Steampunk art is now terrorism, according to the TSA [OAK]

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    That humanity, professionalism, and leniency would be at the end of a short rope and tall tree/lamp post.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    "watch bomb suspect"? ROTFLMAO! How do these idiots see themselves in a mirror?

    Daily Breeze: Rancho Palos Verdes watch bomb suspect released on bail

    Bail has been posted for the Rancho Palos Verdes man who was arrested at Oakland International Airport with a watch that looked like a bomb, two employees of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department official said Sunday.

    Geoffrey McGann posted bail and was released about 2 a.m. Saturday, said a man who would not identify himself at the Alameda County Sheriff's Department's headquarters. A jailer at the department's Santa Rita Jail in Dublin confirmed that.


    McGann had been held on a $150,000 bail after being arrested for felony possession of materials to make an explosive device Thursday night at the Oakland terminal.

    $150,000 bail for wearing a piece of art that tells time?

    McGann allegedly took off his watch while going through a checkpoint at Terminal 2 about 7:45 p.m Thursday, put in the security bin and covered it with coat.

    Exactly what I often did with my own watch and other valuables before I quit flying because of these retarded bozos.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Do ya think I could fly with one of these:

    300' range for the wireless bed shaker, make it trigger your tewwowist device. The clock itself looks like, well, just a clock. In fact it is just a clock, with battery backup.

    Nobody who actually wants to set off a bomb is going to use a Steampunk wrist watch.
  4. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    But AC Sheriffs hauled him off to Santa Rita anyway, (in an abundance of caution).
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    For which the local populace are going to pay dearly in the end, assuming he retains an attorney or two.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  6. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    I'm sure steampunk attorneys are forming a line at his front door as we speak.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Signs of intelligent life are emerging in Alameda County ...

    KTVU: Alameda Co. DA declines to file charges against man with suspicious watch

    The Alameda County District Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against a Southern California artist and teacher who was arrested Thursday evening at Oakland International Airport for wearing a suspicious watch. A district attorney's office spokeswoman declined to comment Monday on why charges weren't filed against 49-year-old Geoffrey McGann of Rancho Palos Verdes.


    McGann's attorney Douglas Horngrad said Monday that McGann did not have any harmful materials, didn't intend to harm anyone and didn't pose a threat to anyone. Horngrad accused Transportation Security Administration and Alameda County sheriff's officials of "overreacting" and said the prosecutor's decision "illustrates the unreasonableness of law enforcement's actions here."


    [Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D.] Nelson said even if McGann truly is innocent and didn't intend to harm anyone, he still thinks that McGann showed "a lack of good judgment" and "was not being very smart" in traveling with the watch.

    Au contraire, if the dumb pigs (including Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson) had a few marbles upstairs, this event never would have happened.

    How much did McGann have to shell out to arrange his $150K bond? I hope he ends up collecting some serious damages from these morons.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Ace investigator Alameda County Sgt. J.D. Nelson looks dumb & dumber every time he opens his trap ...

    Business Insider: This Adman Was Arrested At An Airport For Having A Bomb-Like Watch

    Other fashion choices also got McGann in trouble:
    1) Nelson noted that McGann was wearing a military style shirt with a built-in tourniquet in the sleeves.
    2) He had shoes that were two sizes too big with a homemade empty cavity on the bottom. To the TSA, this looked similar to the way the shoe bomber stashed his explosives. McGann said he wore the shoes to look taller.
    McGann said he was in San Francisco for a business day-trip from Los Angeles. Thus, he hadn't checked a bag and only had a carry-on, sans clothing. That's also a suspicious marker for the TSA.

    TSA screeners have no clue if you've checked a bag, and no way to find out.
  9. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    I feel all warm and fuzzy that homeland security money is going toward checkpoint purchases of Brannock devices, so that passengers can get an accurate shoe sizing while they're removing their shoes and being frisked.

  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach


    Business Insider: Here's A Picture Of The Bomb-Like Watch That Got A Man Arrested At The Airport

    If you were wondering how something as simple as a watch could lead to an arrest — not to mention bail set at $150,000 — then take a gander at what the timepiece actually looked like, courtesy of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office


    His lawyer, Douglas Horngrad, sent BI an email stating that McGann "has created several dozen of them, and given them to friends, business associates, and nieces and nephews. ..."

    Although McGann was brought to jail for possession of materials to produce an explosive device and given a hefty bail, the prosecutors declined to file criminal charges. According to Horngrad, McGann is not happy. A statement from the lawyer reads that "the prosecutor's quick decision to not charge Mr. McGann illustrates the unreasonableness of law enforcement's actions here. As he is innocent of having committed any crime, we will be filing a motion to have Mr. McGann declared factually innocent. We will also seek to have Geoff's arrest removed from his record." Horngrad continued, "This incident should have involved only a routine airport security detention, and not an arrest."

    Then please do the rest of us a favor and follow up with a lawsuit. Others will only be protected from similar capricious actions when the responsible authorities get tired of cutting checks to subsidize this abusive stupidity.
  11. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    No they won't. Only when these morons are made to pay from their own wallet would there be any hope for change.

    Just another way in which the fear and homeland security industries are bleeding this nation dry.
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Apparently they didn't even have the courtesy to tell him that no charges were being filed. He found out when he showed up in court with an attorney for a preliminary hearing that didn't happen ...

    Marin Independent Journal: Oakland: Man suspected of wearing 'bomb' watch at airport released, no charges filed

    Defense attorney Douglas Horngrad said his client was set to appear in court Monday on the charge but that when the two showed up at Alameda County Superior Court a clerk told them the case had been dismissed.

    So this wrongfully arrested citizen gets to fund a $150K bail and pay an attorney's retainer ... when the case sucks so much that the county attorney just drops it without comment.

    Horngrad said the first time McGann traveled with the watch, he showed it to a TSA supervisor at Los Angeles International Airport and the supervisor told him it was OK to wear it on the plane ... He said McGann has made dozens of the kind of watch he was wearing when he was arrested and said they have "a popular design among people who have seen them." Horngrad said any kind of device that keeps time can be used in the making of a trigger for a bomb but that McGann's watch is handcrafted and "is more art piece than timepiece."
  13. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member


    He's got to sue the TSA and local Gestapo now. They've really messed him over with this latest asshattery.
  14. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I don't know who labeled that "steampunk," but it isn't.
    phoebepontiac likes this.
  15. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    This watch incident is why I sweep any luggage for any left-over spent shell casings (I reload) before traveling. No illegal intent and probably not illegal, but why tempt fate. This fellow tempted fate by his choice of accoutrements. So, he could reasonably be treated with suspicion, held for awhile and checked out. But arrested? On what charges? Most of us have stuff like this laying around in our shops. Fuses and toggles? s**t. Law enforcement was caught with their pants down on this one. besides, take a look at the number and size of the fuzes. exactly what kind of amperage are we dealing with for a portable bomb? like you'd need those or any fuse for a concealable battery powered source.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  16. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Boing Boing: Interview with guy arrested at airport for wearing an elaborate wristwatch

    McGann said that he harbors no hard feelings against the TSA, the agency that initially stopped him at the security checkpoint. Instead, McGann said he has a problem with the way the Alameda County Sheriff's Department made him look like a terrorist. "They treated it as if this incredible travesty was not a big deal to put me and my family through," McGann said. "To make it worse, they fed the press a story that they knew would paint a terrible picture of me so they could justify the false arrest," he said. My issue is never, and was never, with the TSA... They were doing their jobs," McGann continued. "My issue is with the Sheriffs Department and painting that picture... It is just irresponsible what they did."
  17. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    No hard feelings for the thugs who called in thugs with guns? My sympathy just evaporated.
  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It's close enough for government work.
  19. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I have to say, if I had been on Xray and seen this in a bag, I would have probably made a little bit of poo. Especially if there were something in the bag similar to what explosive materials look like (that would have been a major poo inducing incident).
  20. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    TSA Explains: Artist Was Arrested AFTER Watch Deemed Unharmful
    From Economic Policy

    TSA Blogger Bob explains the TSA/"law enforcement" logic (my highlights):
    An odd watch that was discovered at Oakland (OAK) a few days ago has been creating quite a bit of chatter on the web. As you can see from the picture, this is not your everyday watch. If I could show you what our employees saw, you would see that it looked even more nefarious to our officers viewing it on the X-ray monitor.

    From comments I’ve read on the web, some think we overreacted to a piece of steampunk art, while others understand why we would be concerned.

    Is this watch dangerous? Not at all. However, we didn’t know that until the explosive detection team arrived and cleared the item. You see, when something is considered to be a potential deadly threat, it is protocol not to open the bag.

    Terrorists take everyday items and attempt to manipulate them to make improvised explosive devices. Our officers are trained to look for anomalies such as this one.

    After clearing the watch, law enforcement officers (not TSA) made the decision to arrest the passenger. TSA officers do not have the power of arrest.

    Please take a moment to think about what you’re traveling with and how it might appear to TSA. I happen to think this watch is pretty cool, and I’m a fan of all kinds of art and homemade DIY gadgets, however, they’re not always the best things to travel with.

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