John Pistole Ignored DHS Advice to Warn about Gate Rape

Apparently, John Pistole not only promised to Congress–but failed to deliver–public education about why gate rape was necessary. But he ignored advice from DHS to provide a public explanation in advance, too.

In an hour-long discussion with reporters, Pistole said media officials at the Department of Homeland Security had urged him to “get out ahead” of the potential controversy by formally announcing plans for enhanced body searches and the use of new x-ray and radio-wave imaging devices at 70 airports beginning in November.

But doing so would have provided a “roadmap or blueprint for terrorists” to avoid detection by using other airports where the new technology wasn’t in place, Pistole said.

As you can see, he’s belatedly trying to do that education now.

Aside from being too little too late, consider what this says about Pistole’s relationship with the citizens who employ him. Regardless of his “risk based” assessment that he had to keep secrets from the terrorists, don’t Americans have the right to know what will happen to them at the airport?

  1. BoxTurtle says:

    Prediction: Pistole will be thrown under a bus, resign, and slink off into obscurity. ObamaLLP will indicate it’s all his fault, counting on voters short memories to forget that he was a strong supporter of the backscatter/grope policies. The backscatter machines/grope will be informally limited to Scary Brown People and the average citizen will not care anymore.

    Boxturtle (And we’ll buy more backscatter machines)

  2. phred says:

    How clever. If you have questions, you can ask a TSA supervisor or contact them via the web. However, that does not mean you will get an answer.

    In fact, none of my questions have been answered. When I spoke with a TSA supervisor on the phone, she plead total ignorance of the super-duper new pat-downs. She suggested I email. I did. I got what appeared to be an automated response with no answers whatsoever.

    Why does John Pistole still have a job?

  3. donbacon says:

    He’s had a calling, so listening is not included.

    John S. Pistole graduated from Anderson University, “Academic and Christian Discovery”, and Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.

    from a 2005 Anderson University piece by David Harness:

    Pistole was a college sophomore at Anderson University when he began to recognize public service as a calling. His father, Dr. Hollis Pistole BA ’45, then a professor at Anderson’s School of Theology, had modeled a more traditional calling – first as a pastor, then as a teacher/mentor to would-be pastors.

    “Each of us as Christians are called to be ministers to a unique congregation, that is those we interact with on a daily basis — our families, our coworkers, whomever,” he explains. “We may be the only Christ that somebody sees.” Thus, regardless of one’s career or position, a believer has a God-given assignment to live out Jesus’ example of service, says Pistole.

    “It’s not a script that anybody could write,” Pistole says, of his unlikely [FBI] promotion to deputy assistant director of counter terrorism and, just a year and a half later, to deputy director. He had not thought about or aspired to either position. “That’s why I attribute it to God’s moving. It was so much a matter of timing and place.”

    “I’m at peace about what I am doing, that I’m in God’s will and that I’m doing what he wants me to do. But if today I had a strong sense that God was calling me to do something else, that’s what I’d do.”

      • Knut says:

        He must be a Bush appointee. There are so many holdovers from the last administration that Obama’s is Republican in drag (in more ways than one)

        • bmaz says:

          Folks, it is no longer viable to blame anything on “holdovers”. Everything going on is by now either the result of action or inaction by the Obama Administration. Like it or not, the gig is theirs at this point.

  4. phred says:

    One other thing, it wasn’t just that he didn’t warn. The TSA refused to answer when directly asked. When the TSA expanded their “test program” of enhanced pat-downs to all US airports at the end of October, a reporter from the Boston Herald asked them when this would go into effect and they refused to answer.

    This is consistent with their behavior when I tried to ask them last winter about which airports used the pornoscanners. They refused to tell me. The only way I found out was calling individual airports and asking. Customer service reps who work for the airports were happy to tell me and I made my travel arrangements accordingly.

  5. DeadLast says:

    “…Thank you, and remember at TSA, your safety is our priority.”

    Every time we stress the American psyche, the less safe we feel and the more prone we are to overreact. Today, the L.A. Times & Associated Press are reporting that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is using small and cheap attacks on U.S. targets in order to leverage “the security phobia that is sweeping America”.

    On the other side, I can’t help but think that program won’t result in a loss of privacy. Remember back in 1995, SCOTUS came down with the Communal Shower Decision (Vernonia School District v. Acton). Scalia wrote the majority opinion that says that since athletes tend to be naked in communal showers, they have given up the right to privacy in the form of unreasonable search. So, since you are essentially naked either by x-ray or by fondle, you have no reasonable right to privacy.

    Regardless of the motivation, we are in for more of the same…or at least until we say no loudly enough.

  6. JTMinIA says:

    Additional, negative, unintended consequence: fewer people flying and, therefore, more people driving this holiday season and, therefore, more people dying on the way to grandma’s.

    Silver lining: if they keep this up, there might finally be enough demand for high-speed rail in the US that our transportation system enters the 21st century.

  7. donbacon says:

    One statistician has noted that the chances of getting fatal skin cancer from one of these X-ray machines is equivalent to the chance of being harmed by a terrorist, one in thirty million. Much less than the chance of being harmed by a politician, I might add.

    Ben Franklin — “The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.”

  8. bobschacht says:

    Didn’t you know? Papa knows best. Now just be quiet while I grope your private parts…. /s

    Geez, that feels bad even as snark. I’m surprised Napolitano let this one slip by. Shows she’s been captured by the Beltway Bonker Borg.

    Bob in AZ

  9. Neil says:

    prolly didn’t think anyone would notice. shocking really that he doesn’t think expectations-setting is not an important aspect of risk-management in a project roll-out. points to a lack of experience or implicit authoritarianism.

  10. rosalind says:

    and as Patrick Smith of “Ask the Pilot” at Salon reiterates:

    “Although the x-ray metal detector rigmarole is mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, many other airport workers, including those with regular access to aircraft to cabins, cockpits, galleys and freight compartments – are exempt. (They) can, as matter of routine, bypass TSA inspection entirely.”

    and as the failed shoe bomber resulted in every man woman and child having to remove their shoes, the failed toner cartridge bombs have resulted in every single toner cartridge being examined in cargo on every single flight…right?


  11. BoxTurtle says:

    Why don’t they just hire professional porn actors/actresses to do the pat downs? The complaints would stop at once and you wouldn’t even need to provide ’em uniforms.

    Boxturtle (It might help keep the videos off of Youtube, as I’m sure the pro’s would demand royalities)

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Because they are already union members*,whereas TSA members are currently in the process of voting in a union for their activities?

      SAG members, not to be confused with sagging members…s/

  12. donbacon says:

    Coming soon to your neighborhood (or already there).

    Scanner Vans Allow Drive-By Snooping
    Andy Greenberg
    Forbes Magazine dated September 27, 2010

    Privacy-conscious travelers may cringe to think of the full-body scanners finding their way into dozens of airport checkpoints around the country. Most likely aren’t aware that the same technology, capable of seeing through walls and clothes, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

    American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Mass., has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter X-ray scanners mounted in vans . . mobile versions of the same full-body scanning technique that has tested Americans’ tolerance for intrusion as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. . . .at $850,000 apiece.

  13. Gitcheegumee says:

    Is it just me,or does McChrystal and Pistole have more in common than just physical resemblances?

    The Chrystal Pistoles?

  14. purplerider54 says:

    Hey America! Now boarding #000 so we can see your nude body and treat you like a felon while we charge you out the whazoo for the trouble of flying with us! Never mind you are a customer. Never mind the fact that you proably financed this holiday an will paying for it over the next twelve months! Never mnd the fact that the asshole sitting next to you proably has swine flu!

    Who cares about what the TSA does? I ain’t going to subject myself to that crap. Waiting around for a flight for 7 or 8 hours while they make your life an absolute hell. Why are people even flying? If people want to be treated like felons in a prison just to board a plane let em do it. Why make it head line news? I say if you fly you get what you deserve!

    • alanhawaii says:

      “I say if you fly you get what you deserve!” Thanks a lot, pal. We here in Paradise, a.k.a. Hawaii, have no choice.

  15. donbacon says:

    It’s the invasion of the body snatchers scanners.

    Dr. Miles J. Bennell: They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!

  16. 1der says:

    Okay, so now the “Terrorists” know where the scanners are and that groping is optional and they’re smart enough to take a Piper Cub why not go all in – everyairport everywhere – or all out. I’ll save Pistole and TSA from doing the heavy searching by linking to this short list of over a thousand they can use:

    Of course I just let the secret out to everyterrorist everywhere, my bad.

    We are led by idiots.

  17. PeasantParty says:

    How the hell are the “terrists” going to know which airports don’t have it yet when the American people don’t know?

    Uh, Mr. Pistole. You may wish to wipe that brown spot off your chin. You have dribble on it from the spewed shit.

  18. Teddy Partridge says:

    No, apparently we do not have that right.

    Another edition of simple answers to non-complex questions.

    Pistole’s gotta go, all his statements that “I’m not changing the policy” show him to have a fundamental misconception of his role as a political appointee charged with implementing, not MAKING, policy.

  19. toketeeman says:

    But doing so would have provided a “roadmap or blueprint for terrorists” to avoid detection by using other airports where the new technology wasn’t in place, Pistole said.

    Spoken like a true bureaucratic idiot. Real security experts must be flat on their backs right now writhing with uncontrollable laughter.

  20. Sharkbabe says:

    I’ve heard that the “security” theater facsism complex is very big on institutionalized inconsistency of these sorts of processes. (Outsmart them terraists, heh!) Of course their real purpose is to drive the populace insane. We’re all Gitmo lab rats to these people anymore.

  21. john in sacramento says:

    PS a note to the techies behind the scenes

    I don’t know what the deal is with the ads (a whole lotta new tracking software?) but whatever they’re doing is reallllly slowwwwwing down my computer. I’m clicking between one FDL page to another and it’s freezing my computer for 30 or 40 seconds or longer

    I know it’s not anything you’re doing (thanks for all you do) but whatever it is the ad people are doing is not good

  22. mocha says:

    Anyone else disturbed by how many friends, family, colleagues are “just shut up and go through the scanner or don’t fly. If you’re that sensitive, maybe you should just give up air travel. I am happy to do anything to guarantee I don’t get blown to bits.” And my favorite of all is ” if you’re dead you don’t have any rights.” Some of these people are lawyers, who are so willing to give up their and everyone else’s 4th amendment rights. What has happened to America that people think they can give up not only their own privacy but everyone else’s and say you’re a fool to want your privacy? Thank goodness for these posts at FDL or I might feel like I’m alone feeling this way.

  23. dontgettotownmuch says:

    We tend to lose sight of the motive, stated at the time; to use the embarrassment of an “aggressive” pat down to humiliate passengers into consenting to the nudiscan.
    When did the government get the right to humiliate us into submission?

  24. timbo says:

    Prediction. Pistole will slink off to watch those illicit videos of honest citizens just trying to fly to Skokie.