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One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Tuesday November 20th 2018

Shut Up And Get In The Scanner – TSA

mom says

Updated November 15, 2010
Disclaimer – This version is very direct and blunt.  If you offend easily read the long version here.

I am watching the news, reading all the comments and listening to all the debates and complaints about TSA’s full body scanner being rolled out into the airports and how it violates and humiliates the passengers.  Seriously?  That is what is violating and humiliating you at the security checkpoint?

As a former TSA Federal Security Officer aka “screener” I have seen some incredible stuff come through the airport.  I have worked in every position over the 5 years I was there.  I have screened you, your carry on luggage, your checked luggage and even cargo you may have sent someplace.  I have seen tons and trust me a naked image of you is not a problem.

When I worked in the checkpoint and screened passengers and their carry-on luggage, not only could I see what you had in your carry-on bag, I could see you.  I could connect the image on the screen with the passenger.  If that didn’t humiliate you then this tiny little naked image shouldn’t either.  The TSA officer who is looking at the image will never see you and you won’t see them.  But that vibrator in your carry-on luggage that looks like it would satisfy an elephant, yeah I see that and I see you standing right in front of me.  But sure be offended by the naked x-ray image a person in another room is seeing, don’t worry about the vibrator at all or the other weird and crazy crap in your bag.

I have seen the way parents treat their kids and kids treat their parents in the airport and security checkpoint.  A good deal of you should be embarrassed and humiliated by that.  I have seen 12 year old girls dressed like Tijuana whores with mommy right next to them dressed the same way.  I have seen husbands and wives get into fist fights over who is carrying a bag.  I have seen grown men and women throw hissy fits like a two year old child because they were asked to remove their shoes.  This is the stuff you should be ashamed of and worried about TSA officers seeing.  This is what should make you feel humiliated because trust me, we may be professionals but when you come through the checkpoint with crazy stuff in your bag or acting like an idiot, we are going to talk about you after you leave.  Oh hell yes we are.  It is going to become the highlight of the conversation at TSA officer gatherings.

These naked x-ray images are not going to be a big deal to any TSA officer.  There is nothing to talk about.  It is an x-ray image of you.  The only people that could use that information to humiliate or taunt you would be people who know you.  These TSA officers don’t know you, they don’t even see you.  They could look at your naked x-ray image on the screen 100 times and see you on the street 100 times and not be able to make the connection between the two.  The TSA officers are not screening these images for identifying aspects.  They are scanning the images for weapons and things that are not suppose to be there.

Oh and the way some of you dress when you come to the airport, well you might as well be naked.  Your pants hanging down around your knees, skirts so short you put Sharon Stone to shame (put on some panties for goodness sakes).  See through clothes, lingerie as dresses, tank tops that you are too big to be wearing.  Short shorts with your ass on display, clothes so tight they look painted on.  The cleavage on display so often even the guys barely notice it anymore.  I wish I could say this was isolated to a few minor events but it was daily and numerous times a day.

Right to Privacy

Flying is a privilege not a right.  As such, it can be and is regulated.  Requirements can and are set up to ensure that everyone who flies is safe.  If you don’t like it, then don’t fly.  You may not be as concerned as the next guy about the safety or you may be more concerned.  Point is the job of TSA is to ensure the entire traveling public is safe not just you.  TSA officers don’t care what you as an individual want, they can’t, it just isn’t possible.  You may be ok with lax security but what about the next passenger who wants thorough security?

Your right to privacy isn’t being violated at all.  You always have the option to drive a car, take a train, grab the bus or start rowing a boat.  You do not have to fly, you just want to fly.  The minute you decide you want to fly then you have to accept that security is involved and you are going to have consent and submit to it period the end.

Children

I am a parent and my children are my life.  I would kill for my children in a heartbeat and without hesitation if you mess with them.  A good deal of these TSA officers are parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles as well.  We don’t search children just to be an ass to you.  Same goes for senior citizens.  We search them because the minute we give them a free pass, will be the same minute terrorist organizations start recruiting tiny innocent children and senior citizens to do their dirty work.  We know a child isn’t a terrorist today but what happens when word gets out that TSA isn’t going to screen children thoroughly because parents are offended by it?  Don’t think for one second these terrorist organization would have a morsel of morality, that they would refuse to use innocent children.

The body scanner is safe for children.  There is more radiation emitted into your child when they get an x-ray from the doctor.  If you feel x-rays are safe enough for your child then so is the body scanner.  You aren’t putting your child through the body scanner every day and several times a day, if that is the case then yeah be concerned but if that is the case you probably have bigger issues going on.

Stop freaking out and your child won’t freak out.  When you get all tensed and freak out when they tell you they have to screen your child, your child will sense it and get tense and freak out too.  Relax.  TSA officers are not out to get your kids.  Yeah you might run into the occasional TSA officer who doesn’t know how to deal with children well but there is little that can be done about that.  Some people just aren’t good with kids.  You screaming at them or interfering just make things worse.  Stand where you can see your child and your child can see you.  Don’t touch them, hand them crap or even talk to them unless the TSA officers asks for your assistance.  Don’t make a big deal out of it and your child won’t make a big deal out of it.  It will go faster and you will be done quicker.

The Invasive Pat Down

Ok that one is bullshit.  It is a terror tactic by TSA to get you to walk through the more thorough body scanner.  I can’t defend TSA on this one.  I have talked to the TSA officers and it is no more effective than the old pat down procedure.  They tested it out with trainers and each other.  It is purely a terror tactic by TSA.  Shame on TSA and anyone who has to get one should write a complaint in afterward.  You still have to get it though if you want to get on the plane.  Throwing a fit will not get you out of it.

The information relating to the pat-down was made while officers were training for the new procedure.  Now that the procedure is in actual practice many have changed their stance.  The do not find it to be as invasive as they believed it would be and as such don’t reason it to be a terror tactic.  In my opinion, I still have concerns over the use.  True it will now detect items people have in the past been able to get through security by placing the item in the groin location, but it opens the door to other problems as well.  I still believe that TSA wants people to use the more thorough body scanner just as they wanted people to walk through the metal detector.  People inherently don’t want their physical space violated for any reason so I believe there is a psychological aspect to giving people a choice.  The hope being that they will feel like they are in control and have a real choice and also opt for the scanner rather than being touched.  At the time of writing this, the UK doesn’t allow a person to opt out if selected for the body scanner, unless under specific criteria.  The general rule is if you don’t go through the scanner you don’t fly.  Would this be a kinder option instead of the two options TSA presents?

I get it you hate TSA, who doesn’t

TSA is the most hated government agency.  TSA officers are very aware of that fact.  We get that some of you come through and even though you hate it, you suck it up and do what you have to do.  Then there are some of you who intentionally make things difficult.  Screw you and stop it.  It is a Federal crime to mess with a TSA officer trying to do their job and you will get arrested.  You want to make a point and show your outrage to the world.  TSA headquarters is in Virginia.  Get on your little bike and ride.  Go protest out in front of the headquarters, file your lawsuits, write in your complaints and do your tv interviews but stop messing with the TSA officers trying to do their job.  Stop making a point of going to the airport just so you can cause a scene and draw attention to your cause.  We get it there are some people who think everyone should have absolute rights and freedom to do whatever they want but it doesn’t work that way.  Once you are at the security checkpoint you are on Federal territory and you need to keep yourself in check or you will end up arrested.

Now if you want to fly, suck it up and accept that you have to submit to the security procedures.  Yes you think they are stupid or unnecessary but TSA officers and TSA don’t care what you think.  They try to make it all warm and fuzzy but they can’t because it is security not a trip to Disney World.  Shut up and get in the scanner or don’t fly.

I am not a spokesperson or representative for TSA in any way.  I actually have a huge dislike for them and would like to see a good deal of management fired.  These are my views and opinions and those of some of my friends and former co-workers who happen to still work for TSA.

momwine glass

Reader Feedback

551 Responses to “Shut Up And Get In The Scanner – TSA”

  1. ivan bishop says:
    The TSA has NO legal standing when they infringe on Articles of the constitution.

    NONE.

    AND. If you fly but once or twice a year and have no PhD or degree in medicine/Physics/Biochemistry and don’t care about YOUR rights being trampled – please take your obvious ignorance to the FOX ‘news’ site or perhaps ‘CNN’

    Lots of sheep there too.

    Now come one. Say it. You know you want to. BAAAAAAAAAAA

  2. “Awww come on now – where is the you are right statement in all of that??? TSA has legal standing to do what they do – admit it…come on now….admit it.”

    Apparently you don’t read very well. Thought that would be the case.

    See my second response to your power-tripping:
    “If you get arrested at Wal*Mart, then what you’re doing at the airport is sexual assault; you simply have the permission of the government to BE a sexual assaulter.”

    Your “legal standing” was one of my introductions to this theme of your legal, moral and intellectually insupportable hypocrisy.

    You are what I am saying you are; you simply have the permission to be it where no one else does. Might is not supposed to make right in a nation built on individual rights. Why is that so difficult for you to get through your little rock skull?

    “Now if TSA said I had to physically strip there would be an issue.”

    Why there? This is yet another example of the hypocrisy. There’s no stated authority to strip search just like thre’s no stated authority to sexually assault or porno-scan. Your personal line is simply your personal comfort level created by whatever personal motivations you came up with on your own.

    So why, then, are spending so much time trying to rationalize why everyone else’s personal line – where ever they may be drawn – are invalid and unreasonable? Because you’re essentially a hypocrite.

    More evidence: you interject your personal line of no return and then accuse everyone else of “me me me” selfishness. Hypocrite.

    More evidence: you are justifying a thoroughly INcivil and INconsiderate form of governmental high-handedness and then find issue with people responding to it – and its supporters – with lack of civility and consideration. Hypocrite.

    …and if you dislike being called a nazi – I can’t believe I haven’t said this to you yet – then DON’T ACT LIKE ONE.

    “You want security to be removed from the airport for all except a few bad guys the government happens to know about and has on a list”

    I said that? Where?

    ” I am aware of what people attempt to bring on the plane and the ages of those people”

    And how many of those items are reasonably expected to be for air sabotage or air piracy?

    REASONABLY? zero. And you know it. If you REASONABLY expected the item to be for air mischief then you would not only take the item, but detain the person carrying it. …and since you do not …

    ” You even see the walk thru metal detector as an affront to your rights.”

    There’s no more authority for compulsory magnetometering than there is for compulsory strip searching of the general public.

    So – by your own admission [if you were to actually make a CONSISTENT argument], it is an affront to my rights.

    Yours, as well.

    ” Could we do it differently, of course we could but I don’t make the rules for TSA. ”

    So you’re back to “just doing your job” the way the guards at Treblinka did. Do I need to remind you that they got hung just like their officers?

    “why are we safer? Hmmmm could that have anything to do with TSA being in the airport?”

    No.

    The safety experts who consult with DHS are the first ones to tell you that. The trained apes are responding to each $20 hamfisted patsy with $500B worth of crap that is, itself, trivially surmountable, and whatever “enemy” you see is doing nothing more than bleeding our nation dry.

    Crack a history book sometime.

    Planes were blown out of the sky in the 80s by cargo in the hold. Blown remotely or by timers. Procedures [unknown to and not involving passengers] ameliorated most of that. More than a decade before TSA was even a glint in Papa Tyrant’s eye.

    You have no claim to that and it is dishonest of you to even try.

    The tactic of commandeering a plane in flight and compelling it to turn into a makeshift guided missile was remediated by locking cabin doors [duh]. No TSA.

    The two hamfisted attempts since then – Reid and Abdulmutallab – were both incapable of bring down the craft [though it would not have been pleasant] and passengers – that’s right, PASSENGERS – stopped both. Again, no TSA.

    You’re too busy pilfering toothpaste and Starbucks. And missing the test bombs and guns your sister feds attempt to sneak through your lines as a test.

    ” Like it or not TSA being there has an effect. ”

    Yes. You are right for the second time. It does have an effect. Just not the one you are desperate to claim.

    • mom says:
      I can state for a fact I never missed a test bomb not one single time. Nor did I miss test objects hidden on a person. You are making sweeping and blanket statements about a group of people you know nothing about. You are relying on information that is sought out purely to discredit TSA. Amazingly, government agencies actually fight amongst themselves and try to make the other ones look bad and that is all about money. They want those precious tax dollars.

      Be upset with the agency, be mad at the government but stop blaming the men and women who are just trying to ensure your safety. You may disagree with how the agency has dictated they officers do it but seriously you expect good men and women with families to quit their jobs and in this economy to support your agenda? Get serious. Stop attacking the workers and go after the government and the agency that made the rules.

      See I can say whatever I want based on the fact that I don’t just whine and complain to my neighbor about my rights being violated I stand up for them. I am suing TSA for violating my rights (on a different issue yet still well established law they broke) in Federal court as we speak. What are you doing other than calling people names?

  3. ZZL says:
    Reading this post suddenly makes me feel a whole lot less bad about being impolite to TSA mooks.

    Not only are you helping violate americans, you’re being arrogast assholes about it.

  4. [[You are making sweeping and blanket statements about a group of people you know nothing about. ]]

    Uh, no, I’m reciting press reports. Whether or not they were made specifically to embarrass the agency qua embarrassing the agency, or made to embarrass the agency as a swipe against the [then] Bush administration I can’t say. However, your personal record is of little consequence. You **do** understand the function of statistics, don’t you?

    Seriously, if the 100%-success agent is now off the job, that simply means that the remaining agents are fractionally *worse* at their jobs than they were as a whole previously. …which means that the agency itself is less able to accomplish their stated objective, and fractionally more likely to simply be going through the authoritarian motions in the fourth decimal position.

    I don’t think you helped the cause with your interjection.

    …and since I work for one of the many joint military ventures that attempts to integrate the combined necessary functions for all the branches, including various joint commands, in the area of war and logistics and the whatnots that accompany it all, telling me that bureaucratic agencies are jealous of each other is an awful lot like telling me that water is wet. It’s unnecessary, but thanks for the validation.

    [[stop blaming the men and women who are just trying to ensure your safety]]

    No matter how hard they try at a function that is both inept and impertinent, they are not going to succeed. I know this as a matter of the position I have in real life; many others suspect it on the basis of basic governmental incompetence. “When does the government *ever* accomplish what they say they’re trying to accomplish…?” And they have a point. Not universal, but so common that it should be presumed in every government policy ever discussed.

    The trained aped of TSA DO NOT create air security; they simply make people “feel” better. Which, for all practical purposes, means that TSA is the equivalent of a major bong-hit. The same reality exists, but [for many] they feel so at peace that they don’t notice.

    [[Stop attacking the workers …]]

    Technically, you’re no longer a worker; you are, though, an apologist. And what I’m doing elsewhere is not of real relevance here. This is part of the whole ‘social movement’ thing. We saw it with the Gulf War, we can – and hopefully will – see it with this.

    Silence the apologists by making their apologism a far greater burden to them as individuals, and pretty soon the bureaucratic machine that operates in large part on perceived public sentiment will stop seeing their support – which may still exist, but is hidden behind a reluctance to come out and admit to being [in this case] sexual molesters and child pornographers. “In the name of safety”.

    …which the government cannot create, and therefore should not attempt to advertise as their function. If the purpose is infantilizing the 300M citizens, then that’s one thing; if the greater purpose is to treat 300M fortunate people as free citizens of a free country, it is exactly the wrong message to send.

    Guvmint-made safety [which does not exist] versus being scanned, pornographically irradiated and/or molested.

    Making the true choice public knowledge is – as far as you’re concerned – enough for me to do.

    • mom says:
      I will agree that TSA was put in place to make the public “feel” safe to fly again. I even agree the chance of a terrorist attack is not extremely high. But I disagree to no security or limiting security to only known offenders that are on the “list”. There needs to be some security whether it be by a private company or the government. The government involvement is not just about the airports. The government must protect the airspace as well something a private company will not be allowed to do. There are reasons why the government is involved with aviation and has been for some time. There has to be government regulations these private security companies have to adhere to or it would be crazy.

      TSA was never intended to be a full-time security force. The option to revert to private security was built in for a reason. But even reverting to a private security company won’t resolve the problem as the regulations and screening procedure would still be dictated by TSA just as the FAA dictated it before TSA came along. We can’t have 429 private security companies using different levels and methods of security around the country. We do need some uniform regulations and standards. The government oversees those regulations and standards and must even if just to protect our airspace.

      The real problem involves TSA’s seeming blanket authority to act in whatever manner they see fit irregardless of the other laws of this country. That was even written in at one point but don’t know if it still remains that way. Trust me as an employee with TSA from almost the beginning, July 2002, I have seen TSA managers abuse employees civil rights like you have never seen before since the civil rights act and Title VII were enacted. I have watched TSA tell Congress to piss-off and mind their own business. This is a federal administration not even an outright full fledge agency that is given this wide latitude and discretion.

      I do believe people wouldn’t be so against TSA if TSA didn’t blatantly and arrogantly tell the people, employees, Congress and the courts to piss off on such a regular basis. That is when people start screaming abuse of authority when there is no way to get redress from that abuse. If the TSA wasn’t able to hide behind such broad and expansive laws giving them broad and expansive authorities it would be different. Since TSA was never meant to be permanent, I believe Congress intended to give them this latitude to address the then current problem but have that authority melt away as TSA was replaced with private securities companies. Come now, private security companies didn’t want the job and airport authorities didn’t want private security so TSA remained and has now become a permanent administration. As such Congress should stop simply renewing and extending the laws that govern them and reassess them in regards to them being a permanent administration rather than the temporary one they were always intended to be.

      I believe TSA had its place and was warranted after 9/11 and in the fashion and under the broad and expansive authorities it was granted. I am not apologizing for them being able to do what they did in the beginning. But now I do believe it should be reassessed. My main point has always been not to take it out on the officers because you have a dislike for TSA as a whole. I know what TSA can do to a person in the way of violating their constitutional rights and it is far worse than just requiring them to walk thru a scanner or get a pat-down (which I have issues with on the pat-down). It gets worse when you stand in court to have their violations of your constitutional and civil rights addressed and they pull out some law by Congress that says you can’t even sue them, which they actually did in the beginning over civil rights violation rights and first amendment rights with the employees. The laws were suppose to be about security and they abused their authorities to extend them to anything they saw fit not just your constitutional right to privacy or right to travel.

      Point is I am well aware of what TSA can do. I defend TSA’s legal right more out of a need to protect my former co-workers who aren’t allowed to speak out for fear of some major retribution that goes well beyond just firing them. I don’t work there anymore and they have already served out my retribution for standing up to them and you would be disgusted by the things they have done. But for me, they can’t do anything more. The most dangerous adversary you have is one who no longer has anything to lose. TSA fails to recognize that with their employees and with the public.

      The public will get fed up eventually and fight back when they have nothing left to lose. I keep reminding people that TSA has the legal right because people who just believe it is a violation will also believe that at some point the courts or the president or Congress will do something about them breaking the law and violating people’s rights and liberties. But they aren’t doing anything they don’t have the legal right to do under the current law. Right or wrong that is the way it is and until people understand that, you are wasting your time. You telling people it is illegal leads them to believe they don’t need to act because the government or the courts or Congress will see them doing this illegal act and stop them.

      What you need to do is remind people that what TSA is doing is legal and if they don’t like it they need to fight to get the law changed not fight to have TSA dismantled because they are doing something illegal. Do you see the difference? Telling the public it is illegal will do more harm than good. You need the public to know that what TSA is doing is very legal under the current law. Very very legal and then explain to them why it shouldn’t be legal and why they should join the fight to have the legal standing TSA has taken away from them. Just yelling it is illegal and violation of rights will not motivate people the way you need them to be motivated.

      • Jones says:
        So, in a nutshell, this is your blog, so you’re going to get the last word every time, even if what you are saying is wrong, so no one should bother? I mean, high and mighty don’t mean you’re right, it’s just feeding your ego to give you something to pretend you know what you’re talking about.
        • mom says:
          It certainly isn’t about last word. There shouldn’t be a last word until the laws are fixed in regards to TSA’s overreaching authority. See all you guys here is me saying TSA is not doing anything illegal and you go nuts. But that is the fact of the day. I am trying to get you to see TSA has full legal standing and backing from the government and the courts to do what they do.

          Yell and scream all you want about it being illegal and people will assume that if it is illegal then someone like Congress or the Courts will stop them. Congress is not going to stop them and the courts, well they may but then again they may not. They have allowed TSA to do as it wishes for the most part. I want two things:
          1 Leave officers alone and let them do their job free from harassment – you know the rules and you are choosing to subject yourself to them for the privilege of flying. It is not about whether I agree or disagree, it is about them doing the job they have been assigned to do with legal authority to do it. Don’t talk about Nazis because that is a BS comparison. There are other professions and occupations where children have their genitals physically touched by what are strangers to them. That x-ray images of them are taken. We are not vilifying those and insisting they change their practice or quit their jobs or calling them Nazi infringing on our right to privacy because they won’t find a better way. I mean look at the whole “turn your head and cough” scenario. Doctor’s can’t find a better way? Or is there just no outrage by the public to call them molesters. By the way a rectal exam meets the definition of sexual assault more than the pat-down does but you aren’t harassing doctor’s when they perform it, now are you.

          2. TSA has legal standing and authority to do what they do. If you don’t like it – don’t fly or fight it. Harassing the officers could in fact cause TSA upper management to dig in their heels. If they are tyrants, as people suggest, you don’t stop them by challenging their authority, you stop them by finding a way to take away their authority. It is the authority that gives them the power to act like tyrants, not the employees that they use to carry out their tyranny. Even if all the TSA officers quit today, there would be 50,000 more lined up to replace them before the day ended. It seems like it is about the employees but they don’t care about the employees so they don’t care if you harass them, hell TSA management harasses their own employees and they are going to care about you. Take their authority away that is how you stop a tyrant.

          • Jones says:
            Everyone but you already knows you’re wrong. Now you are comparing it to what doctors do? Are the doctors the government? Can I choose my doctor? Can I choose not to see a doctor? Does risk assessment enter the picture in your tiny little head? There is real risk in not being checked by a doctor, but that is personal choice. You are full of nonsense. The only authority you stand on is that this is your blog. You aren’t making any convincing arguments, you are just pulling up whatever landed in your drawers the last time you farted.

            I suggest everyone stop encouraging you, it’s just tedious now.

            • mom says:
              I am sorry you fail to understand the basic principle of what a law is and the legal right it grants. Laws themselves can be deemed illegal by a proper authority and oh yeah that isn’t you. Just because you declare something illegal doesn’t make it illegal.

              Insurance companies require people to get a physical (that includes a rectal exam for men over a certain age) in order to maintain coverage. OH MY GOODNESS, how dare a private company force you to allow a stranger to invade your privacy and sexually molest you in such a fashion just to use their services. OH MY GOODNESS that is age discrimination as well because younger men don’t have to do it. Hmm I don’t see people storming the steps of the capital demanding insurance companies grant coverage without such an intrusive and illegal invasion of their rights and liberties. You realize that the government is actually the one that grants insurance companies the right to do that to you? It is our own US Health Department that sets the recommended age and test needed. But let us not think about that because then we have no excuse and nothing to whine about.

              You pick and chose when you will allow your rights to be violated to use private services whether they are regulated, recommended or condoned by the government or not. When you start getting serious, I will start listening. Just as you can choose the doctor, you can choose to fly. Just as you can choose to not have life insurance to not be subject to those test, you can choose not to fly.

              The arrogance of this argument that you must not be commanded by the government or a private company to comprise your rights under any circumstance ever is just amazing. Your rights and civil liberties get trampled on all the time by private and government entities. The thing is you grant them the right when you consent to their terms of use, whether you like it or not. Everyone in this country has to give just a tiny bit of their rights to ensure that every person can enjoy the majority of their rights. You want to selfishly make it about you and your rights and the rest of the country be damned and none of your concern. Well darlin that is how they feel about your rights as well.

              It is amazing that I am the one that is so wrong yet Congress and the courts have done nothing. Ron Paul’s bill is laughable at best and was just done to win votes and appease the public and a good majority of the public was too ignorant about the TSA process and the law to realize it. I will certainly admit when I wrong, when that time comes.

  5. Kevin says:
    Nice post. I totally get what you are saying and agree. Flying is a privilege, not a right. If we dont wanna be searched or xrayed, we shouldnt fly. Period. I dont understand the angst here. Nice post, again.
    • [[ If we dont wanna be searched or xrayed, we shouldnt fly. Period]]

      Ri-i-i-ight.

      Because there’s nothing in our laws or Constitution which declares we have a legitimate expectation to not being searched in the first place.

      Is there?

      • mom says:
        Ross I would like you to really listen to me and hear me. I can agree with you that the Constitution affords us the expectation not to be searched. I can even go so far as to say TSA might have crossed that proverbial line. HOWEVER, What I have consistently said is that TSA has the legal standing to do what they do. Congress being aware of the Constitution and their duty to uphold it, decided that the the laws they passed pertaining to TSA DO NOT cross that line.

        You can yell and scream about it being wrong but that doesn’t make it illegal because CONGRESS allows TSA to do what they do. Congress and the courts have backed and supported TSA and as long as they do, TSA can continue to do what they do and have it be considered legal.

        I get it, you are saying that TSA shouldn’t be allowed to do what they do because it is illegal under the Constitution. Ok, I hear you and could even for the sake of argument agree with you. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Congress and the courts support what TSA is doing therefore it is legal whether you like it or not.

        You must change the laws to make it illegal. You need to get the courts or Congress to change the laws. Until they do there is nothing illegal about it. I don’t care that a TSA officer couldn’t stand in front of Wal-mart and search every person that enters. I don’t care that you think the pat-down is equivalent to sexual assault. There are many professions that touch people when they are actually naked. There are profession that take naked images of people. You don’t vilify them because you want them. You vilify TSA because you DON’T want them around period.

        Essentially your argument fails because if we should get rid of TSA because they can’t stand in front of Wal-mart and do the same thing, then we would have to get rid of every other profession that would fail that test as well, which is alot of them. You pick and choose period the end. In this case, you pick to fly and you get searched.

        You don’t argue against the insurance companies that mandate physicals and can ask your age, race, martial status, drug use history and tons of other private information that no one else can ask for. You choose when to consent to give out that information. The insurance industry is government regulated as well.

  6. [[I even agree the chance of a terrorist attack is not extremely high]]

    Mathematically, the chances of getting cancer from the new machines is higher than the chances that those machines will have a terrorist to stop from attacking.

    Yes; it’s THAT small.

    [[But I disagree to no security or limiting security to only known offenders that are on the “list”. ]]

    Nice straw man. Enough of these and you can staff an army with as much smarts as the TSA corp.

    Dig it: no one suggested “no security”. If you can’t respond honestly, then don’t respond at all.

    [[There are reasons why the government is involved with aviation and has been for some time]]

    Yes: power-grasping. You *may* be able to make an argument that such regulatory authority is properly Consitutional for reasons that are directly stated in the Constitution. But it’s not likely.

    What we’re left with is that the government **claimed** the authority and no one had the balls to say, “Now wait just a minute…”

    [[We can’t have 429 private security companies using different levels and methods of security around the country]]

    Why not?

    [[We do need some uniform regulations and standards.]]

    Why?

    I mean, seriously; have you ever even THOUGHT about any of this? There are good and supportable justifications for these things, but you haven’t even begun to indicate you understand what they are. You are speaking in question-begging axiom, as if these concepts and constructs “go without saying”.

    Here’s a clue: they DON’T ‘go without saying’. Our form of government was built upon the philosophy that whatever the government does or WANTS to do it must have a damned good reason for doing, and one with a little more substance than “we can’t just let…” whatever. Because yes we CAN “just let”. That’s the way liberty works. We have the right to be pleasant, polite nebishes AND the right to be suspicious, glowering assholes, both, and be treated the same by our government while doing either. And the way we are required to be treated is as free citizens in a free society, allowed to move as we pleae unless and until there is a “probable cause” to suspect us of criminal intent.

  7. [[Congress and the courts have backed and supported TSA …]]

    The courts haven’t gotten involved yet.

    TSA, and the DHS regulation which authoriizes TSA being lawful child pornographers and sexual molesters, is predicated upon a prior USSC ruling that authorizes the invisible-ink clause in the 4thAM for “administrative search” as long as such is “reasonable” and “not too intrusive”. …of course, what those words mean is anyone’s guess, because these things tend to change with the direction of the wind.

    …whereas the words of the orignial 4thAM – without the invisible ink and redactions – are pretty clear: you wanna search? get a warrant and have a damned good reason for requesting one.

    [[ You need to get the courts or Congress to change the laws.]]

    Gosh. There goes water, being wet again. How could I have missed that?

    Once again, for the slow learners in class, Congress and the courts won’t act until there is sufficient political necessity for it.

    That political necessity comes from the zombie supporters of the tyranny du jour being silenced, and the sheep who don’t think about the things they don’t think about being given graphic and visceral imagery to take to bed with them at night.

    …like blacks being washed down the street by fire hoses in the 60s…

    …like “KIA: 127” appearing nightly on Walter Cronkite…

    …like videos of emaciated jews wandering around Dachau…

    …like burning stock brokers jumping off WTC-2…

    Images of children bawling while being pawed by blue-shirted brownshirts, and nuns being groped, and countless “free citizens” being shown with their hands in the air in a typical criminal-submissive posture will accomplish the same thing.

    You are a zombie supporter. Be silent.

    [[The insurance industry is government regulated as well]]

    The only problem with yet another of your facile “analogies” is that the government regulation is not what imposes the nosy questions by the life insurance companies.

    What’s more, I think you know that.

    Which means that once again you’re offering a dishonest and brainless substitute for discourse and requesting people – in this case me – to swallow it. I am greatly offended by people being dishonest. When I am offended, I tend to repay the kindness with the same.

    So: how do you prefer your offense to be given?

    • mom says:
      Yes my dear the government doesn’t insist on it but it allows them to ask those nosy question and deny the use of their service if you don’t answer them. Essentially, a private company is requiring you to waive your right to privacy to use their service.

      Now back to the very first argument I made way in the beginning. The airlines is requiring you to adhere to their terms of service which require you to adhere to all government travel regulations. If the airlines don’t like it then they could fight against it to protect their wee little defenseless customers from the big bad government. But where does the airline industry stand on these new regulations??? Oh that would be with TSA, except for when it comes to their pilots and steward(ess). The airline industry didn’t put up fight for their customers, just their staff. What does that tell you?

      Hmmm maybe even if the government didn’t require it the airlines would still be wanting and supporting it. So take the government out of the equation and you would still end up with the airlines being able to require you to waive your right to use their service just like the insurance companies do.

      You can protest all you want and splash videos of little children crying all over the news. I can go to the airport on any given day and take videos of kids bawling and screaming just sitting in the food court because they didn’t get the happy meal they wanted. Yeah that is the big indicator that there is a problem – a kid throwing a tantrum. Try a different argument because as a mother of 4 kids, and working in one of the most traveled by kids airports in the country (Walt Disney, Sea World, Universal Studios all right here), I can tell you for a fact that video of that little girl having a melt down is a common daily occurrence in and out of security. Kids will throw a tantrum because you look at them funny so no; a little girl bawling is not enough of an argument any day of the week. It is a terror tactic to scare parents into thinking that child was being harmed when she was just throwing a tantrum.

      The little boy half naked video. Well the little boy wouldn’t put his arms up so the father got impatient and yanked the kids shirt off. The father was not impatient with TSA, he was impatient with his child. Any parent can relate to that easily.

      Talk about making your argument dishonestly.

  8. [[the government doesn’t insist on it but it allows them to ask those nosy question and deny the use of their service if you don’t answer them.]]

    The government is not in the business of “allowing” industry to operate as it need in order to remain profitable.

    Life insurance would ask those questions – and did – whether regulated or not. Insurance companies would deny their own services – and did – regardless of regulation.

    Do you understand how insurance works?

    [[The airlines is requiring you to adhere to their terms of service which require you to adhere to all government travel regulations.]]

    …and those government travel regulations got appended by …? because of …?

    Not the airlines.

    [[What does that tell you?]]

    In the subtext? it tells me you’re desperate and grasping, that you aren’t a clear thinker, that you’re rationalizing.

    What it tells me in the context is that the drop-off in ticket sales is still being blamed on criminally outrageous fees.

    [[ I can go to the airport on any given day and take videos of kids bawling and screaming just sitting in the food court …]]

    And what this tells me is that you are once again desperate to dodge the point.

    One bawling child is not like every other bawling child,

    As a mother of four, if you don’t understand that, then your children have been repossessed by the state.

    And what’s more: YOU KNOW THAT. Your dishonest dissembling is noted, and declined.

    It hardly matters *why* the kid had not shirt; all millions of people understand is that he had no shirt and was being groped as so much butchered meat. That is all millions of people will see.

    It doesn’t matter that police used fire hoses on blacks who were rioting AS WELL AS blacks who were simply walking down the street. What people see is blacks being washed down the street by fire hoses.

    You can sit there and self-righteously deny reality all day long, toots; doesn’t make it any less real. People who don’t have time for intellectually-phrased issues will MAKE time for a tear-jerking visual.

    If you have a problem with this, then you need to take it up with the clinical psych department of UCF. Explain to them how THEY are wrong.

    • mom says:
      So bottom line is that it is ok to lie to the public to get them to see your point of view and engage them into fighting your cause?

      I mean essentially you say it doesn’t matter why the kid had no shirt and the public shouldn’t know why the kid had no shirt and that it was the father who acted and not TSA. You want the public to believe it was TSA who was harassing a kid instead of relying on the facts to support your cause.

      The fact that you can’t rely on facts and have to rely on inference that you know to be false is wrong in my book. If you can’t support your theory with the facts then why should the public trust you anymore than they trust TSA? TSA shouldn’t lie to the public about the safety of the machines or the pat-down procedure but it is ok for you to lie to the public about what really occurred with the bawling child and the half-naked boy???

      I am guessing you would support anything that gives the appearance of credence to your cause regardless of whether it is true or not. A sheep in your corner is a sheep in your corner right? Doesn’t matter how you get them there. Doesn’t that make you as bad as TSA? I mean if TSA is putting out false information just to get the “sheep” in their corner and you are allowing the public to believe false information by omission just to get the “sheep” in your corner – doesn’t that make you both wrong and taking advantage of the public?

      I would rather go with the truth and the facts and let the people decide.

      By the way – I didn’t see your explanation why the airline industry didn’t stand up for their customers? If the government removed the regulations and let the airlines decide, security wouldn’t change and we can tell this because the airline industry is sitting quietly in the corner hoping the public doesn’t notice they aren’t fighting for their customers and are supporting TSA, except of course when it comes to their own staff. What say you?

  9. [[I would rather go with the truth and the facts and let the people decide]]

    Once again, you need to deal with reality.

    Truth and accuracy only matters to intellectuals.

    Like me. [But not like you].

    I am persuaded by accuracy and honesty.

    You are persuaded by authoritarian power trips. “The government has the legal authority”. HOW many times have you been relegated to re-re-re-re-re-informing us of that?

    Never mind that the “legal authority” is built upon horseshit and transparent tyranny. That doesn’t matter, as long as the proper despots have crossed the Ts and dotted the Is.

    But when I remind you that the world operates on a completely different wavelength – of visual imagery – of the kind that created the despotism you are, in fact, desperate to rationalize – you don your cloak of moral infallibility and >>snffffffle<< get all pious.

    Ain't gonna fly.

    "People" decide by the same things they always have: emotional impulse. See, babe, this is just more truth and accuracy.

    [[doesn’t that make you both wrong and taking advantage of the public?]]

    Perhaps. But only one of us can use, as support, the ACTUAL wording of the Constitution for justification.

    There is no justification in the Constitution for "adminstrative search" which has the effect of treating law-abiding citizens worse than suspected criminals.

    The Constitution does not prohibit lies – in fact "freedom of speech" would tend to support the concept – when countering the nonconstitutional grasping of power by a government that is, by definition, extremely limited.

    The folks that got us our independence from the despotism of England? did so by tarring and feathering loyalists. You realize what the entails, doncha? Heating pitch to around 300F, and then slathering it on a ne'er-do-well who has been stripped naked, which has the net effect of melting his skin right off his meat, and then rolling him in feathers, which are a great insulator, which has the effect of trapping that heat and cooking him alive. You get tarred and feathered? 90% chance you died. If you didn't you were disfigured and crippled for life.

    No one is perfect, but some of us are right. And you are NEITHER perfect NOR right.

    I, at least, am right.

    • mom says:
      Ross you are right in the world you envision yourself living in but that is the only place you are right. The way you see life and live your life is neither right or wrong it is just the life you choose to make it. You are a free man with free will and can live your life any way you choose but that doesn’t mean that everyone who doesn’t live the way you do or see the world the way you do is wrong.

      You are no different than the government you are angered with. You believe that it is ok to lie to people because it supports the greater good. I don’t agree. I think if we stop lying to people and start telling them the truth there would be more change and change for the better. Yes we are driven by emotion but it is self limiting by nature. The emotion affects will wear off and then what will you have? Once the fear is gone or the panic is over what is left but a bunch of lies.

      The government and you work by creating and keeping that fear going so people don’t have a chance to stop and let the emotional effect wear off and see the truth. Our government is far from perfect but we made them that way. We gave them the power to do what they do. We asked the government to save us and they did. One Agency at a time until now when we have an Agency for everything and anything.

      We wanted education we got it. We wanted safe food and drugs and we got them. We wanted healthy people and safe medical equipment and standards and we got those too. We wanted to be safe from threats of war and we got it. We wanted to be safe from terrorism and we got that too.

      Each one of those request by “we the people” allowed the government to create and maintain more government agencies and take more and more power from the individual people and give it to the government. We did this to ourselves. We allowed the government to become what the government is. History my dear continually repeats itself because we fail to learn from it.

      You can keep the masses all emotional and in fear or states of panic but it will not effect change the way you want it. People will look to the government to save them, protect them and maintain the world they want to live in. The more you keep them emotionally charged with false images and false stories the more you support the government you are so angered with, without even realizing it.

      I don’t want to use emotion. I want truth and logic to guide the people. I want the people to see what their government really does and how they can do it. I want them to see the Congress that passes the laws and the Courts that support it. When you get the people to stop fearing, then you can show them they don’t need the government to run their lives. They don’t need government agencies to protect them.

      But go ahead keep them in fear, lie to them and treat them like they are stupid and see how far that gets your cause. I love your tarred and feathered description. That was how they promoted fear back in the day. Side with us or side with them. If you side with them guess what happens to you. They took away a person’s choice. The people weren’t choosing freedom they were choosing not to be tarred and feathered. Yeah we got our freedom but they didn’t have to build this country on lies and fear. It is effective though because we haven’t learned to stop being afraid. Causes like yours haven’t learned to get people the truth and the facts to end the fear and get them thinking with common sense and logic about what their government is doing to them.

      You can be a bully and call me names and treat me like I am stupid but it will accomplish nothing. The airports are running smoothly, TSA is still in charge, the scanners are being put into more and more airports each day and being used and people are still flying. Does it really matter who is right? I mean I predicted this would all die down and people would keep flying and quit complaining and guess what? The people accepted TSA and their new procedures in record time. There was more outrage and for longer over the liquids ban.

      What you fail to realize is that the “sheep” aren’t really sheep anymore. Fear works on the ignorant. Educate them and you will be able to get the support you need. Keep them in fear and they will turn to their government to protect them. You can’t use the Constitution for anything if you can’t educate the people about the Constitution itself. You say you have the actual wording to support you but you rile the people up so they don’t listen and learn they just fear.

  10. peterchen says:
    1. It is not your say what humilates me
    2. In a free country, to fly is not a priviledge either
    3. Feeling humilated by passengers doesn’t give you any right to humilate them.
    4. Your eadiation risk assessment parroting statements that are unproven in a misleading chocie of words.
    5. re “there’s mroe radiation in an X-Ray” – Nothing distinguishes thas argument from “We just cut off a finger – you lose more body mass in an appendectomy!”. Would you stand by that argument, too?
    6. The TSA expects passengers to waive rights that are universal – which means deviding for airline travel does not automatically waive them, the TSA can not make me waive them.
    7. Don’t tell me not to freak out when my child is mistreated. This is not how I am going to raise my children.
    8. Offering a worse option does not make any other option better in practice, only in perception.

    No legal decision has been made yet whether I am oblieged to follow the new TSA rules, as such I reserve the right to make a stand. I will cooperate beyond my obligations in what I consider reasonable request made in a reasonable way, appropriate to the situation. I will not “suck up” anything just so you can feel better about your ex-job.

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  15. Jason says:
    As a TSA employee and someone who has read more than just a few books…”Mom”…please, refresh yourself on the art of debate. I read about 15 of these posts, and honestly, you completely lose focus of your, your premise, your argument, your supporting points, your conclusion, everything. Straw men being thrown up all over the place. Unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of commenters not realizing they’re being entangled in a meandering, unfocused, sloppy, inarticulate debate. Long story short…no, flyers, do not “just shut up and get scanned” if you don’t want to. That was the suggestion of a philistine, which almost goes without saying.
  16. Sadbhb says:
    This is really helpful. I fly at least 3 times a year and i have never had a problem with TSA. in fact i think you would have to be a very ignorant person to believe that EVERY SINGLE TSA worker gets his/her rocks off by touching you. being that they work for the government they have to have a background check, and as this article has stated flying is a PRIVILEGE!!!! you don’t like, cool, one less frickin person to go through security with. i would like to finish this by saying, FUCK ALL YOU HATERS. really, i am a sophomore and understand that walking through a machine can save hundreds of lives and if you are so dense as to say that we are being “sheep” because we accept the conditions for flying then you are a fool. this issue is split nearly 50/50 so you to are a fool. it was a pleasure talking to you pot.

    –The Kettle

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  19. Truthspew says:
    I don’t hate TSA per se. I think it’s policies make about as much sense as a brick wall in the middle of a highway when you’re doing 80MPH.

    That said – TSA completely misunderstands the goal of terrorism. Their entire mission is to secure the aircraft from being used as a weapon. They have accomplished that.

    But I ask you to step back for a moment and think as though you were a terrorist. Think what it is that creates terror and then tell me where TSA fails miserably.

  20. […] can read this former TSA employee’s blog post here. Of course, we all have opinions on what’s appropriate in regard to people’s clothing […]
  21. Regina George says:
    Yeah, all that slut-shaming makes you sound real empowered.
  22. […] Another former TSA-screener-turned-blogger wrote a post when the X-Ray scanner controversy was percolating that suggests screeners take an int… […]
  23. Caradoc says:
    If you were an employee of the TSA long enough to collect a paycheck, I fail to see where your opinion on anything should be of any concern to anyone.

    You should be embarrassed and humiliated to admit you were ever part of the TSA – but that would require having a conscience and the ability to feel guilt.

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