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Steven Frischling
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Fish has been covering aviation and transportation security issues since September 15, 2001, after walking away from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan following four days of documenting the worst aviation security disaster in history.

Having spent more than a decade-and-a-half as a full-time photojournalist, Fish now divides his time between building social media and social commerce strategies and solutions for global travel brands, along with researching aviation and transportation security.

Growing up at the end up New York's JFK International Airport's Runway 4R/22L probably explains Fish’s enjoyment of watching planes fly overhead. When not working or shooting photos, Fish can be found playing with (and cleaning up after) his three kids, chasing his dogs, standing in the kitchen cooking, monitoring radios public safety and federal radios and of course cheering for the Red Sox.

You can find Fish on Twitter at @flyingwithfish …and … join Fish every Thursday at 3:30pm EST as he hosts the weekly #TNI #Travel Chat on Twitter.

TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View

In the past few weeks since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented its new “enhanced” pat down procedures there has been considerable backlash from the traveling public. This backlash has been loud and angry … but what is not heard or seen in the media is the quiet resentment of this new policy within the TSA.

A few days ago I contacted 20 TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSO) to ask their opinions of the new “enhanced” pat downs. Of the 20 I reached out to, 17 responded. All 17 who responded are at airports where the new “enhanced” pat down is in place … and the responses were all the same, that front line TSOs do not like the new pat downs and that they do not want to perform them.  I expected most to not like the pat downs … but what I didn’t expect was that all 17 mentioned their morale being broken down.

Each of the 17 TSA TSOs that responded to me detailed their personal discomfort in conducting the new pat downs, with more than one stating that it is likely they are more uncomfortable performing the pat down than passengers are receiving them.

Some comments from these TSOs include:

It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another man’s private parts, their butt, their inner thigh. Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!”

Do you think I want to go to work and place my hands between women’s legs and touch their breasts for a few hours? For starters, I am attracted to men, not women and if I was attracted to women, it would not be the large number of passengers I handle daily that have a problem understanding what personal hygiene is.”

Yesterday a passenger told me to keep my hands off his penis or he’d scream. Is this how a 40 year old man in business attire acts? He’ll scream? My 3 year old can get away with saying he’ll scream, but a 40 something business man? I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job.  I do not want to be here all day touching penises.”

Being a TSO means often being verbally abused, you let the comments roll off and check the next person, however when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her, that is beyond verbal abuse.  I asked the woman if she thought I like touching other women all day and she told me that I probably did or I wouldn’t be with the TSA. I just want to tell these people that I feel disgusted feeling other peoples private parts, but I cannot because I am a professional.”

I was asked by some guy if I got excited touching scrotums at the airport and if it gave me a power thrill. I felt like vomiting when he asked that. This is not a turn on for me to touch me it is in fact a huge turn off. There is a big difference between how I pat passengers down and a molester molesting people.”

Aside from the issue of TSA TSOs being required to physically touch passengers in places they do not want to be touching them during the ‘enhanced’ pat down, morale is decreasing for front line TSOs, due in part to an increase in verbal abuse.  Each of the 17 TSOs who responded to me detailed a new level of verbal abuse they are experiencing at work.

The TSA has experienced a high level of turn over since its inception, however its turnover rate has decreased recently. With this decrease in morale, caused directly by a change in TSA policy, it is likely to begin experiencing a higher than average turn over again … which will further decrease the effectiveness of airport security.

Some comments from these 17 TSOs include:

Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.

I come to work to do my job. It is not up to me to decide policy, it is up to me to carry out my duties as dictated by the Transportation Security Administration. When a person stands in front of me and calls me a pervert or accuses me of molesting them it is disheartening. People fail to understand that neither of us are happy about the intrusive pat down I am carrying out.  I am polite, I am professional and while someone may not like what I have to carry out, they came to me because they choose not to utilize the alternative and less invasive method of security at my airport.

I served a tour in Afghanistan followed by a tour in Iraq. I have been hardened by war and in the past week I am slowly being broken by the constant diatribe of hateful comments being lobbed at me. While many just see a uniform with gloves feeling them for concealed items I am a person, I am a person who has feelings. I am a person who has served this country. I am a person who wants to continue serving his country. The constant run of hateful comments while I perform my job will break me down faster and harder than anything I encountered while in combat in the Army.

Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences.  I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.

There are multiple sides to every story, and I think the point of view of those on the front lines of the TSA, those required to carry on the policy and procedures created by the TSA, are an import part of this story. I think those organizing efforts to change the TSA’s policy should also consider the impact to the TSA TSOs.

Rather than dehumanize the TSA TSOs, work with them, understand their views and opinions and work together to change the current TSA policies.

Happy Flying!

865 Responses

  1. Work with them? This is their CHOSEN profession … reading those comments about serving their country in the role of a TSO makes me want to puke (the guy who served in Afghanistan excluded). They are a tool and are allowing themselves to be used as one. Don’t like it? Walk out – that will add pressure to the Federal Govt to stop this nonsense. I’m all for that.

    And since they seem to be confused – yes they are absolutely molesting the passenger when they put their hands between that passengers legs and on their breasts. The definition of molest is to harass or assault sexually. They are also abusing the passenger as that definition is mistreat: treat badly.

    Professionalism doesn’t replace the fact that they are doing something that not even a law enforcement officer is allowed to do, especially without clear suspicion of any unlawful behavior. That they are doing this by rote and because something might be somewhere is just sad, disgusting and goes against every tenet on which this country was built.

  2. Isn’t the real conclusion that the TSA’s process and strategy are misguided and ineffective. Perhaps the TSO’s are just as much victims as are travelers, but that does not mean travelers should not protest when the TSA policies are invasive and misguided – and perhaps TSOs can help to change the system by making their views known.

  3. Thanks for continuing to report all sides of the story. I’m not a big fan of the security theater, but taking it out on the front line officers who have to carry out the policy enacted by someone else who sits in an office all day is like blaming the clerk at the gas station for the price of the gas. Perhaps it’s time to start communicating to the people further up the line of command that we believe that their needs to be security but that we would like it to be reasonable and proactive instead of intrusive and reactive.

  4. TSA agent: “Do people know what a Nazi is?”

    German citizen in the early 1940s: “I’m not doing anything terrible. I’m just working at a train station where they’re loading passengers on these trains, bound for who knows where. I don’t hate them. I’m just doing my job. If I don’t do it, I could get in trouble. I have a family to feed. I’m serving my country.”

    “I’m just following orders” is not a defense for being complicit in violating the rights of your fellow human beings.

  5. It’s really nice to see this other side of the story. But what really warmed my heart reading this is that 100% of the people you talked to are feeling the heat. That means 100% of their bosses are feeling it, and that the traveling public will eventually get the change they want and deserve. This is too big to stop and the wave is going to crush the TSA.

    It is time to stop Security Theater. I have faith in Americans that they will calmly and bravely step up and recover their lost rights.


  6. Just because they are “just doing their job” doesn’t mean it is not their fault. I know it is next to impossible to find a new job these days, but I would rather move back in with my parents than have to do a job where I am expected to violate other people.

  7. Jason,

    Nazis rounded people up and exterminated them. The TSA, for all its faults, is not killing people nor attempting to commit genocide. The comparison between Nazis and the TSA is a stretch that people make just for shock value.

    Happy Flying!


  8. Very interesting.

    I feel some sympathy for the TSO’s, but ultimately it is their choice to work there. This is not a question of “but someone needs to do it”. This is theatre, pure and simple.

    These pat-downs are worse for the women, children, and yes even men who have been victims of sexual abuse.

    America, the TSA is violating your civil liberties. Stand up and fight the good fight.

  9. Work with them? Because they’re uncomfortable when they blatantly violate my 4th Amendment rights? Sorry, but no.

  10. “…but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments…”

    Well, I guess you should have stayed in school.

  11. Oops… I missed this part.

    “I am serving my country”

    THE PUNCHLINE! HA! Serving your country??? Who do you think you are? A soldier? A police officer? A fire fighter even?

  12. Last time I was in Washington D.C. I stopped by to see the Bill of Rights before it is abolished completely. None of these screening procedures can prevent a terrorist attack. It might catch a few amateurs, but it doesn’t take much for “professionals” to get around these procedures. It does teach law abiding citizens to give up their constitutional rights for a false sense of safety. It’s just one small step towards accepting a police state.

  13. Very intersting post. Thanks Fish.

  14. Fish, thank you for posting this.

    To be honest, I’ve never understood the urge to lash out at the low level grunt with vitriol. Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in both fast food and later in IT support so I’ve taken my fair share of nasty, horrid abuse by people who feel they are somehow ‘better’ than me and that I am somehow not a human because of my job or their frustration. I really do sympathize with the front line agents, but ….

    I hope the pressure and stress finaly wakes people up much higher, that we do NOT have security, what we have, as so many people involved with security are saying, is security theater. I hope this happens but I suspect it won’t. And I suspect that another lapse in security is what TPTB are waiting for.

    My experiance with TSA has been a mild to an unpleasant experience. They tend to be people who are unfamiliar with technology and gadgets, who are allowed little room to employ common sense, or to focus on human behaviors. As such, I don’t respect them. And in return they know this and don’t respect us. It’s a feedback of sorts. The tension and aggravation level s are already high.

    I travel from Atlanta a lot. I have not had “shocking” things happen to me but I’ve heard agents call passengers idiots for not knowing which line to use (yes, I filed a complaint.) I’ve seen agents push people, ignore questions, respond rudely, and threaten people that they won’t by flying and will be pulled out of line if they don’t hurry up or because they took a bin from the wrong pile. My outsider experiance tells me this agency is mismanaged, poorly trained, and frankly, lucky.

    I’ll be flying in December and I want to find a way to humanely show my feelings of violation and frustration. How do you suggest we do so during the process itself?

  15. He Jack QQ: Do TSA employees work for the federal government? Yes, therefore they are serving our country. The vast majority of policemen and firefighters aren’t technically serving our country, as they are paid by local governments, so you fail.
    I don’t see why all of you feel you need to be such jackasses, if you don’t want to be “molested”, go through the body scan like 99% of people. If you are too much of an idiot to go through that you can still kayak across the Pacific or drive across the country. Flying is a privilege, not a right, so it is no surprise you have to give up some rights. The TSA needs to drop the whole “opt out” option and make the body scan required, it’s safer, cheaper, easier, and people don’t whine about being consensually “molested”.

  16. Maria

    If you want to show your frustration, you fill out a TSA Comment Card. After that you contact he TSA and CC your e-mail to the TSA to your two Senators and Congressional Rep.

    Happy Flying!


  17. I will bitch about the TSA until I’m blue in the face. I’ll talk to anyone who will listen about the stupidity of the TSA policies, and the horrible things they do in the name of security theater.

    I WON’T yell at or insult an employee. While I don’t agree with their chosen profession, it’d be like yelling at your cab driver because he’s stuck in traffic.

    Karma is real. Want to bitch? Call your Senators.

    Does part of me think the employees could find another job? Sure. But you know what? Maybe there’s more to their situation I don’t know about – So it’s not my place to complain about THEM.

    But the idiots in Washington making completely inept and BS policies? I’ll rant till they shove a magnetometer up my butt. (Which I believe is in the 2011 SOP.)

  18. Peter

    I believe that is the 2011 Q3 SOP (kidding…OK maybe not) :0)

    Happy Flying!


  19. Well said, Mike (comment #9).

    As a lawyer, I clearly believe that they are two sides to every issue, every argument; however, I find it difficult to discuss the new TSA measures because I become so violently angry at the clear violation of citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure.

    This policy allows TSOs to “pat down” (which is an absurd bastardization of the term in this case) American citizens, assumed under the law to be innocent of any crime, in ways that a police officer is not allowed to touch a suspect in the face of probable cause of evidence of a crime. That is blatantly unconstitutional and every citizen should protest if they believe in the tenets of rights this country was founded upon.

    Of course I can understand that the TSOs are frustrated and typically don’t enjoy “patting down” passengers that object to the scan.

    That being said, TSOs are TSOs as willful employees and if they so greatly object to the TSAs policies, they should not be working for the TSA. The Nazi analogy is dead on – not every German citizen under the Third Reich was a Nazi, just as I’m sure that not every TSO agrees with the policy, but the fact of the matter is that in both cases these individuals are tacitly agreeing to the objectionable policies under the guise of “serving my country” and “its my job.”

    Violating a private citizen’s right against an unreasonable search and seizure is NOT your job.

    TSO employees need to put their money where their mouth is – if they feel that performing these pat downs is objectionable and abhorrent, then they need to STOP doing it. Don’t tell me how much you dislike violating my privacy rights, SHOW me.

    And I’m not even going to get into the potentiality for TSOs enjoyment of this pat down procedure. Of course I realize that the TSO that would enjoy this is rare, but I have no doubt that some exist.

    TSOs – you are violating the rights of your fellow citizens. If you believe in the Constitution, stop. I think losing a job is a far lesser sacrifice than that of our forefathers who died fighting for these rights against the British Empire.

  20. Hey, #16-American, the body scanners haven’t been shown to be safe (just ask the medical associations and pilots unions who are warning against them) and should not be used until they are properly tested.

  21. Pamela,

    Are you currently an attorney or are you presently a law student in Washington DC? Clarification would be appreciated.

    Additionally, the Nazi analogy is not dead on. As I have stated, I have my significant issues with the TSA, but they are not rounding people up and shipping them off to be exterminated in an attempt to commit genocide.

    Happy Flying!


  22. Damien,

    Numerous independent physicists have shown the backscatter scanners to emit less radiation than passengers are exposed to while flying. With the amount of radiation pilots are exposed to in flight one has to wonder why they do not lobby Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, etc to create better radiation protection for them while in flight.

    Happy Flying!


  23. Really? Comparing these workers to Nazis? That’s absurd to say the least. As Fish has already stated, they are not rounding up or exterminating anyone!

    Also, when you buy your plane ticket you AGREE to comply with the airport’s security measures. If you have that big of a problem with the security measures, don’t buy the ticket. No one is being forced to fly and nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Americans have the right to fly on a commercially owned airplane without having to follow airport policies. True, the TSOs could quit their jobs, but in this economy it would be suicide. On the other hand, you could simply not fly… I’m getting married in Tennessee in January and I’m not flying there; my fiancé and I are driving.

    If I needed to travel somewhere that required me to fly, I would not hesitate to buy my ticket and go through the scanner at security. Yes, I’ve seen what the scans look like and yes, I’ve also seen (thanks to a commentor on the Lifehacker article) what the image looks like with the colors inverted. It’s essentially a naked picture. However, I’m not too concerned with that considering how many freely available naked pictures there are online.

    My bottom line:
    If you don’t like the security methods, don’t fly. Boycott the airlines and state your mind, but don’t harass the TSOs who are doing their job and carrying out the policy that YOU AGREED TO COMPLY WITH when you purchased your ticket.

    **This was typed and sent through my phone; please excuse any typos.**

  24. Alysha

    Keep in mind that TSA WBI scanners cannot store or transmit images while in service in the field … it simply can’t happen with the current hardware … so the images will never end up colour inverted. As soon as someone passes through the scanner the image must be wiped for the next image to appear.

    Happy Flying!


  25. Fish,

    The reason for little protection from high altitude radiation is *weight*.

    The greater the weight of the aircraft, the fewer passengers & cargo it can safely carry. I’m hold a private pilot’s certificate (single engine land, complex) and weight is a serious issue in aircraft.

    My brother-in-law flies for Delta, and is exposed to more radiation in a week of work that most people realize.

    This is a serious issue, plus do we even know if the radiation of these machines is calibrated properly?

    Do not even get me started on the 4th amendment issues. Since “W” was in office, the bill of rights and the Constitution have been constantly picked at and picked at and when you criticize this, you are labeled “Anti-American.”

    This BS needs to stop, we’re swiftly becoming a police state!

    Dave (Texas)

  26. Dave

    Calibration is an issue, which I believe is tested on a set schedule … however the radiation is less than being a passenger on a flight, so the argument is fairly well void.

    Happy Flying!


  27. Fish,

    I am a third year law student and meet the District of Columbia’s requirements to act as an attorney in a court of law.

    Furthermore, I have worked for three different law enforcement agencies in my career and am very familiar with the scope of the Fourth Amendment.

    While TSOs are not as you say, “rounding people up and shipping them off to be exterminated in an attempt to commit genocide,” they *are* actively enforcing a policy that is illegal under the United States Constitution and that many of them find personally questionable.

    The parallels to the Third Reich are clear.

    Both situations are instances of citizens violating the rights of other citizens simply because they have been told to by their government. However, unlike the German people living during the 1930s and 40s, American TSOs have the option not to perform these searches. TSOs have the choice to follow the policies, or leave the employ of the TSA until the policies change.

    If TSOs admit the scans and pat downs are illegal and feel they should not be performing them, they have a duty to their fellow citizens not to.

  28. I purchased my holiday travel tickets in August. At the time of purchase, the policy did not include enhanced patdowns, and the AIT machines were much more rare.

    Yes, in purchasing my ticket I did forfeit my 4th Amendment rights in order to board an airplane.

    As a matter of fact, as a government contractor subjected to HSPD-12 and other background investigations, the government has had access to any information they want to know about me: medical records, financial records, psychological records.

    Having spent years as a military brat, the government was the one who KEPT my medical and psychological records for a portion of my life. They know who I am, they know all about my veteran father, and all about my veteran sister.

    I’ve toured government facilities where the MPs had the authority to shoot me if I acted out of line. The signage told me exactly that.

    In theory, the government has the *right* to search me and my belongings every time I go to work.

    I have never had to go through a search like the TSA threatens. Given the choice between a) naked pictures, b) groping, or c) $11k fine, I choose (c).

    As for the Nazi comment, I see both sides of it. I agree that it is too extreme in that TSA is not rounding up people for death. (Yet.)

    OTOH, I also agree that the TSA agents who agree to “Just follow orders” in this… will continue to “just follow orders” for the next step, body cavity searches. And continue to “just follow orders” for the step beyond that.

    Anyone remember the electric shock sociology experiment? Most people will continue to “just follow orders” to the point of delivering what they believe to be a lethal shock.

    Whether the TSA agent likes it or not, whether they intend to get a thrill out of it or not, they are touching other peoples “junk” against anyone’s will, and that IS molestation. The government has owned every other part of my life, but my body is MINE ALONE.

  29. Alysha,

    Under the Fourth Amendment, citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures.

    While you are right in your points that flying is not a right and passengers do need to submit to the private regulations of airlines in order to do so, the TSA is a government agency.

    The body scans and “enhanced” pat downs are beyond the scope of even a search that police officers are allowed to perform with probable cause. The fact of the matter is, not all citizens have the option to stop utilizing airports and frankly, they shouldn’t have to in order to avoid violation of their inalienable rights.

  30. To the TSOs who are former military:

    Thank you for your service to this country.

    However, I believe it is still US military policy that a soldier is expected to refuse an immoral order. Violating 4th amendment rights by groping passengers is an immoral order. As a moral citizen in service to your country, I would expect you to follow the same standard and refuse to follow it.

    You can best continue to serve your country by putting your money where your mouth is and joining us in a boycott and protest of this illegal policy.

    Let’s be fair, the whole point of these “enhanced pat down techniques” is to make people sufficiently uncomfortable that they’ll use the backscatter machines. As Jeff Greenberg has pointed out, they don’t include a cavity search so they’re incomplete searches anyway. The point of them is to be uncomfortable.

    At that point, whether the backscatter machines are “safe” or not is a moot point for me. That’s a despicable and unacceptable way for my government to behave.

    If you’re uncomfortable groping a few dozen strangers a day who are yelling at you about it… maybe it’s your conscience telling you something.

  31. >> Do TSA employees work for the federal government? Yes, therefore they are serving our country.

    Wrong! Just because someone works for the federal government does not mean they are serving the country.

  32. I also think that these TSA staff members should not have to touch my lady parts on a regular basis. What many Americans do not realize is that in December and January, ALL Passengers flying into the US from another country had to undergo very similar pat downs as are being described. Not some, not those opting out, but all passengers.

    Flying home for us was fine; we weren’t subjected to these invasive pat downs. So only some of the flights were “secure” according to the TSA logic. All a terrorist would have to do is to fly into the US with regular underwear and then blow up the plane on a flight on the way out.

    Given that my pat down involve a lengthy probing, pushing, pinching of my sanitary pad along with many questions as to “what I had down there”, I feared that I was going to be strip searched. I *was* embarrassing. It was more than just annoying or weird. It was surreal. It was disturbing. It was not just a pat down. It meant that the rest of my pat down was even more through, under my bra, down the back of my underwear, etc.

    Not that I would want a private screening, but because all passengers were required to have this search, no private areas were available. These pat downs happened at the gate area.

    All I could think of at the time was that this was too much, too far, inappropriate search. It was kind of like obscenity: I didn’t know exactly where the line was, but I knew it had been crossed.

    And before someone starts throwing the foreigner card around, I am a US citizen. I should have had protections. These rules were implemented by our security groups, but at the demand of the TSA.

    I watched the approximately 13 year old girl in line ahead of me being grouped much the same way I had been, with the same sort of concentration about something “down there”. I would have been mortified at her age. She was crying.

    Something is wrong with this whole picture. Yes, I want secure flights. There has to be a better way. The AIT is one way, but there is no guarantee that if you choose that you won’t still be groped if you have medical devices, tampons, sanitary napkins, colostomy bags or a number of other perfectly normal devices.

  33. The TSA is collaborating with the terrorists and doing their bidding.

  34. Hi Fish,
    People with serious clues in medical imaging have written to people who
    count on this issue:


    and I’m going to take their word over the word of the TSA about damaging
    effects on my health.

    I’m not surprised that the people who bothered to respond to you are
    demoralised by this procedure – they’re probably the ones who have half a
    clue about right and wrong. On the flip side, lower morale means TSOs
    are going to care less about how they treat the flying public, and we’re all
    going to suffer more.

    I don’t buy the argument that when I buy an airline ticket I give up my right to
    not be searched and my good seized without due cause, or without due
    process. That’s the government inserting itself into a contract between the
    airline and me. And I am NOT going to submit to the scanners – that’s
    ionizing radiation delivered to my skin (only) at high speed, which is NOT
    medically sanctioned. As somebody who has a history of cancer in the family,
    and who’s had skin cancers cut out of me, wtf would I voluntarily go through
    something which has non-zero chance of taking me out of remission.

    an Australian who is NOT going to spend his money on holidays to the USA
    ever again.

  35. And the people that worked the Nazi concentration camps were just doing their jobs too….

    With 2.59 million feq miles I let AA know yesterday that I am done with flying. Called the the AA Plat Desk and let them know… then called SWA corporate to let them know also. A friend who is a senior VP at Dell did the same yesterday also.

  36. First let me say, I agree with Kim (#28) sentiments. I was born into the military, served in the military & have worked for government nearly my entire life, be it federal or local. The government has had everything of me & unfortunately may know me better than myself, but my body is my body.
    Having said that, I would opt for the scanner, however I expect to be given the inappropriately named “pat down” treatment, because of certain metals left in my body from serving my country. I do NOT look forward to it, but like any physical, I will endure it & voice my opinion, both in restrained verbal and more in depth written.
    However, my biggest issue is the children. The TSO’s are NOT a trained group as is evidenced by the multiple variations at which they all perform their duties. I do not want an untrained strange adult touching my daughter in any way that makes her uncomfortable. I’ve taught her to yell, scream, kick & hit if someone ever does. I will not unteach that for any TSO. It may one day save her life better than any TSA policy. As part of the “working with the TSA” is to have PROPER training, and to have specific TSO’s with specialized training on how to touch a child. Additionally, I would demand that the same courtesies afforded children at a doctor’s office be allowed. How much easier would the “inspection” of a child be if the parent was able to hold the child’s hand even?
    I’ve travelled with my daughter as an infant & had to endure an unenlightened TSO try to make my daughter walk through a scanner before she could crawl, or attempt to detain me as my then 18 month old daughter tried to wander off by herself out of the TSA area, telling me to “Just call her back.”
    Maybe because the TSA has a high turnover rate, they choose not to waste money on training their TSOs but would rather just throw ineffective policies up and hope the traveling public nor the airlines complain about loss of rights or revenues. I would like to be the one to say, “I’ll never fly commercial again.” But the reality is, I have to fly commercial to get home, from an economic & geographic standpoint. I don’t have a viable option at this time. I have not heard back yet on my suggestion to the TSA. I assume it has fallen on deaf ears when I hear them say, “Well, just don’t fly.” But still, I threw an idea out there.
    Maybe it’ll take an airline going bankrupt because people have opted not to fly before the TSA is reigned in since the flying masses are being ignored.
    **This was typed on my phone. Please excuse any typos, repeats, or grammatical errors. Mahalo.**

  37. The radiation emitted from these machines is most likely safe for most people most of the time, however I don’t think that anyone can say with 100% certainty that they pose no risk whatsoever. Certainly the TSA’s own creditability has been damaged over the issue of image security. They claim there is no network or storage capability in these machines, clearly this is not true. These features may be disabled or only available to administrators who service the equipment, but in any event the TSA is either being intentionally cagey or has serious public relation problems.
    As to the veterans out there who work for the TSA, I share your frustration. I have deployed overseas in wartime and often wondered whether my hard work and sacrifice was for any other purpose than to service some politicians agenda.
    In the end “doing what you are told” will not stand up well when compared to doing what is right. My advice is to find work that is rewarding and meaningful, even if it means taking a pay cut.

  38. I’m glad to see deeper sort of reflection on the part of TSOs than I expected, due to almost ten years worth of poor experience with members of the organization. I sort of feel for them, they are victims in this as well. But they can’t expect people to thank them when all they engage on day in and day out is assaults on personal dignity of the passengers.

    The reason why they are hearing all those nasty things, is because after being humiliated the natural thing for the passenger to do, that seems to restore a modicum personal dignity is taking the anguish out on the “assailant”. And that’s the real tragedy here. Maybe it’s petty, maybe it’s not the TSO’s fault, maybe they are just implementing policy – but day in and day out thousands of people are walking away deeply humiliated. I don’t even care why, it’s the results that matter – disturbed angry men and crying women. The TSOs are bearing the brunt of the backlash, and you know, I’m glad it hurts. At least it shows they’re human.

    TSA doesn’t seem like it’s going to be changing its ways any time soon. Maybe it’s time for people who are truly not comfortable with this to abandon the system, for their own karmic wellbeing if nothing else. If they want to serve their country they should take a cue from their fellow citizens – right now they aren’t doing it right.

    Me and my girlfriend are simply avoiding air travel altogether until things settle down.

  39. When you purchase a ticket you do not waive your constitutional rights.

    One can argue that what the TSA is doing is not a violation of the rights set out in the 4th Amendment. But if the TSA’s procedures *are* a violation of those rights (and this is something to be determined by a court of law), then you are not able to contract out of those rights.

  40. I’ve seen decent, noble behavior some/most of the time on the part of the TSA agents – I’ve also seen some particularly abhorrent behavior on too many occasions as well – a lot. (a couple of times at the Columbus, OH CMH airport in particular for some reason)

    I realize that the TSA people don’t like and for the most part don’t deserve to be treated poorly by the flying public – but where is the outrage from fellow TSA workers when on or more of their colleagues behave badly to passengers? Does anything happen, or do they hide behind a veil of “solidarity” for their “fellow” TSA agent? Just like the cop wannabes they think they are . . . who want to unionize!!! (and claim, what, disrespect as some sort of career-ending disability entitling them to a desk job and a tax-payer funded pension for life?)

    I realize that the incident in the following link is 2 years old, but attitudes and behaviors haven’t changed much . . .


    The scanners can’t store pictures??? Seems that I’ve seen several press accounts of supposed “non-storable” pictures showing up after the fact and other various accounts of TSA scanner operators behaving in some such deplorable behavior.

    I’m sorry, but as hard as I want to try, I have a hard time looking at this agency as a group of professionals, maybe unfairly on my part, but unless I see and hear otherwise myself, it’s gonna take more that felling sorry for the TSA to change my mind.

  41. As to the body scan – at the moment it’s basically a strip search. It should be common sense that some people won’t agree to it, whether out of principle or modesty. And besides, as a software engineer I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that those images can be stored, even if you guys haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

    I feel like the new stylized scanners that are coming in the future would resolve that situation adequately with the stick figure display and no agent in a faraway cave, but at the moment that’s how it is.

    Oh, and male TSOs – stop leering at my girlfriend, it’s ridiculous and inappropriate.

  42. I don’t feel one bit sorry for the TSA agents. If they find this job so distasteful, then they should find another job. Otherwise, they should just put up and shut up.

  43. Kim,
    You say TSOs touch people’s “junk” against their will, which is totally false. They have to request it, which makes it consensual, so epic fail.
    it is absolutely despicable to compare TSOs to Nazis, it’s fairly depressing that there are lawyers that are that messed up in the brain.

  44. While I don’t think the TSA officers are Nazi’s, they cannot hide behind “I’m just following orders”. People have a personal responsibility in carrying out orders.

    Filling out a TSA complaint card is not a valid option. The TSA is well aware of the problems with their new procedures. Filling out a card is a validation of the TSA as an organisation. The TSA is not a valid organisation in it’s current form.

    There is no way to make life secure. Eliminating unnecesary risk is good, but wanting to eliminate every risk is impossible. And unwanted, because it means giving up freedom.

    If buying a ticket means giving up your rights, there is something seriously wrong. You can’t give up your rights. They are your rights, whatever the circumstances.

    The whole radiation issue a sidestep from the core problem. A false sense of security. Even with the bodyscanners, security is not guaranteed and cannot be guaranteed.

    Saying scanners can’t store pictures is a half-truth. While the scanners themselves can’t store pictures, the machines connected to the scanners are very much capable of storing pictures, and do so.

    America, the brave? America, the free?

    Right now, America is becoming the coward of the world. It should be a beacon that shows other countries what it’s like to be really free. Instead, it shows what happens if you give in to bullying.

  45. Fish.
    I have to agree with others. The TSO complaining about being called a Nazi is off base. They are “just following orders” and that is no excuse for violating the constitution. No idea if TSOs take the oath similar to those in the military or not but it states you’re to uphold the constitution. To hide behind orders is what easily 90% of the nazis did. I am sure most didn’t approve of the plan, but feared retribution. Isnt this what the TSOs are doing? Following the plan they claim to not support for fear of retribution.

    The real problem seems to be that you and the TSO are thinking every nazi was like the leaders who were ordering the procedure instead of all of them that were actually in the party serving their country.

    And now we come to the serving our country and being a patriot. Come the bleep on. You’re doing a job you chose to do. Its not like you’re in the army now and can’t leave for 2,3,4 or 6 years of your own free will.

    Too many people try to claim they’re heros and patriots by just doing their job. Hate me for my comments but doing your job does not make you a hero in ANY case.

  46. Alysha DeShaé,

    You should get married in Hawaii and drive there.

  47. Jack,

    Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Future posts made by you are subject to being moderated.

    Happy Flying!


  48. I hate the TSA agents feel bad about their job requirements. But, this reinforces the fact that deep down they are doing something wrong.

    They are, any where else their actions during a pat-down would be considered sexual assault and be subject to arrest and punishment (especially when perpetrated upon a 13 child, you would be a pedophile).

    Make no mistake these pat-downs are nothing more punitive/psy-warfare designed to get the traveling public to respond the way the TSA/government wants. You are being trained just like a dog, make something unpleasant to gain a desirable behavior.

    The following orders argument has never held up as a defense. You are legally bound to refuse an unlawful order. If you are that uncomfortable find another job where you can be proud of it.

    I can personally attest to extremely bad behavior and abuse by TSA agents at both Atlanta and LAX. People are going to continue dishing out verbal abuse to the TSA as long as these draconian methods are in use. It may not be right but it is understandable.

    As a suggestion, why doesn’t the TSA use a tried and true method of bomb material detection. Dog use has proven to work and is much more pleasant to traveling public.

    As far as not flying, I choose defend my constitutional rights and enjoy the freedoms therein. BTW freedom does NOT guarantee safety. I do not wish to live a nanny state, if you do feel free to stay home.


  49. “So only some of the flights were “secure” according to the TSA logic.”

    This is the case with many TSA policies. They are not enforced in a uniform manner. Some airports are much less secure than others. I guess they don’t realize that you can go through security in a less secure airport and then fly to the bigger one and not have to pass through security again.

  50. I dunno — people urging these TSO’s to quit: Would you rather that the TSA were staffed entirely by officers who *are* perverts? These people took these jobs because they thought they might be making the country safer, and suddenly they’re put into this awkward position, not part of the original job description at all. I’m glad to hear that they don’t like it, hope with others that that means they’ll add to the pressure for reform, but I’m not sure that having them all quit really solves anything, other than making it that much more likely that you *will* get a leer and extra groping from the replacements…

  51. […] Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View document.write(”); http://boardingarea.com/flying…point-of-view/ A few days ago I contacted 20 TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSO) to ask their opinions of […]

  52. Fish:

    You need to review the difference between “analogy” and “equivalence.” An analogy shows a common pattern or characteristic shared between two things, intended in rhetoric to illustrate a deeper principle or further an argument. An equivalence is used to suggest that something is fundamentally like something else in all relevant respects. So if someone says “TSOs are Nazi stormtroopers” or “TSOs are just like the SS” then you have a valid objection to the Nazi comparison.

    If, however, the TSOs say, “I’m just following orders,” while doing something wrong, and people rightly point out that we didn’t accept that argument out of actual Nazis who strip searched people and confiscated their belongings in support of an illegal and immoral policy, then while people aren’t saying TSOs should be hung at Nuremberg because they’ve killed people, they are saying that they are excusing actions in support of an unconstitutional, immoral, and useless policy with the same argument we didn’t accept in 1945/46.

    So if you’re prepared to accept that argument now, you’re prepared to say that “just following orders” is an OK excuse so long as you didn’t actually kill people. And that means that any actual Nazis who didn’t kill people were wrongly convicted, and you’re against that.

    If you can’t stand that conclusion, then you have to say why that principle doesn’t apply here, and come up with some justification that following illegal and immoral orders is OK when the result isn’t death for the person whose rights are violated.

    I can’t come up with that justification, which is why I have no sympathy for police who get civil rights lawsuits for violating the rights of people even though they weren’t seeking to kill them. And similarly, while I don’t want to abuse the TSOs, I also don’t want them to think I approve of their actions and will let them know it. And if they say they were just following orders, I’ll remind them that we didn’t accept that excuse out of Nazis, don’t accept that excuse out of people working for Bernie Madoff, and I don’t accept that excuse out of them.

  53. I’m pretty sure we as Western Civilization decided in 1946 that “I was just following orders” isn’t an acceptable excuse. If you work for the government, you’re personally responsible for the orders you carry out on its behalf. That’s the nature of civil service. Boo hoo for the TSA screeners pwecious feelings.

  54. I have to say, regardless of whether they feel bad about molesting people, people still have a right to be hurt because they are being molested. I feel bad for these people but they can’t expect to be exempt from the shame of molesting people just because someone else told them to.

  55. I say the faster we can break the TSOs the faster we can change the policy. I’m sorry – they’re crying about unkind words? We’re being assaulted by them for goodness sake. Who has the worse end of that stick? If the TSA can’t find anyone to do the job, then so be it. Much like we have the “choice” not to fly, these people have the “choice” not to work for an employer that requires them to sexually molest people hundreds of times a day. Cry me a river! TSOs ARE Nazis, perverts, and creeps. If you don’t like being informed of your loathsome character – quit. I won’t fly, and you shouldn’t work for the TSA.

  56. I’m not American, and I know the rules might be different, but I did screening for 5 years at an airport on Canada. Let me say that without a doubt it was the worst job I’ve ever had… and hopefully ever will have. You feel like your trying to help keep people safe, but no one cares, you get yelled at (and for one coworker kicked) for doing your job. I understand people are angry about these new pat-downs, even I think they sound too invasive (compared to the old style). But being an asshole to the TSOs will not help you’re cause. You’re just breaking down a person, someone just like you. You might think you could never do that job or be that person, but you don’t know circumstances behind why someone is in the job that they are. So yes work together with the TSO, talk to them about what they’re doing, ask then how they feel a about it, encourage them to talk to their supervisors. Don’t scream rape, pervert, etc at their faces. Be polite. Becaus even if a TSO quits there’s plenty of people that comes in to replace them. But only this time you’re getting searched by someone new, and slower than the original officers. Write to people in your government, protest outside of Washington, but please don’t a douche. Despite the job being horrible the people I worked with were (for the most part) really fun, and wonderful people. TSOs are not all Nazis. It’s time to get rid of this immature us vs. them attitude, because it won’t get anyone any decent results.

  57. I agree it would suck to be a TSA agent and have to do this job. But they are choosing not to quit, or to refuse to do this. I don’t think comparing them to Nazi’s is out of the question; they did they job they were told to do. Also reminds me of the Milgram experiment:

  58. American,
    The choices currently given to those selected for additional screening by the TSA are, a) the AIT scanners, b) the “enhanced” patdown procedure, c) leave the airport under threat of a civil lawsuit and a $11k fine.

    From my research on health care, an unexpected $11k expense is sufficient to bankrupt many Americans.

    My personal policy is that the original patdowns (back of hand) is acceptable. Looking but not touching by a same-gender agent is acceptable, but photography of is not.

    Therefore, if I am selected for additional screening, I will opt-out of the AIT scanner.

    I will not consent to an enhanced patdown.

    I will have the TSA number on my cell phone, and offer the agent to use their HumInt information to pull all my data and determine whether I truly pose a threat to the country I love. I consider terrorism against my own country an act of treason. (Terrorism against another country is an unacceptable act of violence.) If my country considers me to be treasonous, then it needs to fire me.

    I will offer the same-gender agent selected to pat me down the option to take me to a private room, where they can examine my clothes without me in them, provided the private room has no cameras.

    I will be polite and courteous with the TSOs performing their duties. But these are my boundaries. Look, don’t touch, and no photos.

    If none of these options are acceptable, I will not fly.

    I do not take kindly to the threat of a lawsuit and an $11k fine. But I will defend myself in court if necessary, and let the legal system work its course.

  59. I’m sorry – when a woman tells a TSO that when they are touching and groping her breasts and genitalia it feels like they are molesting her, I can’t work up any sympathy for the TSO considering that ‘verbal abuse’. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, ANYONE touching my body without my consent and approval will be molesting me, even moreso if it is being done under duress (Do you want to fly today?) If a TSO feels ‘verbally abused’, imagine how that woman feels? Perhaps she was also a survivor of sexual abuse.

    We hear constantly that ‘flying is not a right’. But I have a right to freely travel the US. I don’t have a specific right to drive or ride a bike or take a train or any other form of conveyance – are those of you who say ‘flying is not a right’ prepared to let the police frisk you for no reason any time they want every time you step onto a public right-of-way? After all, if it’s going to make us safer, and you have nothing to hide, you should have absolutely no problem with it.

    For those TSOs who are prior service – thank you for your sacrifice to our country. However, the oath I took was to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I would not take a civilian job that required me to violate that oath once, let alone all day every day. I’d work a double shift cleaning up manure at a stockyard first. I’d live homeless on the street first. But that’s just me. My allegiance is and has always been to the Constitution of the United States first, and to my CiC second. If my CiC demanded I violate the Constitution, my allegiance to him or her is gone.

    Remember – our government answers to us. We do not answer to it. The minute we forget that and allow our RIGHTS to be usurped, we are lost.

  60. If there were a viable alternative to flying for those of us who live more than a two-day drive from our loved ones, I’d be happy to tolerate all the ‘if you don’t like it, you don’t have to fly’ comments.

    If you really think that these ‘you consent to whatever because you want to fly’ arguments are valid, why not offer a REAL choice. Have some high-security terminals with electronic strip searches and invasive hand-searches (hell, why not go one step further and do a cavity search). And then have other terminals with more reasonable magnetometers-and-luggage-xray security. Let people choose what level of security they want.

    The bottom line is that none of this is necessary. If you bought one lottery ticket in the past 30 years, you are more likely to have won than to have been killed by terrorists if you’d flown twice a week every week for the last 30 years. With those odds, it is unconscionable for the TSA to force people to risk their lives on far more dangerous highways if they’re uncomfortable with being strip-searched – electronically or otherwise.

    And the TSOs who enforce this policy, if you really find it as distasteful as you claim, need to refuse to do it. If we have a ‘choice’ not to fly, then surely you have a choice whether to implement a policy which causes distress and discomfort to both you and the public you serve, without providing meaningful protection. Frankly, to do otherwise is to harm the country you claim to serve.

  61. TSA workers WHO KNOW THIS IS WRONG, SHOULD NOT SHOW UP TO WORK ON THE 24th. TSA workers, just because you are following orders does not mean you cannot Protest. As you dehumanize us, we too realize they are dehumanizing you. Join the protest and DO NOT SHOW UP FOR WORK ON THE 24th Till they give you back your dignity!!

  62. Radiated or molested some choice.How about use your brains and profile .For all you people saying it saves lives never has any terrorist been caught this way . Period.

  63. […] After posting this I discovered TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View, which shows pretty clearly that many of the screeners know what they’re doing is wrong.] Filed […]

  64. […] don’t want to do it: I actually understand this one to a degree. http://flyingwithfish.boardingarea.com/2010/11/18/tsa-enhanced-pat-downs-the-screeners-point-o…. TSA agents don’t like this anymore than we do, but they still have a personal choice to make. In […]

  65. I wonder if the other 3 enjoy it.

  66. […] Frischling over at Flying with Fish has posted a interesting article about the responses he received from 17 TSA agents about how they feel about the new pat downs and […]

  67. Wow. I was planning to attend an annual convention in Manhattan and visit my daughter in New Jersey in January. This is unimaginably horrible. I’m thinking that I should just stay home. Maybe we should all just stop flying.

  68. So, telling those people how disgusting and offensive is what they are doing actually works. Deep under their uniforms and badges they do have conscience that tells them there’s something wrong with what they are doing, and maybe groping fellow citizen’s scrotum is not how you defend your country. This is very good. Now if only more people would not be afraid to openly express their feelings about what is being done to people that actually are doing it – it may stop quite soon. If ordinary TSA people refuse to do it, then either this will stop or the bureaucrats that invented this idiocy would have to come out of their cabinets and do it themselves.
    The worst part of it is that it hurts all citizens on both sides of the security check, but only by keeping up with not accepting the abuse we can hope it would eventually stop. If we submit to it under the guise of “they are nice guys just wanting to protect us” it will only get worse.

  69. Lets pray they all get cancer from the xray machines. They are sick perverted scum, it will only get worse as only the sickets remain. You do not want your children in an airport.

  70. I could not possibly care less. Seriously. Not setting policy is no excuse for not standing up for what you believe in. If you don’t like performing these molestations, if you feel they are morally wrong…refuse to perform them, or simply quit. I find their pathetic mewling repulsive.

  71. “Just doing my job”

    Ugh. We are ALL responsible for our society. Just fking refuse. Sounds like the type of excuse German concentration camp guards would have had after the war, or those responsible for holding political prisoners in communist countries.

    Take a stand.

  72. don’t harass the TSOs who are doing their job and carrying out the policy that YOU AGREED TO COMPLY WITH when you purchased your ticket.

    But that’s not the case. My contract is with the airline, and I’m adhering completely to their conditions of carriage, just as I’m expecting the airline to fulfill those requirements completely.

    However, TSA is requiring me to submit to security policies that they themselves classify as “secret” and will not release. And threatening people with fines for breaking laws that only they know about.

  73. Fish,
    Re: comment #22 to Damien:
    Your statement has been shown to not be entirely correct. Professionals in the xray and physics field have written this letter to the government in their concern over the lack of medical safety with these scanners:
    Until I see that time has been taken to actually do the research around these scanners and their affects, I will not be going through them.
    And, I will be civil and polite to the people who will then have to feel me up (pat me down), while still voicing my dislike for the policy.
    I have already contacted my Senators and written letters to the TSA, and must now look for other ways to get these policies turned around.

  74. To the TSA agents who are hating your job.

    If you hate your job, quit. You were not drafted. You are not “serving” your fellow citizens. You are not doing a single thing that increases air travel security. (The only post 9/11 changes that have actually increased air travel security are reinforcing the cockpit door, and the passengers will now not sit quietly and wait for rescue).

    If you have a job that is useless and hateful, QUIT, and go do something that actually improves the world. I understand that WalMart is always hiring greeters…

  75. […] pre-flight burrito with extra beans and peppers.)  The agents themselves are already starting to dislike these new procedures, I think a little more motivaiton is all that’s needed to add a little more pressure form the […]

  76. Seems to me that the Medina Standard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina_standard) applies here.

  77. […] comment on Schneier’s post led me to this: TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View on the Flying with Fish blog. The screeners who responded to FWF’s questions don’t […]

  78. To those people who say the TSOs should just quit or refuse to implement the new security policies its not that easy. Because the only thing that will happen is the person will get suspended or fired. And of course many might think “great, no more TSO officers” but there’s always someone they can hire. It’s a low paying job, that a lot of people will take, sometimes because they think they’re making a difference (like I naively did when I first worked security) and other times because it might be the only job available to them. Even if there’s only 5 officers, an airport will still run… but the lines will be longer, and waiting time will increase. And if it shuts down then what? You can’t just assume that if all the TSOs in the country quit that security will disappear, it won’t.

    Instead what needs to happen across the board in the US and other countries is people need to lobby their politicians and government. This site is trying to do something: http://flywithdignity.org/get-involved/ – bitching and complaining on the internet won’t solve problems. Calling people names won’t do anything. Treat people with respect and you’ll get a lot more answers. Treat people like shit, and you’ll cause more pain, for everyone. Just a question because I don’t fly from the US that often, do the TSOs inform passengers of what they’ll be doing, do they ask permission to search? For us we had to ask permission, and if a person refused to go through the screening point they could return to are before security, without being sued or labelled a threat.

    In my opinion airport security needs to adopt and implement the techniques that El Al uses in Israel. They have the best airport security record of any country. And they’ve been doing things right before 9/11, backscatter images, and enhanced pat downs.

  79. […] found this account of how some TSA screeners feel while I was reading Schneier’s summary of the whole scanner issue. Most of you who have seen […]

  80. Nobody is forcing you to get on a plane. You don’t like the security, take a bus. Drive. Walk. Or maybe you’d rather have a jet fly into the Sears Tower, or the White House, or the Capital. Or blow up with your wife and kiddies on it.

  81. As others have mentioned, no one’s calling TSO’s Nazis, but it’s completely apt to bring up that “Befehl ist Befehl” (“orders are orders”) did not fly in Nuremberg:

    “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under [international] law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

    This is not to say that there isn’t legal precedence otherwise (My Lai was in some ways a reversal), but morally speaking… well, the TSO’s *should* be feeling horrible. Because they are acting in a way that’s socially reprehensible (why they’re being treated by the public the way they are), but choose to continue to do so.

    TSO’s that believe they’re serving their country should perhaps brush up on their civics and think long and hard about what kind of future they are contributing to. In terms of their contribution to public safety, they also might want to think about all the terrorists they’ve caught with their procedures, and how those resources might be spent in *actual* security.

    All that being said, I’m sympathetic to the TSOs. That they continue to “do their job” despite ethical qualms otherwise serves only to help propagate these policies. But then again, air travelers are also faced with this same ethical quandary. Do I want to get to where I need to be, or do I choose not to fly?

  82. Eliminate the Gate Rapists

    “I just want to tell these people that I feel disgusted feeling other peoples private parts, but I cannot because I am a professional.”

    “I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    Newsflash. You are not “professionals” and you are not “serving your country.” You are skill-less clowns who have attached yourself to the Federal salary teat. You are bit players in the Security Theater boondoggle.

  83. It really is simple. Either you are part of the problem, or you are part of the solution. There is absolutely no way that this “Security Theater” can be justified as being an effective means of fighting terrorism. My 4th Amendment rights are not up for grabs. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” What part of that is difficult to understand? All TSA “Officers” (I use that term loosely) should immediately refuse to perform any additional nude scanning OR sexual assaults.

  84. WTF? These people are doing their job? How farking long can you use that excuse? You either follow the constitution or you don’t. Maybe they should file suit against their employer and strike at the same time. I’m sick of all the people that would rather give away their freedoms, so many people have given their life to protect, this bs makes me want to puke. People need to grow a pair and stop living in FEAR. You might die on the way home tonight, trust in god and do your do diligence but for the love of God don’t give up your freedoms in the name of terror.

  85. Kim,
    You say, “I will not consent to an enhanced patdown.” When, in fact, you are saying you want to be patted down. You have one option that won’t touch you in the least, and you say no, I want to be “molested”, which, by definition, is consent.
    Also, by the logic “they follow orders, therefore they are like the Nazis” every single one of you who has a job is also a Nazi, because you follow the orders of your boss.
    And also, trying to fight the fine will just result in 11k plus legal fees. You can’t murder someone in cold blood and then get off because you think you don’t deserve punishment or that the victim deserved to die, which is analogous to fighting an $11k fine that you knew you would get.

  86. To all of you fools who think that security is theater, when is the last time an airliner departed from the US and was either hijacked and crashed or blown up? Oh yea, 9/11, before the vast majority of these policies were implemented. Without many of the things the TSA does there would be no civility in the skies, people would easily be able to get weapons on board and people would be dying left and right.
    You may think that the process is far too involved to make it worth the extra effort, and I agree, there should be two options: body scan or don’t fly. No opting out, no random second screenings. It would streamline the process, make flying safer, and save the government money.

  87. Alouise wisely opines: “In my opinion airport security needs to adopt and implement the techniques that El Al uses in Israel.”

    I don’t want to split hairs, but El Al uses such security measures on all flights, and all airlines use them to some degree in Israel. I’m a Druze (we’re Muslim) woman, born in Israel and of Israeli and US citizenship. I wish every day that we’d get Israeli-style security. It’d not just make the skies safer, it’d cut down significantly on my being harassed for my religion. Let me repeat that: I get less, and much more culturally sensitive, scrutiny in Israel than I do in the US. It’s just effective.

    I’m never asked if i belong to a terrorist cell in Israel. Usually we have a brief conversation in Hebrew (or sometimes English) and the polite, professional agent reviews my previous travel, the people I’m related to, and he or she monitors my behavior carefully. The interview takes five minutes. I’ve never been selected for additional screening. Usually, I don’t even get sent through the walk-through metal detectors. When I do, it takes all of 30 seconds. I’ve been patted down, respectfully, with the back of the hand, a couple of times. I got wanded once; the woman who wanded me apologized repeatedly because “we’re doing it to everyone today because of a threat.” I’ve flown out of Ben Gurion possibly 150 times in my life. Once again, it’s never taken more than five minutes. I’ve never been subjected to anything that could be construed as offensive by even the most easily offended mind.

    In the States, good luck with that. I’ve been interrogated by a gentleman who called me a “sand ni**er.” I’ve been slammed against the wall, whilst holding my baby sister, in Logan Airport and asked if I was a man in drag…after clearing security and having a gentleman ask if that was “some Muslim words” in my passport. (It was French. Which is in a US passport. I only used my passport for ID after the gentleman claimed there was no such state as Oregon so I couldn’t use my driver’s license.) I’ve been threatened with a cavity search…not by Customs, but by a TSA employee. I once was told that I could be denied access to a plane because I was in a ‘terrorist organization’ (I served with pride in the IDF for two years. The IDF is not a terrorist organization.) and that my last name was “too long for me to give a s**t about” by a TSA ID checker in Chicago. I’ve had another passenger attempt to get me tossed from a plane and only the pilot standing up for me kept me on. Other than the TSA at JFK or San Francisco, both of which are generally excellent, I live in fear of getting on an airplane, mostly because harassment is part of the deal, but none of this keeps flyers one iota safer. Locked cockpits, fight back. It’s all the effective actions that Americans have learned from 9/11. Everything else is targeted security theatre.

    So, yes, PLEASE bring Israeli-style security here. I’d love it. My fat Muslim ass will feel much safer from terrorists, regardless of their intent or origin, and low-risk travelers will fly through. We’ll all be treated professionally. We’ll all be safer in the skies.

  88. “American”,

    Your name is apparently ironic, since you could not be less American if you tried. We’re a free and brave nation, not a nation of cowards who pee our pants when we see our shadows.

    “Without many of the things the TSA does there would be no civility in the skies, people would easily be able to get weapons on board and people would be dying left and right.”
    Yeah, because the murder rate in airplanes before 9/11 was worse than that of DC. Newsflash! The TSA couldn’t prevent 9/11. They couldn’t prevent the shoe bomber. The scanners wouldn’t have picked up the underwear bomber.

    My odds of dying from a terrorist attack are far less than those of getting cancer from the body scanner, even if I believe the TSA numbers (which I don’t).

  89. @American – 9/11 can’t happen again. Hardened doors will prevent the hijackers from getting into the cockpit. The passengers will never let the hijackers take the plane. See, what happened on 9/11 was that people followed protocol, which assumed the hijackers would land the planes and demand ransom. No one will ever let this happen again.

    In fact, the only terrorist actions attempted aboard a plane bound for the US since 9/11 were stopped NOT by the TSA or other security measures, but by the /passengers/. Remember that. Heck, the underwear bomber was on the no-fly list, didn’t have a passport, the government was warned by his father 2 weeks before he tried to get on the plane…and he still made it on the plane.

    I saw a site the other day that listed 86 bombings since the beginning of commercial aviation. Some successful, some not so much. We managed to keep flying even after those events happened, without giving up our rights in the name of some semblance of artificial ‘security’. The TSA isn’t guaranteeing your security, nor can they. Sometimes, bad things happen. People die. We all accept that there is some risk in life. I will not give up my rights for the illusion that doing so will give me some sort of safety.

    Cargo is not 100% screened. Airport workers are not 100% screened. TSOs can be opted out of the screening process altogether – meaning, they can come & go from the sterile area and bring anything they like into it, and nobody would ever know it until it was too late. Now pilots are going to be fast-tracked. Children under 12 are exempted from the enhanced pat down. They know it’s security theater, and they’re trying to keep the backlash as minimal as possible.

    I served my country to protect and preserve your rights. Don’t be so quick to try to take mine. I will not surrender quietly.

  90. Not one ounce of sympathy for these folks.

    If the job is distasteful to you? Ethically and morally repugnant to you? Then you demand dignity for yourself and quit.

    You cannot reasonably expect a passenger to be respectful of you when you are searching their genitals

    Do the right thing – for yourself – and quit.

  91. For the Guy who complains about being called a nazi:

    the whole “I´m just doing my job here, only following orders” is exactly what eichmann´s defense was…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Eichmann

  92. “they are not rounding up or exterminating anyone!”

    Oh, so that’s the only thing the Nazis did wrong? If they’d invaded all the same countries, but just hadn’t rounded people up and sent them to extermination camps, they’d be classified as Good Guys?

  93. @Jenna, you said it.

    American is one of those people who are probably fine with 4pm curfews, cameras in every home and every room, and internet logs sent to the government for review. Despite the name American, I think he’d be much more at home in North Korea.

    I really wish we could let the market decide this, which is the American way. Make an airline for people with common sense, and then one run by TSA.

  94. I have no sympathy for those who choose to wear the TSA badge of dishonor. These perverts sold out their country and are little more than traitors. If insults like “pervert”, “sicko”, and profanity are the worst things they hear, they should consider themselves lucky. They deserve to go to prison at the very least for their disgusting actions.

  95. @American – you can’t reasonably expect everyone to submit to a strip search without probable cause, it’s ludicrious.

    Oh, and TSA itself is yet to stop a single terrorist, it *may* act as a deterrent, but at this point it’s becoming a deterrent to regular Americans as well.

  96. umm just so the tso called a nazi as long as you understand that most “nazis” said i just did what i was ordered to do. yeah you dont kill anyone and being jewish im sure this hit you hard and for that i agree the comment was harsh.

    when will this farce called security end? the back scatter machines are laughed at by isreal as a waste! and they say those dont work! these are the people who know airport security better than anyone. why are we paying for top heavy security company called tsa? and the name homeland security has a nice ring to it. it reminds me of fatherland and motherland and we know who used those names!

  97. Ugh. I could give a shit if these people don’t like their jobs. I’m sure telemarketers feel the same way, but it doesn’t make what they’re doing correct, does it? They chose their profession, and all of this BS about ‘serving their country’ and ‘making travel safer’ are complete shit…how many attacks have been prevented by screening common citizens? Seriously, look at the data available.

    I hate the conspiracy theorists and their nonsense about TSA pat-downs teaching the American public to be complacent with being unlawfully searched, but I see no logical, legitimate reason for the pat-downs in the first place, so the idea is slowly starting to hold water.

    If you are miserable at your job, get a different one. Eventually TSA agent turnover will get the point across…this makes everyone miserable.

    I *hope* that the person touching my crotch is fucking miserable. Why? Because the alternative is even more disgusting than being unlawfully searched, either by someone with gloves or with a dubious backscatter machine who’s long-term effects have gone unstudied.

  98. “American” (comment 77), imma let you finish, but your comment about everyone being Nazis is the stupidest comment of all time!

    You are a f star star retard… I can’t even bother to try to explain to you how dumb you just sounded…

  99. I’ve seen several posters say that if you don’t want to be groped you just have to go in the scanner. This is not true. If you go through the scanner and they see anything “suspicious” you will be groped. Apparently this can be as little as the decoration on the pocket of a pair jeans.

    These are overly invasive searches with no benefit. To date the TSA has not caught a single terrorist. To date the TSA has failed to prevent theft from checked baggage or even from their checkpoints. Until they eliminate theft from the baggage handling areas it is obvious that they are not well secured and the easiest way to get a bomb onto a flight would be to get a baggage handler to slip it into someone’s bag.

    The huge lines at the checkpoints are a major terrorist target. What would the TSA do if they actually found a suicide bomb in someone’s pants? What’s the procedure? I see nothing that looks like a bomb proof enclosure to toss them into. Are they going to make them sit in a chair until law enforcement shows up?

    We do have a right to travel by air without being groped or forced to present our “papers” and checked to see if we are “allowed” to fly. Do you remember when we used to laugh at the Soviets for living in a society where you couldn’t travel unless you presented your “papers”? Well, comrades, guess where we are?

  100. Flyingfish,

    The TSA *is* killing people. Estimates are that over 40 people die a month due to the extra traffic from people choosing to drive rather than submit to the TSA’s violation of their rights. When fully in place, the new backscatter machines can be expected to cause 8 or more people a year to die of cancer. Not only is the TSA killing people, they’re killing more people than the terrorists they’re supposed to be catching, but aren’t.

    As for “just doing their job” – so they want us to be willing partners while they touch us in a sexual way for money? That kind of thing is also illegal in most of the country.

  101. The entire issue with the TSA and their procedures are that those procedures are Reactionary.

    Since 9/11, no terrorist has succeeded in bringing down an airliner. We have a lot more to fear from bad maintenance, improper cockpit procedures and navigation issues (controlled flight into terrain) than we do from terrorists.

    The aircraft will certainly NOT be brought down by nail clippers, bottles of water bought outside the terminal and cosmetics.

    The TSA is trying – and succeeding – in doing the terrorists a favor by implementing these asinine reactionary regulations, many of which are in violation of our rights under the US Constitution.

    In order for the TSA to get any of my respect, they need to STOP being a bunch of wimpy bureaucrats who run crying over the threat of yesterday, and work on a different, less invasive system.

    Check out how the Israeli airline El Al handles it, by personal one-on-one interviews of everyone. It’s easier to spot a probable terrorist this way instead of treating every passenger as a possible terrorist, including someone’s frightened 2 year old.

    It’s a bad system, but in place by bureaucrats who do not know what the hell they are doing.

    You cannot win in this war on Terror by treating everyone as a criminal. You cannot win by being one step behind. Do you really think they’re going to try another underwear bomb or shoe bomb?

    Again, we have more to fear from a rudder malfunction on take-off than a bomb in some kids panties.

    Last year some really upset gentleman in Austin flew a fuel laden Piper into the IRS building here. No TSA screening could have ever preventing this. Yet those morons talked about placing new restrictions on General Aviation until a cooler head prevailed.

    The whole system needs a top-down restructuring, and a new “Mission Statement”… with consultants from El Al brought in to show us how it’s done by grown-ups.


  102. “Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences.”

    Actually, no. Most “Nazis” were ordinary German citizens doing what they had to do to get by. You were either a member of the party or you were a second class citizen. With the exception of the Schutzstaffel, many of the camp-workers were “just following orders” and “just carrying out policy”. I don’t give a damn if you’re a Jew. In fact, if you are a Jew and doing what you’re doing, you should be even more painfully aware of how wrong “just following orders” is.

  103. I have not pity for these people. They have chosen to do this and deserve the criticism for not doing something about this policy. I do not care how these comments make these people feel.

    The company that I work for has a motto; “You are the company, your actions represent the company”. The person doing the pat down is feeling my genitals or my children’s genitals is the creep.

    I normally am not a person who is in favor of civil discontent, but I encourage all flyers to “opt-out” and make the TSA agents as miserable as possible.

  104. Cry me a freakin river. If these power-tripping community college dropouts don’t want to sexually assault people, here’s a thought: DON’T. Get a real job and drop the “we were just following orders” excuse.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for these thugs and perverts. They are sexually assaulting people in order to put on security theatre. They are criminals ans should be treated as such.

  105. The saddest to me is the ex-military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He risked his life willingly to protect our way of life, our freedoms, our safety. He risked his life to give Iraqis and Afghans a chance at freedom. He deserves our love and respect. Gut then he came home and went to work doing this kind of stuff, directly undermining his earlier work. It’s got to make him sick. I’m sure it’s not what he signed on for. He does have a choice though. A person’s got to do what a person’s got to do.

    I cannot believe that 1. this will make flying significantly safer or 2. that it’s worth it to give up our 4th amendment rights. Finding a syringe with heroin and 129 undisclosed things doesn’t strike me as a fair trade for 300 million peoples’ civil rights. It doesn’t matter that all 300 million don’t travel. It will come to everyone soon enough. Anybody want to do this to go to a football game, travel on a bus, see Disney on ice, go into a mall or restaurant? Our nannies would only be trying to protect us.

    Really I think it would be best if we were all just tasked with watching our neighbors and turning them in if they do anything suspicious. To keep us honest, the government could hire actors to do suspicious things and have heavy penalties if we don’t report them. That’ll keep us safe for sure. Let’s ask Dear Leader what he thinks. “American”? You want to chime in with some support here?

    BTW “American”, how strongly did you voice support for the NSA wiretaps? Those were much less invasive and all you had to do to avoid them was not use the Internet or phone after all.

  106. Its all spin, don’t fall for it..

    Don’t believe anything these fake employees are putting out there in the hopes of swaying public opinion their way.

    TSA is a useless..and they are just eating up our tax dollars doing nothing but stealing crap from our luggage and now feeling us up.

  107. TSA employees could organize & revolt, just like the passengers are. No frisk day, or whatever. The supervisors can’t run everything, and probably a lot of them want to revolt, too. An organized effort would cripple the system.

    Just doing a job isn’t an excuse for violating your personal integrity.

    And as for the TSA reputation – there are too many power trippers. If the nice ones would report them, stop them, do something – that might help. I’d call it 25% power tripper, 75% nice/decent – but that 25% spoils it for everyone.

  108. I could deconstruct every one of those comments, but this one is the one that really made me spit nails:

    “Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences. I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.”

    That right there is why we are only a few degrees of separation from concentration camps.

    This person could not be more wrong.

    What, do you think that every NAZI “officer” was a fire breathing, gibbering demon with fangs and baby guts in their teeth???

    No, they were people JUST LIKE YOU, convinced by a lying, corrupt regime that you are somehow doing your “patriotic duty” by subjugating and trampling the rights of your fellow citizens for some higher purpose like “protecting the fatherland”.

    They were people JUST LIKE YOU, holding mild mannered civil service jobs serving the state, who reacted, when caught and confronted by the atrocities carried out in their name, with genuine surprise, they honestly thought “they were just doing their jobs”.

  109. Did someone put a gun to their head and make them become a TSO? I don’t think so! If you hate it so much, get a different job! BOO FREAKEN WHO!These people are high school diploma/community college graduates who got DAMN lucky to get a government job with all the benefits. They’re complaining, and I’m sure it’s not fun to get yelled at, but that’s life and that’s the price you pay to have a nice government job when most people are competing for $9/hour jobs right now.

    I have no choice in the matter if I want to travel to go see my father across the country. I am *potentially* FORCED to either have someone look at my naked body on a screen, or be sexually molested. If I don’t comply, I can’t go visit my father (unless I drive from NY to CA, or take a train. Which honestly, the train is really starting to look nice.) THIS IS NOT KEEPING ANYONE SAFE! Molesting random people does NOT make me feel safer. And regarding the Nazi’s comment… Blindly following the government’s terrible policies that invade the rights of it’s citizen in the name of “safety” IS WHAT the Nazis did! Many were just German citizens who though they were “serving their country”…their country that had effed up policies. I wouldn’t call them Nazi’s but lets keep it real. You are not a hero, even though you want to pretend you are. You are a low level government employee. I’m not saying you necessarily like stroking a men’s penises or fingering women all day, but you are definitely on a power trip if you think you have an honorable job. You don’t, so shut up.

  110. Touching someone’s genitalia AGAINST THEIR WILL is sexual molestation. It doesn’t matter if your employer tells you to. You’re still molesting someone. Anywhere else other than an airport you could charge someone for doing this. But at an airport you have to shut up and let someone sexually molest you against your will, or YOU could end up “in trouble.” So you have to relinquish your rights as an American citizen if you just want to fly on a plane? This is NOT constitutional! I am an American citizen and I DEMAND my rights, whether I’m on the streets or in an airport!

  111. @Jack: wow, maybe YOU should’ve stayed in school! TSA requires high experience or education, and is hard to get employed with. TSA agents probably make way more than you ever could. Last time I checked, Homeland Security is protecting our country. This new system may be intrusive, and probably will not last, but grow up. I like to know when I fly, that someone doesn’t have a pipe bomb strapped to their thigh. You sir, are a whiney MORON! Great article Fish

  112. […] Comments from Transportation Security Officers asked about their reactions to the new security procedures put in place by […]

  113. Lauren,
    The only reason you get “molested” is because you said no to the first, far less intrusive option. You know that by saying no to the body scan you will get “groped” therefore, you are consenting.
    And flyer, that is the first sane comment I have read.

  114. to American:

    so your choice is:

    go through a radiation machine so your naked image can be viewed OR be molested. And you must pay for it.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – The United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment.

    If you are so American, you should at least know your Constitution. You probably don’t understand how to break down the legal speak. That’s okay, anyone dumb enough to feel “safe” with these procedures deserves to have their rights taken away.

  115. I can feel empathy for those of you who need the job to stay afloat right now, but you’re still sexually assaulting me, even if the government is ordering it. And no, I won’t go through the peep show machine and possibly subject myself to skin cancer.

  116. Hana @87: Everyone should read your story. I am horrified at the descriptions of your treatments in the states and it makes me ashamed to be a US citizen :( It is sad that it takes treating straight white buisiness-looking males like criminals before anything is done about it, but at least now (hopefully) enough of a fire has been sparked to effect some change, or at least roll policies back to where they were.

  117. I’m sickened by the giant step forward in intrusiveness and security theater that’s the scope-and-grope approach. What’s almost more alarming is how willing many people are to go along with it — and be hostile to those of us who won’t. I’ve read a lot of name-calling from these people, and head-achingly stupid statements (“don’t like it? don’t fly!” … “they’re doing it to protect me!”).

    The one thing in this that’s encouraging is that the TSOs are getting grief. They should! They’re voluntarily molesting their fellow Americans, who want nothing more than to go to work or go see grandma on the other side of the country.

    Enough is enough. TSOs and scaredy-cat passengers: you’re not making anyone any safer by molesting my children, my wife or me. You are doing real harm, instead. Enough is enough.

  118. I for one am voting with my feet. I will never fly again. I have a perfectly good SUV that will take me where I want to go without fear of a naked body scanner or being sexually molested by a TSA employee. I don’t give a damn about the TSA agents or how demoralized they feel. If they really had a moral compass they wouldn’t be “serving their country” by fondling little children’s genitalia. I’d quit my job and collect food stamps before I’d agree to molest a little kid.

    There is only one way to put a stop to this perversion — stop flying. They won’t molest me because I won’t be there trying to board a plane. Instead I’m serving my country by doing my part to put TSA perverts on the unemployment line.

  119. While it may be a “radiation machine” it isn’t even as bad as the radiation you get when flying, so that is a non issue. And doing a body scan is not unreasonable, so you fail on that count. I can guarantee if this came up to the Supreme Court, which it most likely will, it will be upheld.

  120. @Flyer

    A pipe bomb?

    So when this:


    happens here, you will be just fine with anal and vaginal probes as well?

    Of minor children?

    Whining? You are the one whining, willing to give up any form of freedom, shaking in fear of a threat that is a thousand times less than the risk you face driving to the airport.

  121. “American”:

    Also, by the logic “they follow orders, therefore they are like the Nazis” every single one of you who has a job is also a Nazi, because you follow the orders of your boss.

    You’re leaving out an important point. They follow illegal orders, orders that direct them to violate the 4th Amendment rights of American citizens. My boss doesn’t order me to commit crimes, and if he did, I wouldn’t obey.

    As for all the “just drive” remarks: I am a US citizen who works for a US-based company and must sometimes travel for company meetings. I live in Belgium. Please point out on a map which bridge I’m supposed to take?

  122. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View – “Of the 20 I reached out to, 17 responded… … all 17 mentioned their morale being broken down.” […]

  123. Fish…


    Keep in mind that TSA WBI scanners cannot store or transmit images while in service in the field … it simply can’t happen with the current hardware … so the images will never end up colour inverted. As soon as someone passes through the scanner the image must be wiped for the next image to appear.

    Happy Flying!


    At the start, the Nazi party wasn’t doing that either. The national socialist movement took years gearing up for that. While I do not agree with abuse heaped on the agents, I do agree with them seeking other employment… I have been forced to do that before on moral grounds. It does infringe upon our basic human rights.

  124. If the TSA gropers don’t like what they have to do to keep their jobs, they can do what the rest of us are told if we don’t like our jobs…go get another job…if you can.

  125. It’s a terrible thing when someone is asked to act against their personal moral standards. This terrible thing is made unimaginably worse when the request is fulfilled. And still, it is further deplorable when the actor insists that there was no alternate choice.

    To the TSO’s: a moral standard broken once, regardless of the reason may as well not have been a standard at all. Band together and quit. Slow the flow of the lines until the airlines pressure the TSA. Sabotage the equipment. Work at McDonalds. You have a choice! Don’t be that character in history that people look back at, and say “I never would have done that. What were they thinking?”

  126. “Do people know what a Nazi is? ”

    I don’t think he does. Lunatic fascists wouldn’t get very far without willing people to carry out their dirty work without question.

  127. Safe? Do a search and find out what exactly about the AIT machines has scientists (including radiologists) concerned: The radiation from flying or from X-rays is measured over one whole body’s volume. “In contrast, these new airport scanners are largely depositing their energy into the skin and immediately adjacent tissue, and since this is such a small fraction of body weight/vol, possibly by one to two
    orders of magnitude, the real dose to the skin is now high.” Anyone with a family history of skin cancer, breast cancer, or thyroid issues (and possibly others), need to read the letter. If you’re in the best of health, with healthy family members, and don’t have children or don’t plan to have children, feel free to waltz through the scanners as often as you want to. Just don’t be so cavalier (or thoughtless) to assume the risks and dangers are the same for everybody, or that everyone can choose not to fly. (I’d choose not to fly, nor to make my baby daughter fly too, if not for my hugely overweight American in-laws being too sickly to do make the halfway-around-the-world journey themselves!)

  128. Sorry. I am not buying this story from the TSA TSO’s.

    “I am just doing my job, even though I don’t approve of it?”

    If you are helping someone in a crime you are an accessory. Try explaining to a judge or the jury about how you are not an accessory but just doing your job.

    Unless someone puts a gun to your head, you are doing the job because you can live with yourself in peace and sleep comfortably at night.

    On the flip side of the story, we have to fly. Not an obligation, but better to fly than to travel 2000 miles in a car. If I am molested, how do you expect me to sleep at night? Just convince myself that I have no other choice and accept it?

    I do not have any children but if I did and someone even remotely assumed that they can touch them, we would have a serious problem! Same goes for an elderly person.

  129. They should refuse to do it rather than blindly follow policy. If your employer asks you to do something you feel is wrong and humiliating then you should speak up and not just follow orders – or quit.

    This scares me, I wonder at what point will people question orders? If I asked an employee to eat feces to check for explosives in the name of public safety I wonder how many would do it?

    Freedom means you have to think for yourself!

  130. If you really hate it that bad, quit your job! If all of you would quit or refuse to do these invasive procedures, the TSA would have to get their act together! Put your money where your mouth is and quit!

  131. I wonder if the TSA could be the beginnings of the “civilian force” just as powerful as the military that Obama was talking about before the election?

  132. 911-was-an-inside-job

    TSA workers if you don’t enjoy your job quit.

    Looks like bureaucrats are using these policies to divide and conquer us.

  133. If the TSA would hire attractive people and offer an “enhanced” pat down for pre-flight orgasm for a fee, I bet we could pay for the whole operation and make air travel something we look forward to once again.

  134. This pissed me off. All of the railroad employees and concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany were just “doing their jobs”, “serving their country”, “carrying out their duties”, blah, blah, blah. The Nuremburg trials proved that “just following orders” is not a defense against criminal charges.

    If my employer, federal or private, tells me to do something illegal or unethical and I comply, I am still liable. Even though the threat of economic blackmail is a strong one, I would still go to jail. So would my boss, but that wouldn’t help me. What makes the TSA think they’re so special?

    If they do something every day so repulsive that they hate it and their victims hate it, and lash out at them for it, they shouldn’t whine to me that they’re “just following orders”, er… “just doing their job”. They all need to grow a spine, and get a new line of work. I understand signing on a street corner makes about the same and has less stress. I certainly have more respect for an honest beggar.

    What TSA people forget is that they aren’t sworn police officers. Not even close. They don’t have a fraction of the training, for starters. Even then, police are bound by the law and the constitution – these people think they aren’t. Guess again.

    Seriously, if TSA personnel go along with this, they are saying they approve. Period. Their silence isn’t professionalism, it’s cowardice. Just like the concentration camp guards and the whole apparatus that made it work, little people “just doing their jobs” without question. Is that what our nation is coming to?

  135. AMERICAN,

    I truly wish that you were correct in assuming that there is a clear-cut choice between the full-body scanner and the enhanced pat-down.

    Unfortunately, there will be a significant number of travelers who will be subject to both regardless of their wishes.

    Travelers with prosthetic devices and medical implants have reported choosing the scanner, only to be informed that they must also be physically searched. The experience of a Charlotte flight attendant is a good example, though there are more to be found: http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13536352

    If a scanner image is blurred–whether due to movement or a technological bug–an individual may also have to submit to the enhanced pat-down. A highly-publicized example is Dave Barry’s story from last week: http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/2010/11/groin-update.html

    There is also speculation–I personally have yet to read an account of this happening–that women wearing sanitary napkins and individuals wearing incontinence protection may also be subject to further scrutiny. I would be interested in information confirming or dis-confirming this.

    I am not a regular reader of this blog–or Internet-commenter, actually–but I thought it important to raise this point. Thanks!

  136. Oh please, I don’t feel sorry for them at all. If they don’t like having to perform these procedures, they should quit. Its just that simple.

    Its not like these are highly requested or high paying jobs. Go out and get a real career. I feel as sorry for you as I do for the kid working at McDonalds.

    I respect that you were in the military. But coming out of the military and going to wok for the TSA is just baffling. I have quite a number of friends who left varies branches of the military and became cops. Why the hell would you go into the rent a cop business ? There is something wrong with that.

    It sounds like there is more to that military guys story. Did he not learn a skill ? Maybe he scored so poorly he was a grunt and that explains why he couldn’t get into a real level of law enforcement. *shrug*

  137. People need to get over themselves. Take it out on the people in power. Not the people with a family to feed.

  138. Unfortunately I have to fly in my profession, but I won’t go through the scanner. What I do however is moan of pleasure when they touch me and afterwards I will look at them and say “thank you, now I have something to think about tonight” while touching my own groin and looking at them with loving eyes. If they want to charge me for sexual assault for groping me..well, I’ve never heard anything more stupid.

    I don’t care that the employees feel uncomfortable. They should. They should quit or refuse to follow orders, as anyone with immoral orders.

  139. Just some things to clarify for some people here.


    2. The Nazi analogy is perfectly sensible. Both extermination camp guards and TSO’s are “just following orders”, although they both knew what they did was wrong. Yet, they still did it. It does not matter the DEGREE of violation of one’s rights, but the concept that a low-level grunt is somehow innocent, although they are ENTIRELY compliant in an unethical system, and they know it. I’m not saying they deserve to get insulted, but I have no sympathy if they do.

  140. This article has strengthened my resolve to opt out of the scan and make the groping process as demoralizing for the groper as possible. I’m encouraged to see that they’re human…if we can get them to quit, this crazy policy will change.

  141. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs: The Screeners Point Of View: If you’ve been on Twitter this week, you’ve heard everyone ELSE’S opinion on TSA’s new “security measures”, now hear what 17 TSA Officers have to say about it. […]

  142. Alouise,

    Unfortunately writing nice letters and filing official feedback cards in this case won’t work. TSA is like any other company – they do not do anything unless it affects their bottom line – which in this case is public funding.

    So the organization must feel the pain also, and in this case it is justified in my opinion to be rude even to those who work at the lowest level, that is how the message gets through. If TSA:s employee turnover gets unusually hight and training new ones gets more expensive it will at some point begin to interest politicians which give them their funding.

    Recent example: NokiaSiemens networks supplied Iran with network equipment which allowed the government to spy on and apprehend opposition during the recent protests after the presidential election. Was it nice letters from those who have relatives “missing” that made the company admit that yes it indeed made a mistake and revised its policy? No. It was because in Tehran where Nokia had 60% market share in phones and was extremely popular in the upper end phones people just stopped buying them and dealers took the phones off the shelves. And complained, rudely and loudly.

  143. “whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job.”

    That’s just what those poor, misunderstood Nazis said too.

  144. […] Big DIfference Quoth a TSA screener talking to Flying With Fish: “There is a big difference between how I pat passengers down and a molester molesting […]

  145. Leonidas,
    You can, in fact, waive your rights by purchasing a ticket. It is free speech to say “bomb” anywhere, but do that in an airport and bye bye. When you go into a movie theater you can’t yell “fire” and if you use your free speech to threaten to kill someone that is also a crime. So you fail.

  146. Maria Said:
    To be honest, I’ve never understood the urge to lash out at the low level grunt with vitriol.

    My Response:
    Hey Maria – It’s because it’s the low-level grunt who’s putting his hand on my groin or leeing at me with his taxpayer-funded x-ray vision.

    I’ve got no sympathy for TSA workers in this situation. If doing something wrong is a requirement of doing your job, then STOP DOING THE JOB and get another one.

    Submitting to a digital strip search or state-authorized groping is beneath the dignity of a free man, and it needs top STOP.

  147. Fish,
    That line about “serving my country” by working for TSA strikes me as facile and self-serving, and it’s insulting to the people in our armed forces who REALLY serve their country. Just like the TSA uniforms and badges are insulting to the people who really EARN the right to wear such symbols of authority. Finally, when you make claims such as the machines being safe and that images are not stored and transmitted, clarification on the order of “I AM TOLD that the machines are save and images are not stored” would be appreciated.

    You may be a fine person, but as a TSA representative you have very little credibility. It has become clear that in TSA, the people at the top lie, and the people down the line are lied to.

  148. The “Nazis” are the bureaucrats who instituted this procedure — because spending money and telling people what to do is the “easy” way to do things here — and they should all be tried for instituting procedures that in ANY other context constitute sexual assault (especially on minors).

    The TSA agents are the absolute moral equivalent to the concentration camp guards. They herded them onto the trains. Into the gas chambers. Turned on the gas. No Party affiliation required, “just doing our jobs.” I hope they quit en masse, then charge their superiors with illegal coercion.

    Congress and other elected officials must NOT be exempt from this humiliation.

    And out of respect to Americans who are finally exerting their rights to peaceful protest, we who fly should either participate with them, or plan to spend a lot more time tolerating it. It is time to be REALLY inconvenienced. To tolerate this is to admit that the Islamic Terrorists have won.

    The best security will always be alert passengers in the air, prepared to restrain a dangerous passenger.

  149. This may actually be the most effective way to deal with this problem. Demoralize their workers until they all quit.

    As for the guy who was offended by being called a nazi. Your excuse is the same they used at the Nuremburg trials. “I’m just doing my job.” Perhaps it’s time he sought a new job.

  150. […] I exaggerating? Sadly, no. The excellent travel blog Flying With Fish has comments from actual TSA screeners, who don’t like doing the pat downs either, including […]

  151. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  152. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  153. You know who else was “just doing their jobs”? That’s right… THE NAZIS!

  154. While I feel some sympathy for these people being demoralized by the name calling, I cannot feel too bad for someone who chooses to do something for a living that he does not agree with. What has happened to moral conviction? If you do not want to molest people for a living, lodge a complaint with your employer, or refuse to do it. If most of you feel the same way, then they could not possibly fire all of your for refusing to molest people.

    Please TSOs, find some strength in your convictions and let the TSA know that this new method is not a good way to ensure safety. That there must be a better way. And if they do not find a better one, leave. Get a job that is not morally repugnant and criminal in actions. You will feel better about yourself and the world you are living.

  155. @ American

    You do not “lose your rights” just by virtue of choosing to fly.

    Flying is no more a government granted “privilege” than driving is

    The courts have held, numerous times, that you have a fundamental right to travel, by any conveyance of your choosing.

    The courts have also held that taxpayer funded operations, (airports, TSA itself, and federally regulated air routes) are open to access by all citizens.

    These are rights, not privileges, and can only be restricted or denied by government through due process with the burden of proof always resting with government and not the citizen.

  156. I have just looked over some of the statements made about the screening process and the TSOs as they perform their duties are enfringing on the rights or those TSOs to work in an atmospher that is not hostile.


    TSOs are being attacked by the very people they are trying to protect and then they are under constant scrutiny by their management for anything that can be held against them. These marks on their records go with them from agentcy to agentcy, from employer to employer making it harder to escape the cycle of dead end jobs like being a front line TSO.

    Promotion at TSA is arbitrary as is the discipline meeted out for offenses on the job and off. Unlike the passengers who come through the checkpoint with a chip on their shoulder, the snide comments that you make to an officer after you have forced their hand by opting out of the scanner will not effect your promotion or your ability to be hired somewhere else.

    Everyone has a breaking point and you should tread wearily on other peoples feelings. Those of you who pull the “Chosen profession” cop out should look around and see if there are jobs that could be posted for those people so that THEY may be able to make another choise. You cannot chose what is not available. All of you “NOT-IN-MY-BACK-YARD ” SHOULD LOOK AT THE MAN IN THE MIRROR BEFORE YOU START TO CRITICIZE OTHERS.





  157. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  158. I have to laugh at all of these self-described civil libertarians who have suddenly come out of the woodwork to shriek like a bunch of hysterical schoolgirls over a pat-down. Where were you for the years following 9-11 when the Bush administration and the Republican Congress slowly but surely eroded civil rights across the board in the name of “security?” People are having meltdowns over an airport scanner but there was little outcry, other than from the ACLU and a few groups on the left, over policies like warrantless wiretapping, etc.

    In fact, I recall quite well when the public was screaming for more airport security after 9-11.

    The current TSA policies are simply the logical evolution of the Bush-era national security policies that were, for the most part, happily embraced by a majority of Americans. As a country we gave up our right to complain about civil liberties a long time ago.

  159. Libertarian Liberal

    Passengers ought to start indulging in a little “security theater” of their own. I’m over 40 and pretty secure about my body. If some security person started poking aggressively around my crotch because I’m wearing a maxi pad, the next thing that would happen would be me reaching into my own pants, pulling the thing out and showing it to them, and then requesting a trash can and a paper towel. “There ya go TSA, problem solved”.

  160. A couple of questions:

    1. Will these new machines and pat-down procedures detect explosive powders secreted in a person’s rectum or vagina?

    2. If the answer is “no”, then what’s the point?

  161. Beyond the questions of rights, feelings, molestation, and morale, I think we need to ask these officers, and the ultra-secretive TSA about effectiveness. I think we’d all feel better if the TSA had caught even one terrorist, or stopped one bomb with these techniques. They haven’t and won’t. The only people have been caught were caught because their bomb making skills sucked. Never in screening.

    Hundreds of millions of innocent travellers are screened, not one bomb found nor one terrorist stopped. For this the courts have completely tossed out the bill of rights. Today, at least relative to transportation, the US and most of the world now live under the kind of Soviet style “security” that we used to laugh and rail about when I was growing up.

    Sure, go ahead and argue that is a deterrent. Just like virus software is a deterrent to hackers. Works brilliantly. Hackers just give up. They never try to get around the “latest security update”. Sure…the TSA is staying ahead of the terrorists. Pretty soon we’ll be flying naked and sedated, with probes up our collective asses.

    So far, the only terrorist acts that have been stopped (that we know of), have been stopped by human and electronic intelligence. God bless the CIA, the FBI and all other international spy agencies that have manpower focused on this threat. The TSA unfortunately is not one of these organizations. It is a police force tasked with harrassing its citizenry and violating the constitution which it is sworn to protect.

    In support of the TSA officers who are obviously ambivalent about the latest policy, I suggest we begin wearing the following tshirt slogan when flying:

    “Don’t Touch My Junk” (unless your name is Janet Napolitano).

  162. Pity the poor TSO patriots!

    Fear not TSOs!
    You will not have to concern yourselves with any derogatory comments from me as I no longer travel by air.

  163. “A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts.”

    Sometimes. Sometimes a Nazi is someone who blindly follows their orders, whether or not that are right or legal.

    TSA screeners should feel ashamed to go to work every day and humiliate us. I find it very difficult to feel any sympathy for them.

  164. “I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job. ”

    You are not a professional. You are a monkey with a badge. If there weren’t a TSA you’d be flipping burgers or stocking shelves at Walmart with the rest of the highschool dropouts. Get over yourself.

  165. If anyone touches my children inappropriately I will sue them for it, very simple. Groping a child is definitely illegal.
    As for groping me… the gropers don’t get any sympathy from me. Hand on my thigh and I pretend to go near orgasm, then shudder more and more as they come closer to my junk. THAT should be demoralizing enough.
    The problem is that writing a message on a form and sending it into the system only gives statistics, change will not happen from that. Making everyone speak up loudly (letters to your congresscritter, the TSA, the CAA, your airline AND complaints from the agents who dislike performing these actions with explanations of the myriad problems they encounter every day) is the most likely way.

    The Nazi analogy is perhaps a little strong, but is correct. Obeying orders to break other people’s dignity and violate their rights is always morally wrong and makes YOU and accomplice. Yup. If this gets judged as a constitutional violation then any agent taking part in the action IS an accomplice to the deed. He won’t go to prison (except if he gropes my kids) but he will have blindly followed orders like a mindless goon. Any crying the TSA goons do at night is well deserved. Quit that job. It’s better to loose your money/house than to throw away your honor, dignity, ethics and so on.
    USA was founded on love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and this seems to violate all those (at the very least it violates the fourth amendment). QUIT

    I’ve handled security at an international airport (including coordinating security for a former US president), and this has nothing to do with security. This helps nothing. There are still, and will always be, multiple other routes for those that really want to cause problems. People like me can easily get through airport security, and if I can do it then so can the bad people.

  166. @ Jonah

    You wrote:

    “I have to laugh at all of these self-described civil libertarians who have suddenly come out of the woodwork to shriek like a bunch of hysterical schoolgirls over a pat-down. Where were you for the years following 9-11 when the Bush administration and the Republican Congress slowly but surely eroded civil rights across the board in the name of “security?” People are having meltdowns over an airport scanner but there was little outcry, other than from the ACLU and a few groups on the left, over policies like warrant-less wiretapping, etc.”

    They crawled out of the same hole that the anti-war left has now crawled into, since the wars now belong to Obama, and are all good.

    I can’t speak for others, but I know where I was under the Bush regime, screaming just as loudly as I am now about lost freedom and liberty.

    I think what has galvanized people on this issue is that it is not as esoteric an infringement of rights as perhaps a wiretap would be.

    When Big Brother physically puts his hands on you, or worse yet, puts his hands on your eight year old daughter’s genitals, that’s a game changer for even the worst government apologist.

  167. I have to laugh at those who think these measures by the TSA keep them safe. The fact of the matter is they have caught NO ONE. Recent would be terriorists were caught by passengers onboard planes AFTER having passed by the “brilliant” agents. Every single measure taken by the TSA has been a knee jerk reaction to something terrorists have tried. which is tantamount to closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out. Meanwhile, the terrorists have moved on to the next plan. And the next plan will likely be a bomb placed in a body cavity which the strip search machines will NOT catch. So tell me imbecillic “American”, will you be okay with a TSA agent telling you to “bend over and spread em”? Actually, I have no doubt you will.

    Here are a few more facts:
    1. The TSA is doing what even LEO’s cannot do because it is in violation of the Constitution.
    2. If anyone else did what they do, they would be arrested for sexual assault.
    3. The TSA is doing what the military cannot do to Taliban and Al Queda terrorists they capture – for those keeping score, this means terrorists have more rights than we do.

    With regards to point #3, while I respect and appreciate former military now employed with the TSA, I feel no sympathy. You should be the LAST people subverting the Constitution – the same document you swore an oath to protect and defend. What did you serve and sacrifice for?!?

    The rest of the cretins and perverts at the TSA I have even less sympathy for. You have the unmitigated gall to complain about being “verbally abused” while violating our privacy and bodies? Well BOO FREAKING HOO.

    To Hana: I wish you could bring your eloquence to Capitol Hill, our lawmakers need to hear what you have to say. Unfortunately, it will likely fall on deaf ears and clueless minds. But you are correct, El Al’s methods are proven effective at doing what they are meant to do while being respectful and less of an inconevience to the public at large. It is what we SHOULD be doing but that requires common sense, intelligence and intestinal fortitude, qualities lacking in our government.

    Finally, let me offer this quote from one of our founding fathers who is no doubt spinning in his grave:

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” Ben Franklin

  168. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” Benjamin Franklin.

    This is not about terrorism. This is about cowing a free people to advance a political agenda (the true definition of terrorism by the way).

    The time is now to rise up on our hind legs and let those who would subjugate us know that we will not tolerate such an affront to our freedom and our liberty. Otherwise, the “terrorist” who hate our feedom so much will have won. Won’t they have after all?

    And as a side note, if I decide not to fly in protest of this draconian attack on my liberty, my engine gets flooded with salt water after just a few moments. At least most of you have to option of “opting out”.

  169. I thought the mantra was, if you don’t like it, don’t fly?

    Well, if they don’t like it, quit their jobs.

    Simple, no??

  170. I see the finding of the Milgram experiment is still true.


  171. One question, can I as a man, request a female groper. I sure as the devil do not want some gay guy squeezing my balls to get his jollies.

  172. “…those required to carry on the policy and procedures…”

    Gee, I haven’t heard it phrased in such a tactful way since Nuremberg.

    It’s nice that *somebody* still remembers that employees have no free will and are simply cogs in the machine!

  173. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  174. These TSA officers are full of crap. To the respondent that says she’s not a Nazi, she’s correct. She is worse than a Nazi. She’s pretending that she doesn’t have a choice, but she does. Some officers under Hilter had to follow his policies because it was a choice between life and death. The majority though did what they did because they enjoyed torturing other people. If they were truly discusted by the policy they would leave.

    I’m sick of people that do things that they know is flat out wrong and act like they don’t have a choice. You always have a choice. Seriously, as a CPA, I can’t sign off on documents that I know are fraudulent and hide behind Im just doing my job BS. Doing my job won’t keep my butt out of jail. So why should we the public feel any differently about TSA officers? They belong in jail for sexual assault.

  175. “Keep in mind that TSA WBI scanners cannot store or transmit images while in service in the field … it simply can’t happen with the current hardware”

    Fish, you are an idiot.

    Why do you think God invented cell phone cameras? Everything that ends up on a screen can end up on the internet.

    – Sophomore

  176. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  177. […] Tolles points us to a post from BoardingArea.com, who reached out to some TSA agents and found that many TSA agents hate the new rules and find it to be sapping morale to have to grope passengers. Some of it appears to be the verbal abuse they’re getting from […]

  178. I’m sorry, am I supposed to feel sorry for TSA employees?
    You cannot, on the one hand, argue that flying is a choice and if I don’t want to be molested I should not travel by air and then in the next breath tell me that TSA agents feel verbally abused by passengers using the First Amendment to respectfully protest this abusive practice.
    Guess what, you don’t have to be a TSA agent. If you don’t like your job, quit. It’s just that simple, but don’t come to me and tell me that I just need to shut up and deal with violation of my person by you and I don’t even have the right to say anything about it. I mean that type of statement does sound like an abuser. Not only should I take it, but I should never tell anyone about it.

  179. Okay then. They are not Nazis. They are Gestapos.

  180. What would happen if everyone opted out of the radiation, showed up sweaty and dirty (unless meeting a business client on the other end), and accidentally broke wind while being searched?


    So, am I to assume that TSA officers want to have their crotches grabbed by strangers when they’re trying to visit relatives? That they want their children forcibly restrained and handled until they’re in tears?

    It’s not the passengers who are failing to follow the rules of basic courtesy here. If the TSA officers don’t want to be vilified, they can stop performing vile actions. Saying, “but my boss told me to!” doesn’t excuse it.

    I might have more sympathy if I’d heard less stories of browbeating and outright lying (“you can’t refuse to be scanned!”) and leering at female passengers. But I might not. If your job requires you to do something that’s offensive, you cope with people despising you–or you find a way out. Quit, protest, call in sick, refuse to do the grope-downs for religious reasons, or be as openly helpful and human as you can, instead of putting on the coldest mask you can muster and try to pretend those aren’t people you’re fondling against both of your wishes.

    If they *really* think they’re keeping us safe from terrorists with these invasive and traumatic searches, they should sleep easy and shrug off any insults, knowing that they’re really helping people. (Pediatric nurses get screamed at, kicked, and insulted by small children. It doesn’t move them to tears; they know that kids are better off getting their shots.) The fact that they’re upset proves they know how wrong this is.

  182. Two things to remember when you’re thinking about TSA employees, and a general comment about politics.

    1) Regardless of the effectiveness of the TSA (and I agree it’s abysmal, but that’s because of how the mission is defined more than anything else), the current crop (or at least the vast majority) of TSA screeners had NO IDEA they would be forced to grope passengers when they applied for, and later accepted, their jobs.
    2) It’s easy to say, “Quit and get another job” but in this economy? You’ve got to be kidding! I’ve been in high tech for years, but after a year without work, I considered applying with TSA, knowing full well how useless their policies have been for years. I just hope the unhappy screeners are making their bosses painfully aware of heir feelings, and that it’s percolating up the food chain.

    You can grind your axe about “Where were the people during the Bush presidency blah blah blah” if you like, but you sound like a whiny brat. This is not really a political issue anywhere except in DC, and by making it one, you seriously erode the efforts to stop the madness. (And for the record, I know lots of Republicans and Democrats (as well as others) who were P.O.d at this under President Bush and are P.O.d at this under President Obama.)

  183. Fish,

    The radiation received in the air is all the MORE reason not to add any additional.

    We had a two and three year old invasively checked. When we complained, the TSA agent screamed for Security as if we were holding guns. They quickly arrived, could tell that despite her protestations that we were threatening, we were simply venting that a strange woman was putting her hands down the diaper of a child (too bad it wasn’t poopy — I’ll make sure it is the next time). They brought over a TSA grandmother who basically changed their diapers (traumatizing for the older girl).

    This is crap. The argument “then don’t fly” is the same type of argument that we shouldn’t mind if the government comes in our house if we don’t have anything to hide. Poor logic. It’s about freedom.

  184. Just put some junk on your junk. As the woman with the sanitary napkin pointed out, a molester doesn’t like surprises. Nor does he like it when the power trip reverses. Wear a c*ckring. Wear a ball stretcher. Wear women’s panties. Smile when they figure it out.
    Like it or not, TSA employees have a much larger voice than the public does. So, do what it takes to make them “go off” on their bosses.

    FWIW, Nazis simply followed orders. Hitler gave the orders.

  185. Flyingfish,

    I don’t remember making a personal attack against anyone.. but where is your warning to Flyer about calling me whiney moron?

  186. I don’t know if anyone will read this far, but To those who compare TSA agents to Nazis: To quit your job as a Nazi enforcer meant death or fleeing the country as a refugee. Some did it. But it is a lousy comparison.
    Many suggest a boycott of airlines, but I don’t believe this will work because there are too many people who simply have to fly.
    Many suggest TSA agents quit their jobs under protest. This wouldn’t work either. There are hundreds of people waiting in the wings to take each job that is vacated.
    People suggest that TSA agents cannot possibly be serving their country. Also false. Many of these agents became agent long before the TSA morphed into the unweildy organization that it is. They accepted the job with the intent of doing their part to prevent terrorist hijackings. These people are serving their country, and now find themselves in a ridiculous position. (And no, this does not excuse rudeness, and it does not apply to everyone).
    Last point, we only have the AIT scanners because Michael Chertoff, former head of DHS, has a large financial interest in this technology and manufacturing process. No one has been able to show to me what they actually detect.

  187. Has anyone mentioned the fact that the TSA policy is also NOT to search Muslim women below the neck?

  188. The way we are going to get this molestation to stop is by humiliating the TSA as much as we are humiliated. It’s open season. Call them perverts, creeps, and molesters. I hope morale is horrible. I hope they quit their jobs. As far as I am concerned they are half the problem. Abuse them as much as you can.

  189. […] As Jay Rosen puts it, “Even the TSA hates the TSA” right now. I’m sure unionized TSOs would definitely work to reshape the new aggressive […]

  190. There’s only one problem with everyone’s “They should quit!” mantra: If you tell all the people who are uncomfortable with putting their hands on your genitals and/or being called a Nazi to quit, who’s going to be left? The people who enjoy putting their hands on your genitals and/or don’t have a problem with Nazis. Aren’t those EXACTLY who you want to be giving YOU a patdown? Oh, and did I mention the TSA has had an unfortunate history of doing sloppy background checks so it’s entirely possible that they might hire a registered sex offender (and that’s not counting all the pervs out there who didn’t make it onto the registry).

    (Incidentally, people say “Don’t fly if you don’t like it!” Sorry, but if you’re going cross-country, flying is usually significantly cheaper than trains or buses, and not everyone in the world owns a car, but even then gas and motels can be as much as 2x the cost of a ticket on Airtran).

  191. I appreciate you posting viewpoints from the TSOs’ side. Still, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. People who served in the German army under Hitler are not much different than TSOs, other than what orders they are carrying out. So I don’t get the nazi comment above. Still, I thought about this last week when the stories really started to break. I have a wife, kids, mortgage, car payments, etc. But there is no way I could go through with this job. I would immediately begin looking for another job, anything. And I can find anything, even if it means flipping a burger. I am more sympathetic to the agent who has all of these responsibilities at home, but for those who don’t, I have zero sympathy for them. Don’t be a part of the police state apparatus. Find another job. If you don’t, you will be treated as you are being treated. The people will vent their frustrations somewhere, and you represent the establishment doing this to the people. True or not, it does not matter. My advice to people flying is to keep your mouth shut when you are actually dealing with the agent. Too many problems can arise if you say something during this process. Believe me, this advice is probably more for me than anyone reading this. I don’t want to fly. We bought tickets to go home for Christmas three weeks ago. Lots of $$ potentially lost, to say nothing of the grandparents not seeing the kids, etc. I haven’t decided what we are going to do, but I do know that we aren’t flying after this trip until and unless there are major changes at TSA. Sad. Incredible what is happening to us. Bush said after 9/11 that we should just continue to go about our lives and live…to not let the terrorists win. Kind of hard to do that when the government is preventing us from going about our lives and making it difficult for us to live it in a normal way.

  192. “I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    I’m sorry, but doing something vile, shameful, illegal and unconstitutional just because you were told to do so isn’t honorably serving your country. Rather, it is the exact opposite.

    In this situation, Honorably serving your country would be looking your supervisor in the eye and telling him to shove the peepshow machine and the junk grabbing where the sun don’t shine and then walking off the job if necessary.

    Trust me, when you tell your next prospective employer why you quit your job, he or she will hire you in an INSTANT.

  193. None of the agents mention that they’re upset with the TSA or trying to get things changed- “I’m just following the rules.” Well, rules can be wrong and in a country like ours some of our government employees need to actually act like public servants and stand up for the rights of those who pay their salary. The terrorists have already won if every air passenger has to either get cancer mutations created or get molested by a government employee in order to fly on a plane — all in the name of security theater that actually makes us less safe because resources are devoted to it that could instead be used on police investigative work, the only government anti-terrorism tool that has worked in the past.

  194. I’m sorry, wasn’t “Nazi” clear enough for you? Let me be more specific: Adolf Eichmann. “I’m just doing my job” is not an excuse for an immoral job.

  195. Cointreau Leviticus

    How many times do I hear “If you don’t want to be scanned or groped, don’t fly”? If you’re so victimized by your TSA position, quit. How’s that sound? Tool.

  196. I wonder if the widows, widowers, children and parents of people who died on Flight 93 on 9/11 object to going through the body scanners or to the pat-downs? People strip off to nearly nothing and parade around on beaches to show off their boobs and butts to strangers for no reason other than vanity, but they feel that their rights are being violated because the TSA wants to save their lives from some crazy jerk carrying a bomb in his underwear? Give me a break. You’re not that special. You don’t have anything under your clothes that anyone else doesn’t have. Why all this false modesty? You will be the first ones screaming about the government not preventing another plane from flying into a building if someone with box cutters hijacks the plane. Grow up.

  197. […] Especially to the TSA agents tasked with touching said junk. The travel blog Flying With Fish spoke to a bunch of Transportation Security Officers about the TSA’s new “enhanced” […]

  198. @American –
    “You say TSOs touch people’s “junk” against their will, which is totally false. They have to request it, which makes it consensual, so epic fail.”
    “You say, “I will not consent to an enhanced patdown.” When, in fact, you are saying you want to be patted down. You have one option that won’t touch you in the least, and you say no, I want to be “molested”, which, by definition, is consent.”

    No. You clearly have no understanding of ‘consent’. Capituation under duress is NOT considered to be consent. If your logic were correct, then every time a rapist held a gun to someone’s head and said “tell me you want it or I’ll blow your brains out”, they would have consent, and it would no longer be rape. Sorry, NO.

    You also seem to think that the only way people get the grope-up is if they opt-out of the Nude-scanner. Again, NO. If the Nude-scanner is unavailable, and you have metal implanted in your body which sets off the metal detector, you will get the grope-up. If you AGREE to the Nude-scanner, and they see something odd (menstral pad, colestomy bag, implants, odd fold in your clothes, etc) you will get the grope-up. If they can’t figure out what something is in your carry on bag, you will get the grope-up. Again, that is not “choosing” to be groped.

    Furthermore, it is ridiculous to claim people are giving prior consent to genital contact when they buy their tickets for a number of reasons:
    (1) the words “genital contact” do not appear on my airline ticket or any of the associated paperwork, so I never consented to it;
    (2) the TSA has (or at least had not when I flew) posted on their web site what would happen if you failed the metal detector or were selected for the enhanced screening and either failed or opted out of the Nude Scanner, so I couldn’t even know it was a possibility at the point I left for the airport; and
    (3) I and many other people bought tickets months ago, when the TSA was doing the old-style pat-downs. So again, I could not consent to something that didn’t even yet exist.

    You clearly don’t have any understanding of what consent is, or what it means to be an American.

  199. @Gail – “People strip off to nearly nothing and parade around on beaches to show off their boobs and butts to strangers for no reason other than vanity, but they feel that their rights are being violated because the TSA wants to save their lives from some crazy jerk carrying a bomb in his underwear?”

    You may strip off to nearly nothing and parade around on beaches, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us do. You may like being groped by strangers (and like having your children groped by strangers, as well), but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to agree with you.

    When the next attempted bomber gets past the checkpoint by putting the bomb up their anus, are you going to happily agree to having the TSA stick their fist up yours?

  200. @Gail: awww boo-hoo, 9/11! Are you some kind of mind reader? HTF do you know what people will do? I don’t want the TSA to even exist – get these TSA-holes the hell out of my airports and back into the peep arcades. Box cutters? You really are a tool.

  201. So the TSA agents are uncomfortable? The TSA agents _should_ be uncomfortable. Thank God for Ron Paul and HR 6416, the American Traveler Dignity Act. The TSA agents need to have their names and addresses listed on molester lists to be distributed throughout the communities in which they live. Americans deserve to know it when this ilk lives among them. The citizenry needs to be videotaping and photographing the TSA at every American airport, since the powers-that-be seem to imply that the only one capable of monitoring the TSA is the TSA, as if no other oversight is necessary or possible. Enough is enough, and the way to let the TSA know that enough is enough is NOT through niceties and political correctness.

  202. You won’t find me feeling sorry for the TSOs.

    They say that they are unhappy with the searches, but can’t quit right now because of the economy. They also say if you don’t like flying, don’t.

    Guess what? I’m in the same boat. If I refuse to fly, I lose my job.

  203. @ Gail

    It was blind submission to government instructions that allowed the terrorists to accomplish their goal.

    Sit down, comply, shut up, do what the terrorists (TSA) tell you, relax, it will all be over soon.

    It was only until the people of Flight 93 stood up as free people and responded, that more lives on the ground were saved and the terrorists stopped.

  204. If I absolutely had to fly (I won’t for personal travel until the TSA is abolished, but I have to travel some times for work) I figured out the perfect t-shirt to have printed up for our TSA agents who apparently failed history:

    The Nazis were just following orders too.

  205. Gail: if someone tries to take a plane with box cutters, they won’t make it to first class. We passengers will deal with them. We now know better. Recall that there were a couple post 9/11 flights where the passengers engaged hostiles (the shoe and the undie bombers), not to mention people who behaved suspiciously.

    The fact is that the TSOs know what they are doing is mostly theatre. I suspect that a few feel dirty about it. But I have certainly noticed a couple who had power kicks both with the current theatre measures and those preceding it. The comments made by TSOs in the story above also show contempt for passengers. Fatties? (Hey, I exercise and will do strolling laps on layovers), Smellies? (uh see the former, and also see how you smell after flying international) and of course, Business Travelers. (AH! Now I get it. No class warfare there. Do you THINK we like to be separated from our families for several days per month and then be subjected to this complete show of contempt and distrust?) They are making the case against themselves there.

    It’s hard for me to join them in their pity party. If they are as good a they claim to be (and some of them are, I know that as a fact from flying a lot), they know the vulnerabilities in the system. And they know this kabuki does little more than was done before 9/11 beyond more mundane evolutions of the pre-9/11 metal detectors and baggage/carryon scanning. The body scanners wouldn’t catch the pants bomber. The manufacturer admits it.

    Also, as a frequent flyer who’s also been to Israel and flown El-Al, I grudgingly agree with Hana: the El-Al formula is effective. However, it means that we must take flying very seriously. Get to the airport early. Very early. Your travel day and in-transit time will get longer. 30 minute connections? Honestly, I wouldn’t miss them. There will be even less tolerance in coping with loss connections. Flying standby to be reunited with your family earlier than you thought will be less feasible. Rude Yanqui travelers, as well as European sophisticates won’t stand for it.

  206. […] actually one blog out there that has taken the Phil Collins way, and tried to see the other side. You should all check it out. […]

  207. In response to public outcry, a new TSA logo has been developed:

  208. […] Especially to the TSA agents tasked with touching said junk. The travel blog Flying With Fish spoke to a bunch of Transportation Security Officers about the TSA’s new “enhanced” […]

  209. The following comment made me sick to my stomach…. You guys are Nazi’s. Your kidding yourselves. No doubt the Nazi’s that led the Jews to the gas chambers were doing it for their country and it was just their job. If you don’t like what your doing then get another job with moral value.

    “Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences. I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.”

  210. @Gail I don’t parade around in almost nothing on beaches or anywhere else why should I be forced to at the airport.

    as for the scanning equipement not storing or transmitting the pics? they already have been stored and transmitted as they are erased/wiped off the remote viewing machine.

    Yes fight back against those sexually assaulting you. Be it verbally or physically. Just because the TSO was told to sexually assault you doesn’t mean it’s not sexual assault.

    Just because I will be subjected to radiation while flying doesn’t mean I should sign up for more preflight, it’s not like it will provide extra protection from the inflight radiation.

    Ignore “American” they are a troll and probably a TSO.

  211. All I can add is that after a few thousand claims against the TSA from ex employee’s on severe emotional stress – TSA might get the idea that no-one will want to work for them.

  212. What actions can we as citizens take due to these policies?
    1) Eliminate all discretionary flying. Vacation close to home where you can use automobiles or trains to get to your destination. Get your vehicles tuned up and get ready to drive. My household will never fly again while these procedures are in place.
    2) Businesses need to invest heavily in videoconferencing tools and put them to use. Make goals to eliminate 50% of business travel this year. Increase that percentage next year to eliminate the unpleasantness of flying. Consolidate industry and offices in one place to eliminate travel.
    3) I can’t believe any parent would allow these procedures on their children. The big losers may be those places like Disney resorts that rely on family visits. Don’t go to these resorts. How fast will the major corporations make congress move if they are losing big money? They are the drivers of policy, not citizens.
    4) Contact your representatives, but dont’ expect much. They listen to money, not citizens.

  213. Fish,

    If we want the policy changed, then it will have to involve verbally abusing the TSA agents. They all should feel uncomfortable every single time they do it. They should hate having to reach down someone’s pants or wonder if the next person they get is incontinent and wearing soiled diapers. We should make their job miserable in order to effect change. I won’t just fill out a comment card or send a form letter to my congressman. I’m going to ridicule the TSA at every opportunity. I want them to hate going to work, hate being assigned to pat downs and hate listening to me. At some point they’ll refuse to go along and drive change from below.

    I have no sympathy for them.

  214. “We do what we’re told
    we do what we’re told
    we do what we’re told, told to do…” –Peter Gabriel, “we do what we’re told (milgram’s 37)”

  215. Would a TSO ever consent to having their own kids subjected to an “enhanced pat down”? Could a TSO explain to me how, even before this, “randomly” targeting, molesting and traumatising women, people of colour, or people with disabilities, or people with young children makes flying safer? Many of us would chose not to fly at all except we have to, and struggling with kids/disabilities is not made any easier by ignorant, biased, and inconvenient (to say the least) public harassment and humiliation. TSOs HAVE been doing racial profiling (instead of the more intellectually-demanding BEHAVIOR profiling of the El Al) and EVEN SO have yet to catch a terrorist, just lots of bottles of water, sealed jars of jam purchased from gift shops in the SECURED area, toiletries, nail clippers, and cutlery that is issued on the plane anyway. And even for racial profiling, please explain to me why a slim Chinese girl has to be patted down before almost all her flights? Does she remotely fit the profile of a terrorist, or are TSOs just getting their kicks? I’ve been PO’d since the Bush administration, and kicking and screaming, but TSA’s abuses have only now been hitting the limelight because WHITE MEN now know what secondary checks feel like! I have no sympathy for TSOs, because the backlash they’re getting now, in my opinion, has been long in coming. “Don’t like it, don’t fly”? Don’t like your job? Quit. Speak to your superiors–you have even more room to act than the people you’re “patting down”–YOU won’t get a $11K fine for walking out! YOU don’t have an underaged kid being groped and held by a government agency to make you comply! YOU, for whatever messed up reason, do not need to be publicly and sexually touched for the choices you make, unlike your victims. And you SHOULD be demoralised. Whereas sex workers get consent from their clients, you’re touching men, women and children intimately against their will, using FEAR and intimidation. WHY should they quietly submit? So you’ll feel better about your assault?

  216. The TSO’s “Nazi” comment got me thinking. While many Nazis and Germans may not have agreed with the policies of their government, they did nothing to speak up about the injustices they were asked to perform out of fear of reprisals.

    Citizens of the USA (TSOs included) have the right to speak up. Is there fear of reprisals from our own government? If we just comply with the policies, are we any different? Rights only exist if we’re willing to speak up for them and defend them.

    While I feel bad for the TSOs having to take the brunt of the verbal abuse, that is an immediate means for the common traveler to speak up and be heard. They don’t hate the TSO, they hate the policy, and for many, that may be their only means to let someone know.

  217. […] quotes and more from here; read the 180 comments [and counting].)  Just one thing:  these people are not “serving […]

  218. The TSO are not being verbally abused. When you’re being touched in that manner to call some one a molester is appropriate. To tow the line that you’re just doing your job… well, we’ve heard that many many times before. The TSO have a choice. They can walk out, they can strike, they can, collectively, refuse to follow this policy, but instead they choose to assault person after person and then claim they’re serving their country by abusing their own countrymen. I’m sorry, but I have zero sympathy for the TSO and will continue to make comments to them when they touch me inappropriately. How can you tell your kid that you shouldn’t let adults touch you inappropriately, but it’s alright if the government does it as they’re serving their country? Ironically, the TSO are in the best position to stop this policy by refusing to implement the policy. Don’t blame the victim for their choice to fly.

  219. […] to use Twitter to drive traffic to their site. Specifically, the link they posted was about the poor, beleaguered TSOs that are stuck having to implement the TSA’s regressive […]

  220. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View – Flying With Fish – boardingarea.com In the past few weeks since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented its new “enhanced” pat down procedures there has been considerable backlash from the traveling public. This backlash has been loud and angry … but what is not heard or seen in the media is the quiet resentment of this new policy within the TSA. A few days ago I contacted 20 TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSO) to ask their opinions of the new “enhanced” pat downs. Of the..   show all text […]

  221. BJ…

    Citizens of the USA (TSOs included) have the right to speak up. Is there fear of reprisals from our own government? If we just comply with the policies, are we any different? Rights only exist if we’re willing to speak up for them and defend them.

    I’ll be this fair to the rank-n-file TSOs screeners. This is obviously a highly politicized set of directives with in TSA and DHS that they too are on the wrong side of. Hacks like Napolitano & Pistole won’t be caught dead being photographed groping nuns or causing two year olds scream “stop it!” And there are few immobile objects in the university more intransigent than a bureaucrat needing to safe what little face they have left as the TSA/DHS highbrows have been these last few days. THere are whistleblower protections of course, but they are ink on a page. Unless you are very very very public in your whistle blowing like in the DOJ Voting Rights Office, you don’t have much protection from Big-P and small-p political retaliation. And the stereotypical TSO has no indemnification (as in a financial cushion) to go up against them. Even if they know this is BS, they don’t have what it take$ to stand up in this economy and there are plenty of people who would take their job.

    All they have to rely on are the outside expert consultants, airline industry and the Legislative and Judicial Branches (since both the Obama and Bush 2 admins were fine with this crap). (Honestly, TSA and DHS will not listen to travelers as they are not responsible to citizens. This administrations of all stripes, especially this one, has a street rep for smearing sober and measured criticism with the kind that has BHO being Islamicist Sleeper.)

  222. 1. You complain about this until your plane is taken over by “terrorists” and then you blame the govn’t for not providing enough security.

    2. Airlines are private companies in which you pay for a service.

    3. While you are sitting in your nice cozy office or your high rise loft or whatever luxurious dwelling in which you have access to Internet. Think about the people who for whatever reason need to work undesireable jobs. Post man, gas station, TSA, McD’s, ect. It is easy for you to say “just leave” because you are well off. My boyfriend is a graphic designer with a degree and has been unemployed for over a year. Have you tried looking for a job lately? Few and far between. We do not need more homeless people.

    4. Just use the fucking body scanner you dummies!!! Then there would be no problems with people searching you for weapons or explosives. That IS what they are doing you know. Stop being assholes to people who are just doing their jobs when you are the 20th person they have seen today. You are not special. You are not a unique snowflake.

    5. I like how only the men who are homophobic and insecure with their manhood have posted negative comments. You really think they want to put their hands in your nasty smelly crotch? You are dumb.

  223. “do people know what a Nazi is” . . . I think the far larger portion of Nazis were people “just following orders” kind of like most TSA agents are. The average Nazi infantryman most likely gave two shits about cause, they just wanted their paycheck.

  224. Keep in mind, the officers in Germany used the same defense after WW II. They were just following orders.

    It does not matter if the TSA staff are perverts or not – they are acting like perverts and molesting people at the airports under orders.

  225. […] that the next time your package is handled by a government official who may find the screening as distasteful as you do.  Maybe then we can have an adult conversation on balancing security and enlightened […]

  226. This is one of the very few good posts I’ve seen about this issue. Too many hysterics around; how can any thinking person take anyone shrieking about Nazis and homosexual assaults seriously?

    flyingfish, you should know that each of the 17 screeners who responded to you risked termination and/or imprisonment because uniformed TSA personnel are absolutely forbidden to speak to the media.

  227. Maybe they should suck it up and stop bitching. That’s what the passengers are told, right?

    Or maybe they shouldn’t be there if they don’t want to do it. That’s what the passengers are told, right?

    Sympathy: zero.

  228. I’m afraid I come down on the side of those with little sympathy for TSOs. They’ve chosen to be instruments of an idiotic policy. Now they’re instruments of the backlash. Best thing they can do is take every bit of the push-back they receive from the public and pass it on up the line to their superiors. Maybe it’s not fair for them to bear verbal abuse, but it’s even less fair for the traveling public to bear the burden of coddling the political sensibilities of the political elite. Remember: we’re searching nuns and kids not because they’re a threat, but so that no one can accuse us singling out people on the rational basis that they might actually be a threat.

  229. Fish, I wasn’t the one who started the Nazi parallel—so please forgive me for extrapolating from a violation of Godwin’s law, while not actually breaking the tape myself.

    You didn’t address my larger point. “I was just following orders” is NEVER an acceptable excuse, especially for a government official who is putting immoral policies into practice.

    So, no, that TSA person is NOT a Nazi. But he or she shares traits with other people throughout history who have helped their governments and leaders violate the rights of their citizens while claiming no moral responsibility for what they are doing.

    Nobody should call the TSA agents Nazis. That’s silly. But are they morally responsible for their actions? That’s a big yes.

  230. […] notes gravely that avoiding the airlines means more deaths on the highways. TSA agents wail that this isn’t what they signed up for. (As to that last: the Angel Eyes Rule applies. They taken the […]

  231. Nazi’s WERE people who “just followed orders”!

  232. “Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences. I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.”

    So…the TSA are “Just following orders?” Seems I’ve heard THAT before too.

    Unwanted sexual contact of any sort *IS* sexual assault. It doesn’t matter if the TSO’s are happy about it or not. They are sexually assaulting people on a daily basis. Don’t like it? Quit. The job pays about as much as a Wal-Mart greeter…and has about the same requirements, a HS diploma or GED.

  233. If a TSO wants to “serve their country” that person should quit their job over the immoral violation of the 4th Amendment they’re being “forced” to perform.

    Any agent that doesn’t quit is a willing and active participant in this travesty and deserves any and all scorn they receive. Including allusions to Nazi Germany.

  234. I really don’t have much to add beyond what Jason #229 said. This is exactly how I feel about the current state of things, as someone who has done long haul travel to Asia and the EU a good part of my life. I’d just like to add a couple things:

    1 This link from Sibel Edmunds:


    2 It only takes a core of 5-10% ‘extremists’ to move the ‘normal folks’ to ‘just follow orders’. It happened in Germany, it can & has happened here.

    3 There really isn’t THAT MUCH difference between our country and the Weimar Republic of the 30s. All the elements are there, and we’re just a ‘building set fire to’ away from being the bad guys of the 21st century.

    I love my country. I *DO NOT* love what it has become in the last 12 years. I think that Police & Military get SOME presence of mind thru their oaths and training as well as the UCMJ. But some kid doing baggage and now LEO style pat-downs?

    I think when the kids working at the TSA ‘just following orders’ look back at this period in 20 years it will be in shame. Pretty much the same shame I’ve been told even the young in Germany feel for what their elders did. What Germany devolved into is something that has haunted them for at least 3 generations.

    Now it’s our turn. The only thing I can advise to all parties is to educate yourselves.. and ask: Is this what you’re fighting for? Do you want to leave this to your kids?

    -Drunken Economist

  235. If a TSA agent touches the genitals of you or a family member CALL THE POLICE AND INSIST THE TSA “OFFICER” BE ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT.

    I would enjoy being on the jury!

    Demand the names of TSA agents molesting your children. Prosecute these people and have them convicted as registered sex offenders.

    Airports are arresting and seizing the smart phones of citizens recording events. WHY ARE YOU ARRESTED WHEN THE GOVERNMENT AND AIRPORT ARE FREE TO VIDEOTAPE YOU?

    Use the apps for Ustream and YouTube to upload your encounters. Use twazzup.com to keep abreast of events on Twitter.

    Service members – is this what you fought for – to see your Mothers and children groped by TSA workers? Is that what the flag you salute before your ball game represents?

    Workers – is is NOT A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT for you to be radiated, searched and sexually groped to earn your paycheck.

    Children – I am so sorry you have to stand by and let strangers touch you and take your innocence. I am so sorry your parents are cowards who allow this. Remember this children – never forget it.

    Where are the clergy who allow this evil to continue?

  236. Good. Keep verbally abusing these people; maybe if they all quit their jobs, we can fly again. Call them nazis. call them perverts. make them cry themselves to sleep at night. give them depression. screw em. make them feel horrible about themselves. they are doing horrible things, even if it IS their job.

  237. […] I haven't heard of any TSA screeners opposing this proceedure. Kinda odd, isn't it? Here ya go. http://boardingarea.com/flying…point-of-view/ __________________ TSA – Team Sexual […]

  238. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View – Flying With Fish (tags: blog politics privacy security society travel tsa) […]

  239. I am sure it is unpleasant to grope people all day long. But I was struck by this comment:
    “…while someone may not like what I have to carry out, they came to me because they choose not to utilize the alternative and less invasive method of security at my airport.”

    The “less invasive” method involves exposure to radiation concentrated at the skin surface. There is no provision for protecting the eyes of passengers, who may be at increased risk of cataracts from this exposure. The machines have not been shown to be safe. If your cancer risk is increased, that is not a preferable alternative. What about children? Pregnant women? People already undergoing cancer treatment with radiation?

    If I have to choose among being irradiated, having my labia handled by a person who it not my ob-gyn, or driving, I’ll take driving.

  240. Disgusted Citizen of the US

    I read all of those TSA responses and all I kept thinking is QUIT! Why in the world you would continue to go to a job like that? Surely they realize the folly they are involved in. They are NOT making us safer. Where did the shoe and underwear bombers board their planes? In the US? No, they boarded over seas, how is feeling up a 3 year old girl or 70 year old grandpa going to make us safer? I feel sorry for these TSA people if they actually feel they are helping in some way for they are not. They are HURTING plenty as we will no longer fly. We have already canceled our trip to Florida and Disney and I explained to both organizations why, solely upon TSA thuggery.

  241. If they hate the comments from passengers and feel sick when they go home, they should quit this job!

    If the US public hates this and the screeners hate this, it’s a no brainer. Lets stop this madness.

    All passengers opt-out. All screeners quite their jobs. Let’s team up.

    Then this airport madness will be stopped and the 4th Amendment restored.


  243. “I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job.”

    or to shorten it

    “I vas chust following orders”

  244. If ya don’t like flying inconveniences of the security madndated-stay your whining ass home! I am not overly concerned about the TSA security-they were all remnants of the outsourced guard services that failed at these venues before-or vestiges of near-welfare marginal employees. When they get stressed and raked across the hot coals-I remember my reasons for n-o-t applying! Nothing spells stress like tending to a hostile public—high blood-pressure, broken parenting, cancer and diabetes brought on by that stress and irregular hours and insufficient sleep. Dead guards, busting their ass -for an unappreciative public-who wait for a big screw-up to bust their chops and fire them. It is a self-esteem killer, and a career-killer—-no winners! The terrorists get a big laugh—

  245. MAXIMAL “HUMP”-marginal success—-no satisfaction—-other then marginal pay.

  246. If they are so unhappy with their jobs, perhaps they should go on strike. They have rights as employees, and it sounds like those rights are being violated just like the traveling public’s rights are being violated.

  247. Could you imagine the disposition of personality of your local florist, for instance, if the public came in with a sour face and then made your business a living hell? Flowers would suffer-and security is no different. Weird personality and stress behavior manifestations began happening to- certain Wackenhut-assigned groups of guards when they went covert places, and took on certain secretive protocol—it clamps down severely on undisciplined personnel-leading to their problems with bad press relations and broken laws. What I am pointing at is—–the more that is demanded to accomplish a difficult tasking, without higher training and pay-you get less and less results that are effective-and open the window to outright failure-such as is the case with worldwide outsourcing. It is not debatable-I know the guard industry-and America is skating on mighty thin ice-along with a bad dose of hateful public attitude!

  248. Beth,

    TSA TSOs are in the process of unionizing and getting everything together, http://tsa.afge.org. Even if they Unionize that could not strike. This is an issue elsewhere in the TSA, such as Federal Air Marshals being unable to join a Union and seek collective bargaining (they don’t want to strike, but many want recourse for unfair termination).

    Happy Flying!


  249. Keep making them feel uncomfortable, folks, because that is the only way these violations will stop. Our politicians won’t listen. TSA’s upper management won’t listen. We NEED to make the front line people want to quit their jobs. We need to make them realize they CAN “just say no” to committing sexual abuse on the job.

    Otherwise, “the terrorists have won.”



  252. I have ZERO sympathy for the TSA workers. They are not heroes. They are not “servants”. rather, they are willing accomplices to a dehumanizing act perpetuated on innocent people and treat them like criminals.

  253. These nazi TSA workers are lame! Cry? Yeah, you ought to be crying! You ARE MOLESTERS and CRIMINALS, guilty of ASSAULT! Oh, and if you think that you are somehow redeemed by crying about this just being your job, think again. If you are doing something morally repugnant for the money, then you ARE a WHORE as well!

  254. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  255. Pooooooooooooor babies. They are just following orders, right??

    WWII was FULL of people doing heinous things, while “just following orders”. That is no excuse. If you are ordered to do something wrong, then you have a choice: 1. face the consequences of your actions; or 2. quit your job. If you choose to keep the job and follow the orders, then you DESERVE all the anger you will face.

  256. I want to respond. Also, I am a TSA at the world’s busiest Airport. I didn’t read all the responses to your 17 officers that responded. But, 17 out of 65,000 officers is hardly all! Most of my co-workers feel we should have been doing better job of patting down along time ago. It’s so easy to repeat rumers & such. The women to have been hand cuffed & many other things, was on film. The film shows she did not report accurately what happened. For everyone that would like to see it & other videos, also wriiten accounts go to TSA’s website. That is if you want both sides of the story. In every job I know there are people that shouldn’t be in that line of work. I’m sure we have officers that should go. But it”s no different than any other place. Every place I know has some that should go. Walk a mile in our shoes. Then judge us. To those who think they can make us quit to put pressure on higher ups. I’ve got this to say. I will make it my personal goal to uplift all my fellow officers & that as we know it is a small LOUD few that are making the stink. Those of us that REALLY care about their safety as well as all others. Will do our best to keep EVERYONE safe. Come do our job for one week. Those that think we are rejects & ex welfare people, I have news for you that’s not the case. I have worked all my life.

  257. Treason for $8/hr.

    Most planes and airports are cleaned by crews full of illegal aliens and everyone knows it.

    Most food is prepared by crews full of illegal aliens and everyone knows it.

    Every terrorist on 9/11 had official US government paperwork and everyone should know it.

    Osama was trained by the CIA to fight the USSR in Afghanistan.

    Ronald Reagan called him a ‘Freedom Fighter’ on CSPAN.

    The government creates our enemies as an excuse to crush working serfs.

    By the numbers, US citizens are more likely to be killed by their own police than they are by terrorists.

  258. Just people using their First Ammendment right to express their outrage over the Fed Govt taking away their Fourth Ammendment rights.

    People don’t like being molested, so the molesters have to listen to all the complaints…unless you are advocating that our First Ammendment rights also be taken away.

    If they don’t like it, find another job. Just like I’m trying to find another way to travel.

  259. Sparkey

    You work for the TSA and you think the TSA has 65,000 Transportation Security Officers? The TSA has 43,000 TSOs and has a financial cap at 43,000 TSOs. This is well known in the agency.

    Happy Flying!


  260. My wife is TSA and she would like to think that doing her job might just save one of you whiners asses from being blown up.Think about that next time you want to bitch like a baby!

  261. Poor TSA agents. Just doing their jobs.
    if these gutless creeps had any self respect they would say they are not going to feel people up!

  262. A note to all of you ignorant buffoons still attacking the individual officers in response to this article – think before speaking next time. These people had their jobs before this policy went into effect. They didn’t rush out and apply when they read about enhanced pat downs.

    Many of these people have had their jobs for some time now, and use it to support their families. If you took the time to actually read, you’d see that they said at this rate they will quit their jobs…but not everyone is so fortunate to be able to just quit their job on a whim.

    These new procedures suck for everyone involved – but some of you need to grow up and realize who the real target of your ire should be.

  263. If those “professionals” don’t like what they are paid to be doing, they should bloody well go on strike.

    And the pat down are, with pretty good confidence, not saving any asses from being blown up. Maybe a little less obscene behaviour from USA would.

  264. […] TSA has met the enemy _ and they are us and TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View […]

  265. […] how tsa people feel. clue: they don’t like it neither […]

  266. […] Agents: We Hate This Too Anonymous TSA agents tell BoardingArea.com’s Steven Frischling, “It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling […]

  267. Dear Americans,

    How long you need to realize that those things, once started, are not going to be just about flying and airports? Random (or not) strip searches on the roads, ports, railroads – that’s just nearest future. TSA is not just about *air* transportation, right? Since you gave up the whole thing (constitution rights), you can’t expect any mercy. Do not. But don’t be afraid: there were many families living their lives happily under Hitler and Stalin. It’s just, well, different.
    Sorry for your loss.

  268. As a veteran, I am well aware that a person must not obey an illegal order, no matter whom issued it. To do so would seal your fate. To the workers who whine about having to molest people, throw your heads in a can of coffee and sniff, feeling penises, vagina’s, breasts, and anuses, are illegal and considered sex abuse. Stop acting foolish and making excuses for your perverted behaviors. If your feeling are being hurt by the abuse you are suffering, it is because you are AMERICANS, and you were taught about NAZI GERMANY, and you know in your heart what you were asked to do, and you are doing is immoral, illegal, sick, and perverted. You might as well quit your low paying job, and make real money as a prostitute.

  269. On August 19, 2009, while speaking to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus, Calley apologized for his role in the My Lai massacre. According to the Ledger-Enquirer[12] and a blog maintained by retired broadcast journalist Dick McMichael.[13] Calley said:

    There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai. I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry….If you are asking why I did not stand up to them when I was given the orders, I will have to say that I was a 2nd Lieutenant getting orders from my commander and I followed them—foolishly, I guess.

  270. @Beueg:

    You sure are a whiny little bitch, aren’t you?

    You claim that airlines are private businesses and you claim that the government should be in charge of security for them. WTF is wrong with you? Let the private businesses take care of themselves. I see you’re another mind reader who claims to know what people who hate stupid TSA harassment will do in the event of another terrorist incident. Why don’t you hook up with Miss Cleo instead, you kook? Most of us are comfortable with the risks and want the TSA and their cowardly suck-up to get the fuck out of all our airports. Why don’t you and your unfortunate boyfriend hide under the bed where it’s safe? Explosives can be reliably detected with the wand and the puffer – there is no need for TSA sick fuck perverts and sex offenders to be peeking and groping passengers.

  271. I am sorry, I simply have no simply for you when you say “I am just doing my job”. The Nazi”s said the same thing. When something is wrong it is wrong. YOU Make the choice, You live with your own actions. You are responsible.

    When I had a job in which the company I worked for wanted me to design weapons..I quit. It is just wrong to use knowledge to make items that kill.

    QUIT and only thing can any one believe your statement that you do not like it.

  272. Think TSA guys are rude and abusive? Wait and see what Mica’s privatized, Blackwater=type thugs will do to you. This is absolutely NOT about protecting us from terrorism. A terrorist could strike in a thousand ways and places – “if” there actually were any terrorists out there. No, this is about control, and expect to see this spread. It is not limited to travel. Our beloved leaders are leading the way toward allowing big biz to take over our small farms; food supplies (govt. in bed with GMO companies); our access to vitamins and supplements; our internet access; our medical care and vaccinations; our savings and Soc. Sec., etc. We are up against an encroaching police state. The government is actively working against us.

  273. I have to agree with the first response. No one is holding a gun to a TSA agent’s head whey they molest people (whether they enjoy it or not isn’t the issue). They can refuse to violate people. They can walk away.

    On the other hand, if I want to exercise one of the ultimate acts of freedom: to fly–yet I refuse to allow myself–or my family–to be molested, then men with guns will pull me aside and threaten my freedom, and perhaps even take it away. Who’s the victim in that case? I can tell you, it’s not the TSA agents.

  274. What’s truly disturbing is that sooner or later the majority of TSOs – those that have personal or moral objections molesting people as part of their daily job – will get fed up and quit. And the only TSOs we will have left are those that actually *like* their job…

  275. All the whining and complaining above reminded me of a TV program I saw once that showed the camp guards in Auschwitz getting away to a recreational camp a few miles away for some fun and frolic to recuperate from the stressful job of murdering all those people. After all, they were professionals just doing their job–following orders–even if they didn’t agree with the policies. I seem to remember that the War Crimes Trials after the war established that “following orders” is no excuse. People of good faith who are working for the TSA should get out if the policies aren’t changed right away! I hope the new Congress gets on this ASAP. Meanwhile, Happy Holidays.

  276. […] careers are the less than one million TSA agents in the United States. Talk about self absorbed. Read some of the interviews with TSA agents and you will understand that they aren’t happy about this […]

  277. Perhaps I’ll leave them a dollar — you should pay whores.

  278. The one thing I have against these backscattering machines is that they do not actually pick up a multitude of threats. They only reach past clothing, and the only other scan generally undertaken is just a simple metal detector. There are many other ways to simply make an explosion.

    Just one of the many things you could do is mentioned on xkcd:

    I know it is just a comedy strip, but I’m not exactly going to start listing ways to blow up planes. That would be rather stupid 😛

    As for TSOs, I do see their point of view, but I also see the point of view that they have a choice of job, and could try to get a different one. I’m on the fence for that one.

    As far as having fun with annoying/not nice TSOs, this should be good-

    Yes, I am a xkcd fan.

    This is just my point of view, don’t take it too seriously.
    Random (never been to America in my life 😛 )

  279. I’m going to turn the tables on this conversation and throw back something that I hear a lot from other TSA personnel (mainly Blogger Bob)….. Working for the TSA is not a Right, its a privilege. You can choose to work there or not. If your not comfortable feeling penises all day you can choose a different job.

  280. I feel so bad for these folks who are “only following orders”. Real patriots they are. I made some small modifications to their comments from the article to put it all in the proper perspective for this sort of personal justification.

    “Murderer, killer, devil, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I gassed the jews. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    “I come to work to do my job. It is not up to me to decide policy, it is up to me to carry out my duties as dictated by the Reichskommissariat. When a naked jew stands before me in preparation for the delousing chamber and calls me a antisemite or accuses me of killing their children it is disheartening. People fail to understand that neither of us are happy about the gassings I am carrying out. I am polite, I am professional and while someone may not like what I have to carry out, they came to me because they choose not to utilize the alternative and less troublesome method of suicide before arriving at the camp.”

  281. @Foreigner


    “I talked about a situation at my local juvenile jail by a TSA agent in training who works for the local sheriff’s department. She was pissed at us for my not wanting to comply with removing my glasses and she spat out how we better get used to these invasive searches because they are going to be instituted everywhere and we would be forced to comply. This is a small town, low level sheriff’s department hack making those comments and just relishing the power trip of control they think they will control. I was shocked to hear it from someone so local as it brought all the ‘conspiracy theories’ on it home as opposed to some distant individual supposing of some slippery slopes. They are training these megalomaniac jerks already to make us comply….”

  282. Fish,
    With all respect to your TSA friends, I think the predecessors of the Nazis may be more applicable. In the period during the Weimar Republic, Germany established a constitution (Weimarer Verfassung) with rights not unlike our own. It begins with an acknowledgment that governing power emanates from the German people, and included specific protections including the freedom of movement. It contained provisions protecting a person’s home, papers and effects from violation by the government. It lasted until 1933 and was used by the NSDAP, the German workers party and the German Communist party to its advantage, culminating in the NSDAP electing Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany.

    A fire, of unknown origins in the Reichstag, which was quickly labeled as a terrorist event led to the dissolution of many of the provisions of the Weimar Constitution (Zwieter Haupttiel) including the protections on individual privacy and rights, including homes, papers, telephone/telegraph and mail. This was coincident with the rise of Nazi power in Germany, and was supported by many Germans who had no idea what was to come.

    In addition, it gave German governmental units authority to enact their own regulations, which were mainly secret, allowing agents to demand papers as a condition of travel and other abuses of the German citizens.

    By the time the general population was fully aware, Germany was involved in its Lebensraum wars and it was too late. But make no mistake about it, the early Nazis and likely most Nazis were not full of hatred. They were members of a political party who happened to work for the government as it slowly began to erode the constitutional protections of the day. And the NSDAP even offered universal health care to grease its way into political power.

    Interesting parallels, at least to me. In 1923, no one was criticized seriously for being a Nazi. That came decades later.

    Are front line TSO agents Nazis? Not in the current popular understanding of the word, but as many others have noted, they are agents of a government agency which exercises its authority by Secret Directives (SDs and SSIs) which they claim allows them to do what they do. Could they become Nazis? Certainly and it won’t take much more to make it so.

  283. I am a middle aged Australian with a satisfying job. This TSA stuff has been all over the news. We all know this screening process is flawed. It will change… Unfortunately it will take time and some involved (on both sides – TSA included) will likely be worse off emotionally as a result.

    I wonder of those people who approve of the current process if they still would hold that opinion if they themselves were subject to the full screening process on their every journey, or witness another person breakdown from embarrassment, or witness a TSA staff go into distress after receiving unnecessary foul language, or witness their own child undergo a screen. My god.
    Or even in a scenario a few years later…. still hold that opinion when they discover some of those associated in this process (TSA included) have an underlying & possibly connected issue associated with their drinking/drug/other habit – or that the moles growing on their skin is actually cancer, from that period in 209-2010 when they used radiation scanners at airports. MMT

  284. TSA chief John Pistole to put priority on rail, subways


  285. ““Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure…”

    Actually, I think that’s precisely the defense Nazis tried at Nuremberg.

  286. You are kidding me, right? People have choices, okay? If this is so demoralizing, then talk to your superiors. They are the ones that make you do this. If they don’t listen, find another job! About that “nazi” comment that one of the TSO’s made, now you know what it’s like when we are called nazis by teapartiers and others. Btw: nazis “were just doing their jobs” frying people, etc. Please don’t give me that BS! “Just doing your job”? Nonsense. You know it’s not right. What you should be doing, all of you, is walk out on Opt-Out Day November 24. That will send a message to Sec. Napolitano. Oh, and serving your country does not mean serving Sec. Napolitano. It means serving us, the people. You are not doing that. You are serving Chertoff instead, and with the public groping and molesting you are trying to encourage people to go through the cancer chamber so Chertoff can be successful financially. Think I’m stupid?? Stop your power tripping!

  287. I don’t care if you singlehandedly rescued 100 Afghani orphans from a burning building and you’re only working this job to pay for your elderly mother’s cancer medicine, you forfeit my respect as soon as you put on a TSA uniform. Absolutely no exceptions.

  288. I can’t believe some of the things I’m reading here in the comment thread:

    “If they don’t like their jobs, they should just quit.”
    “The TSOs have a responsibility to their fellow citizens…”
    “Just following orders is no excuse…”

    Yes, indeed, it is quite simple for you to tell someone else, “Hey, you should just quit your job if you don’t like it” when they have a family to feed, bills to pay, and a mortgage to maintain. Folks, disagree with the policy all you like. Protest and do what you must to get the policy changed. But do NOT take it out on the people on the front-line who are just doing their job. They are normal people like you and me. They don’t make policy.

    Bottom line – quit acting like children. If you don’t like the policy, don’t fly. But quit taking it out on the people who are doing their jobs and trying to keep you safe.

    And another thing … quit throwing stones. I’m not Christian, but I keep getting told by all the family values conservatives that this is a Christian nation. If that’s true, I guess it’s a Christian nation that forgot about that little notion of “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  289. OK, here’s the deal. Some of these whining TSO’s need to sneek some of these porno scans out and release them to the press. You will never be prosecuted or fired because we all know that these images are not saved or stored. Right. I still want to know why a woman would be offended by a male groper and a man would not be offended by a gay male.

  290. I have no sympathy for the predicament that TSA and their goons have put themselves in. I’d sooner sling burgers and mop floors than work at a job where I rob people of their dignity and their constitutional rights day in and day out. They SHOULD have low morale.

  291. From day one I thought that these new enhanced pat downs were a terrible idea, but it is up to us, and our congressmen, to change these policies. After reading and seeing the conduct of some TSA agents, I can see where the hostility towards all TSA agents comes from. The apparent harassment of little kids and the disabled will turn the general public against you. As for my self, having had multiple surgeries from a terrible car accident in which people died and I was left perminatly disabled with a lot of metal in my body, I will probably have to have the pat down done to me and at such a time I will just close my eyes and imagine that I am having a physical done in which I have to turn my head and cough.

  292. Nazi was a political party, like GOP or the other guys. It was the corrupt idiots in power that made it so hated. So the “following orders” excuse is just that, an excuse. When it started, the average German really did think the Jews were going to interment camps (like we did to the Japs), so again the “following orders” was used as a defense at the war trials. Whoever said the TSA has a choice is correct, they can quit, but a job is hard to come by nowadays, they have to let their own mind ( I can’t spell concunse) decide if it’s worth the headaches, or they can file a workers comp claim for stress. Maybe that’s the best ideal file a claim and let the gov pay you to sit at home. I’m just saying…

  293. So, one population (group A, the American public) hates what is being done to them by a population of people (group B, the TSA). Group B (The TSA) hates doing what it is doing to Group A (the American public). The authority over what group B (the TSA) is doing is the Government. The group that is in authority over the U.S. Government (the Government of the people, by the people and FOR the people) is Group A (the American Public). Group A has told the Government, and the its subordinates (Group B, the TSA) to NOCK THIS BULLSHIT OFF! So if you are truly a professional, you listen to the people in charge (the American Public) and tell the middle man (the Government) to grope him/herself.

  294. define:nazi
    Short for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, the political party that emerged in Munich, Germany after World War I. The party was taken over by Adolf Hitler in the early 1920’s.

  295. Not long ago Americans enjoyed the best education in the world and America was one of the most advanced countries in the spheres of agriculture, medicine, the arts, heavy industry, electronics, and space travel, and Americans enjoyed the most innovative and most prosperous economy in the world. But no other nation in the history of the world fell from such a height. While the bulk of the populace was having fun by snorting coke, smoking weed, drinking beer, and telling God to get lost, their political leaders were busy selling them out on a silver platter to evil Globalists, and America was despoiled, pillaged, and parceled to Japan, China, Mexico, and Europe.

    Americans were so prosperous that they said, “we don’t need God any longer, let’s get rid of the old myth in the sky by removing the Bible from Public Education and lets replace it with something more trendy, like Darwin’s theory of evolution, sex education and the homosexual agenda, we want our children well rounded in the ways of the world, they said.” And 47 years later, you feel like your world is collapsing around you, things are getting out of hand, like the incredible shrinking dollar, no more good paying manufacturing jobs, and the intrusive pat down by the TSA, which in reality is another oppressive tactic created by evil Globalists and carried out by the tyrannical members of the US Government bent on destroying America from within, by subjugating every men, women, and children.

    The US Constitution today is nothing more than a historical parchment, and Americans no longer derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Americans have been deceived, and manipulated into serfdom by unscrupulous politicians, judges, and religious leaders working in conjunction with heartless and ruthless Globalists. These Puppet Masters are also in control of the Federal Reserve System, the White House, Congress, the US Armed Forces, Education, Religion, and the Mainstream News Media, and they also prey on innocent little children, which they have conditioned through Public Education for the last 47 years into obedient little serfs as commanded by Nikita Khrushchev, “Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.” And as stated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.”

    Globalists also planed and carried out the attacks and the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and Bldg 7 of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Globalists also masterminded the London bombings, and the Madrid bombings in order to deceive the people of the world into total submission through fear, since they long to have absolute power. Globalists just shift the blame to their favorite CIA operative and the world’s most feared and most elusive boogeyman Osama Bin Laden, in order to intensify fear and usurp Americans civil liberties by creating the oppressive Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, implemented through the Bush administration that continues to fool and manipulate very easily the gullible and fearful lost sheep of America into a false sense of security.

    God is still in control, the fact is the Globalists are the ones dangling from the end of God’s strings, and Obama is dangling from the end of the Globalists strings, and the entire US Government is dangling from the end of Obama’s strings, and the American people are dangling from the end of the US Government strings. The godless American populace is under God’s judgment, therefore President Hussein Obama is one of God’s instruments of wrath, and so are the Globalists who also created the world’s economic crisis, and ordered the Government bailouts because of America’s rampant apostasy. God is decimating America in an orderly manner; in order to protect his called, chosen, and faithful followers, otherwise America today would be a heap of sulfur balls, and ashes just like the place where Sodom and Gomorrah once stood.

    Just think for a moment about the sufferings your children and grandchildren will have to endure just because you choose to stick your tongue at the Most High God and His Son Jesus Christ. It’s a well-documented fact that America has become a nation of fools, and now they find themselves spiritually, intellectually, and financially bankrupt, following after evil. That’s is why they can’t accept the fact that the same evil Globalists that had President Kennedy assassinated, have installed every US President in the White House from Richard Nixon to Hussein Obama with a helping hand from the mainstream news media.

    Just like they have done it in the past, Globalists have installed their new Congressional puppets in the last mid-term elections, and they will also install their favorite puppet in the White House in 2012, regardless of what happens at the voting booth, since they own the voting machines they can easily fix them to favor the puppets of their choice. As stated by Karl Marx the father of modern Communism, “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

    And it is obvious that in 1776, Johnny Adams was dead wrong when he said in Thoughts on Government, “Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.”

  296. Working for the TSA is a perfect job for sex offenders. Where else can you find someone to stand still and not scream while you check out their privates? And they won’t call the cops on you!

  297. This is the 4th Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Take it to the Airport and shove it up the TSA managers’ behind.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  298. Its hard to escape the fact that what is going on is the willful violation of the 4th Amendment by people who are just “doing their jobs.” What a load of crap!

    While this isn’t Naziism, it is certainly Fascism and what you are doing in the name of “your job” is most certainly hurting the country.

    Quit. Or continue to face the justified verbal abuse.

  299. While I understand the “poor me’s” in the article, they are not forced to violate others rights, they choose to do so. They choose to continue going to work and doing what they are told, even though some say that they are disgusted by the policy. The last one who said that they are offended by being called Nazi’s merely for doing their jobs and because they are Jewish MUST ask themselves this question.

    Do they not pay attention to History? There were large numbers of German Nazi soldiers that where convicted for “just doing their jobs”, even though they were disgusted, knew that it wasn’t right and they didn’t make the policies, just carried them out.

    Do they honestly believe that we, the american taxpayers will ultimately let them slide by with similar excuses? Illegal orders are illegal orders. How do your orders square with the US Constitution, which is the highest law in the land? If the orders and policies do not square with the constitution, refuse them. Protest in whatever manner is necessary to demonstrate that you are not merely another class of sheeple that will do and say anything, in the name of serving our country.

  300. Yes the TSA personnel are doing their duty and they don’t like it. Did the Nazi concentration camp workers like mistreating the Jews and helping them to their deaths. I rather suspect most of them did not, yet they did it anyway. Their morale was probably low too. Cry me a river.

  301. I’m definitely sympathetic to what these workers are saying.

    The only people who are winning here are the ones with huge contracts for selling the equipment to TSA. Really quite ridiculous corruption.

  302. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View – Flying With Fish In the past few weeks since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented its new “enhanced” pat down procedures there has been considerable backlash from the traveling public. This backlash has been loud and angry … but what is not heard or seen in the media is the quiet resentment of this new policy within the TSA. (tags: security travel privacy tsa) […]

  303. I would hate being frisked to get on a plane and I would have been tempted to act out by saying “I’ll bet you enjoyed that, didn’t you” to the person doing that if hadn’t been made aware of what the situation is like for them. Thanks for your post.

  304. The late Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007 RIP) wrote: “The shoe thing at the airports and Code Orange and so on are world-class practical jokes, all right,” Vonnegut reflected. “But my all-time favorite is one the holy, antiwar clown Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989 RIP) pulled off during the Vietnam War. He announced that the new high was banana peels taken rectally. So then FBI scientists stuffed banana peels up their asses to find out if it was true or not.”

  305. As a german i must say that the Nazi comparison is indeed inappropriate. Instead TSOs should be compared to the average german citizens who just did their job every day under the Nazis. You know, a lowly beaurocrat going through the city’s files to identify those who had jewish ancestry for example.

    Did they agree with the whole procedure? Maybe not.
    Did them (and everyone else) going along with it and just “doing their jobs” harm the freedoms of citizens? It certainly did.

  306. What a difference one missed “Groping” by a perverted TSA worker will make when a plane is blown up.All you snot-suckers will call a lawyer before you call an ambulance because they missed the actual threat.Look at any WallyWorld check out line and envision having to touch those in-bred creatures to keep your job.Anybody can point at someone else and their NAZI ways on the same day they turn down an insurance claim,foreclose on a house,or any number of despicable things you do to keep your jobs daily.
    Stop the whining about what the Government is doing while demanding the Government do something else to fix the problemSTOP Using the Airlines for 3 days and they’ll treat you like a customer instead of cattle.

  307. In the end, the world is laughing at the USA and their retarded policies and beliefs about what or how security should be. Whoever wants to blow a plane, will have no trouble doing it… understand that.

    If the “greatest” nation feels threatened by a Nail Clipper, then you might as well stop trying to be the world police and mind your own business, the world has worked fine for a lot of years before the US of A was even a sperm…

  308. The final sentence of the article, to work together with the TSA employees, strikes me as extremely odd. Yes they are people, but in these interactions they are in the position of POWER OVER the passengers. There’s no “together.” Despite their whining and demoralization, passengers face jail and an $11K fine for not obeying their dictates. There is nothing equal, mutual, or reciprocal about it. They can cry about being caught in the middle, between us and their overlord/employers, but all that means is that they need to come out on one side or the other — with their employer, or with the people? When I see them choosing to on our side against this ridiculous, degrading and useless “thing based” security, and instead join the push for a return to human security and intelligence, then I will say we can “work together”. But as long as they exercise all the power and we are like cattle with no choice, no way. And “Nazi” is a good name for it. Nazism doesn’t have to be in your heart, it can simply be in your actions. Actions exactly like these. I’m sure not every Nazi soldier “enjoyed” gassing Jews or shooting them in the head, but they did it anyway, to remain in good favor with “the system.” In that way they qualify.

  309. Though I understand the individual agent frustrations, having been a constant air traveller for over 15 years, (I’m in the military and travel commercial air a couple times a month) the quality, courtesy and professionalism of Airport security folks as a whole has been in constant decline in the US for decades.

    As an active duty service member I’m actually a little bothered when I see TSA agents wearing the US flag on their uniform. They don’t deserve the honor.

  310. Dear TSA front line – doing your job and following directions or orders has found to not be an excuse.

  311. Dear TSA Agents – don’t worry, but aggressively patting down 3-year olds, elderly women, and everyone else who doesn’t fit the profile, you are successfully keeping the American people safe from the Boogyman (aka, Al Queda). /Sarcasm. Clearly these measures aren’t designed to protect us from Al Queda, as Pistole claims – or else we’d be focusing on people who were even remotely likely to BE a terrorist. Instead, it’s one more powergrab by the government. For the TSA agents who don’t realize that wake up. To all who complained: boo hoo, you don’t like your job? Quit. You are not keeping America safer.

  312. If you plan to participate in the protest, show some concern for the other travelers by packing diapers and some extra nonliquid snacks or money in your carryon.
    Those traveling with children or the elderly are probably the most threatened by a slowdown, so show some consideration.
    And if you aren’t allowed to give it out, it will just make for the NEXT viral video, not a bad thing either.

  313. “Additionally, the Nazi analogy is not dead on. As I have stated, I have my significant issues with the TSA, but they are not rounding people up and shipping them off to be exterminated in an attempt to commit genocide. ”

    How do you think it started with nazis? They didnt start by rounding people up to kill them. They started by doing little things… for security reasons…. to make people compliant. It took many years to get to that point. Why to people fail to see that.

  314. I’m glad they feel bad. It’s expensive to hire a new employee, so if the turnover rate increases, maybe the TSA will rethink its tactics.

    Go a head and poke my cooch. I’m happy to whip out my maxi pad and show it to you. Keep it as a souvenir!

    What the hell is our country becoming?

    To #136, Frank: I know plenty of Army grunts (enlisted as nothing, assigned to combat infantry – seriously “grunts”) who took advantage of training and educational opportunities afforded them by the Army and transitioned into six figure careers upon their exit from the military. Anyone who doesn’t take their opportunities is just stupid. Even when you’re out of the military, it’s not too late – take that GI bill to a trade school for crap’s sake!

  315. These innocent sounding TSA agents are not typical of the type I’ve read about over and over again online. Many are more like the power-hungry prison guards who have absolute control over their charges, and get off on it. I’ve often seen these types at airports. They love having power over other people and love to be just border-line abusive. They do not respect others and this is probably because they grew up as abused and disrespected children. Now they enjoy taking it out on others. Don’t tell me that all these agents are just patriots serving their country.

  316. Time to seek out and utilize air travel options not affected by TSA B.S. — things like charter, local private pilots, small regional airlines that have structured their ops to avoid as much Federal B.S. as possible, etc… .

    NOTE: Local private pilots can offer suprisingly affordable options and even private charter can be very affordable when done in groups. Another option (if you fly alot) is to get together with a local private pilot, and some friends, and set up a group ownership arrangement of an aircraft that meets most of the group’s needs. Some recommended, affordable, capable aircraft: cessna 206, cessna 210, cessna caravan, king air 100, and the king air 200 (most, especially non-aviator types, will be happiest with the caravan and king air aircraft).

  317. To all the ‘I am just doing my job’-people: If your job is perceived as molestation by so many people and you yourself don’t like to do it, maybe you should bond with the passengers and protest the enhanced pat-down regulations. It’s the system to be fought, not your fellow people.

  318. Enough with the Nazi comparison, folks. Some of us actually had relatives who were exterminated during that time. You do a dishonor to their memory and to yourself by using that comparison. There is a no equivalence (moral or otherwise) between now and then. None.

    And for the people saying “if you don’t like it, quit,” that’s a mighty easy thing to say when it’s someone else (not yourself). In case you haven’t heard, there’s 9.6% unemployment out there. Would you quit your job if you had a family to feed or bills to pay? I highly doubt it.

  319. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  320. Oh, the poor dears!

    Then again, how many times have we been told, “you can always drive.”

    Well, “they can always quit.”

    So backatcha.

    When the Fourth Amendment crashes into some blue-shirt’s precious little hurt feelings, guess where my sympathy’s are?

  321. Everybody has the right to say NO – I said NO to many jobs that would have taken my honor or where I would have been forced to take the honor of others and do things that I think are NOT good to do – I resigned and tried to find another job or live another live – it is always possible! If you feel that at work you are forced to do things that are not ok – you have always the right to say NO.

    If you are so spineless to say “no, I fear saying no because I will loose my job” – well, than you basically agree to do things, that are not good – it is your choice. You must organize then and together you will reach your goals.

    Jesus decided to do what he thinks is right and nobody could force him doing things that he thought were wrong. If you do not trust in god anymore, you should start recognizing today that you are not alone. Good will help you!

    People of USA – you must resist the fascist system that is forcing you more and more to do things that you do not want to! Be proud of the one that once was America – a free country!!! You must restore this freedom!
    Nowadays USA is like a big prison! How could you let that happen???
    People of USA, why don´t you wake up? You must believe in God and restore freedom for your great nation! Please, start today!

  322. The abuse being heaped on the screeners happens at any large organization where management doesn’t care about responding to those it serves. Ask any hourly retail employee at a store where the service stinks. The advice I give them is the same advice I would give the screeners. You need to get a thicker skin and push back a little or quit. It’s obvious management isn’t backing you up. Ever wonder why the clerks at the DMV or unemployment office are (or at least used to be) so mean and rude sometimes?

    TSA’s mandate is 100% safety at any price – including sensitivity to those it serves. Some of you might remember Lily Tomlin’s line on Laugh In, “We’re the phone company, we don’t have to care.” Just to note – the AT&T monopoly isn’t around anymore.

  323. Recording/saving the images… check!

    Florida officials saved/recorded 35,000 pictures after they repeatedly said they wouldn’t. SKETCH. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/04/body-scan-images-from-sec_n_670170.html

  324. I know economic times are hard, but really, unless you’re supporting like 4 adopted kids, one of whom is disabled I have NO SYMPATHY for anyone who’s working as a TSA officer. You’ve chosen a “profession” in which you treat your fellow Americans like criminals, and now rob them of their 4th amendment rights. You’re just doing your job? Just following orders, huh? That’s why they’re calling you a Nazi, buddy!

    You may not be rounding us up into concentration camps, but one of the first things Nazis did at the camps was to rob the Jewish people of their clothing and dignity.

    I can’t feel sorry for these people. They are CHOOSING to do this job, we have NOT CHOSEN to have our right to the privacy of our bodies violated. The stories on-line of passengers who were victims of sexual assault at the hands of the TSA (having your labia touched without warning or giving consent is nothing short of sexual assault) or whose urine bags broke all over their clothes makes me have zero sympathy.

    If you work for the TSA – stop following orders. Join your fellow Americans again and protest these policies. You may have power to change them.

  325. Well, first of all, I agree to the other Bernd (also German), that it’s more the common opportunist that just “did his job” during the Nazi time, which still contributed a lot to all the disaster. But a lot of real Nazis hid behind the opportunists after the war (claimed they were such, while they really where Hitler fanbois); same thing when there’s now enough public pressure to the TSA agents to feel that they are doing something wrong. Also, following criminal orders is criminal by itself, and no excuse whatsoever.

    And about “they can always drive”: I can’t. There’s no road between Germany and San Francisco, and I’m “forced” to business travels by my employer. Yes, I can always quit, too, but for me, it’s just half a dozen silly massages (actually, last time I got the pat down only in Germany, there wasn’t one in SFO, and the porno scanner was apparently broken, as well).

    If we didn’t call these incidencs “terror”, but “accidents”, we wouldn’t even notice that something is going on. Each year, 10 times as many people die from car accidents in the USA as on 9/11. Yes, you can always drive, but it’s a lot more dangerous than terror. Here in Germany, we have “terror warnings”. The real threat is that it’s going to snow this week. Since it’s the first snow this winter, and enough idiots still don’t have winter tires on their car, it will be deadly. For a few people, at least.

    You can’t have both, perfect security and freedom. This works just as well for winter tires as for terrorist threats. This just doesn’t cause this kind of emotions.

  326. @Michael E. Rubin:

    Any TSA-hole who depends on the TSA to “feed their family” or some other BS excuse is just selling out this country for a paycheck. I have no sympathy for anyone who chose to have too many kids, chose to buy too big of a house, or has too big of a lifestyle that being a paid sex offender for TSA is the only way to maintain this extravagance. McDonalds, Walmart, and other honorable employers are almost always hiring. Choosing to sexually assault people as a TSA-hole is just a choice. A bad, treasonous choice.

  327. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets raped, and everyone “just following orders.” is enabling it. How does it feel to break the law everyday without chance or recourse?

    And to the vets..

    “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”

    When did the 4th amendment get cut out of the Constitution?

  328. Quote: …Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body…..

    Seriously this dude does not know what a nazi is. A nazi is a person following obscene rules, all for the “good of his country”. In WW2 those evil nazis were not a special breed of mankind with nothing but hatred and destruction on their minds but average guys doing their jobs without asking questions.

    Applies perfectly to TSA, dont you think?

  329. To #318 – Michael E. Rubin: I am sorry for your loss, but do you really think Nazi Germany started with the extermination camps? No, it started nearly a decade earlier with the nullification of many of the key civil liberties of German citizens in response to a terroristic act. Does that sound familiar? It should.

  330. […] Frischling, who has run his own TSA blog for four years, asked 20 TSA agents what they think of the new security measures. Of the 20 he […]

  331. Divide and conquer has long been a method of quieting the dissenting opinion. All we accomplish by hating TSA officials, and TSA officials resenting passengers for making them feel like dirt, is lessening the force and impact of the voices calling for security reform. If we work together- violated passengers and disgusted TSA employees- from a place of respect and mutual understanding that nobody likes this situation, we have a much louder unified voice to call for policy change.

    And to all those calling TSA officials assholes who are selling out, might I remind you that flying is a choice and a privilege, not a right. Anybody who tells TSA people to get a different job clearly has little understanding of the current economic situation in our country, little respect for hard working citizens who are trying to retain their jobs and grappling with ethical issues in the process, and little respect for national security.

    TSA security is important, there is no doubt about that- just because their higher-ups have crossed a line does not mean the agency lacks merit. It is my sincere hope that there is some kind of policy action in regards to this, that those who object combine forces to advocate for change, and that we don’t let this useless squabbling between TSA employees and passengers block effective action.

    And fyi, I am neither a government official nor a TSA representative. I am a social worker who work within in the private sector, travels often, and in earlier years worked with survivors of sexual assault.

  332. Alright, so let’s get rid of the screening process all together. No one touches anyone. No one scans anyone. Let any $hithead that wants to get on a plane get on one. Let’s see what happens. I do not want that blood on my hands, but it sounds to me like you do. Or at least you have chosen this topic to cry about this week. What is the topic for next week? You gunna cry because Delta won’t let you transfer your airline miles to Bin Laden? Quit your b!tching and do something that will make a difference rather than cry about things on the internet and sit on your a$$ waiting for a response…

  333. Quit your f***ng job!

    You don’t have to touch anyone, if you don’t want to.
    You don’t have to work as “a professional molester” trying to establish a security-level which can’t ever be reached.
    ->There is no total security in this world.
    You run for phantoms, chasing ideas, not ever realizing that everyday there are more people dying in car-accidents, shooting-sprees and on lung-cancer or there own fat, than on bursting planes.

    If you want to serve for total security in aviation and transport: tie all americans and all tourists on their home-toilet. Tie them hard and feed them twice a day.
    Or quit your job.

  334. Oh gimme a break.. in a nutshell, physically molesting children, women and men is okay because you’re just doing it for the money, and it would be supernice if the people you feel up would not complain about it, because that’s makes you really uncomfortable.
    Has it never occured to you that you are not “serving your country” or “a professional”, but that you are designed to be the nuisance for everyone that won’t submit to go through a pornscanner?

    You want sympathy? Put your money where your mouth is, and stand up against this illegal, amoral and disgusting charade of security, otherwise you are not “accused” of being a “pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep”, but in fact you are.

  335. Regarding the Nazi comments: What always amazed me about the Nazi’s wasn’t that one or two crazes like Hitler and friends went off the deep end, it was how easily they were able to to talk thousand of so-called regular people into carrying out their murderous racist agenda. It doesn’t surprise me that the TSA has crazy ideas about security, but we have to rely on the working stiffs to resist the temptation to blindly follow illogical orders. The working life of the guy who feels people’s crotches FOR NO REASON all day should be difficult. Many should simply leave and find work elsewhere. That is how the common people remind that powers that be that we control them, not the other way around. I have no sympathy fo the crotch grabbers. I would rather spend a year living in cardboard on the streets then submit my soul to the control agenda of the TSA for a single second.

  336. Wait til the fags start showing up at the security lines with hardons ! Talk about theater!

  337. I feel for these men and women. They didn’t ask for this policy change, but they aren’t allowed any autonomy by their superiors. It’s easy for me to say I’d rather quit my job than grope innocent people every day at work, but I have a job and wouldn’t know what to do if it vanished. I hope we remember that it’s not the average front line guy we have a beef with, it’s Pistole and Napolitano. That said, I hope that the TSOs make an effort to put their foot down as well. Being asked to grope people all day long has got to be a form of sexual harassment.

  338. […] do you think the TSA agent’s feel having to feel us up? A few TSA agents that have spoken out say it is very demoralizing for them […]

  339. Most of those TSA workers didn’t sign on to sexually assault passengers – that was a new assignment they’ve added in the last few months, because passengers were starting to refuse the new naked scanners. Are they getting paid extra for the new assignment? Not likely.

    And yet the TSA people will tell you that their policies have *always* been the policy, just as they’ve told you for the last dozen policy changes, and this behaviour of everybody lying about it has been typical for a long time – either they’re trained to do it, or they’re just expected to figure out that most people will believe them.

  340. I think more people wouldn’t be so upset if they were treated with respect while being patted down.

    I’ve tripped the metal detector once or twice and you’d think I had committed a heinous crime considering how I was treated.

    Immediately suspect, the guy was all militant like and “stand there!”, “put your arms up!” He was talking to someone about my sleeves, because they were rolled up, so I tried to roll down my sleeves to show, “see, nothing there” but he screamed at me. “don’t move!”

    Then I got the full pat down. Seriously, I was willing to comply to everything but the way he was treating me and talking to me was pure BS. Treating me like I’d just committed a major crime.

    I’m a middle aged woman. It was his attitude and apparent powertripping energy at me that pissed me off. There’s no call for that.

    If you’re going to pat people down in an intimate manner, which by the way when you go to the doctor you have to sign a release or you can charge that dr. for sexual assault, then you should be respectful and not treat everyone as a potential terrorist. 99.9% of people traveling are NOT terrorist.

    Forget about what that kind of militant, power tripping attitude would do to a person who’s been sexually molested.

    TSO should also train people to use their freaking intelligence. I mean seriously, I’ve seen 70 and 80 year olds in wheel chairs being patted down as well as small children. Really? Seriously? Use some freaking intelligence.

    I went in and out of Israel back in the 70’s. You know what they did? They pulled me in a room and patted me down. The woman asked me questions while doing so. Not in a nasty way, just like a conversation with a friend. This is how THEY catch suspects. They are trained to pick up body language, facial expressions, key words, nervousness, tone of voice.. all kinds of things. So they can scan lots of people without treating everyone like a freaking terrorist.

    TSA saw a chance to usurp some power without accountability and it shows. Everyone hates them. Those airports using private security have a much better reputation for customer service through the security even though they have to do the same things. So it can be done.

  341. 56 – another example of not thinking before posting.

    Extravagance? Too many kids? What are you talking about? Do you think the TSA is showering their agents with money? These aren’t high paying jobs – maybe you inherited a large sum of money, but most people cannot afford to just quit their job with no repercussions – no matter how sensible their living arrangements are. Seriously – you need to grow up, considerably.

    Also, there are many, many people out there that have a lot of very bad things to say about McDonald’s and WalMart’s values too, so again, the whole not-thinking-before-posting issue strikes again.

    Finally – these Nazi references are truly pathetic. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. If you don’t like it, swearing out the TSO isn’t going to change anything. Complain to your lawmakers. They have the power to make a change, not a front line TSO.

  342. @Mark: sounds like you’re the one posting without thinking. Everything we do is a choice. Last time I checked, there are other options besides TSA-hole for paycheck. They may not be as financially lucrative, but if an extra 10 grand a year suddenly makes being a sex offender ok, I’d say that your morals and civics are seriously fucked. McDs and Walmart may not be the most responsible companies on the planet, but wanton sexual assault and treason aren’t among the offenses these companies may be guilty of. Grow up and think about things before you rush to defend traitors of the USA.

  343. […] been expecting to see something like this blog post making the rounds; it seems that TSA employees aren’t any happier about the new regulations […]

  344. While I agree that the TSO’s jobs suck, that is their job. What we are seeing is the public responding to the only part of the TSA they see: The TSO. Soon enough the backlash will resonate up the chain of command once these TSOs start telling their supervisors and/or quiting their jobs. This policy will not last long, I’m sure. There are bound to be some incidents of passengers getting aggressive with TSOs during the busy holiday travel weekend. More importantly, the public and TSA seems to have forgotten that recent plots have involved parcels and cargo supply lines.

  345. thrilled to hear this is debasing to their morale and dehumanizing. excited about the day that people will refuse to participate in inappropriate searches and will find other jobs.

  346. If a TSO told me he was “just doing his job,” I would say: and that is exactly what Hannah Arendt meant when she talked about the banality of evil; you’re not just doing your job – you’re complicit in a system that violates my freedoms and my person, and you don’t ever HAVE to do it – you choose to.

  347. I am a female TSO at a Category X airport. I have done about 30 of these new patdowns so far, compared to five years of the older versions.

    Honestly, so far I haven’t got any heat over them. Most passengers are just glad they are faster.

    The AIT has been received fairly well, but then we’ve had it for awhile. People seem to like it better than the other puffer machines.

  348. As long as TSA is going to act like this, I will not going to visit the USA again. In fact I have even turned down any buisness because it would need traveling. Until I gain back the feeling I am a welcomed Visitor and not a criminal that has the Choice of having made a naked Picture or a private touching of (errrrrrg) Hands that touch thousands of Bacterial swamps.

    You TSO are perverts. It’s so simple. You are touching People where not even closest friends (besides any sexual engagement) would touch them. I went down that Procedere once. It is humiliating, intensive, unwanted, sexual embarrising. So by all means of respect. You are pervers and wen u do so it feels exactly so.

    You just Cover yourself behind whinings of “Duty for the Country”, “only doing my Job” or “i don’t do the Policy”. If you have any Self respect or any morale Feeling, you just wouldn’t do that Job.

    So Long. USA was nice a while ago.

  349. “I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job.” Not to put too fine a point on it— but similar statements are made by concentration camp operators.

    Doing wrong because you’re “just doing your job” is a terrible flaw in human nature. We all have an obligation to be aware of and resist this horrible weakness. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment)

  350. OOOO !!! I feel so sorry for the poor TSA agents. Why don’t we just live them alone to make a paycheck and feed their families? I am sooo sorry! Please forgive me that I have to fly and you have to feel my junk. Next time I will just cut it off. Will that make you feel better? Or would you prefer me to band over and spread them for you pleasure? Ether way my dear TSA agent I will do wathever your hard desire as long as you are not desturbed at work! LOVE YOU!

  351. I’m glad that they feel bad about being employed as a groper. If I felt bad about the job I was doing, I’d quit. I recommend that all the TSA employees who feel like their job is demeaning and uncomfortable quit and spare themselves a bit of sanity. Then I recommend psychological evaluation for the remaining employees to determine whether they really are humans. This junk has got to end, and dignity restored to travelers.

  352. Modified wisdom from Janet Napolitano: if you don’t like it you are free to go find another job.

    The more abuse you take the better off we are. Frankly, I’m looking forward to someone getting violent with a TSA worker over this. As TSA agents you are agents of tyranny (little ‘t’ tyranny, but tyranny none the less) and you are getting what you deserve.

    So please, hate your job and quit. We’d be better off if you out doing something useful with your life.

  353. As an insulin-dependent diabetic I will always be subjected to pat downs every time I fly because of a small medical device implanted into my abdomen. People with disabilities or medical conditions are disproportionately targeted for pat downs because the full body scanners detect something “unusual.” I think that TSA needs to have a way for people with medical issues to communicate them to the TSOs to minimize the invasive procedures. No one has spoken about who is being searched and why. No one is talking about training.

  354. These people need to either start a union and stand against being made into prostitutes, or quit their jobs and file civil suits. I really doubt they were told they’d be molesting people and violating peoples civil rights every day when they were hired.

    If I have to endure a molestation like this, I absolute will insult the molester. They have a choice. If that hurts there feelings, too bad. Quit. Stand up to your bosses. Don’t blame me.

    It’s too bad I already booked vacation tickets a few weeks ago. if I get molested by the TSA, I’ll be sure to file suit and will certainly never fly out of this country again. I rather drive to mexico or canada and fly from there if I must than be subject to this bullshit.

  355. Thank you for posting this, Fish. While I don’t believe it is accurate to call anyone here a Nazi, I do think it is just as much the TSOs’ responsibility to kick their feedback upstairs as it is for passengers to do so. TSOs are people with feelings, of course, however they frequently disregard the feelings of their passengers. I have had my breasts and outer vagina checked for bombs, it was humiliating and unnecessary and the TSO was almost as uncomfortable as I was, but she chose to take a hostile tone with me, like I had brought it upon myself to be randomly called out of line for a patdown because I choose to dress modestly. Even before these ridiculous and invasive patdowns, there are too many TSOs who treat people like animals with the open hostility of bureaucratic stereotypes. But we often have no real alternative to air travel.

    Everyone who has had a bad day deserves to go have themselves a good cry. I’ve done it myself. But after they wipe away the tears, what are they DOING about it?

  356. The security measures are misdirected and misguided. Real security experts did point out decades ago, that only 1% of the passengers are security risks, from drunk to terrorist.

    Yet the TSA does, what incompetence and fearmongering of politicians demands:

    Molest everyone until they cry, scream, beg and go tru the terahertz scanners.

    Did u think this tru? What consequences and price we pay for your actions?

    Of course, the terrorists can always bypass security measures on technical or technological base. To hunt for and detain real threats you need lots of good and professional people. People who care. People who think and act.

    until then, all you get is hate and ridiculing pictures like this one:

    happy thanxgiving and fly safe

  357. Let’s stop enabling the theatre, and agree not to call the opt-out penalty a “pat-down.” The clue is in the name: a pat-down is just that, patting with an open hand. Law enforcement use a pat-down to perform a cursory check of a suspect’s person if, and only if, there is reasonable articulable suspicion that the officer’s safety is in jeopardy.

    What is being passed off by the TSA as a pat-down is in reality a “full search” of the kind which police are not permitted to perform until a suspect has been formally detained.

    TSA can call it whatever they want, but it’s not a pat-down, and thinking people need to stop referring to it as such, since that just helps perpetuate the illusion that it is reasonable.

  358. For all of you narrow minded idiots such as ’56’, (what kind of stupid moniker is that), ‘wanton sexual assault’, ‘treason’…are you actually retarded, or are you just having a temper tantrum like a little spoiled child?

    Seriously, are you people even living in the real world, what are you thinking?

    Do you realize that if a cop pulls you over for a traffic stop, if he or she wants to, they can do a pat down on you that would make you wish you were in an airport!

    How about all of you whiny little bitches just grow the hell up and start acting like adults.

    By the way, if you don’t like the pat down…FUCKING DRIVE!!!

  359. The biggest reason that these TSA policies will not change is the higher ups making these policies don’t have to fly like the rest of us. They have their private jets or even Air Force One. Let the President, First Lady and First Daughter go through the pat-down and then let’s see now long this policies stays in place.

    I would much rather see the government issue a “Airline” ID. It is too easy in this country to get a driver’s license which is all that is required to get on a plane. Let’s use a passport or some other form of ID that actually requires a background check. That would do more to prevent terrorist than all the security lines out there. The professionals will find away round this no matter what.

    This does not make me feel safer getting on a plane.

  360. Number four, Jason, has got the point: TSA employees who act like them (pat-down on children, asking elder women to take off their breast-prosthesis) _are_ acting like Nazis. That’s what an ordinary nazi did: he did, what others told him to do, without using his brain. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    A german reader.

  361. You don’t like being told that you’re a pervert? Don’t do things that are perverted. I’m the customer, you’re my employee. I don’t want your service, so don’t start to cry when I complain.

  362. This is ridiculous. Yes, these searches are demeaning for both parties involved and yes, these machines should go under further testing before being allowed to scan people in airports, but why are we yelling at the TSO agents for this? If you want the policy changed, yelling at them is just going to waste your time and theirs.

    And this is addressed to all of you insulting the TSO agents: What is wrong with you? THEY ARE PEOPLE YOU MORONS. No matter what, this is still true, and comparing them to Nazis is demeaning and wrong, and you should be ashamed of yourself for acting like a three-year old and calling people names. End of story.

  363. What I am going to take from this is that people do not need to be verbally abusing people who are doing their jobs. Nobody likes what’s going on, and maybe they should just walk out on their work. But to verbally abuse anyone for doing something listed in their job description is wrong. Tell them that it makes you really uncomfortable and that you think they should quit their job. But what are you helping by calling them a pervert, a molester, or any other hurtful word that is reserved for the scum of our country?

  364. Fish,
    I have read nearly every scholarly article, newspaper article, and blog post I can find. These seem like facts:
    1. Images have been recorded in at least one instance (a lawsuit is ongoing). http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20012583-281.html is but one link to this news.
    2. The radiation in indeed less than the whole body endures by cosmic ray exposure during a few minutes of flight. However, the radiation employed by the full body scanners is of a very different nature than cosmic rays. Cosmic rays easily penetrate both the plane, your body, and well into if not beyond the earth. Full body scanners work by essentially, being stopped at the skin, and thus, revealing what you have in your clothes. Using the “less radiation than flying argument” is inaccurate and irresponsible. The machines deliver all of the radiation to the skin, and most vulnerably, the eyes and reproductive cells. No organization has thus far tested the effects of repeated exposure, or, most worrisome in my opinion, the error rate of these machines (it takes years of training to be an x-ray tech, but a month I am told to be a TSA worker). I do not doubt their intelligence or abilities, but to operate an x-ray machine on humans should and does require years of training in all other applications. These points, I believe seriously cast doubt upon the safety and privacy aspects of this system, and the degree to whether or not we can trust the TSA to handle this well. They are good people, but this is too dangerous, both legally, morally, and until further testing, physically to let fly for now. More testing, better systems, more intelligence work, more statistics as to normal flight patterns are all called for. Please let me know if I am incorrect about the scanner’s method of operation of about the breaking of the promise not to store pictures.

  365. The TSA officers responses are surprisingly ignorant. Taking nude pictures of people or groping them without probable cause to believe they pose a threat to the aircraft is not honorable. Refusing to do so would be honorable, but unfortunately they care more about their paychecks than they care about protecting their fellow citizens from gratuitous sexual abuse.

    The Nazi comment was particularly interesting. A common defense of Nazi soldiers was to claim they were just following orders. Indeed there probably were many who committed atrocities because they were told to, without hatred or malice for their victims. That is of course no excuse. Likening TSA officers to Nazis is an all the more apt comparison in light of how many of them plead that they are just doing their jobs.

  366. It’s offical. The US is a country of wimps. If a grope or two is needed to make flights secure then that’s it. Grow up.

  367. We need to treat them like crap for agreeing to do what they do. We should lay it on thick and push them to quit.

  368. Good. Break them. Then break the next group, and the next, until either the TSA can’t find anyone to do fondle passengers or they are forced to change their policy.

  369. Boo…hoo. Get another job. Many of us do things we do not like in our daily lives at work. We chose to do what we do.
    yes you have a menial low paying job but you also use this job to exert unnecessary authority towards the general public.
    After all, all they did was give you new shirts and place Juanica and Puff Daddy at the lines to harass passengers. Most of you TSA people are rude and uncaring……..
    Cut the BS…suck it up or get another job….what the TSA is doing is totally unnecessary

  370. i find particularly interesting the quotes:

    “Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!

    …if I was attracted to women, it would not be the large number of passengers I handle daily that have a problem understanding what personal hygiene is.”

    work with them huh? That sounds an awful lot like a tenth of tso’s referring to the public as fat, disgusting people…

    I just wonder how many tso’s are parked in airplanes on the tarmack without access to toothpaste, shampoo, soap, razors, water, and other instruments of personal hygiene because some jackbooted thug took it away while they were trying to pass through a security checkpoint after either fondling them or taking a picture of them naked?

  371. I’m glad you posted this article. My husband and I were talking about this last night. I figured the TSOs have to be just as upset about it as the travelers. This certainly wasn’t in their job description when they were hired. They don’t deserve the abusive comments. The people in their company that make the decisions are the ones we should be aiming our anger at.

    For those that say they TSOs should just walk away from the job if they don’t like it, I disagree. It’s easy to sit and judge other’s actions from the comfort of our desks. If I had to choose between a job (albeit a low-paying one) that will provide food for my child and a roof over my head vs. being homeless and starving, I’m always going to pick the one that will provide for my family. And yes, that means sometimes I have to take a hard look at my personal morals and ethics. I may have to swallow my pride for a little while in the best interests of myself. I realize that is a selfish thing to say, but it’s a decision many of us have to face daily. However, If I was currently a TSO, I’d be looking for another line of work. The best time to find a job is when you have a job.

  372. I’m just doing my job by flying. Does that mean I should be sexually violated?

  373. It sounds like there are a few TSA Employees who should be looking for a better job.

  374. this is absurd! The country itself has been running scared more and more each year since 9/11. the bottom line being is airports have always kind of felt like police stations, now a bit more personal. Are you telling me that none of these passengers have never been arrested or searched by police. I’m sure they would not slander an officer, less they be arrested. TSA officials are practically police. As far as I am concerned anyone whom takes the time to make a TSA uncomfortable while doing their job either goes to the back of the line or can catch the next flight. GROW THE FUCK UP PEOPLE!

  375. If Americans want to take back our country than we shouldn’t be allowing a Mosque to be built near Ground Zero & we should definitely do something to shut borders down & deal w/all the illegals here. Let’s take back our country by putting stricter standards on Muslims who want more freedom for Islam to be the big dog in America. Bad enough we have to be subjected to being treated like possible terrorists than when a woman in a burkha gets questioned all of a sudden its an infringement on her civil rights & religion? Hell no, the terrorists were Muslims & even though not all Muslims are terrorists & there are some good Muslims out there but if you can’t assimilate into our society than you don’t belong here & should go back to your own …


    Do i have some sympathy for some of the TSO’s absolutely. I understand how difficult it must be for some of them & how unrealistic it might be to just up quit when you have kids at home & have to pay bills in this economy. This has gotten too far out of hand but only because we have become so ‘tolerant’ & ‘accomodating’ to the fundamentals of Islam that we put ourselves in this position.

    Freedom of Religion is a right in this country & I believe in separation of church & state I do not believe that a religion should play a role in how observant & careful we are to not stepping on peoples toes however who want to push their religion off on us.

    People whine about Christianity & yeah there are some so called Christian nut jobs out there like the ones protesting soldiers funerals. There are the Black Israelites who are so racists that they act more like Nazis when speaking to real Jews who had family members perish in the Holocaust. Since when did free speech turn into something that you could make someone feel so dehumanized.

    Want to wear a burkha? That’s cool & fine by me but if it interferes w/practical safety issues than sorry but i want to see your face.

  376. You always have the option of not flying. No one is making you fly to your destination. If you don’t like the new security policies then find a different way to get where you are going.

  377. It’s not the procedures, it’s who is performing the procedures. Unkempt, overweight, inarticulate, testy, officious TSA personnel who are poorly trained are regarded as one step removed from working at Walmart. This is the problem, not the procedures.

  378. It’s not the procedures, it’s who is performing the procedures. Unkempt, overweight, inarticulate, testy, officious TSA personnel who are poorly trained are regarded as one step removed from working at Walmart. This is the problem, not the procedures. The Israeli method is much safer and much less intrusive.

  379. I don’t sympathize with the TSO’s at all. Let them come out publically along with their untion the AFL-CIO and state that concealment searches of children are wrong and they will nto enforce them than they will get my sympathy and concern. Furthermore the AFL-CIO has stayed quiet and on the sidelines. What is the screening process for the TSO’s, people say it is not our business however these men and women will be groping and concealment searching toddler and young teens. It is our business and their should be no negotiating away strict controls over the backgrounds of these people. This is a case of we are the government shutup and do what your told. Some TSO’s may be good people doing a job but if we are to have sympathy for them why are they not speaking up about some of the stupiditiy in this policy. The TSO’s have to understand touching my child is gonna get you hurt or cussed out understyandably.

  380. Yep, when you violate people’s rights and strip them of dignity, you do not get the luxury of compartmentalizing their reactions into tidy little boxes. These agents may be the puppets in this show, but they are fair game when it comes to targets of citizen outrage. Let’s just hope that we can also direct our disgust in more productive, useful ways.

  381. Fish –

    Comparing the radiation from the body scanners to the radiation in-flight is somewhat “apples to oranges”. The radiation from these machines is concentrated on the first few layers of the skin as opposed to the diffused radiation you experience in flight. For this reason it does not pose any danger to pregnant females, however there is a cumulative risk of skin cancer with repeated exposure. As a government body, the FDA has a vested interest in supporting the unproven safety claims of these scanners.

    There is a nice article on Discover Magazine online that talks about this: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/11/17/whats-the-real-radiation-risk-of-the-tsas-full-body-x-ray-scans/

  382. Someone has to do this crappy job and I appreciate the ones that do. Maybe all the TSOs should just strike or quit, then what will happen… no one flies?

    Then all of the business drones and happy vacationers can’t get to their destination and have something else to complain about.

    I’m all for people standing up when the current process is very flawed, but to take it out on the TSOs who are just doing their job is ridiculous. And for all the people who say… this is their chosen job, they can leave… start reading my comment again from the beginning.

  383. Dear Confused,

    The Images that were stored were generated by the US Marshal Service, with hardware procured by the US Justice Department. There have been no images saved, stored, transmitted or ‘leaked’ from the TSA created outside of a test-environment.

    For more info I suggest reading – http://bit.ly/8XwJaZ

    As for radiation, I am in the process of speaking with more than one physicist for their professional opinions. I have some opinions offered to me by other scientists, but am pursuing this as well for a wider scientific view.

    Happy Flying!


  384. Opt Out Day is a reasonable means to tell our out-of-control bureaucrats that we will protest having our rights and bodies violated by government lackeys. The people are in charge, not the government. Sexually assaulting Americans does nothing but make terrorists laugh themselves silly in their caves. What is wrong with profiling? Not PC? Neither is the criminal behavior of TSA. Profiling has worked for Israel for over 50 years. Answering a few questions in line is a lot less intrusive than what our government is subjecting us to.

  385. TSA’s are not molesters, anyone who has ever been truly molested would know this! Yes you do have to sign a release at the doctors, and police cant pat you down in that manner, but police arent the ones trying to make sure we dont have another 9/11. And yes they need to view everyone as potential terrorists, if they didnt then they wouldnt be able to do their jobs correctly. If you dont like it then use another form of transportation, plain and simple. There are buses, trains and the always present driving. You dont want to use those modes of transportation then quit whining. You know what you are getting into when you decide to fly, and I believe that your buying that ticket is all the permission they need.

  386. At last, the sheeple finally baa in complaint of something. It took Gramma being felt up by a moron to get you indignant, but finally, some of you are refusing to take this bullshit anymore. The TSA are about as “honorable and patriotic” as the guys driving the trucks of Zyklon B into the camps. “Just doing our duty. . .” That’s a lie that never seems to get old.
    Now if you otherwise milksops can keep this up, we might actually get something done about this violation of human decency in the name of false security.

    This is it, break their morale and make this nuisance fail. Haters, arise! Now is your hour to spill such hateful vitriol that you finally manage to get something changed! Let the TSA cup fill over with your wrath, people!
    Don’t just take this anymore! Curse them, spit on them, revile them in every way.
    Make them all cry!

    “Those who sacrifice liberty in the name of security deserve neither.”
    – Benjamin Franklin

  387. Many commenters here are truly disgusting, and are actually the face of what is wrong with this country today. The attitude displayed in many of these posts is emotional, immature and childish. Step down off your high horse and get a grip on reality people! If you are so against these proceedures DO NOT FLY. It really is that simple. You are NOT being forced onto the plane, and you do have other choices available to you. That you choose not to consider these other options, declaring your “right” to a non-invasive flying experience, is nothing more than immature selfishness. You think walking into an airport is all about you. That’s the very same attitude displayed by Wall Streeters as they ripped this country blind.

  388. It doesn’t take much courage to take cheap shots at TSA employees, who have to stand there and take it. I’d have more respect for these “freedom warriors” if they’d email or call the office of their Senator or Congressman. But that takes work.

  389. Just a few comments from a front line TSA officer –
    1. We didn’t sign up for this abuse or the issues related to the enhanced pat down procedures. For some it’s just another job but for most it’s a chance to serve their country again!
    2. Most of us don’t agree with the new procedures but again I will reiterate and say we do not make policy, we implement and accomplish it!
    3. We, as a society, are unfortunately forced into the situation we now find ourselves. We all wish we could return to the good old of days of flying without the security concerns but those days vanished when the first sky jacking occurred way before 9/11.
    4. The vast majority of the American people have no earthly idea what the real threat is.
    5. The front line TSA officers have to get it right 100% of the time – the bad guys only have to get it right 1 time! If that 1 time were to happen again, I bet everyone of you who are now screaming about the loss of some personal freedom will be the first to scream about TSA not doing it’s job and how could TSA let this happen.
    6. Let’s propose this solution: Every passenger who wants to opt of security can do so. They pay an extra $250.00 to TSA and the offer is open to anyone!!
    Just my $00.02 worth as I for one am sick of all the screaming people who don’t really care one way or another – they just want their 15 seconds of fame!

  390. Hey TSA Agent. If you don’t like ‘patting down’ passengers, then quit. Now! If you don’t quit you like it. Period.

  391. A quote from a chat channel talking about this article…

    “German citizen in the early 1940s: “I’m not doing anything terrible. I’m just working at a train station where they’re loading passengers on these trains, bound for who knows where. I don’t hate them. I’m just doing my job. If I don’t do it, I could get in trouble. I have a family to feed. I’m serving my country.””

    If these clowns want to “serve their country”, they can join the Army. Working for TSA is working for any regular employer for a paycheck, and they’re no different than abusive cops that only stay at the position for the steady paycheck and the power. If it’s really disheartening to be told the truth to your face, QUIT. They can’t keep replacing the agents forever if everyone hates them.

  392. I live in Hawaii, and so I guess I *COULD* kayak across the Pacific, there are not very many other options. I guess my choice could be that I live somewhere else. If you follow that logic all the way down, then you could say there really aren’t any rights–just choices.

    I think the 4th Amendment issues are very strong here, and are worth pursuing.

  393. I am not concerned with the “personal” feelings of the TSA officers. If they don’t like doing the job they get paid to do, then can grow a backbone and find another one. I do not like being accused of a crime every time I go into an airport. With the TSA, you are guilty until proven innocent.

  394. I just wish there was more honesty here. Patting down a man’s testicles and penis, or a woman’s breast and crotch have nothing to do with security. They are looking for drug traffickers.

  395. G. E. Labertasche

    “Yesterday a passenger told me to keep my hands off his penis or he’d scream. Is this how a 40 year old man in business attire acts? He’ll scream? My 3 year old can get away with saying he’ll scream, but a 40 something business man?”

    He does this because knocking TSA personnel down is not a valid option.

  396. I will probably deal with the enhance pat down eventually.. I’m resigned to it because I have prosthetic knees and set off detectors. Whenever possible I will use the AIT line. But I also don’t like it when I’ve been in line waiting my turn and am told to wait and wait and wait, while other people are randomly pulled from the traditional checkpoints to go through the AIT ahead of me. And what I will react to is getting yelled at by a TSO for not following procedure. Excuse me, I don’t read minds and I didn’t know that some of the scanners take longer than others so to verbally abuse ME for not following procedure was inexcusable. All I did was turn my head in the AIT when the agent SPOKE to me. Then I was yelled at because I RUINED the image. I also found it offensive that I am the one who is made to feel at fault and guilty for something I did not deliberately do. So it cuts both ways. Luckily I no longer have to fly frequently on business.

  397. Also, please do an expose of this sort on hookers, drug dealers, janitors, garbage men, riot police, and corrections officers. Don’t act like the victim when you picked your job and you decided it was more important than following the TSA’s orders. At the guy who said he didn’t think he was a Nazi because he was just following rules, I have news for him – that’s what the Nazi’s thought too.

    You’re a person, you’re just being professional, you’re not getting a thrill out of this. Well you picked the job, and guess what? Everyone else in line is a person, a professional, and not getting a thrill out of this. But you picked a job, and you also get compensated for it. If you’re following it out even though you don’t “agree” with it, you’re still a TSA goon.

    No sympathy, because you’re not the only one with a job they didn’t like. But you are the only one’s who act like fiddling with the private parts of American citizens (and foreigners alike, to be fair) is just another way of saying “professionalism.”

    PS: Yeah, that does make you a Nazi, just not in the “A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences” sense. You know, Nazi in the sense that you’re someone who’s ignorance and hatred of finding another job has blinded your hearts, and you now carry out the actions of fondling people from kids to seniors based on a paycheck. Yeah, much, much better.

  398. I’ve had enough, I will not continue to fly as long as TSA is going to violate my 4th Ammendment Rights. I won’t let anyone expose myself and family to more xrays or molestation and I hope the airlines and the TSA continue to suffer until they reconsider this policy.

  399. So wait. If you only get this pat down if you choose to skip the other methods of search how are the TSO’s violating your rights? You chose to get the pat down, you even chose to fly. You don’t have to deal with losing your job if you decide you don’t like this. Don’t blame the TSO’s because you don’t like the organizations higher ups. Furthermore don’t blame the TSO’s because your too whiny and self righteous to work with them. Suck it up and act like an adult.
    As for the Nazi comparisons, the Nazi’s took away the basic rights, and eventually attempted to kill off, several ethnic and racial groups. The TSO are trying to control a serious issue. They are not coming into your home at night, they’re not prosecuting you in public, they’re not even stopping you from flying; they are just making you fly safely. People who specifically hate TSO officers for doing their jobs, disrepute them, and the many of you who wish violence upon them, are closer to Nazi’s than any of the stories i’ve seen/heard.

  400. Never would I have ever believed our country could turn on innocent travelers in such a sick manner.Where did our rights go? This is legally and morally repugnant. We are told to bend over and take it or do not fly. We are told there is no recourse by our sick goverment. This is the line in the sand. Our elected officals need to say NO. TSA workers need to say NO, we will not molest another person. The people of this country need to say NO, as Americans we will take this no more, forever. Our Goverment knows who the bad guys are, grow some balls, man-up obey our laws quit molesting the innocent. Do the hard job go after our real enemies.

  401. The way I feel about it is this: if you don’t like all of the additional security precautions, take one of the many other methods of transportation like a train, bus, or drive yourself. I’d be willing to bet that if it was the day after 9/11, none of you would be screaming about the enhanced pat downs, especially if you needed to fly somewhere.

    The fact is this: there are real threats in this world and those that are looking to hurt you will only get smarter and better at hiding the methods they use to do just that. Don’t like the patdowns? Go through the friggen scanner. It’s not like they can distinguish your face. Even if there was an unlikely event that your picture was captured and dissemminated, nobody would know who you were from the scan. If you’re concerned about the health implications from having to frequently fly and use these scanners you should suck it up and use the scanner half the time while doing patdowns on the other half of your trips.

  402. Jesus Christ, people. These are everyday schmoes just doing their job.

    What makes you think that you’re so goddamned sexy that they’d WANT to fucking touch you?!

    Think of it this way: For the guys: Do you accuse your doctor of “sexual harassment” when you get a prostate exam? For the women: Do you get offended when your OBGYN does a pelvic?!

    Not the best analogy, obviously. But in the example I stated, neither lust nor maliciousness is the “offender’s” primary objective: they’re just doing their job.

    Another poster mentioned that it’s the people higher up in the chain that are the ones to be angry at. Yell at THEM. And leave the little guy, desperate to do a job and get paid alone.

    Right now, you’re putting ALL the focus on the little guy who has NO power over the rules and letting the fucking morons (yannow: the guys MAKING the fucking rules?!?!), sit in their cushy little offices, and continue to enjoy their leather seats.

    And FTR, I’m not a TSO. I’m just someone who just can’t stand bullies. Especially when said bullying is wrapped up in political bullshit and tied with a narcissistic, hysterical bow.

    Please feel free to return to your regularly scheduled bullshit, hysteria, and just generally pointing in the wrong fucking direction.

  403. Come on. A Nazi is a member of a now defunct political party during the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany eras in Germany. Nazis did evil things, including mass murder on an unprecedented scale. However, not every person who does evil things is a Nazi. In the same way, kittens are animals, but not every animal is a kitten. If a crocodile were to bat a piece of string, we would not call it a kitten. If the point you are trying to make is in saying someone is as evil as a Nazi, then say it. Don’t call someone a Nazi. It doesn’t make sense.

  404. If my boss told me to go sexually molest total strangers, I’d quit and then call the police. The ONLY people who wouldn’t do it are peverts who get off on it.

    Feel sorry for you deviants? Like Hell. God help any of you pedophiles that get near my pre-teen daughter.

  405. If all feel it is wrong to do the job, there is a problem with the job! They should boycott too.

  406. “Let the private businesses take care of themselves.”

    “Those airports using private security have a much better reputation for customer service through the security even though they have to do the same things.”

    Under the Fourth Amendment, citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures. Thank your founding fathers for that.

    However, be prepared to forfeit any means of complaint when the airlines employ private companies to do the screening for them. The good old 4th amendment doesn’t protect you from them any more than it protects you from me.

    When the rhetoric over who screens whom raises it’s ugly head, demand the TSA over private companies until you’re blue in the face.

    Doubt the TSA is better? Remember Reagan’s desire to “randomly” sniff your urine for controlled substances? He knew the government couldn’t pass the 4th amendment litmus test so he got your employer to do it for him.

  407. @ Richard: Hey! Quit fucking eating. Quit paying your bills. Quit feeding your family.

    What?! That doesn’t work for you? 😉

    What kind of a fucking moron would tell another person to quit their fucking job and let their family starve?! No really. I’d love to know. How fucking STUPID or heartless are you?!

    Yannow, it’s fucking easy to have lofty principles when it’s not YOUR family that will suffer for them. Good job. *rolls eyes*

  408. when one asks “what has America become?”, yeah, you can point to the security theater and label the country as paranoid, cowering, and sniveling.

    you can also take a look through these comments and characterize the country as lacking in compassion and pigheaded.

    I’m sure many of the people who have said (and echoed) that TSA workers who object to the policies should quit and get a new job are smart, forward-thinking people. but please, realize that you are assuming mobility (to which access is predicated on many factors, including class and race privilege) and the existence of options. unless your only source of news is flight-related, it’s painfully obvious that employment options are sorely lacking, in big part due to the explicit greed of those who work in the financial industry. sure, it’d be great if all TSA agents practiced courage and heroism on the scale of historically significant civil dissidents, but not all (or even many) can or will. when is the last time you took a stand for something at the cost of your employment and income?

    why have we not taken to wall street en masse (to the scale we see regarding TSA) and harangued brokers and bank officials for decimating our 401k accounts? if your sense of righteous indignation stems from the violation of your rights as guaranteed under those beautiful American documents, I have to imagine that it stems equally from a sense of the perversion of morality and ethics. wall street, it can be argued, played with and gambled away many people’s rights to (financial) liberty and the pursuit of happiness. and yet the anger directed at TSA agents, who work there out of pragmatism and necessity, is unparalleled.

    furthermore, for those among us who have not agreed with one or both of our last two wars – both of which can also be deemed as theater, though on a much grander scale – we understand that yelling at the soldiers who have gone and served do not deserve to be yelled at. yet are they not similarly performing duties that both we and they may not agree with? the stakes, namely their lives, are higher, yes, but in principle, they are carrying out orders that neither the public nor the agents themselves may agree with. they similarly opted into the profession and, depending on who you ask, perform on-the-ground policy measures that were created and justified by men in suits to create the facade of progress and safety.

    we are a people who love to yell at whoever is nearest. humiliating as a response to humiliation is not sustainable or wise. as individual players in a gigantic story, we each shade the truth of reality to side with our interests. there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, but when you think that everyone else but you does it, then you’re buying into a delusion that permits you to feel an equalizing pleasure from yelling at a TSA agent.

    I’m not apologizing for TSA agents. I’m not apologizing for the policy, which I think is, as everyone has already coined, theater. however, I do feel sorry that much of our anger, while to an appropriate magnitude, has been misguided and misdirected. i feel sorry that people who are otherwise levelheaded have gone to great lengths to hold accountable people in this particular profession, but not in others.

  409. As a frequent traveler I can easily point out a dozen TSA agents who get off on their job for every one who cries “but I’m only doing what I’m told.” I doubt I can find as many passengers or airline workers who enjoy being screened though.

    If these TSA agents really don’t like what they are doing they should be complaining to their bosses, joining the public, going on strike, or finding a new job.

  410. I suspect one reason so many people are rude to the TSA agents is that either they or someone they know has run into one of the TSA workers that IS on a power trip.

    The vast majority of TSA workers I’ve dealt with have been fine. Some have been incompetent–even to the point of causing me massive embarrassment–but they have not tried to be cruel.

    I had two who did not mean well, and were clearly “getting off” on abusing me. In October 2001, I was flying out of LA the and dug through my carryon under the pretext of me having an asthma inhaler which “could” have been pepper spray (this is before we had to remove liquids from our bags) and had show up on xray. My carryon was just a fanny pack for my medical gear; I was only in LA for 10 hours and was flying back home.

    He pulled out one of the two adult diapers I carry for my incontinence problems secondary to a serious (and permanent) disease that causes me problems with intestinal bleeding and leakage.

    This man decided the fact that I was incontinent was a perfectly good reason to make fun of me and held them up to show the other agents, saying “take a look at this!”. All this time, I was forced under threat of arrest to stand in a little square made of tape on the floor and endure their snide comments before he finally let me go after pulling everything out and making some more nasty comments about me. I was so stressed; a mixture of horror and anger, that I don’t even remember what he said. But he was being a bully, and clearly getting off on the power trip.

    The other time was flying out of DC in 2004. Similar deal, a great big guy would not let me through the scanner until I took off my shoes and belt. At that time, we did not need to remove shoes, and my belt was nylon with a plastic buckle.

    I pointed out to him that I had been told removing shoes was optional (which it was at the time), and he confirmed that it was. But he stood there with a palm the size of my head right in front of my nose, refusing to let me pass through the scanner until I complied with every demand. He said that they could not force me to remove my shoes and belt, but I wanted to get past him, I had better do whatever he told me to do; that he could keep me there for a week if he wanted to.

    I had to walk through the scanner holding my pants up with one hand (I had lost 70lbs over the previous few months). I counted myself lucky he did not punish me worse.

    So, this is one reason that people are so rude to TSA scanners. It’s from previous bad experiences with their coworkers.

  411. Navywife would have made a superb German in the 1930s. “Do what you’re told”, “if you don’t like it, don’t fly, you’ve given up all rights buying a ticket.”
    Does this daft bint think you can take a bus or a train or drive to Europe?
    After reading these posts, I can only conclude about half of Americans would tolerate anything “to feel protected.” A sad day for a once great nation. It’s pretty simple: if you agree with these measures, you’re a coward and an infantile moron. If you disagree, you’re a human being standing up for your dignity. There’s the line, folks: pick your side.

  412. The few TSO’s I’ve dealt with were mostly pleasant but disinterested in my situation, problems or discomforts. I don’t travel much, so am not always sure what is expected of me. Clearer signage would help. I recently went through Atlanta Airport and if it weren’t for other passengers helping me with requirements, I wouldn’t have known what to do.
    The female TSO who was monitoring the queue, was rude and the exception to the rule of pleasantness. She acted like I was challenging her when I asked a simple question.
    For those TSO’s out there being de-moralized, try and work WITH the traveling public instead of treating us all like we have ulterior motives. Most of the TSO’s will never actually come near a terrorist or someone guilty of anything more that severe frustration over their treatment of us, the traveling public. Stop acting like you are on the frontline of some military engagement. That is simply over-reacting to the situation on your end.

    As for me, I’d just as soon you passed a new law preventing any clothes on airlines. I am a nudist and have no issue with traveling as God made me. I am however very concerned about being touched, groped and molested by an untrained, disinterested, distrusting, minimum wage, uniform wearing, egomaniac.

  413. David K. M. Klaus

    Boo hoo, poor Stasi thugs. If they’re uncomfortable being thugs qne being told they’re being thugs, they should get honest jobs. There’s more dignity in cleaning toilets — a genuine, honest service to one’s fellow human beings — than there is to being a TSA goon.

  414. Union thugs, Government Union thugs. If this physical contact is necessary then fire everyone in the FBI, for the terrorists are already here. Most TSA are not college graduates, not trained in the humanities, not even sure how many are high school graduates. That being said, it is certainly informative that the protesting is coming from main stream white Americans, not minorities, nor people of middle eastern heritage. I think white Americans are being profiled for this treatment, otherwise CAIR would be suing, protesting and lodging complaints. Hey, heads up “…here comes a cutie” Hold the Airports accountable by filing actions against them, for the TSA is only a contractor, their contractor and they can change. Government employees, especially union ones, know that they are special animals on the Animal Farm, far more equal then others, the untouchables, They obviously enjoy their jobs, er next these units will be deployed to government entities and then professional public arenas. What’s next, that nice shower for delousing and a new set of clothes. Can’t blame O’bummer, as this happened under Bush. Although none of this would be occurring if our brilliant government employees would have listened to the underwear bomber’s father and put him on the no fly list… oh well, not to pass up an opportunity to further enslave the people and profile law abiding white folk. Unfortunately more people will drive, and some will die on the highway… Hold the airports accountable and they will engage private contractors who can exercise good common sense and be held accountable, not these government union untouchables,,,

  415. For all of you that are saying that the TSOs should just find another job, try quitting your job and see how easy it is to find another. The article clearly states that there was, and will be, a high turnover which ultimately will lead to other problems.

  416. i love the people who think that i always have the option of not flying…

    right, guess i’ll be driving a car over the pacific?

    maybe i should walk? take a bus?

    frankly and pointedly, the option of not flying does not exist for a large number of people…

    so let me see what are my options… let someone take a picture of me naked or let someone handle my penis or get arrested and fined $10,000 for not allowing that…

    yeah that smells of freedom to me, what about you?

  417. Fish,
    Thank you for your well reasoned response. You run a fine blog. Keep up the good work.

  418. They work for and are representatives of the TSA, an agency that tramples the dignity and rights of American citizens every day and because they choose to represent the TSA they too trample the dignity and rights of American citizens every day. I’m sure the next right the TSA will choose to ignore will be our freedom of speech but until then I guess they’ll just have to deal with it, after all isn’t their own dignity and self-worth a small price to pay to insure the safety of the flying public who employs them.

  419. […] You Can Check Out the Entire Blog Here […]

  420. David K. M. Klaus

    Sorry about the misspellings earlier — my glasses are broken. I’ll try again:

    Boo hoo, poor Stasi thugs. If they’re uncomfortable being thugs and being told they’re being thugs, they should get honest jobs. There’s more dignity in cleaning toilets — a genuine, honest service to one’s fellow human beings — than there is to being a TSA goon.

    They used to be the Theft from your Suitcase Association. Now they’re the Testicles/Teats Squeezing Association. Either way, sexually perverted, unAmerican, and unConstitutional.

  421. @ Sonya: thank you for your comment! I work as a TSO and it sucks how passengers treat us the way they do. I know our job is not the best job especially right now but we still try to hang in there. We just want to do our job and at the end of the day come home to our families. We are people too who have lives just like you do. As for my part I always try to be nice to the people that I encounter with. I’ve had several passengers tell me that I do a great job with my work and it feels very nice and refreshing to hear that someone appreciates what we do. So please just bear with us. We know that it may be a little too overwhelming for some but if that’s what it takes to get you safely to your destination we would have to do it.

  422. “Honorably serving my country”? No, dear. What you are doing is not “honorable” service. If these people are so demoralized by what they’re required to do, they should go on strike. If both the passengers AND the officers refused to take part in these disgusting new practices, the TSA honchos (who conveniently DON’T have to take part in them) would be forced to find other ways to deal with the situation. Like moving the majority of the funding for these silly theatrics to the law enforcement agencies who actually DO catch the criminals. Like educating passengers on what the risks really are, as opposed what to the neo-con panic inducing fear-talk claims they are. All of life is full of risks and each one of us is 100 times more likely to die in a car accident tomorrow than to ever even come close to a terrorist attack. It’s time we grew up and faced that fact – life is no, never has been, and never will be safe. That’s just reality. Deal with it.

  423. Some choice quotes from these agents:

    – “I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country”

    Right, you shouldn’t, and I have empathy for the situation, but realize your employer precludes all honor by ordering you to violate rights. It’s a hollow job and you’re feeling it. Do us ALL a favor and DO something about it. Passengers’ flak isn’t for you but for your controllers, so pass it to them and add your own voices too. As the working face of the TSA you’re the most direct channel for people to vent (they’re soaking in you after all, you’re the one doing the bad deed), so please find it in your heart to forgive the public’s tactlessness and redirect the message to whom it’s intended. The public is young and has a smart mouth, but the System has been around forever. It can afford well-deserved criticism. SERVE your country, so to speak.

    – “It is not up to me to decide policy, it is up to me to carry out my duties as dictated by the Transportation Security Administration”

    Actually it kind of is up to you when a power grab infringes on our (read: your) liberties. This isn’t a mom-n-pop gig whose owner’s you disagree with that you can resign from, open a shop next door to and put out of business all on the crystal blue waters of a free market. This is our pervasive governing infrastructure and it’s everyone’s business. The gloves need to be off or nothing will happen. The mindset that everyone should always do what they’re told without question no matter how outrageous is irresponsible and unpatriotic in the true sense. It’s worse than not voting.

    – “One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences”

    Actually one can. Were Nazis not also following orders? Did their administration not also start simple and systematically? To paraphrase, “hey man, look at their lives, they’re a lot like you are”. Tell me, do you really think “Helmut the (former) plumber”, newly serving his country in the 40s, really worked for the Reich because he had some fundamental evil hatred in his heart for a particular demographic and was looking for an outlet? “At last, an unchecked regime to join! How fortunate am I to live in this period!” Was he detaining people for a living because he got off on it? Surely some Germans did, but at least equally, some didn’t. Many of them would have felt just like you, given new, incrementally liberty-encroaching policies to enforce. Perhaps so few of them made a stink due to fear of their jobs, or their lives. If you can’t beat em… cave in? Give up? Stoke the machine, give it hands?

    – – –

    So we don’t like this crap, you don’t like this crap… sounds like we’re all in agreement. Strike already! We’ll boycott and you’ll strike, sticking it to the man at both ends. Sound like a plan? Act!

  424. People have repeatably tried to take weapons and explosives on planes to kill Americans (read: 9/11). They’re searching for explosives, weapons, and other hazardous items. Not a single TSA gives a crap about getting to touch a penis or a pair of breasts. They’re doing their job for the safety of every passenger on a flight and American on the ground.

    Violating our 4th amendment right is an understandable argument. Another is violating the equal protection guaranteed in the 14th amendment of every passenger waiting on a plane while some righteous idiot refuses to get ‘felt up’ while still trying to get on the plane.

    The truth is that not everyone has nothing to hide while entering an airport and boarding a plane. Only one person has to slide past these security measures for another catastrophe, when we’ll all be crying foul on the TSA for not doing enough soon enough. They’re trying to fix that problem NOW. They don’t need every Dick and Jane crying foul because they hurt a feeling.

    With that said, some things need to change (ie. changes for people with special medical and emotional conditions), but none of that’s going to get any easier with every (paying and willing) passenger strolling through security with a chip on their shoulder.

    Remember, no one is making anyone fly. Trains and cars work wonders too. But we want to travel faster. So we still fly and will still bitch and moan. So really, do we care about this THAT much to really make a difference? I don’t think so.

  425. “As part of rudimentary psychological education, most of us learn of the Stanley Milgram experiments that took place at Yale University in the 1960’s. I remember this part of my education well: participants were asked to shock other “subjects” (who were, in fact, actors pretending to be subjects) who were to be given shocks for giving the wrong answer to questions on tasks related to word matching. As is widely known by those of us in the field, sixty-five percent of participants believed they delivered up to 450 volts of electricity to those who got answers wrong. Participants did not stop when the actors in the study appeared to be in great distress (due to repeated electric shocks), and this is thought to be because an authority person (who was also an actor in the study) was in the room telling them to continue shocking participants, despite the consequences.”


    How are the tsas any better?

  426. I’d be really tempted to put a sign up by the security checkpoint that says “You have a choice – either we take your picture, or we pat you down. Don’t like either of these? Then hitchhike your ass to wherever you’re going.”
    I feel for the people who don’t like being patted down, but they did have a choice. I feel more for the TSOs who get abuse – it’s their job, and in this economy who among us would reasonably suggest that they quit over this policy.
    I rack up about 100,000 miles a year and security checks are part of the scenery – you want to fly, you have to play by the rules. Don’t like ’em then don’t fly, but if you’re holding up the line I’m going to be tempted to kick you in the head. Stop being a drama queen, and either step up or step off. The rest of us just want to get through, get on, and get to sleep.
    For the record I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, have been to the barricades to demonstrate against everything from apartheid to poll tax, and my “liberal” credentials are impeccable. This is not a civil rights issue. This is an “assholes vs restofworld” issue, and if we give in to the assholes then we’ll all suffer.

  427. Seriously, They want the job so bad, so deal with the side dishes and verbal assaults.

    Im pissed about seeing my fellow combat vets with DOD-ID cards being treated like criminals just because they fly without a uniform on. That DOD-ID card says we served our time, had the trust of the Gov’t at some point, and now for the govt to push us aside and treat us like criminals is crazy!

    After spending 20 yrs fighting wars for a living I have more self respect for myself than to take a job which makes me a minion of a gov’t bend on belittling the American people.

    Picking up dog crap is a more meaningful job than assaulting children and old people with pee bags on their chests!

    Just because these TSA agents like the majority of America have lost their nads and can’t speak up for themselves that doesnt justify what they do.

  428. The letters TSO and the word professional should never be paired. We found lots of stuff and we protected you is akin to the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse of a grade school student.

    Congress should exercise a little adult supervision and discharge Mr. Pistole and look at rebuilding the TSA as an organization that deserves a little respect.

    Right now as the ‘face of the TSA’ the line folks are getting less than they deserve. As this ‘pat down’ can easily be construed as offensive touching these folks are getting away with assaulting scores of law-abiding citizens.

    As far as front line TSA officers deserving respect. I don’t think so. If they want respect they should join the military if they can pass the entrance requirements.

  429. These pat downs have been around since February 2010, or maybe even earlier. In February, I flew into NY via Amstedam and not only went through the ordinary scanner, i went through the pat down. We all did. However, leaving the States through Amsterdam, we did not undergo the pat down. Something is very fishy here Americans. I’m glad to see the protests against these extreme measures aas i am sure they are just the beginning of worse to come.

  430. Yea, the Nazi’s were just “Following Orders” too……

    This is ridiculous, this is nothing more than the Federal Government using the TSA worker as their tool to treat the average law abiding citizen like they’re a terrorist and slowly introducing the “security state” where we’ve given away ALL out liberty for the veil of false security. Our government doesn’t even respect the Constitution anymore, they have forgotten that there is NO situation where a law abiding citizen is required to forfeit their 4th Amendment rights.

    To the TSA worker, you took that job and you’re nothing more than the tool of your masters. It’s weak willed people like you who enable the powers at be to abuse the people becasue people like you willfully carry out those Unconstitutional orders. You work just like a good little Nazis. You make me sick.

    The “peasants” need to WAKE UP and hand their “masters” their collective asses, they work for US the people, we DO NOT work for them.

  431. Also why should I as a individual be exposed to such screenings when I’m authorized to carry a firearm and undergo a quarterly background, criminal, driving, finance and credit check? Hell I’ve had a more intensive background screening then the average TSA employee…..

  432. If they had any self respect they’d quit. It’s as simple as that. These people complain that they’re just doing their job, they don’t agree with the policies that the TSA has put in place and they’re getting insulted and abused.

    Well, I hate to break it to you kiddies, touching crotches, breasts, rubbing thighs and fat folds without consent (Which is pretty much what each passenger has stated cleary… with one guy threatening to scream about it too) IS Molestation, it IS abuse and it IS a criminal offense that is legally sanctioned.

    If they had any self respect and truely were opposed to the policy, they’d quite, simple as that. These few are the minority who truely are just doing their jobs in this but they’re so weak-willed that they’ll do nothing to fight against a policy they claim is injust. The vast majority of TSA agents who laugh at images they see on their xray scanners or make fun of people they touch inappropriately are no better then criminals.

  433. Cry you miserable son of a bitch.

    If it takes making half the TSA quit to get some sort of reason into security, then so be it.

    Maybe they should sue the TSA for creating a hostile work environment. Having your job duties expanded to touch another dude’s man tackle is sexual harassment, right?

  434. So if you’re going to pat me down, you better find a hot female TSA employee with some nice big tits and warm hands who is going to finish the job……..

  435. The thing at the end of all this mess is if we are safer or not. I don’t think so, figures are very known, you are far upon to have a car accident, or a robering assault, than an airplane accident, and of this few air incidents just a 0,00..% would come from terrorists. But somebody is doing money, scanners builders, consultants and all these people “serving their country”. I don’t think they like their job ( but some may ) but prostitutes neither enjoy theirs ( but some may )

  436. I would like to see an analysis by an attorney of what provisions of the Patriot Act allow these searches to be done.

  437. 1) Yes, flying is a right. The government may not intrude on any of my free-market transactions unless they have a valid reason to believe that I am committing a crime. And, “No, purchasing a plane ticket is not a reason to believe that I am committing a crime.”

    2) Sorry for the TSA Agents’ luck. I have a college degree but never made as much money as they do.

    3) Sorry for the TSA Agents’ luck. But it’s not them who are being violated.

    4) Sorry for the TSA Agents’ luck. I guess the general public does not understand how, strip searching children, confiscating nail clippers, etc. makes them feel safer. I guess that’s the key.

    5) Service (as in “Serving your country”) means providing a good or service to others cheaper than they can provide for themselves. The TSA – by holding up the traveling public’s time – is costing the country more than it is giving. You may be “Working hard” and you may be “suffering”, but you are not working.

  438. “Rather than dehumanize the TSA TSOs, work with them, understand their views and opinions and work together to change the current TSA policies.”

    No. They dehumanised themselves and deserve all the contempt they get.

  439. I laugh at those “rent-a-cop” responses because they are bogus. IF they had a problem with the policy–they are NOT raising them with their higher ups. All employees have the power to influence working conditions, even in the Army. It’s called feedback. Yes, I am heartless, but I hope the stress overwhelms these few to quit. Bin Laden has won, he may be sitting in a cave in no man’s land, but he isn’t getting frisked when he wants to leave/enter his cave by his own country. The TSA/Feds should be ashamed for their isolated searches.

  440. Why not just do away with screening altogether. Come on we are all Americans and everybody knows there are no terrorist in America. Just ask everyone in the lines they will tell you they are not one. You can tell a terrorist right away like you can tell a murderer, rapist, extortionist, or any other type of criminal. No need to look in my bags either for I am an American thus not Terrorist. Since everyone is using it’s against the constitution I will use it also. It’s against the constitution the right to privacy sounds good. Then if something happens we all can blame ourselves for not spotting the bad guy or girl, or old man or women (Case in point the guy who made to look like an old man). I THANK THE TSO’s AND TSA FOR THEIR JOB IN KEEPING US SAFE ON THE PLANE. I don’t trust anyone in the line to be screened until they go through the screening process. I traveled enough and seen people being arrested for having guns in their bags or other weapons. If you don’t believe me look at TSA stats on what they found in a year! If you think it is too intrusive don’t fly! I WANT MY FAMILY TO BE SAFE WHEN THEY FLY. I went though allot of screening and all the publicity is all media HYPE! SO AGAIN THANK YOU TSA AND TSO’S FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!

  441. Of course it is not appropriate for anyone to lash out at TSOs. But a “tipping point” has been reached in the security procedures – people were merely inconvenienced before (by taking off their shoes and leaving their wallets on a common belt while going through a metal detector) – but now their personal space is being intensively invaded – either through a nude scan (which isn’t pleasant, even if you trust the TSA) or a physical pat-down once reserved for criminal suspects. So people are going to be frustrated and lash out. It’s absolutely normal and to be expected. Are you going to criminalize their speech at a time of great stress for them? Only 1 out of every 50-70 million travelers or so passing through US airports per year is intent on committing a terrorist act – the rest of us, knowing that the applicable scan/pat-down is a waste of time and psychologically draining – get perturbed. It is a natural response to vent, especially to the person who is carrying out the policy. No, it’s not nice to yell at a credit card clerk because the company got the bill wrong, raise your voice at the airline clerk because a baggage handler put your luggage on the wrong plane, or be snide and rude to the telemarketer calling your house at dinnertime to try to sell you something or other. But if you are in a business or profession where you are making things uncomfortable for generally law-abiding people, especially where that involves physical contact, you shouldn’t complain. Get a thicker skin or take another job. People view their local police officer with respect when he or she is catching criminals; if their jobs involved random bodily searches, they would be reviled. And Mr. and Ms. TSO, when you are next ordered to do random cavity searches on Grandma, don’t be surprised if Grandma calls you a Nazi – because Grandma rightfully feels that you must be a cruel fascist idiot to perform a cavity search on Grandma – even if you are just obeying orders. And Grandma probably doesn’t think you really have a murderous intent – she’s just trying to let you know you’ve behaved badly. “Nazi” doesn’t mean “Nazi” anymore for most people that bandy it about. It’s actually a good healthy indicator in a free society when people say they’ve had “enough”. The alternative, people who are fearful to confront authority when it (literally) gets into their pants, is indicative of a repressive, dictatorial regime. We’re thankfully not at that point yet.

  442. I universally view TSA as one of three things 1) pedophile, 2) rapist, 3) homosexual pervert using their position to enjoy themselves. None of those are exclusive. I give McDonald burger flippers far more respect than I view the entire agency. I never thought our country would fall so low as to allow an agency to rule the US Citizens by fear. A great many of us who do work for agencies actively protecting the country are appalled how far our efforts, and in many cases deaths in line of duty, have been tarnished by the TSA actions towards our citizens.

  443. This is exactly the kind of chaos alQieda was hoping for. Because of our belly aching, this may be pulled back leaving the door open for another attack. On this front, it appears that the terrorits have already won. It makes me sad that my fellow Americans can’t put aside petty concern the someone might see or feel something over public safety. I don’t like it either, but it sure beats the alternative. Let’s give these TSOs a break, they are only doing their jobs.

  444. To all the idiots out there that say the TSA agents should change jobs, or whatever, something about their “chosen profession”… Do you know the economy isn’t at the same strength and level as before?

    If they wanted to change jobs, and it was easy, they would have done it.

    Its better to complain to the people in charge of the TSA, not the workers doing the job.

    The people in charge should be put on “Undercover Boss”, and let them do screening for a day, so they can understand the uncomfortable-ness of the job and the passengers.

  445. Wow, some of you people commenting here are total morons. Specifically, those of you equating what these people are doing to molestation.

    So, when my doctor sticks his finger in my @$$ as part of a physical, is he molesting me?

    No, he’s doing his job you moron. He’s checking for prostate cancer so that it won’t have a chance to kill me, or other problems with my prostate.

    TSA officers are doing their jobs to check for weapons on people who might be terrorists so that they won’t have a chance to kill YOU or slam that plane you are flying on into another target.

    If you don’t like the scans or pat downs, then don’t travel in a vehicle filled with a massive amount of jet fuel that can be flown into any target and cause the level of damage we saw on 9/11. Drive or take the train.

    Everyone here want’s to complain about the privacy implications but no one here has presented an acceptable solution to preventing terrorist attacks involving planes. The other solution seems to be to take the gamble that with more lax security that you won’t be one of the unlucky ones to end up in that plane or in the building that is hit, but that is not an acceptable solution.

    If you think the TSA officers are molesting you, then don’t fly. I certainly don’t want to see an increased chance of a plane I’m flying on being hijacked and/or flown into a building because you’ll scream like a child if a TSA officer touches your balls.

  446. Look at how it’s done in Israel.
    Then, ask for training in observation.
    How to TALK to people.
    Look at their eyes.
    Silly stuff like that.

  447. Is this blog supposed to garner sympathy? I am supposed to read comments from TSOs complaining about having to patdown obese people and think “oh – yeah, I guess we have really been hard on them?” If anything, this article is even more revealing of the general attitude of TSA personnel and I am even more disgusted by this agency than I was prior to reading this (and I really didn’t think that was possible). Prior to reading this, I had nothing against the personnel who were forced to implement this horrendous policy handed down to them by elitists like John Pistole and Janet Napolitano. Now I can consider, while being humiliated in the public, that unless I am a hot young man or woman, I am being looked at with disgust by someone who would probably be a shortorder cook if it weren’t for this government job. yeah – this article is doing a real service to those who you claim to advocate. Nice job!

  448. […] agents opened up on the blog Flying With Fish about what’s going through their heads while they’re juggling your […]

  449. I have cancelled my Christmas trip. I have called family and asked them to stay home. I will not buy another airline ticket until TSA is stopped and ALL systems changed to eliminate this oppressive search.

    You will not touch me or mine.

    I am done with this BS government and its security system.

  450. Most of you people are unbelievable. You have nothing but contempt for the TSA and the TSOs, yet you would be the first to cry foul if someone got on a flight with you and exhibited a weapon or a bomb.

    When I fly, I have nothing to hide, so put me through the scanner, pat me down, just make sure the flight I will be boarding is safe from terrorists.

    To the may TSOs around the country, I salute you. Please take all measure to keep my flight safe.

    Highland Village, Texas

  451. What kind of resume/and or backround checks do these perverts who do the TSA’s dirty deeds have.

    The reality is that the TSA is no more about airline security than ObamaCare was about affordable health care. Both the organization and the bill are about the dehumanization — and control — of theoretically free Americans. Both are being FORCED onto the American people. Thus, it is critical that Americans win push back efforts against both, because if we lose on these two fronts, we have effectively lost most of our freedom. if we cannot defeat ObamaCare and the TSA’s “grope and change,” we won’t recognize America in the future.

  452. Most Nazis were regular German soldiers “just doing their jobs”. TSA porno pictures of people and sexual assaulting people are gross violations of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. I, for one, would quit my job, just as I will refuse to travel by plane if this is what I have to go through. I would be one to refuse the scanner and then to refuse the “pat down”.

  453. They chose to get a job where they fondle little girls’ genitals. I don’t think there’s anything else that can really be said.

  454. America is land of the free. I notice a lot of people talk about TSA employees having the option of walking out and they chose the job, blah blah blah . Well, turn about is fair play, some folks may have to fly for their job and have no options (which is not really true, people make decisions to quit their job every day), but by the same token they can choose to not continue to fly. WIth the exception of our military, no one HAS TO FLY. Ride a boat, drive a car, ride a train or a bus. If my safety is ensured by showing my a@@ (literally) It is what it is.
    No I don’t work for the TSA I am a social worker and I find it absurd that everyone wants the country to do more to protect our citizens, but not when it becomes a inconvenience to them. Sexual molestation, give me a break. The idiot that said that obviusly does not know what this truly means and it is an insult to the folks who have dealt with that.

    It would appear that this is once again a case of the haves feeling they are entitled and above the law. My guess is the folks raising the biggest stink are those that make the most money….hmmmmm….

  455. I think it’s important that the TSA screeners get the flack because the immediate feedback might actually be heard by their supervisors and up the chain of command. Then there might be some changes in how we citizens are treated by our own government.

  456. Firstly the whole airport security thing is a joke. The procedures that are used in the US are not the same that are used in the rest of the world. So domestic flights are safer, but international flights are not. So there is a GAPING hole in the whole in the system. It’s all about the illusion of safety and making the companies that make these machines very very rich. How much have the manufactures of these machines spent lobbying congress? How many millions? Joke.

    If the tsa workers don’t like their jobs of touching other people, etc there is a really simple solution. QUIT! I can guarantee that if a tso grabs my junk there will be an incident.
    Another thing….I haven’t flown in a few years and haven’t had the pleasure of going through this garbage. I notice that the tso’s are wearing gloves. Do they change the gloves after every search or are they just protecting themselves while cross contaminating everyone else?

  457. 1). the new scanners are the result of the former head of Homeland security, using his previous position to publicly push these very expensive machines as a standard screening tool for all travelers at airport. Then when he left homeland security, his consulting firm represents the larges scanner manufacturer and he regularly appears in the press to “lobby” for thier use. This is a red flag conflict of interest and highly suspicious.
    2). Both the backscatter technology and the millimeter wave technology of these scanner is completely untested. There are professional opinions on their safety which state that the amount of xray exposure is minuscule and represents an amount of exposure of about the same whole body exposure as 2 minutes of flight time in the air. Other prominent experts disagree and charge that TSA is falsely distorting these facts to their own benefit. They point out that the back scatter system radiation cannot penetrate deeper than the skin layer (thus the highly detailed nude pictures generated), which means that a comparison to full body absorption is grossly deficient a comparison to that level of absorption only in the skin. This would raise the total skin absorption values significantly higher. In addition they warn that repeated xray exposure in this way would certainly translate into increased skin cancer incidents in vulnerable travelers: those who have already been exposed to medical xrays, dental xrays, cancer treatment and those who have a history of personal cancer or cancer running in thier family. The most vulnerable groups would be children, young people and people in puberty with damage to the testicles and ovaries.
    No research at all is present for the potentially harmful effects of millimeter wave technology on humans.
    3). The larger issue here is the trampling of our legal and constitutional rights as Americans and our right to privacy and unreasonable search and seizure. Pornographic pictures of ourselves, our sons and daughters, grandmothers and loved ones are not to be the standard price we must pay to our government to travel in this country or anywhere else. The government’s job is not primarily to keep us safe, it is to protect our rights and liberties. destroying our liberties to keep us safe defeats the purpose, because at this point the enemy has already won by forcing us to relinquish our way of life and trash our constitution in the process.
    4). Those who refuse this intrusion of the scanners are therefore “punished” by the TSA by being forced to surrender themselves to a brutal, sexual assault by TSA agents, who then probe, touch and feel one’s testicles, penis and breasts. Anywhere in the civilized world this is a gross miscarriage of government power and would be looked upon in any circumstance as sexual assault and criminal prosecution and jail-time. Is this what you want for your 5 year old daughter, your 16 year old daughter, your grandmother, yourself?
    5). Those who refuse this “Advanced Pat-Down” face criminal civil suits of up to $11,000. This is what it now costs to be “free”.
    6). Do you really think it will all stop here? This procedure is being assembled as the standard procedure for all passengers. Do you really think that this will not soon be instituted in train stations and bus stations and highway check-points around the country.
    7). What happens when the first suicide bomber uses an anal suppository to explode a plane? Will the TSA now be instituting body cavity searches on all travelers as a standard procedure?
    8).This is how liberty and freedom have been traditionally dismantled throughout history with the eventual result that one day we all wake up in a police state controlled by the government. I say, the TSA’s new procedures have just introduced exactly that. lets be constantly vigilant and jealous of our constitutional rights, they are there for a reason….so that just this kind of thing can not take place.

  458. The real lesson of the TSA and patdown | http://tinyurl.com/22ul732

  459. Get in line sheeple, the gubberment is here to help you.

    Not really, Face the facts folks. The real agenda here is to get you give up your rights. Once your comfortable with this they will go after something else. It’s all about control.

    As for the terrorists, They have all ready won. They have our government enacting policies out of fear.

  460. […] Burning hatred for the TSA is easy populism. And they keep making it easier. But how do the men and women of the TSA really feel about what they have to do? Seventeen of them speak their mind. […]

  461. Flying is not, it’s true, a right. BUT, getting from place to place within the country in the most efficient way possible ought not to require that we give up all dignity.

    IF the scanners and the molestation (and let’s be frank, that is what this is) made one damned bit of difference in the safety on an airplane, it might be worth it. But there is no evidence that it does, and even if it did, at what cost? I have not traveled a lot outside this country. But, when traveling between two other countries (England and Ireland, Netherlands and Italy) the security measures are significantly less physically invasive than when travelling within, or to the USA. Instead, the security screeners at those airports spend more time talking to people, and have been trained to note body language and inconsistencies in answers.

    Those who choose to continue to work in jobs where they are ordered to commit immoral acts deserve the pain that they feel. Is that a harsh judgment? Yes. Is it a fair one? I believe so. If TSA agents are so upset by having to molest innocent passengers, then they need to, en masse, refuse to do it. And passengers need to stand up for their rights, as well.

    Ben Franklin said, a long time ago: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Those of you who think that anything goes so long as it looks like it makes us safer, need to think about those words. A lot.

  462. “I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    Please, can you be a little more arrogant? Serving your country. You act like you are doing it out of a sense of moral obligation and not for a paycheck.

    You are an embarrassment to the real men and women serving our country serving in our armed forces all over the world.

    The terrorists have won. We have given up many, personal freedoms in the name of “security”. The terrorists are sitting around their caves laughing at what we have become.

  463. If the TSA agents don’t like their job they should get a better skill and find a new job! “Because they told me to” is not justification for violating someones rights!

  464. Thanks for this. The only thing worse than airline travel is the repulsive conduct of some airline travelers. If TSA doesn’t change its policies soon, it’s going to have to hire illegal immigrants to do the screenings.

  465. […] to be polite and do their jobs in a confusing new environment, filled with noise and hostile (and smelly) […]

  466. […] travel blog Flying With Fish gathered opinions from 17 different TSA agents on the recent furor, and judging by their responses, they seem to be among the people most put off […]

  467. Who told these agents that they have the right to abuse our 4th amendment rights. Sorry if the morale is low, but I’m not really interested in your morale. I guess if there is one thing that is showing here, is that the terrorists are winning the battle here. They are getting us to turn on ourselves.

    You don’t like groping people all day? Then quit. I don’t like being groped, so I’ll not fly. I would rather die a free man, than live in tyranny.

  468. NO. You have chosen to do this and so you must let others be heard. You can always get another job just as I am told I don’t have to fly… reap it.

  469. […] pat-down that many travelers, and even some security officers, feel is too personally invasive. Aviation and security blogger Steven Frischling said he has received comments from TSA front-line screeners complaining of verbal abuse. […]

  470. I am aghast at the presumption and scorn coming from people clearly in a place of privilege to the people who have the least power in this situation. Does no one comprehend blue collar work? People who do skilled labor (and yes, if it takes training, it is skilled labor) have been making the trade-offs that TSA employees have to make since the existence of a working class (dating back to roughly 10,000+ years ago).
    Facts of blue collar work and to some extent, all kinds of paid and unpaid work:
    1) You have to implement policy you don’t agree with.
    2) You have to take abuse from people who think you are responsible for the policy.
    3) People with the power and means to confront the policy makers directly abuse you instead.
    4) You have no guarantee that another job will be better.
    5) It is unlikely you can merely return to your own job if the new one is worse. Companies expect loyalty from employees even if they show no loyalty in return.

    And the presumption that people should “have stayed in school”, are “complicit”, or “lazy except for the ex-soldier (because I can comprehend and approve of that blue collar work)”. There are people in the TSA with two and four year college degrees. There are people in the TSA who poured years of their lives into learning other skilled trades. There are ex-soldiers, ex-police officers, and people from all classes of security personnel, many with years of experience. Doing this work does not make them inferior to you. They are no more complicit in this policy that you are for giving money to the airline industry in the first place. Think the airlines are draconian? Trains, boats, and automobiles await your moral superiority. Be aware, those infrastructures are also built, maintained, and operated by blue collar workers, so prepare your scorn, hypocrisy and judgment for them.

  471. Federal Employee Oath of Office
    I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    To TSO’s: The enemy is you. Honor your oath. Defend the Constitution!

  472. Of course you cannot judge an entire group by the actions of some, but I have seen nothing to indicate that enough TSOs have the training or professionalism you would expect for such a position. All too often they seem to be enamored with their power over the citizens who choose to fly, and exercise those powers in the most aggressive and demeaning ways they can think of, much like a preening local deputy fresh out of the police academy drunk on the new-found power. Simply put, there is a right way and plenty of wrong ways to conduct a pat-down, but TSOs seem to be doing far too much of the latter either due to a lack of instruction or an improper personality. If they object to being called molesters and perverts, then maybe they need to learn the proper way to do their jobs. To behave in such an obnoxious manner and then cry about it when people criticize is just pathetic. Moreover, none of this is necessary to keep Americans safe. Napolitano should be fired immediately, and TSA procedures need to be thoroughly revised.

  473. “I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job. I do not want to be here all day touching penises.”

    “I come to work to do my job. It is not up to me to decide policy, it is up to me to carry out my duties as dictated by the Transportation Security Administration.”

    Really, folks, this sounds so much like the “I vuz just followink orrrrderz” excuse of the SS guards that I feel like I’m in an episode of The Twilight Zone. At least they had the implicit or explicit threat of being shot or being hauled off to the Russian Front as a moral fallback position. What’s your excuse?

    Oh, you might lose your job? Well, guess what: those of us being either subjected to radiation and a porn scan, or molested by you apes, don’t give a damn. If you are really the decent people that you think you are, you’d go out on strike or quit. You treat the rest of us like crap, in complete violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, and you expect sympathy from us? Get bent!

    Look, all of you TSA employees ENABLE this crap. REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE. Sue the government if they fire you. DON’T BE PART OF MAKING THIS A POLICE STATE.

    Either that, or get used to the abuse, its just starting. Right now its mostly verbal, but as YOUR actions continue, many people will get physical. That’s what a free people do to protect their rights and their dignity in the face of overbearing and self-righteous tyrants.

    CHOOSE: be on the right side of things, be a hero and stop enabling tyranny and perversion – either that, or reap the consequences of YOUR choices.

  474. The argument “I was just following orders” and “I was just doing my job” didn’t wash at Nuremberg after WW2 – why should it wash here?

  475. Robert Ehrenstrom

    People don’t like it when I assault them:( People need to understand me:( People call me names:( Boo Hoo! Just like you tell people “they do not have to fly”, you do not have to work for the TSA. Oh, and just like the Nazi’s the “I was just following orders” does not cut it when it comes to moral decency. Shame on your union for supporting the surrender of our civil rights. You all know this does not make us one bit safer but you also know that the TSO that tells the emporer he is naked will be out of a job. Well put you idiot direct out of a job first! Then we will all be safe from this idiocy.

  476. To those “professionals,” who claim to be just doing their job and serving their country: How do you like being the tools that implement the violation of our 4th amendment rights? You may not like being told that you’re molesting people, but that’s exactly what you are doing (both with the patdowns and the naked scans) so maybe it’s time to admit to yourself just how low you’ve sunk. And then maybe when you all realize that you’ve left your self-respect and conscience at the door when you arrive at work, all the TSOs will flatly refused to carry out such a completely villainous policy. But until you all rise up and refuse to scan or grope airline passengers, then each and every one of you deserves exactly what you are getting.

  477. I work at LAX, and although I have never personally experienced a pat down myself, I have seen many administered and they seem to be extremely intrusive and dehumanizing.
    I have only been asked to take a full body scan once, and being that it was an unusually slow day made it seem all the more unnecessary and a complete waste of time and resources. When I asked the TSO if I was being chosen at random, he explained that everyone must pass thru the body scan, but since they were always busy it was nearly impossible. As I proceeded to the body scan, I had to wait about a minute because the 2 nearby TSO’s were engaged in a conversation. Their supervisor had to remind them I was waiting for a scan. It was quick and painless…and pointless.
    As an airport employee and a regular smoker, I pass thru the security checkpoint several times a day during my shift. TSO’s are ALWAYS standing around chatting, laughing, wasting time. If luggage needs to be re-screened or checked more thoroughly, it seems like they take forever to make their way over to the passenger line.
    At the end of the night when I’m heading out, they are ALL gathered around laughing and joking and having a good time.
    No sympathy here.

  478. I actually didn’t mind having the pat down. The gentleman who screened me was kind of cute. Any other circumstances and we might have exchanged numbers. Having to remove my shoes was way more annoying.

  479. @ John (#3)

    “I’m not a big fan of the security theater, but taking it out on the front line officers who have to carry out the policy enacted by someone else who sits in an office all day is like blaming the clerk at the gas station for the price of the gas.”

    That’s nonsense, patent nonsense. One guy just posts a price. There’s no moral choice there, just pure economics. The other guy ACTS. No, strike that…he CHOOSES TO ACT, THEN ACTS…and the action is to sexually molest innocents. Passengers who refuse the porn scan and its attendant radiation (which MIT’s Technology Review has reported can literlly unravel your DNA) are subjected to what could only be called a sexual molestation. In fact, in any other circumstance other than a police stop where there is probable cause to believe that the person is hiding a weapon or critical evidence, such a search IS ACTUALLY a violation of the law. Worse yet when you do it to a kid. When you CHOOSE to do it to a kid, that is.

    “Perhaps it’s time to start communicating to the people further up the line of command that we believe that their needs to be security but that we would like it to be reasonable and proactive instead of intrusive and reactive.”

    No, start the heat on those who do the actions. Get them to STOP. Then, and only then, will the out-of-touch (and immune from this kind of search) bureaucrats and politicians pay attention. Being “reasonable” when you’re under threat of being sexually molested (or, worse yet, when your little girl or boy is about to be sexually molested) is not on the table for me or most other people.

    TSA people CHOOSE to obey their orders to violate the Constitution, CHOOSE to molest people and then get upset when the average person gives them a piece of their mind. Too damned bad. Leave the job or organize a strike. DO THE RIGHT THING, don’t just say “I vuz just followink orrrrrrders” – because that defense went out the door about 65 years ago.

  480. I am surprised at all of the backlash against TSOs for doing their jobs as dictated to them by the powers-that-be in D.C. I am equally surprised at the numbers of folks who believe it is ok to verbally/physically abuse TSOs merely because they are employed by TSA. Comments like, “it is their job”, or, “if they don’t like it, leave”, or, “they chose their profession so deal with it” make little sense to me. And, comments that the TSOs are dumb have no merit. It may surprise most the numbers of folks with degrees, including one TSO I heard about who was a scientist and quit his job right after 9/11 and joined TSA.

    Should they get testy with passengers? Of course not. But, I am not sure I could handle the numbers of people like those making the idiotic comments on a daily basis and expect to keep my cool. And, like any profession, when you deal with idiots on a daily basis, you tend to become jaded. It is the human factor that will permeate even the best of them. But, the meritricious comments made about the TSOs really just shows a lack of class on the commentors part.

    I for one will remain as understanding as possible when going through the lines at airport checkpoints. They help in preventing a possible attack whether folks believe that or not. They work hard, just as I work hard, and deserve my patience and respect.

  481. The problem with TSOs predates the scanners.

    1 – At Dulles, a TSO pulled my shorts off during an aggressive patdown.

    2 – Also at Dulles, at TSO yelled at me to come back to the magnetometer after picking up my bags at X-ray, claimed that I did not walk exactly through the center of the gateway, and forced me to walk through it repeatedly, while rocking on his heels and chewing gum.

    3 – In Orlando, a TSO took three minutes to do an exhaustive, slow and sensual grope after I silently glared at him.

    Many TSOs really are defective perhaps not so much in training as in morality, character, and knowledge of American traditions and values.

  482. All I hear are a bunch of spoiled Americans crying as usual.

    P.S. Great advice from those who urge others to quit their jobs.

  483. This issue has so many factors involved, you cannot blame any one thing.

    1. Complete use of guidelines with little to no reliance upon logic when following the guidelines (when they are followed… I thought children below 12 were exempt from at least the body scanners.) A 3 year old with a teddy bear being taken away may be agitated.
    2. Minimal requirements of TSOs upon hiring (I checked the job postings and saw no requirements for education.)
    3. Paying TSOs based upon the minimal requirements which causes those with higher education and more skills to bypass these jobs.
    4. Rude people: this includes both TSOs and customers.
    5. Misinformation (purposefully or not) distributed to the public, concerning both scanners and pat downs.

    I know there are plenty more things which all add up to the mess this has become. Calling people names is not helpful. I am sure there may be some TSOs who do take advantage of their position, but I would guess most find the new policies as distasteful as the customer. Those who do abuse their position will not be fired if everyone is called molester, pervert, etc.

    There has to be a better term than Nazi to use as the implications in this are astoundingly inappropriate. As someone who visited East Berlin (when there was still such a thing), the communists also were following orders and micromanaging everybody. Still, communist is not an apt description.

    As a military brat, veteran, current military spouse, sane and generally peaceful person, I know I am not someone who will do anything harmful to my country; however, how would the TSO know that? They do not know me personally. This does not mean I agree with the body scanner which I believe has been lied about continually (“It does not take or store pictures” and “It is not harmful”.) Nor does it mean I want to undergo an enhanced pat down. Although I would be more than willing to undergo a pat down rather than to have my 16 year old son or 14 year old daughter have to.

    Flying is not a right. It is not a privilege. It is a business transaction. I do believe those who purchased their tickets prior to this new policy should be allowed to receive a refund if they do not want to comply with the new policies.

    I also think it is funny there was an uproar when people thought profiling was being used. Now, people are complaining about holding military IDs and still having to undergo the same procedures as everyone else. You cannot assume because someone has or is serving their country they have not undergone some mental problem or personal issue which causes them to do something violent.

  484. Wow. The jack-booted thugs have sad, sad feelings about being called child molesters, just because they molest children. I don’t care how you or your fellow thugs feel. I care about the Constitution. Read it. And then go shoot yourself.

  485. As a combat and peacekeeping vet let me explain to the TSA employees the following


    You are less adding to our safety than you are conditioning the public to accept the trampling of the hard won rights that are enshrined in the constitution. You have failed at EVERYTHING other than wasting our money and pissing us off.

    You are part of the problem, that you fail to understand that confirms it.

    They came first for the terrorists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a terrorist.

    Then they came for the tea party,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t in the tea party.

    Then they came for the whites,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a whites.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    You are choosing your side in a epic test of what freedom means

  486. Well, I hate to break this to you TSA folks, but “It Gets Worse”. If you think that things are bad now, wait to you see what happens when ordinary folks go through this process this holiday season and start to talk about it. Grandmas, breast and skin cancer survivors, people with incontinence, and people who are just plain afraid of “radiation” are going to be opting out, and you will go through this process clearly designed to degrade them (to get them to go through the scanners) and you will make enemies of the people you supposedly “serve” *forever*.

    When opt-out day comes, this issue is going to be on every news channel. It will be discussed in high school civics classes, it will be discussed over a game of bridge, it will be discussed by the water cooler. And while there will be a significant number of people who feel that *any* degrading process is perfectly OK as long as it makes us “safer” and the government tells us we must, others will point out the clear conflict of interest at the top, the questions about x-ray safety, the fourth, ninth, and tenth amendments, the basic indignity of a strip search or invasive pat down for US citizens who are not accused of any crime, etc.

    Then there will be the celebrities that show up – Kanye West or Britney Spears or Billy Ray Cyrus will have a bad encounter with your process and talk about it on every talk show he/she appears on. And SNL and the late night talk show hosts will make you the butt of more and more jokes.

    Then there is the issue of airports opting out – since the TSA seems unwilling to listen to US citizens who say enough is enough, many of us will try a different approach – pressuring local governments and airports to replace TSA personnel with contractors. This is explicitly allowed by the ATSA. While some might feel that this is a step backwards, I believe that this would give airports some level of accountability in getting rid of the most abusive screeners – something that the TSA seems incapable of doing. And, of course, it will put even more pressure on TSA employees, who will basically become expendable pawns in a game of political one-upmanship. So, by going along with this abuse, you may find your job is at risk – but hey, you might get a contractor job with lousier hours and poorer health benefits. If you’re lucky.

    To many of us, it seems obvious that TSA management adopted the more aggressive pat downs to “punish” those who refuse to use the scanners. This “double down” approach to passenger intimidation appears to have backfired in a rather spectacular way, and it will take years, if ever, for the TSA to recover the respect of the flying public. And you guys take the fall.

    Thanks to your leadership, you will never be trusted or respected again.

    *Every* enhanced security method, even sensible ones, will be viewed with a jaundiced eye. People will begin to compare the IRS favorably to you. You will be ashamed to say you are a TSA agent, because in your heart you know that what you are doing is shameful and wrong, and that people have every right to be offended by what you do on a daily basis. And even if you don’t feel that way, the fact that you work for the TSA is likely to trigger at least one loudmouth bully at any social gathering who will be happy to take his last degrading TSA experience out on you, because you’re not so big without a badge on, are you?

    Yours was never an easy job, but it has just been pushed over the edge. Thanks to a bunch of lobbyists (including the former head of DHS) who wanted to make a few billion on these scanners. They sold you down the river. It isn’t the American public’s fault. They are responding in the only effective way they can to completely unreasonable behavior by their government – they are taking it out on the one target that is accessible to them – you.

    This isn’t necessarily fair, but that’s the way it’s going to be.

    Get used to it.

  487. Having worked in the airline industry for six years as a ramp agent for US Airways, I can honestly say that the TSA walks a thin line between being an effective deterrent against a terroristic act occurring on flights originating from our county, and blowing smoke up the collective rear ends of the traveling public. Granted, in order to work at the airport, I did have to have a background check done, but after that, short of not having suicidal tendencies, what was there to keep me from smuggling contraband onto ANY aircraft on the ramp? NOTHING. No TSA idiots checking me going through any doors my SIDA badge would allow me ingress and egress through. But keep in mind, if I attempted to go through the checkpoint WITH my SIDA badges clearly presented, they want to examine me as well. Either they check everyone regardless of how they have access to aircraft, or they publicly admit that all their efforts are not fully though out. And in regards to the pat downs and scanners, the two most recent attempts to bring down aircraft originated on flights from outside the country.

  488. It’s refreshing to hear the other side of the story. However, they are not in the military, they have civilian jobs. They do not have to ‘take orders’ and can (and should) get together and contact whatever workers rights organization is in charge of TSA and explain that, as workers, they do not feel comfortable touching peoples’ private parts.

    I do feel sorry for the TSA agents, however that doesn’t make what they’re doing acceptable. They have a responsibility as workers to express concerns to their supervisors about whatever is making them uncomfortable. It is against the law to fire a worker for expressing concern and discomfort and asking for changes to the workplace.

  489. Clearly it’s time for profiling. We shouldn’t be screening kids traveling with parents, old folks over 70, or US servicemen. Screening everyone is a colossal waste of time, money and an insult to the intelligence of the American public. The TSA SHOULD be trained in psychological profiling, be professional, suspicious and always err on the side of caution. We SHOULD be screening anyone a TSA offier deems suspicious at a glance – in their sole, educated discretion. Anyone has the right to refuse screening, get out of line and take a bus to their destination. I am a white American and I would be glad to be scanned or patted down if it meant safer air travel. But my 78 year old father? My 10 year old daughter? That’s sheer stupidity. Enough already. What kind of morons are running this operation?

  490. TSA employees AND people who fly, AND state officials AND ANYone with a brain, a conscience and a working knowledge of the Constitution should band together in fighting these RIDICULOUS, OFFENSIVE AND ILLEGAL tactis and refuse to work or travel until they are banned. Israel does not need them and neither do we. All it is is a way to intimidate people, violate their persons, their freedoms and their privacy, and make that Soros fella more money.

    If they made HIM go thru this molestation every day, and all the Rapiscan and TSA officials and employees, we’dd see those freaking porn machines and molesters disappear faster than a pack of cigarettes up BOZO’s nose.

  491. I will NEVER fly again. Not until these intrusive, perverted pat-downs and naked body scanners are no longer used. What’s the matter with the White House and the TSA? Don’t they realize that by subjecting the American public to such scrutiny that the terrorists they claim they’re trying to protect us from have already won! Look at how much we have to go through IF we wish to fly!

    You said “Rather than dehumanize the TSA TSOs, work with them, understand their views and opinions and work together to change the current TSA policies.” What are you – a government shill? I’ll be damned if I will allow a TSA government pervert to molest me in the name of “security.” We the People do have rights, and judging by how the powers-that-be in Washington are reacting to this revolt, inc. the TSA, I think they’re well aware that the voters are angry.

    Believe me – we will remember this come 2012, so those representatives (including our President and VP) had better start looking for other jobs. This is change I CANNOT and WILL NOT believe in!

    I would encourage everyone to check out the following website:


    Even so, I would like to make on correction. I don’t think we should limit “opt out day” to Thanksgiving, but also for every other day until these ridiculous, intrusive security procedures are done away with!

  492. Rick,

    Read the post following this. I wrote about the legal rulings that give the TSA the authority they have to enact their current policies … and to circumvent the 4th Amendment.

    There needs to be a court battle to make changes, and I am sure that is on the horizon.

    Happy Flying!


  493. The TSA agent whining is hilarious to read. Really, they are not too far removed from the Nazi soliders that loaded the Jews onto the cattle cars. I urge every American to come at the TSA agents who approach you cussing and punching with all you have…and if you are in line and see a fellow American recieve abuse from the TSA, for God’s sake stand up to the TSA and start swinging! LIVE FREE OR DIE, people!

  494. I am playing the world’s smallest violin right now. If you are being paid to cup your hands around someone’s testicles, you might not be a “pervert”, but you definitely are a “prostitute”.

    We’re hearing, “If you don’t like it, don’t fly.” Well, I’m countering with, “If you don’t like it, find another job.”

  495. Calling it your job doesn’t make it right.
    Calling yourself professional doesn’t make it respectable.
    Your personal distaste doesn’t dismiss that you continue doing it.
    Your job is losing all respect and dignity, and deservedly so — please pass this sentiment on to the supervisors.

    To all those who say I don’t have a right to fly: I have a right to go about in public, using public facilities, secure in my person and free from arbitrary, unreasonable /unwarranted search and seizure. Otherwise, you’ll say I don’t have a right to ride a bus, take a train, take a taxi, ride a bike … society’s rights don’t end at each person’s front door.

  496. I’m baffled that comment #40 Erndog simultaneously wishes the TSA employees did more to defend their coworkers and show solidarity but derides a union. This is exactly what a union is for. Quitting a company in principle in this economy is meaningless. Giving employees the ability actually affect policy or for their ethical resignation to hurt the employer? That’s called “bargaining” and “striking”. Unions are a healthy and essential part of this idealogical capitalism so cherished among commenters here, and the fact the pilots’ union may exert some policy change (albeit for their membership only) is further proof.

    I you don’t like it change it. Don’t blame others for their lack of superhuman abilities (especially as you mock possible tools of recourse) or deride their protestation as unjustified complaint in the midst of your own complaint.

  497. This whole escalation is futile. The scanners and patters can only “see” through clothing. Once the bombers figure out how to make a bomb that fits nicely in a body cavity, it’ll up the ante and we’ll spend another few billion in tax dollars for full body xray machines – of course with another round of outrage from the moron contingent. Of course, once they catch on to that they’ll figure out other methods.

    The bottom line is that the people whining about human rights violations wont shut up until they or their loved ones perish in an attack and the TSA will continue to learn the hard way that their methods are expensive, inconvenient and not very effective.

    The bottom line for passengers is, if you don’t like the rules, don’t fly. And call your congressman to complain – if you even know who it is.

  498. They may be complaining, but they still opt to return to work and feel people up everyday. PERVERTS!

  499. A lot of Nazi soldiers said that they were just doing their jobs. “I’m just doing my job” is NOT an excuse! What these TSA officers are doing is still molestation. They should wake up and think about the implications of their actions.

  500. […] Flying With Fish asked 20 TSA Transportation Security Officers their opinion of the new pat down procedure. 17 responded. […]

  501. I agree with most of the comments here that “just doing my job” and “just following orders” are no excuse for molesting scores of innocent travelers – nor of taking nude scans of them.

    I would expect procedures like this to be done in a country like China, not America. All they are doing is showing their lack of knowledge, training and experience, to pick out that 0.1% (hands free), who might have nefarious intentions. Instead, they are being ordered to treat the rest of the 99.9% of innocent travelers like hardened criminals getting ready to enter prison, not an airport. A scan and a pat-down are NOT the only options! An experienced TSO should be able to conduct an intelligent interview, hands free, while preserving a passenger’s dignity and civil liberties.

  502. “Do people know what a Nazi is?”

    Not everyone who employed the Nuremberg defense was a member of the Nazi Party. Someone had to drive the trains across Poland.

  503. I cannot believe this has shown what America has turned into. I am speaking of both sides. The ones against the TSA has turned into a herd or mob mentality.The more they hear people agreeing with them the worse they say.I would not doubt if I hear someone say we should beat up any agent who searches us.Based on things I have read on this blog and others I could see it happen. Everyone is suggesting the Opt out day.All that will accomplish is making everyone wait longer, getting more angry especially when EVERYONE starts missing flights.Which they will. No matter how much they back up or yell the TSA is not going to open the line holding a sign only that says “Enjoy your flight!” with a smile.They are not going to suddenly let everyone through because the line is long.The more people wait and miss their flights the more dangerous it will get for those who lose their temper and those in line who have no problem with the screening but everyone will pay for it.
    I am one who says ‘dont fly then’ but just like there will be a couple who say the same thing there will be those who say F-off with the others agreeing. When I bought the ticket I knew I would have to be walking through security, reguardless if the ticket was bought a year ago or yesterday. If I objected I would not have bought the ticket.
    I object to them being called Nazi’s..it simply is not the same thing but this will get me swore at like everyone else. I will say this and risk the name calling.
    I find very offensive that they are calling pat downs ‘sexual assault’. It is not the same thing. I am someone who has been the victim of sexual assault. Do you want to know what sexual assault is? it is violent assault of your personal area being done against your will. It is painful and scarring. It goes way beyond a touch or a pat. It is having things done to and put in your body violently while you are crying, struggling and begging not to. Is this really the same thing? Or are you simply uncomfortable, embarrassed and inconvenienced? Did you know beforehand you would get a pat down or touched, or have the possibility of it? I didnt. Am I saying it is not humiliating? NO I am not. But please at least take a moment to realize it is quite upsetting to hear that phrase being used to benefit your point of view and used as a throwaway term. It may be embarrassing but it is not assault. You went in of your own free will, knowing you may be subject to a search (metal detector, scanner, pat down or otherwise), you have options. You can OPT for a pat down. I could NOT. It is NOT the same thing. And before anyone asks yes I have had a pat down. The last time I flew I went through a metal detector and a pat down that took less than a minute. Trust me when I say that I am sensitive to touch and if at any time it seemed to linger or they were ‘enjoying it’ or went slowly over some areas I would be the first to know. It was not like that. Was it embarrassing. Of course it was but not terribly so. I have been more embarrassed by doctors to be honest.
    I am not saying people dont have the right to be upset or even protest but the proper way is to write the government. Not to hold up thousands in the misguided belief that they will stop and let everyone through and beg forgiveness. I would rather have security than none. All I ask is for people to stop throwing the term ‘sexual assault’. It is not the same and is highly disrespectful to those who have been.

  504. TSA and TSO’s hold your ground and keep up the good and faithful work at our air ports around the country. I work in a prison and understand the feelings that you have during pat downs. We pat offenders on a daily basis as they exit there work places and at times do random pats also. Don’t think about what has just been done. That is totally in the past. YOu have done your job and now its on to the next person. It is the next person that is now your focus. This is the person that may have a box cutter or even a gun lodged between there legs or in there underware. How great would it be to stop that person at the gate and save the lives of all entering the security area or on the plane. Thanks again for you daily work for our protection.


  505. […] But how do the men and women of the TSA really feel about what they have to do? Seventeen of them speak their mind. […]

  506. I feel sorry for the TSA officers. I know what it is like to be the blunt of the anger of the public due to policy I have no control over. To dare think that these officers are “part of the problem” is a misnomer. If anything, you want agents who are disgusted with the situation. If they keep quitting because they are in disagreement of the policy only means the organization will keep rehiring until they get people who love to grope you for a living. Do you really want that?

    To assume these agents should just quit because it is better to move back in with their parents is short-sighted. So they are also to take their wife, and children with them? What if the job they are doing is to support their elderly parents. Then what happens when it is “better” for them to quit in an economy that makes one hard pressed to find a job? Is it really better?

    No, these agents are not the problem, nor are they part of the problem. If they leave their post due to disagreement with the policy, the agency will only hire more until they get people that do agree. The policy does not change because of these officers who are just trying to do their job.

  507. Give me a frickin break. The TSO’s are not the victims here. If giving up one’s constitutional right (4th Amendment) is the price to pay for the privilege of flying, what other rights under other circumstances are sheople willing to give up? Why not full body scanning or groping at large malls, or professional sporting events, or concerts, or high school football games? Any right continuously curbed, incrementally or otherwise, will soon cease to exist.

  508. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs: The Screeners Point Of View […]

  509. I agree with the first poster. If you served in Afghanistan you should be able to grab any man’s balls you want.

    Well, only once you’ve been discharged, of course. Otherwise it would be gay, and DADT is still in force.

  510. reading all these posts..and I agree with opting out and standing up for your right not to be touched….I wonder about the psycological(Sic..sorry) affect on the TSA goons…after hour after hour and day after day of touching people’s genitals…would they not eventualyl start ‘acting out’?spilling over into their personal lives…twisting thier minds so that if they weren’t sexual diviants before..they turn into ones?

  511. Please, give us the flying public a break. We are at war with terrorism. We need to squarely face that reality. Stop pussyfooting around about whose feelings we hurt. We must begin to incorporate all of our global allies intel with positive verifiable ID. We must do profiling to catch the most likely terrorists. Yes we generally don’t like to do that as it is basically against our open policies in the USA. Too bad… we are at war with these fanatics and we need to identify them by profile and refuse airline service to all that fit the well documented profile. The Israeli airline will not allow anybody to board a flight that has not positively passed a through computer check of who they are, where they are going and why, should they let you fly? If you fail their profile they simply say” Fly some other airline. You are not going to board our plane. Drastic measures are called for when the fanatics continue to try to win by terrorizing the flying public. Make them pay not us. Force them into full body cavity searches. Forget our 3 year old babies and our 67 year old grandmothers. Yes some legitimate potential fliers are going to be verry upset at the se require new security measures. Too bad. It is absolutely necessary until these enemis stop threating the flying public. You already know what the profile should be. Require total documentation of all passengers. Use our mega-cray computers to verify who these potential passengers are and if not verified in advance, they do not fly on our plane. Check all lugage with the full search proceedure. Profilling is absolutely necessary during times of war!!!

  512. The TSA is rediculously stupid, I am a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. I was in uniform with my ID and they told me I was selected for enhanced security checks. So I must have looked like Al-Queda. We have to stop the erosion our basic constitutional rights!

  513. They act like they are forced to come to work every day. Know what I did when I hated my job? I quit. And everyone says “Its not responsible to quit knowing the economy is so bad.” That is a poor excuse, I had another job lined up within the week.

  514. I personally think that the new pat downs are not that bad. Sure, they might be touching some sensitive areas, and if you’re obese, it might be kind of embarrasing, but think about it, is it really that bad? They just tough you a little and the you’re done. They won’t remember about how you felt like because they touch a lot of people each day. It is sort of strange, but what do you have to be embarrased about? That they are touching you? So please, give them a freaking second chance!

  515. You picked the job, you weren’t drafted, you’d better grab my balls and smile while you do it. None of this back of the hand garbage, either. Cup them or leave me alone.

  516. I’m happy that some of you think that the TSA only takes away nail clippers and water bottles. That’s adorable. Fact is, the TSA confiscates firearms. ammunition, and a variety of other weapons (can you belive I found throwing stars twice?) on a daily basis. I, myself, found gun clips and have been present when a loaded gun was brought to the check point. My airport was TINY and we found these things.

    Added bonus for those of you who would like profiling, you would not have picked out the 75 year old Vietnamese lady with the loaded gun. I’m just sayin…

  517. OK, I’ve read a good part of the comments here, and here’s my summary on the majority of positions:

    1. “These TSO folks are just doing their jobs, leave them alone”. This is simply invalid – the Milgram experiment has been cited quite a few times, and quite appropriately. If you don’t know it, google it, it provides some interesting, yet scary, insights into human psychology. The more drastic variant is the Nazi comparison, which some state, and some violently refuse. I wouldn’t go as far as calling these people nazis, yet: it is true, the excuse is always the same, and not a viable one: “I know I’m doing wrong, but I’m just following orders” is just not valid. If someone tries to force you to do something that is against your belief, ethics, or morale, you must have the balls to say NO.

    2. “If you don’t like the procedures, don’t fly”. Yeah, grab your canoe and paddle to Hawaii. Take the bridge over the atlantic to London. There are a lot of people who have no choice but to fly. In extreme cases, if they don’t fly, they lose their job – as simple as that.

    2a). For all the self-proclaimed patriots: what is the difference between the TSO in case 1. and the person in case 2. losing their job? Nothing in terms of the job being lost. But a lot in the reasons: Either you refuse to be oppressed – the only act of protest you would have left – , or you refuse to be the oppressor because you don’t want to take the dignity of others.

    3. “But you have the choice of not submitting to the pat-down”. Sure you do. At the expense of some potential health risk (which I’m not trying to overemphasize here, but it is being discussed), plus a possibly humiliating experience. In addition, if there is anything “suspicious” detected in that machine, such as prosthetics, you’ll get the secondary screening as well. So your choices are a) potential health risk + humiliation 1, or b) humiliation 2, or c) if you’re lucky enough, potential health risk + humiliations 1 and 2. That’s what I call choice. And all of that because you have to attend a meeting overseas.

    I do understand the outcry these procedures have produced, and I do condemn them because they now criminalize everyone and leave them virtually without any rights. Sadly, the outcry is only happening now, now that the majority of the american population is getting to feel the effects. Where was the outcry when arabic-looking people were discriminated? Where was it when foreigners were standing in line for hours just to get into the States for a business trip waiting at 4 open counters, having to answer senseless questionnaires, while Americans passed within 15 minutes through 10 open counters? Yeah, sure, it only hurts when it affects you personally. Think about it. Yes, I confess, I’m an average, completely innocent, non-terrorist european guy who has been treated like a ‘guilty-until-proven-innocent’ alien before. Something that I’ve seen happen to many foreigners in the States, yet never to any US citizen in Europe. Where does that hubris come from? Anyway, I am digressing. All I would like to see is just a tad more openmindedness — this is not just about your 4th amendment rights, but about human rights and dignity in general. This is not about humiliating americans, but about humiliating people.

    And finally, some numbers. The possibility of getting struck by lightning is 1 in 500,000, every year. The possibility of dying in a terrorist attack on a US-operated aircraft was 1 in 25,000,000 in the last decade(!). You do the math and decide whether this hysteria and security theater is worth anything, except for a gross violation of human rights.

  518. […] Flying With Fish asked 20 TSA Transportation Security Officers their opinion of the new pat down procedure. 17 responded. […]

  519. If you don’t like the rules don’t fly simple The government is not changing policy because the american people have a short term memory and forget very quickly why TSA are in airports . As long as their are terrorist still trying to board planes and take them down TSA will still be around . Flying is a privilege not a right you want to protest go ahead you just wont fly . To the people that think that all terrorist are muslims and wear turbines your sadly mistaken you need to do your research .Timothy James McVeigh (terrorist) DC Sniper (terrorist)

  520. Jeff wrote at 6:58 pm: “TSA and TSO’s hold your ground and keep up the good and faithful work at our air ports around the country. I work in a prison and understand the feelings that you have during pat downs. We pat offenders on a daily basis…”

    Jeff, you’re a freaking idiot. I am NOT a convict. I haven’t been convicted of anything. How can you confuse prisoners with free American citizens lawfully going about their business?

  521. _Josh @ _[°|°]_

    @ Jason, #4: Thx Jason, your post is simply perfect. Not more, not less.

  522. Yes, you are simple

    Here we are in the shadow of 9/11 and the US government is taking your rights away just like Germany did so many years ago. Yes, flying is a privilege, but so is driving your car. Do you realize how people would be going out of their minds if we could drag drivers and passengers out of their cars for no reason, but only that SOMEONE SOMEWHERE might be a terrorist? McVeigh and the DC Sniper both terrorized using cars, but we sure as heck didn’t molest other motorists. TSO’s, with no doubt in my mind, get some kind of kinky, perverted pleasure of doing the enhanced pat downs. I would describe them as power tripping, perverted molesters of children and adults alike. Creepy, YES, sickos, YES, should be ashamed of themselved, YES.

  523. Boo hoo. Next time a TSA agent “just does their job” and touches your penis, ask them how many terrorist penises they have stroked in service of the country. If that doesn’t get them crying, ask them to estimate how much safer the country is (as a percent) now that they’ve touched your sexual organs. Keep going until they crumble or you end up on the news asking the same questions.

  524. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin.

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

  525. Listen, asshole, I didn’t move half way across the country from my family under the impression that I wouldn’t be able to visit my family ever again without getting sexually assaulted at the airport. Maybe you don’t need to fly, and that’s great. Then shut the fuck up and stop spouting ignorant drivel.

    You know what is a RIGHT and not a PRIVILEGE in this country? The Goddamned right to privacy. The government doesn’t get to pick and choose when it gets violated. Ignorant moron.

  526. A few replies:

    1) The scanners produce a naked image of you, a strip search, that is viewed by a TSA agent so to my mind it is an equal violation, just one that appears more acceptable.

    2) Despite claims that images cannot be stored or transmitted two facts remain. Firstly the U.S. Marshall’s service has in fact secretly retained and stored images from backscatter scanners, in this case scanners operated by the service at a courthouse in Florida. The story recently became public as did the fact that they had been doing so without telling anyone. While you say they cannot be saved the fact remains that it has occurred. And Secondly, the promise that “it won’t happen” comes from an agency that has steadfastly refused to answer public questions about its proposals and has a record of changing rules in bad ways with no warning. As a consequence the TSA’s credibility is low.

    In the film “Cool Hand Luke” the hero (Paul Newman) is in prison and is informed that his mother has passed away. Following prison policy, he is to be locked up mostly naked in an outbuilding because, as the warden notes, “A man who hears about his mother dying thinks about running away.” As he is being stripped to be sent out there one of the guards says “Sorry Luke it’s my job.” To which Luke replies: “That don’t make it right.

    The second is the restaurant scene in “Brazil” where the restaurant is blown up and the host, unable to actually find the terrorists or prevent a future attack, has a screen put in place to hide the problem.

    Ultimately I find the policy to be wrong and, while I have some sympathy for the feelings of the agents and would not call them Nazi’s, they are still executing the policy and getting paid to do it. Job or not, that don’t make it right.

  527. […] But how do the men and women of the TSA really feel about what they have to do? Seventeen of them speak their mind. […]

  528. Everyone flying should not shower and not wear clean clothes until after security check points. Then go change and clean up (with your little bottles of stuff) in the restroom… Make the job really worth having for the body snatchers. The most poignant comment I have read was the mother talking about her daughter and how she has taught her to scream and draw attention if someone touches her inappropriately. This is a very stressful decision – do you now go back and tell your child that it is ok sometimes that strangers can touch you… now you have doctors, TSA agaents where will the list stop. Isn’t it confusing and why is it ok for us adults? IT IS NOT OK! But on the other hand being a single woman can I opt for a guy to grope me, If I so choose?

  529. So if you are TSA employee and you don’t like the regs you’re supposed to quit.

    They if you have a job that requires you to fly, you’re supposed to…. quit?

    The TSA aren’t Nazis, they aren’t the SS, they aren’t wearing jack boots. Your Congressional Representatives are the people who need to answer for this, and every time you blame a TSA agent instead of contacting the people at fault or hiring a lawyer or contacting your civic leaders, you become more and more of a Nazi sympathizer. At least, that’s what this facile analogy seems to imply.

  530. Then if they don’t like it they should refuse, if enough TSOs stand up and refuse to assault passengers, then the TSA must take notice.

  531. As a flyer who has been on countless planes a month for almost 10 years. I have watched the birth and evolution of the TSA.

    TSA is a mess. It serves no security mission, and its latest deputy director calls TSA and Intelligence Agency! So now, according to TSA, you as a passenger, an American, are actually viewed as a potential Intelligence Target. This is a crime against Americans and what we are.

    I watched season Secret Service senior agents be recruited to help build DHS and TSA, that was 9 years ago-a whole different level of professionalism. Real patriots, real professionals. These men are all now retired, and the “b” team are classic “workers” attempting to build “careers” and get paychecks-nothing else-it is a job-and they will do what ever someone dictates because they want a big screen TV etc. Constitutional rights, God Given rights,American way of life-freedom play no part-its a paycheck-and that tells me who and what they are. These TSA officers are also ignorant, bottom of the barrel. Maybe a public high school diploma between a few of them, no understanding of constitutional rights, just what their supervisor told them to do. They have no powers of arrest,they have no long term formal training in counter terrorism, they are a warm body doing what they cannot get a machine to do-hold your private parts-and feel for what-a lump?

    Calling some Nazis is not unfair. The Nazis that America and the rest of the world hunted down would always say when caught ” I was just doing my job…” Its the same. Look at http://www.drudgereport.com there is a TSA good stripping a 6 year old boy of his clothing -that is a CRIME. If he worked at a school, he would be sitting in jail looking at a 10 year sentence and be registered as a sex offender for life. If a police officer did this to your son in any town USA, he would be sued in civil court-you would own his home, and he would loose his job and most likely go to jail.

    Thinking back 9 years ago-I flew on one of the first American Airlines flight from San Diego to NY when the flight ban was lifted after 9/11. I and another passenger were asked by the Captain and the stewardess to sit in first class. We were given two bottles of champaign (Magnum sizes) and a towel. We were told to beat and kill anyone who attempted to go into the cockpit. We were asked if we had a problem with the request-“hell no-bring on the attacker-we have a drink for him…” Everyone on the flight was aware and tuned on to any threat. Nothing happened and all were fine. That was Americans with American know how solving a problem. It costs two bottles of champaign. I took mine to ground zero and gave it to a aid worker.

    The new xray machines do not detect explosives or threats-the Muslims who did 9?11 had razor blades-hidden in mouth, taped to the bottom of feet, under a wig-who knows… The Xray demeans the passengers. They violate our 4th amendment rights, they also violate federal and state child sexual content laws and regulations. It is ILLEGAL to view ANY image of a naked child on any electronic device, screen. The child is “naked” technically and viewed on a screen-does not matter why or how-the prisons are filled with people who viewed images like what TSA is generating. If the images of children were taken from TSA and “outsiders: had them, they would go to jail for viewing “classic legal defined Child Porn”…thats the facts.

    Mr. Chertoff who was the first director of DHS/TSA is a PAID consultant who LOBBIED to have the Xray machines adopted by DHS. He has been paid MILLIONS for securing the contract $160 million plus for the use of the machines by his past department-that is a conflict of interest-it would be interesting to see who else on his original DHS team works for the xray company or his firm, or the lobby group. It is unethical, immoral and criminal.

    The new congress will be bringing an investigation to this situation, and the leaders have already set this in motion. Once the new congress is sworn in, the curtain will be pulled back and America will see who, what and where-congress will de-fund TSA and DHS…its already done. Secret Service, Coast Guard and others will become their own entities again.

    Hillary Clinton stated she would not endure the “groping” or abuse at the hands of TSA. NApalitanno will not allow anyone to “scan” her, or touch her.

    The de classified TSA Xray manual that was leaked on http://www.cryptome.org states the xray machines need to be calibrated, but no one has said what a calibration schedule should look like. No one at TSA wears a RAD dose meter-so if a machine is leaking excess Xray, even the belt scans for luggage-no one would ever know until someone got sick. Dont for one minute believe that the machines dont malfunction, have a leak, or are just running at a highter level…there is no system in place to protect anyone-even the TSA worker bee’s. At your doctors office-the xray tech, who stands behind a LEAD wall wears a dose meter-and she sends it in every 2 weeks for testing! She is behind a LEAD wall. The government said years ago Agent Orange was safe- they also had soldiers stand and watch nukes go off in the pacific and Las Vegas desert…

    Every time you stand waiting for your bag, how much xray is leaking out and exposing you and all the other flyers waiting-you will never know-there is no process, and if there was a leak, will they ever alert you that machine number 2326 at BWI was leaking excessive xray for 2 months-answer is no you will never know.

    Simple put-TSA serves no real purpose but to project some show of force-force that has no real capability other than to intimidate. We do not need TSA to operate a metal detector or to hold a explosive sniffing dog. Local LE can do that-they also have a keen sense on picking out criminals-and terrorists are criminals…children, Americans, elderly, business flyers-pretty much 99.99999999999% are people going from one place to another. We got it under control.

    The passengers who fly now all know what happened on 9/11. No person will be able to breach the cabin door to the cockpit-and if they do, many of the pilots are armed with pistols. And we have roving Air Marshalls, but best of all, we have a vigilant flyers who are Americans, and we are a strong people who will give the benefit of the doubt, the shirts off our backs, but will not be victimized. We know a terrorist who attempts to do anything on a plane will be stopped by the passengers-with brute force, coke cans, purses, DVD players, computers, and good old fists of fury.

    Just look a few years back when a man was pounding on the Southwest airlines cockpit door during a flight. The passengers all ran to him, pinned him to the ground, kicked his ass so bad he died of his injury. Was that plane ever in danger-hell no. The passengers know what to do-they become pro active and stop the threat to their lives and the lives of their fellow Americans.

    The shoe bomber from last Christmas was a joke. He was an INTERNATIONAL traveler who was stopped and beaten by the passengers. How did he get on board the international plane without a passport or id or ticket. Well a video was leaked and showed a clean shaven man, in a suit, escorting him through and around security -I wonder who that escort was-no one seems to talk about that- I would think that person on the video would be the on the FBI most wanted list-but he is nowhere to be seen. HMMMMMM.

    Dont let TSA Xray you, dont let them touch your private parts. Ask your congressman to be added to the witness list for the upcoming hearings. Its time to bring common sense back to our American way of life. Get close to your congressional leaders and tell them what you want-stop the sexual abuse by TSA. Protect your 4th amendment rights and the rights of our fellow Americans and children.

    God bless America, and no one has the right to touch you or search you.

  532. American (#15) –

    There are people who CAN’T go through the body scanners, even if they wanted to. People, for example, with certain medical devices, such as insulin pumps. These very expensive medical devices cannot be exposed to xrays. These people have no choice but to go through the horribly invasive ‘pat downs’ (molestations) by TSO’s. I don’t care if the TSO ‘feels bad’ – fact is, as long as they keep doing it, they’re doing NOTHING to solve the problem, they ARE the problem.

  533. I don’t like being told that I have a choice when I clearly DON’T. I live in Hawaii (born and raised). The ONLY way to travel is by plane since those idiots got rid of the SuperFerry. I have to choose between government sanctioned “house arrest” or being molested. Great.

  534. You’ve got to feel bad for these government mandated molesters. Imagine if you were to arrive at work to discover that a new clause in your job description requires you to molest a portion of your customers and that the requirement has more than just the blessing of Uncle Sam. Would you quit; forfeit your pension?

  535. ‘I was only following orders’ stopped being any kind of valid or legitimate mitigation for awful actions, a very long time ago.

    I’m saddened that people who served their country in war and who want to serve their country in a domestic security setting are being given orders like this. I’m sad people are being given orders to be inappropriate with the genitals of people to whom they aren’t sexually attracted. And I’m saddened that they don’t have the integrity to refuse to follow those orders.

    The fact that the person giving you work orders is a jerk doesn’t diminish the fact that you’re a jerk for following them. Fine, it’s not rape, it’s not murder and it’s not you issuing the policy. But it is an act that would be sexual assault in any other context, and it is you who’s touching me inappropriately when I decide that it’s the lesser evil available. You’re still a jerk – get a better job.

  536. The real question that needs answered is why our government refuses to either address or discuss the simple question “why do they hate us”? The need is about common sense. Political solution is the only answer.

    We don’t have much longer as a nation to address the root problem instead of pouring money and liberty at the symptoms.

  537. It is fine and dandy to take your anger and frustration out on TSO’s for the newly implementmented pat down techniques, as well as, the body scanners. These are necessary. You need to remember, It is the duty of the TSO’s to protect the public from these terrorists. But has anyone thought what will be happening when and if the airport goes with private security companies. The same procedures will be in effect for the body scanners and pat downs. Will everyone be willing to call them purverts, sexual abusers and so forth. To privatise airports would be extremely expensive and time consuming, i.e., training on all levels these TSO’s perform. For most of you out there who are negative about the present procedures look up the the word “IGNORANT” in Webster’s dictionary.

  538. One fine morning while at work feeling penises of fellow Americans a terrorist will come up to you and blow himself up. Gp get a real job you faggots.

  539. I have never read so many abusive comments in my life. Especially the ones that say TSOs are stupid or deserve abuse. What the hell is wrong with you people? I’m so glad I’m not flying during this holidays. Not because of the new orders forcing TSOs to search, although I feel bad that they have to be subjected to all this. I’m glad I’m not flying with you crazy, selfish, horrible people. You’d be the first to condemn TSOs if someone did bring an explosive on a plane. You’d be the people stepping on the heads of others trying to get off the plane, not caring for anyone but yourselves.

    I have great respect for all those who give service to our country, and to other countries in our name. TSOs and those they go home to, members of the military, their families, members of the state department who put themselves in harms way to benefit us in the US. I am so ashamed of so many of you commenters here. Argue for your rights all you want, but the US used to be known for its compassion and kindness, for our ability to bear difficulties and still be fair and welcoming people. I am sad to see that change. TSOs everywhere, thank you for enduring this fresh hell, for putting yourselves in harm’s way, for enduring all these things, for our sake. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. I am so grateful for your work, your patience, and your amazing professionalism.

  540. […] In any controversial, titillating (sorry) scandal, there is almost always another side or two.  Check out this blog site by and for the TSA screeners who say they are just as disgusted by the pat downs as the […]

  541. […] to the public backlash, there is quite a bit of “quiet resentment” within the agency, writes Boarding Area.com blogger and airline emerging media consultant Steven Frischling. Seventeen transportation security […]

  542. I am stunned with the US gov’t introducing such privacy violating procedures. Either full body scan or the enhanced groping procedures.
    I have travelled in and out of Israel 10 times in the last 3 years and THEY KNOW HOW TO PERFORM screenings, security checks and have NOT had any bomber board their planes. They have don so, WITH NO full body scanners, NO groping procedures, but just with interviews, luggage X-rays, etc.
    It is my believe that the US gov’t installed those machines BECAUSE George Soros and others in the same circles have invested heavily in the companies that makes the equipment that now is being installed nationwide, IN THE US but NOT anywhere else in the world.
    I probably quit my job before I continue flying for a living and going through such humiliation at our nations airports…

  543. There are always two sides to the story. At least!
    I hope we have this thing figured out by the time I go on Spring Break with my family.

  544. I’m Star Alliance Gold = I fly a lot. And I’ve encountered my fair share of random TSA policies over the last few years. My favorite exchange was – TSA: “Yes, you can bring breast milk, but where’s your baby? You can’t bring breast milk without a baby.” Oh, really. Then why the hell would I have a cooler of breast milk and a pump? I demanded a supervisor and was told that being able to bring breast milk without a baby was an old rule (even though I had the printed out Web page from that day with me) and that he’d let me slide, this time. Last I checked, it’s the same rule.

    As much as I disagree with the new policies, I do believe that the TSOs have a choice. If they dread coming to work everyday because it is morally and emotionally draining leaving them to cry every night, then quit. No one is forcing them to come to work every day. Yes, it is a tight job market, but I would rather lose my job than my own self-respect.

    These new policies stink – and frankly, they’re not going to catch any more “bad guys” than the old policies or the policies before that. They’re just going to p**s off the flying public until the public doesn’t fly anymore.

    And who’s that going to hurt? The airlines – one of the largest industries in the country, employing thousands upon thousands of people.

    It’s time the airlines join into this conversation. I want to hear what they have to say about this.

    Me? I’m going to continue flying … to countries where they treat human beings the way human beings should be treated. That behavior stopped here a long time ago.

  545. Why don’t they use the traditional metal detectors and DOGS!!! Dogs can be trained to detect bombs. Between the two how can you go wrong?

    What happens if some terrorist hides a bomb in his rectum? We gonna do rubber glove searches soon too to everyone??

  546. Most of you who complain about this are the same ones who voted for Obama. So, take your medicine and live with it.

  547. It’s not consent to choose the better of 2 evils. Would you rather give me $1000 or $10000? There, you just ‘consented’ to give me $1000.

  548. I cannot even begin to say how much #539 echoes my thoughts. I’ve posted twice already (#288 and #318), but comment #539 (Beth Burton) really articulates exactly how I feel.

    BRAVA for common sense! BRAVA for decency and compassion (the traits that used to make this the best country in the world).

  549. Suggestion: there’s lots of trained nurse assistants that are out of job because of the recession. Let them do this: they’ll know what a foreign object (bomb) is, what a medically necessary object is, and less people will object because it will be associated with the idea of going to the doctor. All in private rooms. If it comes to that, recruit medical sonographers to do the picture screening – they’re better trained and I have two friends who were top of their class and had a hard time getting work, so the labor supply should be good too.

    Then train all TSOs to be nurse assistants/sonographers, so if they quit as they maybe should, at least they’ll have wider options.

    Great stimulus idea, no?

  550. To all the ‘it is a privilege to fly’

    No, you paid for a ticket.

    Do you know how to boil a frog? Start it low, and slowly raise the temperature. The frog will not even notice the difference. People drop the term Nazi in where it is not appropriate but the Nazis did the same thing – a little here, a little there. My goodness, we are only protecting you from ‘them’.

    Next thing you know, the cattle car door closes and you are left standing, wondering ‘when did it become my turn?’

  551. To those who believe the TSOs should quit their jobs (out of principle for YOUR feelings), why don’t YOU fucking quit YOUR job so you don’t have to travel?

    I mean, yannow … if your job requires you to travel, and the whole TSA issue upsets you so much, why don’t YOU take a stand and quit your job?

    That way, those who don’t particularly give a shit about pat-downs or Body Image scans can still travel without having to deal with whiny, bitchy morons like you guys. And the TSOs can still make a living and feed their families. And you guys can just stay home and bitch and whine to your heart’s content.

    Win-win for everyone. :)

    Like I said earlier, it’s fucking easy to have lofty principles when it’s NOT your family that has to suffer. *rolls eyes*

  552. Every Nazi at Auschwitz was just doing his job, following orders. My question of the TSA (terrorist support agency) is, “Now that you have my shoes, belt, wallet, and passport, do I go to the gas chamber or directly to the oven? Answer, “This is America, the land of choice, once the barber is done with you, take your pick.”
    Hey, don’t get me wrong, I know several TSOs, but I wouldn’t want my kid to marry one.

  553. No one’s saying you should quit if that’s the only job you can find.

    But maybe you should understand why being felt up by strangers who are often insensitve to medical problems (“you can’t bring breast milk without a baby”, that guy with the bladder problem) causes us to lash out at you. If you’re doing something YOU are responsible. Don’t say you were just given orders. If it’s your responsibility we can blame you.

    And if you have to feed your family, tell that to yourself and you won’t hear the complaints (assuming you think this is an okay thing to do). Otherwise, it’s conscience telling you you’re doing something wrong.

  554. To everyone who says you have a choice between the scanner or the pat-down, that’s not entirely true. Not all airports have the scanners yet, or have them functioning, or have the trained employees to operate them. I flew out of Las Vegas/McCarron on Nov. 3rd and wasn’t given a choice when the metal detector went off because of my underwire bra and wedding ring. I was told that I had to submit to the pat-down because they didn’t have a scanner. The woman doing the pat-down apparently had just been trained on it that day and kept forgetting how she was supposed to do it and in what order. That led to open-handed grabs of my breasts and groin before another agent reminded her she was supposed to be using the back of her hand on my genitals and only using her palm and fingers if she felt something suspicious. Then she did it all again because she got flustered and forgot where she was at in the procedure and couldn’t remember if she’d checked everything.

    I won’t be flying in the future, and if that makes me a whiny baby then so be it. I’d rather whine than sit by and keep quiet. I’m driving from Georgia to Pennsylvania for Christmas this year to be with family, and I’m actually looking forward to the 750-mile trek. I can leave when I want to, stop where I want to, and I can do it for less than the cost of an airplane ticket. I get to see the gorgeous Smoky Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the rolling hills and farmland of my home, the lower Susquehanna Valley. For all the other road warriors abandoning the skies for the highs this holiday season, see you on the road! Keep on truckin’!

  555. I too am a public servant for unemployment insurance. I hear comments like “How am I supposed to feed my kids?” That’s not fair to me. I’m not a congresswoman so I don’t write the laws. I’m just the one on the front line delivering the news.

    The bottom line here is, you have a choice. You can either go through the safe (safer than flying thank you) scanner or you can tolerate the invasive patdown. YOU put yourself in the position of the patdown, not the screener. YOUR choice does not give you the right to traumatize the person conducting the patdown. If they had a clumsy, not so gentle robot conducting the patdown would this make you happy?

    Get over it. Make your bed and lie in it. Personally, I’ll take the scanner and if they need a secondary screening I’ll cooperate. I don’t have the right to wreck the day of every person in that line and the scanner because I want to be a dumb jerk. Why should I hurt a fellow human being just because his boss asked him to do something I find objectionable.

    My bet is 99% of those who complain about the scanners and the patdowns would be the first to blame and sue if something happened to them or their loved ones because a terrorist or psycho got on board!

  556. […] But how do the men and women of the TSA really feel about what they have to do? Seventeen of them speak their mind. […]

  557. This is all a very simple plan hatched by the new body scanner lobby: Make the pat downs uncomfortable enough and people will submit to them, and the body scanner companies will make millions, with the bureaucracy getting their cut.

    Sorry TSOs, you’re just pawns in this battle.

    TSA admin & body scanner companies vs. travelers:

    Companies 1, TSOs 0.

  558. asking these people to quit their jobs is the same as expecting them to cut their contract with the military short because of DADT.

    both policies are beyond my cognitive abilities and both are a disgrace, in my opinion, but the only thing that is going to happen by the TSO’s losing their income is that they’ll be easily replaced.

    and, equating (or comparing) this situation to Nazi Germany is absurb. You are mocking the people who went through the most extreme physical and emotional pain ever. shame on all of you.

    Next time I fly, I’m going to bring a cupcake for my TSO and say “thank you” for protecting me.

  559. … because cupcakes are delicious.

  560. Fuck the TSA. Pop a Viagra before you fly, and don’t shower for as long as you can stand.

  561. You really think people are going to leave their jobs just because they don’t like them, the way jobs and finances are now? Come down out of your ivory towers people.
    Also: Every time someone or something is compared to the Nazis, it makes what they did that much less horrific, if it’s just used so casually. Bottom line: they’re not rounding people up and killing them, QED they’re not Nazis.
    The real sad thing here is that the world has come to a point where people even think we NEED this level of security. Now we have to worry about suicide bombers and other crazies. Where will it stop?
    If you were a pilot with a license to fly the big jets, now would be the time to start a private service though, eh? I wonder if people would pay extra. But, then, maybe that would be an invitation to the crazies. Gods, there’s no solution is there?
    That said, I see lots of complaining but no solution. We have two problems:
    1. We need some way of stopping would-be terrorists from enacting their foul deeds.
    2. the current security system is pretty sucky.
    I personally have no solution, so until I come up with one, if I have to fly I’ll be polite (as usual, they are still humans after all) and hope brighter minds find an answer that pleases at least most of the people, most of the time.

  562. From the TSA job listing:

    TSOs must be able to maintain focus
    and awareness and work within a stressful environment. The position
    requires employees to make effective decisions in both crisis and
    routine situations. Necessary skills include visual observation and
    x-ray interpretation. The work environment includes noise from
    alarms, machinery, and people, distractions, time pressure,

    disruptive and angry passengers,

    and the requirement to identify and
    locate potentially life threatening devices and devices intended on
    creating massive destruction.

  563. LOL at the TSO’s comment, “If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    HOW DOES ANYTHING THE TSA DOES SERVE OUR COUNTRY? The TSA has served to turn this country into what the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11 wanted us to become. The TSA is the embodiment of modern American cowardice, the attitude that we should give up numerous important freedoms to protect us from the astronomically-small chance of being physically harmed in a terror attack.

    I would get on an airplane knowing there were men with knives and guns on board. But I will not fly (as I usually do) this Christmas Season, because I understand what the American Spirit is… TO OPPOSE TYRANNY.

    I can feel for the individual TSO, I am sure it hurts to be called a molester… but if you’re molesting people, that’s exactly what you are. I know the job market is rough right now… selling drugs is always a possibility? Less morally reprehensible to say the least.

  564. “Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    Painful and demoralized? How do you think the passengers feel? I haven’t had an opportunity to read the “American Traveler Dignity Act” introduced into Congress by Representative Ron Paul, so I can’t exactly endorse it yet; but something needs to protect the American people from those poor TSA folks who have it so rough!

  565. funny israeli experts say they do zero pat downs and that profiling is the only way to go any comments?

  566. I travel a great deal with my job, and it’s not as simple as saying TSOs can just quit. Highly technical people who could write their ticket two years ago are getting laid off and can’t find anything.

    However, I can’t believe people are complaining about the abuse from a TSO…certainly, I think the search is unreasonable, and undoubtedly doesn’t really add to our security (like the 3-1-1 rule).

    However, the real issue are the individuals working at the major airlines when you need to actually check a bag, get assistance, etc. They are the first line of screening, and with their attitudes a mile long and complete ignorance about customer service, I’m surprised our issues aren’t greater.

  567. To anyone feeling an onset pity and sympathy for TSOs after reading this: DON’T.

    These people are all cogs in a piece of shit corrupt agency. Nobody is forcing them to stay. Anyone with self-respect and love for their country would’ve left the day these policies were put into place.

    Choose to stay? Then you’ve chosen to endure the vitriol and hate of the innocent citizen. All the abuse you have coming to you, you deserve and more.

  568. […] Go to TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View. […]

  569. You know, I feel bad hearing these people’s perspective. The reality is, they have to continue being a tool of a messed up system because if they don’t, they lose their livelihood. Do you think some of these TSO’s joined the TSA specifically to touch sensitive parts of people’s bodies? That is something that just doesn’t make sense to me. How many of you would walk out on your job just because you felt uncomfortable with your job description? In theory, everyone says the righteous thing, that you’d walk out. But realistically, no one is going to give up their professional career because of a crappy policy. I think it’s valiant of them to continue to come back to work each day to make sure you ignorant passengers don’t explode at 30,000 feet. Better safe than sorry, no? And with this public outcry, i’m sure the TSA will be instating some new policies. So quit hating on people who are just doing their jobs. Yell at the agency making the policies.

  570. I was in the air on 9/11 between the two flights that bombed our unexepecting country. Was actually flying out of NJ. That day will be in my mind as long as I live. Because my job required that I traveled by air, the next many months were challenging, at best. The few fliers who ventured to fly again and kept the airline business operational; stood in LONG lines, put their clothes in bins, turned on their laptops and were PATIENT. We were treated with respect and everyone knew this process was necessary to be safe. And, yes, as one responder said above, the pilots coached us on what we should do if we felt uncomfortable on the plan. Ban together! One flight out of Atlanta, I watched 10 people deboard a 737 and the
    C concourse was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

    Today, I still have the same job and fly 3 weeks out of the month. In recent years, I have observed the attitude of the TSO toward the passenger and there is no respect or willingness to help make the process run smoother. This job is another example of a large Government Bureaucracy, like the post office, that hires people willing to “do what they are told” and wait until they can retire and collect their pension. As I wait in lines each week, I count the number of TSO standing around, doing nothing and figure the minimum wage is $30K+benefits+pension. What a huge taxpayer expense and we are still not assured of safety, even as we are being groped. This is a job with people who have little power, feel VERY powerful during their day at work.

    I’m not sure what I would do if I were in their position and needed a job, because I need my job and will have to cotinue to travel by air and deal with the abuse by this group. There has to be some way to PROFILE, Yes I said the word PROFILE, those who really want to hurt us. Abusing our bodies and our rights is not the answer.

    What is happening right now is JUST NOT RIGHT!

  571. They dehumanized themselves the moment they stepped into that uniform.

  572. They are perverts. Period. No law enforcement training, and little education, and professionalism? PLEASE! You are as professional as homeless person asking for change for drugs. Thugs with a little power who flaunt it every chance they get. Don’t like the abuse? Speak up to your bosses, or get a new job. No sympathy here!

  573. They choose what they do period. If they do not like their job then quit. Lets see I have been threaten by TSO’s for looking at them the wrong way. I see them just walking around the airport half the time or just holding up the walls at the airport. I travel sometimes with expensive camera gear and they do not respect the fact it needs to be handle with care. If you want respect from a passenger then it works both ways. You also need to treat passengers with respect. Most of the ones I have dealt with are under-educated and now they have power and are now abusing that power.

  574. If these employees are so dissatisfied and uncomfortable with what their employer is requiring why do they not take it up with the employer and/or quit? None of them seem to mention what they personally think about the security measures, just that they are “following orders”. I find the “just following orders” mentality to be disturbing. It implies that one will do what is told out of fear of repercussions regardless of what they believe to be right or wrong. That one will not question the why behind the orders. It disappoints me that there are not more TSA agents letting their employer know that this is NOT okay to require of them as employees. If in any other job my employer asked me to touch a customer in this manner and I refused on the grounds that I felt it was sexually inappropriate and made me uncomfortable and was subsequently fired, penalized, or subject to any other type of retribution I’m sure that would be grounds for a sexual harassment suit. So, I can’t help but wonder…. how the hell is it NOT sexual harassment to require employees to touch customers in a way that is physically demeaning and embarrassing to BOTH parties??? As a passenger who will not fly as long as these measures are in place I ask anyone working for the TSA who disagrees with these new security measures to PLEASE speak up!! Stand up for what you believe, stand up for your rights. The right to privacy is as much yours as that of the passengers and any other US citizen.

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

  575. Paycheck or not, patting my breasts is molestation and I have had too much of that to feel any sense of security from the fact that it’s for my own sake.

  576. Great! Insult them enough and maybe they can get their bosses to change things from the inside. I for one am not going to stand by silently while someone sexually molests me and violates me as a human being without my consent and under threat or arrest.

    The next time I travel I am going to be saying pervert, molester, violator, traitor and every other such word that comes to mind for as long as the hateful immoral and traumatic act lasts!

  577. All you bleeding hearts out there singing the whoa is me for these TSO’s….have you had your crotch grabbed and fingered today? Have your children been checked between their legs and hands ran over their little breast today? Oh and did you tell them it’s for their own protection? Then continue to teach them that no one touches you there except Mommy or Daddy when cleaning them from toileting or drying them off after a shower or when dressing them. TSO’s you ARE contributing to the moral decay of this country and you are WRONG in doing so. If all people would for 3 days NOT fly ANY airline…wonder what would happen if we ALL BOYCOTTED the airlines and the governement. I think OBAMA and his cronies should go thru a TSO feel down. Wonder how Obama and his misses would like to feel their balls and penis felt up and the curve of HIS butt felt up. Perhaps his misses would like to see what it feels like to have her breast felt and have a strangers hand up her dress feeling her. Then watch as thier sweet little girly girls get the SAME treatment….yeah….This is BULLSHIT!!

  578. “Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”


    “I come to work to do my job. It is not up to me to decide policy, it is up to me to carry out my duties as dictated by the Transportation Security Administration. When a person stands in front of me and calls me a pervert or accuses me of molesting them it is disheartening. People fail to understand that neither of us are happy about the intrusive pat down I am carrying out. I am polite, I am professional and while someone may not like what I have to carry out, they came to me because they choose not to utilize the alternative and less invasive method of security at my airport.”


    “I served a tour in Afghanistan followed by a tour in Iraq. I have been hardened by war and in the past week I am slowly being broken by the constant diatribe of hateful comments being lobbed at me. While many just see a uniform with gloves feeling them for concealed items I am a person, I am a person who has feelings. I am a person who has served this country. I am a person who wants to continue serving his country. The constant run of hateful comments while I perform my job will break me down faster and harder than anything I encountered while in combat in the Army.”


    “Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences. I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.”


  579. Every 4 weeks I fly to or from Africa. We as in America’s should take a look at what other countrys are doing. If I get a pat down in Dubai I’m not groped. You would think that the Middle East would be worse than us. I have emaild the goverment. It did no good. It was a month before I got an auto responce.

  580. Mela, please don’t ever represent me in a court of law, thanks!

  581. […] Shared TSA Screeners Dislike the Pat-Downs, Too. […]

  582. Recently I traveled from LAX to SFO and was patted down because I had on baggie clothes, and the lady in front of me, was patted down as well because she had on a dress. I found it odd that we were searched. I found it even odder the same procedure was not followed at SFO when I flew to LAX in the same dress attire. The TSA is making stuff up as they go; furthermore, TSA is out of control, and they know it. We are no safer now than before 9/11! In case some of you have not noticed, people and illegal contraband is still making it aboard the planes and into airports. The American people are upset because they have not committed a crime, nor suspected of committing a crime, and yet, are forced to submit to unlawful search and seizure. Why are TSA agents allowed to conduct pat downs that law enforcement can’t even do; maybe because every American citizen residing in the USA is now a suspected terrorist? A full body scan is beyond intrusive, and where is the led cover pad, so a person does not get a dose of radiation. My doctor and dentist offer it to me when I get an x-ray, why doesn’t the federal government. But wait, body scanners are perfectly safe, and so are certain FDA approved drugs being recalled due to people having adverse and detrimental reactions to the drug. The TSA is failing the American people, just as the USA government is failing its people.

  583. I visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp north of Berlin in the town of Oranienburg about ten years ago. It was, as you might imagine, a sobering experience. The town came right up to the walls of the concentration camp. I asked a guide if the town had expanded over the last sixty years or so and was now encroaching upon the camp. She looked surprised and told me that the town had been founded in the twelfth century and had always abutted the concentration camp.

    I was left staggered and shaking as I realized that none in the town could claim that they were unaware of what was happening in Sachsenhausen (over 30,000 were put to death there). I realized then what a farce it was to say “I was only following orders” or “I was doing my job” or “I didn’t know”.

    Everyone in America knows that what is happening daily at the TSA checkpoints is wrong. It violates the 4th amendment and there will come a time when Americans say “enough”. Will “I was only following orders” ring as hollow then as they do when we think of Sachsenhausen?

  584. Amazing- I live in San Diego and we are all talking about is the Chinese ICBM missile launched 30 miles off our coast a few weeks back near Los Angeles. What about that threat? That ICBM can lift 7 multiple reentry vehicles (MERVS) into orbit, fly around and pick any target days later to drop down on.

    Seems that is a huge threat to our security, and that ICBM entered FAA-DHS-TSA controlled airspace, and NO ONE, from Pentagon, Edwards Air Force base or NORAD wants to talk about that- they just said it was not their missile…

    Seems like the Chinese are a little miffed that the fed is printing $600 billion dollars over the next 7 months. The exact amount we owe them in bonds.

    I bet you we could use the TSA TSO’s as a new sensor package-just have them stand on the beach all the way up the coast-and next time the Chinese launch an ICBM, they can point at it and say “ooooooooaaaaa”. That way no one will mock them for being molesters and they can be at one with nature.

    The real threat sits off our coast in $85 million dollar diesel electric subs sold by the Russians to the Chinese-oh and Iran. And Iran is mining Uranium in South America with Chavez in a “tractor factory”, but everyone is focused on TSA fondling our nuts.

    TSO complaining is a sham, what they are doing is wrong and they know it… let them know congress will take their jobs away anyway-DA’s will put them up on charges-Americans will not tolerate their methods-and remember they all work for us, so if your employee is not performing the way you expect them too, let them know-then fire them.

    Thank God the new congress.It is going to shut them down…hearings and investigations and independent oversight-its called CHECKS AND BALANCES, and elections-2012 is right around the corner. Watch them squirm.

    Also- TSO crybabies-Wake up and do your homework. Guess who took the CEO from the xray company on his $200 million dollar a day world junket a week ago! I wonder if they used an xray to scan everyone when they got on Air Force One or the 40 other “support aircraft” or the 3,000 close friends who went on the trip! Nope, that scan is for the “little people” …wake up.

    TSO- you all need to “opt out” and find a new profession-your current job is a crime against America and freedom. Go get or make a real job.

  585. Reading nearly all of these comments (with a very few exceptions) has made me sad with the realization of what whiny, spoiled, b@stards, we Americans have become. You all wave flags and clap for firemen after 9-11, but b1tch and moan about having to go through a screening to board a plane. You’d all change your tune if the passenger a couple of seats away was carrying an explosive device. It only takes one incident. America has been insulated from the terrorist activities they’ve seen for years over-seas. Now, even AFTER we experienced 9/11, even AFTER highly motivated attempts to blow up aircraft in the US have been thwarted – you all STILL whine like spoiled brats. God help you all if one of your loved-ones is on a plane that has someone slip through these detection systems. Then you’ll be suing because they weren’t strong enough and the TSA didn’t do enough to protect you.

    You whiner’s make me sick. Seriously…I wish they’d open up an airline with absolutely no screening on it for those passengers who feel like they are getting “molested”. I’d call that culling the herd.

  586. Listen to all of you.

    None of you have ever lived the day in the life of a TSO, yeah? You are all judging them like that’s your place! Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up and you say, “Oh, no big deal, walk away from your job if you don’t like it. I give you no sympathy.” I’m sure these people have families and you know that getting a TSO job is SO EASY right now.

    Have NONE of you ever been put in the situation where you are asked to do something that you DO NOT want to do, but also want to keep your job?!


    Money. Controls. Everything. It’s impractical to say half of the things you are all arguing! Stop blaming the TSOs, blame their bosses and the idiots who ACTUALLY carry things in uncomfortable places so that you all have to go through this! I’m DEFINITELY NOT saying that I agree with the new pat-down policy, but sitting here and raving about it is not only severe homophobia, but color-blind racism! You can’t call them hobos and say that they’re thugs! You can say that you’re uncomfortable with it and HELP THE TSO’s change the freaking policy.

    Whoever is complaining is NOT on the inside of the issue. The TSOs are, and if you want things to change.. support the TSOs who are asking for help to change things. They’re not perverts, they just want to support themselves.

  587. I’m sure some nazis hated strip searching jews. Normal people feed their families without abusing people.

  588. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View (tags: article tsa security blog airport) […]

  589. Im currently pregnant. If I were to fly somewhere I would not use the full body scanner because of this. So my Question is if I refused to go though the full body scanner because I am pregnant would a TSO agent have to give me the new harsher pat down? If so that is insane. I don’t want to take a chance on harming my unborn child so I have to be rubbed down by someone I have never met. Thats disgusting.

  590. “If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.”

    No, you don’t honorably serve your country, you betray it. How dare you complain of mild verbal heckling when every day you trash the very foundations on which this country was founded.

    “Do people know what a Nazi is? One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences. I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses.”

    Unlike you, I do know what a Nazi was. The average Nazi was a humble bureaucrat and public servant, who served their country in a time of existential crisis and war, they did their jobs conscientiously, maintaining the machinery of state as it dehumanized, detained, tortured, and killed their fellow citizens. Of course, while they might not have agreed with the current security procedures, they worked tirelessly to make their country safer, after all it was their duty as a patriot.

    So don’t pretend you are a patriot. You are a coward. A traitor to your heritage and your country. No, you are not a Nazi, but that is only an accident of birth—you would have guarded the train platforms of Auschwitz with the same dedication you man your current post. There is no scorn or verbal abuse that you do not warrant, you have already proven yourself more than worthy of their contempt.

  591. @ Gerard. If you are going to sit here and say that America is not a free country anymore and that we show other countries what is it like to give into bulling. Maybe we should throw you on a boat and send you to… maybe China? North Korea? Perhaps somewhere in the middle east. You have more freedoms then you can probably count and you take them for granted. I for one thank the TSO’s for doing their job day in and day out. Everyone keeps saying that if they don’t like it they should find another job. I’m sorry but not everyone has the luxury to just get up and leave when things get uncomfortable. You try finding a decent job in this economy.

  592. I can’t believe how many commenters think that if the airline workers don’t like the policy, they should quit their jobs. Put yourself in their position, and I mean really. They all have families to feed and a roof to keep over their head. Our economic climate isn’t too friendly to people who quit their job on principle.

    For those of you who say you would quit your job if you were in their shoes, you are a liar. Or someone who obviously makes so much money that you don’t understand what’s it’s like to live month-to-month. I don’t care how bad my job got. I would stick with it so I could pay the rent until I had a solid job offer waiting for me.

    These workers didn’t dream up the ridiculous protocol, and the passengers who verbally abuse them aren’t making any kind of different. You think the TSA cares that you abuse their workers? They don’t give a shit. Try to remember that they are fellow human beings that are just trying to pay the bills like you.

  593. Innocent Bystander

    > You have one option that won’t touch you in the least, and you say no, I want to be “molested”, which, by definition, is consent.

    Many people have said this but it isn’t true. If the alarms go off, or if you are “randomly selected” you get the enhanced grope regardless of your choice. By the way, the random selections are not random.

    Some people should get their facts straight before flaming others.

  594. […] that tweeting every 12 hours or so is way better than being one of the poor schmucks that has to feel up obese people because the government made some deal with Rapiscan. Yes it’s actually called […]

  595. GROPING PASSENGERS IN LINE (“Countin’ Flowers on the Wall”–The Statler Brothers)
    COPYRIGHT N 2010 by Sam A. Robrin or whoever the hell it is who writes these things. Go ahead and use it (hey,I lifted the melody), but if you make a little money on it, I want some!

    I get so furious, I want to shout and shake my fists
    At rats who won’t protect America from terrorists.
    I’d set those little traitors straight if I could get my way.
    I felt so strong about it that I joined the TSA.

    Groping passengers in line
    Like an amateur ob-gyn,
    Scanning children barely born
    To sell pics of child porn,
    Twitting Muslims to the point
    They want to start a war–
    Now don’t tell me
    You don’t feel secure.

    Inspecting lots of riff-raff as they’re heading for their flights,
    I get a lot of lip on freedom and the Bill of Rights.
    I teach those treason-mongers lessons that they won’t forget–
    There’d be no country a’tall without folks like me, you bet!

    Groping passengers in line,
    Pinching cash and food and wine,
    Holding grandmothers all night
    Making sure they miss their flight,
    Prison terms for asking
    “What is this procedure for?”–
    Now don’t tell me
    You don’t feel secure.

    This Free State punk shot off his mouth like some towel-head Islam,
    And told me I’m no better than bin Laden or Saddam.
    His ticket shows his address–Oh, boy, won’t he get a shock
    When I fly over in my private plane and bomb his block!

    Groping passengers in line,
    Tasering those who decline,
    Hiding smirks to drone the answer
    “No, sir, it can’t give you cancer,”
    Confiscating crutches,
    Smashing faces on the floor–
    Now don’t tell me
    You don’t feel secure.
    Talk back to me,
    You won’t feel secure.

  596. Does anyone here actually believe that Mr. Obama would allow a TSO to see the scatter-back image of Mrs. O’s booty and breasts? Or allow a TSO to “pat-down” his daughter’s genitals? How about Nancy Pelosi? If you want see a quick change in TSA approach, put out a call that all Senators and Congressman must be treated the same as any other citizen.

  597. …Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!”

    Aw, those poor TSA people have to touch fat people! Truly, the TSA is suffering the most in this situation. (Not the rape victims, or the kids, or the people with medical devices who get groped no matter what they do…)


  598. If I touch someone else’s genitals, without consent, I will be arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced.

    If airport security touch my genitals, that’s ok, because it’s government sanctioned.

    Two faced bastards! As usual, one rule for us and none for them.

    TSA staff: You were not forced into sanctioned molestation of the travelling.paying public. You chose to do the work. If you don’t like it, leave! Don’t whinge to us how you want to puke whenever you have to touch an obese person’s folds, or someone threatens to scream. And please, don’t tell us how you are serving your country. You are serving your pay packet. Nothing more and nothing less.

  599. Okay… I’ve read a whole lot of comments, and most of what I had to say has been said already. But there’s one thing that really hasn’t been responded to yet, that pretty much everyone speaking up in defence of the TSOs is saying.

    ‘But realistically, no one is going to give up their professional career because of a crappy policy.’

    I’ve done it. Saw an employee being ill-treated as a matter of company policy, in a way I had no real expectation of being repeated on me – in fact, I personally benefited from it. (Guy got fined $100 because he had to leave in the middle of the day to visit his grandmother in hospital, and lost all his pay for the work he’d done that day – I got said pay, since I was called in to finish his work)

    Then the supervisor started mocking him towards the end of the day.

    I collected my pay, and never went back. Still feeling the burn on that, as it _is_ pretty difficult to get a new job without references.

    Still. I’ve done it. Their turn.

    And the people talking about the challenges and stresses of the job? I’m a licensed security guard. If I behave unprofessionally for five minutes on duty, I have the full expectation of losing my license (and thus my job) – and the gov’d be right to take it.

    It’s their job to be professional. They are paid for it, and they are responsible for the well-being of millions of people. If they can’t handle the heat, and _consistently_ remain polite and professional so long as they are in the public eye, then they need a new job. They’re not qualified for this one.

    I was kind of on the fence for a while. On one hand, they are honestly people trying to get by in life… on the other hand, they’re abusing people as direct instruments of policy, without protest.

    It’s cute that they don’t like it. It really is. But distaste doesn’t count until they do something about it. And until they do, their moral core resembles the fungus growing in my basement fridge (I seriously need to clean that thing out, it honestly scares me). I wouldn’t call them perverts (at least, not as a group, I’m certain there are among them). Just cowards.

    No sympathy here either. I’ve lived the standards they’ve failed to uphold. It ain’t hard. Just inconvenient.

  600. Good work citizens, keep it up! These folks may complain the are being “de-humanized”, of course they feel that way. But, the reality is the actions and comments from passengers are merely reminding them of how much humanity these TSA workers have lost, all in the name of a paycheck. If one performs a job that de-humanizes their customers, then it is a citizens duty to remind that person of who they really are.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for these folks. It’s not like they are being forced to execute these orders. They do it willfully, for their weekly paycheck, and the dollar obviously outweighs participating in a civilized and humane society for these people. The solution to mitigating terrorist threats does not lie in assuming citizens are guilty until proven innocent. If it did, then these security measures would have been implemented when commercial flights began so many years ago. The problem is at a much higher level, and treating citizens this way will only demoralize our society and inhibit our own power to function within it effectively.

    If worst came to worse, I would rather live homeless in a box than work at the TSA for a measly apartment and shitbox of a car. I could never treat a fellow citizen this way, and I hope these TSA employees come to the realization on their own that they are being used and flooded with propaganda to fool themselves into believing they are performing a noble service.

  601. all you whiners who say that they should get another job if they dont like it. Well maybe you should have taken the scanner if you dont like the pat downs. Its not like you didnt know what a pat down entailed. So either you enjoy whinging and complaining about anything or you secretly enjoy the pat downs. You had a choice.

  602. […] A neat little read, and a refreshing perspective on the whole porno-scanner hub bub. Peep the whole thing here. […]


  604. Let Pistole and Calamity Jane(t) touch peoples parts…Then see if they have the same attitude. They are safely ensconsed in their high towers..They arent on the front lines

  605. ‘I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.’

    this sort of idiot talk is what keeps the TSA thugs rolling….Time to shame the TSA even those on the front line,…esp if they want to take you to court…make it so uncomfortable that noone will take the jobs

  606. ‘I served a tour in Afghanistan followed by a tour in Iraq. I have been hardened by war and in the past week I am slowly being broken by the constant diatribe of hateful comments being lobbed at me. While many just see a uniform with gloves feeling them for concealed items I am a person, I am a person who has feelings. I am a person who has served this country. I am a person who wants to continue serving his country”’

    patriotic gibberish…you arenot serving your country..your serving the TSA and who currently are allowing you to molest people..Please dont try to make it seem an honorable duty!

  607. This is absolutely proposterous!! How the TSA and Government allows this screening in the so called name of Security! First of all these Body Scanners cause a degree of harmfull radiation. Period. No matter what bs the producers or Government try to prove to the contrary. They obviously have no long term studies done on the health side effects of them. Secondly they say that it is private as the viewer of your naked body is in a different room and can not put a face to your genitals? So what they are saying is it that it is ok to rape you because they cannot see your face!! Gee I wonder if the rapists will start to use that as a defense in court too? The TSA and Government to not care about your health or safety, dont kid yourself they only care about not getting sued for any deaths.

    Like I always say PUNISH the CRIME and the CRIMINAL, not the people. Bring capital punishment to all quadrants of the world for hideous crimes. and I mean swift death sentences. None of this on death row appeals for years bs!! I hope that more people refuse this screening process and rufuse to fly, putting all these people in the airline and security out of business. Then you will see a change in their attitude towards this outrageous extreme security measures.

    For the most part when a person chooses to fly, they should be accepting the risk, such as when you decide to get behind the wheel of your car. If I fly to the Carribean or Vegas for a holiday, I should not have to go through this stringent security as someone that is flying to New York or Washington DC or in and out of Muslim countries. There is enough security on the plane and new measures that a terrorist cannot overtake the plane.

    For those sheep that think this is making it safe, give your head a shake. What is next? The new terrorist decides to shove a bomb up his ass, then the TSA says we all have to go through body cavity searches??!!! When will the stupidity stop?


    Please write to your member of Congress, member of parliment anyone of authority and tell them we will not put up with this!!!!

  608. passengers and TSA agents are both victims..the only winners are Rapescan shareholders!

  609. revealing:
    Jeff wrote at 6:58 pm: “TSA and TSO’s hold your ground and keep up the good and faithful work at our air ports around the country. I work in a prison and understand the feelings that you have during pat downs. We pat offenders on a daily basis…”

    So airline passengters are to be treated like condemned prisoners…thats how TSA sees us! Since when were passengers judged to be offenders?

  610. Michael Chertoff is making millions of the backscanners,…and depends on TSA agents paid peanuts and the whole bureacratic dont-argue patriotic system that is enforced on each of us:

    Will Chertoff have to go thru the scanners? or be groined?

  611. ‘The Naked Body Scanners are manufactured by the Rapiscan Systems, which employs The Chertoff Group as a consultant to promote sales. If that name is familiar to you, it should be, the President and CEO of The Chertoff Group is none other than former Homeland Security Czar and Secreatry, Michael Chertoff, who first authorized these machines. Chertoff has been criticized by Flyers Rights.org for abusing his former position to promote the scanners.

    Let’s go back to the Christmas 2009 underwear bombing incident. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from Nigeria and on the terror watch list tried to board Flight 253 from the Netherlands to Detroit with absolutely no identification. The Dutch now say that he did have a valid US visa. How does a guy who went to Al-Qaeda summer camp in Yemen get a valid US visa? Eyewitness Kurt Haskell who said he saw the professional man try to convince the ticket counter that he transports poor Sudanese refugees all the time without passports. He says he doesn’t know what happened after that, but that there is video of the exchange that is not being released. When Umar’s crotch exploded in flame, he appeared as surprised as anyone and did not fight being grabbed and smothered. Here’s a really great rundown of this incident from Kurt Haskell, who saw it all go down’

  612. […] But how do the men and women of the TSA really feel about what they have to do? Seventeen of them speak their mind. […]

  613. […] about those people. The majority of these people are stuck with a job doing things they don't like. http://boardingarea.com/flying…point-of-view/ Also a pretty good summary of events leading up to the TSA and their policies: […]

  614. I appreciate you posting that. It’s not about politics. They’re humans and they have a crappy job. Thanks for the quotes.

    I agree with people who point out that they took the job freely. The observation that many of them served in the military only puts things in perspective: you have no duty to continue employment at a place where your employer asks you to do something objectionable. Especially for the employee who goes home to cry, a career change is necessary. In the military, you’re contractually obligated to serve for as long as you promised. Comparisons between the patriotism of serving in the military and working in airline security is disingenuous and dishonors the valor of our armed forces.

    However, I recognize that this is not the economy where people can afford to wait for a better job. Leaving a job on principle is a fantasy.

    Passengers do not have an outlet to vent their frustration about these security measures, and I do not mind if people are rude as a result. However, it’s good to remember that they’re just working stiffs like anyone else. It would be foolish to get angry at cogs for working as intended in a deplorable machine.

    On a philosophical note, to those that characterize the dilemma of air travel as a choice between these security options and exploding planes, I will indulge you: yes, I would rather air travel be less safe. However, as many have pointed out, this does not make us safer. If there were a significant risk of explosives at security checkpoints, the protocol would not be to aggressively touch it–just ask Ireland.

    The terrorists spent a few thousand dollars on some explosives and innovative delivery forms. We spent millions on security theater. Please remind me: who outsmarted whom?

  615. Fine then. The TSA isn’t Nazis. The definition doesn’t fit. But Fascist? That is a little closer to the truth. Every adult has been patted down before. This goes beyond the “pat down” though. This is literally groping and “feeling up”. If I did this to anyone coming into my house, I’d get arrested for sexual assault. If I did this to children as they came into my house, then I would also be arrested for molestation and pedophilia and be placed on a sex offender list. If I do not have the right to do this, then no part of the government, nor any government right to do this since all government power is derived from the power and rights of the citizens. It can’t do anything I couldn’t rightfully do.

    And using the “opt for” argument doesn’t work. I mean whats my choice? Dangerous x-ray radiation or being sexually assaulted? Some choice.

    If you really have a problem with it, then do the right thing. Take a stand against it. Do just go along with it just saying “Its my job.” That makes you just as guilty, an evil of omission not commission, too lazy to do what is right.

  616. As a Brit I’d be quite interested to find out if the TSA employees have a union? As surely large numbers of front line workers finding a practice deplorable would strike on-masse (to which firing them for taking their legal right to strike over conditions is illegal).

    I wonder why they don’t, unless it’s written into their contracts that they cannot strike (such as with solders) but i’d be sceptical as to the legality of such a move as from what I understand the TSA is not a front-line service where their lack of presence would put lives directly at risk (rather than simply result in cancelled flights) as opposed to if police, ambulance or fire services striked.

    Another article i have seen questions the effectiveness of the pat downs due in no small part to the complete and utter refusal to observe human behaviour which is usually a far bigger give away to intent than trying to smuggle anything through security tucked down a crotch (the commenter in the article was an Israeli airport security consultant and I ask you to find a country as consistently under threat from terrorists as Israel).

    As a final question to be posed to TSA (through a senator maybe?) Is to see what evidence can be given to justify either the body scanners (which can have images stored (easily done if there is usb ports as from what I’ve seen these things run windows) or at least viewed by members of the public as I have witnessed from the ones installed in Amsterdam’s Airport, Schiphol. Or the ‘enhanced’ pat downs (which it appears treats all parties as guilty until proven innocent rather than the other way around) Also has these measures been proven to counter the threat of terrorism?

  617. Would anybody feel sorry for a mugger who complained that his victims were unhappy and called him names? I didn’t think so.

    There is no other “side of the story”. They choose what to do every day with their life. They choose to come to an airport and molest and fondle people, and somehow think that because the government said it’s ok and they have a uniform that this makes them ok people.

    It does not make them ok people. All of those names being used against the TSOs….creep, pervert, etc. They are all true.

    You ARE a pervert and a creep if you think in any way it is ok to fondle and molest people for the non crime of travelling.

  618. More like a full bawdy scan.

  619. […] The enhanced TSA screenings/patdowns are very unpopular, even (especially?) with the poor souls who have to do them. I admit that I thought about this when I had to go through a far less invasive pre-screening […]

  620. Airlines, the only winning move is not to fly. When enough (more) airlines go out of business, the TSA will be shown the door. Then they can go get their old jobs back at Walmart.

  621. HELL YA! TSA here I come! I get to molest children, whack off to full body scans, rip out colostomy bags, and get paid by the fed to do it all, sign me up….

    My favorite phrase will be “hey little girl, i am fingering you to make a safer america!”

    My defense will be “i was ordered to rape kids, it is not my fault. just following procedure.”

  622. jack,your a douche bag! yea i feel for these people as i work in a similar enviroment. i have to do things people don’t like and the get upset and talk about there rights and how they want to call the local trashbag laywer. Fact is this, you want to be safe from unknown threats? policy’s are put in place to handle this. good or bad that’s there intent. Because i don’t belive there is anyone out there who won’t sue the axx off the federal goverment if there loved ones becomes a victim of another terorist attack in the sky’s. no you will be preaching that they could have done more, why were they not there for you! myadvice is grab your own scrotem and man the hell up.

  623. It appears you may be a “hack” for the government. The nude body scan machine DO store images and can transmit them. Do you think if the found something on someone, they would be able to store that image for evidence? The government specifications call for the machines to be able to store and transmit images.

    Part of the problem is that no one believes the lies and deceptions mouthed by TSA or Homeland Security. They try to tell us, as you do, all about the num ber of scientist who say it’s safe, well 4 out of 5 doctors recommend Crest. Where did this information come from? Why isn’t the “scientific” information published for everyone to look at?

    Sorry that so many people are just sheep being lead to slaughter in the name of “protection”. Police State coming soon to an airport near YOU! Oh, it is already here!

  624. “One can’t describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure designed to find prohibited items on a passenger’s body…”

    Only blindly following ordrers. I thought this was covered at Nuremberg 65 years ago.

    I read one account of a fashion model and her friends. It seems they ALWAYS get selected for pat downs , scanner or not, and get to overhear rude comments by TSA employees. Things like ‘nice set on that one!’ etc. while actually in the scanner.

    Why would anyone put up with this? Vote with your dollars. Don’t fly.

  625. TSA Agents – I am a rape and incest survivor. Just reading about the groping makes me very anxious. I do not believe I could endure it without becoming hysterical. I can barely endure going to the doctor and cannot imagine allowing this.

    I am also a cancer survivor and there is some data that the scanner increases the skin’s exposure to radiation to a great degree.

    Lastly I have had surgery that has left surgical metal in my body so I would probably have to be groped even with the scanner.

    I am screwed, to put it bluntly. I don’t think I will be able to fly any more.

    The TSA is performing illegal searches without any cause. Even former El Al officials say the process is ineffectual and laughable.

    Shame on the TSA bigwigs for instituting such a policy! And shame on the TSA agents for cooperating with such a vile policy!

  626. Good. I hope MORALE IS SO “BROKEN DOWN” that these agents STRIKE in PROTEST against what they are so far agreeing to do. SIMPLE. DO IT.

  627. What’s to stop all the child molestors and pervs to come to TSA looking for jobs so they can freely fondle kids. Easy as pie. Under normal circumstances, they might not be able to get this close to a child’s genitals, but not with this job, feel free…or should I say, ‘free feel’.

    And, what’s to stop any TSA moron with a camera phone from taking all the nude scanner pics he wants and uploading them to youtube or someplace else.

    If the government is all right with TSA doing this, then they need to get in line and be the first ones to get felt up…unless, like the socialized medical insurance…they aren’t required to participate.

  628. The definition of molest: to annoy, disturb, or persecute especially with hostile intent or injurious effect : to make annoying sexual advances to; especially : to force physical and usually sexual contact on.

    I don’t understand why people would say they are being molested or raped by TSO’s. Are they groping certain parts of your body for more than 10 seconds? Putting their genitalia on or in you? Verbally expressing perverted phrases or actions to you? If that is happening to you, then call for a supervisor and report the incident to TSA and your government. If not, you’re not being being raped or molested.

    In my personal opinion, i would not go through the scanners because there’s not much hard evidence or research on its effects to my health. I would opt for the pat down. I would be as pleasant as i could to the TSO doing the search. Because most of the time how you treat them, is how they will treat you. They are people trying to make a living and you don’t know their personal circumstances.

    I can honestly say that if I’m at work and customers treat me like crap, it hurts and there’s only so much a person can take. After that point i treat the customers how they treat me, which I’m really sorry to say.

    You can’t tell people to quit their jobs because its wrong or they don’t like it. Those people could have mouths to feed or bills to pay just like you. If everyone quit their job because they didn’t like it: you’d have no one to take or cook your order at a restaurant, no one to make or sell the clothes you wear, fly the planes you’re getting on and so on… Those people who don’t like their jobs are probably key players in your everyday life and you don’t even realize it.

    My main point 1)don’t make life a living hell for others,and maybe they won’t make your life hell 2)quit being all hysterical when YOU opt for a pat down 3) if you don’t like the policy complain to the government,congress and politicians 4) don’t tell people to quit their jobs unless you have the extra cash to support them.

  629. Re #539.

    It’s not compassionate and kind to fondle the vaginal lips of someone’s 15 year old daughter or to aggressively squeeze her young breasts looking for bombs/guns/drugs. Or (ditto to) a man’s testes or penis, whatever…..It’s DUMB, it’s CRIMINAL, it’s WRONG and it certainly aint “compassionate and kind”.

    These TSA agents are in the firing line of John Pistole and Janet Nepolitano’s “policy” because they aren’t there. Too bad: something this bad, this wrong should be stood on its head.

    Advice to the TSA agents: stop molesting the public. Very simple.

  630. Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Repeat after me: No daddy what are you doing? Please no daddy stop please Daddy.

    With enough abuse the TSO’s will start to refuse patdown duty, or quit. Once there is enough lost TSO’s due to this the union will put a fist right up TSA Heads rear end.

  631. To those who claim that flying is not a right, 49 US Code § 40103 (2) disagrees with you. It says, “A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit through the navigable airspace…”

    Furthermore, the Constitution doesn’t delineate your rights and is not the source of your rights. The Constitution is actually a list of the few powers that the Federal government is supposed to have. This is precisely why men like James Madison were opposed to having a “bill of rights” as part of the Constitution, because he knew that one day idiots would think that these were a list of their only rights–completely misconstruing the purpose of the Constitution.

  632. Sometimes you must smash the spirit and willpower of the front line to get the Generals attention.

  633. When I first read the post, I almost felt bad for those guys, but then again, it’s been their choice working for TSA.

    I suppose you haven’t think about it, but have you thought how this whole screening procedure measure affect the rest of the world? Any passenger flying towards de USA must comply with it, no matter from where, as it wasn’t enough the stuff you had to get through at the customs already and fill that stupid questionarie.

    Fortunately scans aren’t here yet, but they are beggining to introduce them to the airports, and its matter of time that your goverment asks ours to comply with TSA crap rules.

    I live in Spain, which isn’t in Mexico, BTW (I get asked that a lot). Its here in Europe, we are almost at the tail of what you would call 1st world, we have a fence separating us from a muslim country, and we have quite a few local terrorist group (fortunately, only one remains “active” and its on its last days), apart from the Al Qaeda threat that freaks you out. If there is something that we’ve learnt is that kidnapping a plane isnt a essential step in order to commit a massive terrorist attack, heck, you dont even need to kill anyone, just put the bomb, call police: “the bomb is there”, it freaks you out they got to place it there. Terrorism isnt about killing people, its all about fear, fear of dying doing your usual routine, fear of being at the wrong place at the worst moment.

    And you guys, you are scared to death, and thats were you have lost your battle against terrorism.

    So scared that ever since 2001 you’ve been giving away your own rights, one by one. While pretending to fight for freedom and democracy arround the world, you’ve step over people rights over and over again: freedom of speech, presumption of innocence, torture, life… becoming the monster you’ve always wanted to fight just trying to get a false feeling of security.

    Guess you can say what do I care if those TSOs shit on your 4th ammendment, I’m not even american, but yeah, eventually it’ll get there and we’ll have our own TSO’s touching our groins, if not worse, and these people bitching about “complying orders” are as guilty of it as the ones who set the procedures.

    We still somehow look for that leadership on you, the USA, even with all the last year’s dissapointments. We’ve paid the support we gave you with blood, we didnt believe in your war, but we went there with you. And now it seems that the biggest threat to our fundamental rights doest come from east or from within, but from the place we used to admire the most.

    Live with concern about terrorism, but dont fall in the irracional fear or someday you’ll have to get through a pat down to get to your local grocery store.

    Sorry about spelling and so, English isnt my native languaje.

  634. Wow, a LOT of people completely missed the point of this article.

    “Paul”, “GA”, “Alex”, “Joshua Hopkins”, “W Revelle”, etc.etc.

    Just…learn some basic human qualities will you…wow.

    I know, I know: seeds, barren ground etc.etc.

  635. The Germans bent over prior and during WWII. They became automatons to a dictatorship, neither questioning, nor disobeying the orders of an insane man.

    Learn from history, we are told.

    #539 – You missed your time.

    #631 – Nicely said.

    The needs of the MANY outweigh the needs of the FEW!

  636. […] But how do the men and women of the TSA really feel about what they have to do? Seventeen of them speak their mind. […]

  637. […] themselves: an informal survey conducted by travel consultant and photojournalist Steven Frischling revealed that many officers who have to conduct the new pat-downs find them demoralizing and humiliating, […]

  638. Robert #616:
    I cannot believe this has shown what America has turned into. I am speaking of both sides. The ones against the TSA has turned into a herd or mob mentality.The more they hear people agreeing with them the worse they say.I would not doubt if I hear someone say we should beat up any agent who searches us.Based on things I have read on this blog and others I could see it happen. Everyone is suggesting the Opt out day.All that will accomplish is making everyone wait longer, getting more angry especially when EVERYONE starts missing flights.Which they will. No matter how much they back up or yell the TSA is not going to open the line holding a sign only that says “Enjoy your flight!” with a smile.They are not going to suddenly let everyone through because the line is long.The more people wait and miss their flights the more dangerous it will get for those who lose their temper and those in line who have no problem with the screening but everyone will pay for it.
    I am one who says ‘dont fly then’ but just like there will be a couple who say the same thing there will be those who say F-off with the others agreeing. When I bought the ticket I knew I would have to be walking through security, reguardless if the ticket was bought a year ago or yesterday. If I objected I would not have bought the ticket.
    I object to them being called Nazi’s..it simply is not the same thing but this will get me swore at like everyone else. I will say this and risk the name calling.
    I find very offensive that they are calling pat downs ‘sexual assault’. It is not the same thing. I am someone who has been the victim of sexual assault. Do you want to know what sexual assault is? it is violent assault of your personal area being done against your will. It is painful and scarring. It goes way beyond a touch or a pat. It is having things done to and put in your body violently while you are crying, struggling and begging not to. Is this really the same thing? Or are you simply uncomfortable, embarrassed and inconvenienced? Did you know beforehand you would get a pat down or touched, or have the possibility of it? I didnt. Am I saying it is not humiliating? NO I am not. But please at least take a moment to realize it is quite upsetting to hear that phrase being used to benefit your point of view and used as a throwaway term. It may be embarrassing but it is not assault. You went in of your own free will, knowing you may be subject to a search (metal detector, scanner, pat down or otherwise), you have options. You can OPT for a pat down. I could NOT. It is NOT the same thing. And before anyone asks yes I have had a pat down. The last time I flew I went through a metal detector and a pat down that took less than a minute. Trust me when I say that I am sensitive to touch and if at any time it seemed to linger or they were ‘enjoying it’ or went slowly over some areas I would be the first to know. It was not like that. Was it embarrassing. Of course it was but not terribly so. I have been more embarrassed by doctors to be honest.
    I am not saying people dont have the right to be upset or even protest but the proper way is to write the government. Not to hold up thousands in the misguided belief that they will stop and let everyone through and beg forgiveness. I would rather have security than none. All I ask is for people to stop throwing the term ‘sexual assault’. It is not the same and is highly disrespectful to those who have been.

  639. They opted in for this, and they opt in every time they go to work. “Just doing my job” is not an excuse. People are responsible for their actions even when they are “just following orders.”

  640. Isn’t there some hypothetical rule or something about the validity of an internet discussion once comparisons start being made to Hitler/Nazis….

    Ah yes, here it is, I was close but it’s pretty appropriate…


  641. @Pete,

    US Politics abrogated Godwin’s law in 2001.

  642. @m,

    Ah, that would explain a lot as it has been a part of EU legislation since 1991, but although technically a formal directive, not many member states take much notice of it – there is speculation that it will be upgraded to a fully enforced regulation sometime in 2012.

  643. Flying is a privilege, not a right.

    If you don’t like the new security measures, get on a bus, train, boat or drive yourself.

    I am so sick of everyone claiming their “civil liberties” are being violated. Nowhere in the constitution does it read “right to airplane travel.”

    I, for one, am happy with the new security measures because I would like to arrive at my destination in one piece.

  644. Dear TSA Agents,

    You are uncomfortable conducting these searches because somewhere in your heart you know they are wrong, you know they are a violation of American’s 4th Amendment Rights, you know you are feeling as if you have to do this…or…or what?

    Integrity means having the courage to do the right thing.

    The right thing, right now, is to tell our government and your union bosses…

    No, I will not conduct illegal searches and seizures. Your union is no longer representing you. Your union is representing the government in this matter. Is that what you paid your union dues for? For you union to force you to take illegal actions against American citizens?

    You want passenger’s to respect you? I say to you,

    Can you respect yourself? Can you see the betrayal of your union in this matter? You are being treated just like the Nazi’s treated their underlings…a useful tool.

    The difference is we’re still free enough to object and put a stop to this insanity.

  645. Look, nowhere in your constitution are you granted the “right not to sometimes be made a bit uncomfortable”.

    And nor should that right be granted, because thats the way life is.

    When a TSA tries searching you and punches you in the balls, let someone know…

  646. @Pete


    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
    and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
    violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported
    by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
    searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    History of the 4th Amendment
    In the colonies, smuggling rather than seditious libel afforded
    the leading examples of the necessity for protection against
    unreasonable searches and seizures. In order to enforce the revenue
    laws, English authorities made use of writs of assistance, which were
    general warrants authorizing the bearer to enter any house or other
    place to search for and seize “prohibited and uncustomed” goods, and
    commanding all subjects to assist in these endeavors. The writs once
    issued remained in force throughout the lifetime of the sovereign and
    six months thereafter. When, upon the death of George II in 1760, the
    authorities were required to obtain the issuance of new writs,
    opposition was led by James Otis, who attacked such writs on libertarian
    grounds and who asserted the invalidity of the authorizing statutes
    because they conflicted with English constitutionalism.

  647. Nazi fits perfect no matter what anyone says. I bet there were lots of “good” people who were just following orders. TSA employees are a bunch of nazi molesters.

  648. The main problem with the TSA search criteria is that a 90 year old grandmother from Nebraska is assumed to be as great a risk as a young Muslim male born in Yemen. Lets get real here. Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. (and please, I don’t want to hear about Timothy McVeigh from 20 years ago.) As soon as a former U.S. Senator, or an elderly U.S. citizen in a weelchair tries to bring an airplane down, then all bets are off, strip searches for everyone. If foreign nationals don’t like it-tough luck. Lets quit having political correctness govern the process.

  649. Nazi is short for National Socialists which was a political party bastardized by Adolf Hitler. You know, Socialism. Might some of you crack a history book and read a little, maybe then we could all get along and you wouldn’t have to take your anger out on a professional doing their job. Would you enjoy it if I came to your mindless job you probably bitch about and verbally abused you because you are a moron? Didn’t think so. These are human beings trying to keep America safe. Apparently you don’t all remember the masses clamoring for airport safety after 9/11. You made the bed, sleep in it. If your heart didn’t bleed for these people for what they have to do to put bread on the table then you are what is wrong with our society. You just want to put your problems on the shoulders of other people. You are horrible and you should feel bad.

    Great article, Fish. I found the link off The Daily What and greatly enjoyed it. It makes me want to fly somewhere just so I can personally thank a TSO, because I am sure no one else does.

  650. Searving their country?? Who do they think they are?? That makes me sick!!!

    I am flying in a few hours w/ my 12 yr old daughter and she is so afraid of what is going to happen when we get to the airport. A holiday trip shouldn’t start with terror!

  651. I am a soldier in the US Army, and I can see where they are coming from. Do people think a lot of the armed forces want to be in Afghanistan or Iraq? It’s our job, and we do what we are told to do whether we like it or not. I had a brother who worked at the airport and it’s a descent paying job, so ask yourself this: every time you’ve had a job and they made a policy you hated, or didn’t agree with, did you immediately quit that job? I have been through many things in my life, but getting angry at someone who is just doing their job just isn’t worth it. If they don’t check you, then who will? And really to say these people are perverts and molester is just sickening. There are people out there who are perverts and have molested people and all these people are doing is seeing if you are hiding anything you shouldn’t be. Don’t like it? Take a bus, no one tries to hijack or blow them up.

  652. Yes, you have the right to not be subject to unreasonable searches. But when they are deemed reasonable (for example: as a security measure) then the method of search, it would be assumed, must also be “reasonable”.

    What is reasonable? I will admit ignorance here, does the constitution define “reasonable”?

    If anyone is a victim, it is the airlines. They used to offer a flight in exchange for money. Now they have to offer a flight and an involved security procedure plus the flight for your money.

    But people are not complaining that they are being “searched unreasonably”, they are whining because someone needs to get pretty close to their balls to do so.

    Nobody complained about the routine searches before (y’know, you go through the metal detector, it bleeps, you get a pat down). It is just a bit more invasive now.

    Big deal, someone’s got to touch you, what exactly is the problem? Its not like they just walk up behind you in the airport lobby and give you the reacharound, you go to the airport knowing exactly where, when and how you will/may be searched.

    Has anyone been measured for a suit? That gets pretty personal…

    Fair enough, I think it might make the lines longer. Thats about the biggest thing I can think of.

    Ok, I get it, nobody wants big brother d**king about with our lives, nobody wants a slow decay into some sort of dystopian police-state.

    But really, if it WAS the big scary government forcing a fear-mongering overbearing security procedure upon yu, exactly what will it accomplish for them? What would their motives be?

    Do you know what I think the motives for the “enhanced” security procedures are?
    -If they weren’t there, the next time something DID happen (and Im not even talking terrorism here, almost anything) then there would be a flood of lawsuits screaming “Why weren’t more precautions taken?”

    Can you think of any better precautions? There arn’t that many alternatives to physical, on-body searches.

  653. There are always two sides. The TSA agents that feel upset by the responses of fliers need to understand that many people are against the pat downs because we have been abused by angry TSA staff.

    So what came first? The ego-power hunger TSA agent who abuses his authority, and the angry flier? What came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Everyone should be polite, that means both sides, and understand it’s a new or different person in front of them, and act accordingly.

  654. > A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who
    > carried out actions of execution and extermination

    And most of them didn’t like it either, but, they ALL followed orders.

    Look at milgrims experiments. They say one thing, very clearly. The vast majority of us. That is, the next time you are in a crowd, look left, right, forward, and back. Statistically speaking, you need a couple more people before you can say that one of you would refuse to torture a man to death, if a man in a lab coat with a lab protocol told you to continue the protocol.

    Why were jews killed in concentration camps? Ever wonder that? A friend of mine, a history buff, pointed it out to me recently. The Nazi’s found that their soldiers didn’t like to murder unarmed civilians, even jews. It was bad for morale. So… their job just became putting them on trains. Not so bad for morale. Then you can do the dirty work off in another place, by a few people.

    Essentially, they did the same thing that we do here. We seperate the jobs, so no individual has to call himself responsible, but, the whole system can still be overbearing and… molesting people on an industrial scale.

    The direction of the march is obvious. Fasicsm has always thrived on irrational fear. Thats all this is, irrational fear of extremely rare and unlikely events. We could roll back airport security to 1985 levels, and it would still, mile for mile, be way safer than driving.

    And THAT is the bottom line.

  655. @ 650 David

    You are a horrible bigot that has no idea about anything in the world. You probably still think locking up all the Japanese Americans during WWII makes perfect sense. I mean, hell, they could have been spies. Oh right, it turns out most spies for Japan were white Americans who hated America. Any race, color, or creed can be a terrorist, so shut the hell up.

  656. We don’t know how many disasters have been prevented so far by making it very hard for criminals to smuggle weapons on board. Listen to the recordings from passengers who called home one last time from a hijacked plane to say goodbye. That could be your child, mother, brother, husband. Or you. Get over it and appreciate that everything possible is being done to save innocent lives. I don’t care about your pricacy in this case, because it may save my life. I also don’t care that the likelyhood of being hijacked is next to nothing. It may be so low because we have this system in place.

  657. The “I’m just doing my job” excuse is an extremely poor and lazy cop out. The TSA is a business, and like any other business in order to succeed and thrive it must have the support of it’s customers, in this case air travelers. Instead of just rolling over on the “I’m just doing my job” excuse, if you sided with your unhappy customers and helped bring these complaints to upper level management/government then we could start to see some real change and you will get the support of the traveling public. So stop whining and do something about it, because i hate to tell you but the customer is always right, no matter what the job.

  658. I would have a modicum of sympathy for these folks if it weren’t for the fact that every experience with these folks has told me they are not trained for customer service. They are surly, rude, and downright mean to passengers who do so much as grumble about the procedures. If they know that their job entails humiliating and inconveniencing thousands of people a day, the least they could do is pretend to feel sorry about it, or at least be polite. A little “I apologize, ma’am, but I’m going to have to pat you down”, or some show of sympathy toward the passengers they’re herding through these procedures would go a long, long way toward combating the negative feelings shown toward them on a daily basis.

  659. @ #656 Stephen Carpenter
    “molesting people on an industrial scale”

    Surely “molesting” implies some kind of sexual, malicious intent?

    Do you think some organisation decided “HAHAHAHA!!! I know! Lets use the excuse of “airport security” to get thousands of goverment employees to get their rocks off feeling up random people!!”?

    Sounds pretty ridiculous hey?

  660. Keep in mind that TSA WBI scanners cannot store or transmit images while in service in the field … it simply can’t happen with the current hardware … so the images will never end up colour inverted. As soon as someone passes through the scanner the image must be wiped for the next image to appear.

    Happy Flying!


    Now I find parts of this comment humorous. What about those 35,000 images that were saved from the courthouse in Florida? Seems as if they do have the capacity to store images now doesn’t it? And, You can’t say the colors will never be inverted, you don’t know that Fish. Once they have the images they can do whatever they would like. Sorry for any typos, this was posted from my phone.

  661. G.Leslie Baloghsma

    TSA workers serving the country? How naive do you think the public is? Pat-Downs and scanners are Police State measures to accustom law-abiding citizens to humiliation at the hands of government!

    All it takes to waste this improper motive and insulting security measure is for the flying public to abstain from flying–once, twice, three times a year.
    Hey, let’s bankrupt an airline and see how long “Obama scare” continues.

    -G. Baloghsma

  662. You know, they said it eloquently in the movie Clerks. Personal politics have to play a part in the job you choose. You are working for an agency that has decided I can only be made safe by impinging on my personal space and personal freedoms. I’d really love to see statistics on how much safer I >ACTUALLY< am today over the pre-grope / pre-full-body-scan days. Yes, it is terribly, terribly sad that several thousand people lost their lives in 9/11 – I HONESTLY feel for the families of those people. Also, where is the safety data, especially for frequent travelers, for in the "full body scanner" – I can completely understand why people don't want to be bombarded with radiation / x-rays any more than they have to. How thoroughly are the folks doing the pat-down trained? I hope more thoroughly than a police officer, who doesn't touch your private areas during a pat-down, is.

    While the TSA agents feel "you need to work with me, this is a tough job" the fact is this IS your job. You need to grow a thicker skin, but be calm and polite and considerate. Imagine every person you are confronting is your own mother or father and treat them with that level of respect. The citizens whose personal space and freedoms you are impinging don't experience this every day and I am sure it IS jarring to them to have you touch them in these places – you shouldn't be surprised by their expressing their frustration about this. While the TSA agent knows "why" he or she is doing the groping (or just that it is part of the job), how comfortable would it make you feel if you were the one being groped? If someone was groping your child?

  663. G.Leslie Baloghsma

    “All it takes for the triumph of tyranny is for good men (people) to do nothing.”
    Edmund Burke

    Let’s stop doing nothing!

  664. Ravinggenius:
    I suggest you reconsider your name. Any person who works for the Federal Government are payed by the U.S. taxpayer, hence the term “Serving your country”. The employee is serving the people who ultimately pay them, regardless of what we think of the TSA they are still serving the country.

    Suggesting that the TSA screeners get off on feeling out people is simply irresponsible and grossly ignorant. I completely agree that these searches are a blatant violation of our 4th Amendment Rights however we need to keep in mind that many of these screeners have families to feed in a time where the economy is still in recession and jobs are still scarce. Unfortunately, to find stable, alternate employment is easier said than done. At the end of the day when the TSA employees go home, it is their children and families they are working for, not the desire to grope one’s junk.

    Do TSA employees work for the federal government? Yes, therefore they are serving our country.
    Wrong! Just because someone works for the federal government does not mean they are serving the country.

  665. To the TSO’s complaining:

    1. The TSA has always been hated and always been verbally abused. You should have realized that before you took the job. If you don’t like it quit. I realize that you’re just doing your job, which is why until recently I’ve never given the TSA crap (although you’ve crossed a line).
    2. It’s an immediate way for passengers to tell you that they don’t like what you’re doing. Maybe you should take your concerns to your supervisor and ask that he convey up the chain. Passengers clearly don’t like what the TSA is doing, and we have a right to complain. Telling us we can’t complain, which is what your union would like to do, is just another step further in the wrong direction.
    3. You’re probably also uncomfortable with the fact that you’re being asked to touch people in these ways. Make your personal concerns known as well, and make it known to your supervisor. Doing your job without speaking out is no excuse.

  666. Billy Bob,

    The images you reference were from the US Marshal Service… not the TSA. The US Marshal Service has different hardware, procured through the Dept of Justice. The TSA uses different procurement channels through the Dept of Homeland Security.

    Happy Flying!


  667. […] for another perspective, check out this post from our friend Flying With Fish about how this new policy is breaking down morale for TSA […]

  668. To those who are comparing the TSA workers to Nazis:

    Yes, I understand the similarities of their “just following orders” refrain. However, I would like to point out that one set of orders was intended to bring about the mass murder of an entire race. One is not. I’d say that’s a pretty big difference.

    Feel free to complain about a loss of personal liberty due to these people following their orders. But it is insulting and disrespectful to the memory of their victims to compare that to what happened when the Nazis followed THEIR orders.

    Personally, I support any measure that will help to ensure no one boards my flight with a weapon of any sort strapped to their body. No, I don’t want to be touched by a stranger, but if even one life is saved as a result, it’s worth a few minutes of my discomfort. Imagine if that life were yours. (Sure, go ahead and respond and tell me how these measures will not make flying any safer. And maybe they won’t. But you don’t know that for sure. You can say you do, but you really, truly don’t. The screenings certainly won’t result in MORE people bringing weapons on planes, and that’s the outcome I care most about.) However, you are all entitled to your own opinions, and I respect your right to express them. But I do not respect anyone making this Nazi comparison. It is both offensive and inaccurate.

  669. These TSA officers are doing what is necessary to make our country safe!
    I absolutely agree that they are serving our country.
    If you have the option to walk away from your job then congratulations but some Americans do not have that luxury in times like today.
    Besides- without TSA there would be no flying! so maybe you shouldnt encourage them to quit or go on strike.
    if you do not like this policy then do not fly! there are alternative ways to move across our country that are less invasive.

  670. hate your job? do us all a favor and quit.

  671. @661 pete:

    No, but thats kind of besides the point. The point is, irrational fear (which is all the justification for the TSA is) and “security” can be used to justify ANYTHING. Seriously… ANYTHING.

    If you believe terrorism is a credible threat to your flight, then don’t even think about letting your children near a car. Those things are veritable death traps compared to planes… and thats counting not just terrorists but ALL of the reasons for problems on planes, including mechanical failures, pilot errors, and air traffic control mistakes. ALL COMBINED, still safer than driving, mile by mile.

    Yet, we allow this irrational fear to set our policy. We will be humiliated in public, or forced to allow some peeping tom in a dark room to check out our bodies. Never mind our bodies… to violate the privacy of the area under our clothing…. and for what? To make no difference AT ALL in real safety.

    Best case scenario for the TSA, is they make getting a bomb on a plane hard enough that terrorist planners just hit schools and shopping malls instead. Yay TSA, making us safer every day!

    Seriously, if some airline decided to implement a full cavity, flashlight up the rectum cavity search just to board their plane, even if they did it with no private rooms, right out in public. As long as they posted the policy so I could see it before I bought my ticket, I wouldn’t complain (I might laugh).

    However, its not an airline. Its the government, and they impose these restrictions for everyone. WHy? If there was an airline that allowed me to walk on the plane, sit down, and buy a ticket, in cash from my seat with no x-ray…. I would feel perfectly safe flying in it. Period. I would choose them EVERY TIME.

    Why can’t we, as air travelers, vote with our dollars for which security regime we want?

  672. One further point about TSA’s credibility, and about whether they are doing “what is necessary to make our country safe!” as FL put it.

    TSA has stated that they routinely conduct tests of their security by trying to smuggle fake weapons through as a blind test of the screeners. However for “security reasons” they do not release the results of these tests to the public thus we have no way to judge as a flying, and tax-paying, public how well they are doing. Ergo we do not really know whether these procedures are keeping us safe.

    Furthermore, in the few cases where reports have been leaked to the public or where reports have been written, the results are abysmal. In Portland, apparently, TSA routinely tipped off the agents that they were being tested. While a 2006 report on Newark Liberty International Airport reported 20 of 22 tests failed. Subsequent IG reports have blasted the TSA’s effectiveness.

    Ultimately the TSA as an agency has refused to engage with the public or submit to any real oversight always claiming “security” and when they do get some or some is leaked the results are awful. In effect when the public complains the TSA simply screams back “Shut up we are keeping you safe!” and continues on. In the cases cited above, for example, the TSA chose not to address problems or admit to failures but to hunt down the sources of the leaks.

    As a consequence one is left feeling that, as an agency, they do not want to, or may not be able to, keep us safe but are focused more on keeping us scared and compliant.

  673. what a pack of losers!

    they’re not ‘serving their country’, they’re simply lackies too dimwitted to realize or care they’re actually abusing people for a paycheque.

    yeah, & Nazis did *that* too… they whinged after the fact that they were patriots ‘doing their jobs’.

    if you wanna serve your country, stop being a whingy little bitch & say something to your employers about such abuses of people.

    nobody cares if you’re abused, you’re the loser freak who is willing to take the paycheque to mistreat people, cop an attitude & violate human rights.

    We’ve seen your nasty little sneers, abuses of people & the way you swagger about. Really nice how you moan about how horrible it is to have to touch fat people, too.

    lovely: aren’t you just the cream of humanity to look down your noses at other people.

    why don’t you get a real job that doesn’t abuse people for fun & profit, & stop bitching? don’t you love how the HomeLand Abusers are now using the feelings of their lackies to influence international opinion?

    how about those millions of people whose governments are being strongarmed by the US into buying & implementing all these dumbass policies? …yeah, its about *the US* not the rest of us putting up with you, right?

  674. you “TSOs” make me sick. you have the audacity to complain about the procedures and yet there you stand implementing them. If you don’t feel that the procedures are right then find a new job. we have all had to do that at one time or another.

    TSOs are the next brown shirts. blindly following flawed ideology.

  675. You all say this is a chosen profession… the only reason I’ve chosen to work for TSA is because at first they offered decent pay compared to the minimum wage I was getting and I would be able to go to school to better my career in a different CHOSEN profession. Since then, my need for paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head has put my schooling on hold like many TSO you come in contact with. I’m the sole provider for my family at the moment so this is a job and I do my best at my job. Professionalism takes away the supposed harassment you think you’re getting. Unless I’m standing their calling you stupid for being here and saying other humiliating things to your face, you are NOT being molested or harass. Most passengers are saying these things to OUR FACES and they know we can’t just talk back with out some sort of backlash from our superiors. None of you like being called names at your job and you think you can justify it because of what our job is? There’s plenty of soldiers who have had their funerals protested at because of the war they were fighting, yet you’d be outraged by that. Police officers that have been kicked, beaten, shot and killed, all because of what they do day to day, and yet, you’d be outraged by that. These people are protecting us day in and day out and yet, some of you people can’t see that I’m the front line defense in preventing another plane being hijacked and not see it fly into another building killing 3,000 + people again? There are people out there that want Americans dead because they hate our western society. They think their religion and views on how we should be and they use violent tactics to get their point across. They will take down trains, planes, any area that has massive amounts of people to make a big impact on us. They will and have used disguises to look just like you to get past security and do harm. While this threat is there, there will be a need for my job. And I bet that if you needed a job, you’d be next to put your application in with TSA and do what you have to, to put food on your table.

  676. So where will these agents draw the line? When will they stand up to these idiotic policies? When the government introduces cavity searches? Is it at this point the agents will have no fear of losing their jobs because they will have no families to feed, will they now be capable of standing up to their bosses? The point is, it is never easy to stand up and say no to wrong. There will always be something to lose; jobs, income, family, even one’s life. I think if both the agents and the passengers protest these absurd measures, then positive change can be achieved. But that will require sacrifice from both parties – be it quitting your job, or choosing not to fly.

    #634 Other Oscar; as a non-American, I completely and totally agree with you.
    It is sad though that the terrorist have won. The American people are fearful, frustrated and their way of life is changing (and not for the better!) I had posted earlier that I flew into NY in February 2010 and at the airport in Amsterdam, all passengers had to go through the full body scan AND the pat down. On my way back, passing through Amsterdam, we did not go through these procedures. So everyone flying into the States is a potential terrorist, and now too all Americans in their own country are potential terrorists. I rest my case.

    For those who say that we would be the first to attack the TSA’s if there was an attack on a plane, you are implying that we would do away with all manner of screening. No, that is not what we are saying. Many people have pointed out the example of Israel and other countries that do not have the body scan and pat down procedures at their airports and have had no terrorist-plane attacks. So it can be done in a non-humiliating way. Humiliating for both the agent and the passenger. The government should spend time and money in those alternative methods. In this case, follow the money. Who is to gain from these procedures? Follow the money!

  677. @651 Eric

    I am offended at the assertion that I may be against the TSA because I don’t care about the deaths on 9/11. Far from it.

    9/11 was tragic. It was also, a publicity stunt. That is all terrorism ever is. It is a message. Actually its a dual message… a message of “be afraid, we are a real threat” to us, and a message of “See what we can do, we are effective!” to supporters.

    The TSA helps both of those messages. The TSA’s very existence says “Yup, They are a credible threat, and they are effective, we will spend millions and billions, while we cower in fear from the real threat”.

    The reality? Far from the perception. They are NOT a real threat. Face it, blowing stuff up is easy. Anybody with a few hundred dollars and some time on their hands (and maybe… basic math skills… oh… I guess that does cut out a lot of Americans…) can blow stuff up. Get away with it even. How long did it take to catch the Unabomber?

    That is the EASY part. The hard part? Training, coordination, operations. Running an operational organization that handles people who want to carry out attacks, plans them, and executes them? That is hard. That is where most plots fall apart or are stopped.

    If this were a real threat, we would have seen planes going down daily. When that became hard, we would see trains, malls, sporting events. Simple fact: we don’t. These people have been operating since the damned early 90s, and it took then 3 tries to take down the WTC towers…. in all those years.

    This is not a credible threat. Its a rare event by a small, rather insignificant organization, that shouldn’t worry us.

  678. For those who think the body scans and the pat-downs are necessary, please read this link – http://www.huliq.com/10061/john-tyner-might-israels-airport-security-better-us

  679. @677 Junk Toucher
    > You all say this is a chosen profession… the only reason I’ve chosen to work
    > for TSA is because at first they offered decent pay compared to the
    > minimum wage I was getting and I would be able to go to school to better
    > my career in a different CHOSEN profession

    Ok… so you chose it. I am sure there are many Nazi officers who joined up for the great pay and good benefits too. You know a lot of them didn’t even hate jews? It was just a job afterall.

    Anyway, you chose, good pay, and good benefits, in exchange for molesting people and being verbally abused by people who resent you for making them be humiliated so you can catch a paycheck.

    Its just part of the job. Its not like you enjoy pushing people into ovens, but it sure beats stocking shelves for a living, eh?


  680. If you don’t like being called a molester, DON’T MOLEST PEOPLE! If you don’t like being called a child pornohrapher then DON’T LOOK AT NAKED PICTURES OF KIDS!

    You TSOs do BOTH! A nazi comparison is valid to anybody that “just follows orders”. It doesn’t matter what the end result of the action is, but saying that “I’m just doing my job/following orders” didn’t work at Neuremberg and won’t work now! In SO many ways the average TSO is worse than the average Nazi since many nazis did not join the military and actively hurt anyone but EVERY TSA AGENT IS A MOLESTER WHO VIOLATES CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. You can choose the right path BUT YOU DON’T – so expect to be held accountable!

    If you don’t do the right thing soon, expect letters and phone calls to your neighbors and posters around the neighborhoods of all TSOs outing them as perverts and molesters complete with pictures and phone numbers. That is where this is headed and it is going to happen very soon…

  681. If you believe terrorism is a credible threat to your flight, then don’t even think about letting your children near a car. Those things are veritable death traps compared to planes… and thats counting not just terrorists but ALL of the reasons for problems on planes, including mechanical failures, pilot errors, and air traffic control mistakes. ALL COMBINED, still safer than driving, mile by mile

  682. @679 Stephen Carpenter

    The real truth of this is that, yes, this is all unneccessary procedures to ensure safety, but the sad part of this article is that it seemingly is falling on deaf ears. People have lost their reasoning skills.

    Like, if they hate the policy then they should quit? There is currently a recession and jobs aren’t really easy to come by. Why would you quit a job that provides for your family, especially now.

    And no one has really stopped and considered what is really worse, being pat down by one person or having to pat down hundreds of people. I would prefer the first one. And I would be thankful for it. I mean when rude fliers can break a two-tour soldier without a second thought? How low has our respect for one another come?

    If you hate the policy, don’t take it out on the people making a living and hating it MORE than you. They are the ones touching hundreds of people and then having to go home to families. There are more civilized ways to voice your hatred of something. Not on workers who have no hand in actually changing the policy.

  683. It’s time for the TSA workers to go on strike, then. To refuse to implement these procedures which are pointless and degrading for all involved.

    You want to make me submit to violations of my 4th amendment rights and expect me to abdicate my 1st amendment rights at the same time? Forget it.

    The workers of the TSA have some power to bring this to an end. They can organize and stop it or they can counted as collaborators.

  684. #633, forget nazis, what you said is exactly what terrorists say. Well done.

    I think all the TSOs should call in sick on Wednesday. All of them, every airport in the US. They should stay home, put up their feet, watch TV and celebrate.

    Teach these ungrateful privileged complainers a lesson, and put giving thanks back into Thanksgiving.

  685. These TSOs are my neighbors, my children’s friends’ parents, and the single parent that lost their ‘good’ job. Most of them only have a high school diploma and very few have any security training other than what TSA gives them.

    I do believe they find the ‘pat downs’ objectionable but, for those that don’t know, it’s cold out there with few jobs (even fewer that have benefits).

    The problem I have with the theater is two-fold:

    1) Osama Bin Laden has repeatedly said (paraphrase), “I spend $1 in order to make the US spend $1M.”; and,

    2) Contrary to governmental agency myth, I have not heard of any serious plot that would have otherwise succeeded being caught out at the security line.

    Why is it that flag-carrying airlines that face much more daunting, and meaningful, risks don’t follow TSA’s lead? Is it because they use ex-military intelligence types for airport security? Is it because they don’t advertise the real measures being taken? Is it because they do extensive background screening and profiling? Hmmmm….

    I pity my neighbors/friends that work as TSOs but understand that they need to feed, clothe, and provide basic health care for their families. I only wish my government would hire, or we would elect, competent people that proactively learn from other, more advanced, examples.

  686. Don’t like the nasty comments? Tough! Resisting abuse of our civil rights is a duty of ever American. The people who abuse us have a choice – join the resistance, quit the job, or knowingly and willingly follow the orders of an increasingly oppressive government like a good little brown shirt. We should have no sympathy whatsoever for people who “just follow orders,” no matter how abusive, to keep their jobs.If they quit due to stress, go home crying, break down, etc. – GREAT. If the TSA can’t maintain their staff due to high turnover, that’s a win.

  687. Honestly, people are unhappy with themselves and their pathetic lives. Therefore, when they get to the airport and have something/someone to lash out at, they let the flood gates open and begin acting like self-righteous assholes “because they can and because they feel justified.”

    As posted, flying IS a privilege. You’re more than welcome to take a bus or a train, drive or hike; flying is not a right.

    All that said, I’m opposed to being groped, but I’m MORE opposed to being blown up.

  688. I am concerned that the scanners may expose me to unnecessary radiation.

    I would rather strip naked in front of the agents then have them touch me through my clothes. I do not care what they see, I just do not want them to touch me.

    For those who like Nazi references, “Arbeit macht frei.”

  689. I’m noticing the argument by the anti-TSA people is becoming more childish by the day. As a someone who travels often I understand that security lines are a hassle and take forever. However, MOST of the issue has to deal with the idiots in the line not the TSA. 75% of the people in line don’t get prepared to go past security which lead to major delays. I just want to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. Whatever security obstacles I have to go through to get there, I will. I’ve been patted down before by TSA agents and I’ve never had an issue with it. If you aren’t comfortable enough in your own skin and with your own sexuality that you can not handle a pat down or another man brushing your junk, then you need to grow up and have no business being in an airport as you probably have no money and no real reason to be there.

  690. Rick…if you don’t have a problem with a stranger touching your junk (so to speak) then may I suggest that you have a problem with knowing what is right and wrong, moral and immoral behaviour…by God.

    Of course you may not believe in God which is another issue but don’t decry the statements against what the TSA is doing as some kind of brainless idiocy by those who are not “comfortable enough in their own skin”.

    I am very comfortable in my own skin for one. My objections have nothing to do with what you assume to be the case. They fall squarely on the side of wanting the U.S. Constitution to be respected by the U.S. Government (specifically the 4th Amendment) and a belief that the human body is not meant to be fondled in the interests of keeping us safe.

    The image of a little child being patted down by a TSA agent that I saw yesterday makes me sick. The incosiderate treatment of innocent Americans while Muslim women are allowed preferential treatment in not having to endure a full pat down makes me angry.

    This is not about anyone feeling comfortable in their own sexuality as you maintain. If you believe that may I say that you are the one that needs to grow up (your words) and not those who are resistant to the indignity that TSA screening has become.


  691. I called Southwest and let them know as long as the TSA is doing patdowns and using scanners they will not be getting my money.
    I used to fly with them the most.

    If everyone on this list and their contacts and their contacts called the airlines..ALL of the airlines, and told them they are not getting their money, we may make a difference in this 4th amendment destroying TSA policy. Money Talks. Airlines listen.
    I have always enjoyed the trains…

  692. If you TSA perverts and deviants don’t like the cold reaction from the American People then I suggest you get you Union Bosses to file suit against management. Tell, your Union Bosses that is wrong for management to require you to violate the law in order for you to keep your job.

    Cause I’ll tell you this perverts: If anyone one of the public busts your head because you are molesting them I going to rule it a valid case of self-defence. I don’t want to even hear your sobs. I was only following the unlawful orders of the Obama Junta is not a valid excuse!

    If you haven’t read the US Constitution I strongly suggest that you do so now. Comrade Obama may have issued those unlawful orders but you are directly responsible for following them and carrying them out.

  693. I can appreciate that this is bad for the TSA employees, but maybe not for the reasons stated. Yes, they are on the receiving end of verbal abuse, and that is wrong. It is equally wrong to displace that verbal abusive into abusive attitudes (whether spoken or not) towards others, like the passengers or the obese….Yes they are being demoralized, the ones viewing the scans are viewing pornography as part of their job description. My state police agency provides psychological support for the guys working on Internet Crimes, because no matter what the context this is very, very personally destructive over a period of time…..I don’t think everybody gets that, for those who have been sexually abused or carry body shame for any other reason (injury, disability, eating disorders, etc.), the scan is just as horrible as the pat down. Just KNOWING that somebody is looking at their naked body can trigger all kinds of destructive reactions, and they can last well beyond the actual experience…..No end of demoralizing going on here. Wonder who benefits most from a demoralized society? Just sayin…..

  694. Wow, I’m surprised how mean-spirited some of these comments are. Save the bitching for those who make policy. It’s not like leaving to find a new job is a walk in the park, especially in this economy. Have a heart, people.

  695. “As posted, flying IS a privilege.”

    Oh, really Tim. Who gave you the authority to grant rest of us the privilege to board an airplane? Did god grant you that authority? Or did you and few other tyrants take this power on by your own authority?

    For the life of me I don’t remember the fourth amendment being lawfully repealed. For that matter no citizen has the right grope another nor the right to transfer that power on behalf of another agent. You really should read the Declaration of Independence. It might introduce you to something called natural law.

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. ” – Ben Franklin

    Oh, Tim I afraid that one of the wisest man that ever existed would consider you a very lousy American.

  696. Here’s the deal, crybaby parasites – if the policy that you hate carrying out causes you to get an increased amount of abuse from the public, report it up the chain and agitate for effective security measures instead of job-creating Security Theater. If you are the public face of ridiculous and illegal policies, and that bothers you, it’s time to look in the mirror instead of being upset with American citizens who are subject to what you are doing.

    Sorry, Mr. Redcoat, I know you’re just doing your job and enforcing the policies of the Crown… if everyone would simply comply, life would be so much simpler….

  697. When it is on record that TSA TSOs have been caught calling the AIT scanners a “Dick Measuring Device,” when TSOs have been caught making fun of the size of co-workers’ genitals, when TSOs bust a patient’s urostomy bag, ask to see a prosthetic breast, when most TSOs are sexual deviants, pedophiles, and child molesters(some convicted), when male TSOs escort female passengers to the pat-down area by saying, “Come here, cookie, I need to feel you up before you board that plane,” when TSOs plant fake cocaine on female passengers to try to win sexual favors from them, etc. . .

    The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on . . .

    And we’re supposed to sit back and say this is acceptable?

  698. Have a heart? Forget it. They keep telling us, “if you don’t like it, don’t fly” — well, if they don’t like getting verbally abused when they are violating people’s rights, they can damn well get another job as far as I’m concerned. Not a walk in the park? Too bad. I don’t have another way to go see my family, but they don’t seem to care about that when they force me to submit to their abuse.

    TSA workers ought to also be protesting and refusing to carry out this unnecessary BS, and if they aren’t, I have zero sympathy for them.

  699. I’ll throw another +1 to the fact that “I’m just doing my job” is not an acceptable excuse. I will also continue to *verbally* abuse any TSA agent that *physically* abuses me. If they continue to dehumanize me, I will continue to dehumanize them. If they do not like being called perverts or child molesters then they should quit. Jobs are hard to come by? Not for me…but then again, I took my education seriously and learned a lot of highly marketable skills other than how to stroke a penis four times to make sure it’s not a bomb. I’m quite happy to know that what I and others are saying to the molesters is having an effect and that the passengers are not the only ones who have to deal with the emotional distress that comes with the new procedures.

    These patdowns are not about protecting us from terrorism. The new patdowns *are* terrorism. There are innocent people who are now terrified to go through airport security.

    Also…”Numerous independent physicists have shown the backscatter scanners to emit less radiation than passengers are exposed to while flying.”

    Numerous independent physicists have also pointed out that while it is true that the total amount of radiation from the backscatter machines is less than what passengers are exposed to while flying, the backscatter machines *artificially focus the radiation at the topmost few layers of the skin*. In addition, the type of radiation created by the machines are of a different type than the radiation to which you are subjected during a flight. When you factor in those considerations the radiation exposure story becomes a lot different. Furthermore, the backscatter radiation is *in addition to*, not instead of, what you still get during a flight.

  700. These procedures are simply absurbed. Who is runnning the TSA agency? Everything that is being done to the American public should be done to the powers that came up with this. pat down. I am sure they would not like it done to them. It is not a pat down, it is really in appropriate touching, better known as sexual assult. Police officers are highly trained professionals and they are not allowed to do pat downs the way the TSA agents are doing them. They could be faced with charges, or sued. Male officers are not allowed to pat down a female suspects, most times they call for a female officer to do it, and they do not grope and touch and massage the breast, and never, never, would their hands touch the genitalia. I heard a District Attorney from California say that in some states what the TSA agents are doing could be considered a crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.
    Why can’t they send the TSA agents to a police training facility to get trained by professional law enforcement training officers. There is always a right way and a wrong way in doing something.
    How long was the full body scanner tested on the adverse effects on humans? I would think that it is a high amount of radiation. Even in a medical facility when you have to get an X-ray you are given a protective covering for your reprocuction organs. It is scary, what’s going on in America today, especially when you have people in positions that don’t make the best decisions for all of Americans, and foriegners that travel into America.
    They should ask the question would this policy be in line with Constitution, and if not go back to the drawing board and tweak it, and keep tweaking until they get it right.
    I traveled on AmTrak, and while getting my tickets and waiting for the train, there where officers with dogs going through the entire train station. The dogs sniff around passengers, luggages, and trash cans. Dogs are trained to sniff out any odors that could possibly be drugs or a bomb.

    Prevention is the motive, a better solution is out there, and they need to find it.

  701. If you can’t store photos, how would TSA present evidence in court? What’s to stop a technician from using his iPhone to take photos of the scanner display?

  702. I am so sick of the chidlish way people are handling this. Name calling, self centeredness etc. I cant wait till Opt Out Day..I cant wait to see how many of you complainers are willing to PUT UP OR SHUT UP. When everyone is missing their flights, including you, because of your childish protest which apparently you expect TSA to open lines and wave everyone though, I cant wait to see how many of you really stand up for the crap coming out of your mouths.I really cant wait to see the news and hearing complainers yelled at by those who have no problem going through the line and getting scanned. I cant wait to see how many of you refuse to go through the line, refuse to be screened or hold up the line to slow things down.I for one hope they do it..Not only will they miss their flights due to stupidity but everyone else too and we will see how is a blow hard and who will smile in line and bitch when they get out.

  703. Some day a terrorist is going to hide a bomb inside a rectum or vagina, which neither the x-rays nor the enhanced pat down is going to be able to detect. What then? Will the entire flying public be subjected to rectal exams or hard x-rays before getting on a plane? Why not do that now? We always react AFTER the terrorists try something new.

  704. Honestly, for those who believe that TSOs deserve the treatment they’re receiving because they “chose this profession” that’s utterly ridiculous. These pat downs and screenings have not been in effect for long and more likely than not, these people have had their jobs for years before this procedure, possibly before 9/11 even. I highly doubt they took a job as a TSO because they’d be able to “molest” people a decade or so later.

    It’s hard enough to find a job in this economy as is and these people are holding onto the job that they have. If you don’t irritate them, they can finish their job quickly and both of you can move on. Why waste your energy making an unnecessary scene? If you don’t make a big deal, you’ll forget about it within the week while you’re on your vacation.

    The best (*most hypocritical) part is, if the TSA does remove these precautions and, God forbid, another attack or something of that nature happens, the same people who were so against the body screenings and pat downs will be the first to blame the TSA for lack of security.

  705. Wow. So, they make rude comments of the bodies of the passengers — whose tax dollars are paying their wages, by the way — and this is supposed to make me feel sorry for them?

    Well, let me give them the same exact cold comfort their bosses are shelling out to the flying public: If you don’t like the policies, then you don’t have to work for the TSA. Working for the TSA is not a Constitutionally-guarenteed right.

    Calling their passengers fat and unclean is effectively dehumanizing them. If your goal here, Steven, was to garner some sympathy for these guys, EPIC FAIL.

  706. Mr. Burns

    You are so far off in never never land I can’t even begin to formulate a response to your comments; “most TSOs are sexual deviants, pedophiles, and child molesters” where in the hell did you get your information. And all you other idiots who keep complainng about the 4th amendment need to go back to basic US civics class. When a passenger enters the checkpoint they have given “implied consent” to a search. Even the 9th circuit court one of the most liberal in all our country has ruled time and time again that these searches are reasonable to ensure safety of the flying public.

    Educate yourself or don’t fly: See definition

    Implied consent is a form of consent which is not expressly granted by a person, but rather inferred from a person’s actions and the facts and circumstances of a particular situation (or in some cases, by a person’s silence or inaction).

    The Fourth Amendment requires the government to respect “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons ․ and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”  U.S. Const. amend. IV. “A search or seizure is ordinarily unreasonable in the absence of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing.   While such suspicion is not an ‘irreducible’ component of reasonableness, [the Supreme Court has] recognized only limited circumstances in which the usual rule does not apply.”  City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 37, 121 S.Ct. 447, 148 L.Ed.2d 333 (2000) (citations omitted).   However, “where the risk to public safety is substantial and real, blanket suspicionless searches calibrated to the risk may rank as ‘reasonable’-for example, searches now routine at airports and at entrances to courts and other official buildings.”

  707. Vapor,

    The TSA needs no evidence in court from the scanners. Any prohibited items would be found by a physical hand check after the scanner alarms. The evidence would then be collected, tagged and sent along. The scanner does not but alert a human than a hand check is needed.

    Happy Flying!


  708. “My odds of dying from a terrorist attack are far less than those of getting cancer from the body scanner, even if I believe the TSA numbers (which I don’t).”

    You’ve just replaced one hysterical fear for another. Do you really believe that the risk of DYING of cancer from the scanner (as opposed to, say, your dental X-rays) is high?

  709. […] Flying with Fish has a piece on the abuse the TSA officers are having to endure.  While I understand his goal is to tell all sides of the story I have zero sympathy for someone who will blithely follow an illegal order.  You’re not allowed to do it in combat, police aren’t allowed to physically molest you without probable cause, and even then, it has to be done very carefully. […]

  710. I am really disturbed at the hypocrisy and class snobbery against these agents.

    I would bet that the majority of the people commenting here are desk drones for companies that commit evils on a daily basis. Like the TSA policy makers, you hide behind lowly line staff, and then talk high-and-mighty about making a principled stand.

  711. I’m just serving my country. I don’t decide the policy. I’m a professional doing my job.
    Does ANYONE feel sorry for these self-deluded, servile little drones?

    The best part was definitely the “Do people know what a Nazi is?”
    Yeah, spineless collaborators just doing their jobs.

  712. I am baffled by those of you who do not see the wrong in the policy of the TSA .
    It is an infringment of my rights and yours
    Options are
    1 to be radiated
    2 to be invasively searched
    3 fine and possible criminal charges

    Should I choose to be radiated if it is unclear, I still face an invasive search. If I am required to fly for my job I have no choice I am extorted to submit to this personal invasion.

    As many have said the advice I should quit my job that requires travel is the same as advising tso to quit thiers. A job that requires travel is not infringing on anyone’s personal liberties where as tso’s job does this is difference.
    Yes I do understand the economic situation and have been in same situation. It is often difficult to do the right thing to stand up for your rights. It is difficult to walk away from a job you need, but that does not excuse your supporting something that is so clearly wrong. I have done it, it was difficult and It was hard on me but now I have clear conscience I do not go home crying anymore.

    No I do not condone taunts to the TSO but I can understand the complaints as long as its not verbally abusive they need to stomach what is said people do still have a right to grievances. No one is rushing to defend the telemarketers and sales people on the end of verbally abusive tyrades. It has been shown that the tsa is on the whole ineffectual, so protecting my safety, they most definitely are not. It is not helped on the whole tso’s attitudes are disrespectful. I have personally had encounters with TSO they are often rude and inconsiderate bordering on out and out hateful.

    The reason people are comparing tsa to nazi and abusers is because the parrellel is there. Yes the atrocities by nazis were horrid and Yes sexual abuse is despicable. Rights abuses often start small same as any other abuse. As soon as the victim becomes acclimated to one abuse another will be added.

    Rights are yours and mine and we should fight to keep them not give them away for the illusion of safety. Stop giving away your rights. The problem with US these days is no one stands for anything. We are all hoping someone else with stand for us, but when they do often times they are shouted down.

    Change doesnt happen overnight it is made little by little, turn the tide push back now while you can. if you do not push to keep your rights they will disappear.

  713. Fact: All of the potential bombing threats originated outside the US

    Fact: The majority of foreign airports do not follow the TSA’s screening procedures.

    Fact: Statistically insignificant probability of a threat coming from a DC to Boston commuter flight.

  714. […] to the Copywriter Underground for tweeting a link). And lastly, in all fairness, here is one blog post that highlights TSA agents’ real-life reactions to providing enhanced pat-downs, which […]

  715. […] S. This is an article with quotes from actual TSA Officers.  Interesting and informative. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the […]

  716. 1 alysha – you are black therefore side wiht the low paid screeners
    2 we do not agree – they write THEIR laws in such a way they can claim IMPLIED CONSENT

    3 get a clue B

  717. the COURT can not assert something is reasonable, they can only assert if
    it is constitutional!

    that makes it a fact of law, their opinion on reasonableness is an OPINION!

  718. Hey, Barbara….these “desk drones” don’t grab someones privates. Are you wanting to do this? Do you think it’s right just because of some arbitrary rule?

    Come on by sometime baby. I won’t fly. You can just come on by and play with my cock anytime. I’ll even let you “pat me down” while wearing your cute little blue uniform.

    You little whore you.

  719. an OPT out is no different than TSA agents standing around drinking coffee while only 1 line is running ,slowing down all the passengers

    not flying anywhere wednesday/ to join – buy full fare ticket , participate, and then go home and get your money back!

  720. to 712 Barbara- and all like her. and the TSA Goons

    Your insight is moronic…we are not desk drones. As a professional flyer I travel from east to west coast and back weekly, am on more planes in one week that you have flown in five years. You are clueless. As for what others like me bring to the economy and the country-you dont hold a candle. I have been to Iraq 3 times for the country-and we dont even search CONVICTED TERRORISTS like this- they have rights when captured moron-even on a battlefield.

    Money where my mouth is: Instead of flying Southwest -the 1 hour and ten minute flight from San Diego to Sacramento for Thanksgiving, I just drove 480 miles and it took me 9 hours- thats how much I believe in what TSA is doing is wrong. I opted Out one day early.

    Why dont you go to the airport and have your grandchild -a toddler- xrayed and felt up by a TSA goon. Once you have to explain to the little one that the TSA agent is bad, and the only reason they were allowed to touch them was that you were there, and that under no circumstances are they ever to allow anyone to touch them without Mommy of Daddy there , then you can have an opinion, until then FO-keep your liberal trype to yourself you NAZI supporter. You really need to read your German history.

  721. Wow, a totalitarian apologist blog! Who would have thought.

    GET THIS STRAIGHT: The loss of liberty is incremental and the Nazis and the communists didn’t start killing people on day one. They PROGRESSED to that.

    Every knuckle dragging pervert who works for TSA does so by choice. They are all just as gulity as Napolitano. “I was just doing my job” was not an excuse at Nuremberg and it’s not an excuse now.

    BTW, while these scum bags feel up little kids and get off on the naked pictures, 80% of the baggage in the cargo hold goes unckecked. This is not about “security” and never was. It’s about tyranny and getting people to accept it.

  722. I have no sympathy for the TSA workers. The ones I have seen are mostly a gang of rude power-tripping bums. Of course this is just a reflection of the government they work for. I say opt out and bring the naked scans and the obscene groping to a halt. Otherwise, I am sure it will continue to get even worse. Personally, I have stopped flying altogether until we have airport security with common sense built in.

  723. @673 Stephen Carpenter
    Hi there,
    wow, there is a lot of activity on this forum hey?

    I agree, if a full cavity-search-naked-in-public ragime was imposed, I wouldn’t complain either, I just wouldn’t go.

    I think the airlines would complain though, right? Because they wouldn’t be able to get antyone to fly.

    These security measures are not imposed on the “people”, they are imposed on the airline. Are they complaining? Not really, not as much as some people would have it. Why? Because, in the bigger picture, not many people care enough about the new security measures not to fly, the “people” just arn’t that bothered, the recent failure of “opt-out day” and other boycotts would seem to demonstrate this.

    And yes, there are people that would use “security” to justify anything. But as it seems popular to hold the exact letter of the constitution as gospel, it seems weird that there are so many calls of “violation of rights” etc when the letter of the constitution is not being broken as long as terms such as “reasonable” and “justified” can be defined at any chosen time or place.

    As for humiliation? If I see someone getting a pat down, standing there, srms out, not making a fuss – I see someone who bears inconvenience and discomfort with dignity and tolerance.
    When I see someone making a song and dance, refusing to be searched, or allowing the search but still complaining like theres no tomorrow – then I see someone who lacks self-control, self-awareness, dignity, empathy and respect.
    Humiliation is largely in your control at all times.

    Interesting debate this, I hope nobody takes my remarks as inflamatory.

    I choose to ignore all the shouts of “peadophile” and “Nazi” because those are called by people who can’t string two words of an argument together without forgetting what their point was in the first place.

  724. @714 philip
    Whilst I may not agree with everything you say or the tone used, I am curious as to the actual differences that you percieve between the treatment of a prisoner-of-war and someone in line at airport security?

  725. […] sich über mangelnde Körperhygiene, übermäßige Körperfülle und ganz generell die Peinlichkeit der Prozedur beschwerten. “Ich will auch nicht den ganzen Tag Penisse berühren”, klagte […]

  726. it’s interesting to read these blogs and articles. what stands out is that all the TSOs claim to be professionals only doing their jobs. for me as a european being a professional includes not only doing what i am told to do but also using my brain and think about what i am doing. don’t these professionals have a personal ethic they apply? if the vast majority of the TSOs is opposed to that practice, shouldn’t they just stop doing it? for me one thing is for sure: as soon as my personal ethics and my company’s ethics are not combinable anymore, i leave.
    btw, after evaluating all the cost, the loss of freedom, the panic and of course all the dead, be ensured, we have already lost. maye we should just stop and get back to normal after all…

  727. Oh, those poor TSA agents who are so terrible morally broken and only do their job. Why don’t they look for another one? Why does any proud American do a job, where he has to molest children men or women? Their Job? You got the same argument from the employees at Ausschwitz.

    THey know, it is wrong what they are doing? Then they have to step down without any further discussion.

    Might be frequent flyers like me ( 200 k miles plus p.a. ) should start funding a fond for former TSA agents who step down by moral reasons.

  728. […] like it’s almost unanimous, then. Everyone hates the junk-touching, except of course for Gloria […]

  729. Say what you will, but the TSO’s out there demonstrate an attitude of superiority, dominion, and power. They do so because wearing the badge is the only way many of them can validate their pathetic, uneducated lives.
    they don’t enjoy being on the giving end, we don’t enjoy being on the receiving end, and it does no good.
    But someone sure made out with a boatload of cash in the last 2 years for those scanners and the lobbying that put em’ in our airports.
    TSA wouldn’t be having such a hard time had they not already proven that their people are thieves, molesters, liars, and abusers of power.
    Whatever they get, bottom or top…it’s well deserved.






  731. […] that problems are plaguing this agency. I do, however, feel some sympathy with the officers. Several have expressed discomfort with the laws they are required to follow… and the subsequent lashing of tongues they are […]

  732. Nick,
    I assume you meant me when you referred to an “Alysha.” I’d like to point out that your assumption that I “am black and therefore side wiht the low paid screeners” is incorrect. I am not black, but regardless my race has nothing to do with my views anyway. Secondly, thanks for your literacy in your comments. I’m quite proud to know that some people against this know how to pull off a successful rebuttal in a debate.


    I am not for these policies and screenings. No, I do not think it is right. I do think that blindly jumping to the conclusion that everyone is out to molest you is ridiculous, yes. Just get it over with and move on, you’ll be fine if you don’t make a huge deal out of it. Or perhaps my Generation Y conclusions are too easy.

  733. As long as we continue to destroy lives and murder people in other countries to access their resources, we will be subject to hatred and “terrorism”.
    We have nobody to blame but ourselves for electing these sorry excuses for human beings to elected offices.

  734. I just came back from overseas and Fish, you know the procedures there.

    I didn’t take off my shoes
    I didn’t get padded down
    I only walked thru a metal detector

    However, when I was in the waiting room for my airline in Frankfurt, I noticed, lots of police with dogs. When we checked in we were asked this.

    Hello Mam, you are checking in to Atlanta, ah did you have a nice trip. Where you here on vacation, great.. Did you buy anything of value? Make sure to keep that on you in person. Are you bringing back any food, except the items you bought at custom?

    She basically interogated me while I was checking in. She was nice, polite and later when we walked to the Gate my hubby said to me, you know we were just interogated. But it was ok, we were on vacation.

    How about something like that? Do a bit of interogating/asking questions when you check in..

    There has to be a different way. My parents are coming to visit me next year. My dad has a pacemaker, I am worried that when he flies back home he will be padded down. He is also a Concentration Camp Survivor. Last time he came to America he was fingerprinted (yup!).

    There are better ways. Or we can just follow the money.. How gets the money for those mashines?

  735. […] TSA is feeling the heat (some choice quotes from TSA employees here). They may be more at risk from the scanner radiation than we are. While we’re embarrassing […]

  736. Angel,

    At FRA I have been questioned about my travel more than once. Looking at my Passport at the gate asking me why I am flying to Incheon via Philadelphia, FRA and HKG, etc. Looking at more of my passport, asking about work, family, etc.

    It is a better system.

    Happy Flying!


  737. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    -Ben Franklin

  738. […] In late October 2010, the TSA again changed policy. The AIT remained optional, but the standard pat-down was replaced with a more thorough enhanced pat-down. And if a person opts out, the TSA agent shouts, “Opt Out! Opt Out!” The point of this is to put additional pressure on people to use the AIT instead of getting the enhanced pat-down. After all, the TSA agents don’t really like the enhanced pat-down either. (For first-hand accounts of TSA agents, look here.) […]

  739. I’ve been flying on average one round trip per month for the past three years. My experience with TSA inspectors is that they are typically rude, overbearing, unprofessional and lack the necessary training and accountability for their roles. Occasionally, they may act semi-courteous to passengers, but not often.

    High turnover and relatively low pay of TSOs may be part of the cause of a lack of training and professionalism. We can blame the Bush administration and Republicans for TSA not being part of a union with collective bargining rights when it was first established (remember former senator Max Clellan?). However, that is not the problem of passengers attempting to use an airline for travel.

    Most business travelers don’t really want to be leaving their family for the “pleasure” of spending some amount of days in a ratty hotel in a strange city probably dealing with people they don’t necessarily like. They do it because it pays the rent. If they think they can get a better job by not traveling so often, they’d take it. As a navy veteran who did serve our country honorably for 22+ years, I suggest TSOs consider changing jobs if they can’t handle their duties.

    Bottom line: The risk of an airplane crashing due to maintenance (caused by airlines cutting corners) or FAA controller mistakes is far greater that from terrorist attacks. In fact, the last three airline terrorist attempts were not thwarted by TSA agents. This new grope-or-porn policy has to go away.

  740. […] Are Just Doing Their Job! TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View – Flying With Fish This demonization of TSA employees and the government is disgusting IMHO. These people are just […]

  741. If someone actually REALLY cared to, read the 4th Amendment, part of our Bill of Rights,
    FOURTH AMENDMENT [U.S. Constitution]
    ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’

    This is definitely NOT PROBABLE CAUSE, and should not constitute a warranted search for hidden weapon search, for none of us are known felons to the TSA because they have no wanted poster in their possession at the departure gates. They are profiling the wrong people since 09/11/2001 and they know it.
    I wonder if Janet Napolitano undergoes the same searches as Joe the Plumber does when he flies? I for one would LOVE to see her on CBS UNDERCOVER BOSS as a TSA agent at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport or JFK International one Sunday evening just for laughs “touching some junk”!

  742. At Gj,

    None of us are opposing these measures in an attempt to maintain privacy over security. The fact remains that these scanners and pat-downs do not protect us. I believe an Israeli has already proven that by smuggling enough explosive through one of these machines (this did not occur in the U.S.) to take down a 747. These machines and pat down methods would not have caught the “underwear bomber” – even if he would have been chosen for a secondary search with these new methods, he and his powder explosive would have traveled right through. We don’t know the risks associated with the scanners, the pat-downs are a gross violation of our 4th amendment rights and neither are effective. Neither method has the ability to detect liquid, powder or plastic explosives. It’s awful for those of us who just want to get from point a to point b and still allows terrorists to get on the plane with the necessary ammo to take the plane down. Unless some extremest plans to take down a plane with tweezers or nail clippers, I don’t think the TSA has managed to stop any major threats. This new process adds nothing but outrageous expense to taxpayers and heartache for the entry level TSA employees and travelers alike.

  743. The government should just do away with the TSA and see how long it takes for a plane to go down in the United States.

    Then we’ll see how much we truly missed our pat downs and body scanners. What if it was your husband/wife/child on the plane that went down?

  744. FedUp
    November 24th, 2010 at 3:05 pm
    The government should just do away with the TSA and see how long it takes for a plane to go down in the United States.
    Then we’ll see how much we truly missed our pat downs and body scanners. What if it was your husband/wife/child on the plane that went down?

    So Mr./Mrs. FedUp if you’re so worried that if TSA were gone tomorrow a plane would go down instantly, how many terrorists has TSA caught in the US since they were created? I won’t hold my breath for an answer.

    Two things certain in life death and taxes. People die. Yeah, it is tragic, but it happens. If I lost a family member to a terrorist attack, I’d be pissed, but I’d never say violating American’s rights to create a “safe” atmosphere is the solution. If I was offered a choice between unscreened flights, and TSA screened flights, my choice would be unscreened everytime.

  745. TSA backs down- reports coming into http://www.drudgereport.com shows that TSA did not operate scanners today-TSA psychological operations at full force. The TSO’s are still scum bags.

    TSA is feeding news organizations info stating that there are no “opt outs”. There were plenty-the people didnt fly AND you cant opt out from a scan if they are not doing them.

    The TSA scum bags are running for cover. and once the new congress is sworn in, there is no where to hide!

    I would fly a unchecked plane any day-no TSA TSO services needed here!

  746. […] are they necessarily happy about their part in the new procedures: I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this […]

  747. […] It seems that the morale at the TSA is falling, because the poor dipshits in blue polyester don’t like it when we call them nasty names. (source) […]

  748. Comment 4. Adressess the main article.
    Ccomment 622. Makes a valid point.

  749. a screeer charged with sexual battery will be a sexual offender for life. Don’t think because you are a government employee that the judge will let you off the hook. Many police officers have been convicted. “Just doin’ my job” won’t cut it in court.

  750. I agree with the many people here who have no sympathy for the TSO workers. If you don’t want to do a job, then don’t. There are lots of other jobs available. Maybe you’ll get half a dollar less a moth, but so what? At least you’re not a criminal and sexually harassing other people, and YES, to me these people are no less than criminals. It’s like a paradise for pedophiles and perverse pigs. And they are even paid well to do it. There has got to be something wrong with this.

    I do not understand why so many people tolerate these scanners or “enhanced pat downs” and do not do more against them. The TSA claim they do not store your scanned picture on some weird extra server, true, but who says that’s the truth? There’s probably some weird government office, that collects them and adds them to our growing file of personal information for one reason or another. Sure, the pictures hide the identity of a person, but is that the final picture they have of you or is it the one they show to the public? (Call me paranoid, but if you really believe your picture is going to be wiped as soon as the person behind you steps in front of the scanner, then you’re very naive.)

    Take some action! Write to the senators, let everyone in your family write a new email or letter to them, encourage your co-workers, your friends, everyone you know, to do the same. If enough people do that they can’t ignore it. But as I see it, most people are perfectly ok with these procedures. Yes, they find them uncomfortable, but they truly seem to believe that they are safer because of them. I cannot understand how someone can happily give in to this humiliation and not protest while you, your old parents and your children are subjected to this.

    You cannot prevent terrorism. Better security can be achieved otherwise. If the terrorist is not at the airport, he can go to a train station, to a marketplace, hell, everywhere else. Or he could just walk into the airport with a suicide bomb under his jacket that he unlaunches as soon as he is in a crowded area. There will always be a way around security. So, what is next? Should we put those scanners and gropers next to the train station as well? Or maybe the bank, too? What about schools. You never know, that 6 year old kid next door looked awfully criminal. Maybe he’s planning on bombing the school. Let’s all serve the country and search them, too. Or maybe we should all just forgo the clothes and walk around naked all the time. Then we’ll all be safe!

    The airport is just the beginning. If something isn’t done now, then we’ll find those “security system” installed in many more places. Maybe it will take 20 years, maybe 30, but they will increase if we do not stop them now.

  751. response to allan schneiderman’s posting

    The Israeli’s at Ben Gurion, the Dutch at Schiphol, the Germans at Frankfurt airport, they ALL DO INTERVIEWS to whoever flies internationally. YES profiling is better that getting groped and humiliated.
    Fucking Obama is listening to his dad’s advise and ruining this what used to be a great country, run in it the ground adn only this way makes things good for those who suffered under us… WHAT THE FUCK!!!
    When are we opening our eyes and vote him out…. he isn’t fit to be president. NOT in my eyes.
    He’s playing right in the hands of the companies who make the VERY EXPENSIVE scanners, adn those who invest in those companies.
    Ever heard of George Funcking Soros????

  752. While working as a police officer and in corrections, I’ve had occasion to be required to “pat down” individuals who were either accused or or convicted of crimes. With all the information currently available about me on some computer someplace, there is not excuse for me to be treated like a criminal. They have no probable cause for such a search, none. Yet they make it a condition of traveling. There is no comparable method available to the majority of travelers. They have no choice but to submit to whatever mauling or dosing of radiation the TSA insists on.

    Raise merry old hell with your elected “representatives”, and be polite to TSA workers, but make it clear you do NOT like their “following orders” in any way.

    I would suggest also contacting an attorney, or search for one who is collecting names to take a class action suit against the airlines, TSA, and anyone else involved in this debacle to stop it.

  753. One more mad American

    Don’t like the policy that your employer implemented? Quit. Find another job. Or maybe stand up and refuse to abide by unconstitutional procedures. You want me to feel bad for you? Too bad. This is a free country, and you are free to seek whatever form of employment you choose. You chose the job, you choose every day to stay at that job, therefore, you are making a willful decision to continue to molest innocent American citizens every single day.

    You choose to continue to serve in a capacity that requires you to molest people every single day. No one is forcing you to work for the TSA. Either suck it up and shut up, or go find another job.

    I’m just waiting for somebody to completely lose it during one of these assaults and hurt the TSA agent that is molesting them. Mark my words, it is not a matter of if it will happen, it is when.

  754. Nazi comparisons always pop up for GOOD reason. They help you consider the fundamental principles well before such outrageous extremes are reached. They are NOT the same as equating TSA employees with Nazis.

    There is a fundamental irony with the complaints that they HAVE to do this because it is their job, but we have a CHOICE not to fly- especially considering people have been told they no longer have a choice AFTER the consequences are sprung on them.

    If my boss instituted such an egregiously illegal policy, I would refuse to comply. I admit It might take me a while to come to such conclusion. It is a serious matter requiring serious soul searching.

    If it were strictly a matter of personal choice, I too would be willing to strip naked in an unrecorded private room with appropriate supervision over being groped or scanned naked images taken of me. The reason I cannot submit to this either is the Nazi analogy. I will not just go along. I will NOT condone what they are doing to travelers. Just being a good citizen and accepting illegal government actions puts even more undue pressure on victims.

  755. TSA – not always bad

  756. Why is it that a military background, either previous or present, is seen as a trump card when arguing national security/policy?
    Yes, by serving in the military, you have served your country more than most. Perhaps even put yourself in harm’s way. But that does not mean your vote counts any more than someone who did not. Would a Vietnam-era conscientious objector therefore not have a say in such matters? are his constitutional rights stripped?

  757. Seriously, why hasn’t this been brought to a court of law? It is clearly unconstitutional. These protests are a waste of time. This needs to be brought before the Supreme Court as a civil rights issue. There is no way that they can justify invasive pat-downs of people simply because they bought a plane ticket (or else go through a radiating scanner). Sorry, I do not trust that the scanners are completely safe, and I shouldn’t have to choose between that and a ridiculous pat down anyway. Constitutional rights are not conditional!!!

    So, what has to be done to get the court involved here? We need a law that says things like this are not appropriate in America.

  758. TSA employees should all go on strike until they have reversed the decision to allow the polygamous union of the military industrial complex with the high tech and private security industries to take over the airline industry. The fledgling billion dollar scanner industry that started this fiasco needs to be put back into the medical realm. To know what this is all about, one needs to follow that money trail.

  759. If I decide that my profession is to pick up dog shit, I really can’t complain about the smell. I used to have a job that I stopped liking. So I got a new job.

  760. For those of you making the “they chose this job” argument-these TSA agents probably signed up way before this kind of thing started up. Don’t blame the TSA agents for crappy security measures. They can’t do anything to change that.

  761. So many of these responses are painful to read. I will make this very precise. The TSO’s are doing their job. Not everyone get’s to work in their dream profession. Money is required to survive. To say they should be held responsible because they ‘choose’ to be involved with TSA is extremely narrow minded.

    Note to whoever wrote about train station workers being responsible for Nazi actions, just shake your head. If that were the logical response, then 99.9% of the German population should also feel responsible for the atrocities that occurred under Nazi leadership. THIS IS A JOB, THEY MAKE MONEY, THEY GO HOME, THEY FEED THEIR FAMILIES! Ignorance is tolerable, hateful rhetoric is not. Please unplug your computer and save us all from your terrible influence.

  762. If someone refuses to go through the scanner, then they face a patdown. How hard is it to understand? If you object to both methods, or the security theatre thing overall, then don’t fucking fly until your objections are heard and the situation is resolved. It’s as simple as that. Call it injustice if you want, but that’s the way the country is just now, so by all means fight it but shut the fuck up if you have to fly while doing so.

    Being rude to guys who are quite fucking clearly just doing a job just because you don’t want to suffer a 30-second patdown is downright retarded.

    At the end of the day what makes the biggest impact – you having your inner thighs grazed for a few seconds by one stranger in gloves or the hateful remarks that that stranger hears from 100 ignorant prick passengers a day?

  763. […] Airport to opt out of TSA screening Are airport X-ray scanners harmful? Body and Vehicle Scanners TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View The Hidden Costs of Extra Airport Security No Security Pat-Downs for Boehner TSA to exempt pilots […]

  764. sounds like a bunch of crying babies!!

  765. Today, I am thankful for the fact that these TSA goons have to sit down and eat turkey with their parents, and explain to their “Oh So Proud” parents what they do for a living.

  766. Tim Reasonable Idiots, one more time:

    If I decide that my profession is to pick up dog shit, I really can’t complain about the smell. I used to have a job that I stopped liking. So I got a new job.

    You rocket scientists really don’t get it, do you? But then, the sheep never really DO get it, even when the wolf is sniffing their behinds….

  767. So how much choice does one have in who does the pat down? If it’s supposed to be opposite sex, who does the procedure when the passenger is gay? Bisexual? Hermaphrodite?

    On the other hand (other than Hawaii – you guys are screwed), if you need to fly to anywhere not in the US, drive on up to Canada, then fly out of here. Our government has quite clearly stated that they will NOT be implementing the same style of pat downs as in the US.

    And yes, I travel to the US on business frequently – will be doing so several times over the next few months. But I won’t be flying there by choice for vacations. If I need to, I’ll either drive, or fly to Mexico, and drive back that way. Net impact to the US economy? perhaps 10-15K$ per year that will be spent elsewhere. Multiply that by the thousands of people who will also “Opt Out” of flying to the US…

  768. i knew you didn’t have to go to college to be hired by TSA.

  769. This article would be sobering if the people surveyed had been randomly chosen and had no motivation to ask for sympathy. Of *course* those who decided to respond said they loathe the new procedures and their role in enforcing them. Who in his right mind would answer saying oh yeah I really dig my job because I get to slip my hand up a hot chick’s leg every half-hour or so.

    Every line of work has both nice guys and scumbags. If a given job gets stereotyped as unprofessional or abusive, it’s because a LOT of those who hold that job have misbehaved. TSOs were regarded poorly long before this recent uproar because, for nearly a decade, a LOT of them were inexplicably rude to passengers, and that problem was never adequately addressed. So now it’s not a neutral hand touching your thigh; it’s the hand of someone already perceived as unfriendly or nasty or otherwise repellent.

    If TSOs had acted more professionally since 2001, they’d have more sympathy from the traveling public now. I’m not saying there’d be less of a protest, but the protest would be aimed higher, as it deserves to be.

  770. This post makes it 100% more likely that I will “verbally abuse” the next TSA mall cop who puts me through “enhanced security”…the idea of making one of these failures snap or quit or have a breakdown is very motivating.

  771. Perverts, molesters and bullies on a power trip. TSA workers hould show solidarity with real americans and walk off the job.

    Nazis were “just following orders” too. I have no sympathy for these people. Abuse them until they cry. Dismantle the whole rotten edifice.

  772. I think it is a gross and disgusting invasion of privacy. And worse still is that it is conducted in full view of anyone nearby whether airport staff or members of the public coming and going. I witnessed this on a recent trip to the US and although the pat down procedure then was not those being talked about here they were bad enough and I felt for the people I witnessed being subjected to this.

    In this day and age with the electronic resources that are available there are better options available, even specially trained dogs. I’m sure most people would rather be sniffed by a dog than subjected to an intimate pat down by a TSO. It would be bad enough for a man but I especially feel sorry for women being subjected to this. How demeaning and degrading.

    I understand the need for security however I believe that before such procedures are imposed on anyone there has to be reasonable suspicion of hidden contraband or other illegal items and that has to be established by non invasive means in the first instance.

    Then and only then should any personal body search or pat down be carried out and only in the privacy of an airport security room, not in full view of everyone. And even then I believe the passenger being searched should have the right to have an independent witmess present if they wish.

    As for TSO’s if they don’t like having to carry out the procedures they should get together and refuse to. Solidarity in numbers.

  773. And further, I would liketo know the following:-

    Does a passenger have the right to refuse a pat down?
    If not can they refuse to be patted down in public?
    What are the consequences of refusal, simply not being allowed to fly or being charged with an offence?
    And if a person can be charged for refusing would they possibly face jail time?
    Is a person allowed a phone call to seek advice?

  774. If you think what you do is wrong, stop doing it. If you think it’s just unpleasant, suck it up.

  775. If you don’t like what you do, quit your job, but don’t run around whining, telling everybody you’re serving your country by grabbing at other people’s dicks.

  776. Pretty bored of reading this now.

    The ratio of anger to sense must be 10 to 1. Either for or against.

    And the anger is almost always without direction and is a disorganised spurt of venom at the next thing to come along, this time it just happened to be either:
    A)the TSA and their new measure.
    B)other people on here, for OR against A)


    Check ya later.

  777. I think that this is ridiculous.

    Remember in school when kids were told “now, if ANYONE touches you here – or here – or here – tell an adult”?

    Remember when it was announced (in certain areas at least) that urinating in public, regardless of whether you are in plain view or not (say, behind a bush, or fence) would make you a SEX OFFENDER?

    Remember when it was considered all-too-proper to pop someone in the mouth for touching your genital areas without permission?

    What happened? Oh, that’s right. The American People happened – or, happened to be turned into bleating, fearful serfs that don’t care about their rights, their liberties, their Constitution or Amendments (which this clearly violates the given rights of, Amendment 4) – all they care about is getting that car that costs too much, rooting for their favorite sports team (which is a purposely designed “tribal” activity, meant to give the men something to relate to and belong to while other things were taken away – like jobs), eating, and watching TV. Oh, don’t forget, HURR I HAEV TO CHECK MY FACEBOOK

    You make me sick, all of you that are for this kind of abhorrent human rights violation, all of you that are for the government illegally irradiating us, all of you that are for these TSA goons molesting us – YES, _MOLESTING_ us – I have never flown, and I ESPECIALLY will never fly with these sorts of things going on. I can only hope that people will wake up and realize what is going on – they are slowly stripping all of our rights. All of our freedoms, all of our dignity – and this is one of the first steps, to see if it’ll fly right, to see if they can ease it on us – well, they’re doing a damned good job of it so far, and will continue to do so UNLESS WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    Get informed. Infowars.com, Infowars.net – listen to the free radio stream, watch the free movies on Google/Youtube – mainly “Police State 4: The Rise of FEMA” and “Fall of the Republic”.

    People, this is no joke, and TSA goons working for the slavemasters and saying “Oh, well I’m just following orders” – yes, this IS likened to Nazism, for a few good reasons, but I’m not going to waste time explaining why, as there will be people on here that are butthurt and not willing to listen (OR do the research that shows and proves that this IS a thing of truth) – you DO need to get a different job, or you are just contributing to a world gone mad, a government that is trying to FUCK us – and it gets bigger than just OUR government. Again, Infowars.com, Infowars.net – “Fall of the Republic” and “Police State 4: Rise of FEMA”.

    People, I’m taking a very big risk by putting this information out, and you KNOW what I’m talking about – but if anything happens to me, I don’t want it to be in vain. Please, if you care at all about this nation, about our people, and about our rights, about the very FUTURE itself, PLEASE get informed, PLEASE know your rights, your Amendments, your Constitution.

    By the way: Not that it matters a whole lot, but for those of you who will cry “there aren’t any jobs” or “real easy for you to say” – I worked at McDonald’s for about two years (in before haters/ignorant motherfuckers who want to talk shit about that point) – and I STOPPED working there after watching “Super Size Me”. After watching “Food INC.” – after learning just how horrible this shit IS for you, and how McDonald’s rapes the rainforests, rapes their workers (trust me I know) – I did NOT stand for it anymore, nor do I support them. And guess what? I went out, and got a BETTER job within three months. It’s called gumption. It’s called want for action. It’s called standing up for yourself, and doing what you believe is right. So stop FUCKING crying, get out of the flock, and get a real job – not one that involves taking the rights from fellow Americans and harassing/MOLESTING them. (Unwanted sexual advances = molestation, sorry, that’s all there is to it.) As one poster on here put it, cleaning toilets would be a better way to “serve your country” than it is to go around grabbing tits and dicks all day.

    Be a better person. Not only for yourself, but for others, too. For America.
    Get off the brain-drain television, get off the fast food, get off the antidepressants, and GET MAD. REALIZE THAT YOU ARE BEING REDUCED TO SLAVES.

    Not playing couch politician, not allowing the TSA to do whatever it wants to you, or any other “gov’t” linked/related agency for that matter – not allowing your “inalienable rights” to be alienated is the point of this whole deal. Infowars.com, infowars.net, “Fall of the Republic”, “Police State 4: Rise of FEMA” – for your own good and the good of your people. I know I sound like a broken record here, but please, I beg of you, if you have any pride in your country, any concern for your rights and the rights and freedoms of your children, family, whomever – PLEASE. GET. INFORMED. It’s much, MUCH bigger than just naked body scanners and invasive, HARASSING, should-be-considered-MOLESTATION pat-downs (grope-downs).

  778. […] this new screening? Remember – the front line gets crap pay and crap taining: Boing Boing Flying with Fish TSA Tipping Point ONTD NOW talks about male […]

  779. The reason some of these people are called “nazis” I think is because they are just “following orders”. Well when public policy VIOLATES US Code in the Constitution for inflated fears and we the people do not see a mass exodus of employees from an agency that is of the government, of whose employees took an oath to protect the Constitution, they are no longer honorably serving the country or the people. In fact they are also guided by the fear of terror, and of financial Insecurity. Job security is probably today the biggest fear factor in our society. It is unfortunate, they should read the Constitution, understand what they are violating, and how, and resign. People like me will continue to object and protest until the State backs down. The people are better defenders of liberty than these agencies whose engagement with is an involuntary requirement if we wish to fly.

  780. And let’s not forget how Michael Chertoff is profiting from these naked body scanners and new policies. Keep your eyes on the ball people, the profit motive destroys our rights, but the free market is not the culprit. What Chertoff is doing is not the free market, only fascism, the mix of government and business. These two must always ALWAYS be separate. We are merely pawns debating the violations caused by people like Chertoff’s motive to profit, these distractions take us away from the real controllers. It’s not about security, or public safety, it’s about profit. The cost of his profit is our rights, this is what we should really be focused on, not is our security worth our rights, the answer to that for those who are not well versed in American philosophy is NO!

  781. To the guy who says he’s a lawyer in comment number 19. I’d love to get your name and place of business so I never hire you. You are consenting to search and seizure genius. They ask you prior to the search if you’ll volunteer to it. That person gives up their 4th amendment right in doing so. Go ahead and tear up your law degree… it’s useless in your hands

  782. So I’m supposed to meekly and quietly allow these people to violate my fourth amendment rights just because I’m supposed to feel sorry for their plight?

    I don’t think so.

    “I was just following orders” hasn’t been a viable defense since the Nuremburg trials.

  783. The-Nazi-Comparison

    Jason November 18th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    TSA agent: “Do people know what a Nazi is?”

    German citizen in the early 1940s: “I’m not doing anything terrible. I’m just working at a train station where they’re loading passengers on these trains, bound for who knows where. I don’t hate them. I’m just doing my job. If I don’t do it, I could get in trouble. I have a family to feed. I’m serving my country.”

    “I’m just following orders” is not a defense for being complicit in violating the rights of your fellow human beings.

    flyingfish November 18th, 2010 at 6:14 pm


    Nazis rounded people up and exterminated them. The TSA, for all its faults, is not killing people nor attempting to commit genocide. The comparison between Nazis and the TSA is a stretch that people make just for shock value.

    Happy Flying!



    I think you are not getting the point here. No comparison is perfect, yet I couldn’t agree more, with Jason’s comment. I grew up and lived under a Communist regime. Some of my relatives were executed by Hitler’s soldiers or died in ghettos during WW2, just because they were Jewish. Neither system (Hitler’s or the Soviet one) would’ve been possible if not for the compliance of the masses. Not all Germans were Nazis. Not all Soviet citizens liked the system. But most of us complied with the everyday routine, and not necessarily out of fear of executions or labor camps. No, most of the time it was because we wanted a better job, a chance to get college education, get a better apartment, etc. You know, not rocking the boat, because we had a family to feed, etc. Just like the TSA employees…

    But then where do you draw the line? Where does “I am just doing my job” becomes being part of a horrible, oppressive mechanism that will gradually strip you of most essential freedoms and dignity… while giving no benefit whatsoever to your country, in spite of the government claiming otherwise?

  784. And further, I would liketo know the following:-

    Does a passenger have the right to refuse a pat down?
    If not can they refuse to be patted down in public?
    What are the consequences of refusal, simply not being allowed to fly or being charged with an offence?
    And if a person can be charged for refusing would they possibly face jail time?
    Is a person allowed a phone call to seek advice?

  785. […] As anyone who has watched the news during the past week knows, the TSA has implemented new search procedures. Of these methods, the AIT machines (which come in two flavors) and the enhanced pat down, have been causing a great deal of controversy. […]

  786. To Poste 645 (Lauren): You said:

    >Flying is a privilege, not a right.

    >If you don’t like the new security measures, get on a bus, train, boat or drive yourself.

    >I am so sick of everyone claiming their “civil liberties” are being violated. Nowhere in the constitution does it read “right to airplane travel.”

    >I, for one, am happy with the new security measures because I would like to arrive at my destination in one piece.
    Flying is not a right or a privilege. It’s a contract of service the consumer makes with the air carrier.

    And it’s also a necessity for the most part because there are no viable alternatives to air travel in this country. We Americans don’t want to put tax money into high speed rail and now we don’t want to spend the money to fix up our crumbling intrastructure either.

    How about if you are so scared of terrorists blowing your plane that you are willing to submit to being a criminal, then maybe it’s you that should not be flying.

    If our intelligence community does the job that we spends billons of dollars on in the first place, then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this position where
    TSOs are being made the first, instead of the last line of defense.

    I’m sick of people who are sick of people who don’t want this country turned into a police state.

  787. […] • Some T.S.A. officers are taking advantage of their positions and abusing their power. (Apparently, not all TSA agents hate this work.) […]

  788. Jason,
    clear up there at the top, you took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you.

  789. I keep reading here about the “violation of the 4th Amendment”. If this was true, we’d be seeing lawsuits by now. Where are they? There is no violation or we’d be reading about them.

  790. If someone is going to invade my privacy, then I want the invader to *feel* like they’re invading my privacy. “Less intrusive” screening, my ass. Does *anyone* think that the poor bored bastards watching the backscatter screens feel like they’re invading our privacy? Especially while they giggle at what they see?

  791. Quote: “I don’t see why all of you feel you need to be such jackasses, if you don’t want to be “molested”, go through the body scan like 99% of people. If you are too much of an idiot to go through that you can still kayak across the Pacific or drive across the country. Flying is a privilege, not a right, so it is no surprise you have to give up some rights. The TSA needs to drop the whole “opt out” option and make the body scan required, it’s safer, cheaper, easier, and people don’t whine about being consensually “molested”.”

    Right on the money. Don’t want to be manhandled? Use the scanner. Yeah someone might laugh, but you’ll never see them, and your precious person won’t be touched. Considering what happened 9/11? Be grateful we still have an aviation industry or any other travel industries at all.

    My sympathies are also with the TSO’s who have to frisk the morbidly obese. I don’t even like to LOOK at them, nevermind have to touch them. ICK!!! Those people should be FORCED to use the scanners, to prevent trauma to the TSOs.

    And yes, TSOs ARE serving their country, it’s just that their country has its collective head up its collective ass. If you don’t want to “pay” the price for flying, there’s always the big gray dog, and I don’t think Greyhound frisks you before boarding.

    If we’re going to try to prevent terrorists/lunatics (same diff) from crashing more planes, stern measures must be taken. We can’t keep living in the bubble that made 9/11 a) possible, and b) so utterly shocking.

  792. If those poor TSA emloyees don’t like touching other people’s genitals, sexually harassing/assaulting passengers, then they can quit.

    Once no one in the US is willing to assault their fellow citizens, the TSA will be forced to change.

    I call on every American to call-out and harass ANY PERSON they know who works for the TSA. You see someone wearing a TSA uniform – verbally embarass them. Let the whole world know that the TSA cannot intimidate passengers without some repercussions.

  793. After talking to a number of TSO’s myself and making them feel comforable talking with me by joking around and just generaly being nice to them they willing admited to me the reason for the new pat downs were designed to make people feel so uncomfortable that they would go through the machines

  794. To all those people who think that the TSO’s who don’t like doing the searches should just quit, are you all going to start a fund to help support them until they can finda new job? If they quit they dont’ get unemployment. And never mind the fact that they were almost all hired before this policy came out. so it’s not like they decided to take the job so they could go feel people up. Of course if they all quit then the TSA can hire people who do want to feel people up. I feel much better now!

    As for whether the enhanced pat downs are a violation of your rights, it certainly seems so on the surface, but ultimately a court will have to decide that.

  795. If the TSO’s are likened to the “just following orders” low level Nazi’s then I would propose we look at the vast population who know something is wrong but are willing to hand over their freedoms. Think about all the concentration camp victims who quietly stood in lines waiting to board trains. They gave into the bullies.

    People need to stand up to this raping of our rights. We are cowards. Those who fought for our freedoms should be disgusted with the majority of Americans. Those who are veterans and now work for the TSA are hypocrites.

    I am ashamed of what we’re becoming.

  796. This article, and the comments afterward, have made the choice very easy for me. Neither I, nor anyone in my family will fly, for business or pleasure, until these procedures are abolished. I have refused other ‘requirements’ from a past employer that would have required me to sign over limited power of attorney to the state, for a 2-year period. I refused, and was told that my options for advancement were effectively gone. They could do this, as they were a ‘sovereign’ entity, that could get away with this.

    I stood my ground and, as soon as I could manage, found another job. I will do the same to my current, or any future employer, that would choose to ignore my ‘CONSTITUTIONAL’ rights, in favor of furthering their own immoral agenda. I CAN and WILL find another job, if it ever came to that. Let the government support me with unemployment, food stamps, and any other freebie I can siphon from them. It would serve them right for wasting my hard-earned tax dollars on this travesty called the TSA, that serves NO purpose, catches NO terrorists, and is staffed by people willingly violating my constitutional rights.

    Let the ultra-conservative ignorant right call me traitor, unpatriotic, or anything else they want. I believe that to NOT stand up for the rights we have, as citizens of this great country, is more traitorous still.

    Remember the old story, ‘When they came for the Jews, I said nothing because I wasn’t Jewish. When they came for the Catholics, I said nothing because I wasn’t Catholic. When they came for me, there was no one left to say anything.’

    Benn Franklin was correct, ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’

    I will NOT give up my rights, nor sit quietly by and be bullied by ignorant buffoons who don’t care about anyone or anything, until it impacts their own personal rose-tinted world.

    And if I need to look for another job to avoid this Nazi, wow there’s THAT comparison again…I wonder why…, treatment, then why should I feel ANY sympathy for those TSOs who are SO bothered and traumatized by the immoral, perverse, and molestation-style treatment that they inflict on the populace that has done NOTHING to warrant it? The ‘I was doing my job’, or ‘I was just following orders’ excuses don’t hold any water.

    So no, My family will not be flying anytime soon. Vacations will be local, and none of my money will be spent on those resorts or airlines who allow the TSA to continue these tactics. We should all do this. It is doable. None of us are REALLY bound to fly by employment. Those who claim to be, are just a little more interested in protecting their lifestyle, than they are in protecting their civil liberties. Sacrificing a little in the paycheck to help sleep better at night? Yep. I would, most definitely…

  797. “I was just doing my job” “I was just following orders”…… Verbatim from the Nuremberg trials.

    Puppets of the dictators always say the same lines.

  798. […] As anyone who has watched the news during the past week knows, the TSA has implemented new search procedures. Of these methods, the AIT machines (which come intwo flavors) and the enhanced pat down have been causing a great deal of controversy. […]

  799. Your discomfort is irrelevant. You are playing a dubious role in a larger system. Your defense sounds like the Good German defense… “I am just following orders.” It’s the same tactic the government uses to “defend” soldiers illegal murdering Iraq and Afghanistan.