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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 Ayn R Key on

Bob, Bob, Bob,

Sandra's not cherry picking.

This whole conversation has been about travel within the USA.

Every time the TSA spokespeople reference travel outside the USA, they are guilty of context cutting and cherry picking.

Submitted by Sandra on

Anonymous wrote:

"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...."

Tell that to those members of the TSA who used to post on FlyerTalk, often with very accurate and helpful information, but were tracked down by the TSA and told to stop posting or were threatened with being fired.

Submitted by Anonymous on

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 an accurate information Bob.

But can you tell me what TSA's roll is in this?

Oh, thats right it has no roll in currency control!

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

December 31, 2008 2:13 PM
___________________________________

Why thank you!

I have a very nice life but have been forced to defend my Constitution since TSA seems intenet on causing it great harm.

Hopefully I will take down a few DHS/TSA employees on my way.

Submitted by Sandra on

Bob, CASH CANNOT BE BOTH LEGAL AND CONTRABAND AT THE SAME TIME!!!!

Contraband means:

"Goods prohibited from being imported or exported."

Not having a declaration if one is traveling international makes the carrying of >$10,000 illegal but does not make it contraband.

Contraband cannot be made legal by the filing of a particular piece of paper.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I find it amazing that TSA keeps finding itself defending its illegal actions which have no bearing on Transportation Safety yet fails every reasonable test of what it should be doing.

How can any one agency be so incompetent?

Even a child learns that touching a hot stove hurts!

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Bob,

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.

How would you have known whether or not a given passenger was a domestic or an international passenger? The destination given on their boarding pass is hardly useful; unless I'm greatly mistaken, if I make an international flight that starts with a domestic connecting flight, the boarding pass I show at the TSA checkpoint will only show my domestic flight. (After all, I have a separate boarding pass for my connecting flight.)

So, if I show you an international boarding pass, you know I'm flying to an international destination. But if I show you a domestic boarding pass, you don't know anything about whether I'm flying domestically or internationally.

Or am I missing something here?

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Blogger Bob I think it would have been easier on you to discuss the new and improved illegal ID verification at the check points than the wrongheaded currency contraband policy.

Trollkiller's Blog

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...
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.


YOU WORK FOR US. Get that through your skull and you will understand why you have to explain yourselves to the public.

Trollkiller's Blog
Submitted by Trollkiller on
Blogger Bob said...
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

Thanks Blogger Bob for pointing us to the offending document. Now that we know where it is we can accurately complain.

Who would be the best person to go to on this? I have already tried the Office of the Inspector General for the illegal ID verification but once it made it to the Chief Counsel’s Office it was promptly ignored. Well sort of ignored, the law did get changed but still left the forced ID verification illegal.

BTW Hi honey, I am home.
Submitted by HappyToHelp on
Sandra said...
If unlike Bob you had actually read the previous posts, you would see that we are NOT talking about international travel.

International travel has to do with the why's. Why does TSA make referrals based off of cash amounts? If that was not the question you were asking I would hope you would be able to determine on your own that my response was not directed to you or anyone else that is asking different questions on the same subject(can't help everyone).

I know you are very defensive when you feel people are ganging up on you or are singling you out, but you need to take a step back and a deep breath. Life is to short. :p

Bob said...
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...

Thanks Bob. I'm glad a much needed conclusion is coming on this subject. Keep us posted.
Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from Sandra: "Anonymous wrote:

"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...."

Tell that to those members of the TSA who used to post on FlyerTalk, often with very accurate and helpful information, but were tracked down by the TSA and told to stop posting or were threatened with being fired."

Sandra's right. I know of at least one CATSA screener and 2 TSA screeners who left FlyerTalk and subsequently lost their jobs. There's possibly more. I know the CATSA screener caused an alert to go out - other CATSA screeners reported a memo going out about discussing security online. I believe the CATSA screener was facing legal sanctions as well.

Yes, TSA and its Canadian counterpart CATSA seem to have no qualms about going after helpful screeners on other sites. I even warned HSVTSO Dean about it when he first started posting there that TSA folks had a tendency to disappear from FlyerTalk. Fortunately, he's still there. But we do know for sure that TSA and CATSA are spying on its employees there.

So, yeah, they're doing it. If they're going to nail helpful people who are actually trying to help the public navigate the mess TSA has created, it should also work on reigning in the people who are muddling the process. If anything, NOT muddling TSO's who are constantly spouting contradicting information and retraining them in the proper process would actually help security. That's what we're trying to do here, improve security, right? It'd also eliminate the "airport X doesn't do it right. We at airport Y do" when it comes to inconsistency.

If they're going to abuse the public's rights, why not its employees too? Maybe if they get what we're getting, they'll suddenly stop thinking it's ok. Or is this another case of "Everyone is created equal. However, some are more equal than others."?

It wouldn't surprise me if TSA has figured out where I live, what my IP is, and so forth. It also makes me wonder if it's how my 4 year old son ended up on the tripping the no fly list last time I flew with him.

TSA should be an equal opportunity abuser if it's going to abuse people.

Robert
Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
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.

December 31, 2008 1:07 PM

/////////////////////////
"Althrough I do not believe that we have to explain ourselves to the public."

Thank you unknown TSA employee.

Remarks like yours do much more to discredit your agency than I could ever accomplish in a life time.

I thank you!

Submitted by Tomas on
Jim Huggins wrote...
Bob,
How would you have known whether or not a given passenger was a domestic or an international passenger? The destination given on their boarding pass is hardly useful; unless I'm greatly mistaken, if I make an international flight that starts with a domestic connecting flight, the boarding pass I show at the TSA checkpoint will only show my domestic flight. (After all, I have a separate boarding pass for my connecting flight.)

So, if I show you an international boarding pass, you know I'm flying to an international destination. But if I show you a domestic boarding pass, you don't know anything about whether I'm flying domestically or internationally.

Or am I missing something here?
________________

Jim, I don't know about all US Airports with international originations, but those few that I have flown out of to non-US destinations had separate "International" concourses, so if you were at a domestic concourse, you were NOT flying out of the country from there...

If I fly from SEA to LAX, for example, I'm not leaving the country - at least not without going through a TSA chokepoint again.

Tom (1 of 5-6)
Submitted by Sandra on

You did it again, HappyToHelp, i.e., ascribing something another poster said to me:

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.

December 30, 2008 8:08 PM"

Please know who you are quoting when you write something.

Submitted by RB on

Thanks Bob. I'm glad a much needed conclusion is coming on this subject. Keep us posted.

December 31, 2008 5:46 PM

Got some news for ya Happy-to-Help. This money thing, it's just getting started.

We have some questions to resolve:

When did TSA get the authority to determine that anything is "Contraband" for the whole United States?

I suggest you go and read the definition for "Contraband".

What ever happened to those people called United States Congressmen who are charged with making law? I suspect they will be amused with TSA's attempt to replace them.

Since TSA has decided that Large Amounts of Money can not be imported or exported to this country since TSA has classified it as "Contraband" I suspect many large commercial and world bank operations will now have to be charged with smuggling. I'll be sure to inform the FBI that they are falling down on their job of enforcing TSA LAW.

Then I suspect your Inspector General will have some work in the new year with questions about these TSA LAWS that have not been enacted in the usual manner for a democracy but heck, who cares about that, right?

No, we are just getting started on this.

I see a very productive year ahead of me. How about you and your TSA comrades?

Submitted by RB on

The following comments were borrowed from another source but demonstrate the problems with TSA taking note of cash very well and futher illustrates how TSA and its screeners abuse their authority and the rights of travelers, for your reading pleasure;

I have a family member who refuses to use ATMs (yes, I know it's absurd and tell him regularly) and always travels with a few thousand in cash on his person. On a recent domestic trip, the TSA noticed his cash stash during a bag check at the checkpoint. They asked him how much was there. He told them he didn't know (he knew the ballpark number, but didn't know the exact amount), but that it wasn't enough to be illegal if transported out of the country--and he wasn't leaving the country anyway.

He was taken into the Magical Mystery Booth where the screener and his supervisor counted out all his money (including going through his wallet), searched his person and possessions, asked for all his personal information, and then filed out a bunch of forms they wouldn't let him see.</B

Now lets have a count of hands who are ok the this.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Tomas:

Jim, I don't know about all US Airports with international originations, but those few that I have flown out of to non-US destinations had separate "International" concourses, so if you were at a domestic concourse, you were NOT flying out of the country from there...

If I fly from SEA to LAX, for example, I'm not leaving the country - at least not without going through a TSA chokepoint again.

Must depend on the airport, then. At the McNamara (Northwest) terminal in DTW, international and domestic flights depart from the same concourse, side-by-side. So my original scenario still holds. (I don't know how common that is among other airports, of course.)

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't think that amount is contraband I just think they are saying if you have that much you will get "extra attention". A referral to law enforcement does not make something you are doing illegal.

Submitted by HappyToHelp on
Sandra said...
Please know who you are quoting when you write something.

I have both the reposter(you) and the original author(Anonymous) on the post. Who else do you want me to include? I will include anyone you want Sandra.

RB said...
Got some news for ya Happy-to-Help. This money thing, it's just getting started.

Okay. Do what you have to. I wish you the best. Not sure of what kind of response you want or why you are so hostile towards anyone who posts links to information to furthor online discussions.

RB said...
Since TSA has decided that Large Amounts of Money can not be imported or exported to this country since TSA has classified it as "Contraband"

Flat out wrong. Your just taking the "contraband" out of context. Read the report. Cash is not a TSA prohibited iteam. Go ahead and twist words all you want. Its fun but won't do anything.

RB said...
I see a very productive year ahead of me. How about you and your TSA comrades?

Awsome. Thanks for asking. I am looking forward to liquids returning to the checkpoint without restriction. I can't wait to fly with my gaterade again. It going to be interesting to see TSA go union and the effects it will have at the checkpoint.

Later folks
Submitted by Anonymous on

" why you are so hostile towards anyone who posts links to information to furthor online discussions."

"Happy", the links you post are often off the point and do not actually address the topic.

But what else would we expect from someone who claims that a sign they saw in some aiport proves hat there are no secret laws in America?

Submitted by Sandra on

HappyToHelp wrote:

"I have both the reposter(you) and the original author(Anonymous) on the post. Who else do you want me to include? I will include anyone you want Sandra."

However, you quoted me as being the original poster of the paragraph:

"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."

In a court of law, your attributing those words to me could be considered libelous.

"In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Slander refers to a malicious, false, and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images."

(Wikipedia for the definition above.)

Be careful of what you write, HappyToHelp.

On the topic of currency, I have forwarded Bob's post about large amounts of cash being considered "contraband" by the to my legislators as I believe they will be interested to learn that the TSA has aligned such with illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Submitted by RB on

To Happy to Help...

"RB said...
Since TSA has decided that Large Amounts of Money can not be imported or exported to this country since TSA has classified it as "Contraband"

Flat out wrong. Your just taking the "contraband" out of context. Read the report. Cash is not a TSA prohibited iteam. Go ahead and twist words all you want. Its fun but won't do anything."

First I understand that TSA and its East German Enclave may have some issues with english definitions of words so I'll try to help you out.
______________________________

From Merriam-Webster;

contraband
One entry found.

Sponsored LinksContraband Definition
What Is Contraband? Find Out w/the Dictionary Toolbar
Dictionary.alottoolbars.com

Main Entry: con·tra·band
Pronunciation: \ˈkän-trə-ˌband\
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian contrabbando, from Medieval Latin contrabannum, from contra- + bannus, bannum decree, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German bannan to command — more at ban
Date: circa 1529
1: illegal or prohibited traffic in goods : smuggling
2: goods or merchandise whose importation, exportation, or possession is forbidden ; also : smuggled goods
________________________________
There was a third definition but did not apply to this discussion.
________________________________
From Bob's post: "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)
________________________________


So TSA has determined that Cash Money is Contraband. And without full consideration did not realize that any amount of an item that is classified as "Contraband" is not permitted.

Otherwise a case could be made that certain amounts of illegal drugs or other real prohibited items are not "Contraband".

The real issue though is that TSA is not an agency tasked with control of currency. Not in any way, shape or form.

TSA has stated that they cannot do all of the jobs Congress has mandated because of cost, lack of manpower or any number of other excuses. Perhaps if TSA did only what it is tasked to do it could find those resources.

You say I am "Flat out Wrong", I don't think so.

Submitted by Sandra on

It's interesting that >$10,000 is not contraband at the corner of Main and Elm Streets, but suddenly becomes so at the checkpoint.

RB, it would seem that TSA policy was NOT followed in the case you cited:

"He was taken into the Magical Mystery Booth where the screener and his supervisor counted out all his money (including going through his wallet), searched his person and possessions, asked for all his personal information, and then filed out a bunch of forms they wouldn't let him see."

because as Blogger Bob posted:

"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."

Of course, why should the TSA not following policy be any surprise?

Submitted by HSVTSO Dean on
Robert Johnson wrote:
I even warned HSVTSO Dean about it when he first started posting there that TSA folks had a tendency to disappear from FlyerTalk. Fortunately, he's still there.

Two reasons:

(1) I'm careful not to disclose security-sensitive information. :D From what I understand, a good number of screeners, whether they work for CATSA or TSA, in an effort to be helpful to our fellow citizens, got a little bit *too* helpful and stepped across the line. It's a fine balancing act, but I've pulled it off pretty well so far.

(2) I don't have local management who view what I'm doing as bad, and therefore they aren't restricting my freedom of speech (as, when I'm posting to here or to FT, I am a private citizen and not a representative of the TSA). I know of other screeners who, while not doing anything to bring the ire of TSA as an official agency (such as releasing SSI, even inadvertantly), were told very bluntly by their management or Federal Security Directors that they should cease and desist.

Tch.

Either way. Yeah, I'm still here. Still doing what I can, but there hasn't been too much to talk about for me here on the Blog lately — most of the things being covered here lately are way over and beyond my field of expertise, and I'm not interested in getting into a slugging match over... well... some of the things some of the other TSOs seem interested in getting into, here.
Submitted by RB on

Of course, why should the TSA not following policy be any surprise?
--------------------------
How would a casual traveler know if TSA is following policy or not since it seems all the rules TSA works by are secret?

How many times has a list of rules a traveler must conform to been ask for by posters to this forum?

Is it any wonder that anger and disgust is growing daily by citizens subjected to the police state tactics of the TSA?

Submitted by HappyToHelp on
Anonymous said...
So TSA has determined that Cash Money is Contraband. And without full consideration did not realize that any amount of an item that is classified as "Contraband" is not permitted.

Please post your source about contraband not allowed through the checkpoint?

When contraband is NOT on the prohibited iteams list, it is only referred to law enforement per the directive. Thats all. The directive does not say that money is not allowed through the checkpoint. A example would be medical marihuana(if accidentally found). It gets a refferel to law enforcement and then the local airport police department lets it through(states that are applicable).

Sandra said...
In a court of law, your attributing those words to me could be considered libelous.

I will see you in court LOL. I would love to hear your claims on damages. Who else did you want me to add to that post again? I quoted the post just like it was(copy and paste). I believe it to be accaurate.

Anonymous said...
First I understand that TSA and its East German Enclave may have some issues with english definitions of words so I'll try to help you out.

Thanks for the help :p (yes I will kill you with kindness).

In normal cases you would be right. You need to look at the this...

"When TSA discovers contraband during the screening process that is (1)not a TSA Prohibited Item, the matter should be referred to the local Law Enforcement Officers (2)as appropriate. An (3)Enforcement Investigative Report should not be initiated.

(1) Cash is not on the prohibited items list.

(2)Sorry can't comment on this. As I would have to disclose procedure.

(3)TSA does no furthor action. Not in TSA's jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...
"Happy", the links you post are often off the point and do not actually address the topic.

Just do what I do. If I find a post not applicable then I just ignore it. The post might not even be directed towards you. Just food for thought.

Sorry I am a little late on this.

Happy new year to the EoS Blog team.

-H2H
Submitted by Dan S on

Returning to the topic:

"If any TSO saw this incident about to occur, it would not have happened."

Here's the problem -- one that the Israelis encountered more than a decade ago (and others, before then), but you guys haven't yet caught onto -- if you deny access to the previous target (in this case, presumably, aircraft carrying hundreds of people), the terrorists will focus on an easier, but equally effective target, such as the hundreds of people queued prior to the "sterile area."

When the Israelis stepped-up the screening procedures at their checkpoints along the West Bank, during the second Intifadah, preventing the passage of explosives and weapons, PIJ, Al Aqsa and Hamas, to name a few, began targeting the checkpoints, themselves.

The same tactic has been regularly used, to deadly effect, against the Green Zone checkpoints. Amazingly, the TSA, under Kip Hawley's keen and insightful leadership, has yet to catch on.

Fighting the previous threat, while offering up a juicy target with the excuse that it's outside your literal jurisdiction is just begging for trouble.

But, hey, why should any of you care? After all, you shouldn't expect to have a job in 19 to 30 days.

Submitted by Yangj08 on

"I don't know about all US Airports with international originations, but those few that I have flown out of to non-US destinations had separate "International" concourses, so if you were at a domestic concourse, you were NOT flying out of the country from there..."

US airports are completely different. There is no need for exit passport control (and it should stay that way) so int'l flights can leave from the same concourse as domestic flights (you have to prove you're going int'l to buy duty-free).

Submitted by RB on

HappyToHelp said...
Anonymous said...
So TSA has determined that Cash Money is Contraband. And without full consideration did not realize that any amount of an item that is classified as "Contraband" is not permitted.

Please post your source about contraband not allowed through the checkpoint?
.....................

H2H, I think what you are missing is that TSA decided that $10K cash is contraband. There is no question on that point.

The problem is that any thing defined as contraband is the whole item, not an amount of the item. Cocaine is contrband, not just amounts over say 1 pound.

The TSA policy is flawed in a most basic manner. Something is contraband or is not.

Finally, any thing that is contraband is not legal and American currency legal.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I believe TSA is sticking around. Most other countries have government provided security for airports not private companies. It is much easier to have the government regulate the security if it is done by the government. TSA I doubt is going anywhere. And it is congress that would do away with TSA not the president. Just cause a new president is in office doesn't mean much for TSA. Just new leadership at the top of their office.

Submitted by George on
Just cause a new president is in office doesn't mean much for TSA. Just new leadership at the top of their office.

I actually think it could mean much, although I'll reserve judgment until I see what actually happens. The TSA, as it currently operates, reflects the Bush administration that created it. It is dubiously competent and questionably effective; it places itself above the law and considers itself infallible; it imposes arbitrary requirements and implements them capriciously; it's obsessed with secrecy; it continually demonstrates arrogant contempt for both the public and for the rule of law; it continually attempts to expand its power and authority; it avoids any accountability for its actions and policies; and it deflects questions and criticisms by invoking fear and terror.

A TSA under an administration that respects the rule of law as well as respecting the public it serves is likely to act differently. Accordingly, it is likely to enjoy the respect of the public and to perform its mission more effectively (and more cost-effectively, measured in civil liberties as well as dollars). But given the nature of any bureaucracy, such change will occur slowly and reluctantly if it occurs at all. Still, there is at least a reasonable hope that a change in policy and attitude at the top could eventually filter down to real improvements at airport checkpoints.
Submitted by RB on

H to H mumbled the following....
When contraband is NOT on the prohibited iteams list, it is only referred to law enforement per the directive. Thats all. The directive does not say that money is not allowed through the checkpoint. A example would be medical marihuana(if accidentally found). It gets a refferel to law enforcement and then the local airport police department lets it through(states that are applicable).
...........................
Apples and Oranges

Marijuana is illegal everywhere under Federal Law. Calling it Medical Marijuana does not change that. While some states have passed legislation reducing penalties for marijuana they donot overide Federal law.

United States currency on the other hand is legal everywhere. No laws are on the books making currency issued by the United States Treasury illegal. NONE

Cash money is not illegal.

Submitted by Phil on

Someone anonymously wrote:

"While some states have passed legislation reducing penalties for marijuana they do not overide Federal law."

I believe you are mistaken. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garden Grove v. Superior Court last year means that federal law does not prevent state and local governments from implementing medical marijuana laws adopted by voters or state legislatures.

In that case, the police department for the City of Garden Grove, California -- in defiance of a court order -- refused to return marijuana that an officer had seized from a state-legal medical marijuana patient. In October 2005, the city appealed the court order, arguing that it couldn’t obey state law by returning the marijuana because doing so would amount to a federal crime. The state’s Fourth District Court of Appeals sided with the lower court and ruled that "it is not the job of local police to enforce federal drug laws."

--
Phil
Add your own questions at TSAFAQ.net

Submitted by Truth on

I'd rather see the TSA on 20/20 with John Stossel. Doubt they would do that and have the obvious fraud of this charade exposed so clearly.

Submitted by Jefferson on

"While some states have passed legislation reducing penalties for marijuana they do not overide Federal law."

What country are you living in? According to the Constitution all laws are made by the states and what powers they do not reserve also belong to the states. The Federal gets only what the states clearly and specifically state! The State law overrides ALL federal laws. The state is sovereign. This is a Republic, not the USSR as you would like it to be.

Submitted by RB on

The state’s Fourth District Court of Appeals sided with the lower court and ruled that "it is not the job of local police to enforce federal drug laws."

--
Phil
Add your own questions at TSAFAQ.net

January 7, 2009 10:31 PM

..........................
It may not be their job but the decision did not change the Federal law one bit.

Under Federal law marijuana is illegal.

A Federal Officer could arrest and charge those who have medical marijuana on their person.

Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from RB: "A Federal Officer could arrest and charge those who have medical marijuana on their person."

Correction. A Federal Law Enforcement Officer. As written, that would imply a TSA "officer" would have power to do that.

I know what you're getting at, but those newly joining us may not. :)

Robert
Submitted by HappyToHelp on
RB said....
Apples and Oranges

I have to disagree. All the "contraband" above deals with partnerships. Either with the local Law Enforcement or with CBP. If you don't like are partnerships thats okay but to believe that you can't get through a checkpoint without your money(over 10k) is just way off base. I understand that your worried about having your money siezed. You need to shift fire over to our partners. TSA will never sieze your money or fine you for carring any amount of money.

Many people travel with money all the time through TSA checkpoints.

Consider this scenario. A man is carring a case full of money(lets say over 10k). He submits his case for screening. The xray operator determines that there are no prohibited item in the case(Prohibited Items list). The bag leaves the xray. The man moves on.

Its to the point RB that ,though I value your opions, we are going to have to agree to disagree. LOL and I'm glad you could hear my mumbling. As you can tell I am very pro partnership and I believe this is one of the few good things TSA inherited from the FAA.

-H2H
Submitted by RB on

Correction. A Federal Law Enforcement Officer. As written, that would imply a TSA "officer" would have power to do that.

I know what you're getting at, but those newly joining us may not. :)

Robert

January 8, 2009 1:22 PM


Accepted. I don't consider Baggage Screeners to be officers. Some may.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I ONLY HAVE AN OFF THE WALL QUESTION .
IF TSA SECURITY IS SO IMPORTANT
WHY IS GEORGE BUSH ALLOWING THE WORLD TO SEE AIRFORCE ONE & THE WHITE HOUSE ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL , 2 DAZE BEFORE THE INNAGURATION OF the 44 th president of the good ole u.s.a.??

Submitted by Tz4Bu on

At least you guys are giving some notice to Schiener. That should make some of the crowd happy. :)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Leslie said when looking at the screening machine, "Oh, she has a bra on!", as if a bra and probably underpants were left on the figure on the screen. Please don't insult my or anyone else's intelligence by such a stupid, yes, I said stupid remark. For Gawd's sake, if you can see things in a pocket (which she did) then why couldn't you see nipples and "other body parts"?

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