At the beginning of the month, Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson announced that acting-TSA chief Melvin Carraway would be reassigned after a report was released showing that the TSA failed 95% of their own tests to detect mock explosives and weapons. These results are dismal but not unexpected, at least to those who have paid attention to previous reports of TSA failures. CNN reports, “ The TSA has been failing these sorts of tests since its inception: failures in 2003, a 91% failure rate at Newark Liberty International in 2006, a 75% failure rate at Los Angeles International in 2007, more failures in 2008. And those are just the public test results.” However, the TSA had attempted to excuse those previous results as not being accurate, because they were tests in a single airport, or “not realistic simulations of terrorist behavior.” see more…
About 195 results (2.55 seconds)
On Jan. 4, 2010, The New York Times ran an opinion piece by TSA agent Jason Edward Harrington titled, “To Stop a Terrorist: No Lack of Ideas.”
This caused Harrington’s supervisor, the federal security director at Chicago O’Hare, to have a meeting with him; a meeting that Harrington explained was usually followed by termination.
The supervisor told him, “The problem we have here is that you identified yourself as a TSA employee.”
Harrington explained his reaction and the ensuing conversation:
“[I knew] self-identifying as a government employee in a public forum may be grounds for termination.”
“I was shocked. I had been sure the letter would fall under the aegis of public concern, but it looked as though my boss wanted to terminate me.”
I scrambled for something to say. “I thought the First Amendment applied here.”
She leaned back in her chair, hands up, palms outfaced. Now she was on the defensive.
“I’m not trying to tread upon your First Amendment rights,” she said. “All I’m saying is: Couldn’t you have run those First Amendment rights past the legal department first?”
Harrington wasn’t fired, and continued working for the TSA for 3 more years. see more…
Aaron Tobey of Virginia sued in federal court and won:
Aaron Tobey claimed in a civil rights lawsuit (.pdf) that in 2010 he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his chest a magic-marker protest of airport security measures.
“Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,” his chest and gut read.
In sending the case to trial, unless there’s a settlement, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 and reversed a lower court judge and invoked Benjamin Franklin in the process. According to the opinion by Judge Roger Gregory:
Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution—he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections. And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections—even in an airport.
Hopefully more young adults will take the torch and push back. They are our best hope to defeat a tyrannical government. The lawmakers, regulators and enforcers should be very wary of what is coming from the agitated young adults if they do not back off their brown shirt jackboot tactics against common citizens.
Tobey is a true American patriot and hero. He stood up for his rights, made a statement to the pat down thugs while doing so and was arrested for exercising his Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
I have to hand it to the Thieving Security Administration employees, who have been caught stealing everything under the harsh florescent lights of baggage handling, apparently they are branching out, thanks to the new education program where they can earn a… TSA Certificate of Achievement.
I bet their certificate has a familiar cartoon bear in the corner. I would frame that shit next to a picture of James Gandolfini.
Anyways, TSA employees are finding out that they will have to step up their criminal game if they want to exploit the job, so the new thing is drug smuggling. Here’s a TSA goonette who got caught in uniform in a Trafficking Security Administration drug bust in Newark, New Jersey:
A TSA screener at Newark Airport was recently busted in a major heroin den near her workplace — still wearing her spiffy, government-issued uniform, authorities said.
Samirah Saunders, 22, and two other women were collared in the March 6 raid at 86 Wainwright St. in Newark, just around the corner from an elementary school and a spot where cops found a load of ready-for-street-sale heroin, according to sources and court records.
Two other suspects, Gavin Barker, 23, and Mariyah Sanders, 20, were also arrested.
It wasn’t clear whether Saunders was still on duty or was going to or from work.
She’s accused of helping to distribute the 1,400 packets of heroin, stamped “Green Lantern” and “P Dope” in green ink, confiscated from the apartment, according to court records.
The fact that the pad was near a school resulted in Saunders’ being hit with an additional felony charge of possessing or distributing heroin within 1,000 feet of a school.
In her mug shot, a somber Saunders was still wearing her blue TSA uniform blouse, adorned with black epaulets.
Her lawyer, James Pomaco, insisted that his client went to the apartment just to say hello to the other women.
“She was at the wrong place at the wrong time,’’ he said.
Oh my, they’ve learned how to use lawyers.
I love the new year of the political season because so many great talented patriots use it as a fresh opportunity to weigh in on the pressing issues of the day in their own great ways. My tip of the tricorner hat goes first to The folks over at Songify The News (previously called Auto-Tune The News until the lawyers from Antares intervened and made them change it) for their little diddy poking fun at all the silly candidate hijinx in song form.
Newt Gingrich actually is not a terrible singer, but that’s thanks to some very painstaking and creative editing by the schmoyoho crew.
Ron Paul is curiously silent during the song, which seems like a fitting observation of his relative exclusion at the debates, and the fact that there’s at least a million other channels on YouTube alone trying to pimp Ron Paul in some song or another. The slow clap was a great touch though.
In related news, Rand Paul was sidelined at a TSA checkpoint yesterday after he refused to be groped. The White House made the amazing blunder of siding with the TSA in what is arguably the flashpoint of the clash between freedom of movement and the security state. I will be mailing him a complimentary copy of the Big Brass Balls TSA card to proudly carry in his wallet for the next encounter:
The Ron Paul campaign has expertly taken this latest personal confrontation with the encroaching police state and started a potentially devastating fundraising drive called “End the TSA.” Paul has promised vehemently to dismantle the TSA and other odious police state agencies at home and abroad along with cutting a trillion dollars in a bold spending reform plan.
The campaign stated, “The police state in this country is growing out of control. One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors, and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities. The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe.”
My tip of the tricorner hat to the Paul’s today as well, for fighting the good fight against those agencies and polices that so desperately needs to be reformed and having the long game to back it up this time around.
UPDATE: It has come to my attention that the Paul family will soon announce their hereditary medical condition:
h/T to George Faulk
“Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government… Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart.” Justice Robert Jackson, chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials
In recent months, TSOs (Transportation Security Officers – commonly called TSA agents) have made headlines for molesting 6 year old children (in Seattle & New Orleans) removing the diaper of a 95 year old woman, breaking the seal of a man’s colostomy bag, and even looking in the diaper of an infant, one woman even screamed for help as she was receiving a “pat-down.” The TSA has defended their actions with statements such as, “we have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure.”
Another woman was recently arrested for NOT allowing an invasive search of her daughter. The TSA responded by saying it “will instruct screeners how to make repeated attempts to screen young children without invasive pat-downs. The instructions should reduce the number of pat-downs on children.” The TSA doesn’t plan on eliminating the number of molestations on children, simply reducing them.
In an effort to prove that TSOs are molesting passengers, the Texas legislature introduced a bill that would have outlawed TSA searches without a warrant and included a provision to charge any agent in violation with sexual assault – the bill failed to pass. When TSA gropes a woman’s breasts, it’s called security, when an agent in uniform gets the same treatment the groper is charged with a felony count of sexual abuse. Yukari Mihamae is accused of grabbing, squeezing and twisting the left breast of a female TSA agent in Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
Sadly, the TSA will not go away anytime soon and has even expanded into bus & train stations. Soon, you will see the TSA at every AMTRAK & Greyhound bus terminal, jut as you see TSA at every American airport. John Whitehed of the Rutherford Institute writes, “The transition to a police state will not come about with a dramatic coup d’etat, with battering rams and marauding militia. As we have experienced first-hand in recent years, it will creep in softly, one violation at a time, until suddenly you find yourself being subjected to random pat-downs and security sweeps during your morning commute to work or quick trip to the shopping mall… VIPR is the first major step in the government’s effort to secure so-called “soft” targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc. In fact, some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia voted 3-0 to uphold the government’s right to use full-body scanners. Justice Douglas Ginsburg wrote, “That balance [between privacy and security] clearly favors the government here.” The court also noted that passengers may avoid the scans by opting to undergo a pat-down by a screening agent. Aren’t you glad they give you a “choice”? Unfortunately “freedom” is not one of the choices.