Selected for Extra Screening Upon Departing Austria for U.S.

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Elizabeth Conley, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    My husband, 13 YO son and I were targeted by the DHS for extra screening administered by Austrian authorities upon departing from Vienna to Dulles after a 1 wk stay.

    The screening was benign and the authorities were courteous. It was extremely mortifying for the mostly young, very decent young Austrians to have to strip a back brace and hearing aids off a 51 year old retired Marine officer, go through the purse of a 50 year old matron lady (Yes, I carry band-aides, hand cream, :oops: panty shields, :rolleyes: 3 different types of pain relief, :D a flashlight, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hankies,:cool: and sundry stuff, 'cause ya neva know, :trash: happens, which is why I never travel more than 20 miles without a package of moist towelettes.), and swab a sweet-tempered 13 year old boy for explosive residue.

    The poor Austrians were heartsick near the end. We endured it all with patience and good cheer. We knew it wasn't the poor kids' fault. The blame rests with our kooky DHS, which strives daily to make U.S. citizens less secure, less happy and less free, while simultaneously making a laughingstock of our once respectable government.

    Was it because my husband and I are veterans? Was it because we home school? Was it because I opted out of the Rape-scam radiation machine on our way out of Dulles a week prior? There's really no knowing. All that is certain is that exploiting the Austrian security personnel to abuse unusually mild-mannered, law-abiding U.S. citizens by proxy does not improve transportation safety one iota. This act of profound fascism and stupidity airs our nation's dirty linen to the entire world, and I am deeply ashamed of our U.S. Government for disgracing itself in this fashion.

    I want to make it clear to all present that I have no issues with the behavior of the rank and file screeners in both the U.S. and Austria who were charged with employing unreasonably invasive screening practices against us. Each and every single one of them was unfailingly kind, and clearly uncomfortable with the tasks they were expected to perform. There are no winners in this travesty except for a tiny minority of sadistic, sociopathic screeners and greedy, psychopathic businessmen raking in profits from the sale of faux ''security equipment." The vast majority of people caught up in the DHS's morass are just trying to make a living in a brutal economy.
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I do have issues with people who just carry out orders without any conscious thought. I can't fault foreign security types since I have no say in how they do things but here in the U.S. I can say that TSA screeners are part of the problem and bear the burden for their actions.
  3. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    A certain percentage of screeners fall somewhere on the anti-social personality disorder scale. Of the roughly 6 I interacted with personally on this last trip, one showed signs of these problems. Luckily, I'm no fun to bully and there were a lot of normals among her peers and supervisors, all of whom were readily available.

    If we're going to blame the screeners just for carrying out their orders, then we should also blame the vast majority of the flying public for blindly complying. The compliant screeners and passengers are two halves of one whole. If a significant percentage of either or both groups grew a spine then the TSA would become a reasonable, effective agency overnight.
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Every TSA screener is ready to follow orders and feel you or anyone else up including children so I suggest the percentage of screeners with anti-social personality disorders is near 100%.

    I agree that people who fly and submit to TSA are equally to blame which is one reason I have not flown for some time.
    nachtnebel likes this.
  5. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    sorry to hear about your experience, Elizabeth. It must have felt totally invaded and dirtied to have some wanker pull out your handbag contents to inspect them. For your own good, is that the lie they give you?
  6. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Nothing so melodramatic. I'm not ashamed of anything in my handbag, and the young people who had to dig through my purse were far more unhappy than I was.

    This was all driven by the DHS/TSA. It didn't take the Austrians long to figure out we weren't terrorist material. They were mortified.

    We have a big problem in the U.S. The DHS, which arguably shouldn't even exist, is run by crazy people. It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. We're all going to have to learn to remain calm. If we match the DHS hysteric for hysteric, we're playing into their hands.

    The right course of action is a letter to all my representatives, calmly and methodically pointing out why the shakedown in Vienna was so bad for the U.S. It is bad for the U.S. for all the usual reasons, plus one more:

    The U.S. DHS/TSA is playing the part of the "little boy who cried wolf." The Austrians are having a first hand look at the people our government fear mongers over. By coercing other governments to play their sick games, the DHS/TSA is giving the entire world the means to observe and measure their insanity. Like all crazies, the DHS/TSA doesn't know they're loons. You can bet that the Austrians know the DHS/TSA is crazy, and the realization has undoubtedly spred all over Europe and every other place forced to "cooperate" with U.S. authorities. The DHS/TSA picks their quarrels with the nicest, smartest people they can find. This isn't productive from a security point of view. When the DHS/TSA eventually gets around to fingering a real terrorist, the Austrians will roll their eyes and smirk.

    Frankly, that's my biggest concern. Time and time again we see that this administration has fear mongering against everyone and anyone who is educated enough to know their activities are unconstitutional. Such people are hardly likely to become terrorists. This nation does have real enemies, and I fear that the DHS/TSA is ill prepared to counter plots engineered by our real enemies. They're too busy frightening themselves silly with goofy conspiracy theories about sinister Constitutional government supporters.
    phoebepontiac and DeafBlonde like this.
  7. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Good point. The world is waking up to the fact that the US government is crazy, sick, and in stuff like this, outright evil. As the US government's influence and power wanes, perhaps these countries will become much less willing to do what the US government wants.

    I'd say completely unprepared. Just about any foreign intelligence outfit could bring down any aircraft they wanted, at any time, or put a dirty bomb where ever they want. I guarantee you they won't use an octogenarian coming home from a doctor's office who has to go past radiation detectors.

    That's one way to look at it. Another plausible way of understanding this is that there is a propaganda purpose to this, to emarginate those people to prevent them from influencing others or perhaps even to sequester them, ultimately.
  8. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Yep. I think the government doesn't much care which party holds the presidency, as long as it's Democratic or Republican. When it comes to liberty, both major parties are identical. The two parties want to marginalize the other parties, because if one of them ever gains real power the Federal Government will be scaled back.
  9. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    My husband thinks we were singled out to punish me for expressing my political opinions on the internet.

    He's probably right. He usually is.

    I wonder how long it will take the azzclowns at the DHS to figure out what the natural consequences are for abusing people for exercising their 1st amendment rights.

    Gosh Almighty, what a bunch of maroons.
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I doubt it. If they start doing that, it will be check & checkmate for the ACLU & EPIC. They're not that stupid.

    Overseas security still lags behind American practices even though they claim to follow them. I've been SSSS'd on the return from overseas mileage runs (e.g. MSP-SYD) even though I wasn't SSSS'd on the outbound. That little present was from from UA despite being *Gold, although strangely I wasn't SSSS'd on an MSP-MEL run a couple weeks earlier (quicker return, purchased at the same time).

    We no longer do random SSSS here, although it still happens at some overseas checkins.

    Fly non-American airlines. Besides lacking the security stupidity, the service is usually better, often much better.

    My last overseas return (Dec 2010) was on LH. Can you imagine {DL,UA, AA} flight attendants giving up their designated rest seats to accommodate a passenger with a broken seat? Not a problem on LH. :) My wife & were seated separately due to last minute IROPS; they put the guy with the broken seat in one of ours & we ended up in the crew rest seating. LH has really rocked on our last couple trips. Other example was connecting from IST to WAW on dirt cheap tickets after a late departure from IST -- got diverted into a minivan at MUC, hand-walked through passport control and delivered to the WAW flight on the tarmac.
  11. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Good stuff Mike, thanks. The flight itself was excellent. As you say, non-American airlines are almost always superior to U.S. run airlines where service and courtesy is concerned.

    We went over on United. That flight stunk. We came back Austrian Air. That was far more pleasant.
  12. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Neither have wanted to take my case, though I'll bet DHS learned their lesson on that one and the reason I'm still NFL is inertia.

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