3 reasons the terrorists are laughing at us now (thanks, TSA)

Aaron Amat/Shuttestock
Nothing will wipe a grin off your face faster than a squad of Navy SEALs rappelling into your anonymous compound from a Black Hawk. But while Osama Bin Laden is dead and gone, and unable to mock America’s clumsy efforts to protect its planes from our Homeland-fueled fantasies, his disciples are more than capable of laughing at us.

And laugh they do. How could they not? We’ve given them a lot of material, thanks to the Transportation Security Administration.

Shelbi Walser, seventh-grade jihadist?

Consider the case of Shelbi Walser, the Texas seventh-grader with a genetic bone disorder who was flying to Florida for medical treatment last week. TSA agents detained her at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, claiming she had “bomb residue” on her hands. After a 45-minute wait, agents simply let her go without conducting any further screening.

What’s so funny about it: Walser was obviously a scared little girl, not a junior suicide bomber. The punchline isn’t that she was that a sick child in a wheelchair was held by the TSA, but that the agents just let her roll on to the terminal without testing her wheelchair, which Walser later confessed had probably come into contact with fertilizer. What’s laughable is that millions of Americans now believe that somewhere in a Yemeni warehouse, giddy terrorists are building their latest weapon: an exploding wheelchair. That’s so 1990s.

Andy Ramirez covets your iPad

You’ve probably seen this video of TSA screener Andy Ramirez, who is accused of swiping an iPad at Orlando International Airport. The device was left in the terminal by ABC News, and a few days later, it came calling for the iPad with a camera crew. Ramirez hemmed and hawed before handing over the tablet computer, which had been tracked to his house. He’s been fired.

What’s so funny about it: TSA agents taking iPads from passengers is only funny in the sense that it’s ironic — the very people who are supposed to be protecting us are stealing from us. What’s leaving the terrorists in stitches is the fact that Ramirez apparently didn’t know iPads can be tracked. And he’s supposed to be screening passengers for weapons and explosives? Hilarious.

Cancer patients could be hijackers

Michelle Dunaj is dying of leukemia. The Michigan woman wanted to make one final trip to Hawaii, but the TSA screeners in Seattle had a few questions for her before she boarded her flight to the islands. Like, what’s with all those prescription drugs you’re carrying? What are these saline bags? Oops, did we just break one? Sorry. And could you please lift your shirt in public so we can get a closer look at the feeding tubes?

What’s so funny about it: The terrorists aren’t laughing at Dunaj. After all, they probably know a thing or two about pain and suffering. No, it’s the fact that she’s become the poster girl for TSA harassment. Going after a cancer patient is a new low, even for the bad guys, and despite it all, the TSA still hasn’t caught a single terrorist. Not one.

The radical Islamists who attacked the United States on 9/11 didn’t just succeed in bringing down a few planes and buildings. They made an entire country overreact, say critics, and America willingly sacrificed some of its most fundamental constitutional rights in order to have the illusion of safety. Observers now believe we’ve created an overfunded, ineffective federal agency called the TSA that harasses children and terminally ill passengers and steals from travelers.

We can do better. The TSA needs to slim down, get smarter about how it screens passengers, and stop the airport theatrics, as many experts have already suggested.

Today’s TSA is a joke. Unfortunately, the only ones laughing are the terrorists.

Who will have the last laugh?

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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 chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001768830492 Elmo Clarity

    “What’s leaving the terrorists in stitches is the fact that Ramirez apparently didn’t know iPads can be tracked. And he’s supposed to be screening passengers for weapons and explosives? Hilarious.”

    In no way am I supporting this person or the TSA but just because someone is suppose to be an expert in weapons and explosives screening does not mean they know anything about how a computer works or the capabilities of a certain electronic device.

  • TonyA_says

    Exactly who is a terrorist? Is it a Palestinian who straps a bomb and blows himself up in a crowded marketplace in Israel or perhaps a Muslim who hijacks an airplane full of westerners? Or could it be one rich white kid who shoots up an elementary school here in Connecticut and kills 28 people plus himself. I do not understand the fascination for looking for nail cutters in pockets and scissors in handbags with the latest and most expensive technology one can buy, when in a nearby school, a troubled young man can park right infront of school, force entry with guns blazing. Seems to me homeland security is in the wrong places. More Americans are getting killed in schools, malls and moviehouses rather than in airports. Don’t you get it?

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    While that’s true, I suspect it’s because one school shooting in the US doesn’t impact other schools / the economy / the world significantly. Sad to say, but after the initial reaction dies down, it’ll be off most people’s radar. (Barely a year ago one shooter in Norway killed 77 people.) However, one US plane coming down due to terrorism has repercussions into the billions. And because America dictates policy, that has a trickle down effect to many other nations. I’m not convinced it’s all / only about safety numbers. I think other factors are in play here. Although all senseless killing, no matter where it takes place, is tragic. A sad state of affairs.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    That’s a valid point. Still, it’s common knowledge that iPads and iPhones have tracking capabilities. Ramirez should have known, given the fact that iPads are an item favored by crooked TSA screeners.

  • Daisiemae

    An expert in weapons and explosives? Really? Does this guy even have a GED? TSA doesn’t even require a GED level of education from their pizza box recruits, so imagining that this guy is an expert in weapons and explosives is extremely optimistic and naive.

    He’s nothing but a low level clerk. These so-called agents only receive a bare minimum of laughable training. The only fields in which they have expertise is criminal behavior and stupidity.

  • TonyA_says

    Do you mean that there is no money to make securing our elementary schools, while there are millions to earn selling those nudeoscopes? Here’s another irony – Connecticut’s mental facility, Garner, is in Newtown. I read we spent more money per inmate than educating kids. I wonder if this could have been prevented if he had adequate mental help?

  • Elmo Clarity

    Did you miss the word SUPPOSE before the “to be an expert”?

    I agree with you that the guy was nothing more than a low level drone who’s position doesn’t require nothing more than the equivalent of a high school diploma. The real joke in all this is that the people who created the TSA is expecting them to be experts with no education or training. I’d bet a lot of them couldn’t even spell TNT let alone know it if they saw it.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    “Seems to me homeland security is in the wrong places. More Americans are getting killed in schools, malls and moviehouses rather than in airports.”

    Unfortunately, I *do* get it. See http://www.omaha.com/article/20110105/NEWS97/110109863 for a shooting that happened at a high school here 2 years ago next January, where the asst. vice principal was killed, and the principal wounded. The Von Maur shooting happened 5 years ago this month, where 8 innocents were killed. These happened in “safe” places.

    The immediate online response to both tragedies, to Virginia Tech and again to the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy is that if more Americans, including teachers, were carrying guns, none of this would have happened, That if we only locked more doors, installed more metal detectors, *had more security*, that we’d be safer. Sandy Hook Elementary HAD more security, according to the news reports. The gunman defeated that security, just as in the Millard South High School story I linked to, above.

    Homeland Security is NOT in the wrong places. Evil is.

    Again, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this most recent incidence of evil. I am wiping away tears as I type this.

  • Nikki

    In the days after 9/11, I was mistaken for being Arab more times than I care to count. Had my car keyed in with “Sand N*****r”, had Bibles left at my doorstep, had a woman approach me at a front desk on 9/12/01 declaring that I “should be proud of what [my] people have done”, and had a National Guardsman pull me over in a hotel van when I was dropping a guest off at the airport – – – because I didn’t “look American”. Those incidents convinced me that no matter what, with the level of panic back then, the terrorists had done their job – they instilled a sense of fear into people.

    The TSA and the way they run their operations – – I’m not convinced that I’d be any safer in their hands than I would if a terrorist actually hijacked an aircraft that I was on.

    So yeah – terrorists and their ilk are getting the last word – I’m too damn scared to board a plane. Not because I think it will be hijacked – but because I’m thinking my Polynesian-shaded skin will land me in the clink before I even board the plane. Unreasonable? Sure it is. I should be able to trust that TSA would be doing their job. Unfortunately, with these stories and my own past experiences, I can’t even trust that I’ll be in good hands with them.

  • TonyA_says

    Jeanne, evil is too ubiquitous. I want to single out mental disease and the wholesale denial that it is under control here because it is just as dangerous as terrorism in the air. After the shooting in Virginia Tech, I noticed that our local police parked cruisers infront of our schools. Then as time passed, they disppeared. Maybe posting an armed officer outside the schools will at least make it harder for someone to break in. We spend about a billion a year for air marshalls. How about school security? I dont know.

  • SoBeSparky

    Theatrics is what attracts news, and columnists like Christopher to mock the TSA. Underneath it all, however, the TSA is portrayed as an unstable, erratic and unpredictable so-called security agency, exactly the image they wish to portray as a deterrent. Who knows what they will do next?


    All the positive publicity and heroic episodes of FBI-sanctioned TV shows did not protect agents from being shot and killed. (Remember when they used to brag in the days of J. Edgar that not one agent had been shot and killed in the line of duty?) It merely created a clearer target for those who wished to attack revered authority symbols.

  • Miami510

    I felt an acute sense of embarrassment when I read Nikki’s posting. I am reminded of something attributed to Golda Maier in speaking about Palestinian terrorism. She said, “I can forgive them for what they have done to us, but I can never forgive them for what they are making us do to ourselves.”

  • TonyA_says

    Chris, can you tell us what we can do to prevent the TSA from stealing our tablets during screening? There’s twelve of us with iPads and Galaxy tabs taking a flight in a few days.
    Should we enter the area in groups so the others can watch the hand carry baggages?

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Chris, bingo.

    As we’ve pointed out so many times, al Qaeda has publicly stated that their goal wasn’t to kill people left and right. Their goal was to get the U.S. to overreact and spend piles of money in a never-ending quest to combat terrorism. In other words, to terrorize ourselves, and bankrupt ourselves in the process.

    Mission Accomplished. Thanks, TSA. And thanks, millions of credulous, fear-loving Americans.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Yes. Don’t check your iPad with the rest of your luggage. Leave your iPad in your carry-on bag (it doesn’t have to be removed) during screening. Put the bag with the iPad on the conveyor belt last, so that it doesn’t sit on the other side, where an agent can access it without you watching.

  • pradcliffe

    There is no point in berating the TSA grunt for his rudeness, lack of common sense, stupidity or even thievery. They are reflecting their bosses and will continue to do so. The problem is with the TSA culture and this starts at the top. Unfortunately, there is no real, enforceable TSA oversight so the brass has no incentive to change let alone concede they run a bloated, overfunded Department. Congress is going to have to hear from us in the millions before that “august” body will even consider looking at this issue seriously. Since the overwhelming majority of Americans are never personally impacted by the TSA and are fed a barrage of propaganda about the need for airport security, there is little likelihood of any change in the near future.

  • cjr001

    Considering what has happened in this country in the last week, the biggest threat right now clearly isn’t from without, but within.

  • cjr001

    While I generally agree with Christopher’s advice, be careful, because you may still be in for a surprise when you get in line.

    On our last trip coming home through security, somebody asked a TSA employee about whether they had to take their iPad out. The employee told them that they would if they had other electronic devices in the same bag.

    I’d never heard/read this before, because it has only ever applied to laptops, period. But as we all know, TSA loves to make up rules (re: opportunities to steal) on the spot.

  • TonyA_says

    Thanks. So those being stolen were checked in (luggage).
    That’s good to know.
    I usually am the last in my large group to enter the TSA line so I can see what they are doing with the rest of my family. I give my hand carry to one of my sons and ask him to go ahead. I’ve read some agents steal from hand carry bags and coats, too.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I am so sad (and disgusted) at how you’ve been treated. No one deserves that. I don’t care who the latest “killer du jour” is, we should not treat everyone else who happens to share a similarity to the killer (race, gender, nationality, hair color, mental condition, etc.) poorly. It’s inexcusable for the TSA to be so onerous and threatening that people cannot feel safe getting on a plane in the US.

    I really wonder if the goal of all of this is to keep Americans from wanting to travel. It’s easier to control a population that doesn’t move. Based upon thousands of years of world history, this kind of control always starts with minorities, the poor, women, children, the disabled, and others without the political or economic power to demand change.

    I know this sounds a bit fantastical, and no, I don’t think we’re all going to be totally under Big Brother’s thumb next year, but in the long haul, I think the US will become less a shining beacon of freedom and opportunity, and more the old Soviet Union or current North Korea.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    TSA rules (yes, I know the screeners ignore them) say you don’t have to take a tablet out of your bag.

  • TonyA_says

    I am very sorry this happened to you. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Where are you? Have you considered moving to a less xenophobic part of the country? Or maybe there ain’t any place safe anymore?

  • Mundane Lustrator

    So this is a double-play by the TSA on America? You really think they are clever enough to make such a plan? LOL!

  • Extramail

    Once an agency, always an agency. The government only knows one thing: borrow money, tax anything and spend ten times more than it takes in. Has there ever been an agency started by the government that was closed? I’m surprised we’re not still spending money on a horse and buggy agency!

  • Guest

    They kept her for over an hour?!?!?! The family should sue the hell out of everyone involved.

  • User921394932

    So they waste over an hour on a kid with cancer in a wheel chair, on her way to get treatment, and in the mean time 5 guys named Mohamed, Jamal, Anwar, etc walk right on by without extra screening, because that would be unpolitically correct.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    No, to fix your hypothetical, Mohamed, Jamal, Anwar, etc. are also innocent passengers who happen to have names you associate with terrorism, but really don’t, so they don’t need extra screening.

    I happen to have worked with a guy named Jamal who was not Middle Eastern, not Muslim, and not a terrorist.

  • Daisiemae

    I did miss it in your reply. You are right…”suppose” is the operative word. These ignorant, uneducated, untrained fools are “supposed” to be security and/or weapons experts. Instead, they are expert thieves and sexual assailants and morons.

  • Daisiemae

    “I really wonder if the goal of all of this is to keep Americans from wanting to travel. It’s easier to control a population that doesn’t move.”

    You’re right on the money. Controlling movement was a very important tool in controlling the slaves of this country. It was also an important tool in controlling the serfs (another word for slave) in Europe.

    Many members of the British aristocracy opposed the railroads because it provided opportunities of travel for the underclasses. They felt freedom of movement for the underclasses would create havoc.

    And of course, we all know that ability to travel was seriously curtailed in Nazi Germany and in the USSR. It was a means of gaining a stranglehold on the people.

    The US government (owned and controlled by their corporate puppet masters) Is totally reducing the ability of its slaves to move about. We are supposed to stay in place and generate more income and therefore power for them and their masters. Controlling our movement is key.

  • SoBeSparky

    I am not certain, but I know it is near to impossible to find any high-office holder in the current administration to whisper substantive criticism of the TSA. Why is there little, if any, internal dissent?

    I firmly believe we have a bunch of intelligent and perceptive people running our government at the top, although they are certainly not perfect.

    If Boehner and McConnell were resolved to correct perceived idiocy, then far more would be happening. Neither party really made a major effort to campaign on the issue of the TSA this year. I cannot recall any media advertising on the subject.

    Is this a conspiracy of massive proportions in all three branches of government? A few maintain that position, but I have not seen anyone even try to connect the dots in a coherent fashion proposing all government entities from Scalia to Reid are bamboozling us.

    The bottom line is most air travelers have opinions from dislike to hate for the TSA, and for good reason. The TSA is ridiculed and every incident is thoroughly examined in the news media after the TSA makes a half hearted effort to cover it up. It almost seems to be a bad melodrama ad nauseam.

  • Mike

    The actual security is done when you buy your ticket. No-fly lists, surveillance of terrorist organizations, and FBI infiltrators have stopped many, many plots.

    If a terrorist actually manages to show up at an airport with intent to blow up a plane, we’ve already lost. The TSA has NEVER caught a terrorist. Billions of dollars, pissed away for a smoke-and-mirrors show that does absolutely nothing while creating a false sense of security. Oh, except confiscate my cigarette lighter and safety razor (without the blades).

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Tupac4Eva, it has nothing to do with “guys named Mohamed, Jamal, Anwar, etc.” Please don’t replace one inanity with another.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    “Underneath it all, however, the TSA is portrayed as an unstable, erratic and unpredictable so-called security agency, exactly the image they wish to portray as a deterrent. “

    What?? Perhaps I’m not understanding your comment. But it seems as if you’re saying that the TSA is deliberately projecting an air of incompetence and buffoonery, as if it’s part of some grand strategy?

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    TonyA, no, plenty of people have had their laptops — and other items — stolen from their carry-ons. Bottom line — there are no rules. TSA clerks make them up on the spot, and/or don’t follow the ones spelled out on the TSA website. If you’re traveling alone, you’re a sitting duck. If you’re with a group, you have minimally more protection.

  • none

    NounA person who uses fear and terror in the pursuit of political aims.

    So basically Politicians are terrorists.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sommer.gentry Sommer Gentry

    Another suggestion is to make it more difficult for screeners to swipe your valuables by locking your carry-on bags with non-TSA combination locks. Lock your wallet and electronics inside the bag before you send it through the X-ray.

    If they try to separate you from your bags by telling you to wait in a place where you can’t see your things, complain loudly and repeatedly, and ignore their instructions about where to wait. Just move over to a place where you can watch your bags and let them know that’s what you are doing.

    It’s TSA policy (I know, oxymoron there) that passengers should maintain visual contact with their bags. Of course, it is utterly impossible to reconcile that policy with their other policy of placing people in between two opaque blue X-ray emitting walls after separating them from their bags, but a little logical contradiction never bothers these dullards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sommer.gentry Sommer Gentry

    It’s called “being detained”, and it’s not legal for TSA to do that to anyone. It’s also not legal for police to do that to anyone unless they can articulate precisely why the person is suspected of a crime.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    “I firmly believe we have a bunch of intelligent and perceptive people running our government at the top, although they are certainly not perfect.”

    This statement is so risible it beggars the imagination.

  • Guest

    But thanks to that unpatriotic Patriotic Act, all the police have to do is say “terrorist” and they can hold you definitively with no charges or access to legal representation.

  • SoBeSparky

    You are entitled to your opinion, as is the electorate of the U.S. Apparently you are in a minority.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Yes, that’s why we’re here discussing the idiocies of the TSA — and the entire National Security State — week after week. Because the people at the top are so “intelligent and perceptive.”

  • TonyA_says

    {Off Topic} Found this excellent article in Huffington Post I want to share with you.


  • Saul B

    >> However, one US plane coming down
    >> due to terrorism has repercussions into the billions.

    Only because “we” as a society make it so.

    What if the reactions to 9/11/01 were to lock and harden the cockpit doors, but leave the checkpoint screening as it had been for decades: metal detectors and bag x-rays? Sure, add some heavily armed cops at airports to make passengers feel safer, even though they would be no deterrent to a suicide attacker.

    As the original commenter pointed out, why is it terrorism when guys with foreign names attack Americans, but not terrorism when a guy with an American name shoots up a school or mall or theater and kills scores in a matter of minutes?

  • Nigel Appleby

    While I think the TSA and other similar agencies should be reined in, I think the chance of that happening is somewhat less than minimal.
    If there were to be another incident with theTSA in their present form it would be the fault of the TSA.
    If, however, the TSA were reined in politicain(s) or the judiciary and something were to happen which the TAS can claim wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t been reined in, then the blame would be laid fair and square on the politician(s) or judge(s) who reined them in. In today’s world I cannot envisage any politician or judge being willing to take that chance.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Chris, sadly we live in an age where the inmates are running the asylum.

    Our government has decided (and this was LONG ago, when a toilet seat for a rocket flying to the moon costing us $400 raised eyebrows and caused all kinds of hullabaloo) if there’s a problem, let’s throw money at it. Let’s not look hard at the problem and come up with a good solution; let’s just throw money at it.

    There are much more cost-effective solutions to this particular problem – airport/airline security – but the government won’t even consider it. Everytime TSA screws things up like they ALWAYS do, the government solution is to throw more money at it in the form of studies or more training (which, let’s just say it, they most likely don’t do, anyway) and hope something, anything sticks.

    The terrorists created the exact problem they hoped to create. They wanted to bankrupt us as a nation and they’re about to do it and our elected officials inside the beltway are happy to assist them with this. The more citizens demanding more and more reductions in civil liberties, the more our Congress responds by throwing money at it.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: trained military personnel such as National Guard with trained dogs can find anything you want them to find and they’ll do it with a great deal more pride and a lot less money. I don’t know the theft problem will go away because we ARE dealing with the human element. Military personnel aren’t more honest, they just have a lot more to lose than others might. And they’ll do all of this in a much less threatening manner than the average TSA agent who has no power in their world outside of their TSA position. The average American has a great deal more respect for our military personnel than they do for TSA.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Please don’t profess to know what my opinions are. I’m with @Lisa_Simeone:disqus on this one. Intelligence and perception inside the beltway? Like Lisa said, it beggars the imagination.

  • Ann Lamoy

    The thing is, we don’t need to spend more on security or arm teachers.

    What we need to do is spend more money on mental health care. And as a society stop stigmatizing people that are mentally ill. We don’t treat people that have illness like cancer like shit. Why do we treat people with mental illnesses that way?

    The other thing this country needs to do is pass a law once and for all banning assault weapons. Who the hell needs one of those besides our military. The only thing they are designed for is to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. Last time I checked, Red Dawn was not going to happen. And the deer don’t shoot back.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Fully agree with you.

    To clarify my points (and to get back on-topic a little):

    >I do not, under any circumstances, want Homeland Security in the schools, the malls, the movies or any place that people gather in large numbers.<

    The knee-jerk reactions and so-called solutions that come out of tragedies such as 9/11, Columbine and sadly, et cetera, don't work. They will never work. (See previous post and TonyA's response on the nature of evil.)

    In no way do I claim to have a workable, one-size-fits-all solution to the current situation with the TSA. I do think a responsible first step would be to make the head of the TSA show up to congressional hearings when directed to do so. If John Pistole can flout authority with no adverse consequences, why shouldn't the rest of the organization do so as well?

  • TonyA_says

    Jeanne, what I am suggesting is to take some money now spent on homeland security and give it to school security or local police. I don’t want to see another bureaucracy. Let’s keep it local. And anyone who worked for the TSA need not apply.

  • User921394932

    Replace Jamal with Osama then.

  • User921394932

    My point is spending an hour+ on a handicap little girl in a wheel chair rather than looking at/for more potential threats is ludicrous!

  • User921394932

    We should have a TSA check point screening station, outside of everyone’s house then, to ensure they are not leaving with a weapon or bomb.

  • User921394932

    I’m not buying this store, National Guardsmen have not jurisdiction to conduct traffic stops.

  • Carolyn

    Did we expect anything less from a government run agency???

  • Nikki

    They did in the days after 9/11 – they were allowed to stop anyone that came close to the airport. So if you’re not buying it, good. I’m not selling it. It happened. There were enough witnesses that saw it happen, so the meanderings of an Internet troll doesn’t mean much to me, 11 years later.

  • Nikki

    Tony – I’m in GA now… this happened while I was living in eastern PA. I did move to FL in 2002 – that was definitely much less xenophobic. Just hated that if I had to deal with it, I knew there were many more that had to, and in worse forms.

  • Nikki

    He already did.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Tupac4Eva, in theory that’s fine; that’s sensible. But “guys named Mohamed, Jamal, Anwar, etc.” does not equal “potential threats.”

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Tupac4Eva, jurisdiction doesn’t mean sh*t since 9/11. The Patriot Act, the NDAA, DHS, NSA, TSA, unwarranted surveillance, unwarranted search and seizure, on and on.

    You probably also don’t know about VIPR:

    So, as Nikki says, don’t buy it if you don’t want. Doesn’t mean it’s not out there.

  • EdB

    Tupac, check out the Posse Comitatus Act. It does allow the National Guard to operate as local police under direction of state authority.

    Wikipedia has a nice overview of it.

  • LadySiren

    So sorry, Nikki. I get similar reactions (also of Polynesian descent) but I didn’t have it near as bad as you after 9/11. What irony that we feel almost as unsafe with those in the employ of our government as we do with those looking to do us and our nation harm.

  • User921394932

    If this was the case they’d be stopping every cab in New York all the time even if they had passengers in it. Pretty sure I would have heard/seen about that if it was the case.

    Plus our National Guardsmen are more professional than to say I’m pulling you over because your not American looking enough, and if they did do that then you should have reported it to a superior officer.

  • Nikki

    How do you know I didn’t? That information wasn’t relevant to my post – so it wasn’t included. As a matter of fact, that fellow WAS disciplined by his superiors, more than a year later.

    I’m nothing like you – I don’t make blanket statements about particular groups and assume they’re all like that. (Seriously? Anyone with an “Islamic sounding” name is a potential terrorist?) Even I knew not all National Guardsmen are like the guy that harassed me – there’s been enough family members, past and present, that have served in all branches of the US Armed Forces AND the National Guard, so there would have been no reason for me to think that.

    And on top of that… do you really, really know all there is to know about news in the world?… even the local stuff?… the rural area I lived in didn’t even have an online presence until well after 9/11, so I’m just not surprised that you wouldn’t have heard anything about it.

    You probably should consider changing your online handle. I think a smart man like Tupac would be ashamed of the way you handle yourself. I have more than a few suggestions that would fit, but they’re not appropriate for a family site.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Ah, so because you haven’t “heard/seen about that if it was the case,” therefore it didn’t happen. What logic!

  • User921394932

    Ah ha! So you admit that was a lone employee, not following standard procedure. In your OP you were making it sound like the National Guard a a whole were pulling over non-American looking people.

  • Nikki

    Evidently you don’t read or comprehend very well. I said nothing about that, nor did I ever imply that. That was one individual acting on his own – as I found out much later.

    Try again, troll.

  • Saul B

    Is bigotry a congenital disease or did you acquire it later in life?

  • Mundane Lustrator

    I agree with you, Hal, but just a minor correction. It’s the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act, as in “Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” You’ll see this kind of not-so-subtle PR spin used in other government bills and programs (such as the “Trusted Traveler” program – so, everyone else is “untrusted?!)

  • Bill___A

    It appears the TSA stole a luggage strap from me last week. I assure you, it wouldn’t have “come off”. I fly 50,000 miles a year and the only time I am missing something is with the TSA,. (the other 47,000 miles weren’t in TSA territory.)

  • Tacmarine1

    al Qaeda has changed it’s name to TSA.

  • TestJeff Pierce

    POLLRESULTS as of when I write this: 1091 out of 1183 voted “Terrorists”. That is amazingly high even for a biased poll. And this website gets lots of experienced travelers who are more concerned about impinging on their “time” then they are with the fundamental violations of our Constitution (scanners and criminal touching of our bodies, not talking about metal detectors).

  • TestJeff Pierce

    We might as well let all houses be searched by TSA. Since they are civilians – NOT law enforcement – the courts will say it is legal for them to look for prohibited items as part of a “administrative search.”

    So, the TSA can do MORE than allowed police and criminals have more right than innocent Americans.

    That’s the way we roll, living in the country of Homeland…..

  • EdB

    The 4th amendment protects from unreasonable searches by the government, not just law enforcement. Since TSA is a government organization, the courts would not say it was legal.

    Administrative searches are used for verification of regulatory or statutory enforcement. In People v Madison, it was ruled that the government cannot use administrative searches as a pretext to search for criminal evidence.

  • EdB

    I believe what Hal is trying to point out is exactly what you were saying. The PR spin on the word PATRIOT was intended to get people to support it because of the “cleverly” created name. Anyone not supporting something labeled as PATRIOT, even though the term does not mean what the word does, would be viewed as non-patriotic and this is what makes it unpatriotic.

  • Mundane Lustrator

    Right. That’s what I was trying to say, but must not have said it very well.

  • Donovan

    I wonder when we will connect the simple dots, that almost 100% of the mass homicides are already on psychiatric drugs — most having NO PRIOR HISTORY of violence or suicidal thoughts before they were medicated with the very profitable psycho-active pharmaceuticals pushed by psychiatrists and their cozy relationships with Big Pharma.