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!

Pingbacks

  1. […] TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View In all the hoopla surrounding pat-downs and body scanners, no one has heard from the average TSA employee, the one who has their hands between your breasts or on your thighs. They are getting yelled at by irate passengers while they have to get up close and personal with dozens of people a day. Here are their stories. […]

Comments

  1. 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.

  2. I am a retired disabled veteran and I want to be counted as one opposed to this type of screening people at the airports. I believe it goes beyond security. This is another way for the government to exert mass control over its people. Anyone who allows himself/herself to be pat down or better yet, have their bodies touched by strangers in public or in private at the airports has no dignity, no self respect. Under the constitution of the USA, people have to fight for their rights. About five years ago, I was pulled over four times within a three week period and scanned with the wan in St Louis, MO and in La Guardia Field in NY and I protested heavily. It almost landed me in jail. This is abuse on the American people and it should be stopped. The government has to find a better way.

  3. It’s just like cops, get enough bad ones and people will start to see them as all bad. It’s your choice if you want to stick around enforcing policies that you know are bad.

    But more disturbing is not the TSA agents that actually enforce the policies and procedures, it’s the ones that go above and beyond to be absolute pricks to passengers and outright violate the TSA policies that they’re supposed to be acting on. Taking kids away from parents, making handicapped children give up their wheelchairs and crutches, and harassing breast-feeding moms over breast milk. Policies are in place to properly handle these people, but the “I’ve got the power!” TSA agents feel they need to go above and beyond those policies to ensure the passenger’s day is really screwed.

    I’m sure there are some good TSA agents, I’ve met some really nice and helpful ones, but the rest of them make the whole bunch out to be power-hungry, egotistical, pricks.

  4. I couldn’t get past the second paragraph of this….
    “but what I didn’t expect was that all 17 mentioned their morale being broken down.”

    If your boss, assuming you have one, came to you and said “Flyingfish, starting tomorrow, aside from writing for us here at boardingarea.com, we are going to require you to touch peoples private parts against their will” do you think your morale might be affected?

  5. Most of you sound like a bunch of whiney, “ugly americans”. Amazing how many experts at interpreting the constitution visit this site. So you have to tolerate a search to get on a plane, what an outrage. I agree that other countries are probably laughing at us, but not because we do airport searches. Rather, because we throw such a fit about such trivial things. Go live in a third world country for awhile, then you will gain a better perspective for identifying real problems.

    For those of you claiming that TSA has never prevented a terrorist act, you would have no way of knowing that. I know you consider yourselves experts on everything, but you couldn’t possibly know the intent of each person who has had an item confiscated from TSA. Not to mention the deterrent effect of having security procedures has likely prevented several attacks.

    Having said that, I would love to model our security policies after the security procedures in Israel. The problem is, the same people complaining about the searches will find a new reason to be outraged. This time, you will accuse the government of profiling. Should the government just do nothing and leave us vulnerable? You chronic complainers make it a no win situation.

  6. Is everyone insane? First of all if you don’t want to be patted down go through the damn unharmful scanner. Secondly the numbers of people asked to be scanned is very very small. Thirdly if you had been in New York on that day in September you would strip naked at every airport. I would gladly go through all this rather than die at 30,000 feet. Oh yeah lose weight folks and maybe you won’t object to any of this.

  7. For all of those who have made a comment suggesting that the TSOs find a new line of work if they feel so strongly against performing these new policies, I am going to assume that you work at a gas station.
    It must be nice to have the luxury to quit whenever you get fed up, and simply walk across the street and pick up a new job at a different gas station.

    I had not considered these policies from the point of view of the people performing them, and I am glad I came across this article. Although I like to imagine that I will wait until these policies are repealed before I fly again, I will take the TSOs’ opinions and feelings into account if I find myself at an airport before then.

  8. People have no choice but to protest at the frontlines. No other effective avenues of complaint are open to them. If TSA employee morale is breaking down, great! AS the employees become demoralized and quit, policies will be changed.

  9. US turned paranoid !
    Have balls, stop flying for some days, & look at the result !
    Everything should turn OK !

  10. Hi, umm…I am twelve in 7 days and I am worried about me having to do this. I am just flying out to see my best friend in California after Christmas. What can I do that would help me be less likely to have to go through this? Thanks you so much!

  11. I like the fact that these people are uncomfortable and demoralized. It amazes me that they all admitted being cognisant of the fact that the pat downs were invasive which suggests they knew they were violating anothers civil rights. Could it be that it is not so much the outcry from fliers but their own moral compasses playing havock on their emotions?

  12. Here’s the general fix in two parts for both TSA workers and passengers.

    Passenger (upon receipt of pat down): Ma’am/Sir I would like to convey to you my displeasure at this new policy forcing you to commit an uncomfortable action. Please call immediately/relay this message to your superiors so that you we both may return to a civilized screening procedure that brings no mental anguish to either parties.

    TSA agent: Ma’am/Sir, I am aware that this is an uncomfortable situation for yourself. Please understand that I am equally disheartened by this procedure and am relaying both my concerns and the concerns of passengers to my superiors. I wish you good travels and await heartily the day when our operating procedures return to an acceptable method of screening.

    In addition, the public and TSA members should circulate a petition (handed to regional and national administrators) to revisit the methodology. Strikes and boycotts should be a second or third to last resort.

    Your welcome. Oh, and don’t try “screaming like a 3 year old” if you tango with the cops. They’ll just mash your nuts and rape your face.

  13. Just because someone is ordered to do something that is wrong immoral or unethical by someone higher up than they are is no excuse.That excuse doesn’t work for war criminals why should it excuse these people knowingly violating their fellow Americans civil rights.As for the Vet i dont understand why this man hasn’t left that career in disgust considering the TSA is a mockery of what he fought for…

    Tater

  14. Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    Benjamin Franklin

    it would seem our forefathers might have had and opinion on this as well….

    Tater

  15. First of all, I do not feel sorry for the TSO’s as much as I feel sorry for the American public. TSO should not use “It’s my job” as an excuse to molest people and sexually assault them….they do it because they are comfortable with their job, otherwise they would be on strike until something gets done.

    Second, the Congress does not have the power to dismiss the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, and the public will, sooner or later, respond to this infringement of our civil right and invasion of our privacy.

    How can one differentiate between governmental molestation and private molestation- the laws do not specify nor do they approve such differentiation. More of, TSOs and TSA agents are not immune from the general laws, and I feel a lot of law suits coming, even though suing the Government in times like this would probably not be considered ethical by some people.

    Just so everybody is aware, I read on the Internet that both screening devices (x-ray and high radio wave) are extremely dangerous to your health and people should not even be near them when used.

    Good luck in changing something….

  16. “Serving my country” … you are not serving your country, you are serving your government; you are a lackey who turns a blind eye to the constitution and the people it was set up to protect (including those ignorant of its designs).

    Regarding the Nazi comparisons… I agree you aren’t like the Nazis of 1941—you aren’t those who packed the Jews onto trains or turned on the gas ovens—but you are probably like those who cooperated or turned a bling eye while the Nazi party of 1933–39 eroded civil liberties piece by piece until they no longer existed. Some of you are like the fully signed-up party members, and some of you like those who disagreed, but did and said nothing until it was too late.

    Hopefully it won’t get as bad as Nazi Germany did post-1941, but it’s not looking promising as we witness large sections of the US population getting tagged as “domestic extremists” for simply disagreeing with “the party”.

    How long until these people start getting rounded up and put in camps, and high-profile people start calling for their assassinations?

  17. http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/campaign-0-1502

    Fly Free of TSA hassels and indignity. Use your local private pilots and charter services.

    Fly when you want!

    No Lines!

    No hassels!

    No Questionable Porno-Scans or genital groping.

    Keep you shampoo and nail clippers!

    And most importantly … Keep your freedom and dignity.

    Also, “flying local” helps the economy and aviation more than does large-scale, impersonal, corporate-welfare airlines.

    FOR MORE INFO SEE: http://www.FreedomFlyerNetwork.com

    *** Join the Campaign Today! ***

    http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/campaign-0-1502

  18. I am GLAD that tsa agents are feeling bad about what is molestation of the traveling Amerian public. I believe that is a NORMAL reaction by someone doing something wrong.
    I hope it not only continues but worsens!
    I would like to see people publicly band together and start massive charter flights. Adverise in the newspapers. Make it as public as possible to attract others. Anything that will cause the Major airlines to lose money so they will complain to Washington and this monstrosity that is the tsa is abolished or corrected.

  19. What this class of employees fail to realize is how big government is slowly corrupting our traditions, the politicians who swear to uphold the Constitution, and the average man in the street. People have been conditioned to believe that it’s okay for the government to do certain things that the average citizen would be prosecuted for. Right is right; wrong is wrong. They want to whine and complain as if they are the victims. All they see is a job that will pay them money. It never occurs to them how this country is slowly becoming like those eastern block countries we feared during the Cold War.

    Well, my answer to this whole thing is to visit the link I pasted into this message. I have started a Meetup to organize a massive, simultaneous, week-long boycott of all airline travel to begin on DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY 2011. I am looking for people from across the country to join this meetup and spread the word. We have to make the airlines lose massive amounts of money by decreasing the number of leisure travelers. We can’t do anything about business travelers, but they alone do not earn the airlines a profit. When the airlines lose money, they will pressure the government to do away with the TSA. Corporations have more influence on government than the citizens, after all. So, we have to get smart.

    No matter how cheap the airfares become, no matter how attractive the hotel and other packages might be, please join this boycott by visiting the link below and signing up. We are in a fight for the soul of this country. Thank you.

    http://www.meetup.com/National-Boycott-of-Airline-Travel-2011/

  20. How can TSA administrative regs — composed with delegated Congressional legislative power – overwrite an explicit Congressional prohibition of naked child imaging: a legislative house divided against itself? Said prohibition passed First Amendment muster due to the harm done the imaged child. Viewing of (especially opposite-sex*) naked child images by either TSA or non-airport security personnel constitute the same legal offense.

    (An artist’s rendering of what a child’s naked scan image would look like could not be shown legally on TV — yet real female children are being viewed by male TSA viewers all over our landscape, all day and all night, with incalculable damage to many. Stop it right now!)

    Without TSA regs for legal cover (the government made me do it) male TSA agents (one viewer per scanner) viewing the kind of naked images of adult females which scanners transmit could be prosecuted under the same federal and/or state laws that would make such viewing illegal at any high school or skating rink entrance.

    Ditto — most especially! — for TSA males physically “meeting the resistance” of female genitalia or brushing hands over their private (all!) areas, every bit as much as at any department store entrance. How can mere airport regs authorize — nay, mandate! — male stranger upon female stranger attractive part-touching just because, for example, TSA may short handed on female employees (many small airports?) — instead of merely refusing boarding of same (crackpot but not criminal)?
    ******
    Both same-sex naked viewing and same-sex private part touching conflict with the justification previously cited by courts for okaying so-called administrative (warrant-less) searches: relatively limited invasion of privacy (sobriety checkpoints as far as it’s been stretched). 17 out of 17 TSA employees out of the 20 who answered a query from a travel site survey proclaimed their disgust with being forced to perform overly personal pat-downs (at last count drawing 819 mostly disgruntled comments).

    Courts require a balancing justification for supposed-to-be not too intrusive administrative searches. If 1 in 10 million yearly US airline flights were going down to terrorism taking 300 souls with them, would saving them supply justification to subject the other 9,999,999 plane loads to (even same-sex, adult-only) naked imaging and and random private groping (scanner saw a hanky in your pocket; you can’t just take it out and go through again — you’re wearing a sanitary napkin; you may choose a private room for your ordeal) — even assuming $5 per passenger security actually worked? Not until we begin breathalyzing every driver at every checkpoint — which would be a lot less intrusive and save a lot more lives — than nationwide X-rated security theater.

    A Cornell University study claimed 242 more driving fatalities per month occurred post 9/11, attributing those to travelers driving instead of flying (commenter #770 says he will fly to Mexico and drive to the U.S. if necessary to avoid the TSA).

    [*Same Child (p.3); Exact Same Scanner; Software Detection Only (p.2)]

    FOR THE 8 LINKS IN THIS MESSAGE GO TO:
    http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2010/12/tsa-regs-not-passed-by-congress.html

  21. Sorry TSA workers – my sympathy is with the passengers, as repulsive as some of us may be. We don’t go to the airport to win your beauty contests.

    Some people have had to change or quit jobs because they can’t deal with TSA any longer. One male pilot is reported to have vomited thinking about submitting himself (again) to the sexual molestation of the TSA. Yet these TSA workers keep going back to work doing what they know is wrong. “I was just following orders” is the same excuse the used at Nuremburg.

    They think they are “serving the country” – well, the country is the people they are abusing. These workers are robots who don’t even have the brains hearts or conscience to question their government. Presidents and Congressmen and their appointees can be evil people. Read up on the Constitution while you educate yourselves, especially the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

  22. How perverse, justifying transportation security officers as NAZI’s. This only serves to expose your lack of intelligence. For if you did posess any intelligence you would surely know that the German worker at the train station was sending people to their deaths regardless of “doing their job”. I know that TSO’s perform their job not to send people to their death, but rather to prevent exactly that. And oh by the way, bone head, take the train or a Greyhound bus. That I believe is your right.

  23. I am in a debate team, I have derived the main points in these comments and will explain them with “Refutes” against them:

    1. It violates the Fourth Amendment (duh)!

    The Fourth Amendment states:

    “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 would mean the TSO’s or the Airport owners would have to have a sufficient Warrant for each individual wanting to travel by plane, or else they cannot search the person. This would take, well FOREVER, so they made a policy that you agree to in order for you to take the plane to your destination.

    2. The TSO’s should/can quit their job as violators of the Fourth Amendment

    They do have the right to quit but this job may be their only one available to them. I know that most people may rather be out on the streets than take this job, but the individuals that took the job must really need the money. Not only that but without TSO’s the airport would be too vulnerable to bombers, terrorists, etc. and the death rate of deaths upon planes would increase. The airplane would be accused of improper safety regulations and would be shut down. The workers (all of them including janitors, pilots, etc) and owners would have to find new jobs. The economy would lower and worsen.

    3. Service to the country

    A)They are just serving their country (USA)
    Technically they are serving their country by keeping US citizens safe from terrorists by making sure that the person in front/behind/every other/etc. of you does not have a bomb, poison, etc. to endanger 300 other people aboard the plane and the place where the plane would crash/land. They are also NOT sending people to their deaths (comparison to the Nazis).

    B)They are NOT serving their country (USA)
    Serving the country means to protect the people, not abuse/molest them. TSO’s are doing just that.

    3. We can just avoid plane travel if we are so biased against the “safety regulations”.

    This is a form of boycotting, which worked with the Tea Act and Townshend Act in the 1700’s when King George the Third put unfair and unjust laws/taxes upon the Colonists. They peacefully protested by not buying the products from Britain. Women and African-Americans also did this to gain their rights in the US. US citizens have done this before and it worked,so why can it not work now?

  24. These TSA employees are taking the best job they can get in this “jobless recovery”. They are trying to feed their family and honestly believe they are doing a service to the country. They don’t like being told they are pawns in a chess game designed to program supposedly “free” people to file through what ever hoops the government throws up, like sheep to slaughter. But wake up America! Just because the job is “legal” doesn’t make it right.

    They are like soldiers who believe they are fighting a “just” war, to protect American “freedom” – deluded. Although they buy into propaganda claims of “making us safer”, any one bent on violence will find new and improved methods to counter any security measure. These TSA agents, like most of us ignorant Americans, don’t seem to consider the importance of guaranteeing freedom against unreasonable search or maintaining the presumption of innocence. The argument by Mikey that it is time consuming to get a warrant for each traveler neglects to account for probable cause. If they want to do a background check on every traveler to find probable cause, add some more administrative employees! There are always alternatives.

    Now, anyone who travels by plane (in some airports) MUST forfeit their 4th amendment “right” by either being groped by a stranger OR virtually stripped and actually photographed by a machine – to “protect” us. What is the next step? There are violent attacks everywhere – subways, trains, buses, malls, schools, grocery stores … where will violations to privacy end? Little by little, the US government is using the fear they churned due to an attack (that many professional engineers believe is not physically possible as officially explained) to herd people into submission.

    TSA – I know you are trying to feed your family. I know you are conditioned to “believe” you are serving your country and protecting air travelers against on board terror. But #1, you have to see how there are lots of ways violent people can circumvent your system and #2, take responsibility for your part in disassembling the right to be protected from UNREASONABLE search. You might not feel like you have anything to do with the “rules” and you are just following procedures, but the fact you are choosing to contribute to programming supposedly sovereign (free) people to willingly submit to measures that obviously violate our Constitutional rights means you are in fact, part of the problem.

    It is in the world’s best interest for every day people to peacefully resist psychological enslavement and maintain our unalienable rights. When I’m forced into choosing between a lesbian wet dream and a science fiction nightmare, I’m going for the one TSA hopes you won’t choose, otherwise our right to choose will be voluntarily surrendered.

  25. The object of a terrorist is to create terror. Most people are scared to die and that is why terrorists try to kill people. If people are more scared to die then they are of their freedom – freedom to travel, freedom to have a toy gun at school, freedom to use a knife in cooking class – then they are terrorized, and the terrorists are winning.

    No matter what the govenments do, they are always trying to prevent the last act of terror. People will not stand still if they tried to prevent the next way to kill. As there are people figuring out how to kill, there are people figuring out the same but also how to prevent the act. If you were told in 1990 to remove your shoes when going through a metal detector, what would your reaction have been – but Adam Smart already knew how to make a shoe bomb !

    I am actually waiting for everyone to fly either nude or receive a special overall for the flights. The passenger changes into the overall before departure and all luggage etc. is carried in a glider plane behind the passenger plane.

  26. All you assholes saying “If they don’t like it, they should
    get another job” probably all HAVE jobs. It’s easy to say you’d
    walk away from a job you hated when you have a family who needs
    food and shelter. We’re in an economic decline and just walking
    away from a government job that pays well and gives full benefits
    is idiotic at best. However, last I checked. No terrorist was
    hiding a bomb in her boobs. No terrorist was hiding a bomb in their
    underwear. You could do like you did a few years back and simply
    WAND people who beeped on the scanner or didn’t want to, or just
    abolish the stupid expensive things anyway. I’ve been patted down
    and I don’t care. All you guys talking about how awful this new
    policy is need to visit another country. Coming from south america
    to the US, I went through 6 security checks including one 2 steps
    from when I was about to get on the plane where a security woman
    opened up my onboard bag which was full of gifts and pulled them
    all out on a table, opening all the boxes requiring me to try and
    put them back in and board on my flight. A friend of mine in isreal
    was stopped, questioned and they took his bag with no questions
    asked because he had something “questionable” in it. So all he had
    when he got home, was his carry on luggage. We’re not the only ones
    getting this kind of treatment at airports.

  27. It’s not just hyperbole, you know. It is true that the Nazis were ‘only doing their job’. DEA units performing ‘no-knock’ raids on the wrong addresses and killing innocent people ‘are only doing their job’. The question is:

    at one point do those of you on the opposite side of the argument want to toss the entire Constitution out the window in exchange for promises of ‘peace of mind’, or reasonably good pay? How much are you willing to prostitute yourselves under the guise of ‘national security’ or any other excuse while the soul of this nation is being corrupted by fear? People risk their lives to come over here illegally because of our FREEDOM.

    Do you want to know what type of books have become popular reading material over the past few years? Books on the best countries for expatriate Americans! That’s right…..it used to be an upper-class, burgeoise status thing to live abroad. Now, more and more people are looking into relocation because they see what is happening in this country.

    Incidentally, if Bush was so concerned about national security, how come he ignored the illegal immigration problem for so long? How come we declared war on Iraq instead of going into Pakistan where Bin Laden is hiding? For that matter, how come Bin Laden’s family was escorted out of the country when 9/11 hit? All questions that have yet to be answered……

  28. “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.”
    Well, it has to start somewhere. Nazi didn’t win the elections and create the oppressive state in a day – it was a process where civil rights were slowly taken away one by one. Allow an exception in your liberties, then another, then another, and you don’t even realize when you end up a prisoner and a slave.
    As to “you can always stop flying and drive instead” – firstly – not always, secondly – if such procedures were needed to enter any, say, bakery, would you say “Well, you can always eat potatoes instead of bread”?

  29. I love the “4th Amendment” rage so many people feel.

    That amendment was written in Colonial times. Long before the sophistication of air travel. Long before the notion of taking one of those planes and blowing it up came about.

    You are flying in a vessell provided to you by a private company that so many expect to be safe guarded by our government (simply because that’s a way in and out of the country) and some want to complain that this is a huge violation of their rights.

    Your right to avoid an illegal search and siezure? Police can pat you down. For what? Because you were driving erratically? They have every right to do that for THEIR safety. Why is it such an exception to expect the TSA to enforce something similar.

    Flying is not required. You choose to fly. Some destinations are a bit far to drive, but you could do it. Others aren’t possible to reach. So find a private pilot who won’t pat you down. Oh, you want the benefits of the mass transit system without any of the inconveniences.

    Find an alternative.

    The article however was about the agents who do not enjoy the task at hand. They’d prefer a better method, but since people question the body scanners, whether it’s those touting safety issues or others who are embarassed by them, there isn’t a perfect method. I’m sure if they knew of a better way to do this they would. The point was that they are not perverts, not wackos and they are doing a part of a job they do not enjoy, but don’t see a clear alternative to making things safe.

    Does it make it safe? Well, again, if it’s that simple to come up with a better method then do it. Quit complaining about it.

    And quite equating them to being a Nazi. Every feeble minded argument on the internet winds up with a Nazi comparison. That goes about as far as “I was just doing my job” and ends there. The difference being the TSA agent does not LIKE that aspect of the job, but feels it’s the best alternative to SAFETY. They’re not studying the 4th amendment and chuckling at how they, in your eyes, get to violate it. They’re not selecting everyone they don’t like based on their religion, gender, race, political affiliation and sending them off to the death jet. They’re simply patting down passengers to help ensure nothing is being smuggled on the plane. If nothing ever was then we wouldn’t have a problem, would we? And when the next flight goes BOOM, brace yourselves for the outcry of additional security. These guys are stuck in the middle and can’t win. Until we get a better system in place they’re just doing the best job they can and your discomfort for a few moments is good enough for me because I’d rather know that we’re reasonably sure passengers aren’t armed or carrying anything that will blow the plane I’m in out of the sky. At least the checking will help deter some of that….

  30. 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.

  31. Hey Fsh et al:

    Alot of responders are missing three points!

    1. almost every complaint about TSA has to do with the remarks or behavior of the TSA officer.

    2. the majority of the people that get “pat down” are the disabled. so i guess the remark about this being a priveledge means that the disabled cant fly.

    3. because of the threats and bully tactics used by the TSA, few people complain.

    your recommendations about our senators are comicable. there happens to be ONE senator in the nation who cares about passenger rights. he is not mine, unfortunately. so what do you recommend?

  32. After having read this posting, I have no pity for the TSA employees at all.

    If they truly suffer, they have the option of quitting. Apparently they prefer to sell their soul for money.

    What is most disgusting is that the TSA employees earn their money at the expense, yes over the backs of, the travelers. They get paid for abusing others.

    Choosing such a profession is immoral and can indeed be compared to what the Nazis did.

    As to the one Jewish TSA guy feeling offended when being called a TSA Nazi, he has no right to be offended. He pretends that there were no Jewish collaborators in WWII, but there were and they were the worst. If anything, no Jew should ever choose a TSA job.

    It astounds me that none of these TSA interviewees shows any honest shame (which would only happen if they were forced to do their job). They merely complain about ‘getting caught’ abusing others and not liking that and they seem to want travelers to pretend that they are not abusing the passengers. The TSA-ers would love the travelers to pretend, so lie, that the TSA-ers do some kind of honorable job

    This is a typical reaction of abusers. They need their victims to be cooperative. Worse, abusers like the TSA-ers have a need to play being the victim and making the passengers the victimizers, as can be seen in the above ‘blame the passengers’ content.

  33. I’m wondering if anything has changed from the TSA agent perspective. Steven, have you followed up with any of these agents? Have their attitudes changed? Have they seen any changes in the public’s perception of the TSA?

  34. We go the doctor and let them inspect every part of us– to prevent and treat illness. Not always comfortable but necessary. This is no different. It helps ensure our safety. Nightclubs require pat downs to ensure safety. Get over it, your inability to see the bigger picture doesn’t give you the right to hinder my safety while flying. Stay home if you can’t grasp the necessity of this.

  35. Shame on you america for allowing your government through TSA to humilate..strip you of your God given dignity and for allowing your children to be violated. This isn’t about security..this is about your government showing it’s utter contempt for you as an american citizen. Parent’s tell their children never allow ANYONE to touch them between their leg’s yet stand by while government agent’s do exactly that! Our children are traumtized by this.We are being terrorised at the airport just as much as a terrorist attack on our shores. When i think of tsa i conjure up these images: women removing nipple ring’s with plyer’s, cancer survivor’s drenched in their urine,protective underwear removed, women’s top’s pulled down exposing breast’s to the jeer’s of tsa agent’s, crippled child with leg braces made to remove them and forced to walk through security although crippled and in wheelchair,passenger’s threatened.shouted at,laughed at,punished, plane ticket’s shredded ,nursing women who refused her breast milk to go through radiation ‘punished’ and placed in glass waiting room for 45 min.missing her flight..women flying with eldery mom arrested over ‘applesauce'(for her mom) little girl’s spreadlegged while tsa ‘touches her gentialia’ not once but 4 times.women lifted off her heel’s via her vagina..passenger’s complaining of pain after patdown..men’s gentialia ‘rubbed..grabbed..sqeezed.women’s and little girl’s gential’s fingered inside their panties..agent’s finger’s intruding between labia.men’s anus intruded by agent’s finger’s..women’s breast’s twisted..tsa agent’s mocking..scolding.passenger’s..increasing thief of laptop’s..cell phones..money.jewerally.ipad’s.. America each day bring’s a new atrocity by tsa. If it’s obscene.traumatizing.belittling.tsa is behind it. To those tsa agent’s in here defending themselves.shame on you..you have lost your discernment in what is evil and what is good

  36. I have to be specially screened due to hip replacements. I was screened recently in Lexington, KY and the TSA screener really was agressive. He really went up my pant leg tocuhing my private parts with force. It was excessive and something that I had never ever been patted down as such. I was patted down in two other airports and never received the aggressive treatment in Lexington. I am a 50 yo professional man and have never been subjected to this treatment. It was above and beyond and I feel violated! This would be consider sexual assualt by any other standards. Others have been thorough but not as invasive. Perhaps they need more training in Lexington. My wife took a picture as she was appalled and we plan to inform the TSA!

  37. Let’s be clear – you never forfeit your rights just by buying a ticket or entering a security check point. That’s why they call them rights. Look up inalienable-see what it means.

    If you have a ticket, you have a contractual right to board your flight. The airline and the TSA can do a reasonable search, but not an unreasonable search. TSA will never get in trouble for acting with reasonable cause. They will be rightly criticised for insisting on touching someone when they knew from the start had neither weapon or explosive, but molested anyway, just because it some pervert bureaucarat wrote up a procedure to punish those who rejected his $ 150,000 scanner.

    Some people say, if you don’t like it, don’t fly. Why should I and every other ticketed passenger or person who wants to fly give up our right to fly? I have a better idea. Let’s change the law, so that the pat down is a felony; and those who perform it, or order others to do so, go to jail and are put on the sex offender list.

    There is no security at airports today-none. Going through ‘security’ today involves the risk of being robbed, assaulted, arrested, jailed, fined, tased, put on the no fly or selectee list, all at the whim of the very people who are supposed to keep you safe. Worried about terrorism? Then consider this: TSA is an equal oportunity employer, and does not discriminate based on religion or anytbing else.

    While I liked this story, there are many other stories where a flyer’s expression of disgust or frustration with senseless procedures have provoked dire punishments. TSA has recourse against flyers, we have none against them, and they know it. This needs to change.

  38. […] accepted standards of being an American. You are not alone. In the classic blog post over at boardingarea.com, Steven Frischling, who curiously (and with ample reason to have a different POV) remains at least […]

  39. YES ONLY POST # 15 IS RIGHT I WORKED FOR TSA FOR 5 YEARS. AND I QUIT AND HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A JOB for ALMOST A YEAR NOW. THEY DO ALOT OF WORK AND PUT UP WITH PASSENGERS AND SUPERVISORS FOR ONLY 30K A YEAR. YOU CANNOT T EVEN SUPPORT A FAMILY OR BUY A HOUSE WITH THAT MONEY IN NY. NO ONE LIKES TOUCHING PEOPLE AND PATTING THEM DOWN FOR 8 HOURS A DAY. THEY FIND ALOT OF STUFF THERE BELEIVE IT OR NOT SO IF YOU DONT HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE WORKERS THERE THEN TAKE A PRIVATE JET FOR 10,000 AN HOUR. TSA DOES KEEP YOU SAFE WHEN YOU HAVE MORONS TRYING TO BRING GUNS AND KNIVES ON A PLANE!!!!!!!!

  40. Chosen profession eh? Yeah, maybe for the guys that signed up after 9/11, but what about all the poor college grads who’ve recently hired in? All the youth whose only other option is working at friggin’ Target for $8 an hour? Let me tell you, alot of those “Nazi grunts” you are yelling at are these people and that percentage is growing faster than you’d believe. Some of us are just trying to make it in the shitty shell of America that you Swine created. Get over yourselves. Crybabies.

  41. These people are molestors perverts and low lifes and they should be spit on. How could someone knowingly sit there and violate the rights of countless Americans. I don’t care if they have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.. So what your a murderer too and the reason these terrorist are over here in the first place?

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