After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back

 

This is nice.

I remember insisting on avoiding the government radiation boxes and being felt up in an Omaha airport at 4 o’clock in the morning years ago. Since, well, if I can avoid the radiation boxes without being groped I absolutely do. But but both the radiation and the groping are hard to avoid.

I wrote this in 2011.

In Omaha, in the wee ours of the morning however, the TSA wanted me to walk through the radiation boxes. I informed them that I was inclined not to do so and would prefer not to subject my internal organs to the blast of radiation the boxes produce. This is without mentioning of course that the device performs essentially a virtual strip search.

The TSA agent I was talking to then bruskly informed me that I would be subject to a pat down at his hands if I was not inclined to follow his suggestion. If I had to be patted down to avoid irradiating my liver and being virtually strip searched so be it I thought.

Let’s just say that if you have never seen a TSA pat down, or been subject to one, it is just as bad as many say. As I stood there with legs spread and arms extended in the air the message was clear to everyone else. Don’t buck at the radiation boxes or you will have a pat down just like this guy. Just keep moving along.

As I stood there with my shoes off, my belt off, with my wallet and luggage in the all too familiar grey plastic boxes, as a man with rubber gloves ran his hands around my waistline I thought about how far down the path Bryer was referring to we had already gone.

As the agent frisked my legs I couldn’t help myself.

I looked down and said, “I am sad that this is what has happened to my country.”

The guy looked up at me and said, “Well sir not everyone wants to be safe.”

You are darn right, Mr. TSA agent. Some of us know that life involves risk. This knowledge used to be what defined a free people.

“Move along or you’ll miss your connecting flight.” He said.

And still, 7 years on, the TSA hasn’t been reined in.

Why can’t there be a special terminal where people can avoid the TSA and fly in dignity with the understanding that there might be the extremely off chance of a terrorist attack.

Oh that’s right, there is. Just fly on a private jet. No TSA there. I wonder why that is? Just multiply your ticket price by 20 and you too can avoid the dope grope. The USA Today explains.

(From The USA Today)

You might be flying private, but you still have to go through security and deal with the TSA. 

No, you can forget about security lines, taking off your shoes and emptying your pockets. You won’t find metal detectors or body scanners. O’Leary says that often “there is no TSA or pre-flight checks required. The pilots may check the ID of the lead passenger; otherwise, you will be loaded and on your way within minutes of arrival at the airport.  At some private airports, you can actually pull your car up to the aircraft, unload and have valet (service for) your car, so you could be in the air within minutes.”

Ah, very nice. You simply should try it it you have the means. It is just a lovely way to travel. Plus no mixing with the hoi polloi either.

(From The LA Times)

I thought of this exchange last week when the New York Times revealed that the Transportation Security Administration has created a secret watchlist for troublesome passengers. The TSA justified the list by saying that its screeners were assaulted 34 times last year, but did not release any details about the alleged assaults.

Think about this. The TSA WAS ASSAULTED. Um, OK.

Naturally, the TSA’s official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

What country is this again?

The watchlist would seem less perilous if the TSA were not one of most incompetent agencies on Earth. After a series of undercover tests at multiple airports across the country, the Department of Homeland Security concluded last year that TSA officers and equipment had failed to detect mock threats roughly 80% of the time. (In Minneapolis, an undercover team succeeded in smuggling weapons and mock bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time.) An earlier DHS investigation found the TSA utterly unable to detect weapons, fake explosives and other contraband, regardless of how extensive its pat-downs were.

The TSA is a works program that assaults Americans legally.