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Ring in the New Year, Not the Walk Through Metal Detector

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As 2008 closes, so does the first year of the blog. We’ve published 121 posts (not counting this one) and have had over half a million visits to our blog along with over 16,000 comments. (The hits just keep on coming)

It’s been great to read comments from all of our different personalities on the blog over the last year. While some of our readers agree with us and some agree to disagree, it’s these types of personalities all melted and mixed in a fondue pot that help make blogs a little more interesting to dip into. We’ve had the opportunity to open some eyes as to why we do the things we do. We’ve also had our eyes opened a few times.


The TSA EoS Blog Team would like to thank everybody who’s helped out with the blog this year. There are so many folks behind the scenes that you just don’t see. You’ve got the IT folks, legal, our officers and other TSA folks in various positions in the field, several HQ departments that help us with research from time to time, and of course, all of our readers and commenters.

Have fun ringing in the New Year, but if you’re traveling through an airport, please remember to divest all metal objects, or you’ll be ringing in the walkthrough metal detector. Oh, and yes… champagne is a liquid.

The Blog Team would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2009!

Thanks,

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Phil on

Happy New Year, TSA staff.

When you are conducting warrantless searches of us, please, when you see something in our belongings that catches your attention, unless that item is a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, it's none of your business. If you see a pipe, assume it is free of residue of illegal substances and intended for use with legal substances. If you see some porn, assume that it contains people of legal age. If you see a pet, assume that it is licensed and has had its rabies shots. If you see some cash, assume that it belongs to the person holding it. If you see an digital music player, assume that the person holding it had permission to copy the data it contains onto it. If you see some papers, assume that they are not secret plans for world domination. If you see someone with brown skin, assume that he has a right to be where he is. None of that is any of your business.

Your bag checkers' job is to find dangerous things. When you're not doing that, leave us alone. If you see someone being mugged at the terminal, sure, offer assistance, but when anything else catches your eye and turns out not to be a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, go back to doing your job. Please.

Has TSA yet published a list of all the rules and regulations that TSA will subject someone to if that person wishes to cross a U.S. Government checkpoint at an airport en route to the gate from which his domestic flight will depart, not including laws that the person is required to abide by outside of the airport checkpoint (i.e., just those rules and regulations that apply only at the checkpoint)? (On November 12, 2008, Paul at TSA wrote, "Still working on the comprehensive list of regulations both definite and situational.")

--
Phil

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Bob,

First, Happy New Year.

Now, to the usual business ...

We’ve also had our eyes opened a few times.

Can you enumerate some of those items?

I sense a general frustration with some here on the blog who participate faithfully ... not just the usual sorts of "go away" posters, but the people who wonder if the truly constructive criticisms here on the blog actually are being used to make improvements at TSA.

If you were to post some of that ... perhaps as a lead post ... that might give some sort of sense that this blog is actually making a difference.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What ever did happen to Paul? Did he come to his senses and escape from TSA?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Now, to the usual business ...

We’ve also had our eyes opened a few times.

Can you enumerate some of those items?
---------------

Maybe it doesn't qualify as having their "eyes opened", but there was one - back in February.

2.06.2008
HOORAY BLOGGERS!

A Win for the Blogosphere

Posters on this blog have had their first official impact on our operations. That’s right, less than one week since we began the blog and already you’re affecting security in a very positive way.

On Monday afternoon we began receiving questions about airports that were requiring ALL electronics to be removed from carry-on bags (everything, including blackberrys, iPods and even cords). This practice was also mentioned on several other blogs and left us scratching our heads.

So…we checked with our security operations team to figure out what was going on. After some calls to our airports, we learned that this exercise was set up by local TSA offices and was not part of any grand plan across the country. These practices were stopped on Monday afternoon and blackberrys, cords and iPods began to flow through checkpoints like the booze was flowing on Bourbon Street Tuesday night. (Fat Tuesday of course).

So thanks to everyone for asking about this and for giving us a chance to make it right. Our hope is that examples like this validate our forum and show the solid partnerships we can form with our customers - the traveling public - in not only increasing security but in making all of our lives just a little easier.

Thanks again and keep those comments and questions coming.

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

So does the TSA resolve to actually attempt to answer a few more questions this year than last? It is a tradition to resolve to improve oneself in the new year.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To those TSO's who are actually out there on the front lines and trying to make the best of it, Happy New Year. To those TSO's out there getting frustrated with the traveling public, cheer up, at least it's not Thanksgiving. Passengers tend not to think.

To those TSO's who believe they have the right to abuse travelers for no reason: Get a different job. Your co-workers don't appreciate you making them look bad.

As I write this it is Dec 31, and we are still waiting on for answers on the following questions (collected/edited from the blog):

When will the TSA be 100% compliant with the requirements set down in the 9-11 Commission's Report?

Why does the TSA consider >$10K cash carried by air on domestic flights contraband? And when will they understand that domestic carriage is different than international carriage? Does the TSA believe that it can create policies that supercede the established CFR's and regulations of other agencies (such as ICE, which is another DHS agency)?

When will the TSA actually secure (control access to) checked baggage in the domestic system? This means implementation of systems to limit the ability of both TSA and non-TSA individuals to clandestinely add/remove items from checked baggage.

When will the TSA admit that some of the the biggest improvements in aviation security since 9/11 have come not from TSA unfunded mandates, but from the airlines and aircrews themselves?

When will the TSA have a higher approval rating than the IRS-CED?

When will the TSA lose the 'good ideas not invented here are bad, but bad invented here must be implemented everywhere to be good' attitude?

When will we find out under what CFRs authority the TSA given the ability to modify CFRs without consulting Congress?

When will the TSA explain how a 'trained' TSO, who is supposed to be able to recognize official US identification documents, is allowed to believe that any US passport with a brown cover is 'forged' once completing their 'training'. Is this result the failure of the TSO to learn, the training system to teach, or the TSA to audit their training?

I personally do not believe that any of these questions will be answered in the New Year.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hey, I know that guy! That's my airport screening Santa up there- and I notice his boots are still on... ;)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Oh great, that pic of the TSO screening Santa is now my online avatar, thanks! That one says it all.

Happy New Year!

Submitted by TSO # 3 on

Happy New Year to everyone, be safe & don't get too drunk.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Phil said... "assume"

That single word is the biggest screwup someone can make in security. You should never assume anything, particularly not in this field. You can't, because you believe, naively, that ordinary objects have no absolutely harmful nature to them. I can't believe you seriously suggest that obviously criminal objects must be overlooked? I don't get how anyone could do that. I suppose if you saw a crack pipe on the ground outside, you could assume it's just trash and not mention it to a police officer. I can assume you know what you're talking about too, but, I wouldn't go that far either.

Honestly, you're missing the entire point. I'm not a TSO, so you can skip the whole trying to destroy my arguments with your anecdotes and vague generalities. You can ask for a list of laws that TSA can hold you to at a checkpoint, but you won't get a full one. Why? State laws. Federal screeners are there to stop things from passing through the checkpoints (like at an international border, your presence there and your willingness to enter the checkpoint satisfies 4th Amendment requirements for probable cause to search your belongings), but unless you're arrested by a TSA FAM, you will not be charged with federal laws. TSO's dont arrest you, local LEOs do. State laws take jurisdiction, and there is no comprehensive list. Some states allow you to accidentally pack a gun, and to return it to your car without arrest (Texas), but in NY, you're gonna get arrested.

If you have so much of a problem with that, try reading the the list of things you are prohibited from bringing through a checkpoint. That should keep you from being stopped unnecessarily, in most cases. And if you are, even after you follow them, maybe there's a reason. Maybe not. If you feel you're being singled out, or something like that, make a formal complaint. But over and over and over trying to push your naive agenda shows that you have no understanding of what the new nature of security is.

So yeah, the TSOs are doing their job. Get over it.

Submitted by Tomas on

Happy New Year, folks!

May we all have a better 2009 than whatever our 2008 was like, and may we all get a fresh start.

Hopefully some of the honest questions we have asked of the TSA will be answered in a forthright manner.

Take care, and be safe!

Tom (1 of 5-6)

Submitted by RB on

Perhaps we should start the new year with last years "Top Ten" questions and try to get some honest answers out of TSA.

You know its not gonna happen!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quote:
"When you are conducting warrantless searches of us, please, when you see something in our belongings that catches your attention, unless that item is a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, it's none of your business. If you see a pipe, assume it is free of residue of illegal substances and intended for use with legal substances. If you see some porn, assume that it contains people of legal age. If you see a pet, assume that it is licensed and has had its rabies shots. If you see some cash, assume that it belongs to the person holding it. If you see an digital music player, assume that the person holding it had permission to copy the data it contains onto it. If you see some papers, assume that they are not secret plans for world domination. If you see someone with brown skin, assume that he has a right to be where he is. None of that is any of your business."

Sorry, won't happen. Next rant?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have to disagree with you Phil. While TSA does plenty I don't feel is appropriate, I can't see asking a federal employee to ignore something that appears illegal. If you don't like the laws, get them changed, don't tell security folks to ignore those laws. For example, I thing the drug war is an insane waste of time and resources. That does NOT mean I think an officer should just wave through a kilo of coke because it isn't a bomb or knife.

Submitted by Anonymous on
As I write this it is Dec 31, and we are still waiting on for answers on the following questions (collected/edited from the blog):

When will the TSA be 100% compliant with the requirements set down in the 9-11 Commission's Report?

I thought they are slowly moving towards that. Remember this stuff costs money!

Why does the TSA consider >$10K cash carried by air on domestic flights contraband? And when will they understand that domestic carriage is different than international carriage? Does the TSA believe that it can create policies that supercede the established CFR's and regulations of other agencies (such as ICE, which is another DHS agency)?

I don't think the TSA thinks it is contraband. I think if you have that much they consider you "suspicous". Is that wrong? I don't think so. An average joe doesn't carry 10k in cash.

When will the TSA actually secure (control access to) checked baggage in the domestic system? This means implementation of systems to limit the ability of both TSA and non-TSA individuals to clandestinely add/remove items from checked baggage.

This is a huge hole in security. There are some things in place I know of like the vetting of working in a secure area but anything more would cost lots of money. This is more than just TSA's problem.

When will the TSA admit that some of the the biggest improvements in aviation security since 9/11 have come not from TSA unfunded mandates, but from the airlines and aircrews themselves?

I think all partners in the airport have a role and all agencies/stakeholders have to work together to get the job done.

When will the TSA have a higher approval rating than the IRS-CED?

There was an article I read not too long ago that I have forgotten what the survey was but TSA was very high if not #1 agency in the public's favor.

When will the TSA lose the 'good ideas not invented here are bad, but bad invented here must be implemented everywhere to be good' attitude?

Good ideas are not to go backward in security because the measures are a hassle. The plan is to move forward!

When will we find out under what CFRs authority the TSA given the ability to modify CFRs without consulting Congress?

TSA can't modify CFR's... let us be more practical than that. TSA can work around them.

When will the TSA explain how a 'trained' TSO, who is supposed to be able to recognize official US identification documents, is allowed to believe that any US passport with a brown cover is 'forged' once completing their 'training'. Is this result the failure of the TSO to learn, the training system to teach, or the TSA to audit their training?

Maybe it wasn't in the training? Maybe TSA leadership has failed the agency in providing good training for all the officers in the field!
Submitted by Anonymous on

This is for Phil...do we also assume that you aren't a terrorist? That kind of assumption could get hundreds or thousands of people killed. The contract screeners who let the terrorists pass through the checkpoint assumed the box cutters used on 9-11 were for cutting boxes. How tragically wrong they were. Whatever you might think our job is you only know your half of it. You only see harassment and pointless searches but you have no idea what we are looking for. Wouldn't you think that some innocent things can be altered to contain items that don't belong in an aircraft? The only way to be sure something is what it appears to be is a physical search. If we don't find anything terrible in your bag...we're glad, no matter what you might think. As for making assumptions that people are innocent on looks alone...we remember Timothy McVey, Ted Kaczynski and the American Taliban, John Walker Lindh. We also get to hear about all the wonderful ways that terrorists used people's natural trust and assumptions against innocent people. Using women, babies, young children, the elderly and the handicapped terrorists have successfully killed and maimed over and over again. We don't get paid to make assumptions or to trust everyone that comes through the checkpoint. That assumption could be a fatal one.

By the way, as soon as you hand over yourself or your property to screening...we don't need a warrant or a cause to search it. Flying is not a right but a privilege. For every privilege you need to give something up. Just like a driver's license, you need to pay for it and then qualify for a driver's license. Same thing goes for flying. Qualify and fly. If you don't want yourself or your property searched, go Greyhound!

If we were to post TSA's rules and regulations...that's just like giving Al-Qaida a free pass through the checkpoint. Maybe Phil could live with the consequences of that but we TSO's (the vast majority of us who WANT passengers to be safe, including Phil) couldn’t.

We aren't doing any of our duties just to make your life difficult. We don't do anything just to be nosy. I really don't want to know why you have a jumbo sized tube of (insert embarassing medical/personal ointment here) but I have to ask why you need the super economy size for a two day trip. There is a reason for everything we do, whether you believe it or not. We're paid to do a job. You don't have to understand everything we're doing or even like it. Meanwhile, you keep doing your job and we'll keep doing ours.

Submitted by Phil on

I suggested that when TSA staff are conducting their warrantless searches and they come across something that is 1) clearly not dangerous and 2) sometimes an indication of wrongdoing and sometimes perfectly innocent, they assume that the subject of their search is innocent and continue with their duty of ensuring safety in our transportation systems instead of wasting their time by counting cash, checking pipes for drug residue, verifying the ages of the models in a nudie magazine, checking pets for vaccination records, etc.

In response, someone anonymously wrote:

"[Making assumptions] is the biggest screwup someone can make in security. You should never assume anything, particularly not in this field."

Finding pipes or unlicensed pets is unrelated to security. We pay TSA to enhance the security of our transportation systems, and we trust them with special privileges in order to assist them with their duty. The "road blocks" they erect in our airports and the searches they perform there would not otherwise be allowed. They openly admit that what was intended to be a search for dangerous items is now used to find things that they would not otherwise be allowed to search for.

Bob at TSA says that they do not search for these things, but that if they find some non-dangerous object that looks suspicious -- even if it's just a bunch of money -- they must report their findings to the police. I contend that the TSA luggage inspectors would not even get to the point of thinking something was suspicious without wasting time investigating it. There's no way to know what a pipe has been used for without testing its contents. There's no way to know how much cash is in a bag without counting it. There's no way to know if a pet has been vaccinated without questioning its owner.

"I can't believe you seriously suggest that obviously criminal objects must be overlooked?"

That's a straw man argument. We're not discussing obviously-criminal objects (whatever those would be -- people can be criminal; objects cannot). We're discussing things that usually do not indicate wrongdoing. Specifically: pipes, pornography, pets, cash, digital music players, papers, and people with brown skin. I request that those things be overlooked during a TSA search of someone's belongings -- regardless of the fact that they [i]might be[/i] crack pipes, child pornography, unlicensed or unvaccinated pets, ill-gotten gains, copyright violations, plans for world domination, or undocumented immigrants. It's simply not TSA's duty to investigate the possibility of those things indicating wrongdoing, and their doing so is abuse of the privileges we granted to them.

Even if going from "that thing is sometimes indication of wrongdoing" to "that thing in this case seems to indicate wrongdoing" took none of the luggage inspectors' time, it is not appropriate for them to investigate. Take jewelry, for instance. Does the wearing of jewelry at an airport checkpoint warrant police involvement? What if it appeared to be very expensive jewelry? What if the person wearing the jewelry didn't appear to be able to afford to purchase such jewelry? It's none of the TSA's business unless they think it's a risk to transportation security.

"I suppose if you saw a crack pipe on the ground outside, you could assume it's just trash and not mention it to a police officer."

First of all, I would have no way of knowing that it was a crack pipe. It's just a pipe that someone could smoke anything out of. Second, even if I suspected it was a crack pipe, I would absolutely not bother a police officer with it. I would either leave it alone or toss it in a garbage can and move along.

"You can ask for a list of laws that TSA can hold you to at a checkpoint, but you won't get a full one. Why? State laws."

That's another straw man. I have repeatedly requested that TSA publish a list of all the rules and regulations that they will subject someone to if that person wishes to cross a U.S. Government checkpoint at an airport en route to the gate from which his domestic flight will depart, not including laws that the person is required to abide by outside of the airport checkpoint. We can find out about state laws on our own. I'm concerned specifically with the rules and restrictions TSA imposes on us that are specific to their airport checkpoints. I want to know what -- besides simply being in compliance with laws as we do anywhere -- we need to do in order to avoid having our freedom of motion restricted by TSA at their checkpoints.

"Federal screeners are there to stop things from passing through the checkpoints"

We pay them to prevent things like weapons, explosives, and incendiaries from being carried onto airplanes, not things like cash or pipes. We do not pay TSA to stop people from carrying pipes or cash onto airplanes.

"If you have so much of a problem with [TSA's law enforcement efforts], try reading the the list of things you are prohibited from bringing through a checkpoint. That should keep you from being stopped unnecessarily, in most cases."

That's not good enough. I don't want to ensure that I am in compliance with most TSA rules and regulations, I want to ensure that I am in compliance with all of them. TSA flatly refuses to allow us to ensure that we comply by their rules and regulations, then punishes us if we are found not to be in compliance. It's ridiculous that I even have to argue that this is a very bad situation. We are, in effect, subject to secret laws. That is not supposed to happen in the United States.

If you have so much of a problem with the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, maybe you would be happier living in a nation which does not offer such protections.

--
Phil

Submitted by Phil on

Someone anonymously wrote:

"I have to disagree with you Phil. While TSA does plenty I don't feel is appropriate, I can't see asking a federal employee to ignore something that appears illegal."

I don't think I've suggested anything of the sort. Could you elaborate?

Regardless, consider this hypothetical situation: A TSA bag checker at an airport checkpoint looks out the window to see someone parking illegally or jaywalking. Should he or she stop what she is doing and notify the police? If you think not, then you believe that a federal employee -- a TSA employee, in fact -- should ignore something that appears to be illegal.

In the comments for the "TSA on 60 Minutes" and "Blogger Roundtable at TSA HQ with Secretary Chertoff" posts, Bob at TSA wrote and repeated (note: you must browse to the post pages first in order to browse to his comments) that TSA COO Jonathan J. Fleming issued a directive (OD-400-54-2: Discovery of Contraband During the Screening Process, May 9, 2005) for TSA staff to consider large amounts of cash to be contraband and to contact law enforcement "as appropriate" when such contraband is discovered during a search at airport checkpoints.

TSA's practices endanger our freedom. They regularly use fear to coerce us into allowing their unconstitutional actions.

--
Phil

Submitted by Phil on

Someone claiming to work for TSA anonymously wrote:

"do we also assume that you aren't a terrorist?"

If by "terrorist" you mean, "someone attempting to take dangerous items onto an airplane" then no, don't assume that. The main reason your job exists is to make sure people don't take dangerous items onto airplanes.

But how do you define terrorist?

Quoting John Gilmore's "Gilmore v. Ashcroft -- FAA ID challenge FAQ":

"Who is a terrorist? Any IRA member from the last twenty years? A member of the Irgun (led by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin)? Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for sabotage for 27 years by the South African government? A WTO protester? The US Government killed more Afghani civilians in the last year [mid-2001 through mid-2002] than the number of US people killed on 9/11; does that make US soldiers terrorists? Israel and Palestine both claim that the other is terrorist. So do India and Pakistan. So do leftists and rightists in Colombia.

"Ultimately the line between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" is a political one. Our freedom to travel should not depend on a politician's decision about whether they agree with our aims or not. Every "anti-terrorist" measure restricts people based on their politics, not just based on whether they use violence. Violence was already illegal.

"In other words, any list of "terrorists" will inevitably contain many individuals that have never committed a terrorist act, and not contain many individuals that have actually committed a terrorist act."

You should focus less on terrorists and more on transportation security.

"The contract screeners who let the terrorists pass through the checkpoint assumed the box cutters used on 9-11 were for cutting boxes. How tragically wrong they were."

Are you really comparing razor blades to cash, crack pipes, and stolen credit cards?

And don't you think that if those screeners had disallowed the box cutters, a butter knife or piece of broken glass could have been used instead?

"Wouldn't you think that some innocent things can be altered to contain items that don't belong in an aircraft?"

Of course.

"The only way to be sure something is what it appears to be is a physical search."

I'm not arguing against searching bags for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries.

"As for making assumptions that people are innocent on looks alone..."

That's the way it works in the United States. If you think people should be considered guilty until proven innocent, you might be happier living elsewhere. I prefer the American system.

"We don't get paid to make assumptions or to trust everyone that comes through the checkpoint."

Right. You get paid mainly to keep dangerous items off airplanes. You're not paid to find undocumented immigrants, identity thieves, and pipes that might be used to smoke crack, but that's all you report having found.

"That assumption could be a fatal one."

I guess. You never know when someone is going to climb on a plane and set $10,000 on fire.

"By the way, as soon as you hand over yourself or your property to screening...we don't need a warrant or a cause to search it."

Agreed.

"Flying is not a right but a privilege."

Not being hassled by my government unless it has good reason to believe I have done something wrong is my right as an American. Contracting with a business to transport me via airplane is not a privilege, it's just a business transaction.

"For every privilege you need to give something up. Just like a driver's license, you need to pay for it and then qualify for a driver's license. Same thing goes for flying."

That's a very bad comparison. I don't need a license to ride in a plane as a passenger any more than I need a license to ride in a car as a passenger. If I want to pilot an airplane, then I need a license. If you plan to operate heavy machinery like an automobile or airplane in our shared space, we need to ensure that you are qualified to do so safely. It has nothing to do with giving anything up.

"If you don't want yourself or your property searched, go Greyhound!"

When TSA starts searching people at bus stations, will you suggest that I walk?

If I have a job or family to take care of and I want to exercise my right to petition the government for redress of grievances, traveling via bus is not feasible.

"If we were to post TSA's rules and regulations...that's just like giving Al-Qaida a free pass through the checkpoint."

Please explain. I have no idea how those two are even similar.

"Maybe Phil could live with the consequences of [letting people know what rules we require them to follow] but we TSO's (the vast majority of us who WANT passengers to be safe, including Phil) couldn’t."

Again, please explain.

"I really don't want to know why you have a jumbo sized tube of (insert embarassing medical/personal ointment here) but I have to ask why you need the super economy size for a two day trip."

No, you don't. It's none of your business what I have or why as long as it is not likely to pose a threat to our transportation system.

--
Phil

Submitted by Annie B on

This is a pretty funny blog, once you get to reading the comments. :) In response to what Phil said about items peaking your interest at searches, here's a funny story... My sister recently took her family to Mexico for a vacation. We do that lot for work, since it's a tax write off in our Christian Home Based Business. Anyway, she gets to security and was VERY careful to read all policies at the tsa website prior to their little excursion. Now, she has a 10 month old baby and had to bring pre-packaged, sealed baby formula for the trip. Her little one has allergies, so she can't have just ANY formula. Well, even though the tsa website guidelines say baby formula has the okay, ALL of the baby formula was CONFISCATED!!! How ridiculous is that?! All passports showed that this was, in fact, a family with a real, biological baby, not some made up plot to get weaponized baby formula onto a flight bound for Mexico. So, you can see why this article (blog or whatever), caught my attention. Fun story, huh? Not if you're the mom now facing a long flight with four children, one who now has no formula and no means of communication except to bawl. TSA is a little drunk with "policy-love", in my opinion.

Submitted by Randy on

Anonymous said...
This is for Phil...(snip)
Whatever you might think our job is you only know your half of it. You only see harassment and pointless searches but you have no idea what we are looking for. Wouldn't you think that some innocent things can be altered to contain items that don't belong in an aircraft? (snip)

By the way, as soon as you hand over yourself or your property to screening...we don't need a warrant or a cause to search it. Flying is not a right but a privilege. For every privilege you need to give something up. Just like a driver's license, you need to pay for it and then qualify for a driver's license. Same thing goes for flying. Qualify and fly. If you don't want yourself or your property searched, go Greyhound!


If we were to post TSA's rules and regulations...that's just like giving Al-Qaida a free pass through the checkpoint. Maybe Phil could live with the consequences of that but we TSO's (the vast majority of us who WANT passengers to be safe, including Phil) couldn’t.


We aren't doing any of our duties just to make your life difficult. We don't do anything just to be nosy. (snip)


January 1, 2009 7:29 PM

Of course if your agency had the sense to tell us, then maybe we wouldn't carry around the innocent item. Or perhaps our CongressCritters would see the absurdity of some of your procedures and tell you to "knock it off."
So, do you plan to ban carrying ball point pens and sharp pencils . . . they make great shivs. Or shoelaces and belts . . . garrots you know.

Greyhound?? If you are serious with that, care to suggest a non TSA intrusive method to get to Hawaii or Alaska?

How the bleep can anyone conform to an unknown rule? And if "terrorists" conformed to the requirements of what was not permitted as carry-on, how would that hurt?

If you aren't nosy, then why do you ask me why I wear orthopedic shoes before you send me to the penalty box for a wipe and swipe? Whenever I tell a TSA person at the WTMD the medical reason, his or her eyes glaze over with a look of confusion.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"There was an article I read not too long ago that I have forgotten what the survey was but TSA was very high if not #1 agency in the public's favor."

Oh PLEASE, please, give us a link to that article.

Submitted by Slinky on

I have just returned from a flight to Reagan and back, and the subject of the evolution of security seems like a good one.
Recently TSA upgraded their TSOs into wannabe cop uniforms so that they would feel more important. These uniforms came with REAL metal badges.
As I was waiting in line at the screening checkpoint I happened to catch the change of shifts and noticed that each of the oncoming TSOs set off the metal detector as they went through, but all of the TSOs on duty let them pass without any further screening.

Phil talked about assumptions and then someone (TSO) using an anonymous tag explained to him the "new nature of security".

Looks like their new security comes with some built in assumptions for them, but none for us.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am pretty sure that terrorists know your procedures. Not much is secret.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Anonymous writes (regarding the $10K regulation):

I don't think the TSA thinks it is contraband. I think if you have that much they consider you "suspicous". Is that wrong? I don't think so. An average joe doesn't carry 10k in cash.

First, Blogger Bob has already posted the regulation which uses the word "contraband" to refer to currency in excess of $10K.

Second ... so what if an average Joe doesn't carry $10K in cash? "Unusual" is not the same as "suspicious". We shouldn't start persecuting people because they don't conform to some standard of "normality".

[Aside: This is exactly the kind of mentality that leads to ridiculous travel situations. Case in point: Have you ever wondered whether it's safer to sit in an airplane near the front, back, or wing, in the case of an emergency situation? Well, don't talk about it while you're on a plane ... because someone might overreact and have you kicked off the plane. Especially if you look Muslim (whatever that means).]

Another anonymous writes:

If we were to post TSA's rules and regulations...that's just like giving Al-Qaida a free pass through the checkpoint. Maybe Phil could live with the consequences of that but we TSO's (the vast majority of us who WANT passengers to be safe, including Phil) couldn’t.

If your procedures depend upon their secrecy to be effective, then they're pretty weak. Cryptographers call this Kerckhoffs' Principle: a cryptographic system should be designed to be secure, even when the opponent knows everything about your system.

Plus, how can I be expected to comply with a secret law? This is fundamentally anti-democratic, as the first Congress recognized, when it required that every "law, order, resolution, and vote (shall) be published in at least three of the public newspapers printing within the United States.".

Third, TSA keeps calling on passengers to know the rules regarding travel. How can TSA say "know the rules" on the one hand and "we won't tell you the rules" on the other?

TSA says that it wants to treat passengers as "partners" during the screening process. If you want passengers to be partners, then you need to treat them accordingly.

Submitted by Anonymous on
If we were to post TSA's rules and regulations...that's just like giving Al-Qaida a free pass through the checkpoint. Maybe Phil could live with the consequences of that but we TSO's (the vast majority of us who WANT passengers to be safe, including Phil) couldn’t.

Sorry, but the bad guys know your SOP better than you do. They also do risk management when planning attacks. Your security theater misses much of what is truly contraband and you do very little, besides intimidation of the Kettles, there is virtually no security.

We aren't doing any of our duties just to make your life difficult. We don't do anything just to be nosy. I really don't want to know why you have a jumbo sized tube of (insert embarassing medical/personal ointment here) but I have to ask why you need the super economy size for a two day trip. There is a reason for everything we do, whether you believe it or not. We're paid to do a job. You don't have to understand everything we're doing or even like it. Meanwhile, you keep doing your job and we'll keep doing ours.

No, but when you shake down a person who just had a nephrectomy and want to remove the translucent dressing because a hand wand detected staples (which you could see under the dressing), you show yourselves to be thoughtless. We refuse to buy your line of 'we are protecting America' because you routinely trample the rights of American citizens.
Submitted by Anonymous on

"If you have so much of a problem with that, try reading the the list of things you are prohibited from bringing through a checkpoint."

Where oh where does suchy a list exist? The domestic terrorists at TSA refuse to publish one.

Submitted by Marshall's SO on

"There was an article I read not too long ago that I have forgotten what the survey was but TSA was very high if not #1 agency in the public's favor."

"Oh PLEASE, please, give us a link to that article."

I'm willing to bet the poster meant some survey that came out recently that gave the TSA high marks for keeping air travel safe.

However, there was no mention of who was surveyed: frequent flyers, occasional flyers, once-a-year flyers or perhaps people who have not been on a plane ever or even in the last few years, thereby making the results pretty much worthless.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"We do that lot for work, since it's a tax write off in our Christian Home Based Business."

Advertising on the TSA blog, now, eh?

Submitted by Txrus on

Another TSAer trying to remain Anonymous said...
The contract screeners who let the terrorists pass through the checkpoint assumed the box cutters used on 9-11 were for cutting boxes. How tragically wrong they were.
*******************************
The contract screeners you reference followed their screening SOP at the time. I would point out that your current screening SOP allow far bigger blades, in the form of scissors, to pass unimpeeded thru checkpoints all over the country right now.

Those who turned out to be 'tragically wrong' that day were the pilots of the 4 planes who, in following their company policies at the time, opened the doors to their respective flight decks & cooperated w/the hijackers.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Annie B said...

A bunch of stuff to get two web links to her Christian Based Business's web site onto this blog.

Annie, did your story really happen?

Or are you just talking trash to get your links on this site?

From the blogger's buddy: Mr. McSpammy Spam.

Happy New Year!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Here is the link to the survey that I read. It does give some specifics and is mainly geared to the public rating of government. One of the results of the poll was security at the nation's airports.

-James

Submitted by Slinky on

"The contract screeners you reference followed their screening SOP at the time."

I'll go you one better than that. The FAA set the rules for screening at that time the same as the TSA does today. Their rules allowed the box cutters in carry ons.

The only thing that has changed between now and then is the 3 letters they use to describe the agency pulling the strings.
The feds did not take the blame over the last incident they handed that off to the screeners even though the Feds told the screeners what was allowed.

The new rules are written so that they can blame the Airports or the Airlines even though the screeners are now Feds.

I'm guessing after the next incident they will convince the people to allow them to take over the airports too.

Submitted by RB on

Bob, how many contracts have been awarded to S2 Global by DHS/TSA?

Submitted by Kdt on

This concerns the recent detention of Muslim passengers on an AirTran flight to Orlando.

Nine passengers traveling together were detained, questioned, and refused flight by AirTran when one of them questioned where on the plane would be the safest place to be seated in the event of an accident or an emergency. These comments were overheard by other passengers and reported to the airline, which decided to deboard the plane, re-screen the passengers and luggage, detain the nine passengers, and refuse to transport them to their destination.

The reported comments of the TSA about the decision to delay the flight and refuse to board the passengers in question are what concern me. As reported by the Washington Post:

"Ellen Howe, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said the pilot acted appropriately.

"For us, it just highlights that security is everybody's responsibility," Howe said. "Someone heard something that was inappropriate, and then the airline decided to act on it. We certainly support [the pilot's] his call to do that."

As it turns out, however, the Muslim passenger comments were not inappropriate, but merely innocuous and misconstrued by other passengers. To its credit, AirTran has apologized to the nine Muslim passengers and has offered them a free return flight and compensation for the cost of their flight to Orlando, incurred when AirTran refused to board them.

For the TSA spokesperson to call the comments "inappropriate" suggests that any comment that calls into question the safety of airline travel is also inappropriate. Instead of hiding behind the "security is everybody's responsibility" mantra, the TSA should join in AirTran's apology and use this incident as a vehicle to encourage people to use their heads before reporting innocuous conversation as potentially threatening.

Submitted by Bob on

Anonymous said... Advertising on the TSA blog, now, eh? January 2, 2009 1:40 PM
----------------------------

Sometimes there is a fine line between spam and a genuine post. I made the call to post it. Sure, she hyperlinks to her business, but to me, the post seemed genuine and not typical of a normal spam sandwich. Spam on our blog is usually a single sentence with a very vague often pro TSA comment. Maybe she got one past me? Maybe she didn’t? :)

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Submitted by Curious About Policy on

So when will the TSA accept HSPD-12 compliant government ID's as acceptable ID? They include computer readable information so there is no reason they can't be checked and verified.

If I have to get fingerprinted, FBI investigated, interviewed, supply medical records and credit history, why can't I use that same ID to board a plane when I can use it to walk into the West Wing of the White House?

I am not a DOD employee, but will DOD ID become acceptable like military ID given that the cards are the same and come from the same machine?

Are there any cost benefit analysis reports prepared by the TSA and available for public review?

Can you publish any responses to IG reports? My own agency publishes these for public consumption.

What steps are being taken to reduce the number of items the red teams are able to get past security?

Considering the fairly high failure rate for screening, is it best to have the TSA's resources spent on areas outside its core competency? What cost benefit analysis has been preformed?

Can you provide more articles/guest analysis on various case law appropriate to air travel? Can you do so in an accessible form for the average blog reader?

Can you do a blog on what SSI is along with its history to better educate the average reader?

Can you do a blog on secure flight and its recent implementation? Can you discuss the steps one has to go through?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Sometimes there is a fine line between spam and a genuine post."

!!! To who?

"We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic or that promote services or products."

It clearly promotes their services.

You have no idea if that post is real or just total BS to get that link here.

I would really hate to think you let it through because it promotes a Christian business.

Submitted by MarkVII on

Jim Huggins said:
I sense a general frustration with some here on the blog who participate faithfully ... not just the usual sorts of "go away" posters, but the people who wonder if the truly constructive criticisms here on the blog actually are being used to make improvements at TSA.

Amen to that. I can remember some interesting and highly constructive suggestions being made. I can also remember the TSA lamenting the volume of complaints and the alleged dearth of constructive suggestions. This was despite many constructive suggestions being offered, and all the TSA had to do was read them.

It is also ironic to visit www.tsafaq.net, see the list of questions, and also see the proportion of questions that actually have answers.

Here's my recollection of memorable suggestions made, and the TSA's response or non-response, in no particular order:

Baggage screeners put the location, date, time, and their badge number on the "love note" they leave after searching the bag.

TSA's response -- that would make the screener the prime suspect if anything came up missing.

My comment -- if I'm flying with my luggage either unlocked or with those farcical TSA approved locks, and someone introduces a prohibited item after the bag has left my control, who is the prime suspect there? I'll give you one guess....

Funny that I am accountable for the content of my luggage, even though it is out of my control and in an insecure environment for most of the journey. However, the TSA is not accountable for the security of my belongings. Talk about having it both ways! The suggestion to strap the bags after security checks was immediately dismissed as too costly.

Use secret shoppers to proactively evaluate the interpersonal skills of TSA personnel.

TSA response -- "Got Feedback" is introduced.

My comment -- Got Feedback puts the burden of identifying problem areas on the shoulders of the flying public, instead of having the TSA police itself. If the TSA established and enforced standards of conduct from within, they'd get fewer complaints from without.

Put as much emphasis on interpersonal skills as on detecting prohibited items in both training and in ongoing evaluation of checkpoint performance.

STOP THE YELLING. Oops, excuse me, stop the yelling. Also, stop barking orders and give instructions in a normal manner.

TSA response -- Checkpoint Evolution is supposed to produce a "calmer" checkpoint. Screeners are supposed to be retrained in interpersonal skills.

My comment -- training is fine, but what about accountability? As mentioned earlier, what are the standards of behavior for checkpoint personnel?

Create operational definitions of "liquids, gels, or aerosols", include examples of commonly misunderstood items, and put this in the public area of the TSA website.

TSA response -- no agency level response that I recall. Individual TSA employees offered various guidelines, but could not or would not supply links to publicly accessible information. I just checked the web site, and I find no definition of the catchphrase "liquids, gels, or aerosols". This still leaves a gray area around lip balm, cosmetics, etc.

What is being done about "local embellishments" to the rules, which increase hassle for the traveler, for no apparent security benefit? Examples from this blog include the requirement that one's 3-1-1 bottles be "labeled", "have a factory label", or "have to be translucent". Another example is that the 3-1-1 bag itself cannot have an actual zipper.

TSA response -- the official rules are the minimum, and the local FSD can implement more stringent requirements if desired.

My comment -- under this scenario every airport can end up with its one rules. The traveler can be fine at one airport, have a layover, and no longer be in compliance with the "rules". Where is the oversight to ensure that these local embellishments truly improve security and don't deteriorate into a succession of bureaucratic "gotchas" that create hassle and do nothing to improve security?



Hold checkpoint personnel accountable for their knowledge and correct application of the rules

TSA response -- none that I recall.

My comment -- like interpersonal skills, accountability focuses on prohibited items, leading to situations like Mr Gel Pack's, and Annie B's on January 2, 2009 1:47 AM. Who bears the pain and consequences of the TSA's mistakes? Not the TSA...

Summing up...

Has some progress been made? No doubt. Is there a long way to go? Are there a lot of issues that still need to be addressed? Absolutely.

Though we do hear occasionally about plans to address certain issues (the future of 3-1-1 and inline baggage screening come to mind), these represent a minority of the issues that have been surfaced on this blog.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Normally I don't like to quote long posts but there is so much "goodness" in this one. My answers inline.

Anonymous said...

This is for Phil...do we also assume that you aren't a terrorist? That kind of assumption could get hundreds or thousands of people killed. The contract screeners who let the terrorists pass through the checkpoint assumed the box cutters used on 9-11 were for cutting boxes. How tragically wrong they were.

STOP! Box cutters were not the problem on 9/11, the hijackers could have done the same thing with pens, scissors, galley knifes or the claim of a bomb.

The problem on 9/11 was the manner hijackers were dealt with at that time. Before 9/11 a hijacker scenario went like this; obey the hijacker, fly to some crappy country, drop the hijackers off, refuel and come back home. In most cases you may lose a couple of passengers or crew but you "saved" the rest.

The 9/11 hijackers changed that dynamic. They used the planes as weapons. If you think that box cutters and professional contract screeners were the problem you are either stupid or woefully ignorant.


Whatever you might think our job is you only know your half of it.

If the stellar answers provided on this blog by those claiming to be TSOs are any indication, most TSOs only know half their job too

You only see harassment and pointless searches but you have no idea what we are looking for. Wouldn't you think that some innocent things can be altered to contain items that don't belong in an aircraft? The only way to be sure something is what it appears to be is a physical search.

A physical search is a lousy way to make sure something is what it seems on a large volume basis. That is why the TSA spends all that money on x-ray, mmw, dogs and other technology.

If we don't find anything terrible in your bag...we're glad, no matter what you might think.

As for making assumptions that people are innocent on looks alone...we remember Timothy McVey, Ted Kaczynski and the American Taliban, John Walker Lindh. We also get to hear about all the wonderful ways that terrorists used people's natural trust and assumptions against innocent people. Using women, babies, young children, the elderly and the handicapped terrorists have successfully killed and maimed over and over again.

You may want to double check this glass of Koolaid. The use of the elderly, handicap, children and women is still so rare that when it happens it is a "shock" story.

We don't get paid to make assumptions or to trust everyone that comes through the checkpoint. That assumption could be a fatal one.

You get paid to search and inspect for weapons, incendiaries and weapons. That is it. You do not get paid to illegally force ID verification, and you don't get paid to refer me to a LEO for carrying cash.

By the way, as soon as you hand over yourself or your property to screening...we don't need a warrant or a cause to search it.

Flying is not a right but a privilege. For every privilege you need to give something up. Just like a driver's license, you need to pay for it and then qualify for a driver's license. Same thing goes for flying. Qualify and fly.

First, I am not wanting to PILOT the craft, I just want to ride. No special skills needed. Second, riding in an airplane or riding in a car is not a privilege but the right to freely travel.

This right goes back to even before the Constitution in a document called The Articles of Confederation. In fact it was such an inalienable and enduring right the framers of the Constitution did not even bother to put it in. It was understood then and the Courts still understand it today.

Pay attention because you must have missed this part of training.

You are only allowed to search because up to this point the courts have decided that the search is reasonable.

That is it, that is the whole reason the TSA is allowed to search for weapons, explosives and incendiaries. (4th Amendment)

If you don't want yourself or your property searched, go Greyhound!

TSA has authority over all modes of transportation so going Greyhound is not a viable way to avoid the illegal or unconstitutional acts of the TSA.

If we were to post TSA's rules and regulations...that's just like giving Al-Qaida a free pass through the checkpoint.

Are you trolling or are you really this ignorant?

In order for passengers to comply with the rules and regulations we have to know what they are. The honest truth is the TSA does not want people to know the rules because when a person knows a TSO is in error they will challenge them on that error.

Maybe Phil could live with the consequences of that but we TSO's (the vast majority of us who WANT passengers to be safe, including Phil) couldn’t.

Hog wash. If that was the case the TSA would control its ego and stick to its mandated statutory duty and confine its search to weapons, explosives and incendiaries.

We aren't doing any of our duties just to make your life difficult. We don't do anything just to be nosy. I really don't want to know why you have a jumbo sized tube of (insert embarassing medical/personal ointment here) but I have to ask why you need the super economy size for a two day trip.

Unless you have a medical license please don't practice medicine. That IS a privilege, not a right.

There is a reason for everything we do, whether you believe it or not. We're paid to do a job. You don't have to understand everything we're doing or even like it. Meanwhile, you keep doing your job and we'll keep doing ours.

Thanks, will do. My job as a citizen is to protect the Constitution and my country.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...
"There was an article I read not too long ago that I have forgotten what the survey was but TSA was very high if not #1 agency in the public's favor."

Oh PLEASE, please, give us a link to that article.

Poll: 70% applaud air-security effort

Be sure to read the article carefully.
Submitted by Ponter on

MarkVII: under this scenario every airport can end up with its one rules. The traveler can be fine at one airport, have a layover, and no longer be in compliance with the "rules". Where is the oversight to ensure that these local embellishments truly improve security and don't deteriorate into a succession of bureaucratic "gotchas" that create hassle and do nothing to improve security?

Kip himself has answered that one: What looks to you, the ignorant and ungrateful passenger, like "bureaucratic gotchas" is actually Unpredictability, which is the vital cornerstone of the TSA's Security Strategy. As a highly effective Security Strategy, Unpredictability greatly complicates terrorist planning, and keeps terrorists constantly off balance. Unpredictability is what enables the TSA to always stay one step ahead of a dangerous enemy that is trying to kill Americans. What looks like incomprehensible inconsistency is actually a carefully coordinated Security Strategy that greatly enhances the effectiveness and protection of airport screening.

What you ignorantly call "local embellishments" are actually an additional Layer of the TSA Security Strategy that enhances the proven effectiveness of Unpredictability. Airport station managers are constantly receiving the latest robust intelligence from headquarters. That lets them continually adjust the rules and procedures to meet the latest threats from dangerous enemies who are trying to kill Americans. That makes the TSA's strong protection even more effective!

Admittedly, Unpredictability and the continual adjustments based on the latest robust intelligence may create unavoidable complications for passengers. So occasionally a TSO may determine that an item is prohibited today, even though it's officially listed as permitted or has flown many times before. That may seem arbitrary and incomprehensible, but it's important to remember that there's always a good reason for everything the TSA does. Keep in mind that the TSO is always responding to the latest robust intelligence, which may justify temporary or permanent local additions to what is prohibited at that time. The reason behind it has to be classified, but it's sufficient for passengers to know that whatever local restrictions you might encounter are absolutely necessary. Remember that the TSA isn't trying to hassle passengers, but to protect the Homeland from dangerous enemies who are trying to kill Americans.

The best advice is to follow the published guidelines to the best of your ability, but be prepared for enhancements in response to current threats that may be in effect at the checkpoint. No, you can't know or predict what rules and procedures are in effect at the moment you present yourself for screening; that's what helps the TSA keep aviation safe! But you can fully control how you react to unexpected changes! You can become upset, complain, and otherwise waste the time and increase the stress levels of yourself, the TSOs, and all the passengers in line behind you. Or you can take a deep breath, think of 9/11, and remember why the TSA is working so hard to protect aviation. Then then graciously and gratefully comply with the TSO's request, knowing that it's entirely necessary to protect yourself and your fellow passengers from a dangerous enemy who is trying to kill Americans. Understanding and gratitude rather than petty selfish grumbling will make the screening process more pleasant for everyone, and more effective too! It's all up to you!

Submitted by Carrot Top TSO on

Ponter,

You are hilarious! They must have missed the sarcastic tone of your post since you aren't another number on the delete-o-meter(where most of my posts end up).

Well said!

Submitted by HSVTSO Dean on
curious about policy said:
So when will the TSA accept HSPD-12 compliant government ID's as acceptable ID?

I am not a DOD employee, but will DOD ID become acceptable like military ID given that the cards are the same and come from the same machine?

Referring to this, right? And the others like it used by just about any branch of the government these days?

...About six weeks ago or so, actually, give or take a couple. I know, I suck; I forgot to mention it. All the people flying out of HSV from Redstone Arsenal rejoice, though.

They're perfectly acceptable as sole and primary form of ID now. As with almost anything new that changes policy with the TSA, though, expect a drag period for full compliance ;) I'm told there are still airports out there who think cigarette lighters (like the throwaway Bic version) are prohibited.

curious about policy also wrote:
Can you do a blog on what SSI is along with its history to better educate the average reader?

Not a terrible idea, but if you want to know that badly, and right now, everyone's favorite security expert, Bruce Schneier, actually did a brief write-up about it himself. He did a pretty good job about it, too,

You can read it here. The page also has some directing links for more information.
Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Ponter writes:

That may seem arbitrary and incomprehensible, but it's important to remember that there's always a good reason for everything the TSA does.

Tell that to Mr. Gel-Pack, who had to throw away his wife's breast milk when a TSO would not permit him to carry aboard ice packs to preserve that milk, even though TSA policy expressly permits such items.

Tell that to the fellow who was forced to surrender his homemade DVD-player battery pack, even after the TSO examining the item determined that it wasn't a threat to aviation.

Tell that to the fellow who had to surrender his prescription medication because they were in unlabeled bottles, even though TSA does not require that prescriptions be labeled as such.

There may be a good reason for everything that TSA does (which is debatable). The problem is, there may not be a good reason for everything that TSA employees do.

Because TSA will not publish its rules, and explicitly states that TSOs can prohibit any item at will, TSOs are unaccountable ... even when they are wrong.

And as such, all TSA employees get painted with the same brush. The general public can't tell the difference between a TSO who is acting on verifiable intelligence, and the rogue TSO who is acting in violation of TSA policies and procedures.

I have small children. "Because I said so" is not a satisfying answer to them. I fail to see why it should be a satisfying answer to any passenger questioning the actions of a TSO.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Concerning the post by kdt at January 2, 2009 5:04 PM in regards to the AirTran incident.

This shows us just how effective the government can instill unfounded fear into people.

I wonder would the same procedures be followed and praised if the people turned in were not muslim ?

It truly is a sad day in America, when we have a government "spokesperson" praising racism, and the infringement of free speech conducted within the scope of private conversation.

The people that should be questioned are the ones that wrongly overheard the conversation, over-reacted, and falsely turned over that information.

Shame on the TSA, shame on AirTrans, shame on the pilots, shame on the other pasengers who did not stand up for the rights of the accused.

The next question. If these passengers were a threat, why did TSA miss catching them at the checkpoint, or with the BDO's that are claimed to be able to spot a terrorist?

Submitted by Ponter on

CarrotTop TSO, what's sarcastic about my comment? I'm merely repeating exactly what Kip and other TSA officials have repeatedly stated here and elsewhere, mainly to spare them the time and effort of repeating it again. If it seems hilarious to you, it's the TSA officials' fault rather than mine. I call 'em as I see 'em.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Carrot Top TSO said...

Ponter,

You are hilarious! They must have missed the sarcastic tone of your post since you aren't another number on the delete-o-meter(where most of my posts end up).

Well said!

I am glad you pointed that out. I must admit the sarcasm was lost on me at first. When read with the proper tone that is a laugh riot.

Blogger Bob, you should hire that guy. Speaking of the hired help, where is Poster Boy? I see he is still listed as a blogger.

I bet you sent him on a wild goose chase. Did you tell him to hunt up the legal justification for the forced ID verification? Is that the TSA's version of snipe hunt? You are a evil one Blogger Bob. ;-)
Submitted by Anonymous on

An "anonymous" said: "Think about it! If you had a choice to fly on a plane where no body (sic) was screened or fly on a plane where everyone was screened, which one would you choose?"

The aircraft on which I would prefer to fly would have the following posted at the aircraft door:

"If you are an active or retired law enforcement officer, an active or retired member of the armed forces, an airline employee, or have a concealed carry permit, please feel free to carry your loaded weapon on this aircraft. Have a nice flight."

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