Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by KrazyKat, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    My TSA Assault
    In March 2011, early in the morning, I approached the Sea-Tac checkpoint, presented my passport, and went to the screening area nearest. I don’t think they had imaging machines yet, just a row of metal detectors. I slipped off my boots, put my carry-on things on the conveyor and waited my turn. The agent looked me up and down and motioned me through the metal detector. I did not set off the alarm but the instant I passed though, the TSO male called, "Female Assist."

    I was told to leave my things alone, go put one leg in front of the other. And I got an enhanced "pat-up" checkpoint procedure without any explanation as to why. My police report states how the agent ran their hand on the inside of my leg, then lifted their straight hand up into my vulva, up between the lips of my labia, told me to “scissor my legs” the other way, and repeated this with my legs separated in the opposite direction.

    My PTSD
    I was sexually assaulted at knifepoint by a stranger who broke into my home when I was seventeen years old. Memories of that event have returned to me because of the TSA's practices, and what I believe to be an assault of opportunity that March morning. These elements are factors in my own PTSD, triggered by the TSA: a coercive setting, non-consensual sexual contact by a stranger, and actual penetration of my body by the hand--all present when I was attacked as a girl. In March the perpetrator was an on-duty agent of the Federal government.

    I reported what I believed could constitute a sexual assault to the TSA online after reaching my destination. I received an auto-generated email in reply with no point-of-contact for follow-up. In the weeks following, I tried to figure out what and who even regulates and polices such an incident at a checkpoint. Eventually I was back in the area, at a time I could file a police report, and did, with the Port of Seattle Police.

    Presently the investigation is being thwarted by the TSA, by not providing information on the personnel working at the checkpoint that morning to investigators. I was told video is not kept over 30 days, (as though analog). I suggested photo IDs of TSOs on duty fitting the description could be used, so I can make a positive identification, but these have not been provided by the TSA to the police.

    I am seeking help for both legal and counseling referrals. I welcome contact from others with similar stories. The ACLU did not respond initially. I have approached officials asking them to please have the TSA stop thwarting the criminal investigation.

    TSA is oblivious to the danger their methods pose to the survivors of rape and sexual molestation by re-igniting the victim’s psychological trauma, stored in the body's memory. The un-American and endangering practices of the TSA must end. I hope the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform can help overhaul the methods used by the TSA, which themselves fit the definition of domestic terrorism. No one should have to re-live a rape because they fly in America.
  2. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    I'm sorry that you had to endure this senseless assault. I have assembled a list of some of the options available which I believe Mike will making a sticky that can be expanded by other members as resources become available.. While this incident cannot be undone, you vocal effort in making this known may help to prevent a future assault.If you got the screeners name, be sure to include it, along with time date and location, including checkpoint. I hope this is helpful.

    TSA Complaints Who To Contact
    The Airline you traveled on, in writing and by phone
    Your Congressman, by phone, email and letter. Do all three
    Both of your US senators, by phone, email and letter.
    Oversight Committee website at
    Federal Security Director Hotline - 877 266 2837
    DHS Office of Inspector General/MAIL STOP 2600
    Attention: Office of Investigations - Hotline
    245 Murray Drive, SW, Building 410
    Washington, DC 20528
    Fax 202-254-4292.

    Department of Justice / Civil Rights Division (if a racial component is involved)
    Civil Rights Division (202) 514-4609
    Association for Airline Passenger Right
    The Rutherford Institute
    TSA Hotline (866) 289-9673
    This is probably as useless as complaining to Al Qaeda about terrorism but is a negative metric in TSA records.
    Your local newspapers & TV stations.
    National publications sympathetic to TSA complaints: The Washington Post /The Huffington Post/ NY Times/NY Post/USA Today /The Drudge Report (submit in News Tips at lower right of page, Include an email address so they can contact you)
    Share your experience at Flyers Rights
    Post details, either video evidence or a video relating the incident on You Tube
    An alternative or supplemental medium to You Tube is Live Leak

    TSA Opposition Attorneys

    John F. Banzhaf III,
    Professor of Public Interest Law, FAMRI
    George Washington Univ. Law School,
    2000 H Street, N.W., Stockton Hall 402
    Washington, DC 20052
    (202) 994-7229 Fax: (202) 994-1684

    Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
    52 Stonegate Court
    Front Royal, VA 22630
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  3. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Thank you.

    It helps to have a community with suggestions such as these.
    When I do file, you can be sure it will be noisy.

    The line:
    This is probably as useless as complaining to Al Qaeda about the TSA Hotline made me LOL!
    Unfortunately, I've found the ACLU equally (un)helpful. I found it funny where someone online wondered aloud if they were gathering these stories to use for porn, or what?
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  4. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    In this case publicity makes them nervous. Adverse publicity gets them off of dead center. The more adverse and longer lasting the publicity is the more they want it to go away.
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  5. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    KrazyKat, your story is appalling. Thank you for your courage in coming forward to share it.

    I, too, complained to TSA in a snail mail letter to His Grace John Pistole himself detailing how exactly his current procedures were no different from my childhood molestation. Like you, the response I received was grossly inappropriate, and made it quite clear that TSA is clueless in these matters. Follow up letters were ignored. I imagine we know why the reported level of complaints is so low: they simply throw them away and ignore them.
  6. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    I frankly think there should be a class-action on behalf of those of us who have had our traumas re-lived on account of this nonsense.

    As Townhall magazine recently described, such survivors "struggle with the decision to either be seen naked or be felt up—neither of which are savory options for someone who has suffered from sexual trauma."
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  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It's going to be integrated a bit more deeply into TUG than a sticky. The current work in progress is here:

    Thanks for the suggestions! The list should look somewhat familiar to you. :D I haven't decided how to organize everything on the page yet, but this link will always take you to the Complaints Dept.:

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  8. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Nice work Mike!
    I marvel at how far TUG has come in such a short time.
    Instead of being simply a gripe forum, like so many others, the addition of information and resources to actually help travelers and promote change is great complement to member input.
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  9. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    The Tenth Amendment Center comes to mind as another contact.

    They are involved in multiple issues, including TSA, all relating maintaining our rights.
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  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Will check it out. I've decided that the major criteria will be activity in the last few months. New sites will get a chance; sites with no updates in 2011 will be omitted.
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  11. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Thank you (all) so much!>3No brick needed.
  12. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The Identity Project is already there under "Civil Rights Organizations".
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  14. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Do you suppose the ACLU has been co-opted? Using this cause as a fundraiser, but not really having much heart in stopping the TSA's violations? I wonder...
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  15. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    I don't study the ACLU, but to go through this and turn to them for help-- only to get solicited for membership, T-shirts, is not good. I haven't gotten a call returned--nada--zilch.

    Postscript 7/6/11-- My recent complaint to the local ACLU office replied was to. It was generic and included links to TSA to lodge a complaint, write your senator etc. (Mike/TUG has done a great job compiling a far more robust resources section).

    Indeed, if I had gotten that as an auto-reply back in March when I first contacted them, it might have made sense. I can't help but think the lack of urgency may be political, stemming from assuming most grope-complainants are rabid tea-party supporters-- just guessing.
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  16. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

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  17. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    I am so very sorry you had to go through this experience. There is a very famous defense attorney in Seattle. His name is John Henry Browne and he and I had a conversation last December regarding the atrocities of the TSA and perhaps he could help you or give you the name of another attorney who could. He told me that eventually a case of abuse by the TSA is going to reach the Supreme Court and we also had an informal agreement that if I were ever arrested at the airport for non compliance he would represent me. The link to his website is: What you experienced is the reason why I refuse to fly until the TSA is abolished and we get REAL security in our airports. In the meantime I continue to fight the good fight with my letter writing campaign.
  18. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Welcome Underground, Monica47!
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  19. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Thank you very much, Monica47. And welcome!
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  20. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    I received this in reply to a plea for help. It directs the TSA "to determine if there needs to be a response" (emphasis mine) to the request for information by the Port Police. To me, that "if" infers they are asserting that TSA/TSO may be beyond the reach of a criminal investigation OR that penetration is within the bounds of the unseen SOP.

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