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clarasong Apr 1st, 2008 09:24 AM

TSA--are they doing a consistent and thorough job
We travel a lot..not once have they asked to see the plastic bags I have so dutifully separated any liquids into. (been on plans 4 times in last 4 weeks)...But they give ol DH the thrid degree--he has a metal joint...and no amount of legal/medical certification papers will change their minds about a big 'search'...sometimes he gets thru the screening gate, other times they pull him off to the side and pull his bag all apart. Now he is a guy who has worked in or with the Government for many, many years, travelled the globe in service of his country. But still, he is scrutinized severely. Why can/t don/t they build a data base of low risk people and let them go thru easier? Seems like while you are hassling all the "low' risk folks, the "high" risk travellers, perhaps for lack of personal, just walk on.

And woe be unto any woman with 'nipple' rings. Saw them dragging, litterally dragging a poor old woman out of her wheel chair for more scrutiny. All this while large scowling men of uncertain culture and inationally walk right on thru.

Now you are going to say that would be 'profiling' but if it is certain groups of people who regularly publish that they 'intend harm' to our country (terrorists from Afghanastan, S. Arabia, Iraq, Iran, terrorists groups from everywhere.}, then should we not be scrutinizing people who appear to at least physically match some of the attributes of the terrorists who blew up the twin towers.

I don't see any regularity about how the TSA applies their standards, seems pretty haphazard to me. And most of the people I see in our airport do not appear highly trained, and probably unable to act swiftly to avert any crisis.
In fact, most of the workers in the airport appear to be recent immigrants. I wonder if this is true?

Anyway, each airport we go thru has different standards and procedures. That is not comforting. The purpose should be to provide a level, a consistant standard, for all and a procedure for travellers that is designed to alert officials to any danger or dangerous passengers.

Anyway, its on my mind, as I am getting ready to get back on planes, Southwest next (their maintenance records have been under severe scrutiny of late)

mjz_kc Apr 1st, 2008 09:48 AM

Did the old woman in the wheel chair have nipple rings? : )

JohnAtLC Apr 1st, 2008 10:21 AM

Hi, clarasong!

I read with interest your posting in which you wondered whether the TSA is doing a consistent and thorough job.

Let us remember that their primary, and perhaps only, function is to prevent incidents by terrorists. When we look at the record over the last month, or two months, or seven months, or three years, we must come to the conclusion that they have not captured any Islamic terrorists. Not a one! Nowhere at all in the entire nation; not one terrorist captured at any airport at all anywhere in the U.S. Now, isn't THAT startling!

But, of course, as we all know, the TSA has confiscated an enormous number of water bottles, mayonnaise salad dressing packets, manicure/pedicure sets, nail clippers, and the like.

If one simply contrasts what the TSA has accomplished against what it has failed to accomplish, one can clearly see that they have nothing really to show for their efforts. Imagine: not one Islamic terrorist captured by the TSA in all this time!

charsuzan Apr 1st, 2008 12:39 PM

And don't forget that dangerous mascara. What a threat to national security. How that is a liquid and lipstick is not, is beyond my many years of education.

mms Apr 1st, 2008 05:34 PM

Well, last week when we flew the TSA was not paying very good attention. I had all 4 of our boarding passes stapled together at home, and was trying to separate them when the lady grabbed it out of my hand. She was talking to another TSA person at the time. She marked my paper, then asked where the other boarding passes were for the rest of the family. I told her she had them. So she looks at the first one, mine, and asked where "xx" (me) is. She had no idea what she just marked off! She was not paying attention, she was distracted, and I was quite annoyed as I had to explain to her what she just did. So no, that didn't make me feel exactly safe.

Then upon our return at the end of the week, as we were passing security (we were leaving) a man bypassed security and walked on the opposite side of the aisles, coming right towards us. It took a while for a TSA agent to stop the man, and then they let him just turn around and leave. HUH???? He clearly violated security, and not just by a little bit.

I am hoping my flights this week go better.

clevelandbrown Apr 2nd, 2008 08:12 AM

Clarasong, is your husband's name Benedict Arnold?

You present as someone who knows who the terrorists are. Might I read you as saying all white people, and third generation citizens (is that far enough removed from immigranthood to satisfy you) should be exempted from searching.

Unfortunately for you, we live in a country that, even with our current policies and troubles, makes more of our civil rights than other countries, and if TSA starts culling out certain groups for scrutiny, a judge is very likely to put them straight.

Johnatlc, TSA's job is to increase safety, not to capture terrorists, so I think you are using the wrong standard to measure their performance. A more accurate measure would be how many instances of hijackings or bombings have happened since they started their work, and I think the count is still at zero; do you have as good a record at your job? Few do.

Certainly the security process is unpleasant; I would think it is as unpleasant for the TSA workers as for the passengers, given the attitude of many passengers. But our elected representatives have decreed that we need this procedure, and if you really want it changed, take your complaints to Washington.

fritzrl Apr 2nd, 2008 08:13 AM

For those who opine that TSA has successfully prevented terrorists from boarding airplanes -- I must disagree.

It isn't that TSA is doing their job well. It's that *I* am doing *my* job well.

Y'see, every morning I go out to my backyard, nude regardless of temperature, and spend 15-20 minutes doing my "Terrorists Go Away" dance. It's quite intricate, involves feathers and galvanized bolts, not to mention the all-important rusty fingernail clippers.

But, as bizarre as it looks, it has been quite effective. No terrorists have boarded US planes since 9-11. The TSA may take credit, but it's really *me*. :>)

Sounds illogical? So do similar claims from TSA, you must admit.

clarasong Apr 2nd, 2008 09:01 AM

cleveland brown: The terrorists who attacked the twin towers were Saudi, as I recall. Now, it would stand to reason that anyone from there or any other country that harbors terrorists should be given close scutiny. Not little old ladies....geeze...where could they be hiding the bombs and dynamite, in their "depends"?

clarasong Apr 2nd, 2008 10:27 AM

P.s. there have been at least two instances of the TSA tazering hysterical passengers in the terminal to DEATH. Where does common sense come in.

bettyk Apr 2nd, 2008 11:19 AM

Say what you will about TSA lately, but it looks like they earned their keep yesterday in Orlando.

They caught a guy who was about to board an Air Jamaica flight with bomb making materials in his checked luggage. It was his strange behavior that got their attention.

Jamaican authorities are now in the process of investigating since the explosion was planned after he arrived there.

mms Apr 2nd, 2008 11:37 AM

bettyk--That is good news. I had not heard that yet, so thanks for sharing. I am hoping that our security is better tomorrow than it was last week.

filmwill Apr 2nd, 2008 06:34 PM

cleveland, are you kidding me? Are you seriously playing the 'if you disagree with the administration, you're a traitor' card? That one's about as old as John McCain. :)

People who say "take your complaints to Washington" obviously have no plausible clue how the political process actually works (other than some Sesame Street version of 'I don't like this so I'm gonna complain to my Senator and it will be fixed!")

It's like saying 'if your flight gets canceled, it's as easy as just hopping on the next one.'

All this rhetoric about the TSA having prevented hijackings because no hijackings have happened is utter BS. It's nothing but pure luck and the result of exerted pressure on intelligence agencies to finally wake up and do THEIR jobs. If you'd like to contradict that, then please show me ONE news report of the direct result of one TSA agent to stop any legitimate potential hijacking from happening. Just because it hasn't happened does not mean they are doing their jobs well.

filmwill Apr 2nd, 2008 06:38 PM

...and please don't quote Betty's "evidence" that today's apprehension of the Jamaican's dude and his unassembled pipe bomb parts in his luggage--unless of course, you'd like us to believe that said dude was going to leave his seat, manage to make his way down to the cargo hold, find his suitcase, and then assemble those parts into a bomb to detonate. ;)

djkbooks Apr 3rd, 2008 11:02 AM

Same here - I have dutifully packed my liquids and tucked them in the outside zipper pocket of my tote bag for easy access. Each and every time, when we get to those buckets, we are rushed through. I've never gotten a chance to remove the bag of liquids.

clevelandbrown Apr 3rd, 2008 04:27 PM

Fillwell, no I am not putting you on.

The OP argued that her husband had worked for and with the government for years, and thus should be excluded from TSA scrutiny. I tried to make the point that having worked for the government is no guarantee that you are not a traitor, and Benedict Arnold sprang to mind as an example. I'm sorry that I didn't explain that so simply that you could get it. I never said, nor will I, that disagreeing with the government marks one as a traitor. I certainly didn't mean to confuse you.

I don't see any lack of reason in evaluating an agency established to prevent hijackings, on how many hijackings occurred on their watch. If we set a sentry to prevent attacks on our camp, would we evaluate the sentry on whether attacks occurred, or whether he had captured any enemies? I think our evaluation of anyone's work should be based on whether the objectives we gave them were achieved.

I appreciate the efforts of the man doing the goat dance in his yard, but he probably hasn't stopped any terrorists unless they were passing his yard during the dance. TSA at least has a presence at the airports and terminals, and that may or may not keep terrorists away, just as hiring a bodyguard may or may not keep you from being accosted. Logic may deem that the relationship is not provable, but experience accepts that there is some relationship.

In any event, our representatives have established this system, and whining about it to TSA or fellow passengers is not going to do anything to change it. I believe our politicians all worship at the idol of the opinion poll, and I know for a fact that they monitor their constituent correspondence, and are more likely to respond to that than to complaints on an obscure internet forum.

I haven't seen in the news that TSA taser'd two people to death. I recall one woman who was behaving irrationally and tried to breach security; I have no problem in using a taser in such circumstances, as it is usually not lethal; people have been killed when just being restrained by the police, so there is always some risk when one forces the police into physical action. I'd be interested in seeing some documentation of the second fatal tasering by TSA, but I suspect we won't

mjz_kc Apr 3rd, 2008 05:19 PM

um, did we ever decide we ever exactly decide who had the nipple rings? Was it the old lady in a wheel chair, or, someone else? Just curios...

mjz_kc Apr 3rd, 2008 05:20 PM

ouch..bad'd think i was drunk.

filmwill Apr 3rd, 2008 05:33 PM

Actually, I believe the OP's post was posing a question about the efficacy of the TSA to users of the "obscure internet forum" to which you refer. So, when one usually poses a question here, the natural assumption would be that the users who frequent this board might actually give their opinion. Even if it's rhetorical, the whole purpose of a message board is to encourage discussion. Sorry if that wasn't simple enough.

I have to apologize in advance, but I methodically disagree with you (don't you love democracy!) So the TSAs sole purpose is to make sure that no one gets a lighter on an airliner? Well, perhaps then they have been successful.

How exactly has the TSA prevented these supposed attacks from happening? By removing water bottles and toenail clippers from carry-ons? Or is it that these supposed hijackers were just so disheartend by the removal of said water bottles and toenail clippers that they just couldn't go through with their attacks at the end of the day? Last time I read, jihad wasn't contingent upon a bottle of shaving cream.

Please...the TSA are rent-a-cops at best and do a marginally acceptable job for what they are: security guards.

I'll add that if you believe that a single (or even 10) senator(s) has the ability to overturn anything involving the TSA in this current administration, you may be sniffing too more than just jet fuel fumes.

bettyk Apr 3rd, 2008 08:19 PM

filmwil, do you propose that we do away with airport security and the "rent a cops" as you call them? What, exactly, do you think should be done to ensure the safety of those who fly?

filmwill Apr 3rd, 2008 10:54 PM

Betty, I don't recall suggesting getting rid of airport security.

...and if you're asking me what would be a better means of preventing potential terrorism, I'd rather not open Pandora's box and start a whole political discussion about our current president and some of his all-too-well-known policy choices.

Agreed that airport security needs to be in place. Which is kind of what we have right now...just with a fancier shirt and a nice three-letter abbreviation on 'em.

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