What If The Worst Happened

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by FetePerfection, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    It's hard to publicize something that has never happened.

    There needs to be a Grand Jury investigation of TSA and Pistole to identify the source of the crime and corruption within the agency. At minimum Pistole needs to be fired and hopefully will be implicated in corruption and indicted.

    Unfortunately Peter King is the fox guarding the hen house and is almost certainly complicit in the organizational and contractor corruption. He jumped at the chance to "investigate" the latest stowaway failure so he can run cover for his source of campaign funds.


    I'd feel a lot better with Chaffetz, Paul or Mica heading this up.
    barbell likes this.
  2. RadioGirl

    RadioGirl Original Member

    Look how quickly they announced the death of OBL, despite the confusion for days after about "was he armed, who else was killed, who shot first" etc. Strategically, I think it would have made more sense to wait until the details were clear and the intelligence that was gathered had been analyzed. I watched the news that evening (in an airport lounge ;)) with an Australian colleague who simply couldn't believe that the US would announce it so quickly, or that they would announce it at all. But as natchnebel said: politics trumps security; the government needed a ratings boost.
    Lisa Simeone, Rugape and DeafBlonde like this.
  3. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Please, peon are useful - the clerks, not so much.
  4. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Maybe you missed my main point here: "The extent of the invasiveness of the search should be determined by the type of alarm and location of the alarm."
    It seems that anytime anything alarms, the search goes right to the "resistance" (aka CROTCH, GROIN, GENITALS, PUBIC AREA, ...well you get the idea). What steps can the TSOs take to ensure that the search is not so invasive as to violate our privacy or constitutional rights?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  5. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I agree that the release on OBL was a Charlie Foxtrot of epic proportions. They should have analyzed all of the info and taken out what they could, monitored what they couldn't, and marked others for review as they climbed the ladder. Then they could have put out a detailed statement as to what actually happened, and what further steps were taken on the actionable intel they gathered. Even better yet, just act on the intel gathered and make no statement at all, then let the extremist networks wonder whether it was a power play from inside or an external threat of some sort. Politics does cloud things almost to the point of being useless at this point.

    Perhaps with smaller level stuff they don't release much of it because they are moving to the next step in the chain, perhaps nothing has ever been found. I am not certain that TSA has never caught anyone with explosives, I am also not certain that they have - but I am on the fence as far as opinion. I tend to walk the fence on most issues until I have something concrete to go on - a failure/strong point (depending on your pov) that I have had for many years, I simply do not like to assume either way without something I can use as proof.
  6. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    The steps are per protocols (and you probably know I can't disclose those details due to SSI regs). There are several levels of resolutions, and some are less invasive than others, but the basic process is to simply resolve the alarm. If it is a non specific alarm, what do you suggest as a clearance? What steps do you suggest come after an alarm for explosive components by the ETD?
  7. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Ask the passenger if they use any common personal-care products that contain known ETD trigger compounds. If yes, either let them go or give a cursory patdown only on baggy areas of clothing if the TSO thinks something is being concealed. If not, give a 9/10/2001-style patdown in the presence of an LEO who can compel the TSO to stop if the TSO goes too far.

    If the patdown turns up something suspicious, then the passenger would be turned over to a sworn LEO who has the authority to conduct searches with probable cause and knows what is required of them when doing so. If the LEO patdown confirms that explosives are present, it then becomes a law-enforcement matter and TSA steps down, the TSO returning to screening other passengers. If the LEO patdown does not turn up explosives, then the LEO has a judgment call to make - TSO reasonably suspicious or not? If the TSO was reasonably suspicious, the LEO can say as much and it becomes "no worries, you were wrong but I can see how you thought X." If the LEO determines that the TSO was unreasonably suspicious and suspects that the patdown was retaliatory or frivolous, then the LEO can either report the TSO to the FSD or arrest the TSO on the spot for criminal harassment.

    LEOs assigned to secondary-screening duty would be those who meet a required minimum amount of experience and complete additional training in civil-rights matters.

    Also, there would be an Office of Civil Rights Protection that does undercover screenings of TSA procedure, kinda like the undercover TSOs who try to smuggle weapons through the checkpoint. These people would load themselves up with things that would trigger ETD and WTMDs, get the patdown, and be well-versed in Constitutional rights and be able to mandate discipline or summary termination without eligibility for reinstatement for TSOs who violate protocols (perhaps an enumerated checklist would be useful, a la DMV driving tests) designed to protect passengers' civil liberties.
    Lisa Simeone and Rugape like this.
  8. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    H*ll, it's easier to just yank their dongle.
  9. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Since this test is so frickin poor, it cannot be considered as generating even reasonable suspicion. In the absence of a better test, an old style pat would be the most that would be called for, not the genital and boob rubs. It would be better to just get rid of the damned thing if all it leads to is the dumping of grandma's Depends.
    Lisa Simeone and barbell like this.
  10. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Fighting the last war - feeling around in genitals because some kook 18 months ago had something in his. A day late and a dollar short.

    One does wonder, however, what the response of the TSA will be when someone packs something internally.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  11. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I tend to agree with CelticWhisper: turn it over to LE, with real officers who are trained to deal with potential threats.

    As for a "non-specific alarm", if you can't delineate it, let the person go. If WBI picks up something in one spot, pat down that spot only.

    Above all, stop hauling people off to private rooms and forcing them to remove their clothes.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  12. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I think you are confusing absolute certainty with moral certainty. All you need to convict is moral certainty and we have it here, or close enough to it. Granted, there's enough of a gap that allows you to maintain your position, but close enough for us to be secure in ours. Until TSA pungles up proof, it is reasonable for us to conclude that so far, nobody has been found with boom boom next to their ba, um, lower appendages.
    DeafBlonde, Lisa Simeone and Rugape like this.
  13. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    You make some excellent points, and I agree with much of what you put forth here. Sadly, I can't go into resolutions or procedures, but I will grant you that some of what you say could resolve some of the alarms. I will give you the definition of non-specific as when an ETD alarms, and you have screened more than one item or area on a person. This is all personal language I am using here.

    As for referring them to LEOs, that is done if there is no resolution to be had in some cases. I agree that if someone as a TSO can't resolve the suspicious area, and the STSO concurs, then an LEO should be involved to resolve the situation. Interesting point though, what kind of probable cause arguments will show up to that in court? Anyone here a lawyer willing to chime in? (I do not think there will be a serious challenge based on that, I am just curious as to whether there will be some knucklehead with a .45 hidden in their shorts trying to get their case thrown out on some technicality)
  14. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    I do not doubt you.

    However, the fact that FBI allowed TSA to embarrass itself in the Noibi stolen boarding pass incident supports my original post on the matter.
    Lisa Simeone and Rugape like this.
  15. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    The FBI will let just about anyone but themselves hang on a hook for a nickel. There have been numerous times when they could have helped out other agencies and not only made the other agency look good, but earn kudos on themselves for being a team player. You have a point, but the rank and file guys seem to have a different opinion. I think that time will tell, if there seems to be a consistent applied attempt by the FBI to make TSA look bad, then you may have a much better case to make.
  16. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I had to think about this for a bit before I responded. Moral certainty is a dangerous thing, it has created wars and oppression the world over. The problem with convicting on moral certainty is that it does not necessarily require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I can be morally certain that the guy down the road that plays loud music every saturday night is a complete knucklehead, until I am presented with the fact that he is having a gathering for teminally ill children and their families so they can have some fun before they pass away. Moral certainty is not the yardstick we define our legal system with, reasonable doubt is. I do not disagree with you that there may be no person with explosives on them caught to this point by TSA. However, knowing that power games are played at a much higher level than myself, I would also not be able to put it past them to have caught someone and used them to track down others.
  17. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    So for every ETD alarm, turn the individual over to LEO? I must have missed something, is that actually what you are suggesting? And just so you know, as a TSO, I have probably had more training on dealing with potential threats than most of the LEOs you run into. EOD techs, I will bow to, regular Joe LEO has less training (in general) than I do when it comes to suspicious packages and possible dangerous items, and even hazmat.
  18. RB

    RB Founding Member

    But can you investigate a possible violation of law? I think that is the point.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  19. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Right. The point is not to ensure that the threat is handled by someone trained in handling threats. The point is to safeguard the Constitutional rights of the people. Threat mitigation is secondary and should be pursued only once it is ascertained that the rights of the traveler are not being infringed.

    That is not the way TSA is presently operating, but it is how the situation should be handled.

    The goal, then, and the million-dollar question, is to figure out how best to convey that to the people in Congress who have the authority to issue an ultimatum to Pistole and say "You WILL stop violating Constitutional rights, you WILL start putting civil liberties before fighting terrorism and stopping another 9/11, or you WILL find yourselves without money and perhaps facing criminal harassment/sexual-assault charges."
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  20. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I understand you not being able to take a position here, you bein' a compn'y man and all. Fair enough.

    But even if you caught one or two, would that justify the many thousands if not tens of thousands that alarm? And who have been molested as a result, even though entirely innocent? Such a test, with these huge ratios of innocents and bad results, could not possibly be used to establish reasonable suspicion. You might as well throw the pax into a pool and see if they float.

    Btw, the phrase "moral certainty" is just another way of saying "beyond a reasonable doubt" and is sometimes used to explain the concept of "beyond a reasonable doubt". I have no idea what you're talking about with regard to it causing wars. Maybe it did cause the LA Riots when the beaters of Rodney King were aquitted in '92.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.

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