Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From Wichita to NYC: TSA Harasses Another Young Girl

Today's terrorism suspect
Don't these people ever learn? Oh, wait, I forgot. This isn't about airport security. It is about security theatre, the illusion of security.

With these two stories -- in two days -- of the TSA terrorizing children (which the TSA acknowledges ), one has to ask, whose side is the TSA on?


Here is today's story:


The Transportation Security Administration is once again the subject of national scrutiny, this time after aggressively screening a 7-year-old female passenger with cerebral palsy which caused her family to miss their flight.
The girl, identified as Dina Frank in a report by The Daily, was waiting with her family on Monday to board a flight departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York headed to Florida.
Since Dina walks with the aid of leg braces and crutches, she cannot pass through airport metal detectors, and must instead submit to a pat-down by TSA agents.
Dina, who is also reportedly developmentally disabled, is usually frightened by the procedure. Her family reportedly requests that agents on hand take the time to introduce themselves to her.
However, the agents on duty at the time began to handle her aggressively instead.
Air travel is difficult to the family due to Dina’s disabilities, but the nature of Monday’s inspection was especially traumatic for the child.“They make our lives completely difficult,” her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, a Long Island pediatrician, told The Daily. “She’s not a threat to national security.”
Frank taped the encounter, which ended when a supervisor inspected her crutches and let them pass. But agents followed up and insisted upon doing a full inspection of Dina.
Ultimately, the family missed their flight.
It has become more and more clear that the TSA is about "security theatre" (i.e., the illusion of security) rather than discerning and handling genuine threats. 
Increasingly, it also seems to be about bullying when they aren't standing around doing nothing or stealing from passengers' bags...and there have been many instances of TSA theft (including this one of a passenger's jacket while it was going through X-ray) since the summary story at the link was posted. 
Before I get my usual handful of emails from the TSA's defenders, please let me suggest you read this from a real security expert.
And, please, quit emailing me saying, "if you don't like the TSA, drive" now that the TSA is setting up roadblocks, checking buses (3 days ago is just the most recent!) and checking trains.
Rather than protecting us, the TSA has become the biggest threat to our liberty in my lifetime. 
The TSA needs to be disbanded, the nude-o-scopes decommissioned, and security returned to private contractors at the level it was before Sept. 11 (however, with checked bags being randomly inspected, the one good thing the TSA has done).

Update: 5:10pm CDT:  These stories are breaking almost faster than I can keep up with them. This story is less than an hour old:

Two current and two former Transportation Security Administration screeners were charged Wednesday with drug trafficking and bribery for allegedly allowing cocaine, speed and marijuana to pass through checkpoints at Los Angeles International Airport.

The indictment outlines five incidents where the screeners allegedly took payments as large as $2,400 to allow suitcases filled with drugs to pass through X-ray machines unhindered.
"The allegations in this case describe a significant breakdown of the screening system through the conduct of individuals who placed greed above the nation's security needs," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said.

Exit question: If these guys will take $2,400 to let drugs pass, why do we believe they wouldn't take $1,000,000 to let a bomb pass?

1 comment:

  1. And the denials go on....

    "The actions of a few do not reflect on the mission and behavior of over 60,000 other employees." Bull to the shit.

    By now we've got it memorized. Blogger Bob over at the TSABlog has his head so far in the sand he's breathing australian air.

    ReplyDelete