From the December 2004 Idaho Observer:
They love us when we fly - and it shows
Secret laws authorize TSA to sexually assault travelers without cause
by The Idaho Observer
Reports are coming in from airports all over the nation that Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) employees are becoming overzealous at their security stations. Invasive pat down searches, strip searches and even cavity searches are becoming common occurrences among domestic air travelers. Adding to the irony, TSA claims most of the searches are "random" and, to prove it, people who obviously do not fit the profile of terrorists are subjected to these pointless and degrading procedures.
Additionally insulting are how the swarms of TSA employees are choking every airport checkpoint, many of whom have minimum-wage communication/job skills and are operating under the authority of "secret laws."
Former Congressman Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) recently attempted to take a flight from Reno to Boise. After making it through the initial security screenings, she was, politely at first, ordered to stand for a pat down search to make sure she was not carrying any weapons, explosives or other unpermitted items onto the airplane. When she asked to see a copy of the regulations authorizing this additional procedure prior to boarding her American Airlines flight, she was refused and prevented from boarding.
TSA Security Director Julian Gonzales told The Idaho Satesman on October 10, 2004, "She [Chenoweth] said she wanted to see the regulation that required the additional procedure for secondary screening and she was told that she couldn't see it."
Security regulations such as those being enforced by the TSA are indicative of a new trend in government: One that is no longer required to follow the rule promulgation process and has the authority to pass laws in secret. Once passed, however, one must ask, "But what's the harm in seeing the written regulation?"
According to the TSA, they are prohibited from releasing sensitive security information (SSI) to the public. Under current guidelines, security regulations are categorized as SSI.
Since 9/11, the federal government has become less open, less accountable and more likely to view fundamentally law-abiding citizens with suspicion and hostility traditionally reserved for criminals.
According to Secrecy News at www.fas.org, the Congressional Research Service has published a new report describing "how, by altering a few words in the Homeland Security Act, Congress 'significantly broadened' the government's authority to generate 'sensitive security information,' including an entire system of 'security directives' that are beyond public scrutiny, like the one former Rep. Chenoweth-Hage sought to examine."
Note: The federal government authorizes TSA to abuse at random and without cause any person boarding a plane in the U.S. The federal government also enforces an immigration policy on the Mexican border that will allow an estimated 3,000,000 undocumented illegals into the country this year. That is approximately 8,200 per day; 340 per hour; 170 every half hour and, during the 15 minutes TSA was harassing a former congressman who had already passed through several security steps and was prevented from boarding a plane, 85 potential terrorists walked into our country. (DWH)
At what point have we been violated?
ABC TV news affiliate WJLA of Arlington, VA, reported Nov. 24, one of the busiest travel days of the year, that TSA was engaging in illegal strip searches at Ronald Reagan International Airport. However, since the public is no longer privy to airport security regulations, the searches may not be illegal, regardless of how invasive and unwarranted. Below is a rather shocking transcript from the WJLA TV newsstory.
Reporter: Andrea McCarren
Anchor: NEW ALLEGATIONS TONIGHT ABOUT ILLEGAL STRIP SEARCHES TAKING PLACE INSIDE REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT.
ON MONDAY, THE I-TEAM UNCOVERED CHARGES OF SERIOUS SECURITY LAPSES THERE AND NOW, WE'RE HEARING ABOUT SOME DISTURBING INCIDENTS RELATED TO PASSENGER SCREENING.
ANDREA MCCARREN JOINS US WITH MORE ON THE STORY.
Andrea McCarren on-set: IN TSA JARGON, THEY'RE CALLED PRIVATE SCREENINGS. THAT'S WHEN A PASSENGER WHO SETS OFF AN ALARM IS TAKEN TO ANOTHER LOCATION AND CHECKED MORE THOROUGHLY FOR WEAPONS OR EXPLOSIVES.
BUT WE'VE NOW LEARNED ABOUT SOME PRIVATE SCREENINGS THAT APPARENTLY WENT TOO FAR.
TSA Employee: "I couldn't imagine my sister or my mother going through that process. I was so upset."
AGAIN AND AGAIN, TSA EMPLOYEES AT REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT -INCLUDING SUPERVISORS-TOLD US THAT PASSENGERS WERE ASKED TO REMOVE THEIR CLOTHING AND EXPOSE THEIR PRIVATE PARTS DURING SECURITY SCREENINGS…A CLEAR VIOLATION OF TSA'S OWN INTERNAL GUIDELINES… OBTAINED BY THE I-TEAM.
TSA Employee: "The look on their face would almost give you the sense that they felt like they were in a sense being raped. In a sense, being victimized and to a certain extent, they were."
TSA Employee: "That really incensed me that someone felt that they could just put on some gloves and they could just violate someone to that degree."
TSA Employee: "They actually had the passenger remove the clothing that covered the sensitive area and perform a duck walk to see if something would fall out."
IN FACT, SOME OF THOSE SO-CALLED PRIVATE SCREENINGS WERE ALLEGEDLY CONDUCTED IN A VERY PUBLIC PLACE: THIS STAIRWELL…ACCESSIBLE TO OTHER PASSENGERS AND AIRPORT EMPLOYEES.
TSA Employee: "The private screenings were conducted right in that stairwell"
Andrea McCarren: Isn't that an inappropriate place to be searched?
TSA Employee: "That's a very inappropriate place to be searched."
TSA EMPLOYEES SAY AFTER THEY COMPLAINED, THE SCREENINGS WERE MOVED INTO THIS MANAGERS' OFFICE… WHERE THEY ALLEGE, UNSUSPECTING PASSENGERS WERE EITHER VIDEOTAPED OR MONITORED ON CLOSED CIRCUIT TELEVISION.
TSA Employee: I couldn't believe it! I said is that a camera up there? And they said yeah.
Andrea McCarren: Do you think the women being strip searched had any idea they were being videotaped?
TSA Employee: Absolutely not
A TSA OFFICIAL INSISTS THE CAMERA WAS COVERED UP AND EVEN DEACTIVATED… A FACT SEVERAL EMPLOYEES DISPUTE.
Andrea McCarren: You saw a light go on in that camera? TSA Employee: "Right."
SOME TSA EMPLOYEES ALSO ALLEGE THAT THE PASSENGERS SELECTED FOR ADDITIONAL SCREENING WERE OFTEN DETERMINED WELL BEFORE THEY REACHED THE MAGNETOMETERS.
Andrea McCarren: "You're saying a female passenger would be stopped for additional screening not because she set off an alarm but because of her breast size?"
TSA Employee: "Absolutely, Yes"
IN FACT, SHE SAYS SOME SCREENERS EVEN -INTENTIONALLY- SET OFF MAGNETOMETERS BY KICKING THEM.
TSA Employee: "It leaves supervisors in a very bad spot because if the manager's enjoying it, then how are you going to tell him to stop them from doing it?"
Mark Hatfield, TSA Spokesman: "The rules are non-negotiable and they apply to everybody. In terms of a violation or a criminal act, something that violates civil rights or the privacy of an individual, there's zero tolerance for that. And we'll get to the bottom of that and root out the individuals."
SOME FEMALE PASSENGERS FEAR IT'S ALL PART OF A GROWING TREND TOWARD MORE AGGRESSIVE SCREENING.
Woman #1: "Sometimes they overdo it. I've been almost stripped, practically."
Woman #2: "You're sort of treated like a criminal."
Woman #3: "I was like, whoah! You can't do that and the supervisor who I had been objecting to was standing right there and he said yes, we can."
TSA Employee: "It's very upsetting to see this happen and there are a lot of screeners that took this job thinking that they could do something good and many of them have quit and many of them are talking about quitting now."
Andrea McCarren on-set: SO, WHO INVESTIGATES COMPLAINTS ABOUT TSA SCREENINGS? WELL, THE TSA DOES! THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, WE'VE REQUESTED ALL OF THE PASSENGER COMPLAINTS ABOUT SCREENINGS AT NATIONAL AIRPORT AND WILL REPORT BACK ONCE WE HAVE THAT INFORMATION.
REPORTING LIVE FOR THE I-TEAM, ANDREA MCCARREN, ABC7 NEWS
Note: We should have seen it coming. The federal government created TSA in the wake of 9/11, then hired legions of people with limited job skills and experience to perform security functions at the nation's airports. Suddenly, people who have never been in a position of power were wearing a uniform and a badge and had the authority to tell a wealthy business executive to take off his shoes.
Understanding human nature, it really was only a matter of time before they would be telling that same man to take his pants off and to bend over for a cavity search; forcing beautiful women to strip and cooperate through a pelvic examination is merely a logical extension of an unchecked power trip.
Humans are so predictable, it is not difficult to imagine these eventualities were intended. (DWH)
Seven-point anti-terrorism plan
First published by NewsWithViews.com on Dec 4, 2004, David Brownlow observed how decent Americans, who would never commit an act of terrorism in their own country, are repeatedly detained at airports and subjected to increasingly invasive "searches." He made the comment, "Our leaders have repeatedly warned (threatened) us that the next major terror attack is not a question of 'if,' but a question of 'when.' If they were really serious about trying to avoid it, they would:
* Understand that the terrorists attacked us on 9/11 not because of our goodness and freedom, but because we poke around in their business, occupy their lands and kill their people.
* Build a "West Bank" style fence along our southern border. (Cost: Less than $3 billion)
* Bring home the 500,000 American troops that are languishing in 140 of the worlds 193 countries, and let them guard the fence.
* Inspect 100% of the shipping containers that enter our ports.
* Bring some sanity back to our immigration and visa issuing policies.
* Find the bad guys who managed to sneak into our country and either kick them out, put them in jail, or kill them.
* Leave the rest of us alone.
Note: Isn't that something-a simple seven-point plan to protect America from terrorists. Only one of them-building a fence- requires money. The rest are already funded and only require a change in policy from management. (DWH)
Why is TSA always picking on me?
Craig Roberts, career cop and Vietnam vet, is on "The List." Finally tired of getting the "treatment" (random screening from TSA) over and over again each time he flies, he asked why it keeps happening to him.
Roberts explained that the TSA guy, "…showed me a checkered box at the bottom of my boarding pass and said that the computer does it, and when they see this they pull you out of line."
"Why do I always get the checkered box?" Roberts asked.
"Well, you could be on The List," was the response.
"What list?" Roberts pursued.
"Let's put it this way. You might have ticked someone off in Washington, like the FBI or another agency. I can't say more. I'd get in trouble. You need to catch your plane."
"It was then that I knew what it was all about," Roberts explained. "I had written my government-critical book "The Medusa File: Crimes and Coverups of the US Government" http://snipurl.com/9uu4 , and in doing so stepped on a lot of toes. So now I was on The List. So be it."
But the coup de grace came when he began boarding the plane in Los Angeles for Honolulu. He watched as 80-year-old Pearl Harbor veterans wearing their survivor hats, "most of them with canes and walkers," were being pulled out of line for "special searches." When Roberts asked the boarding attendant why, he was told the searches were "random."
He asked, "then why don't you search the friggin' Arabs getting on the plane?" According to Roberts, several people of obvious middle-eastern descent were standing in line - none of which were given a glance.
"Because we are ordered not to racially profile,"
"What? Gimme a break!" Roberts said. "I was a cop for over two decades. We HAD to racially profile, as you say. After all, when the radio says that there's been an armed robbery by a black male in his 20s, we didn't go around looking for, or stopping a white lady in her 60s!"
"He looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and said 'I know. But that's our orders from headquarters. We can get in trouble for pulling out Muslims and other people of middle eastern descent.'"
Shocked and disgusted, Roberts asked his readers, "How could you fight terrorism if you ignored the obvious and pursued the ridiculous?"
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