Over 900 TSA complaints in Nov., ACLU says

From Raw Story:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received over 900 complaints from travelers over the last month who’ve been subjected to the new screening procedures of the Transportation Security Agency.

“The TSA agent used her hands to feel under and between my breasts,” said one woman. “She then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone.”

About 70 airports have put into use over 400 backscatter x-ray machines that can see beneath passengers’ clothing. If the ticket-holder refuses the scan due to health or privacy concerns, they’re subjected to an invasive physical pat-down. The new body scanners and pat down procedure have both received intense scrutiny amid reports of travelers feeling humiliated and traumatized.

The TSA Needs to Opt Out of Tweeting

From Gizmodo:

The TSA has its own Twitter account—which could be a great way to inform the scared, angry public (and do damage control). Instead, it’s filled with idiotic, tasteless, and downright creepy tweets. Funded by your tax money.

For instance, take this selection of silly Thanksgiving themed tweets. They’re so silly! And fun! Except, wait, this is the governmental organization tasked with helping make sure that flyers don’t murder other plane passengers and commit acts of terrorism. This is an agency ostensibly dedicated to public safety, on the eve of one of the busiest, most anxious travel days possible. They should be issuing travel tips, and safety notices. They should be helpful. And here are the messages they have for you, as if ripped down off of a middle school bulletin board:

Today’s TSA Grope Story

TSA groin searches menstruating woman:

I recently traveled via air, and was subjected to that new scanning device. “No problem,” I thought. I was wearing jeans and a linen tanktop, bra, panties, and one camoflauge pantyliner. I’m a rule follower, so I never have any problems at the airport. Not this time. I was stopped, and then held for 15 mintues while they tried to find a female supervisor. I couldn’t get to my bag, my shawl or my shoes; just standing there while the TSA agents kept me in one place. Now, I don’t want this to be about bad TSA agents; they were doing their job, they were as delicate as they could be, etc., etc. But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assualts. Why? Because of my flannel panty-liner. These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your “groin” while another woman watches on (two in my case – they were training in a new girl – awesome). So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn’t even have an insert in). I’m a strong, confident woman; I’m an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don’t take any nonsense from anyone. I don’t dramatize, and I don’t exaggerate. I’m trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won’t think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott. I just don’t want another woman to have to go through the “patting down” because she didn’t know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security.”

U.S. to Drop Color-Coded Terror Alerts

From the NY Times:

The Department of Homeland Security is planning to get rid of the color-coded terrorism alert system. Known officially as the Homeland Security Advisory System, the five-color scheme was introduced by the Bush administration in March 2002.

Red, the highest level, meant “severe risk of terrorist attacks.” The lowest level, green, meant “low risk of terrorist attacks.” Between those were blue (guarded risk), yellow (significant) and orange (high).

The nation has generally lived in the yellow and orange range. The threat level has never been green, or even blue.

I am gonna miss living my life on Bert alert.

A Prank Goes Awry

Or Why you shouldn’t be friends with morons:

MANCHESTER, Vt. – Police say a Vermont man who believed he was holding an air gun shot his sleeping friend dead in bed with a .22-caliber rifle.

Manchester police told WCAX-TV that the two friends were staying at another friend’s home Thursday. Police say 23-year-old Nicholas Bell of Manchester was hoping to play a prank on his friend and wake him up with an air gun.

But authorities say Bell ended up firing a shot from a loaded rifle into the chest of 24-year-old Jeffrey Charbonneau of Manchester, and he died.

(via J-Walk)