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Friday, July 02, 2010
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I have long allowed off topic comments. However, after many complaints from folks who would understandably like to stay on the subject, I am providing this post as a place to comment things that are way off topic with the current post.

I’ve added a link to this post on our sidebar so people will know to post off topic comments here.

You now have the option of subscribing to posts, so you’ll be able to keep up with the comments here if you so choose. So it’s not as if your comment is being exiled to the land of forgotten comments. We’ll be paying attention, and you can stay up to date with an RSS feed.

As much as we’d like to hear about your synchronized swimming club, I ask that all comments posted here remain TSA focused and adhere to TSA’s comment policy.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team


Submitted by Anonymous on

“The Director knows who [that person]is and that’s not good”"

Anon, is the director referred to the old boss, or the new boss?

...and posts quoting lyrics from the Who would be so obvious that they would be lame and show that the poster is unimaginative and boring.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"so many people!!"


Was a lot of that post redacted?

Submitted by Russell on

I love that you have created this post so people can talk about off-topic items. But perhaps a forum would be better format for this?

Thanks for updating us on the amputee story.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA, is it a joke?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Anon, I would suggest that TSA has done you a favor by roadblocking your application process. TSA is the worst agency to work for, as graded by its on employees, save one other agency in the whole of United States government."

Just wondering; which one rates worse than TSA?

Submitted by HappyToHelp on

Ayn R. Key said…
“So, Tim, are you saying that Ron is Wrong?”

Ron never claimed the list is only names. He only said that the girl shares a name with someone on the list. I’m not sure why you’re making such a logical leap. Take Ron’s words for what they are. I can do it. You can do it. I believe in you. If you need clarification from Ron, just ask him.

Anonymous said...
“So what happened with the 6 year old?”

Fox news reported two responses.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations in Cleveland will confirm that a list exists, but for national security reasons, no one will discuss who is on the list or why.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, Alyssa never had any problems before because the Secure Flight Program just began in June for all domestic flights. A spokesperson will only say, "the watch lists are an important layer of security to prevent individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism from flying."

The family can still fly with their daughter, but check in will take much longer.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

I too am astonished that the TSA cannot distinguish Clear Care solution, which is used on contact lenses that are put in human eyes, from explosives.

There are people who need to use particular brands on solution. The TSA has to find a way to distinguish both or, better still, stop with the theatrics.

Submitted by RB on

The family can still fly with their daughter, but check in will take much longer.

TSA Blog Team

July 23, 2010 2:42 PM

Tim, if no children are on the Watch List as claimed by TSA then why would check in take longer for this 6 year old?

Claiming that check in will take longer confirms that a 6 year old is in fact on the list.

Submitted by Anonymous on

@H2H: The fact that we're expected to take such doublespeak from the authorities saddens me. The fact that you say "the family can still check in, it will just take much longer", like it's a positive result, saddens me even more.

What has happened to this country in the past 9 years?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The family can still fly with their daughter, but check in will take much longer.

TSA Blog Team


Why doesn't Secure Flight solve the problem?

The girl is 6 years old! The NFL is suppose to contain data as to the age of the person. Secure Flight is suppose to resolve these conflicts.

Why didn't it work?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just wondering; which one rates worse than TSA?

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
"Anon, I would suggest that TSA has done you a favor by roadblocking your application process. TSA is the worst agency to work for, as graded by its on employees, save one other agency in the whole of United States government."

Just wondering; which one rates worse than TSA?

July 23, 2010 1:42 PM

Good news for TSA.

I just found ratings for 2009 and TSA improved all the way up to 213 of 216.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Alyssa never had any problems before because the Secure Flight Program just began in June for all domestic flights. A spokesperson will only say, "

TSA Blog Team


So as an Official TSA Spokesman, you are stating that Secure Flight doesn't work, and in this case made the situation worse.


Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "

Was a lot of that post redacted?"

Nope, published as it came in. Blogger does not allow for modification of the comments as they come in. To publish or not to publish, that is the (only) question.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

The family can still fly with their daughter, but check in will take much longer.


Or TSA could send out a memo to airlines and employees reminding then that no children are on the NFL and no children should be treated as if they are. But that would be too easy, right?

Submitted by InLimbo on

Here's a checkpoint/ID question. My state-issued driver's license is currently under suspension. Will I be able to pass the checkpoint? If so, how? Or, should I just say I forgot my ID?

Submitted by Anonymous on


care to address the situation at ELP (el paso) airport where access to the WTMD has been blocked and only using the Nude-o-scopes being used. This is very contrary to what you have posted repeatedly here.

Is this case mistaken or is TSA lying to the public yet again.

If this isnt posted and addressed this complaint will be filed with the appropriate congress types and other government offices.

This is a violation of the 4th amendment and goes we beyond the reasonableness factor in the administrative search guidelines as defined by multiple court cases.

as for the case of the 12 year old girl thats a clear case of consent not being sought, as only the child parents can give consent, friends of the family does not count in being able to give consent. Your talking about massive rights violations here. If your average joe did what this govt employee did they would be raked over the coals in court and labeled as a pervert and pedophile. I hope the girls family decides to go after TSA as its a one sided case and TSA can defend its actions. just another example how tsa employees are not "high;y trained professionals", and is not a "isolated incident" but yet more of the pattern of behavior by TSA with no accountability.

TSA Delinda Est

Submitted by Anonymous on

Does SJU have unique rules? They never bothered to have me remove my shoes and they did not swab my cpap.

Submitted by Sandra on

Blew another one, didn't you TSA?

From court decision in Boniface vs. DHS/TSA:

"The Court cannot say whether Boniface is entitled to a waiver of the TSA's regulation deeming him a security risk; that is for the agency to determine. I can say, however, that he was entitled to an administrative process that was not riddled with errors. The Keystone Kops might have done a better job than did the TSA in this case. Instead of sending Government counsel into battle to defend the indefensible, the agency should have long ago confessed error, apologized to the appellant, and tried to do right by him."

"riddled with errors"
"Keystone Kops"
"should have long ago confessed error"

SOP for TSA - and I'm laughing myself silly.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The family can still fly with their daughter, but check in will take much longer.

TSA Blog Team

For the umpteenth time: why can't TSA simply send out a memo pointing out that no child should be treated as if they are on the No Fly List (or any other list that doesn't include children)? What would be so difficult about that? Why should the burden be on this child's family to show up for every flight much earlier?

Also, why was my last post to this effect blocked? It did not violate any of the rules.

Submitted by Bubba on

Hey Bob,

Just another reminder that we are still waiting on an answer from the TSA on that extensive article in the top scientific journal Nature saying there is no scientific basis for the SPOT program.

As long as you continue to ignore it, I will continue to annoy you.

Submitted by Sandra on

Hey, Bob - where's the post in which Judge Ginsberg (US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia) was quoted calling TSA "Keystone Kops?" Are you censoring quotes from the Federal judiciary?

Boniface vs. Department of Homeland Security

Submitted by Anonymous on

Interesting. A post containing info already published here was banned.

Let me try again.

About this liquid stuff.

I stopped taking my freedom baggie out of my carry on over a year ago. I have not been called out over it yet.

It has been noted in other blogs that other flyers have had the same experience.

I try to keep a good attitude about the TSA.

Things like this don't make it easy.

Submitted by Kat on
Originally posted, 6 July 2010: no answer from TSA.

The TSA has signs at airports and announcements in airports about no amounts of liquids or gels over three ounces, when the actual, legal, authorized amount is 100 milliliters,or 3.4 ounces. The TSA, as stated on this blog, has no intention of correcting these signs which provide misinformation.

So, I asked before, and I'll ask again. What am I supposed to do when I show up at a TSA security check point with my food in LEGAL 3.4 ounce / 100 milliliter containers, and some ill-trained or officious TSO points to these incorrect signs and tells me I have to throw my food out?

Call the supervisor? Yes, and then what do I do when the supervisor points to those same signs and tells me to throw my food out?

Call the air port manager? Right, and when S/HE points to the signs and tells me to throw my food out?

My food is medically required. It cannot be replaced in the secure area.

I intend to follow the CORRECT INFORMATION AS POSTED on both this blog and the TSA web site.

But tell me, why do I have to print out half your web site and carry it with me, and jump through hoops because the TSA will not provide the correct information to the public and its own officers?

And, once again, how do I keep a TSO from endangering my health and endangering my freedom to travel because they don't know the rules and the TSA won't post the correct rules in the airports?
Submitted by Anonymous on

@Bubba: Also, did you know that there are medications, such as beta-blockers, that inhibit the symptoms of nervousness?

Beta blockers are commonly prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure. Does TSA allow people who take beta blockers to fly?

Submitted by RB on
'Travelers Allowed to Board Flight After Positive Test for Explosives

TSA agents say two passengers with casts tested positive for traces of explosives
Updated 10:30 PM CDT, Wed, Jul 28, 2010

Transportation Security Administration agents say two incidents at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday night exposed a flaw in airport security.

Sources within the TSA and DFW Airport Police said agents found small traces of explosives on the arm casts of two people in two different terminals. Both travelers were allowed to board their flights.

TSA agents say they have no way of looking underneath casts if travelers test positive for traces of explosives.

DFW Airport does not own a portable CastScope, which is designed to scan a cast. The device is only used in a handful of airports across the country.

The airport's new whole-body scanners can see through a cast, but the scanners are only at two of DFW's security checkpoints.

"They don't have adequate equipment and, because of that, security is no better today then it was on September 10th, 2001," aviation security consultant Denny Kelly said."

Can someone at TSA explain how a WBI Strip Search Machine can see through a cast but not penetrate skin?

If the energy emitted by Backscatter X-ray screening devices can penetrate a cast then these x-rays are clearly dangerous to the public, not to mention the unprotected TSA employee standing by the machines.

I take it TSA considers these employees expendable.
Submitted by RB on

I have seen the question asked many times about who BB reports to.

Seems to me it must be this person.

Kristin Lee
Assistant Administrator for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs


Blogger Bob
Hi, I'm Bob, and I started with the TSA in September 2002. I worked at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) for 5 years and am currently residing at TSA headquarters. I started as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), and have since been promoted to a Management Analyst with the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs.

So if you want to write BBs boss have at it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

There are reports that at Boston and El Paso the WTMD have been shut down at some gates and the only option is AIT.

Reports are also indicating that passengers asking to opt out are being told they can't

What is going on?

Submitted by Anonymous on

gsoltso, I just have to say how amused I am with the irony of your tag line over at

"Fear profits a man nothing."

This from a member of an organization who so often defends their actions using fear. "We have to do things this way or people could die."

Thanks for the lulz.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This comment applies at many airports, specifically ORD terminal 3.

I would like the TSA to provide some training in how to interact with people without pissing them off to the designated shouter. You all know them, they are the guys who are posted outside the security gates whose job it is to shout at us about shoes on the belt, shoes in the basket, PCs out of the bag, etc.

I understand how hard this job is, shouting at people and treating them like moronic garbage can't possible be easy.

This week on Thursday afternoon, the designated shouter took the easy way out. Instead of shouting the rules at the people who might actually benefit from the regular line, he came over to the frequent flyer line to shout at those of us that fly at least twice a week and know the rules better than he does.

Instead of treating us like the enemy, they might try to be helpful, friendly, sincere. They should try to make a very unpleasant experience (I certainly don't enjoy having my conctitional rights trampled!) at least tolerable.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So if you want to write BBs boss have at it.

July 29, 2010 3:10 PM

Speaking of BB when will he be back?

Submitted by Bubba on

Why isn't this thread the second anymore?

And why are you STILL ignoring the in depth article in the top scientific journal Nature saying there is no science behind the SPOT program?

Submitted by Anonymous on


1) Please keep this thread permanently pinned at number two.
2) Please update us on TSAs response to the nature article. Are you still waiting to hear back from the experts or have you just decided that their answers aren't worthy of a post?


Submitted by Anonymous on

Here's an interestng little article putting the lie - again - to TSA's claims about the body scan machines. Seems that not only can they store the scans and send them to other places, but that some federal agencies have been doing it for a while.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So you guys lied about the body scanners being unable to store images huh?

Care to explain your lies? Also, care to explain why we should believe ANYthing you say when your naked contempt for the people whose taxes pay your salaries is so obvious..?

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

I would first like to remind everybody that the US Marshall Service falls under the DOJ and not DHS, so I can't speak for them regarding the storage of images on their Advanced Imaging Technology.

However, I can tell you this.

TSA has not and will not store images.

All imaging technology machines are delivered to airports for operational use without the capability to store, print or transmit images. There is no way for someone in the airport environment to put the machine into a mode to retain images.


Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

"However, I can tell you this.

TSA has not and will not store images."

Why on earth should we believe you? You've been dishonest about strip-search technology from day one. Why would you pick now to start telling the truth?

And what about the Nature article?

And the forced strip searches in El Paso?

And the name and number of your supervisor?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"There is no way for someone in the airport environment to put the machine into a mode to retain images."

No way?

Bob, the only way for that statement to be true would be if any hardware relating to storage were physically removed from the machine before it is placed in the airport.

Please tells us, is all hardware relating to storage physically removed from the machine?

If not, please explain why you believe the statement you have made to us is true.


Submitted by Franklin on

"And the name and number of your supervisor?"

Sheeesh. Enough with that crap, please.

Get real. You are not serious about it. It has been posted on this blog more than once. It is in a recent post now. It can be easily found on the web.

If you really wanted to use that info you would have used it and stopped this grandstanding.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So, TSA strip search machine policy is that the devices don't and will not store images today. Lemme guess, if you change your policy, the public will be the last to know....

Submitted by George on

It has been nearly a year since I last visited this blog. I am disappointed but not surprised to discover that nothing has changed. The same people are asking the same questions, including the same complaints about not receiving a response. They must be masochists. But then, anyone who chooses to fly these days must be a masochist.

I had quit reading this blog because it was just too frustrating. But having just read the GAO report on SPOT, curiosity overrode common sense. I couldn't resist looking up the official TSA spin on the GAO audit. Blogger Bob did not disappoint with his cheery post about "SPOT still going strong." I have to compliment him on his thoroughly artistic approach to Standard TSA Approach to All Criticism.

He's not content to merely ignore or dismiss it. He puts the happiest face on it and offers us the cheerful suggestion that we also not let the silly little report harsh our mellow. Blogger Bob says SPOT is effective, and that clearly should carry far more weight than any sour grapes from GAO auditors, or the irrelevant Nature magazine. We all need to maintain our pure, simple faith in the TSA. I guess a detailed, highly critical report that shines a most unflattering light behind the curtain of secrecy really does demand an extra dose of happy pills to spin it away.

I have to give even more credit to the authors of the GAO report for their superhuman tact. I get the distinct impression that they struggled mightily to avoid writing something like "The SPOT program is nothing more than hot air and lawn-fertilizer. The TSA have spent billions of dollars on this worthless fraud, with nothing to show for it but the arrests of a few illegal aliens and drug smugglers who pose no threat to aircraft and have connection with terrorism. Taxpayers should call their Congressmen this instant and demand that they put an end to this shameful boondoggle toot sweet." Of course they didn't say that. But that's pretty much the conclusion a reader inevitably would draw.

I also have to give Extra Chutzpah Points to the DHS bureaucrats who wrote the response to the GAO. They spend most of their time defending the SPOT program and its "science." And their evasive and weasel-worded "concurrence" with the recommendations made it very clear they had no intention of doing anything and were telling the GAO to go fly a kite.

Yes. We can always count on the TSA to respond to any criticism by ignoring it or spinning it away. That's how their highly effective security evolves.

Submitted by Bubba on

Why is this thread not in second place, again??

And I´m still waiting for the answer to the Nature article debunking the SPOT program.

Submitted by Handy Backup on

If you have a complaint why not offer a different option, one that doesnt say just do away with it but a real alternative.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bubba asked, "Why is this thread not in second place, again??"

a.) Because it's in third place.
b.) It's part of a vast s3ckr3t conspiracy.
c.) Just to personally aggravate you.
d.) It doesn't really matter as long as its above the fold.
e.) Are you sure its not in second?
e.) All of the above.
f.) None of the above.

Submitted by RB on

I have to wonder why DHS and TSA is actively engaged in a campaign to undermine and destroy the United States Constitution.

TSA designated United States currency as contraband which implied anyone with resources is a criminal, but no due process was applied.

We have DHS/TSA with various lists of names commonly called No Fly List that subject people to restrictions on their freedoms but DHS/TSA does not provide due process required by our form of government. If a person is to dangerous to fly should not the evidence be brought before a court before a person is penalized?

We have TSA administrative searches required to use commercial transportation systems that are suppose to be no more invasive than required to find WEI but now TSA has escalated those searches to a full whole body electronic Strip Searches. Even children and teenagers are being treated to this very invasive form of search and refusing that gets one a full body pat down, just like a criminal going to jail gets.
So the choice is either have some person viewing your naked body or feeling you up.

Friends, this is not the America I spent a career in the military defending. It more resembles governments like the old USSR and Red China, certainly not free societies.

I call on all patriots to disengage association from TSA.

Submitted by Arlington-Mom on

TSA violated my daughter's civil rights. TSA says they do not separate children from parents and also they don't separate service animals from their partners but in our case BOTH happened yesterday at Reagan National Airport. (8-4-10) What happened to my daughter who was traveling in a Convaid Wheelchair stroller with her service animal Grizwald was separated from us and my older daughter was told not to touch her - I was also told not to touch her.

I told the agents she was a trauma victim and was told I needed to check my tone. One agent in a cavalier voice said, "Oh She's OK" -- No she wasn't and now this little incident caused by a total lack of common sense will cause us the inability to fly probably for the next year -- we are going to have to systematically desensitize her to their invasive and insensitive process.

All of this and we were not even boarding a plane but had gate passes to take a friend of my older daughter's to the airport.

Please feel free to read my entire statement here:
We have contacted Senator Jim Webb's office to work with us to find out what can be done.

What happened to my daughter was traumatic for our entire family but especially for her - she doesn't recover easily.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA, when will the ELP not honoring OPT OUTS be addressed?

Submitted by Amanda Goodwin on

I don't know if this question will get answered but I am traveling with a child this weekend and am confused about the liquid rule. I understand I can bring reasonable quantities of breast milk, formula or juice for the flight, but can i bring a juice box of milk?

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "gsoltso, I just have to say how amused I am with the irony of your tag line over at

"Fear profits a man nothing."

This from a member of an organization who so often defends their actions using fear. "We have to do things this way or people could die."

Thanks for the lulz."

You are quite welcome Anon, I am always happy to give someone something they remember. I don't like to use fear, I try my best to use facts - and when I find out what I thought were facts are wrong, I apologize and corret the information I give. Take care!

TSA Blog Team