House Committee on Homeland Security Expressed Concerns about “Gate Rape” on September 22

Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Bennie Thompson sent Transportation Security Administration Director John Pistole a letter on Friday expressing concern that the TSA did not review privacy and civil liberty concerns before implementing the new “gate rape” procedures at airports. The letter demands additional information on the pat-downs and calls on Pistole to reconsider them.

But most troubling, it reveals that at a member briefing on the new protocol conducted on September 22, the Committee expressed concern about the pat-downs.

As you know, on September 22, 2010, the Committee on Homeland Security held a Member briefing on a pilot that TSA was conducting at Boston Logan International Airport and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport to evaluate enhanced passenger screening protocols. At that time, Members viewed a demonstration of the protocols and expressed concern about their intrusiveness as well as about the risk of inconsistent nationwide implementation and urged TSA to work to educate the traveling public on the need for these reforms. Subsequently, TSA, over a two month period, began implementing these new protocols at our Nation’s airports.

While some of this appears to be a belated attempt to raise privacy issues about the “gate rape,” Thompson rightly points out the Administration’s failures to fulfill privacy and civil liberties requirements.

In the absence of an Executive branch level Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that would evaluate decisions such as this, it was crucial that the Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy Officer and Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties thoroughly evaluate and publish written assessments on how this decision affects the privacy and civil rights of the traveling public. To date, the Department has not published either a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) nor a Civil Liberties Impact Assessment (CLIA) on the enhanced pat down procedures. Without a published PIA or CLIA, we cannot ascertain the extent to which TSA has considered how these procedures should be implemented with respect to certain populations such as children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. By not issuing these assessments, the traveling public has no assurance that these procedures have been thoroughly evaluated for constitutionality.

Now, Thompson has been successful in the past at forestalling abusive surveillance by raising precisely these kinds of privacy issues, notably when he prevented Michael Chertoff from implementing a satellite surveillance program in the US. But that was when the Democrats had a majority in the House. In just weeks, Thompson will lose his gavel and Peter King–who used to materially support terrorists in Ireland but now loves to fearmonger on terror–will take over.

Which means Pistole and the Obama Administration will probably just blow off this request for some proof that gate rape has passed constitutional review.

Sign the petition demanding Congress investigate the TSA’s porno scanners, aggressive groping, and abuses of power.

  1. bmaz says:

    Also points out the continuing abdication of duty by the Obama White House in not forming a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Telling from the man who claimed to be a Constitutional scholar concerned about and specializing in civil rights.

    • perris says:

      think about this

      remember how everyone said “obama wasn’t ready”, even the democrats said that

      he had no experience and no progressive record, yet he was rammed down our throats, by who?

      by corporate media that’s how, hilary and obama, rammed down our throats

      I am pretty sure he was approached by the powers controlling the republicans and he was recruited, “remain a democrat, we’ll call on you when we need you”

      sort of like the god father and favors

      feeling like I get hit in the stomach every single time I see what obama does for the republicans

      • SanderO says:

        It’s pretty hard to buck the TPTB and even get to the place where you can run for high office. To run you need to be a player with TBTB and if you show some independence as JFK did they will quickly terminate you with extreme prejudice.

        Obama is clearly some sort of Manchurian candidate. He’s sold the American people a bill of goods. That may be because he was seen as someone who could be controlled easily once in office.. since the TPTB are very persuasive when it comes to doing their bidding.

        I can’t decide whether he was gotten to before the election or after it and that may not matter. You simply cannot buck the coup (TPTB). But he doesn’t seem like his own man and just smooth talks all sorts of nonsense. His base is clearly feeling they were sold a bill of goods.

        My own theory is that the coup made their first move with the JFK assassination. Ike warned us about it and JFK was the proof. They wanted a permanent war economy; they wanted corporations to control America and the economy to serve the interests of the uber rich. In addition they wanted to neuter democratic institutions and rights and they’ve done that quite effectively.

        The plan was to leave the institutions of American democracy in place and just “pull the strings” as necessary. No one would “see” the coup… there would be nothing on the surface to point to. Call it corruption, bribery, intimidation and murder… but they coup is running the show. The TSA clamp down is yet another act to oppress and intimidate and frighten the people. Without protest more rights will be taken.

        We have slipped in fascism… this is what it looks like. It came incrementally and like the boiling frogs we did not complain and now it’s hard to fight back. We’ve lost the ability and apparently the will.

        We’re cooked.

        • RevBev says:

          The JFK theory is often recycled. I do sincerely wish that some evidence would ever accompany these claims. At least one reason I doubt the idea of the coup is that after these 47 years, some leak to the secret would have come out. That is not to say it is not impossible, except I do believe that ability to live with a secret for so long is not likely.

          • SanderO says:

            I suggest you look at the work of John Judge for “hard evidence” of this.

            You don’t expect a brutal coup to leave too many people who would be able to rat on them running around with any “credibility” now do you?

            One of their best tricks is that what they do is SO outrageous that people refuse to even entertain the possibility. So they gladly accept the stupid BS official explanations for each “tragedy” or clamp down… or false flag.

            You will have to do some heavy lifting to see the evidence. These guys are using every trick in the book to confuse and get us to look the other way as they do their nasty stuff.

          • SanderO says:

            They don’t live with secrets… they share them with each other. Why do you presume someone needs to reveal these “secrets”? What would compel them to?

        • geoshmoe says:

          You nailed it:

          democracy in place and just “pull the strings” as necessary.

          Actually the same for the labor movement, as a history in microcosm, back to at least the 30’s when the “decision” to encorporate, and make part of the system, won out over the ambition to liquidate those elements, though it was played up to be expensive to business: 8hr days, (the concessions to working folks, that also poured over into the nonunion masses, who benefitted greatly with out an inkling, ( Reagan democrats, and limpbastard ditto heads)of today…

          Now they have the term… “honeypot” used to designate bloggs etc, that lure in the unwary insects.

          However I draw the line at the word: “cooked” because you ain’t cooked until you are, and that has yet to happen, and it will be with a lot of pain etc. so until then… they can screw up the “Best laid plans” and they will!

  2. perris says:

    Which means Pistole and the Obama Administration will probably just blow off this request for some proof that gate rape has passed constitutional review.

    gotta admit, it was brilliant for the republicans to install their president, I wonder when they recruited him, it had to be after the clinton convention, that’s when they went after him as an ace in the hole

      • eCAHNomics says:

        Gonna be a great day. Going to a new friend’s house for a Belgian dinner. Pepper steak flambe & Belgian waffles for dessert are two of the items I know about. Driveway guy is supposed to show up for the third day in a row! (Only engaged him 6 months ago.)

        As for gate rape, sure am glad I have little occasion to fly these days.

        How’re you doing, perris?

          • msmolly says:

            Margaret, awhile back you had mentioned fixing someone’s screen door — a special one. I know you’ve thought of this in the past, but starting a “handylady” business really is a good idea. I have a handyman I call for a lot of stuff I haven’t the expertise or equipment to fix. My jobs wouldn’t keep him going, but I live in a complex of 88 homes and collectively we keep him very busy. He has another job, but does handyman stuff on the side, and probably not only in this complex.

  3. Sharkbabe says:

    Hmm, Obama won the presidency and immediately handed everything back over to the generals and the Cheney permanent fuckery complex.

    Why not just do away with the ceremonial “elected officials” thing altogether? Think of the salaries and benefits that could be saved and applied to reducing the deficit.

    • Margaret says:

      Think of the campaign money that could then be used to do some good in the country/world

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Like it would be used for that. Silly Peggy.

  4. nailheadtom says:

    Why are you blaming Obama? This is what happens when the state gets involved in anything remotely considered a problem. And they never release their grip. It’s only going to get worse. Truly obnoxious idiot transportation boss LaHood wants technology to disable cell phones in moving cars. It can be part and parcel of the technology to disable the ignition if you’ve had two Boone’s Farm Apple Spritzers. That’s just the obvious stuff. You schleps accept with grumbles mandatory seat belt usage and prohibition of smoking on private property. Buried deep in every bit of voluminous legislation the congress, their unelected staffers and industry lobbyists generate are articles, paragraphs and sub-paragraphs meant to restrict activities once accepted as normal behavior. Yeah, the government wants to solve your problems. Ask the Indians about that.

    • Margaret says:

      “schleps”? That’s a pretty broad brush you’re using there. For myself, I use a seatbelt because anybody who travels in a metal box moving at 60 mph who doesn’t strap themselves in is a f*cking moron. As for banning smoking on private property, obviously you’ve not been around much. I, for one, am totally against public bans on smoking on private property. My opinion has always been that if a business owner wants to allow people to choke themselves on carbon monoxide and nicotine, I, (as a non smoker), can always find somewhere else to go. Of COURSE Obama is responsible. The TSA is working under the authority of the executive branch and for those who haven’t made it into intermediate school government class yet, the head of the executive branch is the president, currently Barack Obama. I invite you to either go somewhere else or to more carefully consider your comments in the future because you’re not doing yourself any good by insulting us and screaming “Leave Obama aloooooooooooooooone“.

      • Margaret says:

        I should add that smoking bans on PUBLIC property are entirely reasonable and important. If you want to compromise your respiration, that’s your business. Leave me and my lungs out of it.

  5. maximus7 says:

    With regard to Jane Hamsher on CSPAN and the left and solutions. I have solutions here.

    Here’s how you force the Republicans to extend unemployment benefits.

    Brown Forman Corporation the distributor of Jack Daniels whiskey and Southern comfort gives money to Republicans for campaign donations regularly to Mitch McConnell and operates out of Kentucky the State where McConnell Resides.

    Wendy’s Restaurants and JM Smuckers ( Makers of Peanut butter and Jam ) both have given money to Republicans and operate out of the State of Ohio where the new speaker John Boehner resides.

    Normally if you wrote to McConnell and Boehner to get unemployment insurance extended both will politely ignore you at best or laugh at you at worst.

    So I have a better way. Write, email and call Brown Forman corporation, Wendy’s restaurants and JM Smuckers corporations i.e. the corporate friends of McConnell and Boehner and tell THEM

    I Refuse to do business with your company from now on until you talk to your friends Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority leader McConnell go and pass the unemployment extension without any amendments.

    I promise that if you get 300,000 people like those who got Keith Olbermann back on the air in 5 days you will do the American people a service of helping those unemployed who need help.

    Let the calls, emails, and letter writing begin.

    Don’t forget that the Republican party appears weak and vulnerable at the cash registers of those companies that give them money.

    We the people of the United States of America form this Liberal Democratic Party of the United States of America for the promotion of a progressive agenda for America.

    We generally support the progressive and liberal candidates that run in the regular Democratic party. We do not run candidates. We do not handle money. Our power comes from the unionization of our party members who tell GOP contributors and other regressive contributors that UNTIL you get the House and Senate and the President to enact our party platform at the present point into law YOU will lose our business as consumers. By doing this we avoid petitioning a corporate corrupted congress and go to the source of corruption and pressure them for the legislation under threat of massive boycotts.

    Party members will send the party agenda by email to these GOP and regressive contributors and get new people to join us.

    Imagine it and it will happen.

    The Republican party appears weak and vulnerable at the cash registers of those companies that give money to them.

    To join us go here w w w . d e m o c r a t z . o r g and send some emails and get others to go there. If you like this message then Join us.

          • demi says:

            I’m back from watching Jane. She did an especially fine job this am. Usually when she’s on tv, she gets just a few minutes, but this was a great opportunity for a wide range of viewers to hear a compassionate and progressive voice speak about a lot of issues.

            I hope that we do get some new commenters here and I hope that people here don’t whip out the “troll” label immediately and start bashing. Let’s show the world what Firedoglake is really about.

            Thanks Jane.

            • Mason says:

              Jane did an excellent job of characterizing issues as matters that concern all Americans, whether conservative or liberal, republican or democrat. Her message came through loud and clear.

              Way to go, Jane!

        • Margaret says:

          Me too. At least we generally don’t get trolls at PUAC, our one respite during the week. Well, I can’t wait around for it forever. I’ll check in later. Have a good Saturday everybody.

    • Ruth Calvo says:

      She’d zap him. Just got a good zinger in at a caller insisting we need to fund all the rich people to give us jobs. Informed the caller that was trickle down economics and had proved wrong.

      • Margaret says:

        Another thing that she could have pointed out was that the income is more concentrated at the top since any time since the guilded age but unemployment is higher that at any time since the great depression. Sort of shoots that theory to shit, does it not?

  6. eCAHNomics says:

    Clyburn making really really stoopid statements about how Ds barely lost. What’s he drinking or smoking?

    • Margaret says:

      There is going to be some serious blowback very soon. The holiday traveling season is just beginning and it’s the first season for widely used rapescan and groperape.

      • msmolly says:

        Keith mentioned the protest against the screening/groping on his show last night, so it’s definitely getting some airplay. I’m traveling by car on the 24th, and so far they haven’t started screening autos. But it’s only a matter of time.

  7. painesense says:

    We all need to get real. The first plane that goes down over the US and we all will drop our pants with a smile and spread our cheeks!

    • gesneri says:

      Speak for yourself. Let’s start scanning all cargo, which won’t be damaged by radiation in the way people will be, and achieve some substantive results without harassing innocent travelers.

    • Frank33 says:

      We have already seen this phony scenario when the CIA spies put Undie Bomber on board Flight 253.

      I have already made this paranoid suggestion. The corporate investment for Skeletor’s Death Ray Machines is immense, tens of billions. They want the Death Ray machines everywhere. So yes, the neo-cons would gladly destroy an airliner to maintain the Police State. The neo-cons did deliberately shoot down at least one passenger jet airliner, killing 273 people.

      • eblair says:

        Well, if more people had focused on the testimony of Kurt Haskell, perhaps we would be having a different debate today. But the gatekeepers where in full force then. Talk of the “well dressed Indian man” was met with derision and legalistic bullshit on these very pages.

            • Frank33 says:

              Attackerman still will not speak to me. But I continue to be friendly and I have never returned his pouty mouth insults with similar pouty mouth insults. I do give him a hard time about Philip Mudd.

              • eblair says:

                Well, the number of comments on his pages tell you all you need to know about his credibility. Events will soon overtake this place. Anybody who has ever taught in university knows that the best teachers don’t ever mind simple basic questions. Here, however, there is a pretty deliberate atmosphere that only nuanced questions are to be asked. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

              • PJEvans says:

                Well, you know, no one has to talk to people who are rude to them, and are bent on pushing their personal conspiracy theories.

                Have you ever considered being on-topic and polite to your host?

  8. msmolly says:

    I am off to shower and run a few errands. I was under the weather yesterday and spent most of the day horizontal on the couch. Somewhat better today — not great — but I want to get to the Farmer’s Market for some free range eggs and some of that multi-colored cauliflower to go on a relish tray I’m making for Thanksgiving dinner. Yellow and lavender cauliflower ought to spark some interest.

    See y’all later!

  9. mocha says:

    Here’s TSA’s latest authoritarian dictate about people possibly opting out next Wed. This smacks of one of Janet Napolitano’s knee jerk answers. I’m sorry folks, she’s got to go.:

    “Once a person submits to the screening process, they cannot just decide to leave that process,” said Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman in Miami. She said such passengers would be questioned “until it is determined that they don’t pose a threat” to the public.

    In other words:

    If you’re thinking about f@cking with us, think again. If you f@ck with us we will detain you and interrogate you until we think you’ve learned your lesson about f@cking with us.

    • Mason says:

      Napolitano, Pistole, and TSA are completely out of control. Not only are they refusing to listen and engage in dialogue with people expressing reasonable concerns, they are threatening to harass, sexually assault, and fine anyone who dares to question their authority.

      Their behavior is unacceptable and Obama should fire Napolitano and Pistole immediately.

      • onitgoes says:

        Their behavior is unacceptable and Obama should fire Napolitano and Pistole immediately.

        While you make some good points, with all due respect, Napolitano & Pistole are just being good little “do-be’s” and doing what Dick Cheney & Chertoff (in this case) are telling them to do, as is Obama.

        At this stage, I feel that firing Napolitano & Pistole would be symbolic only, and the next ones to take their places would do the same thing. Face it: this is the new reality. The sheep, uh, proles, uh, peons, uh, citizens don’t matter in our new corporatized facist state, where the wealthy are going to rip us all off, while invading our privacy and taking away all of our rights.

        How do we deal with that? Firing Napolitano & Pistole isn’t going to do a d*mn thing, imo. There’s plenty more where they come from (eg, bought off).

  10. Margaret says:

    I’m sorry folks, she’s got to go.

    The only thing I’m sorry about is that I was encouraged by her appointment in the first place. Now she’s Sturmbanfuhrer Napolitano.

    • mocha says:

      Perhaps she is just in the wrong job, but I have seen her several times in press conferences with a deer in the headlights look, then with some defiant, this is how it’s going to be answer. I have a sense she relies to heavily on advice from entrenched Bushies and has that same hide under the bed, pee your pants fear of any American anywhere being hurt/killed by the terrists.

      • RevBev says:

        I do not really have an opinion….what makes me want to defend her, however, is that she is a major point of attack for the cruel mimicky of Laura Ingraham…who also loves to go to attack on Mrs. Obama….brings out the protective instinct in the face of such cruely.

      • bmaz says:

        Napolitano is no deer in headlights and is not generally a fearful person in the least from what I have seen and known over the years. She is, and always has been, a law and order type though from her time as a US Attorney and Attorney General. She has a prosecutors viewframe of things. She is indeed in the wrong job though, If Obama was going to put her in a prominent cabinet position (and I think that was a given from her very early support for him), she should have been named AG, not head of DHS. Would you or I be perfectly happy with her as AG; no, but I think she would have been light years better than Holder, and it is what her career skillset and abilities were perfectly suited for.

  11. CarlyCorday says:

    Whoever that supercilious, vulpine-smiling, creepily serene woman was sitting “opposed” to Jane Hamsher yesterday on Dylan Ratigan, breezily and chucklingly insisting on the importance of “safety in the air” above all other considerations, gave me bad dreams in the night. Hers is the face of plain evil. For every hundred who speak against Gate Rape on the cable tee-vee noooz shows, there will be one like that cold, cruel, scary lady, and their extreme minority voice will absolutely rule. It is the Bush-Obama road. We are cleared to go. Full speed ahead. Don’t even think about resistance.

    • mocha says:

      breezily and chucklingly

      After reading several women describe that during the enhanced patdown their labias were felt and in one case, the agent ran a finger between the labia, I think anyone woman who chuckles just doesn’t know what an enhanced patdown entails. I think the TSA should be required to publish and post the exact procedure for the enhanced patdown. If Pistole or Napolitano approved labia rubbing as part of that procedure, they should be arrested.

      • CarlyCorday says:

        Try Gloria Alred for breezy chuckling on this subject, lol. She took the trophy. Don’t know how long she’ll hang on to it. There’s a lot of competition. Cold, serene, unmbarrassed support for Rapiscan and the punitive “pat-downs” is spreading. Watch it grow.

        Pistole beats anything I’ve ever seen in my life. “Will I change my mind about these security techniques? NO.”

        Juan Williams told him on Faux News what a fine, courageous man he is for coming on the O’Reilly Factor, and gushingly thanked him.

        Why any of this is surprising to me, I can’t imagine. War criminals walk free and promote their books. Costly Medical Insurance is soon to be mandated. The “war” in Afghanistan is virtually assured to be endless (there’s all those minerals under the Afghan hills and rocks to git, so it’s not as if we can just leave!), and Sarah Palin is going to assure Obama’s election to a second term. Too bad the word “surreal” is so overused it isn’t useful anymore.

    • RevBev says:

      And the owner of the W VA mine lying on NPR….blames the regulators. I can’t really explain; he sounds like a… O, well.

  12. eblair says:

    Anybody want to bet whether Pistole is counting on a fat paycheck from a security company in a couple of years?

  13. Mauimom says:

    Juan Williams told him on Faux News what a fine, courageous man he is for coming on the O’Reilly Factor, and gushingly thanked him.

    Wait a minute. I thought these Right Wingers were always waving their copies of the Constitution and howling about “intrusive government.”

    What gives?

    I’d also think the Repubs [unlike the stupid Democrats] would be smart enough to see the populist anger over this issue and grab it. Why side with the gropers?

    • CarlyCorday says:

      Juan Williams purports to be “the liberal voice” at Faux News. Both Williams and Gloria Allred, on Faux News, have taken sides with the gropers, and Anne Coulter has pounded her fist on the desk declaring the RapeScan/groping controversy to be a liberal pig-wallow.

      This way, see, we’ll pretty soon stop demanding a by-God fucking end to the Brasilian scanning and groping, and instead go at each other, lib vs con. Which gets The People out of the way so they can eat our civil rights undisturbed by serious protest or rebellion.

      • onitgoes says:

        Thanks for that analysis. I’ll take your word for it, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Certainly the lib v. con “game” is very ginned up these days, and certainly Jabba the Aisles & Pirate Murdoch are very adept at getting their *actors* to play their parts well. What you say makes sense, more’s the pity.

  14. spanishinquisition says:

    So is the trigger for Obama seeing the Queen of Hearts or hearing lines from the poem “Stopping The Woods On A Snowy Evening” or is Obama just naturally this way?

  15. tryggth says:

    Isn’t anyone surprised Obama hasn’t went on the TeeVee and explained to the people why the trade off being made is worth it? Given the reaction it seems like it would be the responsible thing to do.

    • bmaz says:

      Not in the least. They have already done a carve out for pilots and will undoubtedly make one of some fashion for other flight crew. They have been contemplating something less restrictive for the privileged and monied first class executive set for quite a while. Boehner being exempted will soon probably be extended to all members of Congress. Once those important classes are removed from the noise they just do not give a rat’s ass about the rest of the people and will ignore this.

      • Mason says:

        Once those important classes are removed from the noise they just do not give a rat’s ass about the rest of the people and will ignore this.

        I hate to say it, but you’re probably right. Obama and Holder have focused on carving out exceptions to laws, regulations, and policies for the wealthy and the privileged. The wealthy and the privileged can do anything they want to anyone without fear of consequences. The rest of us face adverse consequences for everything we do, good or bad.

        Particularly, if we blow the whistle on anyone.

        • onitgoes says:

          Absolutely. Agree with you & bmaz on that one. Why would Obama deign to speak down to the proles about this trifling detail?? Obama’s getting his cut of the billion$$$ to made from the pornoscan machines. Pilots were exempted yesterday; flight crews will get the same benefit.

          The wealthy class?? Either they’ll avoid it entirely by flying on their private lear & gulfstream jets and/or they’ll get some other kind of exemption. Certainly our entitled wealthy politicians are not going to have endure the indignities foisted onto us “small people” *for our own “good”*.

          • progress says:

            The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. – Pres. Thomas Jefferson ( In my opinion the greatest President our country had till now).

            I think we have security discrimination as you pointed. Do Private Planes and Charter Planes have same kind of body checks and scanner checks. Risk is more there in those setups since in Commercial airlines we have more main stream public wisened up now to take defensive measures if something like that happens as seen since 9/11 later incidents.

            If the current trend continues what is next.
            Compulsory CT-Scans on the spot: Since some body tried to bring harmful fluids in bodily fluids.
            Compulsory MRI Scans on the spot: Since some body tried to bring harmful stuff in the body.

            Solution is simple and effective: Our cops do all the time at the traffic stop quite effectively. Just by checking on the person without even touching they determine whether they need to undergo more checks or not and they are right all the time. Now TSA needs to be stop being dumb and get as smart as our traffic cops.

    • mocha says:

      I think next week when little grannies and people with children go through this process might be the tipping point. When some older women realize their ladyparts are being touched, or some 13 year old girls are video’d snivelling after a grope, I think all hell might break loose. Then he’ll have to comment and I hope the hell that breaks loose is fierce enough to force them to fall back from trying to make the porno scan or gate grope standard screening.

    • fatster says:

      It’s not from The Onion, but it’s still unbelievable, and will go over ever-so-well, if true:

      Napolitano considering allowing Muslim women to pat themselves down at Airports!


      And Obama is assuring people that, while he doesn’t have to go through the porno gauntlet, that it’s necessary we do in order to . . . wait for it . . . protect us.

      • fatster says:

        Homeland Security has denied that women in hijabs will be allowed to grope themselves. But,

        “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, however, offered a bit more flexibility, saying there will be “adjustments” to the policy (a statement more recently echoed by TSA Administrator John Pistole) and said she expects “more to come” on the issue of religious objections.”


  16. firecat says:

    Should it make us feel good to see Dem VP Joe Biden running at point on defending TSA and telling us we need to feel good about being groped or irradiated?

    Its no wonder Democrats cant win elections. Populism should be their propellant, but instead they have guys like Biden who absurdly pass the baton to the right on this populist TSA issue.

    The problem with Democrats is that while populism is the blood of the old Democratic Party it is abhored by the new rich Wall Street type elitists that control and run the Party and its purse strings.

    The crux of it all is that you will never have a populist Party when elitists pull the decision strings.

  17. Mason says:

    And now this. Jason Ditz reports:

    TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the “full body scanners” and the “enhanced pat down” procedures will be taken into custody.

    Once there the detainees will not only be barred from flying, but will be held indefinitely as suspected terrorists, face fines of up to $11,000 and may also be turned over to local police.


    This situation is totally out of control.

    TSA officials need to be arrested and jailed for what they are doing.

    • bmaz says:

      No clue who Jason Ditz is, but I do not believe the TSA has said what he is claiming and his links certainly do not support the wild extrapolation he made. What has been said is that, if you decline both options, you will not be allowed to just leave but will be detained to ascertain by questioning whether or not you are a threat. If, upon that evaluation, there is probable cause to believe you are a threat, then you will be arrested in due course by law enforcement. As much as I do not like this stuff, I think people like Ditz who falsely paint what is going on are doing the public a disservice too. Calling it “indefinite detention as terrorists” is reckless and wrong. And, again, whether I like it or not, I think once a person has placed himself within the security screening process, then refusing to comply with the protocols without a reasonable explanation does constitute reasonable suspicion for further investigation.

      • PJEvans says:

        Apparently that’s what they threatened Tyner with, even after he was allowed to leave the airport.

        This is one fuss that isn’t going away.

      • Mason says:

        Jason Ditz is a staff reporter at

        The troublesome quote from regional TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz is:

        “Once a person submits to the screening process, they can not just decide to leave that process,” says Sari Koshetz, regional TSA spokesperson, based in Miami.

        Koshetz said such passengers would be questioned “until it is determined that they don’t pose a threat” to the public.”


        I agree Ditz misinterpreted the meaning of “until it is determined that they don’t pose a threat” to the public.

        In the next paragraph of that article,

        Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Teri Barbera said PBSO deputies stationed at the airport would become involved when requested by the TSA.

        “We will handle each incident on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

        No one will be forcibly searched or arrested “just because they refuse to go through the security procedures,” Barbera said. “That may rise to the level of suspicious behavior for the TSA, but it wouldn’t rise to the level of suspicious behavior for a deputy,” she said.

        I respectfully disagree with your opinion that a person’s refusal to reasonably explain why they have refused to consent to an invasive genital grope would constitute a reasonable suspicion that would warrant further investigation. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and quite a few cases have held, for example, that a genital grope violates the Fourth Amendment because it exceeds the scope of a voluntary consent to search. I don’t believe that a person knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily gives up their Fourth Amendment right to privacy when they purchase an airline ticket and show up at the airport to catch the flight and decide they don’t want to be exposed to radiation or submit to a genital grope. I don’t believe there is any authority for the proposition that a mere refusal to consent to an invasive genital search constitutes a reasonable suspicion to believe that the person who refused consent has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime, and there shouldn’t be because a person has a Fourth Amendment right to refuse consent. Therefore, I think the TSA may be risking liability for false arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault/battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, if they forcibly restrain someone who refuses to consent to a genital grope search, interrogate, and grope search them before releasing them or turning them over to the police to decide what to do to next.

        Fourth Amendment cases turn on reasonableness and, under the facts we know (i.e., the porno scanners probably can’t detect liquids, they can’t detect objects hidden in body cavities, they display naked bodies that U.S. Marshal’s have saved and shared so we know that’s possible despite what TSA claims, scientists question whether the porno scanners emit dangerous levels of radiation especially in the case of cancer survivors, TSA won’t turn over any of their testing data because it’s “classified, there is a greater danger to safety from explosives in freight packages that TSA doesn’t even bother to check, and nobody else in the world uses porno scanners because they’re too expensive, potentially dangerous, they don’t work, and other non-intrusive methods are more reliable) I don’t see how the TSA can legitimately claim that the public’s interest in passenger safety outweighs the individual’s right to be free from an unreasonable search.

        There also is a notice problem. If this is going to be the law, people have a right to know that before they purchase a non-refundable ticket and not after they get to the airport and can’t get their money back.

        I also there is a violation of the separation of powers doctrine. I question whether the Executive Branch has the constitutional authority to in effect, legislate a new law without hearings.

        The porno scanners and the invasive genital searches violate the Fourth Amendment and should be banned now. We shouldn’t have to wait until people start winning seven figure civil suits with punitive damages before this sick and twisted bullshit policy is abandoned.

        Napolitano should know better than to insist on pursuing this flawed and unconstitutional policy.

        • Mason says:

          Sorry, the lead sentence 6 lines up from the bottom is missing the word “believe.”

          I also there is a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

          should read,

          “I also believe there is a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.”

        • bmaz says:

          The TSA has rules and regulations specifying procedure and protocol for their security screening zones; violation of any of those almost certainly constitutes reasonable suspicion for temporary detention and investigation. If that yields probable cause, which is what the threshold is stated to be, then the person can be lawfully arrested. It does NOT contemplate being arrested simply for refusing to participate in the screening protocols. Analogous cases, albeit it on different and slightly (but only slightly) less intrusive facts, have upheld the legality and constitutionality of such measures. I hate to say it, but I do not think this will all be magically bounced by federal courts; in fact, I think they would uphold it. Any relief will likely have to be obtained from the political class.

  18. john in sacramento says:

    Not only are the Porno-Scans super-awesome for the peepers in the TSA /s


    They tear apart your DNA


    Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they’ve found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That’s a jaw dropping conclusion.

    Oh, and btw, Alexandrov is Boian Alexandrov from the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    • behindthefall says:

      Well, that makes me feel smarter than I am. I inferred the effect of THz radiation on DNA last year from an entirely different set of observations, and I’ve been babbling about the possible nastiness of THz ever since. I was unsettled by the proposed (as I understand it) use of THz for telecommunications, but airport screening? Yeah, I’ll be unsettled by that, too. My guess is that it does not just undo double-stranded DNA, but that it peels regulatory species of RNA off DNA, too, and that’s a real Pandora’s Box.

      • behindthefall says:

        Just to make myself a little clearer: As I understand the current understanding, cells lock themseles into various types (skin, muscle, nerve) by locking different parts of their otherwise identical genetic information out, and RNA participates in this “putting to sleep” of parts of the genome.

        Now strip off the RNA by, say, scanning the body with THz radiation.

        A skin cell forgets what it is and tries to become, oh, a liver cell, or just a wildly dividing cell under noone’s control. Oops. Tumor. Someone ought to ask very, very soon — and quite loudly — “Is THz radiation carcinogenic? Because it was all the hallmarks of it.”

  19. Mason says:

    I’ve read the CFR regs. This is the pertinent one:

    49 CFR § 1540.109 Prohibition against interference with screening personnel provides:

    No person may interfere with, assault, threaten, or intimidate screening personnel in the performance of their screening duties under this subchapter.

    TSA is arguing that a refusal to submit to the porno scanner and the genital grope search constitutes interfering with screening personnel in the performance of their screening duties under this subchapter.

    “Interfere” is not defined and I did not find any regulation that prohibits a passenger, who has refused to submit to the porno scanner and a genital-grope search, from leaving the airport before submitting to an investigation to determine if they are concealing contraband or explosives. In other words, without first submitting to a forcible, if necessary, genital-grope search.

    TSA officials made that up. Therefore, I continue to believe I’m right.

    Neener, neener, bmaz.

    Of course, in this crazy world . . .

    I don’t see how TSA can legitimately claim that a refusal to submit to one of the two invasive searches gives them a basis to detain someone to investigate why they refused consent

    • fatster says:

      ” I don’t see how TSA can legitimately claim that a refusal to submit to one of the two invasive searches gives them a basis to detain someone to investigate why they refused consent”

      That’s one helluva vise they’ve created–for us “small people”only, of course.

        • PJEvans says:

          I was wondering if their pre-employment screening involved throwing out everyone who wasn’t already a bully or a thug, or willing to become one.

          • Mason says:

            I was trying to imagine what it must be like for a normal person who got a job with TSA to basically stand around and point passengers to the right line and once in awhile look through a carry-on bag. Then, all of a sudden there’s this new policy and ye olde WTF-do-I-do-now realization sets in.

            Some of their employees must not be very happy about their new duties. I wonder if they can refuse to choose without getting fired.

            And what about their health working around these back-scatter machines? In the videos I’ve looked at, I haven’t seen anyone wearing a lead uniform.

            That would be a drag.

            I think I’d have to quit, even if I got fired. I just couldn’t do that to another human being.

  20. progress says:

    How about those Corporate Gulfstream Jets and the travellers there. Do they also get the option given by TSA of Private Parts Viewing in the Scanner or Private Parts Groping by them to keep them safe. If there is potential for mishap it is there since the number of people involved is few and they do not go through normal gates like main stream.

    Obviously sick people in TSA will enjoy this privilege but my heart goes out to normal people in TSA who are told to humiliate fellow human beings in this degrading way as part of their job.

    We were told Cigarettes were safe not so long ago and now we are told to believe X-rays are safe by all-knowing people. Looks like one more new incident we will asked to give CT-scan for body fluid checks and MRI scans to get our head examined and also muscles checked.

    Just 10 years we were able to walk to Doors of aircraft before take-off and see this is the result we get if we do not complain.

    If we do not complain it will be MRI scans & CT scans for main stream and total waiver for Corporate passengers and Congress members.

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
    – Pres. Thomas Jefferson who in my opinion is the Greatest President our country had till now.

    • phred says:

      Thanks for all the links fatster. You know the annoying thing is that Hilary hasn’t been groped by the TSA and there is no way she will be. Perhaps if she had she would demand that they be stopped immediately. Nope. We get sympathy, but no action. The Dems are a disgrace.

        • phred says:

          From fatster’s link:

          However, she did note that while she feels the new patdowns should be made less intrusive, they are still a necessary security measure.


          No one, not one fucking member of the administration or Congress has produced any data to support this claim. None.

          Every miserable dishonest member of this administration keeps repeating the “necessary” talking point. It was a lie when they first said it, it is a lie now.

          Until they provide real numbers from a legitimate statistical analysis of risk, I will continue to call bullshit. And I don’t really care which department she heads, Secretary Clinton is every bit as responsible for supporting this unconstitutional outrage by repeating this lie as Napolitano, Pistole, and Obama are for not directly putting a stop to government-sponsored sexual assault.

  21. behindthefall says:

    Software people behind the curtain <— Does it make sense that 10 secs after submitting a comment the "edit" flag is still up, but that clicking the flag tells me that my time to edit has expired? (Hint: no, it doesn't.)