Archive for the 'TSA' Category



Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

The Mexican government has begun arresting armed “vigilantes,” desperate citizens in fear for their lives who can no longer wait for their compromised government to rein in ultra-violent cartels.

I knew it wouldn’t last, and especially since [at least some of the] citizens opposing the cartels took on uniforms and declared subservience to the state.  Like all good gun controllers, they don’t care about the safety and health of the people.  They care about their control.  Once again, folks.  Gun control is about … control.

Via David Codrea, GOA:

Once again, anti-gun Senators like Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Pryor (D-AR) are trying to trick gun owners into supporting them in their upcoming tough races for reelection in pro-gun states.

At the core of their slimy scheme is a do-nothing bill being pushed as the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363).  North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, who voted FOR the universal gun registry bill, is the chief sponsor.

Other chief cosponsors are Mary Landrieu (who also voted for universal gun registration) and Mark Begich and Mark Pryor (who, according to Harry Reid’s staff, would have cast the deciding votes for that universal gun registry bill, had their votes been needed).  It’s also cosponsored by anti-gun leader Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Read the rest at the link.  It gets more complicated – or not.  Here’s my take.  No more laws of any kind until the ones in place get repealed, and that means the Hughes Amendment, the Gun Control Act, The NFA.  If you want to stick national carry reciprocity in there somewhere, that’s fine with me.  Until then, block everything these communists try to do.  There.  That wasn’t too complicated.

Kurt Hofmann:

And then remember that the Obama administration has asserted (and indeed exercised) the “right” to use armed drones to assassinate suspected “terrorists,” without regard to their American citizenship. And people like Franchi accuse us of using “violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes”?

Subservience is for little people.  Power is for the philosopher-kings inside the beltway.

I’m glad that Mike Vanderboegh documented the damage to his computer this time courtesy of the TSA.  So the TSA doesn’t just feel up little girls, remove colostomy bags, look at naked pictures of people as they walk through machines, and push around the elderly.  They can also tear up computers.

The TSA is the lowest common denominator of our society.  Except maybe for SWAT teams.

The Strike One pistol is coming to America (I’m surprised that the ATF approved it).  Has anyone I know ever shot it before?

TSA = Jobs Program For Idiots

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 1 week ago

CafeMom:

My DH suffers from OAB (Overactive Bladder) due to past problems with prostate cancer. (He is only 36 by the way and has been done with it for 3 years) We fly frequently and to be safe he usually wears a disposable brief (an adult diaper). He has been screened many times with the full body scanner and patted down many other times. On a few occasions, if he was being patted down, he has mentioned his “protection” and passed without further scrutiny.

Never an issue until last week. While waiting in the security line he had a strong bladder spasm and and a large release of urine into the diaper. After he emerged from the scanner the TSA officer (a female) asked if he was carrying liquids in his clothing. He explained his condition and what had happened. In the past, it was embarrassing enough for him to just tell a TSA employee that I was wearing an adult incontinence garment but now he was also announcing that he had wet himself.) She called over to another (male) officer (the boss, I guess) and  explained the situation to him out loud in front of everyone else still going through the line. The problem was he did not understand what an “incontinence product” was when she told him.

You’re not surprised, are you?  I’ve told you so before.  The TSA is full of ignorant goobers and child molesters.  It’s a federal jobs program for idiots who cannot find productive work.  It is nothing more than Kabuki theater to make the morons among us feel safe.

TSA Officer Bled For Thirty Three Minutes In LAX Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

ABC:

An airport security officer lay helplessly bleeding after a gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport as paramedics waited 150 yards away because police had not declared the terminal safe to enter, according to two law enforcement officials.

It would be 33 minutes before Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez, who was about 20 feet from an exit, would be wheeled out by police to an ambulance, said the officials, who were briefed on the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe was still ongoing into the Nov. 1 shooting.

For all but five of those minutes, there was no threat from the suspected gunman — he had been shot and was in custody, they said.

While it’s not known when Hernandez died or if immediate medical attention could have saved his life, officials are examining what conversations took place between police and fire commanders to determine when it was safe enough to enter and whether paramedics could have gone into the terminal earlier, one of the officials said.

The head of the TSA union on Friday said he was appalled at the news, calling the delay “absolutely unacceptable,” according to KNBC-TV.

This is a shame, and I agree that it’s absolutely unacceptable, just as absolutely unacceptable as Jose Guerena laying helplessly bleeding out in his own home for one hour and fourteen minutes without medical assistance, even though first responders were on the scene and waiting for permission to treat him.

I will await the head of the TSA labor union mentioning Mr. Guerena’s treatment as unacceptable.

TSA Tags:

Gun Bloggers Major Source Of TSA Animus

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

Josh Horwitz:

By now, it’s clear to most Americans that dangerous, suicidal individuals like Ciancia have ready access to military-style firepower because of the lobbying of groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA). They might not be aware, however, that the pro-gun movement is also equally responsible for disseminating violent, anti-government rhetoric, much of it aimed at the TSA specifically.

[ ... ]

Pro-gun bloggers have follow the NRA’s lead and directed their own attacks at government agents, including the TSA. Robert Farago, a blogger at “The Truth About Guns,” called TSA agents “blue shirted goons” after Nugent’s wife was arrested for illegally carrying a gun into a terminal at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in August.

Mike Vanderboegh, the former Alabama militia leader and Fox News commentator who made national headlines after calling for the offices of Democratic Members of Congress to be vandalized during consideration of the Affordable Care Act, referred to TSA agents on his blog as “nanny state fascist perverts.” Pro-gun activist Andrew Johnston chose a similar slur, describing TSA agents as “filthy perverts.” And so on…

Oh good grief.  There he goes again blaming the big ole’ bad NRA.  Frankly, I’m deeply offended that he didn’t mention me for my coverage of TSA and TSA Ineptitude.  But I would have thought the major animus against the TSA had to do with the facts that their programs don’t do one thing to help transportation safety, and the department being a jobs program for ne’er-do-wells, abusers of the elderly, child molesters, ignorant hicks and uneducated morons who cannot find productive work any other way.

I guess you learn something every day, including the fact that you’d better watch your six (and twelve, and three, and nine) when the TSA gets hold of guns (via Glenn).

TSA Agents Humiliate Wounded Marine

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

Washington Times:

Transportation Security Administration inspectors forced a wounded Marine who lost both of his legs in an IED blast and who was in a wheelchair to remove his prosthetic legs at one point, and at another point to stand painfully on his legs while his wheelchair was examined, according to a complaint a congressman has registered with the TSA.

Rep. Duncan Hunter said in his letter Monday that the Marine, who is still on active duty and showed TSA agents his military identification, was still forced to undergo that scrutiny.

“A TSA office asked the Marine to stand and walk to an alternate area, despite the fact that he physically could not stand or walk on his own. With numerous TSA officers sitting and unwilling to assist, an officer then made him remove his legs, then put them back on, only to advance to a secondary screening location where he was asked again to stand, with extraordinary difficult, while his wheelchair was examined for explosives,” Mr. Hunter said.

He also said TSA officers initially directed the Marine to the wrong line, then made him move lines but made no effort to help him. The incident occurred at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport last week, as a group of Marines was returning to San Diego.

Mr. Hunter included two photos of the inspection in his letter that appear to show a TSA agent patting down the Marine’s arm and examining the prosthetic leg.

The congressman asked TSA to detail its procedures to inspecting wounded U.S. troops at airports, and to consider whether agents should show “situational awareness.”

Situational awareness?  Mr. Hunter’s sentiments are well placed and appropriate, but here is the point being missed in all of this.  The TSA is now and always has been a jobs program for morons who couldn’t find work doing anything else.  On top of that, the conceptual framework upon which the organization and its procedures were built doesn’t lend itself to situational awareness.  It is a statist, totalitarian concept from the outset, crafted to give morons a paycheck and something to do.

I’m sorry for the Marine, but who’s stupid enough to have expected anything else from all of this bureaucratic apoplexia?

Then The Knife Is Worthless

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

USA Today: The TSA is set to allow “knives” on board airplanes.

TSA_Knife

Then the “knives” are worthless and there is no need to carry one anyway.

Political Gain On The Backs Of Patriots

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

So Glenn Reynolds links a report about the Obama administration outing the double agent who informed us of the new type of underwear bomb.  He continues, “The leaks not only scuttled the mission but put the life of the asset in jeopardy. Even CIA officials, joining their MI5 and MI6 counterparts, were describing the leaks as ‘despicable,’ attributing them to the Obama administration.”

I continue to call for the use of explosive trace detection portals rather than ridiculous, groping searches of persons.  But aside from that complaint, while this double agent was doing patriotic duty for British intelligence, for which we are the beneficiary, how is this outing any more morally reprehensible than the current administration riding the backs of American patriots to score political points?

Consider quadruple amputee Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills and what he will endure for the remainder of his life.  Or consider the visit that had to be made to the family of the most recent Marine who was gunned down by the horrible, terrible, loathsome ANA.  Isn’t it morally reprehensible to do this to American patriots for a campaign we have no intention of winning?

This appears to be a pattern of behavior for an administration which sees lovers of America as mere fodder for its next political campaign.

Concerning The TSA, Claymores And Crotches

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

More heartwarming stories from the TSA:

A Defense Department employee was stopped at Newark Airport yesterday after inspectors found inert land mines in her luggage.

Roxan Hatcher, 32, of Union Township, was headed for an early-morning flight to San Francisco with two unarmed Claymore mines she planned to use in a Special Forces training exercise, law-enforcement sources said.

Hatcher, a mechanical engineer at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County, told cops that a co-worker headed for the same destination had an inert mine in her checked baggage that TSA inspectors did not detect.

Now, it is utterly irrelevant for our consideration that the mines, which were claymores, were “inert.”  The point is that the chosen method for detection missed mines just like it earlier.

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. (explosives trace materials are sniffed with machines, rather than people being watched with cameras and groped with hands)  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.  And speaking of ignorant goobers violating our rights, Jeffrey Goldberg gives us this distasteful example of airport security from personal experience.

She entered the machine and struck the humiliating pose one is forced to strike — hands up, as in an armed robbery — and then walked out, when she was asked by a TSA agent, in a voice loud enough for several people to hear, “Are you wearing a sanitary napkin?”

Remember, she’s 79.

My mother-in-law answered, “No. Why do you ask?”
 
The TSA agent responded: “Well, are you wearing anything else down there?”

Yes, “down there.”

She said no, at which point, the friend with whom she was traveling, also a not-young volunteer library advocate, came over and asked if there was a problem.

The TSA agent said, again, in full voice, “There’s an anomaly in the crotch area.”

This is, of course, a painful post for me to write. Like most normal American men, I don’t want to see the words “my mother-in-law” and “crotch area” in the same paragraph. But let me go on anyway.

My mother-in-law said, “As far as I know I don’t have any anomalies in the crotch area.”

The TSA agent told her she would have to go through the scanner again. She demurred, saying she didn’t like the machine very much. The agent told her she could opt for a pat-down. My mother-in-law refused to be frisked, figuring, correctly, that “they were going to pat-down my crotch area. I mean, there wasn’t an anomaly in the chest area.”

So she went through the scanner again. Of course, this time — one minute later — the TSA found no “anomalies,” and she was free to go.

The experience left her flummoxed, however. “What did they think I was, a lady underpants bomber?”

I asked her if she felt  embarrassed by the manner in which the TSA treated her.

“I’m not embarrassed,” she said. “I just think they’re stupid and their machinery is defective and they should learn to whisper when they’re talking about my crotch, or anyone’s crotch.” 

There you have it.  That’s what happens with you cloak a federal jobs program in national security garb.  And statists far and wide are willing to give up their rights and the rights of others under the guise of being safer than we were before.

Prior: More TSA Follies, TSA Category. TSA Ineptitude Category

More TSA Follies

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

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.

Then this:

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.

The TSA Wants Legitimacy

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

From Forbes:

Believe it or not, only 7 years ago, TSOs went by a more deserving title, “airport security screeners.” At the time, their title and on the job appearance consisted of a white shirt and black pants. This was fitting because airport security screening is exactly what’s required of the position. However, this is no longer the case.

In the dead of night, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) administratively reclassified airport security screeners as Transportation Security Officers. The TSA then moved to administratively upgrade TSOs uniforms to resemble those of a federal law enforcement officer. They further completed the makeover with metal law enforcement badges. Not surprisingly, government bureaucrats at the TSA left out one crucial component during the artificial makeover – actual federal law enforcement training as is required of Federal Air Marshalls.

While TSOs may have the appearance of a federal law enforcement officer they have neither the authority nor the power. If a passenger brings a loaded gun or an explosive device into an airport screening area there is nothing a TSO can do until the local police step in to save the day.

If TSOs are truly our nation’s last line of defense in stopping an act of terrorism, then the TSA should immediately end the practice of placing hiring notices for available TSO positions on pizza boxes and at discount gas stations as theyhave done in our nation’s capital. Surely, this is not where our federal government is going to find our brightest and sharpest Americans committed to keeping our traveling public safe. I would contend that we can surely strive for a higher standard and may want to look first to our veterans returning home from the battlefield.

Interestingly enough, as TSA officials like to routinely point out, their agency’s acronym stands for Transportation Security Administration, not the Airport Security Administration. This fact has extended the TSA’s reach has far beyond the confines of our nation’s airports. Many of my constituents discovered this first hand this past fall as those familiar blue uniforms and badges appeared on Tennessee highways. In October Tennessee became the first state to conduct a statewide Department of Homeland Security Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team operation which randomly inspected Tennessee truck drivers and cars.

VIPR teams which count TSOs among their ranks, conduct searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and every other mass transit location around the country. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times has detailed, VIPR teams conducted 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year alone. The very thought of federal employees with zero law enforcement training roaming across our nation’s transportation infrastructure with the hope of randomly thwarting a domestic terrorist attack makes about as much sense as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Justice tour.

I have seen this.  Its scary.  No, not the look of the “officers” or the demeanor they exude, but the belief that these people are law enforcement officers.  I saw a gaggle of them a few months ago walking the light rail in Charlotte, N.C.  They were sporting body armor, drop holsters, Tru-spec pants and other tactical gear, and ‘TSA’ in huge letters across their chests.  Swaggering, they were.

It occurred to me that if they had wished to seek out or prevent some perpetrator from harming the transit system or those who frequent the same, then hiding their identity would be the best bet (no gear, IWB holsters).  The existence of TSA screeners swaggering down the sidewalk for the light rail wouldn’t have prevented me from doing harm to the system if I had chosen to do so.  It wouldn’t be hard.  Dress in a suit, carry a gym bag full of C4, slide it under a seat when you exit, and then watch the explosion from a safe distance.  It sounds so cold, and yet it would be this easy to pull off.  And again, the existence of TSA screeners walking down the rail line wouldn’t have made a bit of difference in this scenario.  They need to think outside the box to ensure safety.  Strutting around in this garb won’t cut it.

My son spent a combat tour in Fallujah, Iraq, and I asked him about all of this tactical gear.  He reported to me something like the following:

The body armor is heavy (of course, he wore the SAPI plates too), and it makes you sweat, it constrains your breathing, it constrains your movements and motions, and the other gear is equally terrible.  I carried a SAW as you know, and so I routinely had enough stuff on my vest, including SAW drums.  I would do everything I could to minimize my PPEs and move things about to keep them from getting in my way.  When your CO dictates your PPEs there was only so much you could do.  As a SAW gunner I carried a handgun, and there wasn’t any place left for it on my vest.  I had to wear a drop holster.  It got in my way.  Go around a couch when clearing a room, it got caught.  Go through a doorway, it got caught on the doorjamb.  It flopped around endlessly like some loose appendage to your body that had been damaged and was barely hanging on.  Drop pouches are the same way, except worse.  If you ran in all that stuff, it banged around and beat you up without mercy.

No one in their right mind would voluntarily wear that crap.  There is nothing going on in Charlotte, or any other major American city for that matter, that requires a peace officer to wear that stuff.  If you see someone wearing it, whether TSA or Charlotte Police, they want to look tacti-cool.  There is no other reason.

Yea, and I won’t have one ounce of respect for a TSA luggage screener stopping me on the road wanting to know what’s in my car or where I am going.  If they want to legitimize their role, then get training, stop molesting children and old women, stop looking at cute figures in the body scanners, and perform their jobs like everyone else has to in America.  Or better yet, install explosive trace detection portals in airports, negating the need for groping children and old women, just like we have in nuclear power plants around the country.  Then, contract airport security out to private contractors.

Either way, simply declaring yourselves to have legitimacy doesn’t change the fact that you’re a laughingstock and nuisance.  Legitimacy comes with service and skills, not oafishness and bullying.


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