Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Airport Security’

People continue to express shock at the abuse they’re subjected to at the hands of security agents at airports. How much more obvious could it be that the federal government is out to humiliate the people, to keep us in our place? Is there still anyone who believes that this activity is intended to protect us from “terrorists”?

The holiday brought bittersweet news: unless the Transportation Security Authority disbands, I’ll never see a certain friend of mine again. His long-term unemployment finally ended, and next month, he starts a great new job. But it’s in Texas, too far to drive; from my place in Connecticut to his new home in San Antonio is 2,000 miles – 500 more than separates London from Moscow.

As an American – that is, someone considered lucky to get seven consecutive days off work – the only way I could possibly travel such distance is to fly. But flying includes the legal obligation I submit to having my genitalia groped by some TSA thug wearing the same latex gloves already shoved down nine dozen other strangers’ underwear. There’s only two ways an American flyer can reliably avoid this: be rich enough to buy your own plane, or a high-ranking congressman or other VIP exempt from the indignities they inflict upon ordinary citizens.

The ACLU maintains an ever-growing database of these indignities, many so graphic they’re illegal to broadcast over public airwaves. Actions that violate FCC standards are embraced by the TSA. “Mary in Texas” reported:

“The TSA agent used her hands to feel under and between my breasts. She then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone … I was touched in the pubic region in between my labia … She then moved her hand across my pubic region and down the inner part of my upper thigh to the floor. She repeated this procedure on the other side. I was shocked and broke into tears.”

Read more at The Guardian.

Read Full Post »

Perhaps we’re winning over the hearts and minds of the groping federal stooges, despite the government propaganda.

Despite assurances, some TSA workers don’t trust that the agency has fixed the kinds of maintenance and monitoring issues identified by the CDC, said union official Rodriguez.

Because TSA workers at airports in Boston and San Juan were troubled by what they saw as possible cancer clusters among colleagues, the TSA this year requested health hazard evaluations of their work areas to address radiation concerns, CDC records show. The CDC found nothing unusual about the number of cancer cases and determined they were likely unrelated to airport X-ray machines, the reports say.

And a TSA employee at an unidentified airport asked CDC in June to examine concerns about radiation exposures from standing near the new full-body X-ray scanners for hours a day. The CDC said it didn’t have authority to do a hazard assessment unless three or more current employees at one location made a joint request, according to a September letter from the CDC to the unnamed worker. The CDC provided the letter to USA TODAY.

Since April 2009, the Army team also has been studying the radiation doses received by TSA workers at six airports, Philadelphia, Baltimore, West Palm Beach, Memphis, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore. The report is not yet final, but Szrom said all the data shows radiation exposure is low — “well below” limits that would require workers to routinely wear radiation monitoring badges.

The backscatter machines have drawn criticism among some scientists and health experts who are concerned about subjecting thousands of travelers to even tiny doses of radiation.

Read more at USA Today.

Read Full Post »

Is this the way things work in a free society? No, it’s the way things work in a paranoid, totalitarian state.

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union continues to receive complaints about invasive airport screening procedures through an online form on its website, in addition to the over 1,000 complaints it received in November alone, the group reported today.

This week, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) head John Pistole reported that the TSA received only 49 complaints over the Thanksgiving weekend. But the complaints received by the ACLU indicate that the relatively low number of complaints TSA has received does not indicate that Americans are not concerned about these invasive security measures. Most of the complaints received by the ACLU came from travelers who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by the procedures, which include aggressive pat-downs and X-ray machines that produce naked images of travelers’ bodies.

The reports received by the ACLU suggest there are several reasons people are not submitting complaints directly to the TSA. Some people said they did not know they could file a complaint with the TSA, and others said they thought it would be useless to communicate with an agency as large as the TSA. Some complainants reported that they had not filed a complaint with the TSA because they were afraid of being put on a watch list or otherwise retaliated against by the government. Large numbers of innocent Americans have been caught up by the government’s out-of-control watch list system.

Read more at American Civil Liberties Union.

Read Full Post »

An expert in the fight against child sexual abuse is raising the alarm about a technique the TSA is reportedly using to get children to co-operate with airport pat-downs: calling it a “game”.

Ken Wooden, founder of Child Lures Prevention, says the TSA’s recommendation that children be told the pat-down is a “game” is potentially putting children in danger.

Telling a child that they are engaging in a game is “one of the most common ways” that sexual predators use to convince children to engage in inappropriate contact, Wooden told Raw Story.

Read more at Raw Story.

Read Full Post »

Are agents of the Transportation Security Administration engaging in behavior that falls under the Patriot Act’s definition of domestic terrorism? The question may sound preposterous until you consider the following.

Air travelers in the U.S. are being presented with a choice when passing through airport security: either submit to being scanned by an extremely invasive and potentially hazardous machine, or have your genitals groped by agents of the Transportation Security Administration.

Many are deciding that they’d rather pass through the naked body scanner than suffer the humiliation of having their genitals manually probed. In other words, they’re being coerced .

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, recently got a TSA agent to admit that the prospect of genital groping is being used as a means of coercion. In an Oct. 29 posting, Goldberg wrote:

I pointed out to the security officer that 50 percent of the American population has no balls (90 percent in Washington, D.C., where I live), so what is going to happen when the pat-down officer meets no resistance in the crotchal area of women? “If there’s no resistance, then there’s nothing there.”

“But what about people who hide weapons in their cavities? I asked. I actually said “vagina” again, just to see him blush. “We’re just not going there,” he reiterated.

I asked him if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. “Nobody’s going to do it,” he said, “once they find out what we’re going to do.”

In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the Dick-Measuring Device over molestation? “That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re trying to get everyone into the machine.” He called over a colleague. “Tell him what you call the back-scatter,” he said. “The Dick-Measuring Device,” I said. “That’s the truth,” the other officer responded.

Section 802 of the U.S. Patriot Act, titled “Definition of Domestic Terrorism,” provides several definitions of domestic terrorism, including this one:

“The term `domestic terrorism’ means . . . activities that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”

You may read the pertinent passage by going to the text of the Patriot Act here and searching for “Sec. 802.”

People passing through airport security certainly qualify as a “civilian population,” and at least one TSA agent has admitted that this population is being deliberately coerced. Many air travelers who have experienced these violations would say that they have been intimidated as well.

So do the practices of the Transportation Security Administration qualify as domestic terrorism as defined by the Patriot Act? We take no position on the matter but simply invite you to draw your own conclusions.

Read Full Post »