email from a visitor

I received this email from a visitor, John G., in California.  He wanted to share his experience(s) with the TSA. I am posting his email (in its entirety without editing) below.

Reading his email was quite humorous, until I thought about the implications to our liberty.  It was then that I realized that we are being subjected to an increasing intrusive form of government:

True story,

A week ago my bosses friend was going thru security check point corpus christie TX. They have the new body scanner. TSA stopped him after the scan and told him he had a large anomaly in his groin area. They proceeded to have him remove his trousers and then swabbed his area to test for explosive maybe a stick of dynamite. This gentlemen should be proud since he is so large TSA even needed to take a look.

Oh and by the way on my recent trip to Dallas this week. TSA was searching an 80 year old war veteran in a wheel chair. Next time I will try to get video of this.

Heavy set middle aged women heavily perfumed never get searched from what I have seen.

I do a lot of flying now maybe 8 flights a month.

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Study finds TSA scanners don’t work

Professors Leon Kaufman and Joseph Carlson of the University of California at San Francisco have issued a stunning report in the Journal of Transportation Security.  In this alarming report, the two University Professors explain that the backscatter x-ray scanners that are now being employed by the Transportation Security Administration are easily foiled.  As has been predicted by many other security experts, these two Professors have certified what many have long suspected; the scanners don’t work as advertised and can easily be bypassed.  They explain that dangerous weapons can be disguised so that they are not visible by the scanners.  Worse yet, every person scanned is now subject to a virtual strip search.  And for what?  Apparently for nothing.

The Journal of Transportation Security isn’t just a conventional “news source,” it is a collegiate level peer-reviewed journal.  This means that the information provided in this article by these two Ph.D.’s has been reviewed and certified by a group of other Ph.D.’s.  This article should carry a lot more weight than just any news article that you might read on the internet or see on TV.  The article explains that objects are more likely to be observed if on the sides of a person where they can reflect back x-rays.  Objects that are on the front or back of a person’s body (on their stomach or back) are less likely to be seen and will only be seen if they have sharp edges.  The TSA loves to show photos (like the one below) of all sorts of weapons that can be seen with the scanners.  But, ALL of these weapons can be detected by metal detectors and bomb sniffing technology that is not being employed.  Perhaps the folks who make the bomb sniffing devices didn’t bribe, ahem, I mean lobby the government enough.

The article explains that it would be quite easy for someone to smuggle a large amount of plastic explosives onto an airplane bypassing the scanning machines. 

If the scanners are so heavily relied on and they can be so easily foiled, doesn’t relying on them not only invade our privacy but doesn’t it also put us in danger?  Rather than looking for terrorists, the TSA is so busy scanning people who their attention is drawn away from other threats.  Perhaps if the TSA wasn’t so busy scanning people this week they would have noticed that an intruder hopped the fence and climbed into an airplane at a busy airport.

In the report, the authors show how an oject even as large as a handgun can be missed by the scanners:

The report states that a third of a kilo of high explosives could be snuck past the machine.  That’s about 3/4 of a pound of C4 or PETN enough to take down a 747.  While the TSA is wasting their time with inadequate technology, terrorists will likely just jump the fence and put the bomb in the landing gear well of the plane.  The TSA should focus its efforts on the terrorists, not legitimate passengers.

Don’t just give up your liberty without a fight.  There is no good reason for these invasive searches, they do not make us safer.  They only allow the government more and more control of our lives; they allow the government to pervasively snoop right into our pants to view our private parts.  There are better ways to provide airport security.  The three-ring circus that the TSA is running is not the answer.

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Just walk onto the runway…

Just when I think that the TSA couldn’t get more incompetent, I read a story like this one.  Fox Charlotte News has reported the death of a 16-year-old boy whose mutilated body was found near the town of Milton.  How did he die?  He fell out of an airplane.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The boy fell out of the sky.

It seems that while the TSA was groping legitimate passengers, virtually strip searching old ladies and harassing paying customers, this young man jumped a fence and just walked up to a waiting airplane and climbed into the landing gear bay.  He stowed away and likely died when the wheels closed into the belly of the airplane and was probably crushed to death.  When the airplane was approaching its destination airport and the wheels opened, he fell out.

Now, if a 16-year-old boy without malicious intent can put himself into the wheel well of an airplane, what about a terrorist with a bomb?  While the TSA, FAA and Federal Government spend hundreds of millions of dollars on backscatter x-ray machines that don’t even work, terrorists can walk right around the security check points with ease.

Perhaps the TSA needs to focus on actual terrorist threats instead of harassing the people?  Perhaps it is time to reform or abolish the TSA?

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TSA screen saver

Try and imagine if you saw a teacher with a pedophile joke on his computer.  Would you call the principal?  Would that teacher be fired?  Or how about a police officer with a KKK joke?  Would that cop get canned?  Of course he would.  So what is it that gives the TSA special license to offend and harass people?  Oh, that’s right, they’re out safety net from terrorism.  Well, let me tell you, I’ve worked in the Middle East for 5 years.  Most of the “terrorism” is a bunch of hype designed to sell products from defense contractors like the backscatter x-ray machines.

In the photo above, you can see the wallpaper photo on a TSA computer.  I did a search of the net and found the photo; it is not a real government program.  It is a joke, a spoof of the intrusive nature of the TSA and its search procedures.  What was a bad joke was carried by some TSA agents and if they think it is funny, how do you suppose they feel about your civil rights?  In their eyes, you are subordinate to them, they are master and you are the slave.

Is this the way our Founding Father’s created this great nation?  No.  The military is subordinate to the President.  The police answer to the Mayor who answers to the voters (you and I), and the TSA is supposed to answer to the people.  It looks a little more like Nazi Germany or Russia in 1954.  Is the dog wagging the tail or is the tail wagging the dog?  It is time we take ahold of this runaway organization and bring it to some semblance of rational behavior.

In the Army, there is no such thing as a dysfunctional unit.  There is only dysfunctional leadership.  If the TSA continues to have incident after incident of abuse and lack of common sense, then the leadership needs to be canned or else the organization abolished.

Not only should the TSA officer who posted this joke should be fired, THE ENTIRE STAFF AT THIS STATION SHOULD BE FIRED for allowing it to remain.  Can you imagine if it was a KKK joke?  Every person in that station would have been fired.  Perhaps this is because racial intolerance, while wrong, is also politically incorrect.  The TSA assaulting your personal freedom and dignity is considered politically correct in this environment of post 9/11 terrorism hysteria.

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Twist your nipple!

The Associated Press reported that a woman was forced to remove her nipple piercings by TSA officers after the piercings set off metal detectors.  The woman, Mandi Hamlin had told the TSA officers that she had nipple piercings and even offered to disrobe in a private room to show them to a female TSA officer.  The TSA officer called male supervisors who insisted that Hamlin remove the piercings.

There was only one problem, the piercings were not easily removed and she had to borrow a pair of pliers to remove them.

I’ve said again and again that the TSA has hired people with no common sense and then sets rules that are so draconian that the agents have no latitude to exercise common sense.  It seems that the TSA system is just broken.

In other cases, the TSA made a 71-year-old man’s pants to drop in full view of the public and have groped other passengers in front of other passengers.  I once passed through some tough screening after arriving in England on a ferry boat from Ireland.  In the English ferry terminal, anyone who was required to be patted down was taken behind a curtained room much akin to a dressing room at a clothing store.  The TSA feels up thousands of passengers each day and as it continues to happen, we grow accustomed to it and bit by bit, more of our freedoms and civil liberties are stripped away.

This video highlights all three of these cases and exposes how little common sense the TSA and its agents have shown in recent days.  Before it highlights the incidents with the girl cancer patient who is frisked and the 71-year-old man who is stripped to his underwear in public, the video shows how DC cops slam a woman to the ground after TSA agents gave her a hard time about contact eye solution.

Has America really come to this?  Are we no better than this?

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Playboy Playmate felt up by TSA

Well, it seems that even the famous are not immune from the TSA’s spying tactics as Playboy hottie Donna D’Errico recently found out when she was recently scanned by a TSA backscatter x-ray machine.

Donna says that when TSA agents saw her coming through the security line she was singled out due to her notoriety.  She also claims that she was never given the option of a pat-down instead of the revealing x-ray that could see right through her clothing.

Donna also said, “I must have overlooked the clause in both my Playboy and ‘Baywatch’ contracts stating that once appearing in that magazine, or on that show, I would forever be subject to being seen naked live and in person by anyone, at anytime, under any conditions, whether I agree to it or not, and for free.”  Specifically, she says that the TSA singled her out to “check her out,” and added that “”It isn’t right to hide behind the veil of security and safety in order to take advantage of women, or even men for that matter, so that you can see them naked. It’s a misuse of power and authority, and as much a personal violation as a Peeping Tom.”

Three cheers for TSA as they continue to erode our civil rights!  I selected one of Donna’s photos (below) that shows her patriotism for the TSA and the Federal Government’s assault on our liberties.

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TSA idiots!

When I first saw this video I was thinking that this was a novel way to get through the TSA security lanes faster.  The man in the video has a metal hip and sets off the metal detector every time he flies requiring a “pat down” search.  Growing weary of having other men touch his twig and berries, he decided to pass through the security lane in a pair of Speedo underwear.

After he sets off the metal detector, he shows the TSA agents the massive scar on the side of his leg where his metal hip was inserted.  The TSA agents response?  The man must exit security, put his clothes back on and then re-screen.

SAY WHAT?  He’s almost naked!  How does putting his clothes back on make their search easier?

I suspect that it is something else.  TSA management wants us to bend to their will and become accustomed to these searches.  If people walk through in their underwear, it highlights what a stupid policy the TSA has with its groping searches and revealing backscatter x-ray machines that show genitalia and breasts.

I suspect that the TSA will begin requiring all bikini and brief wearing passengers to wear more clothing in an effort to normalize this process of stripping us of our liberties and privacy.

I’d say it’s about time to insist on some management changes at the TSA.  Perhaps the injection of some common sense is in order!

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