. On my first trip after surgery, I was made to get out of the scooter without my cane, walk several feet unassisted which was nearly impossible, and then a TSA agent actually pulled out my pants and looked inside my underwear. The next time I refused to get out of the scooter, and an agent felt all around my breasts with her hands. By the third trip, the agent asked if I was sensitive to touch anywhere on my body, and I said,” I’m sensitive on my entire body when a stranger touches me.” She at least used a wand but then checked my hands for bomb residue. She told me it’d make her job easier if I could tell her what a terrorist looked like, and I informed her that terrorists were able bodied and could walk. And most importantly, NO ONE goes through the extreme pain of having a joint replacement unless they want to LIVE. Does anyone feel safer due to what they are putting old people through? If you’re going to check for bomb residue, check people who can actually walk. Chris, is there anyway to deal with this humiliation?
'I was going to do her!' The grubby comments by TSA agents that infuriated one female passenger
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER Last updated at 8:06 PM on 13th February 2011
It seems some airport security staff are more interested in looking at what lies underneath women’s clothes rather than respecting passengers.
Amy Sullivan, senior editor of Time magazine, was at a security checkpoint in Miami Airport on Tuesday when she opted out of passing through a backscatter scanning device - described by experts as a 'virtual strip search'.
When she went through a metal detector instead and was searched by a woman, a male Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official is alleged to have said: ‘Hey, I thought she was mine - I was going to do her!’
TSA punishes traveler
for opting-out of scanner, then breaks laptop
laptop seizures: Interview with Rep. Sanchez
Salon (link) http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/15/laptops
A FOIA request from the ACLU revealed that in the 18-month period beginning October 1, 2008, more than 6,600 people — roughly half of whom are American citizens — were subjected to electronic device searches at the border by DHS, all without a search warrant.
But the willingness of courts to act is unclear at best. The judiciary, with a few exceptions, has been shamelessly deferential in the post-9/11 era to even the most egregious assertions of Executive Branch power in the name of security.
Homeland Security agents do not even need to show “reasonable suspicion” to search and seize a citizens’ electronic products when re-entering their country. Some lower court judges, however, continue to rule the practice unconstitutional: see here for one federal judge’s emphatic rejection of the Obama DOJ’s arguments as to why such searches fall outside of the Bill of Rights.
July, 2008 Senate hearing, then-Sen. Russ Feingold hosted the Association of
Corporate Travel Executives, which vehemently opposes this practice, and Feingold said this:
Over the last two years, reports have surfaced that customs agents have been asking U.S. citizens to turn over their cell phones or give them the passwords to their laptops. The travelers have been given a choice between complying with the request or being kept out of their own country. They have been forced to wait for hours while customs agents reviewed and sometimes copied the contents of the electronic devices. In some cases, the laptops or cell phones were confiscated and returned weeks or even months later, with no explanation.
Alaska lawmaker who had mastectomy refuses TSA pat-down
BY SEAN COCKERHAM THE
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS Feb 22, 2011
Anchorage state Rep. Sharon Cissna refused an "invasive, probing" security pat-down at the Seattle airport and is driving and taking the ferry back to Alaska.Cissna was in Seattle for medical treatment and planning to fly back to Juneau on Sunday night to rejoin the legislative session. She underwent a body scan while going through airport security and was singled out for a full body pat-down because she'd had a mastectomy, said her chief of staff, Michelle Scannell.
Cissna sent out a statement late Monday saying the body scan showed scars from her breast cancer. She said she knew that meant there would be "invasive, probing hands of a stranger," and that a similar incident had happened three months earlier.
"Facing the agent I began to remember what my husband and I'd decided after the previous intensive physical search. That I never had to submit to that horror again!" she said. "It would be difficult, we agreed, but I had the choice to say no, this twisted policy did not have to be the price of flying to Juneau!"
Personal story told to
me February 2011: Ann McDermott, sister of Catherine Connor, both of
McDermott is in her 60s. On a recent trip, she went through the scanner and
was still singled out for a patdown. She said she was so upset by the
aggressive groping of her breasts and genitals that she doesn’t know if she
will ever fly again. She loves to travel, but she doesn’t want to go
through that degrading experience again. -LS
patti Smith on February 13, 2011
at 5:40 pm
Traveled from Kauai, HI to LA yesterday and opted out of the radiation machine. Submitted to an enhanced pat down. I was touched on my genitals inappropriately. No, not touched, more like pressing inwards. I am a older woman, very American, never in my whole life treated like this. What can I do? I have logged a complaint with the TSA and ACLU. Government sanctioned sexual assault. What next – full body cavity searches?
Sommer Gentry February 26, 2011
at 6:43 pm
I was also sexually assaulted by the TSA well before the enhanced patdowns started. I was completely unprepared for the trauma I endured at Baltimore Washington International airport in 2004. I was wearing a skirt, and I was selected for the hand-held metal detector wanding. My attacker shoved the wand under my skirt and up into my body through my underwear without any warning, without apology. The TSA never responded to the numerous complaints I filed through their official channels, the Department of Transportation, my airlines, and my congressman. I believe the screener purposely assaulted me, but I can’t be sure it wasn’t a tragic mistake. It’s been more than six years, and I am still shaken up about what happened. Thinking about a TSA patdown makes me want to vomit in fear. I have had recurrent nightmares, particularly since November when TSA declared it would intentionally handle people’s genitals. I used to be able to say to myself that this was an accident, but now I know that people are being traumatized and humiliated *on purpose*.
The worst part of my ordeal has been handling dismissive comments from people who say I’m a whiner or a wuss, that I’m lying about the way this affected me, or that I am somehow abnormal for having an extreme emotional reaction to being sexually invaded without warning by a stranger. What I’ve experienced as a result of the TSA’s abuse of my body is absolutely textbook reaction to a sexual assault: fear, flashbacks, nightmares, and all the rest. Representative Cissna said that after the TSA touched her inappropriately, she had disturbing thoughts about it for weeks. She talked over the incident with her husband and finally decided that she would never allow such a twisted and disgusting thing to be done to her again. So there you have it: the government is sexually assaulting people and causing very serious harm. What have you done today to stop it from happening to another victim?
(Sommer Gentry is a math professor at the U.S. Naval Academy -LS)
mary ann gona Feb 28, 2011 at 05:13 PM
My 35cent full body
scan...at the Ft Lauderdale airport I had a lot of items going through the
scanners, plus my husband was being escorted by wheelchair being released from
Browood Hospital an hour and a half before our flight left for Pittsburgh so
you can see it wasn't one of my better days. I went through the full body
scan..why not if it protects the people flying..and was promptly stopped and
told I would be subjected to a full body pat down. I reached in to my pocket
and discovered a quarter and a dime which I showed to the woman, I was told to
put it back in my pocket and follow two other people (who were taking my items
off the belt) to a private room. I was given no explanation and I became very
upset. Now I am in the room an I guess I wasn't listening to the
instructions and lifted my top..I only exposed the back strap of my bra and the
examiner refused to go on with the examination because I had exposed myself to
her. I am now in tears..she called a supervisor in, so by this time I am
apologizing to everyone..hindsight is always 20/20 and I should have
refused..the woman was extremely rude..she seemed to enjoy my
"breakdown"..finally she said she would continue..I just shut my eyes
an let her continue. When the supervisor saw what was happening..why didn't he
just wand me and let me go..obviously it was my 35cents that caused the
problem. Had I gone through the doorway scanned this would have never
happened..that is the end of my full body scan..and I wish I had the
"smarts" to get this out to everyone..if this type of scan is ever
manditory..I will be the first in line with a picket sign. The name of the
agent YOLANDA PATA LTSO..supervisor JOSE BARRERA..I know a lot of people have
had worse experiences but this is mine..all for 35cents!!! If it means anything
I am 60 years old.
From Forbes Magazine:
Documents Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers - March 2, 2011 – by Andy Greenberg
Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.
From local (Arlington,
VA) ABC affiliate WJLA:
I-Team: Illegal Strip Searches at Reagan National
. . . PASSENGERS
WERE ASKED TO REMOVE THEIR CLOTHING AND EXPOSE THEIR PRIVATE PARTS DURING
SECURITY SCREENINGS…A CLEAR VIOLATION OF TSA'S OWN INTERNAL GUIDELINES…
OBTAINED BY THE I-TEAM.
TSA Employee: "The look on their
face would almost give you the sense that they felt like they were in a
sense being raped. In a sense, being victimized and to a certain extent, they
TSA Employee: "That really incensed me that
someone felt that they could just put on some gloves and they could just
violate someone to that degree."
TSA Employee: "They
actually had the passenger remove the clothing that covered the sensitive area
and perform a duck walk to see if something would fall out."
FACT, SOME OF THOSE SO-CALLED PRIVATE SCREENINGS WERE ALLEGEDLY CONDUCTED IN A
VERY PUBLIC PLACE: THIS STAIRWELL…ACCESSIBLE TO OTHER PASSENGERS AND AIRPORT
EMPLOYEES.. . .THE SCREENINGS WERE MOVED INTO THIS MANAGERS' OFFICE… WHERE THEY
ALLEGE, UNSUSPECTING PASSENGERS WERE EITHER VIDEOTAPED OR MONITORED ON
CLOSED CIRCUIT TELEVISION.
. . . SOME TSA EMPLOYEES ALSO ALLEGE THAT THE PASSENGERS SELECTED FOR ADDITIONAL SCREENING WERE OFTEN DETERMINED WELL BEFORE THEY REACHED THE MAGNETOMETERS. Andrea McCarren: "You're saying a FEMA (website - news) le passenger would be stopped for additional screening not because she set off an alarm but because of her breast size?" TSA Employee: "Absolutely, Yes"
IN FACT, SHE SAYS SOME SCREENERS EVEN -INTENTIONALLY- SET OFF MAGNETOMETERS BY KICKING THEM . . . .
March 12, 2011 – by Christopher Elliott (WaPo & NatGeo reporter)
Last week, several readers reported an intrusive, new screening procedure being used by the TSA — activity the agency suggested was not new at all.
But this week, I received fresh reports that the TSA is stepping up its aggressive --and some say illegal — searches . . .
. . . As they went to the room, a rather large TSA officer who let them in says to them “have fun”. I must say, as shameful as it sounds for an almost 56-year-old man, I cried through the whole experience.
The one man watching held his head down low as he watched realizing what this experience was doing to me. The other continued with what I considered an illegal sexual molestation of my body.
After that, they took their gloves and ran them through a machine and found nothing and said I could get the rest of my things on and go. There is nothing that an X-ray can show that would need this sexual pat down to run gloves through a machine.
TSA orders 're-tests'
of radiation levels on airport body scanners
The Transportation Security Administration on Friday ordered re-testing of all radiation-emitting full-body scanners after an internal review showed calculation errors, missing data, and other discrepancies on paperwork by contractors who routinely check the machines' radiation levels . . . But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the TSA found problems with more than one-quarter of the reports it reviewed, "including gross errors about radiation emissions."
“. . .
We were therefore surprised when, 10 minutes before take-off, a uniformed TSA
Supervisor, two uniformed TSA agents, and a plain-suited Supervisory
Transportation Security Officer (TSO) made their way down the aisle of the
fully-loaded plane to where we were seated and ordered us to go with them .
. . I could thus only conclude that it had been staged for the sole purpose
of demonstrating to the entire captive audience of passengers that those who do
not comply quietly will be made examples of. I have subsequently been
bombarded with emails detailing experiences ranging from petty humiliations to
horrifying, including an inordinate number of women reporting overly intrusive
groping of their breasts and pubic areas . . . .”
man says rights violated at Logan Airport
Millions paid to former suspects
By The Associated Press
In recent years the federal government or its contractors have paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits filed by people who say they were unfairly detained or harassed because of terrorism fears. The payments include: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014557040_apusterrorundersuspicionsettlements.html
No excuse for what these
three had to endure while at mercy of airport security
Letter by Vicki Kurtti, Jensen Beach Sunday, March 13, 2011
My daughter and grandchildren, ages 5 and 4, were flying from Palm Beach International Airport to Hartford, Conn., on US Airways March 1. Sarah was in an air-cast/boot with a severe sprain and torn ligaments . . . Sarah was required to stay in the wheelchair. That is not TSA policy. The children were separated from their mother and forced to go through a different scanner. They were crying, scared, unable to see their mother.
TSA's own rules state that children will not be separated from adults. Carry-on luggage was thrown on scanner belts and left unattended. Another breach of TSA rules . . . She's hearing-impaired and was unable to hear any pages for their flight . . .
search shouldn't come with attitude from TSA employees
Letter by Sharon_Mardis Posted March 22, 2011
. . . As I came out of there I asked if my husband could take my belongings, which were at the end of the X-ray conveyer.
I was told "no" and that I was being argumentative. I was further uncomfortable when they called another agent who said she was going to "pat me down;" otherwise I would go for a "private screening" with a supervisor. As I dared to ask again about my personal items, one of which was my purse with money, credit cards, checkbook, etc., I was again told I was argumentative and they would call a supervisor. I did protest at this point but only to ask why I had to be subject to a "pat-down" and was told, "the image was fuzzy" . . . .
photocopies a man’s credit cards and other personal documents
AND HUNDREDS IF NOT
THOUSANDS OF VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE OF PASSENGERS GETTING GROPED AND HARASSED – TOO
MANY TO DUPLICATE HERE –LS.
detained and harassed by TSA at airport for carrying cash
TSA: “If you have nothing to hide, then you just tell us what it’s for; you’re going to have to have proof why you have that much money anyway . . . are you from this planet? Do you understand the question when I’m asking it? Why can’t you just answer the question? See, you acting like a child. You acting like a child. You’re going to the police station”
March 23, 2011
TSA did pat down on 17-month-old toddler, in Minneapolis. Video of that incident removed from KVLY website only hours after it was reported:
Valley News Live - 3 days ago
and her family were going through airport security in Minneapolis heading
home to Fargo. ...
TSA Forbids Mom From Videotaping Them Patting Down Toddler
Moments after I posted this story, the Minnesota news station removed the
video and story from its site.
Woman At LaGuardia Learns TSA Can Still Grope You Even AFTER You Pass Security Checkpoint –Nancy Campbell, Urban Planner, Age 33
By Chris Morran on March 28, 2011 12:30 PM
TSA Searches For Large
Sums Of Cash : Why It’s Wrong
Church Pastor Refuses
Scan & Grope, Handcuffed and Threatened with Arrest
TSA agent arrested for molestation
Wednesday, 03 Feb 2010, 7:28 AM EST
Published : Sunday, 31 Jan 2010, 7:24 PM EST
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A TSA agent has been arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor after police say he tried to keep a girl as a sex slave. Police arrested 57-year-old Charles Bennett of Winter Garden on Friday. A 15-year-old girl was the one who reported him to police.
On Bennett's MySpace page he calls himself "Master Charles" and says he's into submissive females and claims he is a master of bondage dominance sadism and masochism. Neighbors tell us they are stunned to learn about Bennett's arrest and his strange interests.
Neighbors tell Fox 35 Bennett is a former Marine Gunnery Sergeant who retired after 20 years of active service. Some even told us they wrote recommendations so he could get his current TSA job.
TSA Worker Arrested
for Impersonating a Police Officer
March 8, 2011 – (orig. story from New Jersey Star Ledger)
. . . In recent weeks we have reported on the full scale epidemic of TSA criminality that is now gaining widespread media attention . . . At the same airport Mazzone works in, Newark Liberty International, there have been a spate of incidents involving TSA workers stealing money and valuables from luggage, as well as routine security failures, involving handguns being taken through security lines.
TSA agent arrested for helping drug suspects
sneak through security
March 7, 2011
Isle TSA worker
arrested in theft of cash from travelers
Complaints led to sting operation against Dawn Nikole Keka
March 16, 2011
More children getting groped (in addition to stories I’ve already documented -LS):
Fascism in America: sexual assault by the TSA
April 8, 2011 — Geoff
All, after being sexually assaulted at the Denver Airport, I am joining the campaign to try to get the TSA to change its policies. At this point, if you travel by airline, you have two choices: 1)Be put in a cancer box or 2)Be sexually assaulted.
If you would like to contact me on this post, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would prefer not to have comments. Thanks.
Below is the letter I wrote to the TSA. It will be sent to many public officials and news outlets.
. . . Even though I was in line for the traditional metal detector, I was picked out of line by an extremely rude TSA agent. I asked, “why are you harassing me? I was in this other line.” The rude agent called for his supervisor, who was later identified as Michael Depace. This supervisor immediately began threatening to throw me out of the airport. Keep in mind that at this time all I had done was ask a question. He said again that I needed to be searched and if I was rude to any of his employees who would throw me out of the airport.
I was taken to another area of the security area. A TSA agent with a beard (who later refused to give his name) began to sexually assault me. There is no other way to describe it. He repeatedly rubbed his hands over my buttocks and penis area. He thrust his hand down the front of my pants. All of the while Michael Depace watched with a satisfied smile on his face.
After the sexual assault ended, I asked Mr. Depace for his name and the name of his supervisor. He refused to give it to me. I then found a woman who wrote down her name on a card. Her name is Connie Levine (sp). I cannot read her writing exactly but her last name appears to start with “LE.” Connie also refused to give me any names, and called over a police officer to threaten me with arrest. I asked the officer is I was being detained, and the officer said I was not. The officer appeared to be embarrassed by the behavior of the TSA employees involved. Finally, Connie gave me her name and the name of Mr. Depace.
TSA security looks at people who complain about ... TSA security
By Mike M. Ahlers and Jeanne Meserve, CNN
April 15, 2011 12:57 p.m. EDT
Grope leaves Grand Rapids airline passenger in tears
"The female officer ran
her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so
rough she lifted me off my heels," she says. "I think I
yelped. I was in pain for about an hour afterwards. It just felt
excessive and unnecessary."
LeeAnne Pantuso Clark
(who has commented many times at Elliott Blog about several different TSA assaults she has experienced)
April 16, 2011 at 11:30 am
I’m at the point now where I’m almost numb about the continued horrific abuses meted out by the TSA. As a victim myself of both physical and sexual assault at the hands of a TSA agent just last month, nothing they do surprises me anymore. We hear one terrible story after another, and they just keeping happening.
But the worst part of it is that so many Americans can’t see how wrong it is! They actually BELIEVE this crap is necessary, and somehow makes them safer! The utter insanity of the whole thing is just stunning. And the utter stupidity of the American public who buys into it is scary . . . .
. . . I’d like to see you come
back and state this same opinion after watching a TSO feel up your teenage
daughter, or shove her hands between the legs of your elderly mother and then
scream at her because she was forced to urinate on herself after waiting in a
line for 90 minutes and then not allowed to use the rest room, or purposely
press on your recent surgical scars until you cry out in pain. These are all
things that have happened just to MY FAMILY ALONE . . . .
http://www.elliott.org/blog/another-kid-gets-the-once-over-by-tsa-what-can-the-agency-do-to-improve-its-image/comment-page-1/#comment-68462July 24, 2011: I won't have to have my vagina, labia, and pubis touched by a stranger. When I objected two weeks ago, eventually a supervisor arrived who had a modicum of decency and rationality, and he assigned another screener to screen me. This one managed to do it without jamming her thumb into my vagina, and I passed through screening and boarded my plane. Of course I had to go through an hour of physical and verbal abuse and threats of not being allowed to board my plane, but I stood my ground and eventually was able to pass through the screening without consenting to sexual molestation.
Handcuffed for English-Arabic Flashcards Sues TSA, FBI
By Matthew Rothschild, February 10, 2010
By Shannyn Moore
Case dismissed? TSA ruined my diabetic insulin
April 21, 201
Sexual assault complaint investigated at Ohio airport
Woman says patdown crossed the line
By: Chris Martinez
TSA Passenger Screener Charged in Distributing Child Pornography
Agent James Wedick and His Wife current FBI agent – personal
conversation w/Lisa Simeone, April 7, 2011, at University of the District of
Mrs. Wedick was stopped by TSA because her federally issued FBI ID has a laminated edge, which was deemed “sharp” by the TSA who said it was “potentially dangerous” and “could be used as a weapon.” Her bags were taken apart and searched. She is a federal law enforcement officer. She said her husband kept giving her meaningful looks urging her to keep cool because she was so angry at this display of stupidity.
You can’t make this stuff up. -LS
feel safe; I feel violated, humiliated, and angry
by Wil Wheaton
April 6, 2011
Yesterday, I was touched -- in my opinion, inappropriately -- by a TSA agent at LAX.
I'm not going to talk about it in detail until I can speak with an attorney, but I've spent much of the last 24 hours replaying it over and over in my mind, and though some of the initial outrage has faded, I still feel sick and angry when I think about it . . . . I was so furious and upset, my hands shook for quite some time after the ordeal was over. I felt sick to my stomach for hours . . . .
From Amy Alkon: . . . Basically, I felt it important to make a spectacle of what they are doing to us, to make it uncomfortable for them to violate us and our rights, so I let the tears come. In fact, I sobbed my guts out. Loudly. Very loudly. The entire time the woman was searching me.
Nearing the end of this violation, I sobbed even louder as the woman, FOUR TIMES, stuck the side of her gloved hand INTO my vagina, through my pants. Between my labia. She really got up there. Four times. Back right and left, and front right and left. In my vagina. Between my labia. I was shocked -- utterly unprepared for how she got the side of her hand up there. It was government-sanctioned sexual assault.
Upon leaving, still sobbing, I yelled to the woman, "YOU RAPED ME." And I took her name to see if I could file sexual assault charges on my return. This woman, and all of those who support this system deserve no less than this sort of unpleasant experience, and from all of us. –Amy Alkon
I filed suit against the TSA for their pat downs and nude body scanners last November. What I can tell you is that according to all I've learned, the screener was not acting in accordance with the instructions of the government. TSA screeners, via their own rules, are not to conduct a pat down in a way that leaves them inside of you.
That said, I encourage you to file a police report and seek criminal charges. My understanding is if the actions are outside of the search the screener was supposed to give, they cannot claim immunity due to government mandate.
Best of luck.
Posted by: Jonathan Corbett at April 26, 2011 1:21 PM
Meet Susie Castillo's Vagina: Susie Castillo's TSA Experience
The former Miss USA's experience, having her vagina touched four times, echoes mine. In her words, "They're making me choose to either get molested ... or go through this machine, that's completely unhealthy and dangerous."
Here's her tearful video about her violation below, and her blog post.
Pregnant Teacher Harassed By TSA On Easter Sunday Tells Her Story
More TSA Abuse: Father & Son Detained For Being “Too Clean”
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
GCN News has learned of yet more abuse at the hands of the Transportation Security Administration . . .
UPDATE: Brady Barraza called GCN News at 5:26 p.m. CST to let us know that he and his father have finally been released by the TSA, DHS, and FBI, and are boarding their flight to California. That makes this a total of over 18 hours of unlawful detention, abuse, and harassment. Look for a follow-up story on their ordeal soon. - Rachael Woodhouse, GCN News.
ON THE ROAD; Playing Simon Says At Airport Security
By JOE SHARKEY, New York Times Published: March 29, 2011
. . . On the two occasions that I have experienced the freeze drill -- once at the Los Angeles airport and, more recently, at Atlanta -- it was clear to me that travelers believed they were required to stop and stand motionless -- even those who had cleared security and were merely within shouting distance of the checkpoint. Officers seemed to reinforce that impression, too.
The freeze issue has been getting more attention lately. On Wewontfly.com, a Web site started last year in opposition to certain T.S.A. procedures, including the more aggressive body pat-downs, a woman commented that she was recently involved in a freeze drill at the Atlanta airport.
''As we were going through the security checkpoint, one of the supervisors suddenly yelled 'freeze!' '' she wrote. ''Everyone was forced to just stand there for about a minute. We were not allowed to move, fidget, look around, speak, nothing.''
. . . ''I kind of scratch my head on this,'' said James Babb, the other co-founder of Wewontfly.com. ''All I can think of is obedience training. I kind of know what to expect from the T.S.A., but really on this, my frustration is with the public that says, 'Oh, an authority figure said freeze, so I'd better freeze,' and not ask reasonable questions.''
TSA baby pat-down photographer: “I’ve never seen anything quite that bad”
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
To Serve, to Protect and...to Steal
If TSA workers steal from the
people they are supposed to be protecting, how can they be trusted to keep the
nation safe from terrorism?
By Spencer Wilking
. . . According to Transportation Security Administration records, press reports, and court documents, Brown is one of approximately 500 TSA officers who've been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage . . . Some airline representatives say theft grew exponentially with the creation of the TSA and their new powers to open and check luggage as they pleased. "When the TSA took over, we saw a dramatic spike in the increase of pilfering claims," says Scott Mueller, a baggage manager at Midwest Airlines for almost 20 years . . . "The low morale at TSA is legendary," says Ron Moore, a former TSA agent at Baltimore-Washington International Airport from 2002 to 2007. "Good people are either planning on leaving or wishing they could leave” . . . Thom Stukas, the cameraman who had $50,000 worth of equipment stolen by Pythias Brown under the guise of screening his luggage for bombs, drugs and weapons, sees a clear connection between that act and national security: "What's to stop them from taking a $100,000 bribe from somebody and putting something in the bag instead of taking something out? What's stopping them from putting a fucking bomb in there?"
Breast Cancer Survivor Sexually Molested by
TSA at Richmond Airport
Posted on April 25, 2011
Fake bomb eludes NY airport test: Facility's security measures fail in 5 of 7 trials"
. . . The screeners at Albany International
confiscated the water bottle but missed the bomb. In all, the inspectors
slipped four banned items through the main checkpoint during the test, sources
Baby food tests false-positive for explosives, seized by TSA agents
Bruce's mother pleaded with a TSA supervisor for more tests or to squeeze the food into another container. She said the supervisor refused.
"Oh my God," said the
exasperated mom. "You're telling me we're going to starve a 7-month-old
child? We're getting on a plane."
Official Complaint to TSA from Marilyn Bagdonas (forwarded by email to me –LS)
Delta security line at the
Minneapolis Airport at approx 8AM Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
After a grueling 2 day trip and staying in a hotel paid by Delta in Minneapolis, I was exhausted when I went through security at the Delta security line at the Minneapolis Airport at approximately 8AM on Tuesday, May 17th.
I was carrying the same bag and wearing the same clothes as the day before at PDX security. I expected the same easy security check in Minneapolis.
No such luck! I was confronted by a very impatient, pushy TSA female agent who wanted me to go through the Scanner. I asked questions why and she didn’t have the patience to answer… i.e. questioning my choices for a female pat down if I didn't take the scanner etc. She did not make it clear at that point if it was going to be a male or female so I chose unwillingly to go through the Scanner.
After passing through the Scanner she ordered me to go through a pat down because I had a tissue in my pocket. I told her I would not have a male do it and she ordered me into a room.
My opinion was that I was being harassed at this point.
I was shocked at the treatment and lack of information and respect. At that point I started to cry when 2 women came in and closed the door. I felt totally violated with the invasion of privacy and lack of information.
The woman who did the pat-down was very professional but the actual pat down was much too “cozy” for anyone! I think I made them uncomfortable with my crying and telling them how humiliating it was and that I didn't need a physical this year after this examination.
When we arrived at our destination in Traverse City, Michigan I was still very upset over this event and I decided to talk to the TSA supervisor. He was very comforting and informative. He told me that there is always a female checking/patting-down a female. He explained that there was a fine line between invasion of privacy and security.
I get that. I understand that.
Just by talking to this TSA supervisor in Traverse City made me feel more comfortable because he was respectful and listened to my concerns.
I am writing this because I felt totally violated by the TSA agent in Minneapolis because of the lack of respect and lack of information. It was probably one of the top 10 worst experiences in my 70 years.
I hope this can be corrected and this treatment does not continue at the Minneapolis Airport.
At this point I will be
thrilled if I never see Minneapolis again! It was a great feeling flying away
from this nightmare.
Police evacuate airport and
seize 'terrorist' with fake bomb... pity TSA forgot to tell them it was just a
TSA Forgets To Tell Police It's Running A
Bomb Test, Hilarity Ensues
No TSA Agents At Prom Despite Court Ruling
SANTE FE, N.M. -- There were no TSA agents patting down students at the Santa Fe High School prom on Saturday night, despite a federal judge's ruling that there had to be.
This is after two sisters from another Santa Fe district high school said they were groped at a recent dance.
A federal judge ruled on Friday that TSA certified personnel must now supervise district pat downs, like those at dances or graduations.
Pilot to TSA: 'No Groping Me and No Naked Photos'
October 15, 2010 – My name is
Michael Roberts, and I am a pilot for ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., based in
Houston (that is, I still am for the time being). This morning as I attempted
to pass through the security line for my commute to work I was denied access to
the secured area of the terminal building at Memphis International Airport.. .
. Eventually the airport police were summoned . . . .
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/roberts-m1.1.1.html. . . Sharon Kiss, 66, has a pacemaker, but also has to fly often for her work.
"During a recent enhanced pat-down, a screener cupped my breasts and felt my genitals," she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com "To 'clear my waistband' she put her hands down my pants and groped for the waistband of my underwear.
"I expressed humiliation and was told 'You have the choice not to fly.' "
[There are also other stories of women being abused by TSA agents at this link.-LS]
Joe Worthey, 84, of Decatur, Ala., has lung cancer and is confined to a wheelchair. His wife Katie, 73, has cardiomyopathy. On their last trip through West Palm Beach (Fla.) International Airport, TSA screeners harassed the couple, they said, refusing to allow Katie to assist her husband with the screening procedures and confiscating their medicine.
Full story and other stories of abuse at this link:
More Underage Victims of TSA Coming
THREE-YEAR-OLD FROM BUCKS GOT THE TSA
TREATMENT AT PHL
May 28, 2011
I recently returned from a trip to the Hawaiian Islands on Hawaiian Air. Coming home, I flew from Kona to the Honolulu airport to transfer to a flight to San Diego, Calif. I am 73 years old and in a wheelchair, but the TSA people pulled me aside for one of those extreme searches. I was very embarrassed but endured it all without complaining. During this, they were taking my carry-on back and forth to keep examining it. Later I discovered that they had lost one of my medicines that was in a prescription box. Only the box was there.
This is one of the most humiliating
experiences I have been through, and it makes me want to never fly again.
TSA Harasses Two Texas Wounded
Veterans at Airport with War Shrapnel in their Bodies
The TSA agents cornered them and bombarded them with repeated questions like, “What are you hiding in your face?” The agents did not give the wounded warriors time to explain anything and went straight into accusing them of “hiding” something in their bodies. Yeah, they are hiding something alright. They have metal in their bodies from war! My friend told me that one TSA agent came up to him and asked what he was hiding in his leg, but before my friend could answer he said that the TSA agent grabbed him, without notice, right in the crotch area as if trying to find something hidden. My friend has served many tours of duty, and I believe him when he tells me that it took everything in him not to react defensively when this agent grabbed his crotch without even letting him know he was going to be pat searched.
TSA receiving fewer theft claims, rejecting more
Jason Whitely, WFAA, Posted on May 30, 2011 at 9:55
DALLAS — As the summer travel season gets under way, the Transportation Security Administration is turning down more claims in its little-known reimbursement program for travelers who have items stolen at checkpoints or during baggage screening.
The TSA said it's currently reviewing 2,300 claims.
But over the last five years,
the TSA began rejecting more claims — from about half of all submitted in 2005
to three-quarters of them in 2009.
. . . Lowe said that's when someone must have snatched his wallet from a bin by the X-ray machine while he was separated from it.
"At this moment, the only people I can hold responsible is the TSA," Lowe concluded.
The thief got away with his identification, credit cards, and $500 in cash.
What he didn't know until now is that the TSA has quietly reimbursed tens of thousands of travelers who have experienced similar thefts.
In 2010 alone, the TSA paid out $582,721 to resolve 2,737 claims . . . .
I recently took my parents on a flight to their gandson's wedding. Both required wheel chairs although they can walk short distances using a cane. My 87 year old mother did not have a picture ID so these arrogant, abusive thugs sexually assaulted her in full view of all the passengers. They took her cane and told her to stand up with her hands in the air. She can't and started to fall over. When I grabbed her to prevent the fall, they screamed at me to get away.
Their conduct is an outrage and has nothing to do with security.
Posted By Barry on May 31, 2011, 11:12 AM
I would like to hear from Folks on this comment board who feel 'safe' with TSA security who have been patted down in a locked room...just 2 strngers probing your body and you. YOU will have absolutley no control. This happened to me after I went thru the body scanner and they found a kleenex in my pocket...yes, it is true...a kleenex. After my complaint, I was told that the TSA agent did not follow propler procedure...she should have patted my pockets. Yes, YOU too, can be a victim of an abusive TSA agent and taken into a closed room and bodily probed.
Posted By marlee on May 31, 2011, 2:45 PM
I was not only subjected to imaging, but also to groping. I was told that I moved too fast after the buzzer sounded that I thought indicated the end of the imaging session. Because of my movement, an agent who was laughing, told me I was to be subjected to a pat down. Another agent came over and proceeded to grope me. When I moved slightly because she was going up my leg, she shouted at me that she would have to start again. At this point, she decided to tell me she would be going up my legs and touching my breasts, which she hadn't bothered to mention before. Then, she yelled at me, asking me if I wanted to be searched in private. I answered yes, because I didn't want to be humiliated in front of my students, who were on a college trip with me. She was more incensed. We went into a "private" room, but my students could hear what was said. It was one of the most embarrassing and invasive situations I have had in my life. I wrote TSA a letter complaining and I received a form letter immediately, although they say that complaints go to a specialist. Right. I feel that they care.
I had the distinction of being imaged and
felt up. Usually you get to choose, but I hit the jackpot. I hope that all
Americans feel safer now. Unfortunately, I don't.
Posted By colleen on May 31, 2011, 7:52 PM
My husband was flying home from Boise this
weekend. They unzipped his pants and proceeded to "search" his
groin area, inside his clothes. This is simply not acceptable! But if you
complain, you run the risk of not getting on to your flight. We don't object to
security. In fact, we think it's a good idea! But TSA groping is not
security, it's abuse of power. Posted By Jill Harvey on June 1,
2011, 7:49 AM
Posted by Sommer Gentry at Elliott Blog June 1, 2011:
This truly disturbing video shows TSA employees staring blankly, dazedly, at a woman who is screaming at the top of her lungs that they've molested her and she wants a police officer to report her assault to. These monsters truly have no shame and no human feeling left in them, to be able to ignore the trauma and distress they've caused, to shrug their shoulders at the sight of so much pain and desperation without trying in any small way to help her. I wish I believed in hell so I could vow those agents would burn in it.
N.C. — The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a North Carolina
woman who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after she stripped
down to her underwear at a Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
checkpoint to protest the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) whole
body imaging scanners. Police arrested and charged Siobhán Cooke with disorderly
conduct as a result of her act of protest at RDU on June 2, 2011. Attorneys
for The Rutherford Institute will represent Cooke at her August 24 court
TITLE OF VIDEO AT YOUTUBE: TSA SEXUALLY ASSAULTS MY MOTHER:
Durham Family Sues TSA Over Screening Procedures (Jonathan Blitz)
By Tom Breen | Associated Press
Published: December 03, 2010
March 17, 2011
Today, Jonathan Blitz filed his reply to the government’s motion to dismiss in his case, so we now have 3 cases in US district courts ready to rumble on the issue of jurisdiction.
Corbett v. US, 10-CV-24106, SDFL 11/16/2010 (11th Cir.)
Redfern v. Napolitano, 10-CV-12048, MAD 11/29/2010 (1st Cir.)
Blitz v. Napolitano, 10-CV-930, MDNC, 12/03/2010 (4th Cir.)
Blitz is a brilliant guy, and
I’ve attached his public filing here, as it’s a great read. The next
cases to get to this point will be in the DC and CO (10th Cir.), and I’ll
update everyone as the public filings are made. –Jon
Lots of comments from people who get it and people who’ve been abused:
OCTOBER 11, 2010
Fuck you TSA
I refused to be irradiated, so instead I was molested. And because I had the unmitigated gall to speak my fuckin' mind about this I was then "invited" to have a conversation with a couple of fuckin' goons. Did you know that these assholes think they are protecting this country?
Earl Pitts Said...
I'm still waiting for responses on my last TWO complaints from BWI. One of them was escalated to a TSI, which, after giving him all the details I asked for, was never heard from again. The last one about a retaliatory secondary was completely ignored.
June 3, 2011 11:02 PM
. . . Finally, the screener walked appeared and barked, “Over there.” As instructed, I walked, “over there.” Someone grabbed my arm, “No, over there.” It was a two-foot distance, but I guess when you’re in charge of overseeing national security on commuter planes filled with people wearing fanny packs, every inch counts and vigalance rules. Meanwhile, I kept looking over my shoulder, at my luggage, all lonely in three gray plastic bins. “What are you looking at?” another officer scowled in my hear. “My stuff. My wallet – ” A blue gloved hand reached up, and turned my head away.
Dr. David Mandy: Special Needs Son Harassed by TSA at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Updated: Thursday, 09 Jun 2011, 6:15 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011, 11:10 PM EDT
. . .The family was headed through security when two TSA agents singled Drew out for a special pat down. Drew is severely mentally disabled. He's 29, but his parents said he has the mental capacity of a two-year-old, which made the experience that followed at the McNamera Terminal that much harder to deal with.
"You have got to be kidding me. I honestly felt that those two agents did not know what they were doing," Mandy told us.
Dr. Mandy claimed they asked
Drew to place his feet on the yellow shoe line, something he didn't understand.
They proceeded to pat his pants down, questioning the padding which was his
adult diapers. When the agents asked Drew to take his hand and rub the
front and back of his pants so they could swab it for explosives, his dad
stepped in and tried to explain Drew was mentally challenged.
"They said, 'Please, sir, we know what we're doing,'" Mandy said . . . .
Newark TSA supervisor pleads guilty to accepting bribes
A former airport security supervisor pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and sentenced to 30 months in prison after taking kickbacks from a TSA officer who was allegedly stealing from passengers. Michael Arato . . . Al Raimi, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of theft by a government officer in February. He is currently scheduled for sentencing in September. Arato also admitted in court that he had regularly stolen money from passengers who went through his checkpoint. This is not the first time that TSA officers at Newark have come under fire for theft. In 2008, baggage screener Pythias Brown was charged with stealing over 100 items out of passengers, including a CNN camera which he reportedly tried to sell on eBay. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/307759
TSA workers face dismissal over baggage
Washington Post, June 10, 2011
The Transportation Security Administration is moving to fire more than 30 of its security personnel at Hawaii’s Honolulu International Airport after the discovery late last year that they were not properly screening checked bags for bombs, the TSA said Friday.
Former TSA Agent in Orlando Accused Of Stealing From Passengers
This is the second arrest of a TSA agent at Orlando International Airport in just the past few weeks.
Last month, Reynal Dela Cruz was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to work.
An x-ray image
identified the gun and the agent was detained by his own co-workers. Dela Cruz
told officers that he forgot it was in his bag. He has since quit his job. (He
point I’m going to stop including stories of TSA theft and other incompetence.
There’ve been so many of them I can’t keep up, haven’t included them all up to
this point anyway; logic dictates that there’s more theft and lack of cargo-screening
than is being detected. Let someone else compile these accounts; I have my
hands full just keeping track of sexual and other assaults. –Lisa Simeone
AMY GOODMAN of
DemocracyNow: It’s interesting. I had a very similar experience, where
everyone was going through the regular metal detector, and they chose me to
step aside to go through the machine. And I said I didn’t want to go through
that machine. And it seemed extremely punitive, what happened next. First
of all, I had to wait for a very long time, and anyone who’s late for a plane
knows how distressing that is. And then the level of intimacy of this body
search—it’s happened to me several times. In one case, they had my arms up.
They had my legs apart.
They said I wasn’t to move. And then the woman who was doing it, after touching every part she could possibly touch and find, parts people might not have known were there, she walked away. And having said several times to me to keep my arms out and not to move, I was standing there, spread-eagled, for many, many minutes, in the cold.
You know, you’re not allowed to put your jacket back on or anything. And finally, another TSA agent came over, with a smile, and said, "What are you doing there?" I said, "Well, she said I can’t move." He said, "Oh, she left long ago. You can go."
TSA workers told investigators that screeners routinely singled out Hispanic men for referral to law enforcement under trumped up suspicions, in an orchestrated scheme to pump up numbers.
. . . the report alleges that from early 2008 to late 2009, BDOs routinely looked for Hispanic male passengers, especially Mexicans and Dominicans, to see if they had proper visas or passport stamps.
The Star-Ledger wrote: 'If not, those passengers would be subjected to bag searches, pat downs, questioning and referrals to immigration with bogus behaviours invented by the screeners to cover up the real reason the passengers were singled out'.
Newark BDO Paul Animone reportedly told investigators: 'It became a joke in the unit, these individuals were called the great Mexican hunters.
Managers were accused of telling BDOs to 'make up behaviours' that warranted suspicion, in order to target 'illegal aliens'.
Local Couple Held By TSA; Miss Flight & Honeymoon Cruise
TSA on School Buses: Webcast Pushes Benefits of TSA Security Training for Student Transporters
Looking Into Second Stowaway Incident
By Sommer Gentry, June 19,
One of my closest friends just posted on Facebook 20 minutes ago that she was strip-searched by TSA at LAX airport. I called her immediately and got the full story. She had been delayed six days leaving Australia because of the volcanoes, and when she landed at LAX she had a string of flight delays and cancellations. She has been at LAX for over 12 hours and had boarding passes for a number of flights which were either overbooked or cancelled. She is a smoker, and she exited the secure area to smoke several times over the course of the day. The last time that she came through the checkpoint, TSA recognized that she had gone through security several times already and flagged her for a strip search. She says she was taken into a private room and had to take off all of her clothing down to her underwear. Her underwear stayed on.
[Name of woman is Nina Gilkenson. Sommer Gentry, as indicated elsewhere in this document, is a professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy. –LS]
Employee Rosemary Fitzpatrick
According to her, the airport security official ran her hands around her breasts, over her stomach, buttocks, and her inner thighs, and even touched her most private areas. The following is how Fitzpatrick described how she felt about the experience to CNN: “As an experienced traveler for work who was in tears for most of the search process, I have never experienced a more traumatic and invasive travel event!"
Meagan Quinn: “I will not board an
airplane in America until the TSA body scanners are gone. No one is seeing my
naked body unless I let them. I will also not settle for being GROPED in public
as an alternative.”
Home from LAX. TSA
there is not so great! Going thru security I couldn't believe how rude they
were us. How can you be mean to an 8-month-pregnant lady with a 1 & 2 year
old? This Delta captain even stopped me after he watched how the scanner was
yelling at my husband for "pushing bags through" and told me that if
they ever talked to us like that again that we needed to make sure we asked for
a supervisor. April 16, 2010 at 10:43pm
Richard Allen I was just molested by the TSA today because I refused to go through the naked body scanners at Ft. Lauderdale airport. I asked them why it was nescessary for me to go through it. First the TSA officer said I was "randomly" selected and then claimed it was to help the line go faster, even though no one was in front in line, so I could have gone through the standard metal detector just as easily. What was worse as soon as I asked why I was randomely selected and for claification of the policy they immedialty called for a supervisor and began to treat me like a criminal. Before I was pat down, one TSA officer asked for another tsa thug to watch me like I was convicted felon, while he went to put his gloves on. The thug supervising me watched me and told me to watch what I said or I could be arrested, and then tried to stare me down and intimidate me. Apprentely, we do not only lose our 4th amendment rights but our first amendmend rights as well as soon as we buy an airline ticket. Lets just say they were not gentle with thier pat down either. I think they checked under my ball sack for Al Qaeda.
March 28, 2011 at
Laurance Tyler Misner I just flew to Chicago 15 days ago from St. Paul. I was asked to stand in the "Electronic Body Scanning System", and told them no. I was then asked to follow the lady as 4 other TSA members aproached me. Again, I said no. They told me I would have to leave the airport, and I told them that they don't have the right to search me or even touch me, and if they did that I would sue them, TSA and the airport. I made sure to be loud enough that others stopped and watched as TSA member tried to strip me of my freedoms. As one of the TSA members reached to grab me and escort me out, another person in line stepped forward and told him if he touched me that he would be my witness in court. Another 6 citizens stepped in and said the same. I got through security and never was so much as touched...
March 28, 2011 at 10:05pm http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150131308224614
Flying out of Denver,
while being porno-scanned, a TSA agent offered to hold my wallet while I was
scanned. Instead of "holding it", she opened it and began searching
through it "looking for metal or other weapons" - in my wallet?
What happened to the 4th amendment protection against illegal search &
seizure? –David Kelley, November 19, 2010 12:09:15 AM EST
June 20, 2011
TSA Now Storming Public Places 8,000 Times a Year
(in other words, more
info on the infamous VIPR teams-LS)
Elderly woman asked to remove adult diaper during TSA search
June 25, 2011 11:09 AM
A woman has filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her elderly mother was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend.
Jean of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security afterher 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.
Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.
“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”
. . . Weber said she sat outside the room during the search.
She said security personnel then came out and told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled and was impeding their search.
Weber wheeled her mother into a bathroom, removed her diaper, and returned. Her mother did not have another clean diaper with her, Weber said . . . .
From: Anne LaVasseur-Mullen (contact me for her email address –LS)
Subject: Re: Elderly woman asked to remove adult diaper during TSA search
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 08:25:36 -1000
I was just reading this story. So ridiculous.
I went through Seattle last week and was scanned. Apparently something set off the scan reader and the young woman at the gate said she needed to examine my legs. Since I had a skirt on as usual, I lifted it barely above my knee and she started screaming at me, "Maam, don 't flash me, I am married, I'm not into want that." I told her she was ridiculous and she called over a supervisor who told me to just stand there with my hands out, no sudden movements. The young women wanded my lower half and then groped my crotch.
The supervisors told me she might need a little training in tact. I said, 'Ya think?" They would not give me her name after I had been hurriedly herded away from her. I would like to complain but fear I might end up on the no-fly list. That would not be feasible for someone who lives in Hawaii.
It is truly unbelievable.
molestations and assaults on dignity continue to be out of control at US airports
(contains video with testimony of two elderly women)
anonymousreader at 5:25 PM June 29, 2011 Two weeks ago I flew from LA to Madison, Wisconsin with only a carry-on bag. Before going through security, I checked with airport personnell to make sure I didn't have to check my bag, since it had my cosmetics, sunscreen, and hair products in it. They said it was OK. Security in LA had no problem with it, didn't ask a question, I flew with my carry on no problem. On my way back from Wisconsin four days later, the TSA tried to force me to throw out the very same objects. (It was too late to check in a bag for my flight, so I had no other option but throw them away) When I objected and pointed out that this was inconsistent with what the TSA in Los Angeles did, they accused me of having guns & being a terrorist. At this point the airport police were called and I was totally hysterical. I was handcuffed, given a 325 dollar ticket for disorderly conduct, and missed my flight-- all for questioning the inconsistent policy and total asinine behavior of the TSA. Oh and just for kicks, I might mention that I am a caucasian female with no criminal record and an extensive education. F*** you TSA!!! I vote Greyhound from here on out.
anonymousreader at 5:27 PM June 29, 2011
Let me add that the
airport police manhandled me and shoved me against a glass wall to handcuff me
because I was walking towards them (thought they would be the voice of reason
here) -- "walking towards them" was taken as "an implication of
aggression". Oh yeah, because a little blonde lady upset over her
cosmetics is gonna beat the crap out of two overweight knuckleheads with GUNS.
Do those guys even think???
Olajide Noibi, Airplane Stowaway, Nabbed In LAX, But Not By TSA – Huffington Post
ABC reports that Olajide
Oluwaseun Noibi was taken into custody at Los Angeles International ...
From ABC: The arrested foreign national who allegedly flew from New York to Los Angeles last week with a stolen boarding pass and ID card is a self-proclaimed "storyteller, strategist, and designer who is passionate about reaching the world for Jesus," according to one of the many websites with which he is affiliated.
Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, a Nigerian-born man who was found with the stolen ID and up to 10 old boarding passes containing various names, was arrested Wednesday after attempting to board a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta; five days after passing through layers of airport security at New York's JFK airport to board a plane with a day-old boarding pass, federal authorities said.
. . . Noibi allegedly managed to get through every layer of security with a fake ID and numerous boarding passes, at least one of which came from another passenger's pocket . . . It is unclear how Noibi managed to get through security at both airports . . . Generally speaking, though, the TSA said in its statement, "Every passenger that passes through security checkpoints is subject to many layers of security including thorough physical screening at the checkpoint. TSA's review of this matter indicates that the passenger went through screening.
"It is important to note that this passenger was subject to the same physical screening at the checkpoint as other passengers."
. . . It is unclear why Noibi was arrested Wednesday and not when he was discovered last week as a stowaway on Flight 415.
Barker in place. She attempted to move my belongings from one bin to another. Always thought that nothing but the laptop was supposed to be in the bin. Called her boss over. She got her hands slapped and was told to back off.
Opted out of AIT. Got the enhanced pat down. Contact made with my penis (albeit through clothing), scrotum, and perineum. Suspect it was purely retaliatory. There is absolutely no reason for a checkpoint pat down to be this intrusive. Not happy about this at all.
behavior on the part of people who are old enough to know better. Oh well, they
hover around the x-ray machines adding to their lifetime exposure account.
AngryMiller, Wednesday [June 29, 2011] at 6:51 PM, Travel Underground
Quote of the Day, After Texas State Official ‘Left Sore’ From a TSA Patdown
by Kashmir Hill, Forbes, June 16, 2011
Texas Public Utility Commission chairman Barry Smitherman: "You're punishing me for opting out, aren't you?"
30 June 2011 1:08PM
I fly a
lot for business. Jennifer is not being hyperbolic. On Monday I was sent
through the X-ray scanner (again. I get X-rayed about twice a week.) I had
inadvertently left a penny in my pocket. For that offense I had a
Pat-down is a real misnomer. Frankly, I had my balls cupped and squeezed, my ass completely handled, and a cursory running of the hand down my pant-leg. In his defense, the TSA agent seemed almost as embarrassed as I.
I have acquaintances in the security industry. They universally refer to TSA security practices as Kabuki-theater. They are completely ineffective, as previous posters have pointed out. Let me repeat: These escalating security measures provide no benefit at all to the public.
Invasive Pat Down
June 30, 2011
Video by Danielle Smith, 2 mins 50 secs
very calm, composed
flying after my wife was groped at the St. Louis airport. Since
Thanksgiving we’ve driven from Minneapolis to St. Louis & back 11 times to
avoid further molestation by TSA. It is really disgusting to read these reports
of government agents inspecting people’s diapers and colostomy bags.
Mike V., Executive Director Travel Underground
Canadian toddler getting groped
and pax told they can’t videotape:
So Bad Until TSA Happens To You!
By Maribeth Kuzmeski March 2011
Really I didn’t pay much attention…until yesterday.
Going through security at the Milwaukee airport, I was directed to go through the body scanner. I’ve been through them many times in many airports, and I don’t even think about it. But yesterday, with a pair of simple black pants with no pockets and a fitted, long sleeve shirt on, I stepped forward, put my hands on top of my head and watched the scanner run around the outside of the glass structure. I was scanned. I took my normal position waiting for the TSA (an official looking guy with a wire in his ear) to get the message from the person watching the screening in some undisclosed location.
thing I know the TSA official is calling out for additional personnel. I
thought for sure he was calling in the heavys because of the person waiting
behind me. But then they asked me (who me?) which bags belonged to me. Suddenly,
3 TSA personnel began picking up my things announcing (a little louder than I
would have liked) that they were taking them into a private room. It was
frankly an embarrassing scene. Then they told me I needed to have a full body
pat down (also a little louder than I would have liked). I said, “fine, please
do it right here.” But they insisted that I go into the private room with the
frosted windows, behind closed doors, for a next level security pat down. I
kept thinking –what are they looking for? Well whatever it was – they were
determined to find something. There were 2 people in the room observing my
pat down in addition to the 1 woman who was the chief patter. She told me
exactly what she was going to do which honestly made me want to cry. Every
crevice of my body was touched with the back and side of her hands. Every
crevice . . . for 7 excruciatingly long minutes.
Woman: Hair search by
"They are required to investigate and examine anything that poofs from the body?? That sounds like a bogus policy to me. It just sounds bogus," Adiele said.
JULY 8, 2011 10:09 AM PDT
Police: TSA worker put stolen iPad in his pants
. . . a Transportation Security Administration worker allegedly had a systematic scheme for removing passengers' electronics and selling them on Craigslist . . . In total, Santiago is alleged to have stolen around $50,000 worth of passengers' possessions over a six-month period, mainly gadgets of one kind or another.
. . . Through my work I travel
to some of the busiest airports in high-risk areas. Just this year I have been
in Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Bahrain, Libya, France, Italy, and many other
countries. But I have yet to feel so angry, so embarrassed or so scrutinized
as I did going through airport security for a flight from Los Angeles
International Airport to New York’s JFK while visiting home.
. . . The supervisor happened to recognize me from television. “Don’t you travel to dangerous places all the time? How can this bother you? Where you go, people are shooting at you,” he said. “Yes, but this is what the terrorists wanted. They want us to live in fear,” I said.
. . . I’ve watched American troops fight, and sometimes die, to drive the Taliban and al-Qaida from Afghanistan, and to secure free elections in Iraq. They have been fighting for other people to be free. I was horrified to see that despite their sacrifices we’d let ourselves become a nation that appears to be driven by fear. . . By Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent
TSA Violates Policy by Patting Down
The head of TSA, John Pistole, has been caught lying yet again, after the TSA openly violated its own policy on child pat downs in the case of a six-year-old boy traveling to Disneyland who became upset after being hand-searched by TSA screeners. The TSA first announced that it had "eliminated pat downs for children under 12" in November last year http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/188599.html
Same story, different source: 6-Year-Old Gets
Not One But TWO TSA Pat-Downs (VIDEO)
Police charge mother in Nashville airport altercation
Woman refused to let
officers screen daughter
A 41-year-old Clarksville woman was arrested after Nashville airport authorities say she was belligerent and verbally abusive to security officers, refusing for her daughter to be patted down at a security checkpoint.
Andrea Fornella Abbott allegedly yelled and swore at Transportation Security Administration agents Saturday afternoon at Nashville International Airport, saying she did not want her daughter to be “touched inappropriately or have her “crotch grabbed,” a police report states.
After the woman refused to calm down, airport police said, she was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to jail. She has been released on bond.
UPDATE: Mother who confronted TSA at Nashville airport set to appear in court Monday
94-Year-Old Woman Says TSA Crossed the Line
with Pat Down
11:46 PM, Jul 13, 2011
After enduring many assaults by the TSA because she must fly 3 times a week, a woman finally fights back – and is charged with felony sexual assault herself:
Yukari Miyamae Gropes TSA Agent at Phoenix Airport
Yukari Miyamae UPDATE – felony charges dropped, misdemeanor charges might be pending.
And Miyamae tells her side of story: http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_18564391
Miyamae May Be Fined by TSA
LONGMONT, Colo. — Yukari Miyamae, who got into an altercation with TSA agents at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport on July 14, may face a civil penalty of thousands of dollars.
In a recent post on her Facebook page (Yukari Miyamae Legal Defense Fund), she wrote, “The TSA recently sent me a letter asking for my response as they consider whether to assess a civil penalty of up to $11,000 for my alleged violation of 49 C.F.R. sec. 1540.09, which states that ‘No person may interfere with, assault, threaten or intimidate screening personal in the performance of their screening duties.’
“I have been told by my lawyer that an assessment of a civil fine by the TSA remains very possible.”
My TSA Assault
In March 2011, early in the morning, I approached the Sea-Tac checkpoint, presented my passport, and went to the screening area nearest. I don’t think they had imaging machines yet, just a row of metal detectors. I slipped off my boots, put my carry-on things on the conveyor and waited my turn. The agent looked me up and down and motioned me through the metal detector. I did not set off the alarm but the instant I passed though, the TSO male called, "Female Assist."
I was told to leave my things alone, go put one leg in front of the other. And I got an enhanced "pat-up" checkpoint procedure without any explanation as to why. My police report states how the agent ran their hand on the inside of my leg, then lifted their straight hand up into my vulva, up between the lips of my labia, told me to “scissor my legs” the other way, and repeated this with my legs separated in the opposite direction.
I was sexually assaulted at knifepoint by a stranger who broke into my home when I was seventeen years old. Memories of that event have returned to me because of the TSA's practices, and what I believe to be an assault of opportunity that March morning. These elements are factors in my own PTSD, triggered by the TSA: a coercive setting, non-consensual sexual contact by a stranger, and actual penetration of my body by the hand--all present when I was attacked as a girl. In March the perpetrator was an on-duty agent of the Federal government.
I reported what I believed could constitute a sexual assault to the TSA online after reaching my destination. I received an auto-generated email in reply with no point-of-contact for follow-up. In the weeks following, I tried to figure out what and who even regulates and polices such an incident at a checkpoint. Eventually I was back in the area, at a time I could file a police report, and did, with the Port of Seattle Police.
Presently the investigation is being thwarted by the TSA, by not providing information on the personnel working at the checkpoint that morning to investigators. I was told video is not kept over 30 days, (as though analog). I suggested photo IDs of TSOs on duty fitting the description could be used, so I can make a positive identification, but these have not been provided by the TSA to the police.
I am seeking help for both legal and counseling referrals. I welcome contact from others with similar stories. The ACLU did not respond initially. I have approached officials asking them to please have the TSA stop thwarting the criminal investigation.
TSA is oblivious to the danger their methods pose to the survivors of rape and sexual molestation by re-igniting the victim’s psychological trauma, stored in the body's memory. The un-American and endangering practices of the TSA must end. I hope the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform can help overhaul the methods used by the TSA, which themselves fit the definition of domestic terrorism. No one should have to re-live a rape because they fly in America.
Real name Alexandra K. I know her full name
& location but don’t have permission to publish.– LS.
My 87-year-old wheel
chair bound Mother was basically molested and almost brought to tears recently.
She had just laughed and said, "What do they think I have a bomb under my
butt"? 2 minutes later TSA was agonizingly moving her from side to
side(she has a terrible hip) so they could "wand" under her butt. It
was humiliating and disgusting. My prayers to Yukari...
Wolfe, who works for a consulting firm in Charlotte, chose a pat-down
over a scan last year and regretted it. “I was shocked by the intensity and
roughness of the pat-down,” he told me. “In my mind at least, some of it was retribution
for opting out. It was more like an assault.”
After that, he stopped flying altogether.
July 2011, Woman at ORD (Chicago), crying, “I
feel absolutely humiliated”
Videographer told not to talk (so apparently speech is also outlawed at the whim of the TSA)
Received two misdemeanor citations at San Diego Harbor airport today.
July 20, 2011
I had a pat down, about a year
and a half ago, that was a terrible experience, and this was after going
through the 3D XRay machine.
Today I was cited for 7.01(b), failure to complete pre boarding screening. And 602(v)(1)pc - Avoid Screening Process . . . refused to let me leave.
Bottom line... I was going to
get cited, if I did not let them touch my groin, or ass. The police told me,
that it was not molestation of the person touching you didn't receive any
personal enjoyment out of this. There was much debate between
the police and the TSA on if I was going to be cited or not, and when one of
the management heard that I was going to get two citations, he smirked and
smiled, which made me sick to my stomach. I immediately called him a
molesting bastard... which wiped the smirk off his face, and he looked at me in
a surprised manner... and said... what did you say. And I said, you heard me,
you smirking molesting bastard. It was the peak of me loosing my cool. The TSA
totally is on a power trip here. You can't leave, unless we grope you. I
offered to let the police pat me down. I lifted up my shirt. I offered to let
them pat me down, everywhere but my privates.
I commend the harbor police... and officer Craig. He kept me sane, during all of this. Seemed sympathetic. He pushed me hard in the beginning, and said I was going to jail. And I told him, I'd rather go to jail, then have another TSA pat down. I did not go to jail, total episode, from start to getting a rental car was about three hours. TSA even told the cops, I was good to fly. So I entered the security line again, and as soon as I did, they were X-Raying Every Single Passenger... until I left the line. Then they would go back to the metal detector. Clearly its not random. I was singled out. They were determined to pat me down.
Comment left at Rafu Shimpo, the Japanese daily newspaper in Los Angeles:
July 21, 2011 | Permalink |
I am also Asian, female and only 4’10, 114 lbs and 70 years old. I was patted donw by an agent at L.A. airport. Her finger jammed up my crotch. I screamed, no manager was called. I left in tears. I encountered a TSA mgr. on my way to the gate. He confirmed that jabbing a finger up someone’s crotch is part of the procedure. I filed a complaint ‘with TSA, and I was informed my complaint was referred back to LA TSA office.
America has subcummed to, terrorizing its citizens in the name fighting terrorism, and violating our civil rights? There is no fear but fear itself – Winston Churchill. Al Queda has succedded in this pshycological war.
Yumae unforunately is another
victim of TSA. I am still traumatized over the TSA violation of my body. It
brought back memories!!! Unfortunately, I am still working that requires
travel. May be I should start collecting Social Security instead, and sit back
in my rocking chair. Yuemae, we are behind you.
TSA worker stole watches, debit card from LAX
bags, officials say
Veteran seeks apology
AMARILLO, TX - A local disabled veteran wants an apology from a U.S. government agency claiming it violated his civil rights.
About a month ago, Vietnam veteran Stephen Walker says he voluntarily took off his prosthetic arm to go through security at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. After he successfully went through screening he was told by TSA agents he would have to go through another security check, because he violated a new TSA policy.
"He couldn't give me a real answer as to what the policy was. One reason that he did give was that by taking off my limb people would have felt the TSA made me do it and that was an embarrassment for TSA." said Walker.. . . Walker has spent the last month trying to get answers about the TSA policy.
Local Man Speaks Out Over TSA Airport Pat Downs
2ND Time Thomas Sawyer’s urostomy bag has been tampered with
http://www.wlns.com/story/15126069/local-man-speaks-out-over-tsa-airport-pat-downsThe Dumbest TSA Agent I've Seen .. and the Crookedest
by Neil Boortz
Posted: 9:32 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I actually watched a TSA agent take my camera out of my backpack in Atlanta and quickly disappear . . .
OK … so that was a crooked agent, but how about the dumbest agent I’ve ever encountered. This guy worked at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. I suppose most of you have printed an airline boarding pass from the Internet. You get a boarding pass printed on an 8x11 piece of paper. You get your scissors, right? And you cut out the boarding pass and throw the rest of the paper away. So … what happens in Phoenix? . . . The agent – his name was Joe – wasn’t pleased that I didn’t hand him the entire 8x11 sheet the boarding pass was printed on. I pointed out to him that all of the required information was there. Name, flight, bar code … .all of it. Still, he wondered what could have been on the rest of the piece of copy paper that I threw away. “How do I know there wasn’t something else on that paper?” he said. So I had to leave security, go to the AirTran desk and have a new boarding pass printed out.
TSA Mistreats FlyersRights Member
In May, FlyersRights member Carol M had an unbelievable TSA experience at Ft. Meyers International. Here, in her own words, is her story:
On May 31, 2011, I, a 75-yr-old Caucasian female with gray hair, went through the security check at Ft. Myers International (RSW).
Having a broken 5th metatarsal, I was wearing a pneumatic boot. I asked whether I should remove it, and was impatiently motioned forward by a sour-faced male TSA person. Of course, I failed the walkthrough. A female TSA person rubbed me around the middle, wiped my hands, and placed the wipe in a machine which indicated to her that I was dangerous.
She: What is on your hands?
I: Nivea hand lotion.
I was escorted into a private room where
a second TSA female joined us. She felt my body all over, including crotch. After asking whether
a weapon was inside, the other woman searched every nook and cranny of my
All of this took considerable time. Fortunately, I am a person who cannot bear to be late for ANYTHING, and I had my friend drop me at RSW nearly 2 hours before takeoff time. Otherwise, I'd have missed my flight.
Some weeks later, while thumbing through a travel magazine, I read that many lotion preparations contain glycerin, which is translated by the machine to NITROGLYCERIN. Ain't it all just grand? I guess I should feel lucky that I wasn't wearing a wet diaper and put on an airplane unprotected.
experience made me furious. I am a natural-born citizen of this country, part
of the rapidly-vanishing middle class, still paying income tax because I was
fortunate enough to have a job that paid a pension AND provided a 401K.
I'm paying these Nazis to insult every American who crosses their path.
At Oakland airport, while with
my wife and child, I was selected for the scanner, which I refused due to my
personal history with cancer. I opted for the patdown and while the TSA
agent was very careful to have my wife stand where she could see what was
happening and was careful to tell me exactly what he was going to do before he
did it, I have never felt so violated in my life . . . I did not appreciate being
put in a position where I felt forced to have someone's hands on my genitals.
I didn't want to make a stink about it there, because I was with my wife and
son and had places to go and things to do, but I couldn't help but feel that my
most basic rights were violated . . . I say this as a doctoral-level
clinical psychologist who works in the human rights arena around the world
(hence all the travel). Personally, I take my family with me whenever I
travel (wife and infant son), and I will not allow my son to be screened in
that way. In my professional opinion as a trained mental health
specialist, it is not appropriate to screen people in this way, and especially
not children . . . .
Chris at Elliott Blog, July 23, 2011
TSA strip-searches another elderly woman in a
LAX Airport: July 11, 2011 American Airlines Flight #4 to JFK
Story told by daughter Patricia Gruning Higgins, posted at Film Annex by Susan Sacirbey
TSA Humiliates Amputee Mother and 4-Year-Old Son
. . . After Robby's second screening, he was directed by an imposing figure to sit in a chair and not to communicate with me. He was scared and asked me if everything was okay. He broke the "rule" and the consequence was a full body pat down. I was forced to sit in a chair and helplessly watch my scared little boy get patted down for explosives. I was angry and perplexed when they pulled back his hands and peeked into his diaper. When his ordeal was over, Robby sat quietly shaking in a chair staring at me . . . .
When they were done clearing a
four year old for explosive materials, they turned their attention to me . . .
I was instructed to remove my leg . . . .
Man punished for opting out of scanner, groped twice, fondled
Incident occurred at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4 Gate D July 13, 2011 at approximately 3:20 PM far right security line.
. . . UPDATE:
on 7/26/2011 I was finally able to contact a Police Officer with the Phoenix PD
to file a report. I was told by the Phoenix PD that they do not take sexual
assault reports from incidents with TSA.
Comment left at that same story:
Anonymous said...My 13
year old daughter recently made a trip on her own to spend
some time with my parrents (her grandparents) in Florida. She was picked out
for the extra screening and given a patdown. She called he mother and was
hysterically cying because of the tramatizing event. When she could finally
talk about it calmly she described how TSA groped her genitals and breast.
The return trip was a long drive.
July 24, 2011, 6:06 PM
TSA Agent Cited for Flashing
His Badge on the Highway
More TSA Thefts, can’t keep up with them all:
Screen shot showing TSA agent crotch-grabbing Andrea Abbott’s daughter:
Mother of 9-year-old and 6-year-old
separated from children at BIL (Billings Logan Airport, MT)
By Amy Rubins, July 30, 2011
My step-daughter was supposed to fly home today from BIL-MSP. I don't know all the facts just yet but she said she refused a full body pat down so she was separated from her children and not allowed any contact with them until they all cleared screening.
They also confiscated the 6 year old's yogurt as punishment.
By the time they got to the gate flight oversold and plane downsized so they gave up their seats for another flight tomorrow. Which means they will have to go through this crap again.
Her husband is in Iraq so she's flying on her own with no other adult to help her through security so I'm trying to gather all her options for tomorrow.
I am livid...
LATER COMMENT, SAME THREAD:
. . . TSO creep yells, "shut up, don't talk to your kids, don't say a word, you can't have any interaction with them during this process." Mom cocks her head and says "what did you say" TSO creep and creepette yell quite loudly, you can't have any interaction with your kids - Mom says, they're my kids and I'll speak to them if I like. They direct her to sit the kids down and wait nearby. So she wasn't out of view of her kids, although they were sitting on a bench dozens of steps behind her.
. . . This is the best part -
TSO creep says verbatim "if you want to take the yogurt through security,
you will need a full body pat down" mom says, nope, yogurt not that
important, no pat down. He says it again, and she repeats no pat down, throw
the damn yogurt away. Apparently creep and creepette were very hostile and just
wanted a fight.
Woman Feels Violated By Airport Security Employee
A woman says she was violated at the Lubbock International Airport.
The Hobbs, New Mexico woman says a TSA worker went too far with her, during a security check.
The woman was visibly upset and shaking when she talked to KLBK, Wednesday, after the incident.
Debra Perry said the TSA employee touched her genitals and the pat down took so long, she missed her flight.
"They patted me and touched me and everything, finger through the band in my pants and she pulled forward and picked all through my pants in the front and the rear," said Perry.
Perry said she knows the employees have a job to do, but she doesn't want something this extreme to ever happen to anyone else.
We called TSA and got a recording.
We're hoping to have their response tomorrow.
TSA Confiscates Pregnant Woman's Insulin, Ice
Security Tells Woman Isulin Vial Was An Explosives Risk
Aaron Nieman is frustrated, after his pregnant wife's insulin and ice packs were confiscated by TSA screeners at Denver International Airport on Thursday afternoon.
The couple has traveled around the world with
her supplies and have never encountered any troubles before.
His wife is traveling alone to a baby shower in Phoenix.
She asked us not to use her name for fear of
security and retaliation for speaking out.
Comment posted at the Seattle Times August 5, 2011 at 11:34 PM:
Recently at Seatac I observed the most bizarre interview of a family at security that I have ever seen. The 3 little kids ranged in age from 4 to 8 and the TSA agent checking ID insisted on asking each of them various questions. The youngest started to cry when he talked to her but he persisted - asking her what month she was born and what her middle name was.. It was nuts.. She clearly had been taught not to talk to strangers and once she got scared and tried to hide behind her mom it just got worse and worse. They even patted her down in the second half of the line.
JFK T4 - Assaulted by TSO for filming, forced to delete
By Mark Lyon, July 6, 2011
I always opt out of
the scanner and go for the grope . . .The past two times, however, the pat
down was very aggressive. The first time, in Nashville’s BNA, the
droness karate-chopped my vagina four times: once for each leg from the
front, once for each leg from the back. I was so stunned, I didn’t say
Sally, age 55, Lexington, Kentucky, complete story and bio info here:
Luckutt: TSA pat-down the epitome of creepy
By Doni Luckutt
POSTED: 08/12/2011 01:38:16 AM MDT
UPDATED: 08/12/2011 01:44:05 AM MDT
. . . Even with these new and "unpredictable" procedures, I assume none of them would include actions like what I experienced: Virtual crotch-grabs, comments about physical features, and leaning forward so the security agent could "look down" a tank top. By the time we were finished (based on my personal experience, it was an exceptionally long pat-down), I was partially clothed and felt as if I was publicly fondled as men in other lines gawked in amazement . . . .
Denver Channel 7 (ABC): Springs Woman Says TSA Agent Groped Her Vagina: Janis
Heuberger Was Flying From Colorado Springs To Las Vegas - August
A woman from Colorado Springs has filed a complaint with the Transportation and Security Administration, saying she felt sexually harassed by the female agent, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Janis Heuberger told the newspaper that an airport security agent in training groped her vagina last week . . . in a wheelchair because she recently broke her foot . . .
Heuberger said when the agent touched her inappropriately, she asked for a supervisor and a copy of pat down procedures for people in wheelchairs. The supervisor told Heuberger he couldn’t give her a copy of those procedures. Instead, he gave her a complaint/compliment form . . . .
Video of boy, looks to be age 6, getting groped by TSA agent as mother looks on:
TSA Detains Innocent Man, Destroys His Luggage, Evacuates Entire Palm Springs Airport
JAQUISH: TSA 10 years after 9/11
Coercive treatment fosters a passive population
By Gail A. Jaquish, The Washington Times, Monday August 29, 2011
. . . Glancing at me with blatant annoyance, the TSA agent shouted, “Female pat-down!” Another TSA agent ordered me into a portable room enclosure. As I stepped inside the room, I noticed a sign taped to the door reminding TSA personnel, “Do not lock the door.” My anxiety grew as the TSA agent toyed with the lock, oddly pushing the button in and out numerous times, provoking my request for a supervisor. The supervisor arrived - a big supervisor. Big mistake. I assumed having a witness was to my benefit. I was wrong.
The supervisor immediately stated it was my “fault” I was getting a pat-down. She contemptuously added, “This was your choice.” Since I have cause for avoiding a body scanner that delivers radiation, I did not view the pat-down as my choice; but rather, the only course available in order to travel by commercial airline.
The pat-down became so invasive I voiced an objection. The TSA supervisor sneered, “Everyone gets treated the same.” But not everyone was getting a two-against-one pat-down behind a closed door. I asked the TSA agent if she thought I looked like a terrorist (wasn’t that supposed to be the point of all this?). That is when she threatened to turn me over to the police if I uttered one more word and she “guaranteed” the police would treat me worse than TSA did. Whatever I might say later, it would be the testimony of two TSA agents against mine. I took her at her word and silently submitted to the remainder of her groping.
@esmemurphy esme murphy - WCCO
Once again husband gets full TSA pat down - son says " do we look like criminals"?
Esme Murphy is a local Minneapolis-St. Paul news anchor.
TSA Agent arrested for child sexual molestation
By Jared DuBach | Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 8:36 am
SPRING CREEK — A city officer arrested a Spring Creek man Wednesday morning at the Elko Area Regional Airport, where he works for the Transportation Security Administration, on a warrant charging six counts of lewdness with a child.
The Elko County Sheriff’s Office was notified in July of possible sexual contact between David Ralph Anderson, 61, and a girl younger than 14.
According to Elko Justice Court records, the
victim told investigators that on seven to 10 occasions between 2010 and this
year, Anderson allegedly taught the victim about various sexual acts and had
sexual contact in the form of touching each other’s genitals.
Investigators reported Anderson also told the girl to sleep in his bed and taught her to say various vulgar words associated with body parts and sexual activities.
In addition, the girl stated he would rub lotion all over her body, placed his hand up her shirt to touch her breasts, had her watch pornographic films with him, encouraged her to consume alcohol and would French kiss her.
Deputy District Attorney Tyler Ingram submitted a warrant request to Elko Justice of the Peace Al Kacin on Aug. 23, which was granted along with an objection to any reduction of bail.
Anderson, who is a TSA employee according to
Elko County Jail records, is being held on $250,000 bail.
(This is the 7th TSA employee to
be arrested on sexual-assault-related charges. –LS)
September 5, 2011
man accused of possessing child porn
By Paul Leighton, Staff Writer
BEVERLY — A former TSA worker from Beverly is accused of possessing 2,000 images of child pornography as well as videos on his computer.
Andrew W. Cheever, 33, was arrested Thursday. In a hearing in federal court in Boston, Judge Judith Dein ordered him held until a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday. If convicted, Cheever faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.
As a security officer for the Transportation Security Administration, Cheever screened passengers at Logan Airport in Boston.
Um, Shouldn't You Have
Asked Me These Questions Before I Got on the Plane?
By Robert Wilonsky Thu., Sep. 1 2011 at 12:33 PM
Wilonsky, a reporter, was hauled aside, as he was exiting the plane, and questioned by a Customs agent, on a domestic flight.
Two Minutes of Terrorist Triumph: Alone With the TSA
By Elie Mystal
09 Sep 2011
Lawyer, after having dismissed
accounts by other people of being abused by the TSA, finally gets it. He is
hauled off to a private room and groped.
Once fun, flying has turned into an ordeal
By Jay Clarke
Miami Herald, September 11, 2011
Just a couple months ago, I dropped my pants at the airport.
It was my first experience being searched in a private screening room by agents of the Transportation Security Agency, which is charged with keeping us safe from terrorists.
muster, but it brought home to me how much travel has changed . . . .
Comments made by radio station WBAP (Dallas Texas) sports reporter Steve Lamb about his experience with TSA while traveling with TCU football team on a charter from Colorado Springs this past weekend. [September 2011 –LS]
TCU charters an airplane like many sports groups and board from areas away from the main terminals.
As reported TSA showed up and it took over two hours for TSA to screen the TCU team and others traveling with the team. This was a closed manifest, no surprises on who was boarding.
Of particular concern was the treatment of the TCU team Doctor, originally from Pakistan but in the states since the 1960's.
Steve’s account of how
the doctor was treated is very questionable on what TSA is doing and does point
to profiling. Steve told how TSA screeners took over twenty five minutes with
this person going through everything he had plus giving the third degree.
Rough treatment by the TSA inexcusable
4 at the Spokane airport, my wife and I had our civil rights violated by the
TSA. We are elderly, disabled, and easy targets for TSA employees. I have filed
complaints with the TSA and ACLU. This stems from my metal shoulder prosthetic,
which sets off their machines. We were then treated like criminals and
terrorists by the TSA agents . . .
This violation of our civil rights will cause us to explore creative ways to fight back. Next time I’m wearing just a Speedo swimsuit through the checkpoint in order to keep TSA from abusing me.
I might also wear a T-shirt printed with the following: “This man is not a criminal and not a terrorist. He is a disabled American citizen with an implanted metal prosthetic. He will be abused by the TSA because of this.”
Some real Shock and
Innocent woman – and two men -- racially profiled, handcuffed, taken off plane, strip-searched, and jailed in Detroit on 9/11/2011, because of passenger hysteria
TSA to blame in death of teen stowaway
Mass. -- The House Committee on Homeland Security said the TSA is to blame in
the death of 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale, who allegedly was a stowaway in the
wheel well of an airplane.
Tisdale’s body was found in Milton. It is believed that he fell to his death from the wheel well of the plane.
Officials said it was too easy for him to hop the fence at the airport and sneak onto the airplane.
“The lack of adequate perimeter security could, in worst case scenarios, result in individuals with nefarious purposes accessing secure airport areas by simply climbing over a fence, in some cases overcoming even less of a barrier. This region has witnessed firsthand the devastating results that inadequate airport fencing can lead,” said Rep. Bill Keating of Massachusetts.
Officials said Tisdale hopped the fence in North Carolina and stowed away on an airplane bound for Boston. He fell to his death during the plane’s decent over Milton.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved
Moroney: “I was shaking and crying when I left that room”
Chicago Woman with Artificial Knees Groped by TSA Agents at St. Louis
“. . . inserted her hands between my underwear and my skin . . . I likened it to being raped”
Video interview from KMOV-TV
90-year-old wheelchair-bound man – YouTube – Sept 7, 2011
This man just flew from Central America to Atlanta, his home, his final destination - this is what he had to go through to leave the airport, not to get on a plane.
relaxes air cargo screening regulations so that compliance will be higher – in
other words, lots of cargo is still going through unscreened, while TSA agents
are busy treating every passenger like a criminal and sticking their hands down
TSA tracks down passenger for hair pat-down
ATLANTA -- A passenger who had already gone through security at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was shocked when she was tracked down by TSA agents who wanted to examine her hair.
Isis Brantley was on the train platform headed to catch her flight to Dallas, when two TSA agents ran down the escalator behind her demanding to check her hair for explosives.
random lady came up and said did they check your hair and I said, what no, and
then I just kept going. I have to pat your hair down to make sure you don't
have any explosives," she said.
"She took her hand and she started digging around in my hair several times and I said, 'Find the explosives? Please don't do this to me. This is humiliating and embarrassing'," Brantley said.
. . . She told Dallas NBC station KXAS she is afraid she will be harassed again the next time she flies.
TSA Agent Charged With
Of the 9 TSA sex crimes (that we know of) this year, 7 involved minors -LS
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. - A TSA agent has been arrested in Rutherford County on charges of statutory rape.
Clifton Lyles was arrested by U.S. Marshals Tuesday night, following a grand jury indictment.
Lyles worked at Nashville International Airport.
Details about what led to his arrest were not released.
His bond was set at $10,000.
"I was molested by TSA at BWI last night (Friday 23 Sept 2011)"
A TSA customer service representative at a major US airport recently threatened me with retaliatory screenings and improper handling of my checked luggage if I were to publically post pictures and comments about the way TSA handled my luggage. His comment? If you post pictures of your luggage on line there will be action taken against you at airports across this country by TSOs. Funny thing is that all I wanted was my tool chest relocked after luggage inspection.
-Posted Wed Sept 28, 2011 by
Angry Miller, member of Travel Underground since June 20, 2011
TSA Humiliates Another Breast Cancer Survivor
Lori Dorn: At what
point does the need for security eclipse human dignity and compassion?
Yesterday I went through the imaging scanner at JFK Terminal 4 for my Virgin America flight to San Francisco. Evidently they found something, because after the scan, I was asked to step aside to have my breast area examined. I explained to the agent that I was a breast cancer patient and had a bilateral mastectomy in April and had tissue expanders put in to make way for reconstruction at a later date.
her that I was not comfortable with having my breasts touched and that I had a
card in my wallet that explains the type of expanders, serial numbers and my
doctor’s information (pictured) and asked to retrieve it. This request was
denied. Instead, she called over a female supervisor who told me the
exam had to take place. I was again told that I could not retrieve the card and
needed to submit to a physical exam in order to be cleared. She then said, “And
if we don’t clear you, you don’t fly” loud enough for other passengers to hear.
And they did. And they stared at the bald woman being yelled at by a TSA
Woman: TSA Screener Touched My 'Private Area'
Janis Heuberger has
filed a formal complaint with the Transportation Security Administration after
she said a screener went too far
USAF Lt. Colonel arrested for reciting the 4th Amendment
TUE OCT 18, 2011 AT 05:59 PM PDT
“TSA Arrests Me for Using the Fourth Amendment as a Weapon”
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO T. P. ALEXANDERS ON TUE OCT 18, 2011 AT 05:59 PM PDT.
ALSO REPUBLISHED BY CLASS WARFARE NEWSLETTER: WALLSTREET VS THE WORKING CLASS OCCUPY MOVEMENT., OCCUPY VIRTUAL AMERICA: PROGRESSIVE STATE GROUPS NEWSLETTER, OCCUPY WALL STREET, MILITARY COMMUNITY MEMBERS OF DAILY KOS, AND ANTI-CAPITALIST CHAT.
morning “Betty” was in the gate area at Sacramento International Airport,
waiting to board her flight, with a TSA Agent approached her and asked her
if she was on Facebook, and personal questions of that nature. After a
moment, “Betty’s” husband, who was traveling with her realized that she was not
being detained and questions, but rather than TSA Agent was flirting with her
and hitting on her. “Betty,” a PhD Candidate who has been researching the
TSA for part of her thesis, was not amused by this line of questioning.
10.26.2011 posted in Flying with Fish by Stephen Frischling
Finds Your Vibrator In Checked Suitcase, Leaves Creepy Note
By Laura Northrup on October 26, 2011 9:30 AM
Bad: Having the TSA pawing through your checked luggage. Worse: The suitcase they chose to open includes a sex toy. Worse still: the person who went through your bags leaves a leering note. Specifically, they scrawl "GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL" on the notice of inspection.
Your tax dollars at work. [Feministe]
UPDATE: Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 10/26/2011
TSA screener removed
for inappropriate note
by Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post
A Transportation Security Administration screener who wrote a personal message on the back of a formal inspection slip placed in a female passenger’s bag is no longer checking luggage, the agency said Wednesday. The screener at Newark Liberty International Airport wrote the message on the back of a Notice of Inspection slip that TSA places in bags that require a physical search.
An agency spokesman could not say whether the screener had been reassigned, put on leave, or fired, citing federal personnel privacy rules.
The incident is just the latest in a series of unrelated episodes involving inappropriate or criminal behavior committed by TSA screeners. Here’s a sampling:
TRAVELLER RECEIVES NASTY LITTLE NOTE FROM TSA LUGGAGE INSPECTOR
Suitcase surprise: Rebuke written on inspection notice
By Susan Gilmore for the Seattle Times.
Seth Goldberg says that when he opened his suitcase in San Diego after a flight from Seattle this month, the two "No Iraq War" signs he'd picked up at the Pike Place Market were still nestled among his clothes.
But there was a third sign, he said, that shocked him. Tucked in his luggage was a card from the Transportation Security Administration notifying him that his bags had been opened and inspected at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Handwritten on the side of the card was a note, "Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!"
"I found it chilling and a little Orwellian to have received this message," said Goldberg, 41, a New Jersey resident who was in Seattle visiting longtime friend Davis Oldham, a University of Washington instructor.
Goldberg says that when he took his suitcase off the airplane in San Diego, the zipper pulls were sealed with nylon straps, which indicated TSA had inspected the luggage. It would be hard, he said, for anyone else to have gotten inside his bags.
TSA officials say they are looking into the incident. "We do not condone our employees making any kind of political comments or personal comments to any travelers," TSA spokeswoman Heather Rosenker told Reuters. "That is not acceptable."
Another glycerin false-positive, another
"I was told I was being detained," said Myer. "Had my ID taken away and was put into a room. It was really frightening."
Myer was taken away from a security checkpoint by TSA agents after a machine detected explosive materials on her hands. It turned out the culprit was everyday hand lotion.
"They had told me laughingly that this happens all the time," said Myer. "They said it's probably just lotion, but I was really unnerved."
Muslim truck driver in
Memphis fears losing his 'dream' to feds
Man says livelihood taken by TSA
A Somali refugee who fled civil war in his country and became an American citizen is desperate to understand why the federal government confiscated the credentials that allowed him to earn a living driving a tanker truck.
Abdirazaq JeerJeer, who has lived in Memphis for 16 years and has been a citizen since 2000, says two federal agents came to his apartment in June and seized his Transportation Worker Identification Credential.
"I have a right to know as an American citizen what I have done," he said. "But they said no. I have done nothing. ... I don't know what the outcome will be, but at least someone will hear me."
U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners
On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.
One after another, the
experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the
machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that
humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.
Update (11/01/2011): This story has been updated with a comment from The Chertoff Group, from which ProPublica had sought comment before publication. Look for a PBS NewsHour story on X-ray body scanners, reported in conjunction with ProPublica, to air later this month.
With TSA's searches,
there’s no limit on indignity for the flying public
Published: Oct 31, 2011 11:19 PM
Saturday, the day after my 53rd birthday, I dropped my skirt before an audience of about 100 strangers in New Orleans.
If your horrified response is that I’m too old for this kind of exhibition, I agree entirely.
It was the quickest way to get through a security screening snafu . . . .
TSA's power grope; Rogue agency reaches out and touches people outside
Expect a lot more touching in the months ahead. "TSA conducted more than 8,000 VIPR operations in the past 12 months, including more than 3,700 operations in mass-transit and passenger-railroad venues," boasted TSA Administrator John S. Pistole in June testimony before the Senate. His 2012 budget calls for expanding VIPR by 50 percent. . . . That means more searches, but it doesn't mean more safety. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted, "TSA had measured the progress of its VIPR program in terms of the number of VIPR operations conducted, but had not yet developed measures or targets to report on the effectiveness of the operations themselves." That's a nice way to say that TSA is acting for action's sake.
“Do the math -- that's 12,000 slated for 2012, or 36 mobile gate rapes daily.” -Mike V, TUG Founder
TSA abusing yet another child.
“The pervs are still molesting kids.
downloaded the file in case it gets pulled from You Tube and see if I can load
this to Live Leak and CNN iReport.” –fisher1949, TUG
“This little gem was buried in
a larger article. There should be little doubt as to TSA's vision of a police
state with them at its center ...” –Mike V, TUG Founder
AOL: Is The TSA Screening Drivers In Tennessee? Not Anymore
According to the TSA, buses, trains, and ferries could also be considered privileged travel. The agency was temporarily kicked out of Amtrak stations earlier this year when it screened passengers coming off a train, including patting down a 9-year-old boy.
More stories of
inappropriate “humor” and deliberate humiliation of passengers by TSA
accused (again) of tampering with cremation remains
Grieving mother said cremains tampered with en route to Salt Lake
circus shows up in Dubuque, IA, to inspect the Fenelon Place Elevator, a
privately-owned funicular railway that traverses all of 296 feet
TSA inspectors spent about an hour that August day crawling around the hillside, taking photos and laughing, Schadle said. "The young ones rode it down and walked around the shops. It was a beautiful day. This was kind of like a break for them," she said. [Our tax dollars at work.-LS]
I haven’t been shot going through airport security
After TSA searched my 'groin area' and found no explosives, I felt mildly defiled. I may have been in Chicago, but it could have been cold-war Berlin or Moscow. I asked the woman next to me, 'Remember when flying used to be fun?'
By Walter Rodgers, November 4, 2011
No, TSA, I will not lift my skirt for you.
Posted by Tabitha Hale, Tuesday, November 8th at 11:30AM EST
Yesterday, I arrived at the airport to head from Houston, TX (IAH) back to Washington, DC (DCA). I am a frequent flyer – I know how the system works. I took off my boots and glasses, pulled my laptop out and went to walk through the metal detector. Naturally, I’d been selected to go through the scanner.
I always opt out of the scanners. It’s sort of a form of civil protest for me. It slows the process down. They get cranky. And I always do it publicly because I want everyone to see what the pat down is actually like. I also feel like they’ll be less invasive if people are watching.
She asked me to lift my dress so she could check the waistband of my tights.I felt my stomach drop. I said “I’m not lifting my dress for you. No way.” She was obviously irritated with me now and said that she would take me to the private screening area if I would like.I said “No, absolutely not. If you can’t do this in front of everyone, you should not be doing this to me.”
. . . I told her I saw no reason that they should have to lift my dress to clear me to get on a plane. I would have, however, allowed them to escort me out of the airport before they got me to lift my skirt and stick their hands down my tights. I was bracing myself to spend another night in Texas.
She sensed the rebellion in me, and it was almost like they were punishing me for not just lifting my dress and making their lives easier. She checked every inch of my neckline, sticking her fingers between my breasts because she needed to “clear” the (very slight) ruffle.
. . . The pat down in Houston yesterday was so vigorous I had to readjust my clothes when she was finished. Even my bra straps had been pulled down my shoulders in the process. I felt completely violated, immediately called a friend to recap, and took to Twitter to draw as much attention to the incident as I could. . . I fly for my job. I travel frequently. I take trains when I can, but most of the time it’s just not practical. The fact that I have to endure this type of force just to do my job is horrifying. I don’t really have another option. Most of us who travel for work don’t have a choice . . . .
It would be nice to say this is shocking, but it isn't
earlgrey (Diary) Wednesday, November 9th at 7:28AM EST (link)
I am also a woman traveler and I try to opt out of the screening. I am uncomfortable with the safety, and I find it undignifying (like we are cattle getting weighed or something).
They do punish you if you opt out I have had to wait several minutes while I watched others breeze through the normal metal dectectors. Why if they don’t have enough staff must I wait if they are letting others go through the old style ones.
They yelled at me for edging forward from my holding area so that I could monitor my belongings. When I complained I was yelled at saying “you opted out!”, as if their incompetance is my fault It is not.
I complained to the supervisor who was so condescening I wanted to deck him. No apologies whatsoever for the delay and letting my designer handbag (my only one — a gift from my mom) sit on the belt out of my sight while I was put in a holding area.
I was told I HAD to remove my
post-surgical back brace when I went through a checkpoint at OKC, even though
my surgeon had told me to NOT to remove it. I tried to show them the
printed-out rule that says I don't have to (I figured this would happen), but
they wouldn't even LOOK at it, much less dispute it. They just insisted. I
refused. So I had to undergo two extremely painful gropes, including one by a
supervisor who pressed on my back brace right over my recent surgical wound,
until I cried out in pain.
I wrote up this entire horrific incident over at FT. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, and left me shaking and in tears. Not only was I physically assaulted to the point of crying out in pain, but I was sexually assaulted by the same supervisor, who, after running her hand up the inside of my thigh, proceeded to rub her hand over my pubis to get to the other leg, pressing in hard enough that I felt it on my clitoris. (Sorry for the graphic nature of this description, but I can think of no other words to describe what she did.) I protested loudly, but not as much as I could (and perhaps should) have. At the time I was exhausted, in pain, on strong pain meds, and in the midst of a grueling trip only a couple weeks post-op...and I just wanted to GO HOME. I basically let them have their way with me, which sickens me to this day. But I was not in any kind of physical shape to stand up for my rights.
have nightmares, and wish that I'd had the strength to do something about it at
that time. But they caught me at my physically weakest, and were able to
assault me at their whim. Just thinking about that experience still makes me
feel sick to my stomach.
-LeeAnne Pantuso Clark
It's hard not to think
TSA is making this up as it goes
By Mike Hashimoto, Editorial Writer
DallasNews.com 1:37 PM on Tue., Nov. 1, 2011
My lovely wife told the tale this morning of our back-to-back unfortunate experiences last week with airport security , outbound at Love Field and inbound at New Orleans' Louis Armstrong . . .
We were no more than 10 feet from where I had been patted down once, rather comprehensively, I thought. "OK, sir, now we have to pat you down again," the TSA guy says. "If you clear, you can go." Admittedly, I kind of lost it then.
Me: "Why? Do you think I picked up a bomb between here and there," pointing to the spot of the first search.
TSA guy: "It's our protocol, sir. We have to pat you down again. More intensively this time."
Me: "You gotta be kidding me." [Bad words interjected.] "What, the first guy didn't do his job?" [Bonus bad words.]
TSA guy: "Sir, this is our protocol. We have to search your luggage again, too."
Me: [More bad words.] "Really? You just did that. Did you not do a good job? Is any of this written down?"
TSA guy: "Sir, this is our protocol. Please step over here." . . .
Claire McCaskill defends TSA “Love Pats” on 11/17/10. This was before she had to get rid of her private jet and fly commercial.
Now that she has to go through them she has the opposite opinion. From The Hill 11/9/11.
Professionalism and Crossing the Line
So … at what point does the TSA questioning passengers cross the line? There are stories all the time of TSA TSOs crossing the line from their job description into the realm of offending passengers. Passengers have been stopped for traveling with crutches, insulin pumps, a TSA TSO at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport informed me that my cameras could not pass through the X-Ray scanner unless they were put away in a bag … despite the fact that the cameras were on my shoulders and I was not traveling with any bag … but every once in a while a new incident of a TSA TSO crossing the line comes to my attention.
This morning an incident around 5:15am, at Sacramento International Airport, involving “ Betty” (she asked that her real name not be used in this blog post) caught my attention. This incident probably won’t make headline, or make it into the media, but for me, it is an incident that is completely unacceptable … TSA BDOs using their unfettered access to passengers, and duty to ask them questions, to go beyond professionalism and use their position to get irrelevant personal information from passengers.
This morning “Betty” was in the gate area at Sacramento International Airport, waiting to board her flight, with a TSA Agent approached her and asked her if she was on Facebook, and personal questions of that nature. After a moment, “Betty’s” husband, who was traveling with her realized that she was not being detained and questions, but rather than TSA Agent was flirting with her and hitting on her. “Betty,” a PhD Candidate who has been researching the TSA for part of her thesis, was not amused by this line of questioning.
frisked at NY airport, India fumes, US apologises
Kalam, was frisked in New York on September 29 before boarding an Air India flight.
Sources said that even after Kalam had taken his seat in the aircraft, the US security personnel forced the crew to open the door and took away the jacket and boots of the former president to check for explosives since they had forgotten to do so before his boarding. The items were later returned to Kalam.
Outraged at the frisking incident, India on Sunday threatened retaliatory action against US dignitaries unless such "unacceptable" practices were stopped.
Tycoon Geoffrey Edelsten's wife
was 'ordered to strip naked for airport security while workers took pictures
[Caveat: this happened in Australia, not the U.S. – but look earlier in this document for similar accounts, especially the organized ring at Reagan National Airport where women were routinely stripped in a public stairwell by TSA agents; also the case of Shoshana Hebshi and other passengers who were hauled off planes on 9/11/2011 and strip-searched by “security” personnel –LS]
Australian Customs confirmed to the Telegraph their method of photographing and recording travellers during strip-searches if suspected of having any kind of prohibited substances on their body.
Forty-eight travellers have gone through the
same process as Mrs Gordon-Edelsten between 2010 and 2011.
'Jersey Shore': Jwoww blasts Fargo airport for treatment
Singled out for, let’s face it, her body, long after she’d passed the checkpoint, pulled into a “private” room and “searched”
Double Opt-Out at Dulles this morning, barred from my flight
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I admit it, I must have done my homework badly. I was somehow under the impression that there was a scanner-free checkpoint at IAD, but when I arrived this morning every lane had the blue radiation boxes at the main checkpoint. It appeared that almost all were being sent to the Nude-o-scope. I ditched that and went instead to the small experts checkpoint on the arrivals level. One line of passengers fed into a single WTMD-or-blue-boxes setup. A male screener blocked my way through the metal detector and motioned instead to the blue boxes. I refused, saying, "Is that the machine that takes a naked picture of my body?" This man actually looked me right in the face and said, no, it doesn't take naked pictures. The TSA lies about what the scanners can do. I pointed out to him that the yellow X-ray radiation warning sticker was about one inch by one and a half inches and was placed in a spot where people entering the machine couldn't see it.
So, having refused the
scanner, a woman came around and said, "Maam, I'm going to have to pat you
down." I responded, "I do not consent, no, I do not consent to
that," while backing away from her. Very soon I descended into emotional
chaos and started sobbing loudly while testifying to everyone in the checkpoint
about my prior sexual assault at the hands of TSA. They called over one
police officer who talked to me as I was composing myself slightly, and sat
crying in a chair near the checkpoint. They went one level up the chain to a
TSM named Bryant Livingston, and I told him I was traumatized as a result of
prior TSA experiences and that I refused to let someone take a naked image of
me or to touch me. I asked to be allowed to go through the metal detector . . .
-By Sommer Gentry, Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy, other account listed elsewhere in this document as she is unafraid to use her own name about her experiences.
Posted by LeeAnne Pantuso Clark at Travel Underground on November 21, 2011:
On Friday I received the most appalling email from a friend and former co-worker. I didn’t want to post it until I could get her on the phone and ask her permission to post because there’s some very personal details in here. I spoke to her yesterday, and she said I can post it provided I keep her anonymous. This friend of mine just had an ectopic pregnancy three weeks ago (also known as a “tubal pregnancy”). She was only one week out of the hospital, and still had a large bandage covering the abdominal incision area, as well as a thick menstrual pad due to continued bleeding, when she flew last week. She probably shouldn’t have been flying, but she had an opportunity for a long-term assignment (she does freelance marketing and graphic design from her home). So, here’s her email (I’ve deleted some parts that could identify her). Note that there are some words in there that are probably NSFW, but this is how she talks, so I’m posting what she wrote. [Excerpt, as it’s long –LS]:
WHAT? I said, “Are you telling me I’m not allowed to flinch when you shove your hand into my crotch?”
Well that I guess was the wrong thing to say. She walked over to talk to a manager or whatever she was. They talked a while, then the manager came over and threatened to walk me out of the airport if I didn’t let them screen me. I tried telling her that I WAS letting them screen me, but that she was so rough with me that it made me flinch. The supervisor lady said, “It's been reported that you're acting hostile. You need to allow us to do our job or we can’t clear you, and being hostile like that means that we can’t do our job.” So flinching is being hostile? Does doing their job mean they have to brutally manhandle me?
At this point I was sobbing, and I just wanted to get out of there. They asked me if I wanted to go to a private room, but I was afraid they might stripsearch me or something, so I said no, I just need to sit down, I was starting to feel light-headed. But they wouldn’t let me, they said if I left the little mat with the feet-marks on it I’d have to leave the airport! I was close to throwing up at this point, and begged them to please do whatever they had to do to let me get to my plane. So the chick with the dreads then started all over again. And I mean all over. Hair, tits, stomach, crotch. The works. Why’d she have to do the whole thing again, including the parts she already did? I stood there with tears flowing down my cheeks, doing my best not to move or even flinch. And she was not gentle. Finally they let me get my stuff and leave. I didn’t even know where my stuff was, they’d moved it off the conveyer to a table on the other side of the room, thank god everything was still in there.
TSA Employee Charged in Manassas Sex Assault
A woman said in the early morning hours of November 20, she was sexually assaulted by a man who flashed a badge and was wearing a uniform in Manassas.
Manassas police have arrested an employee with the Transportation Security Administration in the crime.
Police responded to the report of a sexual assault around 3:25 a.m. on the 10500 block of Winfield Place. The victim said she and a friend were on the block when they were approached by an unknown man, who forced sexual contact on her. After interviewing the victim, police canvassed the immediate area in search of the perpetrator.
Authorities said a short distance away, they found 52-year-old Harold Glenn Rodman, who fit the victim's description. Rodman, an employee with the TSA, was exiting his house while police were canvassing, and he was taken into custody.
Rodman has been charged with aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy, and abduction with intent to defile.
Police said Rodman was wearing his TSA uniform during the assault.
Travelled Denver to San Francisco in November 2011 on government business. Had to go thru x-ray scanner. There was a girl about 5 or 6 years old in the scanner before me. Big woman TSA Agent barking at her "put your hands over your head!! Hands over your head NOW!" Just like the police on a cops episode. Little girl was sobbing. Finally let through. I got through alright, but was seriously disturbed by this. Is this what America is now? I drive whenever possible. Very sad.
carrie so very, Monday at 9:57 PM (November 21, 2011)
TSA Violates PTSD Author
By Kaitlyn Gant, Sunday Nov 27, 2011, 2:55pm:
Kaitlyn’s first flight since the introduction of TSA Radiation Machines and “Enhanced Pat Downs”
Today I flew for the first time since the Radiation Machines and the “Enhanced Pat Downs” came into existence in the United States. Having PTSD, I psychologically tried to prepare myself for the possibility of a pat down. It turned into a much worse nightmare than I had even tried to conjure up in my mind while trying to prepare for it. Prior to this flight I tried to convince myself that others were embellishing, that this really was not happening. That the stories of TSA feeling people up, grabbing crotches and touching breasts, with no legal impact, were not real. I wanted to deny it. Well guess what….it is real! It is worse than I had ever imagined!
The following is my experience on October 17, 2011 flying from Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City, Utah:
After removing my boots and stripping down to a light, fairly see through camisole which was under the suit jacket I had already taken off, removing my belt from a pair of form fitting pants (both pieces worn thoughtfully and intentionally to show there could be nothing hiding underneath), I saw the TSA guy sending everyone through the radiation machine.
I am up next in line. I tell the male TSA agent, in a low, non-confrontational voice, “I don’t want to go through the radiation machine.”
In a dramatic, loud voice, for all to hear, he states, “Now since you told me you don’t want to go through the radiation machine (yes, he did repeat radiation machine), I have to wonder why not AND now I HAVE to pull you aside for an “enhanced pat down.” Again, quietly, I said to him, “I simply don’t want the radiation exposure.”
He replies, quite loudly again, for all to hear, “Well we have to wonder what you may be hiding since you said you don’t want to go through it. If you had said nothing, then MAYBE I would have CHOSEN YOU to walk right through. BUT NOW I can’t do that.” “Next time don’t say anything!”
Now Mr. Control Freak (AKA- TSA Agent) gets on his radio calling for a “female agent needed for a female pat down.” After several calls a man wearing blue latex gloves appears. He looks at me smiling while wiggling his fingers and says, “Oh, I guess, this won’t work”. He then laughs. I stare at his perverseness in disgust. Finally, a female “agent” comes to begin the violation of my body.
Having PTSD, I started to panic about the thought of some stranger touching me. This is a huge trigger for me. I felt like vomiting. Rage seared through me as my eyes brimmed with tears. The woman kindly explained everything she was going to do. She sensed my uneasiness and even asked if I had not been through this before. Yet she proceeded in her violation of my body.
She begins, “I will be running my hand firmly and high up your thigh” (interpretation…I will be feeling your crotch). “I will be running the back of my hand down the middle of and around your chest” (interpretation…I will be fondling your breasts). “I will be checking your waistband” (interpretation…I will be pulling your waistband out and looking down your pants).
I said to her, “This is as invasive as going to a gynecologist, only I keep some of my clothes on AND I have a choice to go to one of them OR not”. Her response was, “It’s not that bad at all and it’s better than having some crazy person board the plane.”
After the airport molestation was completed, I was filled with rage. I looked around as I put my belt, jacket, and boots back on only to find no one in my camp. Everyone else seemed to be accepting and continuing on as though no violations against their body were occurring. I am certain these “Enhanced Pat Downs” are also great entertainment for the perverts who were present thinking they were seeing one woman felt up by another. The “agent” offered me a “private room” and I refused because I wanted to stay where I had witnesses if anything should happen.
I feel violated. I feel oppressed. What makes people follow along like a bunch of mindless sheep and not stand up for their rights? What makes so many laugh about being stripped of their civil liberties? What makes a society so accepting and conditioned to airport molestation? They even send their kids through to be violated. What type of message is this sending to our children?
Are we really so willfully ignorant to not see we are being terrorized on a daily basis by fellow Americans who succumb to such practices, who agree to violate their fellow American’s rights for their jobs? Really? What have we become? Are we so mind numbed by all the pharmaceuticals and dumbed down entertainment that we are now robots who do and say whatever we are told? THIS IS NOT OKAY!
I don’t know if other countries have become so desensitized and simple minded as Americans when it comes to total violations and loss of their privacy, but we as a nation should have more respect and pride. Even if I did not suffer from PTSD, I would not want a stranger feeling me up AND I certainly would not let a stranger grope my child under the guise of Airport Security.
I called my husband after this violation and, in rage, relayed the story to him with tears nearly falling. I paced frantically in the boarding area now. I felt like a caged animal. I wanted to scream. I wanted to lash out. Did no one else care about having just been felt up by a stranger? Did no one else see they were just stripped of their civil liberties and their Government is allowing this to happen to control them, not protect them?
I wanted to yell, “WILL EVERYONE WAKE UP??!!” “You simple minded idiots!! What will it take for you to wake up?” “Why do you have no voices, why do you let your Government..which is suppose to be for the people…by the people, keep stripping you of your dignity and self-respect?”
“What will it take for you to fight for your rights and your children’s rights?” “Why is this acceptable to you?” “Why don’t you feel violated like I do?” “If you don’t stand for something of significance, for something that wakes you out of your comatose mindsets then just go away to a private island where apathy, desensitization and ignorance are the norm. Then you and yours can live a mindless, worthless existence while giggling and smiling as the chains of oppression and control become ever tighter around your throats. This will be a place where you can all laugh and follow one another while each of you are being raped and pillaged by your “leaders”. Take your group think to that private island of willful ignorance and let those of us who give a damn and have a conscious left….fight for our right to live and fight for our civil liberties and peace!”
stopped at airport for design on purse
17-year-old missed flight to Jacksonville after agents inspected gun design
(video at link)
Vanessa Gibbs, 17, claims the Transportation Security Administration stopped her at the security gate because of the design of a gun on her handbag.
Gibbs said she had no problem going through security at Jacksonville International Airport, but rather, when she headed home from Virginia.
"It's my style, it's camouflage, it has an old western gun on it," Gibbs said.
But her preference for the pistol style didn't sit well with TSA agents at the Norfolk airport.
Gibbs said she was headed back home to Jacksonville from a holiday trip when an agent flagged her purse as a security risk.
"She was like, 'This is a federal offense because it's in the shape of a gun,'" Gibbs said. "I'm like, 'But it's a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'"
After agents figured out the gun was a fake, Gibbs said, TSA told her to check the bag or turn it over.
By the time security wrapped up the inspection, the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest sent her to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at JIA.
85-year-old woman may sue TSA after being strip searched
at JFK Airport
NEW YORK - An 84-year-old Long Island grandmother says she was injured and humiliated during a strip search at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Lenore Zimmerman of Long Beach, L.I., said she was on her way to a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when she was whisked into a private room by security who removed her clothes.
Zimmerman, who is 4'11", told the New York Daily News she is hunched over, walks with a walker, weighs 110 pounds and is going to be 85 years old in July. "Do I look like a terrorist?" she asked.
Zimmerman says she was searched after she asked to forgo advanced image technology screening equipment because she worried it would interfere with her defibrillator.Z
The retired receptionist said she normally gets patted down at airline security. But this time, Zimmerman said, two female agents escorted her to a private area.
At one point, Zimmerman said, a metal bar of her walker banged against her leg and blood trickled from a gash. "My sock was soaked with blood. I was bleeding like a pig."
But, she said, the TSA agents showed no sympathy. Zimmerman said she got no response when she asked them, "Why are you doing this?"
“They took me into a private room and pulled down my slacks and pulled down my underwear” without explanation or apology, Zimmerman told ABC News.
Posted by Lew Rockwell on November 23, 2010 07:02 PM
Ron Paul had to go through his first invasive pat-down at the airport; his knee
replacements bar him from the gulagoscan. This is one of the most well-mannered
men I know, but after four very hard jabs to his genitals, he asked the
blue-gloved TSA agent: "How can you live with yourself, feeling up strange
men all day long?"
"I love my job," sneered the goon.
another elderly woman strip-searched by TSA
. . . From her home in Sunrise, Florida, 88-year-old Ruth Sherman says she knows for a fact senior citizens are being violated at a screening checkpoint at JFK.
“I felt like I was invaded,” she told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.
Sherman says week-long Thanksgiving holiday with family in New York ended with an ordeal that started when the screeners wanted to check the bulge from Sherman’s colostomy bag.
“This is private for me. It’s bad enough that I have it,” she said. “I had to pull from my sweatpants and I had to pull my underwear, my underwear down.”
“You don’t do that anybody,” she added. “I felt like I was invaded.”
still another woman strip-searched
. . . Linda Kallish, 66, of Boynton Beach, was scheduled to be on the same flight as Zimmerman. Because she is diabetic, she has a glucose monitor that checks her blood sugar every five minutes strapped to one leg and an insulin pump strapped on the other.
After she set off the metal detector, a female TSA officer ordered her into a private room and told her to take her pants off, Kallish said. She said the officer didn't touch her.
"So I took my pants off and showed it to her," Kallish said. "She just looked at it and said, 'Have a nice trip.'"
What really bothered her, Kallish said, is that while waiting to be screened, her medical items went through the metal detector and moved out of her sight, and she wasn't allowed to retrieve them.
"The whole thing is lousy," Kallish said. "I've have never had to do that before. I have flown many times before, and I have never had to take my pants down."
Law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC News that the women were strip searched by TSA agents.
A senior law enforcement official who has worked at New York's JFK airport for years told ABC News that the incidents expose the security agency to mockery.
"Any law enforcement professional with any time experience would tell you that if you can't tell the difference between an 80-year-old with a health issue and someone who might need further screening, then this kind of behavior makes us the laughing stock of law enforcement worldwide," said the senior official. "These [passengers] were only guilty of buying a ticket."
gropes frail 91-year-old YouTube – YouTube
NBC: Missing money serves as
warning to passengers
Posted: Dec 06, 2011 4:39 PM EST
Updated: Dec 06, 2011 5:20 PM EST
By Steve Campion, NBC2 Reporter
"It was all in disarray. It was all a mess. There was a tag saying that they had inspected it," said Punta Gorda resident Lisa LaFlamme.
LaFlamme told us missing from her husband's luggage after a flight from the Punta Gorda airport was $500. Money that was set aside to help pay for the cake and church at his daughter's wedding.
The couple claims the money went missing after it passed through TSA security.
response was our employees never steal," said LaFlamme.
The couple contacted TSA to see if security cameras are in place to prevent employees from taking people's belongings after they go behind closed doors. LaFlamme said she was told no.
A TSA spokesperson told us out of security concerns they couldn't disclose that information.
"If it's sitting there just in front of them, it's too easy to take," countered LaFlamme.
with you 200%....BUT if you have to use a commercial conveyance for travel, the
TSA has the authority to deny that.... I was recently held up at the Memphis
airport; although I declared I have a full-knee replacement; he insisted on
feeling my entire body. A simple wand-scan of my body would have disclosed any
other item; if it didn't, then it wouldn't have set off the alarm... This
is not just a feminist issue, as a male, I don't like anyone feeling my body
unless it's my wife :)
-Thursday, December 8, 2011
Flyingfish knows he’s allowed to photograph TSA checkpoints from public areas in the airport. He knows this because it is the TSA’s publicly stated position.
But a refused-to-identify-himself TSA agent and a state trooper at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport don’t know this, so they detained Flyingfish, told him he was in big trouble… that he had, in fact, committed a “federal offense.”
Flyingfish called the TSA’s Office of Strategic Communications at (571)227-2829, and within 20 minutes, Flyingfish had been released with an apology. This is an admirable degree of integrity and responsiveness from a busy federal agency.
I just wish they were as efficient at actually explaining TSA policy to their own staff.
I’ve just added the Office of Strategic Communications to my speed dial, along with the TSA Office of Civil Rights at (571)227-1917.
I know, a very old event, but still noteworthy. Just found the site here to relay this story. I was flying back home the evening of February 28, 2011 from Phoenix Sky Harbor after a long weekend of Spring Training (baseball).
I went through TSA rope-a-dope on both ends without incident and in record time, without so much as an ill question or glare. (I was shocked.) No "pron scanners" or anything where I went through. Literally 90 seconds after entry, I was already putting my shoes back on.
Went down the hall and sat in some comfortable chairs down the concourse where another TSA area discharged its people into the "secure" (if there is such a word) area in the airport. Here a "pron" scanner was in operation and being used. I sat here about 40 minutes. One after another I watched the festivities. In total EIGHT different women were scanned, in all of their glory. Every one of them was between the ages of 20-40, not overweight, most of "voluptuous" figure (to say they were large breasted in a nice way). There was a male screener selecting who would get scanned. I thought, what are the odds of this occurring naturally --- no men, no older women, no "smaller" women. (This was before the "blocky figures" the screeners on the video end see.) I also remembered these machines were reported to have a diagnostic mode where a USB port was active...
Put two and two together....It's not hard to imagine what they were doing.
Report it? They bald faced lie to the public every day.
We, the public DO notice these things.
-TexasPatriot, Sunday, December 11, 2011, 5:30pm
More moronic behavior by the TSA
frequent traveler in and out of Denver International Airport, Kathleen Triou
considers herself well-versed in the requirements of what items she can take
But she was confounded Dec. 15 when a Transportation Security Administration agent had her in a jam over, well, raspberry jam.
"It was jam. Just homemade jam in a tiny mason jar," said Triou, a marketing executive from San Francisco who received the goodie as a gift from a colleague. "They said it has the potential to be bomb material."
Triou tried to explain. "I told the agent, ‘It’s not gel, not perfume, not cosmetics, just jam.’ You could see the seeds in it," she said. But the TSA agent would hear none of it and "continued to insist it could not pass through security as it could be bomb material."
Astounded by the sticky situation and wanting to at least show family members the neatly decorated jar of jam, Triou asked if she could snap a picture of it with her phone.
"No," she says the agents told her.
By this point, the agent had gotten her supervisor involved.
"So now they say I can’t take a picture of the jam because we’re in a secure area." [this is a lie –LS]
Triou said the TSA agents then told her she could exit the secure area and take a photo of it.
"At that point, it would have taken at least another 15 minutes to go back through security," said Triou. "It just wasn’t worth it. But what’s worse is that if this is potentially ‘bomb material,’ why do they just discard it in a trash can off to the side?"
Comment left at FlyerTalk
December 24, 2011:
. . . The only thing a passenger can do is go through the complaint process, which is useless. After I was blocked from seeing my luggage during screening at the Oakland airport, I complained. The result was being held there for five minutes, still out of sight of my luggage, and getting a harsh retaliatory pat-down. I filled out a comment card, then left a voicemail at the phone number, and finally mailed a complaint letter. Only the mailed complaint got a response, a phone call: "That shouldn't happen. Since it shouldn't, there is nothing we will do about it."
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DC area and San Francisco
Programs: SWA A-List, OnePass, AA, U-MP, more
many accounts of TSA clerks confiscating holiday cupcakes, fruitcake, and
jelly/jam/preserves to include here – readers can Google the stories on their
own – LS]
TSA inspector came over and started yelling at me that I
had violated security protocal because all wheelchair users had to have their
bags opened for visual inspection and I wasn't supposed to run my mom's bag
through the scanner. I tried to remain calm and explain that I hadn't been
told any differently nor were any signs posted so I followed the procedures
that we use in Houston. She then told me that Houston is doing that wrong
and I needed to give her all my mom's things. She became upset yet again when I
told her that I had some of my mom's things in my bag and vice versa. She
started screaming that I had committed a serious security breach because
disabled passengers were not allowed to "cross-pack" because of the
June 26th, 2011, 09:08 PM
The highlight of the call was when a representative of an organization for the blind - who travels 2 - 3 times a week - reported that, when going through security with his guide dog, he invariably cleared but the dog's harness triggered the dog's need for "secondary screening" (pat-downs) at which point he was asked - "over a dozen times - the sex of the dog, so that the pat-down could be done by a same-sex TSO! [Transportation Security Officer.] Not only that, but he had reports of this happening to a number of other people. At which point, the call hosts made clear they didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
-fmichael, Senior Member
Yet another TSA employee doesn’t know or lies about the rules on photography
Testing TSA Photo Policy At Miami International Airport Again (includes video)
by Carlos Miller, December 26, 2011
Carlos Miller is a Miami multimedia journalist who has been arrested twice for taking pictures of cops. He’s beaten both cases, including a resisting arrest conviction that he had reversed on appeal pro se.
Two columns from The Atlantic on the TSA’s power plays and abuse, including the harassing and groping of a 3-year-old disabled child with a feeding tube.
WOOD TV (28 Dec 2011): Chemical in candy set off airport alarm: TSA checkpoint
shut down for about 20 minutes
A TSA checkpoint at Gerald R. Ford International Airport was shut down on Wednesday afternoon after chemical sensors were triggered. TSA employees shut down the checkpoint while they attempted to determine the cause of the alarm. The bag of one person going through the checkpoint contained some candy and also a suspicious-looking iPod.
. . . I would like to set the record straight. I, along with 7 other people on my small commuter flight alone missed our flight. According to American Airlines officials, TSA never alerted the airline to the delay and this could have been avoided with minimal communication between TSA and the airline. There were no other flights available that would get me to Honolulu today yet, so American Airlines re-booked me on the next available flight tomorrow morning.
TSA required everyone to exit the security line and wait in an area about 20-30 feet away. I heard all the boarding calls for my flight and alerted a TSA agent who indicated that they didn't know if flights would be held. There was no organized reopening of the line and no preference was given to those who needed to catch flights or to those who had already been waiting in line, so I waited in a now much longer line and watched my flight leave from the security line as I stood by helplessly. Had they given preference to departing flights, I would be halfway back to Honolulu by now.
refused to communicate the reason for the closure even after the security line
was reopened. American Airlines officials were visibly displeased by the
handling of the incident by TSA.
Here's one more story of TSA insanity.
My husband has MS and has difficulty walking and standing. He travels with a motorized scooter.
The first few times we flew, we asked the screeners what they wanted us to do. They told my husband to drive his scooter through the metal detector (this was before the scanners.)
Surprise, surprise! The metal detector went off. Now they had to do a full search on my husband.
I tried to explain that the scooter is made of metal, and it was the scooter that set off the alarm. I suggested that they should let my husband walk through the metal detector to see if he sets it off. That concept was far too complicated for them to understand. They got really nasty with me.
We had resigned ourselves to the fact that my husband would always be searched until an incident in Phoenix. The agent was really aggressive and rough...pulling, jerking, and prodding my husband. He was so rough I was afraid he would knock my husband down. I started to walk over and ask him to be careful not to hurt my husband.
Of course, they all went crazy and started screaming at me to get back. So I asked another agent to please tell the other agent that my husband is fragile and please don't be so rough. She absolutely refused to do that.
At that point, I knew there was nothing I could do. I just started collecting our belongings and put my faith in God to protect my husband.
Fortunately, my husband was not injured. He told me later that he had asked the agent to let him sit down. The agent was nasty and said "Why do you need to sit down"? (Duh...he came in a wheel chair) but eventually he let my husband sit down.
So the next time we flew, we got up to the metal detector and we didn't ask anybody what to do. My husband just got up and walked through the metal detector and left the scooter for the screeners to deal with. No more scary and inconvenient searches.
Fortunately, my husband is able to walk for short periods of time. Otherwise, he would have been searched every time.
Now we refuse to fly with the scanners and the grope downs. It's
just too dangerous. We won't go through the scanners, and we don't want to risk
the grope downs.
-Daisimae, December 30, 2011
TSA abuse has been going on for years – here’s my story
by WENDY THOMSON on DECEMBER 29, 2011
sister had a stroke 8 years ago and as I left her side to grab a sandwich for
her she was pulled into secondary inspection. Her stroke left her completely
paralyzed on the right side and unable to talk. The TSA agent was in her face:
Whats your name. Where do you live. Where are you traveling to. I was incensed.
Her Swouthest escrort did nothing to assist mysister. I yelled at the TSA agent
and told her she was out of line. I told her she couldn't spak and what was the
purpose of the inspection when it was clear that she is disabled. I told her
she couldn't talk because she had a stroke. She told me to step back or she
would have me arrested. I did so until they made her try to walk. She
can't walk without her cane. I handed her the cane and said she can't walk
without this and btw she is under guardianship with the state of Wisconsin and
the least possible threat to the U.S. Security. Her plane is boarding and can
we please go now? She told me to take it up with her supervisor and then
grabbed her cane and began dismantling it. It was atrociously wrong on so many
-Maggiebleu, December 31, 2011
. . . They
took away my blind step daughter's cane and did the same thing. She was blind
and completely disoriented to where she was, and these jerks were barking
orders. A later complaint to the station manager for the goons didn't
result in any positive actions, just the usual platitudes that we'll look into
it and take care of it. But it KEPT HAPPENING.
-TexasPatriot1, January 2, 2012
Army sergeant accused of carrying C4 in luggage released
Sgt. Trey Atwater has been in federal custody after the discovery of the explosives in his luggage on New Year’s Eve. Atwater was detained at the Midland, (TX) International Airport after TSA agents detected the explosives in his bags. The FBI arrested Atwater, of Hope Mills, N.C. on charges of attempting to carry concealed explosives onto an aircraft. He has claimed he used the explosives as a demolition expert while serving in Afghanistan, but didn’t know they were still in his bag. Atwater had also been detained days earlier at the Fayetteville, N.C., airport after security agents found a military smoke grenade in his carry-on bag. News reports have said screeners at the Fayetteville airport may have missed the C-4 in the earlier screening that revealed the smoke grenade.
I was assaulted at a TSA checkpoint. When I acted to defend myself, I was accused of "assaulting a federal officer".
The police were called. I was detained. I was denied access to my shoes, my belt, my belongings were removed from my sight. When I protested I was mocked, threatened with arrest, and told to "shut the fuck up". These are not exaggerations. Now, I know that what happens to others is far, far worse, but this is the attitude these people in these positions have.
When I later attempted to obtain the police report and surveillance video, the request was denied by the airport authority because I was not a citizen of the state in which it happened. The law that was cited referred to criminals who had been disenfranchised. I've had precisely 1 speeding ticket as my only interaction with The Law, and the government attempted to cover up its own malfeasance by likening me to a common criminal.
I hired an attorney in that state who used his "citizenship", since mine is apparently no good, to obtain the police report and video surveillance. The police report is clear that my record is clean, I am no threat, and posed no immediate danger to flight security or TSA or law enforcement personnel. The video surveillance is also clear that high-ranking TSA officials provided false and misleading testimony to police on the scene. They lied, and the police and airport were complicit in attempting to cover it up.
That's all I'm going to say publicly about my current situation. I only
offered it as supporting evidence that these people put in positions to
"protect" us and "keep us safe" are doing nothing of the
-barbell, Original Member and “Coach” at Travel Underground (others at TUG know his real name –LS)
Saturday, January 7, 2012
VIPR Teams Now Conducting 'Suspicionless Searches' at Train Stations
TSA OFFICIAL NAILED
ON CORRUPTION CHARGES
By Jim Kouri, Published 01/14/2012 - 6:29 a.m. CST
Minnetta Walker of Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and faces 2 years in federal prison to be followed by one year of supervised released, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The 43-year old Walker was employed by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as a Behavior Detection Officer, assigned to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (Buffalo Airport) in Cheektowaga, New York.
Many observers of this case believe her punishment doesn't reflect the seriousness of her crime as a federal enforcement officer.
Assisting drug traffickers.
Just How Rich Is the TSA Getting From Your Forgotten Change?
Last year the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) collected $376,480.39. It seems that TSA is just keeping the money. The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) has waded into this issue, joining a two-year-old effort to have the money donated to charities such as the USO airport lounges and non-profit airport help desks rather than serve as a reward to TSA.
Any use of the money by TSA seems distasteful. It’s not their money. In fact, it is money left by harassed passengers and should certainly not go to TSA as a reward for invasive searches. The best home for this money is a charity that helps passengers navigate the airport and airline jumble. The money can be spent to help military travelers through the USO, it can help everyday travelers through airport help desks, and perhaps it can be used to help spread the word about new passenger rights, airline customer service numbers, DOT complaint contacts, and so on, through well-placed posters in airports.
TSA Air Marshal
Arrested in Mugging of Boston Occupier
By Quinn Norton January 13, 2012, 11:00 am
TSA air marshal Adam Marshall was arrested by the Boston police department at 3:50 a.m. on Dec. 10 after he allegedly argued with members of Occupy, called some of them prostitutes, struck one of Occupy’s organizers in the face, grabbed her iPhone, and then fled.
SA agent busted in laptop ‘lift’
By PHILIP MESSING
Last Updated: 2:42 AM, January 13, 2012
federal TSA screener at La Guardia Airport was arrested for allegedly swiping a
pricey laptop from a college student at a security gate.
I have a young friend that was strip searched two years ago by the TSA. She is a heavy girl (probably 60 pounds overweight), and was pleading and crying to be left alone, and they ignored her pleas and made her strip down to her undies (in a private room). She hasn't flown since. Really did a number on her. It's very, very sad.
People claim that this is NOT
sexual molestation - and they are WRONG. If you saw my friend's mental state
when she talks about this, you'd see how damaging this is.
Writer and Book Author Rosemary Thornton
Posted Thursday, January 19,
WSVN (20 Jan 2012): TSA agent and wife arrested in iPad thefts
(As ever, multiply this by god-knows-how-many for all the ones who don’t get caught –LS)
On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM, Jack Mahoney <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Mr. Elliott,
I traveled on the 13th of January from Miami to Boston . . .
. . . When at Boston/Logan airport for my return home to Miami on the 16th of
January, I observed the same procedure for the full body screening and was
stopped by a male TSA agent as I exited the machine who said that he needed
to inspect me.
He asked me to hand him my cash, which he seemed to count the amount that I
was traveling with, bill by bill, asked if I was wearing a watch which was
evident and had me hand it to him, his comment was that the watch is heavy
and I replied by saying that the weight is comfortable for me to wear. I
wear glasses and have a leather and sterling neck cord for them when I am
not wearing them and it assists me so that I do not misplace them. The TSA
agent asked about the neck cord and took some time to inspect it while it
was still around my neck and then stated that he needed to pat me down.
I have never experienced a pat down before but this gentleman ran his
hands, palm side to my body, over my upper torso from my shoulders, arms,
chest and stomach rather slowly. I have observed others do a pat down with
the back of their hands and feel like this was more than what I should have
been subject to. There was another agent, female, standing behind this
gentleman looking rather impassively in another direction while I was being
inspected in front of the entire passenger area. I am feeling that his
actions were inappropriate.
I travel 3 to 4 times a year to Boston as well as other travel throughout
the year and have never experienced this in the past.
[in an email to Christopher Elliott – he and I have Mahoney’s email address –LS]
My wife has had multiple joint replacements due to her Rheumatoid Arthritis. She carries a card in her wallet that explains her metallic implants. Last year, we planned a trip to see our son in Las Vegas. We went through the screening procedures and as a result, my wife's artificial joints set off bells, whistles, alarms and lights. My wife had her card for them to see; not good enough they were going to do a "private" screening of my wife. I informed the TSA official to get his supervisor and a uniformed officer.
When they arrived, I explained to the officer what the problem was and then informed the officer and the TSA supervisor that should anyone attempt to do a "private" screening on my wife will be charged with assault and as a citizen, with a police officer present, that this was my right under the law.
The TSA supervisor threatened me with arrest; I called his bluff and he backed off. The only way to stop this madness is first make the airlines suffer even more with less air travel. Take a bus or a train, or rent a car, anything but going through the nonsense at the airport. Secondly and probably most importantly, know your rights; read up on the Constitution, stand your ground, make a scene, whatever you have to do to embarrass the TSA and this current administration.
The next time I have to fly, I will strip to my boxers in front of God and everybody if that is what it takes to prove that I am not a Muslim terrorist; I will not however allow my wife to go through that horror again.
Rabbi, Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
detained at Nashville airport, made to miss flight
TSA Officers Confuse
Insulin Pump for Gun at LAX, Declare 'Security Breach'
By Simone Wilson Fri., Jan. 27 2012 at 1:05 PM
"Sources" tell the Times that the lady's flight was delayed for up to an hour as cops detained their suspect (yes, detained) and questioned her about her mysterious baggage.
Meaning an entire flock of passengers had to wait almost 45 minutes for three different agencies to track down a woman with an insulin pump. Can't wait to see how the super-hip TSA Blog handles this one.
Apparently, though, the flying-with-diabetes-in-post-911-America problem is not a new one. A blogger for Diabetes Mine tackled it back in summer 2010, declaring a lose-lose situation . . . .
Comment left by reader at same article:
. . . With the first TSA agent she told him she was diabetic and was wearing an insulin pump prior to entering the body scanner. After the scanning she was told to go over to another TSA agent (a woman). Again, with this agent she informed her that she was wearing a pump and pulled it out to show the agent. Yes, let me say this again. The pump was taken out from under her clothing and shown to the TSA agent!! The agent then turned to the body scanning agent and asked if she was ok. He said yes. The woman TSA agent then told the woman she was ok to go. The woman then asked if it was ok to go---making sure that she understood correctly that she could go. And, again, the TSA agent said yes you can go. OK can someone please tell me what more a person must do to really know if it's ok to go. Isn't twice enough!!
Yes she was DETAINED not just screened again. They seached all of her bags thoroughly (her clothes are now nicely wrinkled). She was questioned some of the police officers were nice some less than nice. She showed them the device along with the doctors note (Oh, the woman had informed the original TSA agents that she had a doctors note. I'm not sure whether the agents asked to see it---if they didn't then isn't that their screw up). It took awhile before everyone felt sure that this was, in fact, an insulin pump. I was told that in the end the police officers told the woman that she had done nothing wrong and this was entirely on the TSA . . . . http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/01/tsa_insulin_pump_gun_lax.php
La Guardia TSA “forgets” about
possible pipe bombs
TSA officials have been blasted for 'outrageous' bungling after it emerged that they found two possible pipe bombs in a passenger’s luggage at New York's La Guardia Airport yesterday - but waited six hours before telling the police.
The suspicious objects were kept in a public
area used by hundreds of passengers, and at one point were left casually
resting on a radiator.
TSA agent arrested at D/FW
Airport for stealing iPads
D/FW AIRPORT - Police arrested Clayton Keith Dovel, a Transportation Security Administration baggage inspector at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Terminal E, for stealing iPads from checked luggage. Dovel works in the terminal, but unlike the security checkpoints where passengers are screened, the 35-year-old TSA employee works in an out-of-sight position in what's called the "Resolution Room" where checked luggage is screened by hand. That's where police say they think Dovel took iPads that travelers packed away.
Eight TSA agents suspended at Newark Airport for
'sleeping on job and stealing from luggage'
Some screeners even spotted 'not checking luggage'
Hidden cameras 'caught' staff at Newark Terminal B
One screener expected to be sacked after blunder
Terminal is eighth-worst in world, recent
TSA agent charged with JFK theft, latest in series
NEW YORK — A Transportation Security
Administration agent stole $5,000 in cash from a passenger's jacket as he was
going through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities
said Thursday, the latest in a string of thefts that has embarrassed the
Alexandra Schmid took the cash from a Bangladeshi passenger's jacket as it went along an X-ray conveyor belt Wednesday night in Terminal 4, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's police force.
Surveillance video showed Schmid taking the money from a jacket pocket, wrapping the money in a plastic glove and taking it to a bathroom, Della Fave said.
The money hasn't been recovered, he said. Police are investigating whether Schmid gave it to another person in the bathroom.
Wednesday's arrest came the same day that a federal judge sentenced former TSA screener Ricky German to eight months in prison for trying to steal a laptop from a passenger at the Memphis airport in December 2010. German was convicted of theft by a government employee, depriving a citizen of his rights and making false statements.
The cases are part of a series of recent theft allegations against TSA employees:
— Last month, an agent who worked searching checked luggage at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was suspended after the owner of a stolen iPad used the tracking feature on the device to locate it at the agent's home. Police found seven other iPads there.
—On Jan. 10, former TSA agent Paul Yashou pleaded guilty to stealing a $15,000 watch from a passenger's belongings at Los Angeles International Airport in May. He is awaiting sentencing.
— Two other former TSA agents at JFK were sentenced on Jan. 10 to six months in jail and five years' probation for stealing $40,000 from a piece of luggage in January 2011. The agents, Coumar Persad and Davon Webb, had pleaded guilty to grand larceny, obstructing governmental administration and official misconduct.
— Also in January, authorities charged an agent at Miami International Airport with swiping items and luggage and smuggling them out of the airport in a hidden pocket of his work jacket. He was arrested after one of the items, an iPad, was spotted for sale on Craigslist. Another TSA employee was arrested in July at nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after an airline employee reported that the man slipped an iPad into his pants.
— In December, police charged a TSA screener at New York's LaGuardia Airport with lifting a laptop after a Detroit-bound passenger left it behind at the security station.
— Earlier last year, a TSA supervisor and one of his officers pleaded guilty in a scheme that lifted $10,000 to $30,000 from passengers' belongings at Newark Liberty International Airport. A federal judge sentenced the supervisor, Michael Arato, to 2Â½ years in prison and his subordinate, Al Raimi, to six months of home confinement.
Newark in knots amid TSA blunders
By PHILIP MESSING
Last Updated: 12:33 AM, February 2,
A series of stupid screw-ups by screeners at Newark Airport yesterday closed down a terminal for three hours, delayed 11 flights and forced the rescreening of nearly 200 angry people, The Post has learned.
The comedy of errors began about 11 a.m. when a Transportation Security Administration agent decided a passenger’s bag had to be rescreened.
But somehow, the wrong bag was picked up — and the owner of the suspect luggage was allowed to carry it through security.
Seven minutes later, after realizing the mistake and discovering that nobody could describe the owner of the bag, the agents closed the checkpoint to review security video.
Entire terminal closed, people delayed, missed flights, everyone re-screened.
Woman found – innocuous passenger with harmless bottle of perfume.
Women say they’re singled out by TSA
TSA pulls down man's pants. Man arrested for Public Indecency and Disorderly Conduct.
YouTube Video Uploaded by JayveMontgomery on Jan 31, 2012 about incident in June 2011:
On June 19, 2011, after the Transportation Security Agency pulled my pants down, I was arrested at BNA for refusing to pick up my pants until I was informed as to whether the search was complete. I never got the answer to my request, "Is the search over?" The resolution search that I agreed to after my 3"x4" microfiber cloth had been picked up as an anomaly in the millimeter wave scanner, is the same search that Senator Rand Paul (KY) refused. I am a frequent flyer, having A-list status with Southwest and flying through Nashville 3 dozen times in the past 2 years. I now opt out of the millimeter wave scanner and maintain an informal record of the search procedures of the TSA. The grab and pull of my pant legs seen in this video was not necessary as all the TSA searches I have received before and after the incident have proven.
I am looking for a lawyer to sue the TSA. The charges of Disorderly Conduct and Public Indecency are unjust. One officer, Robbie Keeler, was heard stating, "I think we're stretchin' it on the Public Indecency, but what the hell?! Have him tell it to the commissioner. I would like to charge the all officers involved, Officer Hardini Carter and Officer Robert Merritt, round up the pack. TSA agents Seth James and Lee (badge# 74020) are also liable. The first thing Agent Lee said upon standing up after pulling down my pants was, "Pick up your pants." When I asked, "Is the search over?", his response was, "Pick up your pants, sir!" His supervisor Seth James, could only offer snide remarks and the same "Pick up your pants!" command. I explained, "Is the search over? Because if the search is over, I will pull up my pants and grab my stuff." The TSA Agents and the Police Officers had no intention of respecting my right to know whether the search was complete.
This video was obtained by requesting it from Bob Watson and Terri Barnhart. The TSA records at double time. 714p_thru_725p_11-01025_061911.mpg
As you are watching the video remember these questions:
As American citizens, have we or have we not, the right to know whether a search we voluntarily submit for is complete or if it shall continue indefinitely?
Is it TSA policy to submit American citizens to submission by dehumanization?
Am I prepared with the phone number of a friend or relative with a land line telephone, in the event that I attempt to keep my dignity at the airport?
Are the police liable for false arrest when they themselves reviewed the surveillance video and thought the charge of Public Indecency to be a stretch?
Watch out Americans. There are government agencies that do not respect your right, nor you dignity.
I am looking for a lawyer who believes in justice for American
citizens. It has taken me nearly 8 months to even post this video on youtube
and start to solicit the lawyer help, because the psychological toll this
incident has taken can be unruly at times.
TSA Cover-up Investigation
by Wendey Halloran - Feb. 3, 2012 09:08 PM
12 News Investigative Reporter
A loaded gun went through security at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, a 12 News investigation revealed.
The incident, which happened on December 27, 2008, involved a cover-up and policy violations by Transportation Security Administration managers and remained hidden from public knowledge for three years.
A whistleblower says, "There are people that are in high management at TSA that were involved in a major cover-up."
Here's what the report shows the Agent documented:
At 12:11 p.m. the TSA manager enters lane 5 reporting for work. At 12:13 p.m. he puts his briefcase on the conveyor belt for screening. At 12:16 p.m. he enters the checkpoint through the walk-through magnetometer. Then at 12:17 p.m. as the briefcase moves into the X-ray scanner, the TSA manager demonstrates anxiety over his property in the X-ray tube. At 12:17 p.m. a Lead Transportation Security Officer signals to Supervisory Transportation Security Officer Mike Hales, the firearm signal with his hands. At 12:18 p.m. Hales recognizes the employee who brought the gun and responds to him in lane 5. Hales then signals towards the supervisor's desk appearing to stop the required call to the Phoenix Police Department, Airport Bureau.
At 12:19 p.m. Hales takes the briefcase from the X-ray. One minute later, Hales and the TSA manager exit the checkpoint and walk into the airport side of the checkpoint off camera. The TSA manager then walks out of the airport, still carrying the loaded gun with one in the chamber and a magazine.
The whistleblower maintains, "This was a cover-up, this was
despicable. It's the most egregious thing I've ever seen while I've been with
becoming an 'opt-out'
by Danny Schechter
13 February 2012
Tehran, Iran - I had been debating with myself, and a few friends, about whether or not to accept an invitation to attend a film conference in Iran. The argument against going is that by travelling there, you validate a dictatorial police state.
But with so few American journalists going to Tehran these days, I felt a higher duty to attend. The first step in the long trip from New York was getting in line for an inspection by that uniformed Army called the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), a $5bn agency that insists it is only there to keep us safe.
Talk about a police state.
There is no question that one consequence of its rigorous procedures is to teach the public how to be compliant and follow orders. It's a manifestation of a certain "friendly fascism" ushered in by 9/11, what the Right denounces in other areas as a nanny state.
. . . Humiliation or retaliation?
While all my stuff was going through one machine, I was steered to another, one of those supposedly safe body scanners where I was supposed to stand, hands up, as if I were being busted or guilty of something. I decided then and there to seek an alternative. In TSA parlance, I became an "opt-out" and now had to go through a "standard male pat". The problem was that there was no one there to do it, so I ended up standing around for 10-15 minutes, no doubt as an example to those who don't follow orders.
I have my own long story about recently having to be patted down repeatedly (after my first pat down and suitcase search) inexplicably and mistakenly set their faulty TSA machines off. The protocol after a TSA machine has gone off is for all personal items, including toiletries and underwear to be emptied, hand searched, and then loaded into bins separately. Then I had to be patted down more thoroughly by a different independent TSA a second time which had to be witnessed by others. My suitcase was torn apart but a second TSA machine mistakenly went off. Finally the 3rd machine worked and after an hour of this search delay, just as I thought they were going to strip me nude, I had to throw all my stuff back in and run through the airport with my shoes untied to make my plane.
It would make a funny story if I was a stand-up comedian but otherwise it was a nightmare.
The "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say was that the TSA searches occurred as I was heading to give a speech on "civil liberties vs national security". Ha!
Rowley, Feb 11, 2012
Security breach – again – prompts shut-down
of terminal and resreenings – again -- at Newark airport – again Saturday Feb 11, 2012
Passengers in a section of Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport had to be rescreened at a security checkpoint Saturday evening after a 32-year-old man walked unchecked through an area reserved for passengers exiting planes.
. . . Saturday’s incident echoed the 2010 case of Rutgers doctoral student Haisong Jiang, who was fined $3,000 by the Transportation Security Administration after ducking past security to kiss his girlfriend goodbye. Jiang, too, had walked through an area reserved for exiting passengers. That incident caused a six-hour shutdown of Terminal C and the rescreening of passengers.
. . .Earlier this month Newark’s Terminal A was locked down for two hours after screeners lost track of a carry-on bag flagged for additional security checks. A passenger who had picked up the bag was rescreened without incident. http://www.northjersey.com/news/transportation/airports_aviation/021112_Man_eager_to_greet_wife_causes_security_breach_at_Newark_airport.html
As I write this, I have just been assaulted by a TSA agent. I went throught their little machine and was waiting to be allowed to leave. The TSA agent then said to me I have to check this area, ok? Before she had even said this she had already grabbed my breast. She did not check me with the back of her hand, she did not give me a chance to do or say anything. I am the victim of sexual assault before and this was extremely traumatic. I will likely have nightmares for weeks and will need to change business plans as I do not feel able to fly again.
Posted by Rebecca
on 02/13 at 09:48 AM
February 13, 2012
TSA Tampa Florida Airport,
Tampa, Florida Complaints & Reviews - stolen money
TSA Agent steals $100 from passenger
A new take on courtesy, dignity, and respect from the TSA
by Seth Miller
. . . Yes, the agency that maintains as a primary treating "all passengers with courtesy, dignity, and respect during the security screening processes" was, in fact, reaching down some guys pants out in the middle of the airport.
I was dumbfounded. I still am, quite frankly.
Woman: TSA workers think I'm 'cute,' scanned
me three times at Dallas airport
“Guys, it is not blurry, I'm letting her go.”
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 6:00 AM
February 15, 2012, 9:43 AM
A Dallas woman says she was forced to undergo three body scans by TSA workers because she has a "cute" figure - and she's not the only woman complaining about passenger "peep shows" at America’s airports.
The passenger, Ellen Terrell, is among a host of women who suspect they were randomly selected for body scans not because of any threat they posed, but because TSA workers wanted a closer look at their physiques, according to an investigation by CBS 11 in Dallas of more than 500 passenger complaints about the TSA.
"I feel I was targeted by the TSA employee to go through the see-you-naked machine because I am a semi-attractive female," according to one of the complaints reviewed by CBS.
Terrell’s story was brought to light by the Texas station during its investigation into the treatment of female passengers by the TSA. The report aired earlier this month.
According to the station, Terrell and her husband, Charlie, were traveling out of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when her ordeal took place.
Terrell told the station she was "randomly selected" for a scan. The agent, she said, was communicating by microphone with TSA staffers in another room, whom Terrell alleged were trying repeatedly to record a better image of her.
The female agent asked her to enter the machine three times in the incident several months ago. But the agent eventually lost patience with the requests coming from the other room, she told CBS 11.
"She's talking into her microphone and she says 'it is not blurry, letting her go' and she says 'come on out,'" Terrell told the station.
CBS 11 said other female travelers can certainly relate to Terrell's experiences These are among the complaints filed by other women, CBS 11 reported:
RELATED: GABRIELLE UNION'S HAIR WEAVE FLAGGED BY TSA, THE ACTRESS SAYS
“The Transportation Security Administration released surveillance video of what authorities say shows an unidentified man stealing a pricey Rolex watch that was left behind on a screening conveyor belt at a Florida airport.”
More theft, this time with video proof. The TSA makes us
vulnerable to theft. We have no way of knowing how many hundreds or
thousands of times this happens. There's not a reporter to document every case.
We can only extrapolate based on anecdotal evidence and logic.
TSA Tampa Florida
Airport - Theft
Posted 2012-02-14 by Leonard Reizfeld
I traveled through security at Tampa Airport at approximately 7:30 pm on February 12, 2012. My blue back pack went through the metal detector and I had forgotten a can of sunscreen. I had put my wallet in the bag to make life easier. My bag was pulled from the line and an officer asked if he could go through my bag in front of me. I gave my permission and observed him. After finding the sunscreen and removing it, he took my bag back to the x ray machine. It seemed to take quite a while for my backpack to be returned to me. Today I discovered that a $100 bill which was emergency money was missing from my wallet.
More complaints, including theft, about TSA –
over 200 at this link as of February 17, 2012
On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> wrote:
> I am relatively well-preserved 64-year-old woman who went through the body
> scanner at the San Diego Airport, hoping to get back to Austin, Tx without
> incident. As soon as I stepped out of the scanner, to which I acceded so
> that I could get home without a problem, I was told by a very young,
> apologetic male TSA agent that his older female superior had flagged my
> ponytail as a possible threat. After taking it down and shaking my hair
> out, I decided flying was out for me. This simply isn't right, it isn't
> keeping America safe, and American citizens shouldn't stand for it. I know.
> My relatives
immigrated from Germany.
Email to Christopher Elliott, co-editor of TSA News.
TSA Employee Charged With
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2012
Shannon Gilliam, 29, of Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania was charged by information, unsealed today, with bribery, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Gilliam was employed as a Security Training Instructor with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and was assigned to the Philadelphia International Airport. Gilliam’s full-time responsibility was to conduct training for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) and to administer mandatory screening proficiency tests to TSOs who handle passenger and baggage screening at the Philadelphia International Airport. TSOs had to receive passing grades on annual, mandatory screening proficiency tests in order to continue employment as passenger and baggage screeners with TSA.
According to the information,
between August and October of 2011, Gilliam accepted a bribe of $200 in
exchange for ensuring a passing grade on the mandatory, annual certification
examination by taking the test for the payee.
TSA rummages through medicines
Why I hate the TSA, Part MLVI
By Kyrie O’Connor, Deputy Managing Editor, Features, Houston Chronicle
. . . But this time was different. I am of an age where I have one of those day-of-the-week pill boxes, the SMTWTFS kind. I know: dork. But it makes life simpler. Most of the daily pills are vitamins, but not all. I also, for reasons unclear even to me, had a warehouse-store-size bottle of aspirin in my suitcase.
Here’s the great part. When I got to my hotel and opened the suitcase, I discovered that TSA Guy had opened the aspirin bottle AND the pill dispenser AND closed neither. So my suitcase was filled with vitamins and pills and aspirin everywhere — in shoes, in bags, in pockets. Everywhere. Bad enough that I had to spend an hour cleaning up the mess, but I had to re-sort the daily pills into their compartments and hope I didn’t lose any.
Somebody’s got to explain this to me. I don’t much fit the profile of a drug dealer and, well, aspirin is aspirin and looks like aspirin. And really? The pill box? Really? And is that the best use of TSA time? Also, not closing them up again? Really?
My love for you is not growing, TSA.
TSA instructor accused of bribery
And another one
Derogatory 'Jeopardy' board launches TSA probe - CNN
Holy Cow Jenny TSA Sexual Assault Nipplegate Episode
Orlando International Airport
Video made Feb 21, 2012 by Jennifer
“Holy Cow Jennifer” YouTube Channel
“On 2/19/2012 (I stated the wrong date in my video sorry) My breast was exposed by TSA as I was sexually assaulted and completely humiliated. Jennifer Elaine Sisk aka Jenny”
Jewelry stolen from carry-on during screening/patdown
I recently returned from my 13-day vacation in Sarasota on 2/20/12 only to discover my precious jewelry was missing from my bag when I got home! It never left my side, other than going through security when I was pulled aside to be patted down, and then pulled aside again to have the sand tested in my other bag! I KNOW for a fact my precious Diamond/Gold Journey Necklace ($1200), my White Gold Diamond Loop earrings ($250) and my 18k Gold Mesh Bracelet ($600) were in my leather Satchel w/laptop, in the original 4"x4" Littman Jewelry Box when I left the hotel! :-( How do we stop these theives?? Better yet, how do we get over the fact that these people are in complete control of our lives and can take whatever they please from our baggage!! I am STILL mourning the loss of this jewelry, for BOTH the monetary value AND the sentimental value!!
Laurie Devaren, Friday, February 24, 2012 at 4:34 AM
A security breach at
John F. Kennedy International Airport created delays Friday morning at Terminal
CBS Station WCBS reports that at 6 a.m. a passenger in the terminal was flagged by TSA. The passenger went through a security checkpoint without being pulled aside and screened.
At this time, all passengers in Terminal 7 had to be re-screened.
By 7:40 a.m. the issue was resolved and passengers were allowed to board their flights, though residual delays lingered.
On Twitter, passengers stuck at the airport complained about the disruption: "JFK is insanity right now. Absolutely nothing is moving. People sleeping on luggage," tweeted Shanna Carpenter.
security “breach” – another terminal closed
SFO terminal reopens after oxygen bottles cause scare
USA Today, February 25, 2012
Police evacuated a portion of one terminal at San Francisco International Airport after a suspicious package was spotted during a security screening. The terminal reopened about two hours later after no threat was found.
Update at 8:10 p.m. ET: Authorities now say the
suspicious items were two oxygen bottles in the carry-on bag of an elderly
passenger in a wheelchair, KCBS reports.
TSA screeners became suspicious when the passenger said she was unaware of what was in the bag because she had not packed it. After the bomb squad determined the bottles posed no danger, the passenger was allowed to continue her trip.
Delta said 1,200 passengers on six flights were delayed by the temporary shutdown.