The truth about TSAs lines — and lies

PR disasters are nothing new to America’s least-loved federal agency. But after a particularly bad week, it’s worth paying attention to how the agency reacts when things go horribly wrong.

What it says isn’t just a clue to how the agency feels about itself and air travelers — it can also offer insights into the future of these federal screeners.

Let’s begin in New York, a place some passengers might argue has a reputation to uphold, when it comes to TSA incompetence. I won’t disagree.

On Friday, eight New York-based federal air marshals, including a supervisor, were reportedly terminated by the TSA for allegedly drinking at a restaurant while on duty. Another six were canned because they knew about the incident, but didn’t report it. The whole dustup follows the firings of eight TSA screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport who were accused of sleeping on the job.

Here’s the official TSA response:

TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. TSA’s decision to remove the individuals involved in the misconduct affirms our strong commitment to the highest standards of conduct and accountability.

There’s just one thing. That comeback is so recycled, there ought to be a law against it. Most recently, a version of it was used by a TSA official in a congressional hearing.

The earliest use of this prepared statement — the “highest professional and ethical standards” and “zero tolerance” and “accountability” — dates back to 2006, when another TSA honcho used it in (you guessed it) congressional testimony.

And so? Look, the fact that TSA has been feeding us more or less the same line for at least six years can only be interpreted in one way: The agency is giving us a canned answer and has absolutely no intention of changing the way it operates.

None, whatsoever.

But if there are any other interpretations, I’m open to them.

Next up: The remarkable story of the TSA screener and the spilled ashes. John Gross, flying from Orlando to Indiana with his grandfather’s ashes, said a TSA agent violated his dead relative’s dignity when she spilled his remains during a bag check and then, remarkably, laughed the whole thing off. The ashes were clearly labeled as “human remains.”

TSA, what say you?

TSA recognizes the importance of screening human remains with utmost respect and dignity while remaining vigilant of our security mission to protect the traveling public. It is a TSA policy that under no circumstance should a container holding remains be opened.

We have been unable to reach the family to learn more about their perspective on the incident, however, our initial review concluded that the circumstances as described in some reports are inconsistent with what we believe transpired.

That’s a reiteration of TSA’s policy on human remains, which was also restated on its blog on Friday. It’s also nonsense. When the TSA needs to reach you, it will reach you. Believe me, I speak from personal experience.

But pay attention to the last part of that statement. Whenever the agency says it has “reviewed the circumstances” — as it did in this 2008 blog post about a passenger with body piercings — the very next thing out of its mouth is that it’s right and whoever is making the accusation against it is either misinformed, or lying.

Remember the 95-year-old passenger who alleged that TSA agent forced her to remove her adult diaper last year? Here’s the TSA response:

We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper.

Like Pavlovian dogs, we’re conditioned to expect spin, obfuscation and probably lies, after the TSA says it has “reviewed the circumstances.” The fact that TSA continues to use that tired line speaks volumes about its opinion of us, the traveling public.

Does it think we’re idiots?

And finally, here’s the unbelievable story of Abdul Majed, the TSA screener at JFK’s Terminal 7 who didn’t realize the metal detector was unplugged, according to reports. Planes had to be turned around, passenger rescreened. It was chaos.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The reaction?

The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence. How can you expect the public to feel confident of the mission of the TSA if they don’t even know if the lights are turned on?

Oh, wait. That was an anonymous law enforcement official, not an official TSA statement.

I can’t find any official statement on this incident from the normally talkative agency. Maybe that’s because in this case, there’s nothing it can say that will make it look any better.

Actually, the TSA has a long history of clamming up when it suits the agency, either by not talking about something or declaring that it’s “SSI” — Sensitive Security Information. But airline passengers know better. After more than a decade of deceptive rhetoric, followed by brief periods of self-serving silence, public discontent with the TSA is about to boil over.

As a best case scenario, the agency assigned to protect America’s transportation systems could try a few new lines on us. It might be nice, just for the sake of variety. Is it asking too much to be offended in new ways instead of the same old, predictable ways?

Then again, it’s possible that the TSA’s image problems will turn an election-year issue. But don’t get too excited. When it comes presidential candidates and TSA policy, it looks like we may have to choose between dumb and dumber.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Terri Lundberg

    Of course they do.  And, guess what?  They may not be far off.  You see it every time you’re in the airport as the sheeple line up to go through the xray machines, only to be later pat down any way.  I’ve seen this numerous times as I was getting the pat down, as I refuse to go through the machine.  They’ve stupidly thrown their rights out the window without any protest.

  • Oussama

    No imagination, these lines have worked fine for six years, why change a good thing.

  • Grueny

    Does the TSA think we are stupid?

    Let’s look at part of that …. “Does the TSA think” … well obvious answer.

    Okay, now seriously?  Does the TSA think we’re stupid.  No.  Why?  Because they don’t care.  They are goign to do what they do, because they continue to get away with it.  Peons, celebrities, politicians have all complained about the treatment by screeners. And still no changes.

    And the screeners don’t care either.  Why?  They’re not paid enough to care. reports starting screeners salary range of $10.14 – $15.70.  So that averages to $12.92.  That’s an ANNUAL SALARY of $26.873.60.  When pay is that low, you don’t get people who care.

    When pay is that low you don’t get quality … and whe you turn out the quality the TSA has turned out, you don’t get more money.

  • commentfromme

    and poor William Shatner had to show his underwear too this week. They have too much power. Power corrupts.

  • Daizymae

    I didn’t even vote because the TSA in their supreme arrogance doesn’t care if we are stupid or smart. They could care less if we believe them or not. It’s quite immaterial to them.

    We are cattle and chattel to them to be used at will. We are the new slave class…doesn’t matter what we think. It only matters that we obey…instantly.

  • Rosered7033

    And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • jsteele98

    Of course they don’t think we’re stupid — the know we are.

  • jsteele98

    I’m convinced there is NO ONE in Washington that gives a rat’s a** what we think, not bureaucrats not our part-time amateur president, not our supposedly elected representatives, no one. We long ago ceased being free citizens in a free country and became serfs in the federal oligarchy.

  • jerryatric

    NO! They don’t think passengers are stupid! THEY DON’T CARE!!!
    Having just travelled through several cities, I noted little attention to their jobs preferring to hang around & talk to each other. Ask a question & your met with a blank stare, I even saw 1 woman NOT CHECKING as bags were going through the Xray machines, talking to her buddies behind her. After a long line up at one airport we get to the agent & show our NEXUS passes & told to go to that line which consisted of those damn machines. Some don’t work, asked an agent – response? “oh they sometimes don’t work try again”. Finally a passenger behind helped us.
    These people seem to care about only 1 thing – their paycheck!
    You guys have a serious problem with your TSA

  • Susan J. Barretta

    The TSA could confiscate the entire Chanel factory, but it won’t be enough perfume to cover their stench.  It’s all about image, isn’t it, not  making real substantive changes.

    This is why I don’t support any politician’s campaigns any more and if I vote it’s usually to say NO to new borrowing.  A few polititicans have made a lot of noise about TSA but it’s political theater as far as I’m concerned.

  • Richee

    Where should I state my career?
    White Castle,Mc Donalds,windshield washer,TSA?

  • JenniferFinger

    Whether or not they think we’re stupid, they behave as if they don’t care (and I’m sure they don’t).  They only care about collecting their paychecks from the government and not being disbanded by Congress (which also doesn’t care and also thinks we’re stupid-or at least acts like it, probably because of its own stupidity).

  • cjr001

    “Does it think we’re idiots?”

    In the last week, I’ve seen people claim that the SCOTUS decision on the ACA is the “worst thing to ever happen to this country”. Umm, what?

    So, yes, many Americans are idiots, unfortunately, who can’t see anything beyond the ends of their own hands.

    Which is why TSA’s been able to expand their power so easily over the last 11 years with little to stop them.

  • Sommer Gentry

    The TSA uses the exact same language, down to the identical wording in many cases, to respond to a flood of different outrages and incompetencies and firings and frauds.  Why?  I think  they are trying to confuse and bore the American public into losing track of just how many crimes and abuses this gang of thugs has committed against innocent travelers.  If the canned response is exactly the same whether their screeners have been caught smuggling drugs, strip-searching women, or desecrating human remains, maybe in the minds of people who don’t pay too much attention that was all the same incident.

    After all, since less than 50% of the people who fly file a written complaint, they must all love the TSA, so it’s really no big deal that a handful of people end up on their knees in the terminal trying to gather up the ashes of their beloved grandfathers.  It’s a one-off, just ask John Pistole!

  • judyserienagy

    TSA is clueless about our IQ level; why should they care?  They no doubt worry about Americans losing their passivity and actually doing something about injustice.

  • Joe Farrell

    Only idiots pursue a zero tolerance policy toward anything except perhaps sexual abuse of children and adults.   Zero tolerance promotes a management style that is purely reactive and makes zero effort to understand the reasons why something happens – it promotes not thinking about the reasons something happens and has a rote punishment regardless of the reason for things. 

    While consumption of alcohol on the job by armed law enforcement is probably not a good idea, you cannot tell me it has not happened before and that such a culture has not existed in the LEO community at times and in various places in the past.   It has not resulted in mass killings by police.

    The problem with the TSA is a lack of common sense and an utter lack of imagination . . . but look who they hire. 

  • whatup123

    Chris, want to know my best TSA story.  First of all, I fly 200-300k miles per year internationally and never check a bag.  In 2010, I moved from Toronto to Baltimore.  I left for a trip about a week after the move.  Though I am not pretty plain white jewish guy, my last name is also shared with that of a Brahmin Nepalese name.  I say that because in 2009-2010, I got the SSSS thing on my boarding pass like 7 times.  They say it is totally random…but I guess I hit the lottery.  Anyhoo, I got the SSSS thing on a flight to AMS leaving from IAD.  So basically getting the SSSS thing flying out of the nations capital.  I go through the screening with my roller board and backpack and no big deal.  Get to AMS where I am transferring to NBO and go through screening and the guy comes right to me asking if I have scissors in my bag.  I laugh it off and say no and he checks through but cannot find anything.  He takes my bag through screening again and once again asks me if I have scissors.  I again sort of laugh it off and say that he is welcome to check again.  He then asks me to come and look at the screen and sure enough you can see a huge set of scissors.  I stop laughing.  I then realized that I have an inside pocket that I had put this full size set of shears that we used during the move from Toronto as a last minute thing before throwing the suitcase in uhaul. 

    I show him the pocket and he takes out these shears where each blade is a good 8 inches long and probably half an inch wide at the widest.  He then says he would need to confiscate and I gladly agreed and went along.  But then it hit me–I went through extra SSSS screening at Dulles!  Three different agents all searched me and put my bag through twice…yet I went through with what could be perceived as a relatively serious weapon (or two pretty serious knives).

    Absolute and utter incompetence.  At least when I travel in lower income settings, both me and the screener know that it is a joke.  But the TSA agents don’t seem to get that they are a joke and actually helping security.  Profiling helps.  Taking diapers off grandmas–not so much.

    Anyhoo, 100% true and painful story.

  • whatup123

    one more thing–the shears were in the same axis as the bag as they were in flat pocket in the “shell” portion of the roller board.  and they were metal.  Ie, you couldnt miss them if you looked at the screen.

  • Extramail

    We are stupid. We talk a big game and still do nothing about the TSA. My senator, Rand Paul, vowed to look into the agency after his unpleasant experience. Where did that investigation go? I haven’t heard anything else and yet I continue to send the requisite e-mails to his office encouraging him to continue his crusade. The terrorists have already won because they have fundamentally changed our way of life, assuming that you travel, and have proven what mindless sheep we are. Need they even do anything else?

  • Carchar

    It’s not that they think we are idiots. It’s just that they know we are not outraged enough to step out of our comfort zones en masse to do something about it. There are a few brave souls that do, but the rest of us, me included, are content to just live through it and not disrupt our lives or become uncomfortable by making waves. Heck, or whole planet is being destroyed and made bad for our health and we won’t make the real changes needed so that it will exist for our descendants.

  • Extramail

    Well stated!

  • Extramail

    When was the last time you heard any politician, democrat, republican or idiot, have an original thing to say? Ask a question, get a canned response. Doesn’t even matter what the question is. “I have my talking points and I cannot, nor know how to, say anything but that.”. I’m sure if whoever runs our government decided that it was time to declare the sky purple, everyone in that political party would, when asked what day it is, would answer that the sky is purple. But, I asked you what day it is. I answered your question – the sky is purple.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Who are the four people who actually think TSA respects us as intelligent human beings?  Apparently, they’ve lived under a rock and this is their first time reading both Chris Elliott’s column OR any kind of news at all!

    I can’t BELIEVE TSA’s response to the spilled ashes/human remains is, “Wasn’t there, didn’t do it”.  and “We don’t “believe” that’s what happened”.  Well, whether you “believe” it or not, if you reviewed “the incident”, either it happened or it didn’t – there’s no in between in there at all.

    What a bunch of dolts.  Now I need another cup of tea.  Thanks, Chris, for riling me up this morning – on my birthday, no less! 

    Stupidity runs amok and their leaders are TSA and the feds…

  • ExplorationTravMag

    The scary part is – they probably paid some PR firm to come up with those lines…

  • ExplorationTravMag

    And I’ll bet they couldn’t care less, either.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Don’t hold back, John, tell us how you really feel.

    And I couldn’t agree with you more…

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Richee – TSA, for sure.  There’s a lot less work, there are lower expectations and the chance of getting started that brothel or prostitution ring you always wanted increases to a large degree.

    Yep, TSA, where convicted criminals (and pedophile priests) go to hide in plain sight.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Someone asked a similar question on the last no-brainer question on TSA.  So, I’ll give a similar reply to the one I gave before:  TSA agents on their smartphones voted “NO”. 

    BTW, Happy Birthday!

  • bodega3

    I am one who voted no.  I am not into bashing them.  Yes there could be some improvements but until someone comes up with something better, it is what it is. 

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Okay, WHEW!  I’ve had a couple more cups of tea and I’m a bit more calm now…

    I guess it shouldn’t surprise me the idiocy that comes from TSA and the feds these days, but it still does.  I should be more zen-like about the robot-like responses from TSA.

    And thanks for the birthday wishes.

  • Sommer Gentry

    I understand your decision to just live through it even though you can see that it’s wrong.  But could you please make the small step of writing a letter of complaint about what’s happening at airport checkpoints to your Congressional representatives?  Just take the same text, and send it to the TSA also at

    I’ve sent the TSA so many complaints that they no longer respond to my letters.  Please step in and make sure they know others are angry too.

  • bodega3

    My mother was constantly angry at Verizon.  She wrote them so many letters of complaints that they wrote her back and told her she should use another phone service.

    What do you have that would work better?  I am not being mean, I just don’t see anyone who is bitching about the TSA coming up with something else.  Present a better solution to keep us safe on planes from people who want to harm us.  I’ll listen.

  • Trudi

    TSA makes me understand just a little better why the Nazis were able to take over Germany. I’ve read so many times, ‘why didn’t someone stand up to them?’  I so would love to just stand up to the whole organization and say, “You are NOT making this country safer! You’re taking over the civil liberties that protect against government atrocities, and you’re just telling us to shut the hell up and do as we’re told.” Then we quietly board the plane and prepare to do it all over again next time. TSA is the US version of travel Nazis.

  • bodega3

    I am not a lemming which is what you are claiming everyone who goes through the TSA checkpoint is.  You go through screenings to get into office buildings, into schools, into courthouses because people want to hurt other and have.  BIG difference.  I have a right to be safe on a plane.  How do you propose to handle this different.  Put your money where your complaints are and let’s see what you propose that is better.

  • Lisa Simeone


    We don’t get scoped and groped to go into office buildings, schools, courthouses.

    As we have repeated at this blog dozens of times, and as you’ve read dozens of times: before the Reign of Molestation was implemented, when we were all just walking through metal detectors, planes weren’t being blown out of the sky left and right.

    There are two and only two things that have made a difference since 9/11, neither of which has anything to do with the TSA: the cockpit doors have been secured, and passengers will no longer silently submit — which is more than I can say for TSA apologists.

    All this harping on “safety.” Stop driving. Stop bathing. Stop eating. Stop walking outside. All those activities are demonstrably more dangerous than flying. But we all know you haven’t stopped doing those things. So your argument has nothing to do with safety.  It has to do with making you “feel” safe, facts and empirical evidence be damned.

  • Lisa Simeone

    bodega3, once again you repeat the same line you always do in these discussions: you claim we haven’t come up with “a better solution,” no matter how many times we do.

  • TravelingSalesman

    TSA: Operating under the theory that even smart people in large numbers will act like stupid SHEEP.

  • Carchar

    I have written to my state senators and reps. I’ve also asked the ACLU why they haven’t taken up the cause, as far as I can see. I at least expected an answer from the ACLU, but nothing.

    However, when I go through security at the airports, and I have been treated pretty nicely so far, I have obediently gone into the scan tanks to get through quickly. 

  • TestJeff Pierce

     Your anal exam is in the line to the right…it is what it is…you know that’s a vulnerability.

  • Julie Northrop

    When we continue to act like sheep, and keep accepting their rules because they want us to believe that they are keeping us safe, then yes they have every right to believe we are stupid.  When we wake up, and decide we are not going to accept that we have to go through a scanner or else get groped during their insane pat-downs, only then will we be able to make a difference. 

  • Julie Northrop

    That’s because too many people blindly believe that all of this is done to protect us. That it’s all done in the name of finding and stopping terrorists before they get on the plane.  So, they will accept the scanner. They will accept being what amounts to a sexual assault (if this were to happen in the outside world).  I’m sorry, but if I wouldn’t allow a date to touch me inappropriately, there is no way in hades I am allowing someone I’ve never seen before to do it. We’ve become sheeple in what we will accept, and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

  • Julie Northrop

    That’s very true Bodega, but when you go into a courthouse, you aren’t being subjected to what amounts as sexual assault. You aren’t having some security guard fondling your breasts or vagina to get into an office building. So, your point really doesn’t fly here.

  • BobChi

    I took a bunch of flights in another part of the world earlier this year. I never had to take off my shoes during the trip except boarding the first flight out of the U.S., then the last flight back to the U.S. I think other countries know something our TSA doesn’t. It’s a worthless exercise and unnecessary nuisance.

  • bodega3

    What is it?  I seem to be missing it.  I am serious about othe suggestions. 

  • bodega3

    You can get one of those from a traffic stop, so what is your point?

  • bodega3

    You still haven’t stated any thing better at the airport.  Yes, the cockpit door improvement and passenger attitudes have changed which is good.  But I want more assurance that some idiot isn’t loaded for bear and you haven’t come up with anything but complaints. 

  • bodega3

    If you have something on you, you certainly will be and rightfully so.

  • TonyA_says

     I agree. Remember that tax on communications (something like 3%). Well it was instituted for the Spanish-American war of 1898. I believe it took more than 100 years for the tax to be removed. Same with the TSA.

  • bodega3

    Act like sheep?  Guess you don’t raise sheep,but I do and they are very cautious.

  • Sommer Gentry

     A: You’re more likely to be killed by a home appliance than a terrorist.  Do you go around demanding government protection from your hair dryer and your toaster?  Do you demand that others come up with an elaborate plan to keep you safe from deer accidents or bee stings?  Because statistically, any of those threats are more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

    B: The better solution is to use police and intelligence work to uncover plots before the purported plotters are standing in line at the airport.  This is how the British intelligence services foiled the liquid bomb plot.  This is how we would have stopped the underwear bomber from getting on a plane if our intelligence services weren’t incompetent, since the guy’s dad had already told us that his son was plotting terrorist violence.

    If you think these lowlife screeners are going to thwart a serious plotter by putting their hands down his pants, well, then you’re just not thinking at all.  If a violent extremist carries a bomb into a security line, would he just shrug his shoulders when the TSA found it?  Or would he detonate it, killing many in the massed crowds at the checkpoint?  The Maginot line of airport checkpoint is all for show.  It doesn’t make you safer, hence, there’s really no need to replace it with anything.  Just do away with it.

  • bodega3

    Sheep aren’t stupid.  They do frighten easily though.

  • bodega3

    Regarding A…where have you been?  We have protection and stupid notes telling you the the obvious, so the government has been in your bathroom and kitchen already.

    I see you are a professor at the Naval Academy.  A fairly protected job enviroment that most don’t have.  Sadly we live in an angry world.  Ask those who worked at One Californai Street in San Francisco how they feel about the security to get into the building now that wasn’t there when people were shot to death from a man who just walked in with a gun.  Why do people place bars on their windows?  Why do we lock our doors?  Some people like the feeling that all possible steps are being taken to keep them safe when they are in a place that they have little control over it. 

    Maybe we should do what El Al does.  Just add a couple of hours to your checkin time.

  • Lisa Simeone

    bodega3, if you want assurance of 100% security in life, then you don’t want to live in the real world. Go to fantasyland.

  • Lisa Simeone

    bodega3, wrong.

  • Lisa Simeone

    Sommer, it’s a waste of time. You (and some of the rest of us) operate on logic, fact, reason, statistical analysis, risk assessment, empirical evidence. Others, like bodega3, operate on fear. They like their fear and they like to lick the authoritarian boot.  You’ll never convince them.

  • Lisa Simeone

    I already answered it further up-thread — and in dozens of other TSA discussions at this blog. Not going to repeat everything again.

  • Drontil

    The “better solution” is back to screening as it was on 9/10/11, with WTMD.  Cockpit doors have been sealed, crews told not to cooperate with terrorists and, most important of all, passengers will fight back.

  • Drontil

    If a terrorist “loaded for bear” made it to the airport, it’s too late.  He will blow you up while you’re standing in line waiting for your groping.

    You’d be a much happier person if you stopped living your life in fear. 

  • Drontil


  • cjr001

    At this point, you are intentionally missing it, and I wonder why that is.

  • cjr001

     Sure, there are all kinds of ridiculous warnings everywhere and on everything.

    But what there isn’t? A blue-glove government employee watching you as you use that plastic bag to make sure it isn’t put on your child’s head.

  • cjr001

    So that makes it ok? Really?

  • Rosered7033

    And even if you DON’T have something on you, the TSA is just as likely to grope you. Personal experience.

  • Julie Northrop

    And in that sentence, you just proved EVERYONE’S point.  The people who are supporting the TSA because going through the scanner and sexual assault pat-downs are for it because it makes them feel safer.  The people who aren’t acting like sheep, who are against these things, know that our rights are far more important.

  • Rosered7033

    Like x 1k.

  • Marilyn P Daggett

    Yes, they do think we are stupid and meek as sheep to not challenge their absurd posturing. I shudder to think what TSA is going to do now that the threat of another plane hijacking/bombing has surfaced in conjunction with the holiday this week, estimated to be performed by a Scandanavian ‘Convert’. How are they going to hide behind this, if – God Forbid – something REALLY does happen???

  • IGoEverywhere

    I had the “PLEASURE” of going through TSA in CVG last week – twice. Leaving for Jamaica was normal and easy, the x-ray sign gave me an out to allow a pat down. I will take that option Friday when I leave from PIT. Upon our return, you have to go throught customs, then TSA. They were abusive, nasty people. We could not help that the Paris flight was late and the Jamaica flight was early, so they were 600 people backed up with 3 screeners and need all 6. The morons, instead of confiscating the fifths of liquor, were just moving them to the other side of the check-out, completely defeating the reason of the 333 rule. They would not allow anybody to refuse ex-ray even though there was clearly a sign stating otherwise, and they really enjoyed patting down the women – 10 to 1 over men. I was chosen to evaluate my carry-on which contained nothing but, glasses, I-Pad, and meds. That was OK, but was challenged on the obvious I-Pad as to why it was not separated; not necessary by their rules.  1 1/2 hours in line because of the idiots hired by TSA. Hire a private professional company, not a bunch of thugs.

  • Thak Ferimatten

    I use Verizon for my cell phone service. They do some things I’d rather they would not, but so far, they haven’t sent someone to my house to rub my family’s buttocks and sex organs, nor inspect their hair and peer inside their pants AT RANDOM!

     Nor do they strip search my family, as TSA has done to some travelers physically, and to many travellers using the X-ray (backscatter) devices that continue to render nude images of passengers bodies to some person hiding in a booth.

    No business I know of uses a test that provides 100% false positives like TSA’s ETD swabs, which results in you getting sexually molested by an agents’ palm and fingers in a secluded room.All of these things are crimes against humanity and in violation of the 4th Amendment, whether our courts act on it or not.

    The TSA is required to respect basic human dignity and the US Constitution. The onus is on THEM to screen WITHOUT violating these. We don’t have to come up with alternatives–that’s TSA’s job, is it not? TSA must stop their vicious practices, period.

  • Julie Northrop

    In life there are no 100% assurances. You could be driving on the freeway, and some nutjob could fire a gun at you because they suffer from road rage. You can get shot filling your gas tank. The bank can get robbed while you are there. Sometimes, you just have to live life and not be afraid that someone somewhere is going to go off because of their own agendas. After 9/11, it seems that we’ve all become afraid and will consent to anything as long as they tell us it’s to protect us.  Sorry, but no one has the right to put their hands on my genitals or breasts in a pat-down. As I’ve stated before, if this were to happen on a date, it would be sexual assault.  When we wake up and stop acting like sheep (easily frightened) and fight back, only then will we start getting our rights back

  • ToriBlue

    I hate to say it but I think reaching out to our useless Congressional reps will get us nowhere. It actually pains me to ut suggest this, believe it or not, but each and everytime one of us is wronged by an individual tsa agent, we need to call them out. If that means posting their names all over the Web, then so be it.

    Heck, maybe we could start a Rate My Screener website. That way we could let everyone know about the bad apples and the GOOD apples.

    Besides if we can be put on a list for criticizing them, let’s put them on a list and see how they feel…Turn about’s fair play

  • Fisher1949

    You’re either another TSA shill posting propaganda on taxpayer money or a coward too afraid to speak out against what is obviously a corrupt and abusive agency full of deviants and criminals.

    Either way, your opinion doesn’t count for anything considering the overwhelming number of votes against these creeps.

  • AKRaven

    Re: spilled ashes.  I think there is some potential to the argument that partially it’s a loss of respect between different generations and partially a lack of TSA to hold it’s workers accountable for being respectful and considerate.  I don’t know how old the TSA agent was that “laughed it off” but when I traveled with my father’s ashes from Seattle to Anchorage I noticed a distinct discrepancy.   The older agent was very careful with the container, handled it with respect, and told the other agent who was screening (a much younger individual) to do the same.  He didn’t. Thankfully nothing spilled but it was traumatic enough that I almost burst into tears right there.  It was all I could do to hold it together. 

    My point is that the TSA has A LOT of work to do when it comes to screening and hiring individuals but also in terms of holding them responsible for being considerate, compassionate human beings.  If I had my way, the agent that treated my father’s remains with honor should have promoted right there on the spot while the other should have been fired with equal expediency. 

  • Unegen

    Machine or no machine, same result.  What were you saying about sheeple?

  • cybersal

    Either they think we are stupid or else they think we have no option but to do what they say – obey rules in the book, or made up on the spot.
    Mainly they are playing it by ear because they can’t remember the rules.
    What kind of security can you get for the price they pay? Not much, there isn’t enough between the ears.

  • bodega3

    Maybe because it isn’t really a solution????

  • bodega3

    Lisa, wrong

  • cjr001

    Maybe it’s time for you to stop exercising your 1st Amendment rights since you’ve already given up on your 4th.