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Texas Government, Threatened by TSA, Backs Down

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...House members quickly informed the shouting group that it was the Senate that had failed to take action late Tuesday on House Bill 1937, which would have made it a crime for security checkpoint screeners to handle the private parts of anyone they screened... (www.statesman.com) المزيد...

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upchucked
C. WESLEY GRADY 0
Given the choice between having a TSA screener brush my private parts with the back of his hand (yep, that is what I have found to be the case), or having some nut job carry a few sticks of C4 in his underwear, to be detonated somewhere over Nebraska, I will gladly let them grope me until the proverbial cows come home. Seems as though the majority of Texans feel differently. Hell, just let them pass their bill and then deny boarding to anyone who objects to a hand search.
Jumpdude
Jim Smart 0
The entire procedure is plainly ridiculous and very unnecessary. But the bigger problem is not that TSA and the US Government overreaches. Its that people who do not understand counterterrorism techniques believe that this is fine as long as a "few sticks" of C4 do not get on board an aircraft. Forget the fact that C4 does not come in the form of sticks and C4 should be an easy intercept without a pat down. Ignorance will be our destruction as a Nation. Not terrorism....
upchucked
C. WESLEY GRADY 0
What difference does it make whether C4 comes in sticks? What difference does it make if C4 should have been discovered prior to a pat down? The basic issue is that TSA was created to protect the flying public from those who would do us harm. I applaud their efforts, even if they are less than perfect, after all, they are human. Learning how to intercept terrorists is a steep learning curve and rather than trying to stop them from doing their job, lets make their job a little easier. When was the last time you actually thanked a TSA worker for doing their job? When did you last tell them you appreciate their efforts?
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
It makes a big difference. You clearly missed the point Jim Smart was making.

If you are afraid to fly because of a "nut job carry(ing) a few sticks of C4 in his underwear" then are you afraid of riding the bus, or the train? How about going to concerts, working in tall buildings, or living in high density residential areas? The "nut job" and "his underwear" could be there as well.

Most citizens are not afraid of any of these things because we pay a lot of money and can afford to have a strong military, CIA, and FBI that prevent these "nut jobs" from ever getting their hands on C4 to begin with. What US citizens don't want is a Homeland Security force coming into our lives, touching our genitals, and assuming everyone is a terrorist until proven otherwise.

Any person who touches genitals and intimidates US Citizens (either purposefully or not) is not worthy of our applause, thanks, or appreciation.
elmetal
Felipe Martinez 0
I agree with Jim and cmp5n.

Wesley: Why would a terrorist blow up a plane at altitude and kille say 150-200 people and POSSIBLY hit some people on the ground, when he could just go to Grand Central, or some other large gathering of people (Like Atocha in Madrid 2004)?

Serious question. Someone with a stick of C4 isn't going to hijack a plane and crash into buildings ala 9/11, he will blow up the plane and that is a seriously small amount of damage compared to what he could do in the actual airport itself or anywhere else with a high density of people.


If you want to lose your privacy because you think it'll make you safer, be my guest; "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 0
Whatever happened to innoncent until proven guilty? It seems that the TSA has that one backwards.

I don't know if there is any recorded evidence of the TSA apprehending a terrorist at airport security checkpoints. If there is, I'd love to see it. However, there is countless numbers of cases of the TSA being overzealous with the common citizen, turning their lives into nightmares.

As to airport security, I agree with Felipe. Why would terrorists focus on killing 150-200 people in a plane, when they could go to some concert or sporting event and be a lot more destructive? The events of 9/11 were focused on, not body count onboard, but destruction of American icons.
upchucked
C. WESLEY GRADY 0
I am clearly not afraid to fly, I do 100,000 miles a year on average. We have had several attempts to bring down a plane by people with explosives in their shoes, underwear and luggage. Remember PanAm 103?

Perhaps you don't care if someone gets on board with explosives, but I do and if that means that someone searches me, so be it. If you don't want to be scanned or searched, then stay home, drive or fly yourself.

Oh, and I have had far more invasive searches in China, Israel and Russia than here.

Lets just say we agree to disagree on this point.
Drag0nflamez
Drag0nflamez 0
I think the TSA actually reduces safety, as all those people in line can easily be detonated, and as there are thousands standing near eachother, it would cause way more deaths than 9/11.. terrorists apparently ain't that smart.
/terroristshouldntreadthis
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
China, Israel, and Russia? What horrible examples! Let's agree that if support totalitarian-esque policies and practices to feel safe when you travel, you should go live in one of those countries.

Wesley Grady clearly is afraid of getting on an airplane if he thinks someone else is going to get on with an explosive. There are examples of 737 and 747 aircraft (Hawaiian and United respectively) that have sustained large structural damage during flight similar to the damage that could be done with an explosive. With a skilled crew, those flights were able to land safely. Tradgically in both cases, a few passengers did lose their lives but many lives aboard the aircraft were also saved.

You can't protect everybody from every bad thing that could ever happen. There are reasonable measures to take to ensure safety and protection and there are unreasonable measures. Invasive searches of innocent US Citizens falls in the latter catagory.
xmacfly
ALLEN McLEAN 0
These nut jobs have a much better chance of a successful event anywhere but an airport. There is not much of our infrastructure that is secure and wouldn't that be an easier target? Reasonable measures to relevant theats is not a problem for anyone. This present approach is far from appropriate or reasonable.
dvbavcon
Dean Brossman 0
I believe that simply the fact that TSA exists is a forfeit to the terrorists. Before 9/11 the security was handled by private companies and they did everything by the book. The government threw the baby out with the bathwater when they formed TSA. All that needed to happen was for the pre-9/11 rules to be changed to what we can carry on now and it would have been a non-event. (Referring to the post 9/11 airport security, not the events of 9/11) Please remember that TSA is people doing their jobs as they are told to do them. Fight the battle in congress where it can be resolved.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 0
Well screw it - if we can't defend our own personal privacy then the terrorists have won, we're all terrified. Might as well just convert to islam and install a Taliban government, I'll make my wife wear a burka and tell her she's not allowed to drive anymore. TSA is now a puppet of 'al queada' which is want they want, to strike fear upon the infidels - us. Go federal government!
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
For the last time, TSA does not touch your stupid genitals! Wearing gloves, and patting down over clothing is not even close to making out in high school. Don't be so impressed with what you've got because most people are just plain physically unattractive and have nothing I'd want to touch.
elmetal
Felipe Martinez 0
That's not the point Amy. The point is: If I did this to ANYBODY at the beach, on the streets, at the door into my house, in a parking lot, even when helping someone put on a parachute, people would yell rape and say I am violating their privacy and blablabla

but it's ok for TSA to do it because that's the way it is?

Wesley: "If you don't want to be scanned or searched, then stay home, drive or fly yourself."

Really? I should give up a means of travel because you are ok with this travesty?

What if next year the trains start doing this? What if interstate borders start checking drivers in this manner? It all starts somewhere.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
C. Wesley Grady, the bill would affect intra-Texas flights, not interstate flights, so C4 over Nebraska is not really an issue.
TTail
TTail 0
title of the story is misleading. why go through with a vote, if you are not going to pass it. not backing down, not enough political will to make it happen. that is HOW i see it.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
I do believe railways will begin incorporating TSA into their system at some point, as I have heard discussion of this.

By the way, pat downs are only over clothing, not bare skin. So, the less you cover your skin, the less you get touched. Shorts, sandals, and a tank top make for a very quick passage through security, if that's any comfort.

And please be polite to the officers; they are only trying to make a paycheck and keep our planes safer. Being disruptive can get you escorted away. That would be very unfortunate.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
Please tell me you are joking.

Like so many other Americans, I am honestly petrified of posts like Amy's.
STEELJAW
STEELJAW 0
What you don't know can kill you!!!! There are many forms of explosives that can blow up a plane in small amounts. Some of these come in liquid forms. Some can be bought at your local hardware store. C4 can be molded into anything, a leg/arm cast, part of the body, a easter bunny, ect... Cmp5n is right, there was a bomb that exploded on a 747 and the plane did not crash. What he left out was, it didn't crash(ONLY because the terrorist sat in the wrong seat). His blueprints were not the same as the model 747 he was flying on and the fuel tanks were not underneat his seat. The plane would've exploded in flight had he sat a few seats back. Had that same explosive been on a much smaller plane,(regional jet),it would have went down.The war on terroism is not over, just because Osama is dead. Also, it's not just international terroist that TSA is screening for. We have home grown nuts trying to board planes every day. I wish the governmnet could tell the plublic about the amount and variety of prohibited items(Guns/Knives) found by TSA everyday. Trust me, you do not want to know. By the way,Homeland Security/TSA started random screening at small train/bus stations earlier this year and for security reasons I can not tell you the stuff that was found. So yes, expect to see at least limited or random screening by TSA in your metropolitan train/bus stations in the near future. Most Americans have forgotten that the 9/11 terrorist took the planes with boxcutters. Yes America, boxcutters!!!! Those of you who hate the TSA, remember this, if you stop the traines and planes, you have shutdown American. If you don't beleive that then believe this. Flying is not an American right, it's a priviledge. Nuff said.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Why did they use box cutters? Was it maybe because that is something that was not screened for at the time? Adding screening for the new items doesn't cut out the likelihood of more attacks. It just moves the target. The next weapon used will likely be something not being screened for.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
cmp5n, be afraid, be very afraid.

Thanks for driving home my point, STEELJAW. Unfortunately it is a breach of security sensitive information to disclose the type and number of threats found each day across the country by TSA.

Victor, they used box cutters to slit throats.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Amy, I know. My point was why that tool vs. something else. It's because it is something they could use that they could get on board without issue.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
I honestly don't know the level of security before TSA, Victor. Some of the veteran TSA agents were brought on from the private sector screening, so you may always ask a supervisor or lead on duty what the screening process was prior to 9/11. I do know it has been upgraded substantially by TSA. Maybe you can Google it. It's nearly 10 years ago, so there should be alot of posts about it, but a TSA veteran old-timer would be my best choice. They are usually very nice about these type of inquiries, or directing you to a supervisor. Happy Memorial Day.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Why should I ask someone else what the screening was like? I was there. I used to fly regularly before 9/11. These days, something just as effective as a box cutter would be a credit card with one edge sharpened. Nothing they screen for right now would catch it. We're no safer now than we were before. It's all just a bunch of arm-waving. Anyway, we've both made our points.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
You are right. There are silicone and titanium knives that pass through the metal detector without alarming. Hence, the pat downs or full body imaging to find these potential threats, and they do.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Pat downs will not find sharpened credit cards.
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
You have to empty all of your pockets before a pat down.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
... which will likely not improve the odds of finding sharpened credit cards at all. But I don't want to make this about sharpened credit cards. The point is, the terrorists seem to use places and methods that are not affected by extant screening. Every time screening techniques are changed, it is in reaction to the terrorists. Screening for things doesn't help. They should be profiling people.
sheka
mark tufts 0
c4 is c4 no matter what i would rather go thru the pat down then to get on the plane and blow it up in mid air. my wife uses a walker and she opted for the patdown and nothing was done wrong as the tsa people were curtious and she was able to make it thru before the rest of us
amy34685
Amy Dillon 0
Thank you, Mark. C-4 can be molded into any shape or size. Pretty scary. It can look like play-doh or stick deodorant. Terrorists are very creative. And profiling is considered discriminatory, but there are cameras every where, and there are Behavior Detection Officers in plain clothes and also uniformed that are expert in observing behavior patterns of criminals. TSA is alot smarter than people think, but it's an expensive process and is always under some kind of scrutiny. I am supportive of DHS because I know the safety that they ultimately and truly provide. Glad you flight was safe.
cmp5n
cmp5n 0
The TSA recently published information through the FOIA Act that there is a 82% failure rate for the TSA screening process to positively identity and thwart threats.

Luckily the military has covered for the TSA and ensured the saftey of the American public. Obama is expected to announce the gradual dissovlement of the TSA over the next six months.

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