TSA destroys passengers' luggage at Palm Springs airport

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 26, 2011.


    SATTSO Original Member

    Unless your background involves using x-rays to examine luggage filled with property - which it DOES NOT, I can easily tell based upon your post - then you have NO idea what your talking about. Sorry. I have worked with more than a few TSOs where were x-ray techs in a previous life, and going on what they said, its not even close. Argue all you wish, but its a pointless argument. When you have some experience with what I am talking about, lets talk. On the same note, I am not even remotely qualified to work any x-ray, interpret any image, outside of what I do...

    And jtodd is not correct: please read a few court decisions. Our system of courts have ruled that bag checks to resolve potentially suspicious items are valid based only upon what is observed on the x-ray. It does not matter if there ends up being no prohibited item, despite what you may think. And while that bag is being checked, the passenger remains at the checkpoint, also upheld by our courts. So the statement, ", an innocent person was detained without cause", is a flat out lie, or proof of ignorance, as our courts have stated there is cause to conduct such screening. If you don't like it, then get the laws changed. Until then, too bad.

    But I can not state often enough; please understand what your talking about. Oh, I am sure here on this site people will cheer you for your post. But that is meaningless, and stupid. Sorry.
  2. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Writes the person who has no idea what my x-ray image reading background is while telling me that I don't know how to read a luggage x-ray. Priceless!
    N965VJ and Lisa Simeone like this.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Welcome (back), SATTSO!

    You just spent an entire post jumping to your own conclusions.

    What you fail to realize is that you work for us, the American citizenry, and ultimately it is we who will decide if that continues.

    What we, the public sees, are:

    1. X-ray operator screwed up. I've seen real pros with the same equipment (e.g. the U.S. Marine guards at our embassy in Berlin) who tell you exactly small object they want you to extract for them; I did mention how pleasant, polite & helpful they were?
    2. Staff couldn't communicate with him and was too lazy to get a translator.
    3. Luggage destroyed.

    Hopefully it will end with 4) lawsuit. Meanwhile, don't forget who you really work for. It will who will decide your fate in the end.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Further inspection of the baggage is certainly valid. I doubt anyone here would dispute that. But please cite some court decisions that authorize you to destroy the luggage.
    Lisa Simeone and barbell like this.

    SATTSO Original Member

    If it ends with a lawsuit, it will most likely end how the few other similar laws suits ended - victories for DHS/TSA and the local EOD.

    SATTSO Original Member

    You seem more reasonable, and I will try to explain - but you have to look past your hatred and anger. TSA does NOT destroy any property. Period. Once our procedures take us to a certain point, we either clear an item/bag, or hand it over to the LEOs.

    For example, lets say a TSO identifies what they think is a firearm in someones carry-on luggage while on x-ray. They call their STSO, who confirms what they think they see. The STSO calls the LEO's who take control of the bag - and TSA is out of it, except to generate reports of what happened. The LEO's search the bag. And if a firearm is found, it is the LEO, NOT TSA who arrest the passenger. Again, TSA initiated the process by calling for the LEO about the firearm, but it is the LEO who arrest - or does NOT - arrest the passenger. I seem to remember a thread in FlyerTalk where a rich, simi-famous passenger was NOT arrested when caught with a firearm at the checkpoint. It is simply not TSA's call.

    Now, the same holds true for for potential IEDs and/or explosives. We go through our procedures, and if local EOD has to be called, it is then THEIR procedures that come into play.

    So let me ask you this....

    If a local EOD runs all of their test, interviews a person whos property they are examining, and based upon their experience and their best estimate, decides to destroy the property, do you think its done so lightly? And how do you think the courts will decide in that matter?

    You ask for specific court cases, and there are some, but I will not take the time to research them. They ARE few and far between, as this is not an ever day event. However, I remember one such instance where a female lawyer had her luggage blown up on the tarmac/runway of the airport (JFK, but I could be wrong about that), way back in either 2002 or 2003, and it turned out to be nothing harmful in her bag. She sued the DHS/TSA and the local authorities who actually destroyed her luggage, and she lost. And I know FlyerTalk has a few threads concerning peoples property destroyed as detailed in this thread - you can read those to see how it ended up.

    You ask for a specific case where a court has ruled that TSA can destroy someones property, and there is none, because TSA does NOT destroy luggage. So there CAN NOT be a court ruling regarding something that does not happen. Now, I have NOT taken the time to look to see how successful people are at suing local EODs (bomb squads) who wrongfully destroy their item/bag/property. Perhaps if you have time you can do some research on that?
  7. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    To me, there does not seem to be a legal or moral objection to this Palm Springs business. Things like this are going to happen. Doesn't mean TSA escapes criticism for lack of training, improper handling of the suspect item, etc.

    In short: Unwise, perhaps. Unlawful, no.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Based on the original link to the article I see no reference to ETD being used to clear the item. Perhaps you have information which is not in the public domain.

    If ETD was used to attempt to clear the item then that is additional information which clearly questions the accuracy and reliability of ETD testing.

    So not only did a fairly large number of people get it all wrong, TSA testing was unable to determine if the item was indeed a dangerous item.

    I for one gain little confidence in the process based on this outcome.
  9. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    The biggest problem with the TSA's ETD testing is that it's performed by complete idiots who don't even understand why people want them to change their gloves and use a fresh swab.

    The next biggest problem would seem to be the stupidly high numbers of false positives generated by the test, but I don't have any data as to whether that's because the test itself is flawed or that the idiots performing the test are flawed.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. RB

    RB Founding Member

    So you call it a victory for DHS/TSA that an innocent traveler had their harmless property destroyed based on actions first taken by TSA?
    Lisa Simeone and KrazyKat like this.
  11. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Of course they do - there are so few "victories" for the TSA that they need to grasp at straws to keep people believing that they're somehow "necessary" - or they'll all end up jobless, unable to find any work because the only things they're qualified to do are to lie to people and steal their belongings under the guise of confiscating accepting the voluntary surrender of those items.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It alarms on hand lotion -- what do you expect?
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  13. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    That would tend to support the idea that the people performing the test are complete idiots.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  14. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    If political support is an objective, then the geniuses in the TSA and press office might want to enlighten rather than ridicule the public and their reaction. (If they were able to communicate well...)
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  15. RB

    RB Founding Member

    And I also hear on some Contact Lens solutions.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  16. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    If that's Bullcrap Bob's real goal, he's doing as good a job at it as the idiot screeners at JFK.

    (And if Bullcrap Bob is really the best PR/spin person the TSA can find, it speaks volumes to the caliber of the rest of their staff.)
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  17. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    SATTSO's statements seem to represent his belief that all property is the "States" property, not the citizens, and as such it is theirs to do with what they wish. While not surprising, and actually a little disturbing, it provides insight to his other statements as well as probably his M.O. while working for the TSA.

    I have yet to see any of this either shown or proven to be false.

    1. Citizen detained.
    2. Citizens property seized.
    3. Citizen questioned, but not in a language he understood.
    4. Property destroyed
    5. No unlawful, illegal, or disallowed items were found after destroying the citizen's property.
    6. Multiple flights cancelled, many flights delayed.
    7. Every possible "test" used by the TSA failed in detecting WEI

    This does not inspire confidence. This is a failure in every aspect of the TSA's operation at a cp. These are facts, until proven otherwise SATTSO.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  18. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Can anyone name anything the TSA has done/is doing that does inspire confidence?
    Lisa Simeone and barbell like this.
  19. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Nice list. I'd only add putting innocent travelers at health risk by forcing them to wait outside in high heat for over two hours--presumably why they finally let them back inside the air conditioned terminal. Their travel itineraries and change costs? Who cares...
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  20. RB

    RB Founding Member

    TSA is an unmitigated disaster. Why should this event have ended otherwise?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.

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