The Insider’s TSA Dictionary

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed

    This blogger has worked for the TSA for many years. So he has the inside scoop.​
    He’s decided to share his insider knowledge with the general public at his blog called Taking Sense Away.​
    You can have a ball perusing his many and varied posts — one is better than the next — for instance, “Confession #4: In Memory of Snow Globes Lost (and of All the Idiotic TSA Rules I Refused to Follow)” and an entire series called “Plots We Imagine the TSA Protected Us From.” But a particular favorite of mine is “The Insider’s TSA Dictionary.”​
    Here you’ll learn about lots of nifty shorthand TSA agents use to communicate with each other without us peons knowing what they’re saying. The list is long, and fascinating. I couldn’t help but notice that there are many different ways of signaling that an attractive woman is about to step up — fresh meat for the male screeners.
    But how could this be?! cry the wishful and gullible. The TSA is here to protect us! I’m sure it’s only a few bad apples who behave this way.
    Yeah. That’s why there are so many different terms for the same thing. Because only a few bad apples sat around thinking them up. And because they have so much respect for us.
    But that’s okay. Enjoy your fantasies, folks. The TSA is Keeping You Safe.
    A sampling:
    Alfalfa: TSA malespeak for an attractive female passenger.​
    Code Red: Officer malespeak. Denotes an attractive female passenger wearing red.​
    Engage!: Flirt with attractive passenger! Pretend to be doing something meaningful with a passenger while bickering with a passenger who has angered you!​
    Fanny Pack, Lane 2: Code for an attractive female passenger.​
    Hotel Bravo: Code for an attractive female passenger.​
    “I sure could go for a Twinkie, right now”: Code for an attractive female passenger.​
    Xray Xray Xray!: Code for an attractive female passenger, general.​
    Yellow Alert: Code for an attractive female passenger, yellow clothing.​
    ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA: The letters which may be involved in TSA malespeak code for an attractive female passenger​
    Of course, there are other categories as well:
    Government Accountability Office: The TSA’s worst nightmare.​
    “More radiation sitting on your flight than you get from these machines”: Mindlessly repeated information parroted by TSA agents when attempting to convince passengers who are wary of the radiation in backscatter scanners to opt back in. If you then ask the officer “where did you study radiology?” or, “I’m sorry, can you please convert the radiation dose emitted by this machine from Sieverts to Rems for me?“ they will almost never have any idea what you are talking about.​
    Opt out: A smart passenger.​
    Permanent Emergency (book): A soul-destroying book by former TSA chief Kip Hawley that ostensibly attempts to score some sort of future political points by portraying Hawley as the head of some kind of exciting and dangerous front line counter-terrorist group, instead of just airport security like it really is.​
    Pre Check: Pay-per-circumvent security.​
    Retaliatory wait time: What happens when a TSA officer doesn’t like your attitude. There are all sorts of ways a TSA officer can subtly make you wait longer to get through security, citing imaginary alarms, going “above the SOP” for “a more thorough screening,” pretending that something in your bag or on your full body image needs to be resolved— the punitive possibilities are endless, and there are many tricks in the screener’s bag.​
    TSO (Transportation Security Officer): An airport-mall-cop who is either 1. just there for the paycheck and the benefits or 2. Just there for the paycheck, the benefits, and the unearned level of authority conferred upon him, her, or it.​
    Two Striper: These are the people with two stripes on their shoulder boards. Oftentimes they will pretend that they are supervisors when you ask for a supervisor because TSA is chronically understaffed due to the strains of staffing hundreds of mostly-useless full body scanners and sending out teams of roving BDOs (see: Airport Wizards).​
    This guy is a gem. Go on over to his website and show him some love. You can also submit a proposed entry to the dictionary there.
    (Photo: greeblie/Flickr Creative Commons)
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Not convinced it's really written by a (former) "insider", and with only 7 posts in 3 months, it's not going to be a game-changer in any case.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    He got a writeup on InfoWars which was linked on Drudge.

    He has the potential to get some major exposure if he'll capitalize on it. His hit counter is impressive, if accurate.

    Unfortunately, the four posts that he's added int he last week don't exactly leave me breathless.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Some elements of the media really seem to be sucking this up, even though there's no confirmation that the writer of the still thinly-populated blog (latest content is about all the "letters" he's received rather than anything substantive). Nothing has been written in the blog that we don't already know. My gut instinct is that this is a spoof.

    What's clear is the media is ripe for anything that appears to be anti-TSA. And of course the Iranian propaganda outlet Press TV is running the story, which is a lot more plausible than their report on the Israeli conspiracy behind the Newtown massacre.

    UK Daily Mail: Revealed: How TSA agents 'laugh at travelers’ naked scanner images in backrooms while flirting with each other and smoking e-cigarettes'
    A former Transpiration Security Administration (TSA) agent-turned-anonymous blogger recently revealed that his co-workers routinely make fun of passengers' nude body images while reviewing them in backrooms.
    The unnamed ex-TSA officer, who writes for the blog Taking Sense Away, received a note from a reader which said: 'Tell us, please, what really happens in that private room and why the TSA does not want it seen in public or recorded.'
    In response, the blogger wrote that while he has not experienced or heard of anything outright illegal or illicit going on in the private screening rooms, officers manning the image operator (IO) rooms where passengers' nude X-ray images are reviewed often behave in a highly inappropriate manner.
  5. RB

    RB Founding Member

    TSA can use a little more press.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    But it helps if it's "news". This is all old stuff that any literate critic could write, e.g.

  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Any story, even a repeat, may reach a few new readers. Keeping the pressure on is job one as far as I am concerned.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    False prophets usually come back & bite you. The guy could be legit, but I've seen far more elababorate spoofs (one by a well-known member of FT/MP). An anonymous blogger saying nothing that we don't already know is nothing to get excited about.

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