Joe Friday on the TSA

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Joe Friday is of course correct that the searches made of minor children by TSA employees would be felonies if not conducted under color of law.

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As indicated by this, adults are not treated any better.  However, the TSA is attempting to improve the situation:

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Joe Friday will give us his take eventually on the new policy adopted by the TSA.  In the meantime here is a video before he joined the force, as he was explaining the facts of military life to a group of Marine boots.

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Update:  In regard to the boy being searched in the video is the story behind it by the gentleman who took the cell phone video:

Lets get the facts straight first. Before the video started the boy went through a metal detector and didn’t set it off but was selected for a pat down. The boy was shy so the TSA couldn’t complete the full pat on the young boy. The father tried several times to just hold the boys arms out for the TSA agent but i guess it didn’t end up being enough for the guy. I was about 30 ft away so i couldn’t hear their conversation if there was any. The enraged father pulled his son shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent to search, thats when this video begins.

******* THIS VIDEO OCCURRED AT SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON NOVEMBER 19TH AT AROUND THE TIME OF 12:00 PM **********

After I finished videotaping the incident I went through the check point myself. I collected my things and went over to talk to the father and son. Before I could get to them a man in a black suit who had been talking with the other TSA officials approached me. He asked to speak to me and I obliged, wondering what was to come. He then proceeded to interrogate me about why I was videotaping the “procedures of the TSA”. I told him that I had never seen such practices before on a young child and decided to record it. The man being frustrated at this point demanded to know my plans with the video, of which I didn’t respond. Repeatedly he asked me to delete the video, hoping his mere presence could intimidate me to obey, but I refused. By this point it became obvious that he felt TSA had done something wrong and that I caught it on tape. After the interview, I left for my gate. I called my brother who told me I should put the tape on YouTube because this had been a recent hot topic in the news.

 
My gate was a long way off, but about 15 minutes after arriving 2 TSA agents came and sat 15 feet or so away from me. I stood up and moved so that they were in front of me and then took a picture. A 3rd and then a 4th agent came and sat down with the others. They would occasionally glance at me and talk on their walkie-talkies. I don’t know why they were there or if it was a huge coincidence but they stayed for 30-45 minutes and left just before I boarded the plan. Interesting to say the least, intimidating? Maybe a little…

24 Responses to Joe Friday on the TSA

  • Live free or fly.

    I have bilateral total knee (titanium) replacements, I set off the metal detectors everywhere. I get frisked every time I fly.

    Sounds like they’re getting more “up close and personal.” Once, a TSA twit made me hike up my pants to check out my scars.

    I bet they’re told to “give it” to anyone that refuses to be scanned.

    I only fly when I get paid to fly and you can’t drive over an ocean. Next March, I’ll be driving from NYC to Annaheim. I don’t care if its takes three or four days. I’ll be reimbursed and I’ll take some time to see fly-over country.

    Maybe, I’ll seek political asylum somewhere in America.

  • Joe Friday is of course correct that the searches made of minor children by TSA employees would be felonies if not conducted under color of law.

    Why would they be felonies?

    And you are aware that in that second video it was the father that pulled off the child’s shirt, not the TSA.

  • “(e) “Sexual conduct” means any intentional or knowing touching or fondling by the victim or the accused, either directly or through clothing, of the sex organs, anus or breast of the victim or the accused, or any part of the body of a child under 13 years of age, for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the victim or the accused.”

    That is taken from 720 ILCS 5/12-12 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes of Illinois. Sexual conduct with a minor child in Illinois is always a felony and whether or not the touching was for sexual gratification is determined on a case by case basis by the judge or a jury.

    The father pulled off the boy’s shirt, because the boy was too shy and fearful to submit to a patdown by the TSA agent. I hardly think that factoid lessens the absurdity of minor children being routinely subjected to patdowns by federal agents in order to fly on planes.

  • According to the definition you provide and the way your post is worded, you seem to be implying that all TSA agents are getting sexual gratification from touching children. I doubt that is what you mean (and would be shocked if that is what you believed) but that is the way it reads.

    As for patting-down children, if they went through the scanners they wouldn’t be subjected to such an intrusion. The father is the one that made that choice for his child.

  • Many people are leery of the machines because of radiation and in any case going through one would probably be frightening for a small child. Parents shouldn’t be placed in the position of either doing this or having their children touched by strangers.

    As to individual TSA agents, if they were not operating under the shield of federal law, I would leave it up to a judge or a jury. Let the TSA agents explain why they think it necessary to pat down little children. I am certain that we would hear a rendition of “I was only following orders” defense. People should have zero tolerance for this rubbish, especially when it comes to kids.

  • I don’t think much of the Huckster, but he is dead on the money here:

  • “As for patting-down children, if they went through the scanners they wouldn’t be subjected to such an intrusion.”

    Whatever makes you feel safe, Joe.

  • As for patting-down children, if they went through the scanners they wouldn’t be subjected to such an intrusion.

    Actually this isn’t true. If you choose to go through the scanner or metal detector and there is an anomaly, then you still get the pat down (the kid in the video, for example, set off the metal detector). I’ve had an experience similar to the one Nate Silver describes here, where the scanner sees things that just aren’t there:

    As is my usual practice when passing through airport security, I emptied my pants pockets completely — there wasn’t so much as a stick of gum, a penny, or a taxi receipt in there. But the machine nevertheless insisted that that there was something in the back right-hand pocket of my jeans. When the official from the Transportation Security Administration asked me what I had in my pocket, and I told him that there was absolutely nothing, he then performed a pat-down. I was in a chipper enough mood that I wasn’t inclined to make a scene, but I did ask the T.S.A. official whether it was routine for the machines to see things that weren’t there, to which he declined to respond.

  • Whatever makes you feel safe, Joe.

    It does make me feel safer because the new measures to make us safer.

    I don’t live in some libertarian fantasy-land. I live in the real world where people use knives to take over planes and kill my fellow citizens. Concern for my fellow man trumps the right not to have someone “touch my junk” when I choose (of my own free will) to board a public aircraft.

  • “I don’t live in some libertarian fantasy-land.”

    LOL! Yep, that’s me. The very model of a modern libertarian. Please. One need not be a libertarian to find this nonsense – which absolutely does nothing to make us safter but only provides the illusion of doing something – beyond the pale.

  • By the way, your boy Huck doesn’t think much of it, either.

  • which absolutely does nothing to make us safter

    Are you saying that the machines don’t work, that they don’t detect weapons?

    By the way, your boy Huck doesn’t think much of it, either.

    I saw that. He really needs to do his homework before making such comments. The pat-downs can be done in private with a witness of the person’s choosing watching the screening. It is not necessarily done in public as Huckabee implies.

  • I live in the real world where people use knives to take over planes and kill my fellow citizens.

    It is no longer possible to take over a plane using a knife or other weapons. Anyone who tried would be instantly set upon by the other passengers, who would not stop until he was subdued. This is what happened with United 93, the shoe bomber, the underpants bomber, and is what would happen if there were any further attempts.

  • So far as I can tell, they could go back to airport security procedures circa 2000 with virtually no reduction in security. People will never again follow the “it’s safer to let the hijackers do what they want” approach. That’s what makes us safer.

  • Anyone who tried would be instantly set upon by the other passengers,

    I’m not sure that is true. People who freak out because a TSA screener needs to pat them down aren’t likely to have the physical courage to stand up to a hijacker.

    And let’s not hold up United 93 as a model. Those people on board were extraordinary. I’m not confident that it is the way every group would react.

    We should also keep in mind that plane crashed and everyone on board was killed. Are you saying that we shouldn’t worry about people bringing weapons on planes because it will only kill the people on board?

  • People who freak out because a TSA screener needs to pat them down aren’t likely to have the physical courage to stand up to a hijacker.

    You are confusing a desire for privacy and dignity with physical cowardice. Captain Sullenberger, for example, has objected to the new pat downs. Does that make him a coward?

    And let’s not hold up United 93 as a model. Those people on board were extraordinary. I’m not confident that it is the way every group would react.

    The folks on United 93 were heroes, but the main difference between them and the other three planes was not that they were brave while the others were cowards, but that they knew the planes were being flown into buildings whereas the others did not. If an attempt was made to hijack a plane today, everyone would realize that the likely result would be the death not only of everyone on the plane, but also of thousands of other Americans. To expect passengers to sit meekly by while it happens because a guy has a knife is silly.

    So far there have been four tests of this: United 93, the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, and the case of the crazy guy who tried to break into a plane cockpit. In each case passengers acted swiftly and decisively.

    We should also keep in mind that plane crashed and everyone on board was killed.

    The reason United 93 crashed is that the passengers didn’t find out planes were being flown into buildings until after the terrorists had taken over the plane. Had they known this from the beginning the plane would not have crashed. Today cockpit doors have been secured to prevent forced entry and the passengers know from the outset that if the plane is taken it can be used to bring down a building.

    Assume, however, that someone could bring down the plane itself if they were able to sneak a weapon or bomb on board. A comparable number of people can be killed by bringing a bomb into any school or office building. Yet it would be absurd to say that because of this we ought to have pat downs and full body scans for anyone going into a school or office building (at least, I think this is absurd; perhaps you would feel safer if this were instituted as policy).

  • I live in the real world where people use knives to take over planes and kill my fellow citizens.

    They were boxcutters, not knives. And the point about United 93 has been made thoroughly by others.

    As I see it, the biggest issue with our airport security is that it is reactionary. It heaps on more and more “checks” with each new attempt to bring down an airplane. First, it’s the liquid issue. Next, we have to remove shoes. Now, it’s the porno-scans or federally sanctioned molestation. It follows with each incident where the passengers subdued the would-be bomber. What’s next? Shall we submit to a colonoscopy if someone attempts to light off a bomb embedded in his rectum? Joe, what’s too far in your mind?

    Frankly, I’m tired of it. This approach the TSA has taken virtually treats us like criminals prior to boarding an airplane. (Inmates are regularly subjected to full body searches, especially after a visit.) What other industry allows its customers to be treated as such?

    I’m tired of it, and so are a great many other Americans. The uprising we are witnessing is completely justified. There are other ways to provide the flying public with safety and security without compromising their liberties. For example, our friends in Israel do a phenomenal job and yet you are not scanned, fondled, de-shoed, and you can even take your liquids with you. Imagine… safety AND personal liberty.

    Take a moment to read and watch:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/744199—israelification-high-security-little-bother

    http://online.wsj.com/video/how-israel-screens-for-terrorists/987D025A-145D-42F5-9756-7B43CC7613CE.html

    We’ve allowed this current “security theater” to go on for too long in the name of the sacred cow of political correctness.

  • They were boxcutters, not knives.
    According to the 9/11 Commission report, they attacker used both knives and boxcutters.
    As I see it, the biggest issue with our airport security is that it is reactionary.
    So you’re saying you’d be fine with these measures if they had been proactive? I don’t many other people feel that way. People already whine and fuss when safety measures are taken after a threat has been discovered. What are the chances they’d be for them before something happened?
    Joe, what’s too far in your mind?
    Too far would be measures that are overly intrusive. Nothing that has been done so far has even come close to violating our civil rights. Americans are just soft. And yet they will cry about how the government didn’t do enough to protect us as soon as something happens.
    What other industry allows its customers to be treated as such?
    If you don’t like it, don’t fly. I’m serious. No one has to put up with the searches since no one has to fly. Americans do not have a God-given right to air travel.

    Take a moment to read and watch
    My column for FT tomorrow addresses why the way Israel does profiling is neither applicable in America nor fixes the problems. (In 2002, a hijacker managed to sneak a knife onto an El Al flight. Had the air marshalls not subdued him, no one would be praising Israel’s approach.)
    We’ve allowed this current “security theater” to go on for too long in the name of the sacred cow of political correctness.
    Anyone who truly believes that hasn’t done their research on profiling. The idea that all hijackers are Arabic speaking Muslims is absurd and shows that people are reacting to the issue more out of emotion than by thinking about it rationally.

  • If you don’t like it, don’t fly. I’m serious. No one has to put up with the searches since no one has to fly.

    First, lots of people do have to fly for work (myself included).

    Second, if the scans are accepted for airports who is to say that they won’t then be imposed others places? There are already metal detectors in many government buildings and schools.

    Third, it is well established that you are much less likely to die during a plane flight than you are driving an equivalent distance. Far more people will die in car accidents because they don’t want people looking at naked pictures of them than would ever be saved by the screening.

  • “Second, if the scans are accepted for airports who is to say that they won’t then be imposed others places?”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/130549-next-step-for-body-scanners-could-be-trains-boats-and-the-metro-

    This is stupidity on stilts. People are being subjected to these indignities for absolutely no purpose other than to give the illusion of security through these dog and pony shows.

  • Americans are just soft.

    I agree, but I’d say the evidence of it is that we’re apparently willing to allow the government to do these things to the public in the name of “keeping us safe”. I fail to see the strength or virtue in bending over for Big Brother. The terrorists have already won.

  • We the sheeple . . .

    I will walk through Penn Sta., NYC this morning and past armed national guard (God bless them) troops, NYPD hercules unit SWAT dudes, and some sort of radiation detector. A year ago, I had a nucular heart stress test and the MD told me I may be stopped in Penn Sta.

    Am I any safer? Not sure. I ID the moose limbs and assorted threats around me.

  • I admire the imagination of this gal:

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/traffic/transit/Traffic-LAX-holiday-travel-thanksgiving-110384004.html?dr

    However, I do not think I will follow her example. The sight of me in swimming trunks would be even more punishment than the minions of the TSA warrant.

  • So you’re saying you’d be fine with these measures if they had been proactive?

    Boy, that’s rich.

    Too far would be measures that are overly intrusive. Nothing that has been done so far has even come close to violating our civil rights. Americans are just soft. And yet they will cry about how the government didn’t do enough to protect us as soon as something happens.

    Naked scans and pat downs of one’s genetalia. Yeah, that’s pretty intrusive. Without the cover of federal law, that’s either video voyeurism or sexual assault.

    If you don’t like it, don’t fly. I’m serious. No one has to put up with the searches since no one has to fly. Americans do not have a God-given right to air travel.

    Business travel.

    My column for FT tomorrow … … In 2002, a hijacker managed to sneak a knife onto an El Al flight. Had the air marshalls not subdued him, no one would be praising Israel’s approach.

    Air marshalls… just one more layer in the Israeli security machine. But then, the profiling done in Israel is more about behavior than about anything else, which is not mentioned in your article. You cite the challenges, and I think they are surmountable. Which would you rather have, the circus we have now or highly trained individuals?

    Anyone who truly believes that hasn’t done their research on profiling. The idea that all hijackers are Arabic speaking Muslims is absurd and shows that people are reacting to the issue more out of emotion than by thinking about it rationally.

    Back to behavior again. To most Americans, profiling equals racial profiling. Too many of us are hung up on race. Don’t default to racial profiling. It’s not what Israeli security is about.

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