Open Letter To The TSA : I’d Like Some Answers About A Notebook Please

6/1/2010 – Open Letter To The TSA : I’d Like Some Answers About A Notebook Please

Throughout the past week there have been many questions regarding the Transportation Security Administration serving Chris Elliot and myself a subpoena in regard to the publishing of Security Directive SD-1544-09-06.

My intent in publishing SD-1544-09-06 was to help inform travellers, which has been my goal since the creation of Flying With Fish, not create a controversy. I had my opinions regarding SD-1544-09-06, but the document being controversial was not one of those opinions.

In the interest of furthering my core goal in writing Flying With Fish I’d like the opportunity to ask the TSA a few questioning regarding the investigation of SD-1544-09-06.

Two days ago Mary Kirby, a journalist with Flight Global, and author of the popular Runway Girl blog, wrote about the discovery of a notebook used in the investigation into my knowledge of SD-1544-09-06.  Ms. Kirby has sought answers from the TSA, however the TSA is not returning her repeated phone calls over the past two days seeking information on the missing notebook.

Rather than debate this on Flying With Fish without giving the TSA the opportunity to comment, I’d like to give the TSA the opportunity to provide a statement regarding the notebook misplaced in a public area by a TSA Special Agent in this investigation.

Make no mistake, the notebook exists. I have seen the notebook, verified its content and know which agent notebook belongs to. The issue with the missing notebook is not insignificant, as the missing notebook appears to hold answers to certain questions regarding the investigation.

I’d like the opportunity to speak with someone within the Transportation Security Administration who can provide me with answers. I’d prefer not to have the conversation revolve around “We’ll have to call you back or email you the reply.”

The missing notebook is not about me, or even about the investigation that involved me…the missing notebook is about the larger issue at hand here. The larger issue is the accountability of a large agency charged with protecting the approximately 756,400,000 people who board approximately 13,531,000 flights annually in the United States.

I’d like some answers by 5:00pm EST today, Wednesday the 6th of January. Late this evening a follow up to the post will be written, with or without a TSA comment. In the end the TSA and I should have the same goal…the best interest of travelers and their security.

I know the TSA Public Affairs Office has my phone number..and I am not looking to kick-the-cage here, I’d just like a few answers please.

Happy Flying!

Note To Media & Journalists : I will not be answering any your questions…I will be the one asking the questions.



  1. What upsets me is the TSA has not updated their blog since Dec 26th. At a time of a terrorist attack, poorly conducted subpoenas and now the notebook, where are the people in charge of communicating to the public?

    Even if they want to ignore this notebook thing (worked so well for them with the subpoenas) then at least assure the public after the terrorist attacks.

    It feels like we bloggers are a crying 5yr old child the TSA thinks will just go away, but we won’t.

    They need to just come out and admit their mistakes and that they are working on a plan to make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future.

    I am sure all of us aviation bloggers want to write positive blogs about the TSA (I know I do), but they need to provide us the content to do so.


  2. David,

    In the course of writing Flying With Fish for the past few years, I have not been overly negative of the TSA, in fact I have praised the TSA a number of times. I am not out to make the TSA look bad or seem foolish.

    The TSA has a important job and everyone needs to focus on that. Part of focusing on that is finding out what went wrong. This is not about pointing fingers and looking backwards, this is moving the ball forward, closing the gaps and making travellers secure.

    Many expect me to trash the TSA at this point, but that would be counter productive and detract from the important issues at hand.

    Happy Flying!


  3. Ok – NOW you have government property critical to an ongoing investigation, know you possess it illegally since it is marked SSI – and you are refusing to it over voluntarily!

    You go ‘bro!

    When they come looking for it- show some cojones this time.

    Step 1 – never talk to the government when they send you an investigator or a subpoena. You learned a very important lesson

    Step 2- if the government agents threaten you, see Step #1

    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ” Thomas Jefferson.

    “A citizen ignorant of their rights is the tyrants best defense.”

  4. ….If You remove Replys from your Blog……well than what does that make You……. One option, if one did not want to cause conflick, would have been to call the man, and just give him back his note book, that was left in error…Just a thought, if the interest of our Airline Security, is for most…..

  5. Dave,

    If that is how you read the info on Flight Global I can’t change your opinion. You opinion is completely wrong in this matter, but you are entitled to it.

    Happy Flying!


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