Boston Magazine: The TSA Needs to Be Put in Check

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Boston Magazine: The TSA Needs to Be Put in Check: Heightened security measures have led to offensive power trips

    What do you get when you mix racial profiling and sexual assault? The Transportation Security Administration, apparently. After more than 30 TSA agents claimed that coworkers were targeting Hispanics, blacks, and those of Middle Eastern descent during security checks at Logan International Airport, the administration launched an investigation, and on Monday, Congressman William Keating called for a hearing on the allegations. The behavior detection program that the agents were operating under is supposed to be based on suspicious appearance, body language, and responses to questions—not employees’ blatant racism and disregard for the program’s true purpose.
  2. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Great piece. I'll start sharing.
  3. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    In check? Try "in the garbage disposal"!
  4. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed

    Tom Vellner writes in Boston Magazine about the experience of his cousin at the hands of the TSA.​
    From his column on August 17th:
    My own cousin shared a story with me about her trying experience at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last week. After a male TSA agent described the pat-down to her as “touching your breasts and vagina and putting her hands inside your shirt and pants,” she calmly objected and asked to speak to a manager. The TSA’s response? According to my cousin, they handcuffed her for being uncooperative and detained her in a room for nearly an hour. She missed her flight and was told that if she “made a scene at security” again, she would be banned from the airport.
    This story comports with the thousands of stories that have been reported in the past few years. And, of course, those are only the stories we find out about. Given that TSA agents “screen” 1.8 to 2 million passengers a day, we’ll never know the full extent of harassment and abuse they perpetrate.
  5. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    There's something fishy about this, i.e., the male screener describing to her the pat down process, the TSA handcuffing her and detaining her?

    We're read that how Austin is horrible but this seems to be a bit shady.
  6. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I spent last weekend in Austin.

    I came to the conclusion that it must be a city ordinance that anyone who exhibits any sort of antisocial behavior can only be employed by the TSA at the airport. Seriously. The only people I encountered who were "less than friendly" were the TSA thugs.

    Even the bums and panhandlers in Austin are friendly. There just weren't any asshats. But when you try to leave, you will find them "working" at the airport checkpoint.
  7. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I don't know. Ask Tom Vellner.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    As many times as TSA screeners are pushed to say what "resistance" means I too question the story by Tom. Don't know him or his writings but this sounds opposite of what TSA tells a person about a pat down. Perhpas police were involved since TSA employees have no detention authority.
  9. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    P.S. Also keep in mind that the male TSA agent was describing what a female TSA agent was going to do: ". . . her hands . . . ." He probably got off on it. Got off on describing to the passenger what was going to happen to her.

    Regardless, as Sommer Gentry can tell you, she's been groped more than once by male TSA agents. Other women have similar stories.

    Read the original entry at TSA News to see the discussion about handcuffing and detention.
  10. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I don't see anything different in the story at TSA News and what was posted here. Perhaps I am missing something.

    You all know that I am not a TSA apologiest but this story does not pass the sniff test.
  11. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    The comments. The comments at TSA News. I'm not going to reproduce them all here.
  12. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I don't see those comments as adding any credibility to the story.
  13. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

  14. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

  15. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Not really -- some people don't distinguish between one blue uniform and the next. It would have been a police officer who handcuffed her and threatened to banish her from the airport. With regard to a male screener participating in this, whether he was prepping her for a female screener or planning to abuse her himself, have we never seen screeners inventing their own procedures and violating TSA's procedures? That seems to be quite routine.

    The Boston Magazine article is good short opinion piece that hits some other points & deserves a quick read:

    barbell likes this.
  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    They detained Stacey Armato. And countless others in the Master List.

    What is this business about having or not having authority anyway?? John Pistole himself said they don't have authority to grope people's bare skin, but they do. That they don't have authority to go under women's skirts, but they do. That they don't have authority to destroy people's medical appliances, but they do. That they don't have authority to strip-search people, but they do.

    What is this sudden fastidiousness about whether or not they have authority to do this, that, or the other? Since when have they ever respected the limits of their authority?? My god, it's like I'm talking to the TSA here.
  17. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    I agree - these "people" in blue are either so stupid or so malicious that they still can't even be made to adhere to a simple "Recording is allowed" policy without either harassing the videographer or positioning their ugly-uniform-clad asses right in the way of the camera. It's not much of a stretch to see how they would have no problem pretending they had detention authority. Most pax don't know any better, and of those who do, a fair few can still probably be forced to back down by threats of police involvement.

    Even if they do run across a Paul Sanchez or John Tyner, they can be reasonably confident Reichskommissar Pistole has their back (as long as they don't damage PR too badly) and so why should they care?

    Times like this make me think the best possible thing that could happen is for Pistole to be held in contempt of Congress and thrown in jail for a while. Being forced to lose the suit for one of those nice orange jumpsuits would be a real wake-up call, methinks.
  18. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    You do realize, don't you, that the story at TSA News is a summary of a specific story highlighted in the Boston Magazine story discussed at the beginning of the thread? The point being that there was a Boston Magazine article. One anecdote in that essay was of the one of the aunt, which TSA News chose to highlight. There isn't anything "different". It's just pulling out what the TSA News author felt was the more compelling story. And that's what TSA News is, is it not, but a compendium of the ongoing, unrelenting, ever increasing TSA abuse? Why are we even discussing this?

    The comments at TSA News are similar to what we have here. It's probably not the TSA that detained and handcuffed her. But in the victim's mind it was, and that's exactly the point. TSA routinely uses local LEO as their heavies, and local LEO is all too happy to oblige. To the person in the midst of it, does this splitting of hairs really matter? I know the difference and understand their different roles. In my own incident it was quite clear that the 2 groups were working in unison to try, desperately I might add, and find some way, any way, to railroad me. Well, they were successful. If I can't drive or take the train, I don't go.
  19. RB

    RB Founding Member

    In an earlier post Lisa said to read the discussion at TSA News for what I understood was more info. There wasn't any additional info. I thought I Was missing something and so stated.

    I think TSA as now constructed is an American disgrace. I feel the same about TSA employees.

    The only path forward is to demolish and start over, imo.

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