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

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Fuck the TSA.

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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.
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