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Fuck the TSA. - Tulgey Wood
January 24th, 2013
03:37 pm

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Fuck the TSA.
Here's what happened at the Honolulu Airport on my way home.

I was directed to the invasive bodyscanning machine, so I chose to opt out. They called me back and asked me to point out which bins in the x-ray were my things. The agent who picked up my bins stacked them on top of each other, and totally ignored me when I said hey, one of the bags has a fragile item, please don't stack them. I tried to get her attention, but she just kept walking and would not listen. She put my stuff down, told me not to touch it, and then asked if I wanted to be searched in a private room. I said no, because this is a violation of rights and I want it public. She rolled her eyes and gave me a brief spiel about the patdown: that she would use the front of her hands to search me, the back for sensitive parts, and did I have any sensitive areas or medical conditions? I said no, and she had me turn around to begin the search. That was the last thing she said until I protested.

She flung my hair out of the way and ran her hands down my back. She was rough, so I flinched and arched away. She pulled up my shirt in back with no warning and yanked on my waistband, which was not something she mentioned in her initial warning spiel. I was obviously not comfortable, but she went ahead and ran her hand up my leg and hit my groin. At that point, I said, "HEY!" and turned around, and asked her to please warn me when she was going to touch a sensitive area.

She said "I'm not required to do that."
I said, "I'm just asking for a simple thing, can you please tell me when you are about to touch sensitive areas?"
"I'm not required to do that. We have a procedure and I am not changing the procedure. We don't change it for anyone."
"Every other agent I've worked with has given me warnings and let me know. That's all I'm asking for."
"I'm not required to do that."

At this point she got the attention of the private security guard who was standing nearby, plus another TSA agent. She said I needed to submit to the search if I was going to opt out. She mentioned a private room again. I kept asking for warnings, she kept saying that she wasn't required to do that, and eventually they started leading me away. I thought at first that they were going to take me to a private room, which I was not OK with, but then they walked me to the security exit point. I said to all of them in turn, "Please tell me what is going on. What are you doing?" None of them answered. The private security guard kept asking to see my boarding pass, and he would not answer my questions until I gave it to him. While he was looking at it and making notes in his pad, I turned to the original agent and said, "Look, I'm not asking you to change your procedure. I just want warnings. Every other agent I've worked with has narrated the pat-down. Please look at me when I'm talking to you." She had her head turned and was ignoring me. When I asked her to look at me, she did and said, "We don't change our procedures." I said her procedure didn't match my experience, and she said, "That's not true," and looked away again.

They made me step to the other side of the exit because security is a "sterile area." The private security guard kept making notes, but wouldn't let me see them or tell me what he was writing. The other TSA agent said to the guard, "We won't let her through again. Make sure she doesn't come through." They said this before telling me directly that I had to leave security. Meanwhile, I can't see where Starchy is (he also opted out), and I'm getting upset because nobody is telling me anything. I tried talking to the other TSA agent and telling her what happened, but she just said, "I don't know, I wasn't there," and walked away. By this time, the first agent who was rough with me had walked away. I never saw her again after that point. I asked the guard if I could speak to her supervisor, and he said no, she IS a supervisor.

The guard told me to file a complaint. I called Starchy at this point to tell him they'd kicked me out, but only got voice mail. I don't remember the exact conversations at this point, but the guard and TSA agents who were still standing around me basically told me that I wouldn't be able to go through security again, too bad, so sad, and that it had been my choice because I refused the search. Which is complete bullshit; at no point did they say to me that if I didn't submit I would be escorted out; they just put me through the exit and told me afterwards that I'd made that choice. They never gave me the option to go through the scanner or get another agent to search me. Never. The speed at which they kicked me out was dizzying - as soon as I put up any kind of protest, however minor, I was considered trouble. Nobody made any effort to negotiate with me or try to get me through security after the initial problem.

By this time Starchy had figured out that I hadn't gotten through security, and he came through the exit to find me. He can corroborate and fill in details after this point.

At some point the guard asked if I wanted to take this to the next level. I asked what that meant, and he said talking to the supervisor's supervisor. Of course I said yes immediately. The supervisor came over, handed me a paper complaint form, and said "Is there anything else?" I said yes, I want to tell you what happened, and told him about the rough patdown. He didn't really respond to that. He said asked if I was willing to go through security. I said yes, but not the scanner. He said, "It's not an x-ray or a millimeter wave. It just scans under your clothing." (This was his first noticeable lie.) I said I was absolutely willing to go through the metal detector, and he said that would be fine, and then he gave me his number and told me to call him when I was ready to go through. (I wouldn't have been able to go through security without him since I was banned by the earlier agents.) I was pretty upset at this point, so Starchy and I went to sit down for a while.

Perhaps 20 minutes later I called Cain, and he met me at the security entrance. He took us to the head of the line, then disappeared as soon as we got to the first agent who checks IDs. I was confused about why he left, and the agent pointed me to the scanner. I said no, the supervisor had given me permission to go through the metal detector, and the agent just shook his head. I couldn't see Cain anywhere at this point, so I had no choice but to say I was opting out again. This was Cain's second lie: he'd promised me earlier that I could go through the metal detector, but I was forced into another pat-down.

They led me through the gate to the search area, and there Cain was, watching. A new TSA agent was there to search me. She turned out to be much better than the original one. Before the search, I asked her to please narrate the search and tell me what she was doing. She did it exactly right: she gave me the introductory spiel, and then said "Ok, turn around, put your hands out... I'm going to pick up your hair... now I'm checking your back... now I'm checking your waistband... now I'm going to run my hands up your leg until I feel resistance..." et cetera. She was polite and respecful, inasmuch as someone can be while still doing something that shouldn't be happening at all. She also didn't run her hand into my groin the way the first one did; I barely felt her hand there.

When the search was done, I asked Cain for the first agent's name, which is Stso. Parker. (He wouldn't tell me what "Stso." stood for; he just said "it means she's a supervisor." The private guard came up to me and asked for my driver's license so he could take down the number. I gave it to him and asked why, and he said for his report. I asked what was in the report and if I could see it, and he said, "Oh, it's just for the airport's records." Of course this totally creeped me out, but I wasn't really in a position to do anything about it. I would like to see that report. I am sure it is full of inaccuracies and elisions.

In summary: The TSA kicked me out for demonstrating discomfort at a rough pat-down.

Other people have had such worse things happen to them, like medical devices removed and other awful, invasive things. On the scale of it, my violation was relatively minor. (Thankfully I have never been the victim of a sexual assault, so it didn't trigger horrible memories. I said to Angel Ponce, the private security guard, "The search was really invasive. What if I had been a rape victim?", and he said, "You would still have to submit to the search.") The degree of violation and the response makes it awful. I mean, the protest I made was so tiny, and the smackdown was so swift and uncompromising. Looking back, I think it's clear they had been trained on how to deal with "troublemakers" like me: get them out of security before they know what's going on, don't answer questions, make them scared and upset, make them meek so they don't make further trouble, engage them as little as possible. Make it look like they are really going to throw you out of security and strand you.

Current Mood: angryangry

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:starchy
Date:January 25th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
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The one scanner passengers were being funneled through was branded L3 Systems, which to my knowledge only provides millimeter wave scanners to the TSA. There were signs in the queue indicating that there were millimeter wave scanners in use and that passengers had the right to opt out. Supervisor Michael Cain explicitly told us they were "not millimeter wave scanners," and when I asked what they were he explained that they used radio waves and not x-rays and barely penetrated your clothes, which basically sounds like millimeter wave scanners. He's not a very good actor.

Our first time through, we were the last two of about five opt-outs in a row, so I'd had to wait about 15 minutes on the other side of the machines from where all the drama unfolded. Unfortunately, I never saw any of what happened to Robynne except a brief glimpse of her walking off in a direction that meant nothing to me with a TSA agent and Angel Ponce, the guard from Securitas.

Both of my gropers were friendly, polite, and professional.
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From:kirinn
Date:January 25th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
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I've also been told once or twice that my health concerns with the millimeter wave scanners (which is my personal biggest reason for opting out) are unfounded because they're "not x-rays" and "not radiation" (the former of course being true but irrelevant, and the latter completely ridiculous). I think there's a combination of both trying to tell the passengers whatever might make them calm down and genuinely having no idea how the tech they're using works.
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From:summer_jackel
Date:January 25th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
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I am furious, and wish that this hadn't happened to you.
(Deleted comment)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 25th, 2013 03:11 am (UTC)
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Also pay a visit to Travel Underground. You'll find a lot of like-minded people there who are trying to take back travel from the ever-reaching hands of the Terrorists Searching Americans.
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From:october_eve
Date:January 25th, 2013 04:44 am (UTC)
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It's disgusting. I can't believe so much of the country is willing to tolerate this. I thought for sure the outrage would put a quick end to these procedures when they first announced them, but people seem to think groping and irradiating all the passengers is a reasonable precaution to prevent the almost non-existent terror attempts.
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From:corpsefairy
Date:January 25th, 2013 06:54 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I got comments like that from the guard, Angel Ponce. He was basically saying, don't make waves, don't make a scene, just submit and get out of here so you can get to your flight.

I think a lot of people think like that: they decide it's not a big deal to be scanned or groped, so why make a fuss? You gotta put up with it to fly, and you want to fly, don't you? It's your fault if you don't make it through security. What's the big deal?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 4th, 2013 12:47 pm (UTC)
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Please file this complaint form with the Office of Inspector General at the TSA.

http://www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline/hotline.php

What you experienced was reprehensible but I also gather it is "par for the course" in Honolulu.

Second, I am concerned about the "private guard" whom you mention, especially your giving him your ID to be copied.

I honestly don't believe that the TSA has any "private guards." Do you think you could have been mistaken and that possibly this person, Angel Ponce, could, in fact, be a TSA employee?
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From:corpsefairy
Date:February 4th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
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He was fulfilling the role of a police officer, but he was not one. That's why I called him a private guard.
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From:beth_leonard
Date:January 25th, 2013 05:37 am (UTC)
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Thank you for standing up for people's rights. This makes me ill. The TSA is so un-American for the country I grew up believing in.

[I pause my typing for 90 seconds while I avoid puking on my keyboard.]

Other than contributing to the ACLU, the EFF, and calling my senators and congresspeople every time this comes up I don't know what to do. The next generation it will just get worse, because they've grown up under constant surveillance and never known anything different. We have achieved nanny-state, and it's only getting worse from here.

--Beth
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From:corpsefairy
Date:January 26th, 2013 04:51 am (UTC)
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The feeling of powerlessness is so infuriating. The TSA has absolutely no incentive to change. I can complain to them about my treatment at the hands of Stso. Parker, but so what? Nothing will happen to her, I'm sure, and nothing will happen to the TSA.

I plan to write to both California senators, as well as the ones in Hawaii, since this affects tourism, and right now I'm not especially keen on going back. Other than that I'm at a loss.

You are absolutely right: it is un-American. It's a police state. It's sick. This should not be normal.
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From:beespoke
Date:February 14th, 2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
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You are NOT powerless. Don't forget that. Maybe in that one instance for that period of time, you were not able to control the outcome. But don't stop fighting it. There are many, many others of us out there that are fighting this battle. And @ Beth, teach your children. Talk about it. Teach them the Constitution. Teach them their rights as Americans. Instill in them good reasoning powers. Support them when they stand up to injustice. My generation really dropped the ball. The only thing I've been able to do at this point is teach my children well, fight the system as best I can, and trust and hope that there are millions of others like me that are doing the same thing. The greatest thing we can give our children is information and teach them to question. Information is power.
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From:james_the_evil1
Date:January 25th, 2013 09:13 am (UTC)
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Gah. This sucks. Luckily you didn't have any piercings or medical devices they could forcibly remove. I have to get extra searches EVERY time because of my camera gear, not only do I get pat downs EVEN IF I go thru the scanners but I always have to wait on bomb swabs for my gear bag too.
Makes me feel so safe. :-/
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From:jon_leonard
Date:January 25th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
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I'm saddened, but not really surprised: This is more or less what the TSA is for. If they were really trying to keep us safe, they'd resemble something like Disney security, and be polite and unobtrusive. It's security theater, where the point is to be visibly Doing Something, with comparatively little emphasis on doing the right thing. Sadly, a highly-visible security presence is often unpleasant, especially when the security officers aren't focused on making sure everyone has a reasonably good experience. You may want to write your legislators: They're about the only people who can change the TSA's mission.

My condolences for your horrific experience.
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From:chimerically
Date:January 25th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
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As I've said elsewhere, this is sickening. In case it's helpful, STSO = "Supervisory Transportation Security Officer." I'm certainly going to keep opting out and speaking out, and I'm glad you are too.

Last Christmas I ended up in tears in the TSA checkpoint in Salt Lake City. First, they told me I couldn't go through with a ratcheting screwdriver that my mom had given J for Christmas because it was "significantly over the seven-inch limit" (it was 9 inches long; what difference two extra inches make is beyond me). I said "then I'll check it," forgetting that they charge $25 to check bags. I left all of my stuff except for my rolling bag with Josh, including, in the confusion of the moment, my wallet and mobile phone. Of course I couldn't check the bag without my wallet and the screwdriver wasn't worth $25 anyway, so I gave the Delta agent the screwdriver rather than surrender it to TSA and went back through. The fellow in front of me in line was really rude, and when I opted out the agent said "they're not x-rays," and I just lost it and started bawling about how I'm a scientist and they're wrong to say that and I can't believe they'd lie. Crying is pretty uncharacteristic of me, but the whole experience was so stressful, I just couldn't hold it in. I kept crying while waiting and throughout the pat-down. I was drawing the attention of lots of passengers and the TSA agent doing the pat-down seemed really embarrassed by it; she kept offering me tissues and asking if I wanted to be screened in private, which I just kept turning down. That's the worst I've experienced. It's nothing compared to your story, but *none* of this should happen. It's beyond just "security theater," because that makes it sound harmless; it's a step toward a police state.

On the other hand, I forgot my wallet on the *way* to Salt Lake City (the above incident was on the way back) and the TSA at Oakland airport was able to do a verbal background check on me and let me through with only minimally-increased screening (basically swabbing my bags with that explosive-detecting whateveritis). I was actually impressed that they were able to handle my lack of ID so smoothly. I was at first afraid I would miss my flight and have to drive an hour and a half to fetch my wallet, but instead I made my flight (though barely) and A overnighted my wallet to me.
(Deleted comment)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 25th, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
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My family and I were gate raped in Phoenix - Southwest Airlines and again in Salt Lake City on the way back from a funeral. All 4 of us opted out because we refuse to allow government Nazis to radiate us - so instead we were forced to allow goverment Nazis to violate us. I bawled and protested through the whole filthy ordeal. You make one single peep of protest and you are immediately surrounded by TSA pig supervisors all to intimidate you. Don't ever, ever, ever step one foot into their private TSA rape rooms. Make their lives pure hell for that time they are raping you - as they are making your life pure hell. Think rape is too strong a word? Go look up the latest FBI definition of "rape".
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From:elatedcont
Date:January 26th, 2013 09:44 am (UTC)
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HI, i came here via Google Plus so pardon me for now knowing you from Livejournal. Sorry this has happened to you, it sucks, and yes more warning, would of been nice. The xray isnt an xray though, not in the traditional sense, most are backscatter xrays. It works like a mirror, bounces off of A to give a veiw of B, in this case you, it doesnt have direct contact, other ones are millimeter xrays. But in any case the ones being used, you get a ton more radiation from flying itself, than from the scanner. Now their conduct and lack of instruction, for all of this is not good in any way. But its not good to say, either that anyone was scanned wiht the metal detector, but not hand checked, if the full body scanner isnt being used both need to be done. A metal detector alone will miss things. And contrary to common belief, lots and lots of items are found daily, knives, guns, explosives etc. But very few are openly reported, they are reported to different government agencies, but unless something big happens, that somehow slipped through. It doesnt go to the news. The reason for this, isnt to hide it from the public, but much moreso, they are afraid if all of it was openly reported ppl would be scared and simply completely stop flying. Some of the things that may seem ridiculous arent, such as toothpaste, and alcohols that have a high proof. Toothpaste tubes are often used to hold plastic explosives, as for alcohol past a certain proof, its highly flamable, and has been known to commonly explode and catch on fire after a certain altitude. All of that aside, their conduct wasnt justified, some explanations should of happened etc.You were irate and yes you had reason to be, but generally speaking, when ppl yell...what happens? Generally imaginary earplugs go in, so ppl can tune you out. After a certain point they may have thought you were throwing a fit simply to bypass protocol, and so they tossed you out. Im not saying its right, its not, but im curious how all of this was interpreted from the other passengers or anyone else who was there.....i wasnt there so its hard to have an opinion either way.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 6th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
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Get your science in order, there. It's not the amount of radiation you have to worry about, it's the type. A lot of alpha radiation is harmless, a tiny bit of gamma is fatal. The xray machines are bathing everyone in the room with ionizing radiation... ionizing radiation will definitely cause cancer. Not 100% of the time to 100% of the people exposed, but with 100% certainty that it will happen given enough opportunity... and the TSA has had the opportunity to irradiate millions of people everyday and many among the TSA irradiate themselves all day every day. The reason the xray machines are being removed now has nothing to do with how poorly they perform (the terahertz machines are equally ineffective) but due directly to their *already* causing various forms of cancer among TSA employees... and it's far too early to see the real impact yet. Despite only a very low percentage of people showing symptoms so early, TSA employees are already at a much greater risk of developing assorted cancers than the general population. Ref: https://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/letter-from-a-former-screener/
Now, the t-ray scanners are a completely undocumented technology when it comes to human physiology. Maybe they are safe, it's tough to say, and it's foolish to believe the TSA will say anything truthful. What we do know is that these scanners operate on terahertz wave frequencies. Are you familiar with how a microwave oven works? The use gigahertz wave energy to vibrate water molecules, which causes them to heat up, which then cooks whatever you want to have for a snack. Microwave ovens are gigahertz scanners. Terahertz scanners operate on a smaller level... they cause your DNA to vibrate, just like a microwave does to water. While I can't say that is bad for you, and can say I will absolutely refuse to allow anyone to do that to me. Would you stand in a microwave oven if the TSA asked you to? They deliver less radiation while cooking a pizza puff than you'll get on your plane flight... but again it's the type of radiation that you should worry about, not the quantity.
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From:beespoke
Date:February 14th, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
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@elatedcont Are you seriously comparing toothpaste tubes to invasive procedures used by TSA agents when refusing to submit to a body scanner? This is definitely a violation of our rights as American citizens. It should not be permitted without a search warrant. It is one more step toward a police state. It's like a frog in a pan of water. Keep turning up the heat while it doesn't realize what's happening and eventually he's fried. You absolutely must continue to fight the "system." We the people need to be governing our officials, not the other way around. I never submit to body scanners. They are absolutely ridiculous. I've been told so many times by TSA agents, ah, it's really nothing, just walk through. I've also been purposely delayed for my flights because of refusing. In fact, two agents told me they found explosive residue on my hands. What a flipn joke. JUST to keep me from reaching my flight on time as a punishment for refusing the scanner. Of course, they eventually said, Nah, I guess your hands are clean. TSA/Homeland Security. Ugh. If this country (Defense Dept.) can't keep planes from flying into obviously targeted buildings WITH the government having had SERIOUS INTEL about the nature of the impending "attacks", how the heck do you think Joe Blow off the street, hired as TSA is truthfully going to stop terrorism. Honestly, I am just floored that you excused their lack of protocol by saying that since she was irate they may have thought she was trying to bypass screening. She gave them several options, made several requests and was treated horrendously. And to think we bailed out the airlines.
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From:thatwesguy
Date:January 27th, 2013 06:00 am (UTC)
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1) Yikes. That's terrible.
2) I'm really sorry it happened to you.
3) What's the next move? I.e. what action can I take to reduce this sort of thing?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
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Robin and to all who were victimized by the TSA--REPORT THEM TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE FBI. They are good. My husband's coat was stolen yesterday during one of their checks. They completely denied that keeping property safe from theft is part of "Safety." Questions like "what if the passenger in front of another passenger was delayed in x-rays, etc--which eventually resulted in theft of property? I told them that the U.S. Courts will address their abuse--they ALL had the gall to laugh in front of the other passengers. I also told them that they were abusing power. And of course they abused it even more--the manager ordered me and my husband to go to another screening even if we had pass the first one. (They said that we should have watched the video--but I said that we had a plane to catch--noting their lack of integrity and lack of responsibility--I do not trust them to expedite the process of finding the culprit in the video in time for us to catch the plane.) The Honolulu Manager said that she will put a flag on my name for being upset. I was upset at her because her agent said I have no right--he didn't say anymore--I guess he meant I have no right as a citizen. But using common sense what else did he mean? Did he mean that they are ALL POWERFUL AT THE HONOLULU AIRPORT AND PASSENGERS HAVE NO RIGHT? This is symptomatic of the thinking of abusive people. Had they told me that they will watch the film and contact me later, I would have been greatly appeased. Yes, I have their names and you bet, I will be calling the FBI Human Rights Division tomorrow. The TSA supervisor of the Honolulu airport overstepped the line when she said that she will put a "flag" on my name for being upset because my husband's coat was stolen. It's about time bad TSA guys are held responsible for abusive behavior. They should never be promoted and in positions of power. Think of what will happen to the children and the future. Of course, there are good TSA agents--and we should encourage them---but NOT these "nazi" one who get a high out of their conceived notion of personal power simply because they have not yet been held accountable before the media and a court of law.

You know, with so good and disciplined American Veterans who have returned from the Afghanistan and Iraq war, it's about time that bad TSA agents are fired and taught a lesson. Good soldiers are polite and courteous. They are also disciplined not to provoke passengers who are already stressed out and with medical conditions like high blood pressure, to say the least. Why can't they do that?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)
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Robin and to all who were victimized by the TSA--REPORT THEM TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE FBI. TSA abuses need to be brought to court. My husband's coat was stolen yesterday during one of their checks. They completely denied that keeping property safe from theft is part of "Safety." Questions like "what if the passenger in front of another passenger was delayed in x-rays, etc--which eventually resulted in theft of property? I told them that the U.S. Courts will address their abuse--they ALL had the gall to laugh in front of the other passengers. I also told them that they were abusing power. And of course, they abused it even more--the manager ordered me and my husband to go to another screening even if we had pass the first one. (They said that we should have watched the video--but I said that we had a plane to catch--noting their lack of integrity and lack of responsibility--I do not trust them to expedite the process of finding the culprit in the video in time for us to catch the plane.) The Honolulu Manager said that she will put a flag on my name for being upset. I was upset at her because her agent said I have no right--he didn't say anymore--I guess he meant I have no right as a citizen. But using common sense what else did he mean? Did he mean that they are ALL POWERFUL AT THE HONOLULU AIRPORT AND PASSENGERS HAVE NO RIGHT? This is symptomatic of the thinking of abusive people. Had they told me that they will watch the film and contact me later, I would have been greatly appeased. Yes, I have their names and you bet, I will be calling the FBI Human Rights Division tomorrow. The TSA supervisor of the Honolulu airport overstepped the line when she said that she will put a "flag" on my name for being upset because my husband's coat was stolen. It's about time bad TSA guys are held responsible for abusive behavior. They should never be promoted and in positions of power. Think of what will happen to the children and the future. Of course, there are good TSA agents--and we should encourage them---but NOT these "nazi" one who get a high out of their conceived notion of personal power simply because they have not yet been held accountable before the media and a court of law. There are good TSA supervisors, like the African American man who helped me in Georgia and the white woman who was also very nice because I uneasy about the scanners since I've had three biopies.

You know, with so good and disciplined American Veterans who have returned from the Afghanistan and Iraq war, it's about time that bad TSA agents are fired and taught a lesson. Good soldiers are polite and courteous. They are also disciplined not to provoke passengers who are already stressed out and with medical conditions like high blood pressure, to say the least. Why can't they do that? PLEASE REPORT THEM TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. WE NEED GOOD GUYS IN THE TSA, not people who exhibit behaviors similar to that of Ilse Koch (the bitch of Buchenwald). Let's stop them before they get promoted. Because our children will suffer the consequences in a few years.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 6th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
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Robin and to all who were victimized by the TSA--REPORT THEM TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE FBI. TSA abuses need to be brought to court. My husband's coat was stolen yesterday during one of their checks. They completely denied that keeping property safe from theft is part of "Safety." Questions like "what if the passenger in front of another passenger was delayed in x-rays, etc--which eventually resulted in theft of property? I told them that the U.S. Courts will address their abuse--they ALL had the gall to laugh in front of the other passengers. I also told them that they were abusing power. And of course, they abused it even more--the manager ordered me and my husband to go to another screening even if we had pass the first one. (They said that we should have watched the video--but I said that we had a plane to catch--noting their lack of integrity and lack of responsibility--I do not trust them to expedite the process of finding the culprit in the video in time for us to catch the plane.) The Honolulu Manager said that she will put a flag on my name for being upset. I was upset at her because her agent said I have no right--he didn't say anymore--I guess he meant I have no right as a citizen. But using common sense what else did he mean? Did he mean that they are ALL POWERFUL AT THE HONOLULU AIRPORT AND PASSENGERS HAVE NO RIGHT? This is symptomatic of the thinking of abusive people. Had they told me that they will watch the film and contact me later, I would have been greatly appeased. Yes, I have their names and you bet, I will be calling the FBI Human Rights Division tomorrow. The TSA supervisor of the Honolulu airport overstepped the line when she said that she will put a "flag" on my name for being upset because my husband's coat was stolen. It's about time bad TSA guys are held responsible for abusive behavior. They should never be promoted and in positions of power. Think of what will happen to the children and the future. Of course, there are good TSA agents--and we should encourage them---but NOT those with fascist personality traits (who are probably hired because they are good at intimidation and harrassment) one who get a high out of their conceived notion of personal power simply because they have not yet been held accountable before the media and a court of law. There are good TSA supervisors, like the African American man who helped me in Georgia and the white woman who was also very nice because I uneasy about the scanners since I've had three biopies.

You know, with so good and disciplined American Veterans who have returned from the Afghanistan and Iraq war, it's about time that bad TSA agents are fired and taught a lesson. Good soldiers are polite and courteous. They are also disciplined not to provoke passengers who are already stressed out and with medical conditions like high blood pressure, to say the least. Why can't they do that? PLEASE REPORT THEM TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. WE NEED GOOD GUYS IN THE TSA, not people who exhibit behaviors similar to that of Ilse Koch (the bitch of Buchenwald). Let's stop them before they get promoted. Because our children will suffer the consequences in a few years. I will also tell the FBI Human Rights Division to read your very helpful and concerned blog. Thank you very, very much.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 3rd, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
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I realize I'm making this comment over a year after the incident, but I'm a former screener. Hopefully I can shed at least some light on your experience.

Recently, TSA mandated that all employees must narrate the pat-downs. All employees. Every pat down. Every action. "I'll start at the back. You'll feel a tug at your collar. I'm going over your back, your arms, sides. Pulling and tugging on your waistband." Etc. Additionally, you being handled that aggressively and that rapidly isn't true at all airports. It should take a lot more explaining before you're removed.

I can't divulge the SOP but I can tell you what I've told other passengers. You cannot opt-out of the AIT into the metal detector. That supervisor lied to you and the rest of the employees were just doing their job.

The last thing I can share is that STSO = Supervisory Transportation Security Officer. Yes, that was a supe. You can tell what level a TSO is assigned by the number of stripes on their shoulders - 1 for a TSO, 2 for a Lead TSO, and 3 for a Sup TSO.

Hope that helps, and I'm sorry you had such a rough time.
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