Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser TSA Apologist - Again

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Lisa Simeone, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

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  2. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    This rubbish will just lead to more gropes. I believe that's the reason why the Germans dumped it. Here's how smart this machine is (from linked article):

    A bra strap. How rare. Oh, but they will call you "sweetheart" after the dope grope, so that will make it all better. Of course, the really vile machines, the Chertoffomizers, aren't affected at all by this sham.
     
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  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I had to drastically cut my comment because of the 1400-character limit. I suppose I can always post another one. (And don't know what's going on with the Sun's site -- it now plugs in all that garbage, don't know what to call it, all those nonsensical characters if you copy & paste from a word document -- it never used to do that.)

    Please comment over there, everybody. Michael Dresser is an inveterate TSA apologist. So is the Sun's editorial board.
     
  4. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Of course, a terrorist could wear a camisole.
     
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  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Don't know about you guys, but on my computer, this Sun article suddenly comes up as an archived article -- meaning no place for comments.
     
  6. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Here's the problem: with the current AIT machines, the officer views the image and can make judgment calls for items such as bra straps, zippers, etc. The new model being used at BWI does all the work. There is no officer viewing actual images; there is no judgment call; the machine does it all.

    Disadvantage: officers are probably going to conduct more pat-downs on items that were previously cleared on-screen when we were looking at actual images.
     
  7. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    The walk through metal detector and the hand wand could have cleared the bra strap without the virtual strip search or the full-body grope.
     
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  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    You'll never get Michael Dresser to admit that.
     
  9. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Keep in mind that the upgrade models don't have an operator viewing images. It is strictly done by machine, and the only "image" is a cartoon caricature of a human shape with little arrows or other similar indicators of where the anomalies are located.

    If I understand correctly, this wouldn't be so bad if, for instance, the officer did the pat-down only in the specific areas indicated by the machine. This would make it similar to the hand held metal detector screening, except it would alarm on metallic and non-metallic anomalies. If this understanding is correct, then I agree: it would be a great help on both sides of the aisle if the officer was required to pat-down only the specific alarm area as opposed to entire body zones.
     
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  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Patting down the "specific area" where a passenger has just revealed she had a scary coin, or tissue, or ponytail holder in her pocket isn't an improvement in my book.

    Bottom line is that the gropes are pointless and punitive, and done at the whim of TSA agents, whether or not there's an "anomaly" triggering them. I take back "pointless" -- the point is to coerce compliance. To exert power, authority, control. Big point.
     
  11. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    1. Why do bra straps present any kind of "clearing issue" at all? Why does a passenger have to be touched or nude-scoped at all when the outer garments are already removed, the hand wand localizes the source, and there is no visual indication of anything other than a bra strap?

    2. We know that guns have been brought through the Junkatron by the Red Teams. Visual inspection failed there. Oops. A walk through metal detector would not have failed.

    3. I suggest that guns get through because TSA is busy checking bra straps.
     
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  12. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    If the argument to return to the HHMD is because the resolution was considered less intrusive, then I don't understand your point. I will concede that the current procedure requires us to pat down more than what is necessary, but that's because of current protocol, which I can't explain any further. However, I see room for a compromise. If the ATR software is that good, then why not have the officers pat-down only the area in question.

    Here's an example: if you have a set of keys in your front pocket, we're required to pat down an entire body zone that includes the front pocket (sorry, I can't elaborate any more than that). My suggestion is that we pat-down only the front pocket, as we would have if the keys had alarmed an HHMD. Perhaps TSA procedure will eventually go in that direction. My guess is that the current procedures exist because the methodology is new, and once the workforce achieves a certain level of proficiency, the procedures will be more streamlined.

    But that's me anticipating and assuming. We all know what happens when you assume; particularly if we're talking about a government bureaucracy. :D
     
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  13. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Let me put it in plain words.

    * TSA gropes a woman's breasts because she has a a penny in a pocket, or is wearing a sanitary napkin.
    * TSA feels a man's penis because of an artificial knee.
    * TSA rubs a child's buttocks apparently whenever it suits them.
     
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  14. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Let me revisit that with some clarification:

    Under the current procedure, where you have an officer looking at images, that officer has a certain degree of latitude. In 99% of those instances, a bra hook would never be called as an anomaly. Under the "new and improved" ATR, there would be no officer looking at images. The machine does all the work. And the officers on the checkpoint floor pat-down where ever the little "alarm icon" tells them that an anomaly exists. The difference here is that the ATR may end up alarming on items such as bra hooks whereas an operator may have exercised some discretion to dismiss that as an anomaly. Under the ATR, officers won't know why the machine alarmed. They don't have access to the actual image. All they know is to pat down the area with the little icon on the passenger avatar.

    As for your other point, all I can share with you is that whenever I've tested officers, the item was there to be seen. And the operators admitted, on more than one occasion, that they did see the item but still hesitated. In fact, before I run a test, I always test it myself. I put the item on my body and have my fellow instructors determine whether or not it's a fair test. To date, I have yet to find something that was not detected by the AIT. Everything I've used has been detectable.

    My opinion, and my opinion only, is that officers are extremely reluctant to call an alarm when the anomaly appears in certain areas of the body.
     
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  15. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Let me put that again in plain words:

    1. When the stick-figure machine makes a mistake and confuses a bra strap with a bomb or a gun, the officer who is directed by the machine to grope the passenger does not second guess the machine, even though the passenger has divested herself of her outer clothing and the fact that she is wearing a brassiere (and not carrying a bomb or a gun) should be obvious.

    2. When you say "anomaly in certain areas of the body" you mean breasts, buttocks, penises and vulvas that look unusual to whoever is sitting in the booth.
     
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  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Bart:

    Oh, bollocks. You can't reveal this, you can't reveal that. You're privy to super secret information that we mere peons can't comprehend. Just like authoritarians everywhere.

    I've worn underwire bras for 30 years. They have never set off a metal detector. The fact that some bozo in a blue shirt is now going to tell me that the wire under my boobs presents an "anomaly" that requires a grope is (expletive deleted).

    I don't care what your damn machines -- which I and millions of other taxpayers have paid for, to make corporations rich -- show. Get your hands off my body and out of my life.
     
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  17. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    One way to fight this is never to accept this lingo of "anomaly in certain areas" (per the Milgram experiment thread), and start using real words.
     
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  18. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    CartoonPeril, completely agree. Euphemism is the tool of cowards and thugs.
     
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  19. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    It is astounding that earlier this morning in the Milgram experiment thread I identified euphemisms such as "screening" and "resistance" as a psychological defense mechanisms for Transportation Security Officers, and now here is a Transportation Security Officer saying "anomaly in certain areas" when what he means is "a sanitary napkin concealing the vulva" etc. He simply cannot admit what he is doing in plain words.
     
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  20. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Ah, so he's a TSA agent! Okay, things are becoming clearer.
     
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