Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water [read more]
First comes this:
The Transportation Security Administration is once again the subject of national scrutiny, this time after aggressively screening a 7-year-old female passenger with cerebral palsy which caused her family to miss their flight.
The girl, identified as Dina Frank in a report by The Daily, was waiting with her family on Monday to board a flight departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York headed to Florida.
Since Dina walks with the aid of leg braces and crutches, she cannot pass through airport metal detectors, and must instead submit to a pat-down by TSA agents.
Dina, who is also reportedly developmentally disabled, is usually frightened by the procedure. Her family reportedly requests that agents on hand take the time to introduce themselves to her.
However, the agents on duty at the time began to handle her aggressively instead.
A Transportation Security Administration baggage inspector at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is facing two to 10 years in prison for stealing Apple iPads from luggage over eight months, according to reports.
Clayton Keith Dovel, 36, of Bedford, Tex., was arrested Feb. 1 and indicted by the Tarrant County grand jury last week on charges of theft by a public servant of items valued up to $20,000, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Dovel is free on $5,000 bail and has been suspended indefinitely by the TSA.
Speaking of illegalities, there’s this:
A TSA agent arrested, accused of being involved in a massive oxycodone trafficking operation between Connecticut, New York and Florida, pleaded guilty on Thursday in court in New Haven.
Twenty people were arrested, including three Transportation Security Administration officers based at airports in Florida and New York, a Westchester County police officer and a Florida State Trooper, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice.said.
Brigitte Jones, 48, a TSA officer at Westchester County Airport, pleaded guilty on Thursday in court in New Haven. She is the third TSA agent to plead guilty to taking cash to help move the Oxycodone through airport security without being detected.
There’s also this:
The Transportation Security Administration is once again under fire after news leaked of how the agency threatened to close an entire airport because a 4-year-old girl hugged her grandmother.
The girl’s mother, Michelle Brademeyer, posted a harrowing account of the incident on her Facebook page, saying officers implied a gun was passed during the brief embrace.
Brademeyer’s daughter, Isabella, ran over to her grandma after the older woman had triggered alarms as she went through security at Wichita Airport in Kansas, she wrote. The family was on its way home to Montana after a family wedding.
Michelle Brademeyer said she and her two daughters passed through the screening with no incident, but her mother set off the alarm and was asked to take a seat and wait to be patted down.
It was then that the little girl ran over to her grandmother to give her a hug, said Brademeyer. “They made very brief contact, no longer than a few seconds. The Transportation Security Officers [TSO] who were present responded to this very simple action in the worst way imaginable,” she wrote.
“First, a TSO began yelling at my child, and demanded she too must sit down and await a full body pat-down. I was prevented from coming any closer, explaining the situation to her, or consoling her in any way. My daughter, who was dressed in tight leggings, a short sleeve shirt and mary jane shoes, had no pockets, no jacket and nothing in her hands. The TSO refused to let my daughter pass through the scanners once more, to see if she too would set off the alarm.
“It was implied, several times, that my Mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter,” wrote Brademeyer.
And now from the illegal to the absurd:
“She should switch to decaf.”
That’s from the New York Post, which reports a Transportation Security Administration screener was arrested at New York JFK for allegedly “hurling a cup of hot coffee at an American Airlines pilot who told her and some colleagues to tone down a profanity- laced conversation in a terminal … .”
The Post cited unnamed sources in reporting the incident, which is said to have occurred March 28. The newspaper apparently first learned of it this week.
The spat apparently began when 54-year-old American Airlines pilot Steven Trivett was leaving JFK’s Terminal 8 and overheard the screeners’ conversation.
The Post’s sources say Trivett admonished the screeners, suggesting they behave more professionally while in uniform. Trivett also told the screeners he thought they should “not use profanity or the n-word” while on the job, one of the Post’s sources said.
That’s when things escalated, according to the Post. One screener allegedly cursed at the pilot and told him to “mind his own business.” When the pilot tried to grab at the ID badge of 30-year-old TSA officer Lateisha El, she pushed him and threw a full cup of hot coffee on him, according to the Post’s unnamed sources.
And finally this:
The lines and pointless interference at Logan Airport were no worse than usual yesterday, but one TSA employee did manage to add a new wrinkle of misery to the experience. As we all stood in line like obedient sheep, he recited the usual litany about removing belts, shoes, liquids, emptying pockets, etc. At the same time, he also kept up a loud, non-stop monologue of unfunny, mildly sexist, and occasionally offensive jokes, to an entirely captive audience of travelers. No doubt he thought he was providing an amusing diversion, but he didn’t seem to notice that no one was laughing. And given the ever-present threat of a strip-search, nobody was going to tell this loudmouth in a uniform to just zip it. So in addition to the degrading inconvenience of the security checkpoints themselves, they’ve now added noise pollution.
As I have pointed out before, if we really cared about security, we would install explosive trace detection portals, just like those in use at the access portals to nuclear power plants in the U.S. This, combined with abolishing the TSA and sending the work to private contractors, would actually benefit security and save money to boot.
But we don’t want that. We would rather have ignorant goobers gawk at cute figures and have random violations of our fourth amendment rights. What a strange world.
The TSA is a federal jobs program for incompetent people. Nothing more.