Ah, the holiday season is here and with only a week till Turkey day, you're probably going to be facing the unfortunate situation of going to the airport. Forget the long lines and the hassle of finding your luggage. There's a new threat in town and that's the TSA itself.
The TSA is currently under a lot of pressure right now from right wing blogs, news outlets, and public opinion after a decade of being created post 9/11 and it's only because of one reason that it's getting shit on right now.. Because a lot of WHITE people are getting harassed.
Like this half way decent looking girl who was sent to the full-body scanner, cuffed up, and received a pat-down.
Which she goes on to assume it's because the TSA wanted to pat down some attractive female to feel up. But that's not the only case, there's this other situation in San Diego where a dude was not having another dude touch his junk or someone was gonna get arrested.
I don't know about the rest of you people, but I specifically ask the TSA to pat me down when I go through airport security because it's probably one of the only times I can legally feel intimacy with another human being without giving up a C-note and risk getting busted by the po-po.
Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- In response to a video of a California man's dispute with airport security officials, the Transportation Security Administration said Monday it tries to be sensitive to individuals, but everyone getting on a flight must be screened.
The video, in which software engineer John Tyner refuses an X-ray scan at the San Diego, California, airport, has sparked a debate over screening procedures.
Tyner told CNN on Sunday that he was surprised to see so many people take an interest in his refusal and the dispute with airport screeners that followed it. But he said he hoped the video will focus attention on what he calls a government invasion of privacy.
"Obviously, everybody has their own perspective about their personal screening," TSA administrator John Pistole told CNN. "The question is, how do we best address those issues ... while providing the best possible security?"
Tyner, 31, said his hunting trip to South Dakota was cut short before it even started Saturday morning -- when TSA agents asked him to go through an X-ray machine.
"I don't think that the government has any business seeing me naked as a condition of traveling about the country," Tyner said.
Pistole said the agency is "trying to be sensitive to individuals issues and concerns," but added, "the bottom line is, everybody who gets on that flight has been properly screened."
The cell phone video Tyner recorded of his arguments with security screeners over the scan and pat-down they proposed had garnered more than 80,000 hits on YouTube by early Monday morning.
Tyner said that after he declined the body scan, a TSA agent told him he could have a pat-down instead. Once the procedure was described, Tyner said he responded, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested."
The dispute that followed, Tyner said, included police escorting him from the screening area and a supervisor saying he could face a civil lawsuit for leaving the airport before security had finished screening him.
"The whole thing just seemed ridiculous. ... I don't intend to fly until these machines go away," he said.
"Advanced imaging technology screening is optional for all passengers," TSA said in a statement released Monday. "Passengers who opt out of [advanced imaging] screening will receive alternative screening, including a physical pat-down."
But anyone who refuses to complete the screening process will be denied access to airport secure areas and could be subject to civil penalties, the administration said, citing a federal appeals court ruling in support of the rule.
The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, says that "requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world. Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by 'electing not to fly' on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found."
The TSA's advanced imaging technology machines use two separate means of creating images of passengers -- backscatter X-ray technology and millimeter-wave technology.
At the end of October, 189 backscatter units and 152 millimeter-wave machines were in use in more than 65 airports. The total number of imaging machines is expected to be near 1,000 by the end of 2011, according to the TSA.
The agency has previously said that the new technology is safe and protects passenger privacy.
"Strict privacy safeguards are built into the foundation of TSA's use of advanced imaging technology to protect passenger privacy and ensure anonymity," the agency says in a statement on its website.
Images from the scans cannot be saved or printed, according to the agency. Facial features are blurred. And agents who directly interact with passengers do not see the scans.
But Tyner isn't the only one with concerns about the new security procedures.
Grass-roots groups are urging travelers either not to fly or to protest by opting out of the full-body scanners and undergoing time-consuming pat-downs instead.
Industry leaders are worried about the backlash. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with leaders of travel industry groups to discuss the concerns.
"We certainly understand the challenges that DHS confronts, but the question remains, where do we draw the line? Our country desperately needs a long-term vision for aviation security screening, rather than an endless reaction to yesterday's threat," the U.S. Travel Association said in a statement after the meeting. "At the same time, fundamental American values must be protected."
So what's the big deal and why are groups so against it? Well, let's break it down...
The Pilot unions are upset because these kids of repeated X-ray scans might cause cataracts in the relatively short term.
Anti-Corruption people are up in arms because the machines were only deemed necessary, then purchased due to backroom deals with Chertoff's company, the one that makes the machines. (What a coincidence that security forces around the world consider these machines to be a waste of money!)
Civil Libertarians are up in arms because now they have to choose between nude photographs being taken of them or having their genitals fondled by security agents.
Parents are up in arms because their children are being fondled by security agents.
Right wingers are up in arms because Muslim women are able to request that only their head and neck area be given an "enhanced patdown" as that is the only area that can't be accurately visualized during some scans.
Security experts are at least frustrated because this kind of machine wouldn't have foiled the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, the made-up "liquid explosives" plot, or 9/11. Though part of me likes the fact that this is scaring parents away from potentially getting their kids fondled at the airport for one simple reason. It would mean a lot less children on airplanes. Let's work on getting the religious nuts out of the way as well..
I also have to wonder who these parents are that are up in arms about a TSA agent touching their kid, but they're A-okay with having the same kid's dick chopped. I guess folks can have different stances on the issue of their kids junk.
Oh no! Not a nun! Why would the terrorist assume a different religion to blow up a plane?!
You know what I don't get, why do they even search pilots? Let's be real for a minute here.. if one of them is a terrorist hell bent to take this plane down in a blaze of glory, I have some bad news for you TSA workers, not finding a bomb on him isn't going to prevent him from simply turning the wheel straight for a building.
Many of you may not think that an outline of your body is violating your rights but think again. Just look at those images. You could pretty easily see a person's genitalia on the pictures as well as evidence of any major surgery and a lot of medical conditions. And answer me this one, if these weren't intrusive then why did two TSA workers get into a fist fight after one mocked the others small penis after they went through one of the scanners?
I also don't see how bombarding someone with ionizing radiation that can be carcinogenic and then telling them that the health risks are minimal isn't a violation of your civil liberties. To be honest, I'd rather taking the groping over being blasted with X-rays any day of the week.
While it seems that everyone is up in arms about this, should I point out that this is not new at all? The only reason people are getting mad about it is because it is no longer limited to some dude named Abdul who looks like a bomber and they realize that they're in the same class as this once easy terrorist scapegoat.
All of this shit does nothing to prevent terrorist attacks that are already exceedingly rare.
Maybe some of you are also worried about the wrong thing. What about having your bags swabbed for drugs or explosives. I mean, who keeps explosives on the outside of your bag for any amount of time? If anything, I know a lot of people who have spent enough time around weed that any article of clothing or piece of cloth that ever was in their place is now fused with weed smoke on the molecular level.
If your job requires a lot of flying and needs you to have good eyesight, then I would suggest you not go through the machines because they will fuck you up. Or maybe this is just the government's way of telling Americans that they are fat and need to lose a couple of pounds. By, you know, making them choose to bike to their destination instead of fly to it.
While we're on the subject here, we're all missing the bigger picture, which I would think is the more important one.... what does this do for actual plane safety? If you're going through these machines for the sake of being an amateur porn star, sure. By all means go for it. But if you're willing to trade that little ounce of liberty in exchange for safety, I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this but it adds nothing to that.
If you think that the TSA actually does anything to make your flight any safer than you are a delusional moron. Whenever there's a slow news cycle the local news always falls back to the classic time tested attempt at ratings by sneaking in knives on board a plane only to never get caught. When was the last time the TSA caught anyone.. any fucking one with a gun or C4 or some other malicious attempt to destroy the plane? I don't recall anyone saying "Oh, thank god we have the TSA to protect us!"
All a terrorist has to do is smuggle a bomb in their ass hole and after opting out of the body scan and passing the enhanced grope pat down, blow their asshole to kingdom come on the plane. Then we'll really lose all our civil liberties and full cavity searches will be a mandatory hassle to deal with when flying.
Let's just throw it out there.. How much money are we giving Chertoff for the ability to use these fucking ridiculous X-ray machines? It seems like it would be a whole lot less invasive and more cost effective to just put guards on all flights or just pat down everyone coming in like they do at most heavy metal concerts. But no, let's just throw more money at this silly X-ray machine company.
If you can deal with the phrase "Porno Scanners" being repeated over and over, this is a pretty decent article on the time line showing how the scanners are just another defense contractor looting of the budget.
# 2005: Michael Chertoff, as head of Homeland Security, orders the first batch of porno scanners from a company called Rapiscan Systems. After his departure, Chertoff gave dozens of interviews using his government credentials to promote the device. What he didn't tell people was that Rapiscan was one of the clients of his consulting company, The Chertoff group.
# March 2009: The Department of Homeland Security says they will apply $1 billion in stimulus money to the nation's airports. Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, personally promises to oversee the distribution of stimulus funds so money goes toward the goal of creating "4 million jobs" and not on "boondoggles"
# December 2009: Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz inserted language into the Homeland Security appropriations bill barring the use of fully-body image scans as "primary" screening tools at airports, and it passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 310-118. Both the ACLU and the NRA backed it. The amendment also made it illegal to store and copy these images. It died in the Senate.
# December 25, 2009: The "Christmas bomber" attempts to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board a flight to Detroit.
# December 29, 2009: Joe Lieberman calls for "more widespread use of the full-body scanners after the aborted attack."
# January 2009: Since they couldn't get money for the porno scanners from Congress, TSA uses the "Christmas bomber" scare to appropriate $25 million they had received in stimulus money to buy the "backscatter" scanners -- from Rapiscan, Chertoff's client. Rapiscan said the contract "helped create" 25 jobs. The government has gives the TSA the green light to spend a total of $173 million on the scanners. TSA spokesperson Sarah Horowitz said "the agency has enough funds that would come from the stimulus program and other federal sources" to purchase 300 more porno scanners, per CNN. Total jobs created, per the government's own website: 1.
# April 2010: The GAO reports that "it remains unclear whether the AIT would have detected the weapon used in the December 2009 incident based on the preliminary information GAO has received."
# November 8, 2010: US Airline Pilots Association tells its members "NOT to submit to AIT screenings."
# November 15, 2010: Joe Lieberman says he "comes down on the side of the
And while the phrase is so fucking awful, I dare say even worse than "Death Tax" or "Death Panels", the article does ring true on all this shit. We're just trading away our money for this idea that we can somehow be safe in our risky... even if this isn't risky in comparison, practices of daily life.
I really don't care about the pat-downs, but that's because I'm a guy and as stated before, if someone's going to willingly touch me, who am I to complain. But take an image of my naked self to show off to the other employees and I got a problem with that.
Did you know that you can still bring in unlimited amounts of homeopathic medicine in any form, be it liquid, solid, gel or aerosol? Security wont even stop you. This also can be the equipment for this bullshit science. Documentation of said medication is recommended, but not required. So hey, terrorist. That's a new avenue you can go through for your greater good..
The scanners don't increase security.. and that's what I'm more frustrated about. That all this shit is done in the name of your safety and all it's doing is potentially creating health risks for you every time you walk through one. The whole thing subjects you through a gross invasion of privacy that wouldn't be allowed under any other circumstance except if you were being arrested for a felony.
And even then, the cops don't take nude pictures of you unless they have a specific reason, such as rape. Let alone the whole idea that this is just wasting millions of dollars. You shouldn't have to worry about getting molested or seen naked just because you want to fly somewhere.. and in many situations it's really the only reasonable method of travel in getting somewhere.
I think we all know the real reason why Americans are afraid of being patted down. What if they get turned on by a same sex TSA worker touching them? Oh no, then it would be time to question one's sexuality So even if the groping was more acceptable, it would still raise questions. Such as the classic idea of what if a gay man was allowed to feel up your genitals.
Should Gay TSA Agents be Barred from Giving 'Same-gender Pat-downs'The solution is pretty clear, we should only hire attractive people of both sexes as TSA agents and let the passenger pick the agent who they find attractive and acceptable to molest them in a vain attempt to keep some illusion of safety in the airport.
CHICAGO, Nov. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) today questioned the propriety of "same-gender' TSA (Transportation Security Administration) "pat-downs" -- if the TSA agents doing the 'patting down" are homosexual, lesbian or bisexual.
Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano went out of her way yesterday to stress that the TSA pat-downs are "same-gender" -- mostly to reassure women that men will not be groping them at airports in the name of safety.
"But what about homosexual TSA agents?" AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera responded. "Isn't it just as inappropriate for a 'gay' male TSA agent to pat down male travelers as it is for a normal, heterosexual male TSA agent to pat down female travelers?
In fact, if they said "Here are the people free to grope you, pick one" I'd be happier with the whole experience. Even if it didn't matter, because let's be real - how much different is it than just being assigned a random screener? All it does is make you believe you have some pretend choice on the matter. Now that's a false sense of control that I can get behind. Mainly because it doesn't blow smoke up my ass on falsely making me feel safe.