Video Toddler in a Wheelchair Scared **itless

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by FetePerfection, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It's still news, although the context of the discussion might shift a bit.

    It's been picked up by dozens of newspapers and at least two national networks -- Fox & MSNBC, the latter now having covered it twice.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  2. Yeah, it just means the video possibly needs to be reframed in our discussion. The fact that the TSA thought this sort of thing was just fine until they ran into public outrage is telling about the agency and its priorities.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

  4. Also, I must add, we should all make a mental note to double check dates and details on these things. :)
  5. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    It doesn't matter when or where this happened. The sad fact is: IT HAPPENED!!! There is no denying it. The ones who are defending it regardless of when or where it happened need a swift kick in the pants to wake them up (if that is at all possible). Let's sic 'em!!! :cool:
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  6. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    Wow, the comments at the Huffington Post piece make me sick.

    Do this many Americans truly believe that because at some point in the history of the world, a kid was used as a mule for explosives, that this is justified?! And the number of commenters who justify it because the kid could be smuggling drugs is astounding.

    And don't get me started on comments such as, "While this search was going on, five guys in turbans walked right by."

    The country has lost its collective mind (no doubt in large part to the terror cries of our DHS leadership), and because of this, I have little faith that the TSA is going anywhere, or is going to be scaled down.

    You can write your reps all you want, and you can speak out to your friends all you want. But this country has become sick.

    Sick and rotten to its core.
  7. The irony is that, while people justify these sorts of searches because a small percentage of kids may be used as mules, they are subjecting a larger percentage of children to being fondled by people who have a much higher likelihood of being criminals, even drug dealers or pedophiles.

    And at this point, I'm not even going to bother objecting to the kid's cast getting swabbed or his wheelchair thoroughly checked out. Those things should placate the people who think a kid like this is a viable explosives mule. Swabbing under his shirt, touching him all over, not letting his father comfort him -- all pointless and damaging here if the search is for WEI in his cast.

    I'd also like to know what would have happened had the kid alarmed for something with glycerin in it, say, I don't know, diaper cream, shampoo, baby wipes, lotion. All of those things in my house have glycerin in them. Or what would have happened had he been in an airport that has a cast-o-scope.
    Lisa Simeone and Monica47 like this.
  8. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    Saul, I cannot speak for this father, only for myself. I'm just a grumpy old woman who used to live in a free country. Who remembers when taking a flight was something to look forward to. When passengers were treated with respect and cheerfulness and not treated like cattle. When airlines provided service in hopes you would choose their airline in the future. When nobody raised their voices in frustration when giving direction and you could get on a plane with your dignity intact. When you didn't have to get to the airport 3 hours in advance of your flight, worry whether you had too many liquids, required to remove your shoes, coats, jewelry or that somebody would steal your purse or other personal possessions. When you weren't lined up with hundreds of other passengers waiting for some ninkompoop to decide whether you will be one of the "chosen" to be radiated or groped and then have the power for whatever reason they had to keep you off that plane. That the fact that your husband dedicated 20 years of his life in the military to defend the Constitution means nothing at an airport. I know, I know, it's a different world now. I am not advocating the father put up a "fight" but he did have other options. Me? I would have removed my child especially after I was told I could not comfort him and if I missed that flight that would be the least of my worries. I realize that the situation might be more important than a simple vacation - maybe seeing a medical specialist etc. - but if this was a vacation I would think it was more important to teach my child that I would protect him by whatever means I could from a stranger touching him than any vacation. Missing a fun trip would probably be devastating to a little child, but not having their parent protect them would be even worse. But that's just my opinion.
  9. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Monica47, I wish I could "like" this post *1,000,000!!! Well said...even for a "grumpy old woman!"^
    Lisa Simeone and FetePerfection like this.
  10. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    Monica, I agree completely how it is disgusting how our government has turned travel from a chance of self-discovery and wonderment into a "date with terror".

    I just feel it is necessary to resist the temptation to blame the father for not doing more to remove his kid from the TSA's grasp. It is much easier to say what you would have done in that situation than to actually think on your feet and do it at the moment. I don't buy the argument that the father should have been mentally steeled for a confrontation. Until you yourself have been abused at the checkpoint, all the stories you hear on the news are problems that happen to other people. Again, most passengers don't have the mentality of the commenters on this forum; most passengers are not expecting a problem.

    Do you know the family's financial situation? Voluntarily excusing the family from screening and forfeiting the vacation could have had some very real financial consequences for the family. It's nice to be able to claim that standing up for one's freedom and teaching the kid a valuable lesson trump any real-life consequences of those actions. But the world doesn't always work that way.
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Blogdad Bob has spoken, video is old but TSA will still feel up little kiddies if we want to says TSA spokesman.
  12. Saul, I agree, and I don't blame the parents for struggling to know how to handle the situation in the moment. But I think it's important that we keep asking the question -- is it really okay with you to let poorly vetted strangers who could very well be criminals feel up your kid like this? We as parents all need to be well aware of what might happen if we take our kids to the airport, and we should all draw lines for ourselves over what we will not allow to happen. That is, unfortunately, the nature of air travel these days. I've only flown once since they started scope-n-grope, and my husband and parents (support system on both ends) were on notice that I would not allow anyone to touch either of my kids, separate me from the kids, or force us to a private location for screening. The trip was made with the understanding that we might need to find another way home (to Alaska!) if some screener got frisky to violate my rules. I think, by pressing parents on this, we wake them up to the reality of what could happen, so that they will be better prepared in the moment if it happens to them. I know I'm glad to have studied up on the TSA before making our trip -- my five year old randomly dinged the metal detector and the creepy screener told him to "stand over there," not a word to me about why my kid was being singled out. I knew exactly what was going on and started loudly demanding to know what was the hold-up with my son. As soon as it was clear that I wasn't going to quietly submit to whatever they had in mind, their demeanor changed, my son was back with me, and they swabbed his bag for their quota on random searches. Some other stupid stuff happened after that with my own bag getting pilfered and taken out of my sight and my husband getting groped for no apparent reason, but I never for a moment felt like the situation with my son was out of my control.
    nachtnebel, Lisa Simeone and Monica47 like this.
  13. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    Phoebe, I agree, that is the attitude that all parents must have going in to screening. I don't have kids, but I still prepare myself for screening. For instance, with an upcoming trip out of BOS, I already know that if the SPOT "interrogate a terrorist" game is on, I will refuse to answer questions about the nature of my travel. And since I know that will result in a retaliatory secondary screening, I know to allow extra time.

    Unfortunately, despite perhaps having heard about various TSA abuses on the news, until someone experiences it firsthand with their family, many people do not anticipate having any problems with members of their family.

    And when you have not prepared, as is likely the case with this father, the result is that you do what you need to do to keep the kid calm, even if that is not necessarily the best approach in the long term.
  14. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Millions of people aren't prepared because they don't want to be. This is a sad and bitter truth. And no amount of sympathy and reasoning and presentation of facts and information or even pleading is going to change that. This position is not only benighted, it is ethically indefensible.

    It's one thing if you want to endanger yourself; that's your business. It's another if you want to endanger someone else, especially a child.

    My sister-in-law -- and her mother, and her brother, my husband -- choose to be deluded. They choose to pretend that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They choose to believe that my sister-in-law's two young children could never be harmed by the TSA. They know damn well what's going on. Yet they ignore it. They deliberately ignore it. (And for the icing on the cake, ridicule those of us who do take it seriously.)

    I have neighbors and friends who do the same thing. They have children. They know what's going on. They choose to pretend it won't touch them.

    And even if it never does touch them, it is, frankly, disgusting that people don't care what's happening around them as long as it doesn't affect them. That's called sociopathy.

    I have sympathy for children who are being forced into this position by their heedless parents. It's not the children's fault. Their parents have a responsibility to take care of them.

    Phoebe said something above that's critical:
    She stood up for her son. She didn't just acquiesce to whatever the thugs commanded. That's why they didn't get away with frightening or abusing him.
  15. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    WGN appears to have interviewed the father ...

    NBC Chicago: Video of TSA Screening Toddler Goes Viral

    Puppy post from the TSA lovers at KY3: TSA pat-down of toddler in wheelchair not all it seems

    And as usual one of TSA soulless mouthpieces has step up to defend the indefensible agency ...

    Government Security News: TSA defends screening of wheelchair-bound child in two-year-old video

    The toddler video now has just under 1M views. :)
  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Of course they defend it. That's all they know how to do: defend the indefensible.

    And, again, the rules haven't appreciably changed; your child can still be molested if the TSA so chooses.
  17. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Tried to leave a comment at that execrable KY3 article. Their system is screwed up. It won't let me sign in.
  18. An interesting tidbit from the NBC Chicago story:

  19. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.
  20. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    FetePerfection likes this.

Share This Page