USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

TSA on 60 Minutes

Archived Content

Please note that older content is archived for public record. This page may contain information that is outdated and may not reflect current policy or programs.

If you have questions about policies or procedures, please contact the TSA Contact Center.

Members of the news media may contact TSA Public Affairs.

Monday, December 22, 2008
60 min phtoos

TSA and aviation security was featured in a 60 Minutes segment with Lesley Stahl last night. Transportation Security Officers LaDonta Edwards (BWI airport) and Gary Wilkes (DCA airport) were interviewed along with TSA Administrator Kip Hawley.

We gave CBS an inside look at TSA’s new training for all officers designed to calm the checkpoint, better identify threats and improve security by changes in how officers engage passengers. Our officers appreciated the time spent talking with Ms. Stahl, and she was certainly surprised to learn that one of the strangest things officers had seen come through the X-ray machine was a baby in an infant carrier. (Seems some people take the “Never wake a sleeping baby” mantra a little too seriously.)

Ms. Stahl had access to the TSA Operations Center, also known as the Freedom Center. This is our main information center, where analysts monitor the entire transportation network and connect TSA with the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, FBI, and other law enforcement and security agencies. It is the kind of place you would hope exists in the post 9/11 world.

During an airport visit, Ms. Stahl and Kip Hawley operated the multi-view X-ray machines at BWI and saw how the improved technology helps officers find suspect items by highlighting areas of concern on the screen. While in the remote viewing location for the whole body imager, Ms. Stahl was surprised to see that it was not the “pornographic” image she thought it would be.

The piece also includes Bruce Schneier, security expert (and blogger ) who calls some of TSA’s measures “security theater.” We agree with Bruce’s comments in the piece about terrorists being able to change their tactics every time something is banned or receives added scrutiny (guns, box cutters, liquids, shoes, etc.). That’s why we’re using new officer training and technology to be more proactive and going after hostile intent through the use of Behavior Detection Officers. These officers are trained to look for involuntary behaviors people trying to evade security display and can distinguish them from the behaviors of the average frazzled passenger late for a flight.

We understand that some checkpoint security measures annoy many Americans, but because of the intelligence information gathered from around the world, TSA deems these measures are necessary. We appreciate any opportunity to highlight our officers, enhance public understanding about why we do what we do, and show what motivates us every day in order to keep air travel safe.

To see the 60 Minutes segment, click here .

Ellen Howe
Guest EoS Blogger

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Having TSA provide security is much the same as paying the fellow who shows up monthly at shops and stores to collect their security fee.

Don't pay and see what happens.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I believe most of the suggestions on this blog is to change procedures like the footwear stuff. Sorry but that is not an improvement."

Of course it is. No footwear poses any threat to an aircraft; therefore TSA should end the mandatory show-removal carnival that does nothing to enhance safety. This would speed screenings and do nothing to compromise safety.

"Suggestions such as that are detrimental to security. We want to go forward not backward."

Since footwear is not a threat to air safety, this suggestion is not at all detrimental to security.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can I be a BDO? I mean, what other job can you can just stand around the airport looking at attractive members of the opposite sex all day and get paid for it?

Go to class for a few days and suddenly you're an expert at reading people's facial expressions? Come on!

Submitted by Anonymous on

>>The only thing that I know we as TSA can do in >>enforcement of the carry-on is to document the >>particular scenario and send it to our regulatory >>which will be able to fine the airlines for not >>enforcing a federal regulation.

Is your agency about security or is it about revenue collection? You tell me that you're going to fine the airlines for excessive baggage before the airline has even had a chance to count the number of bags a passenger has brought?

So if I print my boarding pass at home, show up at the curb, and go right to security with four bags, that's the airline's fault?

Submitted by Anonymous on

so, what exactly happens to a baby who goes through an X-ray machine?

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Ayn R. Key said...

Interestingly enough, in spite of the stupid shoe carnival, the TSA recently allowed gunpowder through with a forged boarding pass as described in this story.

Don't worry they caught at least one tube of cinnamon rolls.
Submitted by Trollkiller on

The new ID laws have been in effect for a full 24 hours.

Question: Is the TSA STILL illegally demanding an ID as a criterion for granting access to the sterile area when the law clearly does not give the TSA the statutory right to do so?

My updated blog.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Trollkiller said...
The new ID laws have been in effect for a full 24 hours.

Question: Is the TSA STILL illegally demanding an ID as a criterion for granting access to the sterile area when the law clearly does not give the TSA the statutory right to do so?

My updated blog.

December 30, 2008 12:32 PM

TK, wish you would add the TSA CASH INQUISITION to your blog/queries.

I ask daily for the enabling legislation that authorizes TSA to submit a person to interrogation just becasue they happen to be have a large amount of cash and bought a ticket to fly on an aircraft owned by a commercial airline.

You've seen the nonsense answers entry level screeners have come back with, yet nothing said justifies this outrage.

Blogger Bob continues to ignore the question although it is "ON TOPIC" for this blog.

He culls out my questions as fast as I submit them because he knows TSA cannot reconcile this practice.

And as we all know, TSA certainly doesn't want the public to know what bad deeds TSA is up to today!

Submitted by Bob on

For the Anon who keeps asking about cash, please read.

Also, just to show you that traveling domestically with large amounts of currency is OK, please note the "Traveling With Special Items" section at the bottom. We actually advise you to let a TSO know, so we can screen you in private if desired. (So nobody else sees your cash or valuable items)


Currency Reporting

It is legal to transport any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into or out of the United States. However, if you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign place, or into the United States from any foreign place, you must file a report with U.S. Customs. This report is called the Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments, Customs Form 4790. Furthermore, if you receive in the United States, currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) at one time which has been transported, mailed, or shipped to you from any foreign place, you must file a CF-4790. These forms can be obtained at all U.S. ports of entry and departure.

Monetary instruments include:

U.S. or foreign coins and currency;
Traveler checks in any form;
Negotiable instruments (including checks, promissory notes, and money orders) that are either in bearer form, endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious payee, or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery;
Incomplete instruments (including checks, promissory notes, and money orders) signed, but with they payee’s name omitted; and
Ssecurities or stock in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery. However, the term "monetary instruments" does not include:
Checks or money orders made payable to the order of a named person which have not been endorsed or which bear restrictive endorsements;
Warehouse receipts; or
Bills of lading.

Reporting is required under the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act (PL 97-258, 31 U.S.C. 5311, et seq.), as amended. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties and may lead to forfeiture of your monetary instrument(s).

U.S. Customs Service

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20229

Telephone (202) 927-1520

Traveling with Special Items

Currency, Coins, Precious Metals, or Valuable Jewelry

If you are carrying valuable items such as large amounts of currency, coins or jewelry, we recommend that you ask Security Officers to screen you and your carry-on luggage in private. This will maintain your security and avoid public scrutiny.

We suggest that you ask to speak with a TSA screening supervisor before you are screened. Tell the supervisor discretely that you would be screened in a private location.

TSA operating procedures require a witness to be present during private screening. The witness may be another TSA Security Officer or someone that is traveling with you.

If cleared, you and your valuables will be allowed to enter the sterile side of the airport.

Private screening is also available to individuals randomly selected for screening at the airline gate.

We recommend that you carry these items with you at all times.

Currency Reporting: For international flights, you must report the transport of $10,000.00 USD or more to the U.S. Customs Service.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said...
For the Anon who keeps asking about cash, please read.

Also, just to show you that traveling domestically with large amounts of currency is OK, please note the "Traveling With Special Items" section at the bottom. We actually advise you to let a TSO know, so we can screen you in private if desired. (So nobody else sees your cash or valuable items)///////////////////////////////////////////
Bob you have again evaded the question.

Why does TSA concern itself with a traveler who has a large amount of curreny?

Why would this same traveler be subjected to an inquiry by TSA or a LEO.

Please provide the legislation or other document that addresses this invasiion of privacy and directs a TSO to comply with this procedure.

Please provide the name of the TSA official who signed said document.

If the carrying of cash is legal then why would TSA concern itself with this matter.

Bob, what you provided did not in any way address the questions that have been asked.

Submitted by Tomas on

Blogger Bob, you have quoted back to us the proper way large amounts of cash should be handled by government employees at the TSA screening areas, but you have failed to address the statements by other TSA employees that still insist that if they encounter ANYONE with a large amount of cash they would report them to a LEO even though the have zero indication any laws have been broken.

They insist that even thought they do not specifically search for large amounts of cash, if they find it it is automatically a "big deal" that must involve a LEO.

If you want to actually fix a problem, Bob, please have this perverse mis-application of "authority" by TSA employees corrected and eliminated.

Retrain those who believe it is ANY business of a TSA employee to refer or even notice a large amount of cash accompanying a traveler on a domestic flight.

Thanks!
Tom (1 of 5-6)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, for someone who works in the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs you certainly have serious problems with basic communications.

I have to question your ability to understand even simple written questions if you feel that you have answered any of the questions I have asked.

I certainly know about Currency Reporting. It seems that TSA does not. It is TSA who has injected itself in the business of ordinary people for no understandable reason.

I would suggest that you retract your last post and try again.

Submitted by Ronnie on

Bob, it seems some people will just never be happy no matter what you do. The cash question has been answered again and again. They just don't like the answer. What's that old adage about insanity...?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thomas said:
If you want to actually fix a problem, Bob, please have this perverse mis-application of "authority" by TSA employees corrected and eliminated.


TSA fix anything? It seems that they make one blunder after another, and like a bull in a china shop, really do not care what havoc they create.

I believe that is their strategy.
Create so much confusion and distraction, so no one really can fully comprehend how incompetent they really are.

TSA confiscating cinnamon rolls because dough is now a gel. So what is cheese? Would a loaf of bread be prohibited now?

You guys clearly have no grasp of true security, and are alienating the public, that one day you may need to turn to for help. When that day comes, you will see just how much we hold you in disgust.

Is it that difficult to answer and account for very simple things that millions of others seem to have no problems with? The TSA is certainly a breed of their own. And that is not meant as a compliment.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, continuing with the “Carrying Large Sums of Cash” discussion, one way discussion most of the time, I think only a very few reasons exist that you have not posted the enabling documents for this procedure.

First, to be clear, more than one comment has been made that TSA in fact does refer a person to additional screening and questioning if they are found to have a large sum of cash with them. There is no doubt about TSA policy in place on this point.

The real question is why, what does the document actually require, and who authorized the policy?

That is if a written policy actually exists at all!

I am starting to doubt such a document has ever been written.

That would mean that someone within TSA verbally communicated the need for this procedure. It would also indicate that this person knew the requirement was in fact illegal and did not want his/her name associated with an documented illegal order.

I further believe that whoever authorized this policy lacks personal integrity and is afraid to step forward and take responsibility for their actions.

All of the above reasons demonstrate why TSA and its employees have failed every measure used to gauge success.

You or anyone at TSA is free to disprove my suspicions.

Submitted by HappyToHelp on

This should add more information on the discussion of cash

Terrorist Financing: U.S. Agency Efforts
and Inter-Agency Coordination
PDF warning

some discussion points

CBP maintains relationships and coordinates with many agencies in the performance of its border security missions. These include other DHS agencies including Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA).

This is in referrence to the hidden cash(over 10k) in a shoe that sparked this whole thing....
the USA PATRIOT Act makes it a crime to knowingly conceal more than
$10,000 in cash or other monetary instruments and attempt to transport it into or
outside of the United States.

Again... hope this helps.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Folks ... it seems like we're talking past each other on the whole $10K business.

Clearly there are regulations that state that it is not permitted to take over $10K in currency out of the country without filling out the appropriate forms. That answer has been given numerous times here on this blog. And those rules are not being questioned. (At least by me.)

The problem is: that's not the question that's being asked.

Suppose I come to a TSA checkpoint with $10K in cash, either openly or concealed. It appears that current TSA policy is to question me regarding the currency, to verify I am in compliance with the above referenced regulations.

The problem occurs if I am flying domestically with this cash. I must now "prove", to the satisfaction of the TSA, that I am not flying internationally, and therefore am not subject to this particular regulation. This makes me guilty until I prove my innocence, with no particular standard of "proof" available to me to know what sort of evidence is sufficient to prove my innocence.

It also requires me to reveal to strangers (a) that I am carrying this money, and (b) my final destination. Note that this information is revealed not only to the TSA, but to those strangers standing around me in the screening line, who may be looking to identify someone with valuables to steal.

Of course, I can always request a private screening. But then (a) I may have to explain why I want a private screening to the TSO, forcing me to reveal information publicly yet again, and (b) the fact that I have requested a private screening is itself public, thereby indicating to anyone around me that I have a reason to request such a screening ... which may indicate that I am carrying valuables that would be worth stealing.

And, of course, once the TSA has reason to conduct a deeper search of my belongings (because of the finding of currency), the TSA may find other items which present no threat to aviation, but are nevertheless in violation of the law, exposing me to unrelated jeopardy.

So, let me try to phrase some rather precise questions:

1) Have I stated TSA's current policies and procedures correctly?

[Aside: if passengers had a list of all the TSA rules and regulations we had to follow, this question would be easy for anyone to answer. (Hi, Phil.)]

2) My understanding is that TSA only intentionally looks for "dangerous" items; however, if obviously illegal items are found, those items are referred to local law enforcement. Why is there a presumption that someone carrying $10K in currency at a TSA checkpoint, is in violation of the law?

[Disclaimer: I've never held $10K in currency in my hands in my life, much less attempted to bring it through a checkpoint. So my interest in this is purely theoretical.]

Submitted by Anonymous on

HappyToHelp said...
the USA PATRIOT Act makes it a crime to knowingly conceal more than $10,000 in cash or other monetary instruments and attempt to transport it into or
outside of the United States.

This is NOT in dispute!!!

We are talking about carrying cash TOTALLY within the borders of the USA.
Why can't people read!
STOP bringing up taking cash OUTSIDE the USA, that is NOT the issue.

There is no law that I know of that prevents people from carrying any amount of cash they desire TOTALLY within the borders of the USA.

There is no law that says I can not hide, conceal, or do whatever I wish with my cash that I obtained legally and have declared on my taxes.

If TSA knows of some law, then please post it here for all to see.

I do not want to hear something about taking it out of the country, or drug money, or stolen money.

We all know what is being asked, so STOP answering the question like you can't read simple english.

The question ONCE again:

Please show us the law that states that when traveling within the borders of the USA, and carrying an amount of currency over $10,000, that the US government (TSA) has the right to question or interrogate that person concerning the act of having that currency in their possession.

Also please show us the law that states that the owner of that currency is NOT allowed to conceal it on their person, or hide it, or keep totally quiet about even having it. Again this is about legally obtained currency and traveling TOTALLY within the borders of the USA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To Ronnie, you say the questions about TSA causing people who have a large amount of currency to be interrogated have been answers.

They have not! Nothing has been posted that shows that TSA has any authority to search for or bring notice of someone to law enforcemennt who has a large sum of cash. A possible exception would be if the funds were hidden in items to disguise what was being carried and only then if the person was leaving or entering the country.

For HappyToHelp.....

The document you've posted is interesting but again does not discuss any enabling legislation that allows TSA to conduct searches or even to bring notice to someone who has a large sum of cash. Again, an exception could possibly be made if the funds are secluded or hidden in some other item.

The questions remains open.

A pointer to the legislation or other documents that enable TSA to refer anyone to Law Enforcement for carrying large sums of cash and who signed said document.

I see no way that this information could jeapordize any sensative programs.

Submitted by Anonymous on

@HappyToHelp: "This is in referrence to the hidden cash(over 10k) in a shoe that sparked this whole thing....
the USA PATRIOT Act makes it a crime to knowingly conceal more than
$10,000 in cash or other monetary instruments and attempt to transport it into or outside of the United States."

If unlike Bob you had actually read the previous posts, you would see that we are NOT talking about international travel. Hence, all your blathering is off topic.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Having TSA provide security is much the same as paying the fellow who shows up monthly at shops and stores to collect their security fee.

Don't pay and see what happens.

Answer: You go to jail for tax evasion. NEXT!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
so, what exactly happens to a baby who goes through an X-ray machine?

December 30, 2008 2:52 AM

well, for a real life-like simulation, simply place a marshmellow in a microwave for 60 seconds (on high) and observe...It's clear why you people have no clue whats going on in the world. /cry

Submitted by Tomas on
Ronnie wrote...
Bob, it seems some people will just never be happy no matter what you do. The cash question has been answered again and again. They just don't like the answer. What's that old adage about insanity...?

Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie> :o(

THe "cash question" has indeed been answered many times by folks purporting to be the know-all, see-all employees of the TSA.

The only problem with the answers are that they are all different and for the most part mutually exclusive.

On one side we have Blogger Bob telling us how it is SUPPOSED to work, on another we have some line TSOs telling us that regardless of what Bob or the rules say, if they discover large but unspecified amounts of cash "concealed" on or about a traveler, they are required to report that to law enforcement. On yet another side we have other allegedly knowledgeable line TSOs claiming that it actually is unlawful to travel with large amounts of concealed cash. And then there are those also claiming to be TSOs who state they don't have a choice and they must flag the travelers for additional screening.

In reality, they is absolutely no requirement to inform a TSO you have large amounts of money, nor is there any legitimate need for the government to know that unless one is crossing an international border.

So, while the question has been answered many times, it has been answered in so many different voices with different opinions, that it is obvious that TSA needs to seriously retrain their folks at many levels to FOLLOW THE LAWS as written.

Tom (1 or 5-6)
Submitted by Trollkiller on
Ronnie said...
Bob, it seems some people will just never be happy no matter what you do. The cash question has been answered again and again. They just don't like the answer. What's that old adage about insanity...?
Ronnie please point me to the answer. There has been no answer to the question posed. Just in case you or anyone else at the TSA is confused as to what the question is I will reiterate it for you.

Faced with the fact that carrying any amount of currency is legal within the United States, what gives the TSA (TSOs, BDOs and all the other initialed employees) the LEGAL (by statute) right to involve a LEO when the TSA discovers a large amount of cash when the passenger is NOT entering or leaving the United States?
Submitted by Anonymous on

It doesn't matter if a person is traveling internationally or within the US in regards to the need for TSA to take notice of a person who has a large amount of cash. It simply is not a concern for TSA to concern themselves with this matter. For travel in to the country or out it would be a concern to Customs.

All I want and have repeatedly asked is for TSA to show me what directives they are operating under that requires them to refer anyone to additional screening/interrogation because the traveler has a large amount of cash and who the official is that signed this directive. Nothing more.

Remember it was just a few weeks ago when the official TSA web page stated it was a crime to have $10K or more on your person for any reason. That has since been changed but that statement indicates the lack understanding of law by TSA legal staff and its employees. How can we expect them to implement any other policy if they cannot do even simple things with understanding?

I suspect that false information has been provided to low level TSA workers and that no directive is in place requiring the referral of people with large amounts of cash.

In other words, I think TSA is acting on made on rules by people who just do not know what the heck they are doing. Who would of thunk it?

On another note; T

Thankfully we have been saved from the dangerous Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls by a sharp TSO as reported in a another thread. You never know when one of those things will go off, don't cha know!!

Aren't you proud?

Submitted by Anonymous on

[Disclaimer: I've never held $10K in currency in my hands in my life, much less attempted to bring it through a checkpoint. So my interest in this is purely theoretical.]

December 30, 2008 6:44 PM

I handle moderate amounts ($10K and up) of cash daily. Lets face it, in today's world $10K is pretty much chump change.

But the real fact of the matter is that it is simple not TSA's business just how much cash I have or do not have. If a TSO sees cash in my carry-on then they should not draw attention to the fact. They should not ask questions and they should not call Law Enforcement. Nothing has happened that is illegal or that requires explanation to anyone.

Submitting to an Administrative Search is understood. I can also understand why referral would occur should I or anyone else be foolish enough to carry something illegal.

I cannot understand why doing nothing illegal would lead to extra scrutiny or even cause suspicion.

So I have found a mission. I will continue until TSA discloses the directive or retracts this policy of referring anyone to interrogation for possession of cash.

Submitted by CJ on

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
so, what exactly happens to a baby who goes through an X-ray machine?
-----------------------------

well, for a real life-like simulation, simply place a marshmellow in a microwave for 60 seconds (on high) and observe...It's clear why you people have no clue whats going on in the world. /cry

===============================

Huh? I realise that the xray machines in the airport aren't medical xray machines, but they're certainly not microwaves! They're not going to make the kid explode or melt!

The baby may be subjected to unwisely high radiation levels (I don't know how much higher, compared to if they had a medical xray), and I guess it's possible that that might lead to later health problems, but there's really no comparison to marshmallows in microwaves.

Submitted by Sandra on

Anonymous wrote:

"@HappyToHelp: "This is in referrence to the hidden cash(over 10k) in a shoe that sparked this whole thing....
the USA PATRIOT Act makes it a crime to knowingly conceal more than
$10,000 in cash or other monetary instruments and attempt to transport it into or outside of the United States."

If unlike Bob you had actually read the previous posts, you would see that we are NOT talking about international travel. Hence, all your blathering is off topic."

Unfortunately, HappyToHelp has never understood that concept. I argued this same point with him a couple of weeks ago, but he could or would not understand.

You know, the TSA should start tracking the ISPs of all these alleged members of the TSA who are giving incorrect information and begin pulling them aside for "retraining." It might put an end to all the incorrect information we are being handed.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quote: "I ask daily for the enabling legislation that authorizes TSA to submit a person to interrogation just becasue they happen to be have a large amount of cash and bought a ticket to fly on an aircraft owned by a commercial airline."

All I can say is if Mr. Pardo had gone through a TSA CheckPoint with that cash strapped to his leg (He was going to flee to Canada) and a TSO had reported it to a LEO, we may have avoided that shooting/arson that resulted over Christmas. Think about that one.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Also, for all of you crowing about how someone got "Gunpowder" through a CP, maybe you ought to actually read the article. The guy did not bring "Gunpowder" through at all. He brought through 3 seperate elements that have to be combined in very specific quantities and mixed very carefully to even atempt to create a very primitive gunpowder.

The guy even gets his source material by watching a "Star Trek" episode! Yeah, really credible!

Not only that, but he totally destroys any hope of making gunpowder by wetting all the elements! I guess every one of you that quoted the article missed this gem of a quote:

"Mind you, I had packed the stuff safely. It was in three separate jars: one of charcoal, one of sulphur, and one of saltpetre (potassium nitrate). Each jar was labeled: Charcoal, Sulphur, Saltpetre. I had also thoroughly wet down each powder with tap water. No ignition was possible."

Let me reiterate for the slow crowd: "I had also thoroughly wet down each powder with tap water. No ignition was possible."

So I suppose someone has a scenario in mind where he goes into the airplane rest room, spreads out his soaking wet elements, dries them fully (can't even be slightly damp)with a blow driver (without scattering them all over the place), then pulls out his graduated scale, his morter and pestle and carefully makes up some gunpowder. of course, now he has to fashion some kind of delivery device, fuse, ignition source, pack the gunpowder to just the right pressure, etc, etc. All to get an incendiary about the size of an M-80 which probably won't even ignite.

Does he do this while "Arena" (Star Trek episode) runs on his iPod so he can get "accurate" measurements?

And you say the TSA watches too much TV to hatch farfetched plots?!?!

HELLO>>>>>>>????

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quote:
"Sandra said...

You know, the TSA should start tracking the ISPs of all these alleged members of the TSA who are giving incorrect information and begin pulling them aside for "retraining." It might put an end to all the incorrect information we are being handed.

December 31, 2008 10:10 AM"

So it's ok for you to scream about TSAs infringing on passengers rights but you're real quick to suggest that they illegally track IP addresses. Wow! A slippery slope indeed....

Submitted by Anonymous on

On an positive note;

I hope the new year treats all well and brings good fortune.

I hope that new TSA Leadership brings needed and positive change to the agency.

Happy New Year!

RB

Submitted by Bob on

Anonymous Said: All I want and have repeatedly asked is for TSA to show me what directives they are operating under that requires them to refer anyone to additional screening/interrogation because the traveler has a large amount of cash and who the official is that signed this directive. Nothing more.
------------------------------

OK. Below are two items. One is an excerpt from the "A Word From Our Lawyers Blog Post" from TSA's Chief Counsel, Francine Kerner. The other is the Operations Directive you have been asking for.

As far as passengers traveling domestically being referred to a supervisor for having $10,000 + of currency, this didn't happen back when i was a TSO. We only referred international passengers. Things may have changed, so I'm doing some research to get you an official answer. I also just e-mailed about 200 of my contacts from various locations around the country to see what's happening at their airports. Stay tuned...

2.21.2008 (From A Word With our Lawyers" Blog Post)

I see that at least one person was troubled by the fact that TSA's screening of airline passengers sometimes yields evidence of crimes not directly related to aviation security. Our responsibility and focus in the airport screening process is to prevent a terrorist attack involving aircraft. In the course of carrying out our mission by screening for weapons and explosives, however, we sometimes incidentally discover illegal items unrelated to transportation security. Federal law and policy require that we refer such items to law enforcement officers for appropriate action. See, for example, United States v. Marquez, 410 F.3d 612, 617 (2005). Francine Kerner – TSA Chief Counsel

Operation Directive: Discovery of Contraband During the Screening Process OD-400-54-2 May 9, 2005

Expiration– Indefinite

Summary - This directive provides guidance to ensure nationwide consistency in the appropriate referral or initiation of civil enforcement actions for incidents involving discovery of contraband during TSA screening procedures.

Procedures - When TSA discovers contraband during the screening process that is not a TSA Prohibited Item, the matter should be referred to the local Law Enforcement Officers as appropriate. An Enforcement Investigative Report should not be initiated.

Examples of such contraband include:

- Illegal Drugs
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Large Amounts of Cash(10,000.00)

The OD was signed by TSA's Chief Operating Officer at the time, Jonathan J. Fleming

For the rest of the document, (contact numbers and e-mails) please use the FOIA process for OD-400-54-2

Thanks,

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

Thanks for the explanation of why TSO's refer people to LEO's when contraband is found. Althrough I do not believe that we have to explain ourselves to the public.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If unlike Bob you had actually read the previous posts, you would see that we are NOT talking about international travel. Hence, all your blathering is off topic."
___________________________________
Thanks Sandra.... Neither are we. Anyon can travel with as much money as they want internationally. If a large amount of money is found the person will be questioned to see where they are flying to. That is it. There is no harm done in asking. If they are not traveling outside of the country than there is no issue. Thanks for all of your concern.

Submitted by Anonymous on

CJ said...
Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
so, what exactly happens to a baby who goes through an X-ray machine?
-----------------------------

well, for a real life-like simulation, simply place a marshmellow in a microwave for 60 seconds (on high) and observe...It's clear why you people have no clue whats going on in the world. /cry

===============================

Huh? I realise that the xray machines in the airport aren't medical xray machines, but they're certainly not microwaves! They're not going to make the kid explode or melt!

The baby may be subjected to unwisely high radiation levels (I don't know how much higher, compared to if they had a medical xray), and I guess it's possible that that might lead to later health problems, but there's really no comparison to marshmallows in microwaves.

December 31, 2008 3:40 AM
___________________________________

The xray machines are not going to harm the baby. It is not the smartest idea to put your child through the xray. But it is just a little radiation. Just like the hospital xrays. It is not going to harm anyone.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said...
Anonymous Said: All I want and have repeatedly asked is for TSA to show me what directives they are operating under that requires them to refer anyone to additional screening/interrogation because the traveler has a large amount of cash and who the official is that signed this directive. Nothing more.
------------------------------
Thanks Bob. Finally something concrete. Why did it take so much effort for such little return.

The bit from your lawyers does not address cash. Plain and simple.

The second piece determines that $10K cash or more is contraband. I think this decision is flawed and should be reviewed by your legal staff.

How can something that is perfectly legal and safe suddenly become contraband when someone enters a TSA Dragnet Checkpoint?

When did American currency become contraband?

These types of statements and decisions by supposedly public servants are what injure the American people and our Constitution.

Freedom is not lost all in one fell swoop, but bit by bit over time. Actions like this by TSA chips away at our freedoms without recourse. TSA casues more harm than any good it does.

I maintain that the TSA and its employees are a danger to the United States of America.

A Clear and Present Danger!

Submitted by Anonymous on

If a large amount of money is found the person will be questioned to see where they are flying to. That is it. There is no harm done in asking. If they are not traveling outside of the country than there is no issue. Thanks for all of your concern.
.............................
Absolutely disagree!!!!

There is harm when the government sticks its nose in a citizens private business.

That is what freedom is all about.

It is not a responsibility of TSA to track currency.

Submitted by Anonymous on

All I can say is if Mr. Pardo had gone through a TSA CheckPoint with that cash strapped to his leg (He was going to flee to Canada) and a TSO had reported it to a LEO, we may have avoided that shooting/arson that resulted over Christmas. Think about that one.

December 31, 2008 12:00 PM

???????????????????????????????

You seem confuse over the facts of this case.


He shot, burned then fled.

How would discovery of the cash after the fact prevented anything other than his escape had he not burned himself so badly.

I see, more TSA logic at work.

Good job, TSO!

Submitted by Tomas on

To the Anonymous commenting on gunpowder... The proportions of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur are fairly relaxed, get 'em wrong within a few percent and you just have some leftover residue with more of whatever in it than expected, but the gunpowder still works.

When I was a 12 year old kid I made quite a bit of basic black powder, and by thirteen was adding to the interesting effects by adding a layer of thermite (iron oxide and aluminum oxide). I do believe it would burn a respectable hole in an aircraft without too much trouble (used to burn holes in concrete pretty well). Unmixed, the stuff is all pretty tame, and could easily be "art supplies" in someone's kit.

Could I mix the powders up in the aircraft lav? Sure. No problem.

Am I an explosives expert? No. In fact, rather then an explosive I would probably aim toward an intense heat source...

Tom (1 of 5-6)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Jonathan J. Fleming: currently serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of S2 Global, a provider of scanning and screening security solution to provide safe transportation of goods and passengers, combat illegal shipments, and protect critical infrastructure domestically and abroad.

.............................
Ah ha, and just how many contracts does DHS/TSA with his company, S@ Global?

Former TSA CEO starts up a company that makes scanning equipement and who would happen to be the prime customer.

Why am I not surprised?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Also, for all of you crowing about how someone got "Gunpowder" through a CP, maybe you ought to actually read the article.
.........................
Perhaps you did not understand the article.

The writers intent was to prove that materials for an incendiary could be taken through a TSA checkpoint undetected.

In order to demonstrate that he/she had no intent to make such a device is why the materials where dampened with water.

Had this been a real bad guy a weapon of some sort could have been constructed once airborne.

The writer did get the materials through the TSA checkpoint.

You guys were probably to busy looking for cinnamon rolls or cash money!

Submitted by Txrus on

Sandra suggested ...

You know, the TSA should start tracking the ISPs of all these alleged members of the TSA who are giving incorrect information and begin pulling them aside for "retraining." It might put an end to all the incorrect information we are being handed.

*********************************
I made a similar suggestion, off-line, to Blogger Bob & his compatriots, sans the tracking of ISP's, when the blog first started. I suggested they take these incredibly wrong posts, santize for identity (not that the posters don't already do that themselves anyway) & send out to ALL TSA staff w/the correct information; no idea if it's happened, but given some of the Anon responses we keep seeing, I suspect not.

Then another Anon TSA'er came along & made this 'comment':

Bob,

Althrough I do not believe that we have to explain ourselves to the public.
*******************************
Bob-can you please explain to your colleague why & how this statement is so very, very, VERY wrong? (Before one of the regulars does it for you?) Just a suggestion.

Finally, Bob stated:

Examples of such contraband include:

- Illegal Drugs
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Large Amounts of Cash(10,000.00)

The OD was signed by TSA's Chief Operating Officer at the time, Jonathan J. Fleming
**********************************
Can you please provide the statute that makes 'large amounts of cash (10,000.00' 'contraband' under US law? Preferably the one Mr. Fleming, or your lawyers, used to come to this conclusion?

Finally, when should we expect to receive answers to the questions I posted on 12/22/08 & 12/23/08 that were in direct response to the original blog entry? Inquiring minds, you know!

Submitted by Marshall's SO on

"If a large amount of money is found the person will be questioned to see where they are flying to. That is it. There is no harm done in asking. If they are not traveling outside of the country than there is no issue. Thanks for all of your concern."

The TSA KNOWS the person's destination; no need to ask.

I, for one, would not tell you my final destination and there is nothing you can do about that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If a large amount of money is found the person will be questioned to see where they are flying to. That is it. There is no harm done in asking. If they are not traveling outside of the country than there is no issue. Thanks for all of your concern.
.............................
Absolutely disagree!!!!

There is harm when the government sticks its nose in a citizens private business.

That is what freedom is all about.

It is not a responsibility of TSA to track currency.

___________________________________
Get a life

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just wondering, do TSO's who operated xray equipment or stand near this type of equipment wear dosimeters?

Submitted by Sandra on

Bob, over $10,000 in cash in NOT contraband; it is perfectly legal.

What you wrote is in direct contradiction to the TSA guidelines on the website:

"It is legal to transport any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into or out of the United States."

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1848.shtm

Someone has once again screwed up royally.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Examples of such contraband include:

- Illegal Drugs
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Large Amounts of Cash(10,000.00)

The OD was signed by TSA's Chief Operating Officer at the time, Jonathan J. Fleming

Wow, now it seems appointed (not elected) officials are making laws.

Can you give us where Mr Fleming has the authority to make laws and declare US currency as contraband. Is it only contraband at a checkpoint?

What else is on the list?
Submitted by Bob on

Way to cherry pick Sandra. Why didn't you post the very next sentence? I've already posted it once.

Here is what Sandra left out: (Follow her link if you want to see it with your own eyes)

However, if you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign place, or into the United States from any foreign place, you must file a report with U.S. Customs.

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said...
Way to cherry pick Sandra. Why didn't you post the very next sentence? I've already posted it once.

Here is what Sandra left out: (Follow her link if you want to see it with your own eyes)

However, if you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign place, or into the United States from any foreign place, you must file a report with U.S. Customs.

Bob

EoS Blog Team

..............................
Exact and accurate information.

Just what is TSA's responsibility here?

NONE, that is the problem!!

Pages