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TSA steals clothing from videographer Sean Malone

29 Oct
Mr. Malone’s friend Marian Dougherty reports:

This is a belt buckle that the TSA at DCA tried to steal from Sean Malone. For “safety.” Fortunately someone two supervisors up from the standard violator had enough of a brain to return Sean’s harmless belt buckle and send him on his merry way.

Apparently no one at LAX has a brain or common sense, though. The TSA “confiscated” (read: stole) this belt buckle this morning.

Yes. A belt buckle that looks like (half of) a tiny metal raygun that would fit in the palm of your hand. I’m sure everyone on that flight feels safer now.

TSA Bank robbed

22 Oct

BREAKING: Bank at TSA’s Pentagon City HQ Robbed

by ARLnow.com | October 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) Police are on the scene of a robbery at the Pentagon Federal Credit Union branch in Pentagon City.
The PenFed branch is located on the ground floor of the Transportation Security Administration headquarters at 701 12th Street S.
Two men entered the credit union at 1:22 p.m. and passed a backpack and a note demanding cash to the teller, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The men were given an undisclosed amount of cash. They then fled and were last seen getting into a blue-and-white taxicab.
According to scanner traffic, the cab was likely an Arlington Blue Top cab that was waiting at the cab stand between the Pentagon City Metro station and the Ritz Carlton hotel.
No one was hurt during the incident, Sternbeck said. Arlington police are investigating the robbery in cooperation with the FBI and the TSA.
The men are described as black males, 5’8 to 6’0 tall with a skinny build, wearing dark clothing. Police expect to release surveillance images later today.
The credit union is located within the TSA headquarters complex. Its entrance faces a public plaza that’s open to pedestrians but closed to vehicle traffic. There is an entrance to the TSA headquarters building within the branch, according to TSA spokesman Mark Howell, but one must present an ID badge to use it.
A guard station is located about 100 feet from the credit union, but Howell said the contract guards who man it are trained to initially call police in the event of a crime. They do not provide security to PenFed, which leases space in the building from the property owner, not from TSA.

TSA Bank robbed

22 Oct

BREAKING: Bank at TSA’s Pentagon City HQ Robbed

by ARLnow.com | October 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm | 
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) Police are on the scene of a robbery at the Pentagon Federal Credit Union branch in Pentagon City.
The PenFed branch is located on the ground floor of the Transportation Security Administration headquarters at 701 12th Street S.
Two men entered the credit union at 1:22 p.m. and passed a backpack and a note demanding cash to the teller, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The men were given an undisclosed amount of cash. They then fled and were last seen getting into a blue-and-white taxicab.
According to scanner traffic, the cab was likely an Arlington Blue Top cab that was waiting at the cab stand between the Pentagon City Metro station and the Ritz Carlton hotel.
No one was hurt during the incident, Sternbeck said. Arlington police are investigating the robbery in cooperation with the FBI and the TSA.
The men are described as black males, 5’8 to 6’0 tall with a skinny build, wearing dark clothing. Police expect to release surveillance images later today.
The credit union is located within the TSA headquarters complex. Its entrance faces a public plaza that’s open to pedestrians but closed to vehicle traffic. There is an entrance to the TSA headquarters building within the branch, according to TSA spokesman Mark Howell, but one must present an ID badge to use it.
A guard station is located about 100 feet from the credit union, but Howell said the contract guards who man it are trained to initially call police in the event of a crime. They do not provide security to PenFed, which leases space in the building from the property owner, not from TSA.

Redfern & Pradhan vs. DHS & TSA today in Boston

3 Apr

by LISA SIMEONE on APRIL 2, 2013
Wendy Thomson is one of our writers here at TSA News.
She’s also a founder of FTTUSA — Freedom to Travel USA. She has written about her experience being abused — repeatedly abused — by the TSA. She gave up a career because her job required her to travel, and she couldn’t put up with the TSA’s abuse any longer.
Tomorrow, April 3rd, Wendy Thomson is will be in Boston — having driven all the way from Michigan — to present oral arguments in Redfern et al v. Napolitano et al — full title: Jeffrey H. Redfern and Anant N. Pradhan v. Janet Napolitano and John Pistole. Wendy wrote about this case here.
The fact that FTTUSA has been invited to give oral arguments is an extraordinary achievement.
The Jeffrey Redfern and Anant Pradhan of the title are from Harvard Law School. They were still students when they first brought the case; they’ve since graduated and passed their bar exams.

This is an important case. It will be the first time the courts will have been asked to assess the TSA’s actions in light of the 4th Amendment. It will probably be the first time the judges have even heard about what’s really going on at the checkpoints.
Many people and organizations are following this case, includingPolicyMicEPIC,EFFHuffington Post, and the Cato Institute, to name a few. (I’ll be attending a Cato Institute sympsium called “Traveler Surveillance, Traveler Intrusion” later today.)
Hats off to Wendy Thomson, Jeff Pierce, and Renee Beeker of FTTUSA for their years of hard work on this issue, and to Jeffrey Redfern and Anant Pradhan for standing up for our 4th Amendment rights.
We will, of course, report back on the outcome of this case.
And don’t forget to submit your comments about the TSA to the public docket if you haven’t done so already.

Confessions of a TSA agent: We’re a bunch of airheads

10 Mar

  • Last Updated: 4:59 AM, March 10, 2013
  • New York Post
It is perhaps America’s most unsafe airport. Despite being the launching point for one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 — Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania — Newark Airport has had numerous security violations since. The latest: a fake bomb that made it past Transportation Security Administration officers. Here, a Newark TSA screener who recently left the agency tells how silly policies and lazy workers do little to stop real threats:
A LOT of what we do is make-believe.
I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.
Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.
But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.
Did you know you don’t need a high-school diploma or GED to work as a security screener? These are the same screeners that TSA chief John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refer to as a first-class first line of defense in the war on terror.
These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.
An agent got through Newark last week with an improvised explosive device? That’s not even news to anyone who works there. It happens all the time. The failure rate is pretty high, especially with federal investigators, and the pat-down itself is ridiculous. As invasive as it is, you still can’t find anything using the back of your hand on certain areas.
When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.”
What are the chances of you being on a flight where something happens? We always said it’s not a question of if terrorists get through — it’s a question of when. Our feeling is nothing’s happened because they haven’t wanted it to happen. We’re not any big deterrent. It’s all for show.
A real pat-down is when a police officer pulls you over, uses his hands to search, actually goes into your clothes. We have to use the back of our hands around certain areas. It just doesn’t work. It’s a really bad way to pat somebody down.

Washington state prepares to take on TSA

9 Feb

Whether it’s for stealing passengers’ property or tearing open a leukemia patient’s saline bags, the TSA always seems to be making the news. Now, one Washington state representative is preparing to fight back against the growing federal encroachment.
The Transportation Security Agency, best known for its intrusive pat downs in airports, has now been seen at highway checkpoints,bus stations, train stations and evenfootball games. In fact, in 2011 over 9,300 unannounced highway checkpoints were set up by the TSA. Despite these searches being unconstitutional, they continue to grow.
The conversation concerning the unconscionable and unconstitutional ‘gropeand feel’ policies of the federal government in airport, bus, and train station security checkpoints around the country is long overdue,” said Rep. Jason Overstreet, the primary sponsor of the bill.
HB 1454, The Washington State Freedom Of Travel Act, uses clear and commonsense language to point out the illegal activities which the TSA is already carrying out on a regular basis and sets penalties for violations within the state.
Section 2 reads:
(1) A public servant acting under color of his or her office or employment commits an offense of official oppression if he or she:

(a) Intentionally subjects another person to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he or she knows is unlawful;
(b) Intentionally denies or impedes another person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity that he or she knows is unlawful;
(c) Intentionally subjects another person to harassment, as defined in RCW 9A.46.020, or sexual harassment;

The bill goes on to mention the illegality of groping and removing children from parental custody without permission, important sections in light of the TSA’s apparent policy of hiring criminals, including a former Catholic priest who was defrocked for sexually abusing young girls. It also states that a “person who commits the offense of official oppression by a public servant is guilty of a class C felony.”
It is unacceptable to allow ourselves, our sons, daughters and grandparents to be physically violated, in return for the opportunity to travel freely. Your elected officials swore oaths to protect you from unwarranted search and seizure–it’s time for them to step up to the plate and act,” Overstreet added.
At this time it is in the hands of the Washington Public Safety Committee to decide whether or not the bill will receive a hearing. Those interested in getting involved can contact committee members and ask them to support HB 1454.

TSA Tyranny

13 Jun

More TSA rights abuse porn

by AMY ALKON on JUNE 11, 2012
I’m not offended by traditional porn — the kind with naked people and and kinky this and that (as long as it isn’t kiddie porn and as long as the participants are consenting adults).
What I am offended by is the obscene constant daily violation by the TSA of Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to not be searched without probable cause. There was yet another disgusting TSA-inflicted ball-grabbing — that became an intense disgusting TSA-inflicted ball probing — of the husband of conservative commentator Dana Loesch:
He was subjected to the standard pat-down: back of the hands, check your waistband, run hands up and down the inside of the leg stopping at the groin. When the agent went to check his gloves he claimed that something on his gloves “set off the alarm” at which point informed us that Chris would be subjected to another pat-down and his luggage searched.
He was not given the choice as to whether or not he wanted a private or public screening for the second, more invasive pat-down.
At this point we were becoming annoyed as we’d been detained for around 25 minutes minutes already (the entire screening process took about 45 minutes) and were concerned that we would miss our flight. I flipped on my camera after we had been escorted into the private room and kept it vertical, rather than horizontal, to look less confrontational.
The TSA agent informed us, as he snapped on his blue latex gloves, that he would be performing another pat-down, this time using the front of his hands, and he would be touching Chris’s “groin.” It was at this point I began asking questions. He became aggravated and asked for me to turn off my camera. I asked once more about photos and video for clarification, and he stated that the reason I could not film them touching my husband’s genitals through his shorts was due to “security reasons.” The other agent in the room spoke into his shoulder walkie about security. I complied and turned off my phone. When I asked for the agent’s name a second time, he informed me that if I would like, he would call security. The agent demanded that I put my phone away entirely and get it out of my hands and would not start the intrusive screening procedure until I had done so.

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. . . He performed the pat-down which began as routine, except that he used the front of his hands. He then bent down and specifically targeted Chris’s crotch. Using the front of his hands, he pressed against his genitals and swept his hands across the crotch three times across, and then pressed at the top of his genitals and wiped his hands down three times.
Make no mistake: outside of the airport this would be considered molestation.
And in the airport, it is considered molestation — by any decent, rights-respecting, Constitution-loving person.
A commenter on her site posted this about the TSA’s thuggish order that Loesch stop videotaping:
*UPDATE: Jimi971 notes this:
TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping, or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might.
I urge people to stand up to the TSA. Don’t go quietly when your rights are taken from you. Don’t let TSA workers walk past you in the airport without telling them that they are horrible people for taking money to violate Americans’ rights. Take names of the people who violate you, and name them far and wide — on blogs, on Twitter, and anywhere else you can. And speak up to everyone you can and in every venue you can about how dangerous it is that we are allowing this march to a police state we call “security” to continue.
Yes, that’s right — we are well on our way to becoming a police state, and this is not hyperbole. Just think back to 2000, and how you would have reacted if somebody told you that you had to have your genitals groped to get on an airplane. We’re not safer because of this — but Americans are being primed to be obedient little drones in the face of having their rights taken from them.
The videotape Loesch did get:
I’d love to see her get and post far and wide the name of the government-employed thug who violated her husband’s body and rights.