Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Slow News Week For The TSA

“TSA abuses American travelers” has become the new “dog bites man”: bad news but barely newsworthy, since it happens all the time.

Here’s a random sampling of TSA terror from the last seven days:

In Kansas, TSA punished a four-year-old girl for giving her grandmother a hug. The Daily Mail reported:
The girl was accused of having a gun and declared a 'high security threat', while agents threatened to shut down the whole airport if she could not be calmed down.

When asked about the overbearing treatment the girl received, a TSA spokesman did not apologise and insisted that correct procedures had been followed.

Of course the spokeman insisted correct procedure was followed. Terrorizing children (and shoving hands down their pants) is correct procedure.

When the agents started screaming at the little girl and accused her of having a gun, she got scared and tried to run away, thus further infuriating the TSA. That’s the type of person the agency recruits: sociopathic high school dropouts who believe “Only terrorist four-year-olds are afraid of giant screaming strangers who fondle their genitalia.” Screaming at them is proper procedure; a TSAgent who doesn’t make a child cry is a TSAgent who isn’t doing his job.

Curtis Burns, the odious propagandist calling himself “Blogger Bob,” said this about the four-year-old terrorist’s treatment:
We did recently roll out new procedures that reduce the need for pat-downs of children. These new screening procedures include permitting multiple passes through the metal detector and advanced imaging technology to clear any alarms as well as the greater use of explosives trace detection.  These changes in protocol will ultimately reduce – though not eliminate – pat-downs of children. But… this is one of those examples where a pat-down of a child was necessary.

It was explained to the family why the pat-down was needed and at no time did our Officers suggest the child was carrying a firearm. We’ve reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper current screening procedures.
Of course they did. TSA has yet to find a single terrorist, but when they dispense terror to innocent people it’s always fine because that’s the procedure.

The TSAgents at JFK airport didn’t want their colleagues in Kansas upstaging them, so they upped the ante by terrorizing a seven-year-old with cerebral palsy.
Flying is always difficult for the family, but this week was particularly dreadful, Frank and his wife, Marcy, said.

With her crutches and orthotics, Dina cannot walk through metal detectors and instead is patted down by security agents. The girl, who is also developmentally disabled, is often frightened by the procedure, her father said.

Marcy Frank usually asks the agents to introduce themselves to her daughter, but those on duty on Monday were exceptionally aggressive, Joshua Frank said, and he began to videotape them with his iPhone.

“And the woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” he said.
And you deserved it, because asking a TSAgent to behave like a decent, thinking human being is as unfair as asking a kid with cerebral palsy to walk without her crutches. The child simply lacks the physical musculature to walk, just as the TSAgent lacks the section of the cerebellum where “empathy” resides in people who aren’t sociopaths.

To Blogger Bob’s credit, though, even he hasn’t tried making excuses (yet) for another TSA officer based at JFK. Lateisha El was arrested for throwing hot coffee on an airline pilot after he asked her to tone done her use of profanity and the word “nigger.” Ms. El, who is 30, displays the impulse control of a two-year-old yet to outgrow her tantrum stage. That’s the quality of person TSA recruits to terrorize people in the name of fighting terrorism.

In San Antonio, Texas Congressman Francisco Canseco said he was assaulted during a TSA patdown. News station KENS-5 reported:
"The agent was very aggressive in his pat-down, and he was patting me down where no one is supposed to go,” said Canseco.  “It got very uncomfortable so I moved his hand away.  That stopped everything and brought in supervisors and everyone else."

Canseco told the KENS 5 I-Team the agent said he too was assaulted when Canseco pushed his hand away.
Typical TSA attitude: we’re allowed to sexually molest you and you're not allowed to react in any way. But that’s been the case from the start; as early as November 2010, with the molestation policy less than a month old, I noted that
The agents of the Transportation Security Administration have been sobbing their little hearts out because they just can't understand why Americans have to be all rude and cranky rather than passively adopt submissive-criminal body poses while uniform-wearing thugs fondle their genitals. Union officials are especially outraged that people who are just following orders should actually be blamed for what they do.
In Foreign Policy magazine, Stephen Walt rhetorically asked “Can TSA make flying any worse?” and immediately explained how:
The lines and pointless interference at Logan Airport were no worse than usual yesterday, but one TSA employee did manage to add a new wrinkle of misery to the experience. As we all stood in line like obedient sheep, he recited the usual litany about removing belts, shoes, liquids, emptying pockets, etc. At the same time, he also kept up a loud, non-stop monologue of unfunny, mildly sexist, and occasionally offensive jokes, to an entirely captive audience of travelers. No doubt he thought he was providing an amusing diversion, but he didn't seem to notice that no one was laughing. And given the ever-present threat of a strip-search, nobody was going to tell this loudmouth in a uniform to just zip it. So in addition to the degrading inconvenience of the security checkpoints themselves, they've now added noise pollution.
I’ll end my blog post here, not because I’m running out of anecdotes but because I’m running out of room to post them. Remember, though: the TSA stories I posted here are exceptional only because they’re so unexceptional. You simply expect TSAgents to shove their hands down people’s underwear nowadays, you expect them to terrify toddlers who have the gall to cry while they’re being molested, you expect them to behave like toddlers themselves whenever their authority is challenged.

There’s a reason TSA goes out of its way to recruit high-school dropouts to fill its ranks: the agency does not want agents intelligent enough to realize “Molesting little children does nothing to make our country safer.” They do, however, want agents incapable of thinking in the long-term; a high school senior who thinks “I hate school, but if I can just hang in there for a few more months I’ll get my diploma” is a high school senior who thinks, period, and the TSA clearly can’t function if its agents run around doing that all day.


Anonymous WillCAD said...

Gee, Jennifer, you're not, like, peeved at the TSA for anything, are you?

In TSA's defense... Um... really, the only defense I can think of for the invasive, abusive, un-Constitutional search methodology TSA employs today is the Nuremberg Defense. You know, it didn't work in 1945, but remember - 9/11 Changed Everything, so it seems to be working today.

Sorry, I'm just venting a little.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Will, this has gone on far too long for any TSAgent to qualify for any benefit of the doubt. They know what they're signing up for every time they go to work. They know they'll do nothing remotely useful all day; instead, during the course of a single shift they will either commit hundreds of acts of sexual assault, use legal blackmail to create hundreds more pieces of child pornography, or make excuses why their colleagues are heroes for doing such things.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I know there was a lot to cram into one post, but you forgot the TSA drug trafficking ring in LA. Let me cover that for you. Ahem:
"TSA holds the highest standards for our workforce and this individual's actions do not reflect on the more than 50,000 men and women who work every day to keep the traveling public safe." (that statement probably gets an automatic fail of the CAPTCHA test!)
By my count of arrested TSA agents they should be down to about 49,000. I vow that the next time I have to fly (shortly after hell freezes over) I will be sure to opt out.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Umair said...

Pedophiles from all over the world would want to come to the US. No need for watching child porn on internet because you would get caught (warantless internet monitoring) but indulging in pedophilia is completely legal (TSA) and the government will defend you.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Russ 2000 said...

The US Gov't defense plan to deal with terrorists is to out-sociopath them.

Something tells me this doesn't end well.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Stick said...

TSA, Homeland Security, Patriot Act... These and similar laws, organisations and human rights abuses are why my international traveller dollars will never be spent in America. Other countries have a much nicer attitude to people who want to visit their countries.

8:53 PM  

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