This Weekend’s TSA Roundup

There’s only about 400 new stories from the weekend on our lovely friends with benefits at the TSA so I’ll put them in this thread.

Pilots can now skip the pat-downs and scanners but the rest of us still have to get a federally sponsored happy ending.

Members of Congress don’t have to go through TSA security.

Earlier this week, in holding a hearing with the head of the TSA, our congressional representatives didn’t seem too concerned about the public complaints about TSA security procedures: the naked scans and the gropings. Want to know why? Perhaps it’s because, on the rare occasions that they fly commercial, they get to skip security

Ron Paul wants the TSA to just go Galt already.

Slate wonders if the TSA has ever caught a terrorist? (Short answer, no, unless you count drug smugglers as terrorists.)

Another Slate piece on why Republicans are seemingly anti-TSA all of a sudden after years of keeping quiet under W.

“I used to sit around and look at these images, dial them back, and ask myself how do I take this to Capitol Hill and not be thrown out on my head?” said Blank. “When [Bush’s second TSA administrator] Kip Hawley came in [in 2005], he changed that. He saw the politics of it and deep-sixed the program. He deep-sixed it. It got revived after the Christmas bomber.”

The point about how full-body scanning got restarted is essential—it was the Obama administration picking up an idea that Republicans had cooled on. Republicans accused the administration of degrading security by dialing back war-on-terror prosecutions in the name of human rights; the response was a security measure that would affect all travelers randomly. So maybe the Drudge Report didn’t really invent a backlash against Napolitano. The backlash was inevitable. Republican trust in a sprawling and invasive security apparatus was always precarious. Its collapse leaves the TSA and the Obama administration with yet another libertarian, anti-state riot on their hands.

How the TSA Screeners feel about the new “enhanced pat downs.” (short answer, Nuremberg Defense)

Oprah’s audience reacting to news of enhanced pat downs. . (I may be wrong about that last part. Who knows what the hell Oprah’s audience is thinking.)

Blogger Bob from TSA’s blog seems to be confused between the difference of a myth and a fact.

12 Comments

  1. It’s one thing to be outraged at the new security screening procedures, but i think it’s important not to demonize the TSA agents themselves. They aren’t the ones in control of the policies, and they would likely be disciplined/fired for not following the new rules.

    I’m sure being a TSA agent before these new regulations was less than party, and now they get to look forward to groping disgruntled passengers everyday. Chances are they aren’t any more supportive of invasive pat downs than the rest of us. Until they start sending uncooperative passengers to gas chambers, maybe we can hold off on the nazi comparisons.

    1. “Just doing my job” starts ringing hollow when your job consists of sexually assaulting people, groping children and dumping urine on bladder cancer survivors.

    2. I think people would more understanding of them if they didn’t treat everyone the way a cop treats an uncooperative perp. Thank God the TSA agents aren’t issued tasers.

    3. “I’m sure being a TSA agent before these new regulations was less than party, and now they get to look forward to groping disgruntled passengers everyday”

      TSA employees are unionized. If they don’t like it, then their union should be screaming loudly and publicly about it. Since the union isn’t, then perhaps the majority of TSA employees really don’t mind. Or, more likely, that they realize closer scrutiny of their make-work pointless jobs will simply render them jobless.

      The Nuremberg defense is *always* a red flag, and needs to be followed to the top.

  2. Thanks for the roundup Chris. I’m familiar with the kidnapping story from the “My Bottle’s Up” blogger and I think you should know that story has been more or less proven false. The TSA released video of her screening and while that has been shown to be less than accurate in some other cases she did some major back-peddaling after the video release and posted something about how she’s a writer and this is “her” truth. I remember the video being different from her story in several ways and her suggesting that maybe they edited her kid into the frame before they posted it, but not addressing the other discrepancies.
    I’m surprised her blog is still up considering all the fallout and negative attention she got after the consumerist ran her story… a year ago?

  3. That last “the TSA kidnapped my baby” link is the famous “TSA baby” story that was making its rounds about a year ago. Turns out it was mostly fictional, as can be seen in the CCTV footage the TSA posted on their blog. The lady later wrote a quasi-apologetic response.

    The rest of the links seem solid though.

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