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TSA body scan/patdown rant


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Yep, it's rant time.

 

All these people are against the body scans and patdowns. Theyre saying stuff like "the terrorists have won" and Rosa Parks would be proud for them resisting the searches.

 

Well, in case they don't remember, maybe they should watch some 9/11 footage of people jumping out of buildings to jog their memory of what no airline security looks like.

 

First of all, if someone doesnt want to submit to a patdown or body scan, there's Amtrak, Greyhound and the US Superhighway system. Amtrak and Greyhound NEED the business, so plz, book your 12-hour 200-mile trip today!

 

When it comes to the scanners, it's a human body, nothing to be ashamed of, and it's not like these scans are going on Facebook or Flikr, or the TSA agent is piping it to the Jumbotron with audio commentary amidst finger-pointing and giggles.

 

Out of some fear over the scans, some people are opting out and going the patdown route. If I ever get patted down, I'm hoping it's college intern day from the local women's college, lol. But seriously, how else are they going to figure out if youre packing bombs or heat?

 

If we don't have airline security, then it's like sending out an big announcement, please, come hijack some more planes, bring some bombs onboard.

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I completely agree. Who cares if its a full body scanner? I'm deployed to Afghanistan right now and in order for me to go home on leave, or even just home for good, I have to go threw a full body scanner. And I'm military. So even if the military has to do it in order to return to the states, then the civilians shouldnt be complaining.

 

The more to protect against the enemy, the better.

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The more to protect against the enemy, the better.

 

Quoted for the truth

 

Perhaps they should have two different checkouts, those who refuse and those who accept the pat downs/scans

Those who refuse get their own plane and those who comply, get theirs.

 

And if there's no pilot, or airline staff willing to board a plane with such people, they can find some other way to get to their destination.

 

To be honest, I feel it should be a non negotiable point, if they don't want to be scanned or patted down, they can find some other way to travel.

 

And if they refuse AT the checkin, they should be escorted out and charged for wasting the airlines time, to! hehe

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Ok, my coupla euro-cents:

1) Some of the things they make you do make no sense

2) Some of the things they are enforcing make no sense (I have a Swisscard, which is one of those little tool thingies, with a "knife" with a 2 cm blade. They took the knife, but left the rest, incl. very sharp mini scissors, which - opened up - would make a blade about 3 cm long! And they also allowed me to keep my mini screwdriver, which is even longer. Both can be deadly weapons if you know how to use them! Even my hands (being a former army medic) are deadlier than that little knife!)

3) There is NO consistency in the inspections... Belt on or off? Shoes on or off? Laptop open or not? Can it stay in a sleeve or not? Does an iPad need to be treated as a laptop or not? Etc. etc.

 

In The Netherlands they've made an improvement to the body scanners that has a computer analyze the image, and only shows an abstracted image, with any potential attention spots highlighted, which could go a long way to alleviating privacy concerns.

 

Proper Airport Security? I am all for it, but what is in place now (worldwide) sucks and needs to be improved!

 

Would I go without what is now in place? If we can improve on it, hell yea! But until we *can* improve on it, I will just suffer what there is in silence... 4 to 10+ times a month...

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<Insert title here>

 

John Tyner, the man who refused the pat down at San Diego Airport, states he specifically chose that facility because his research indicated it had no intrusive scanning equipment (AIT). Mr. Tynor was not categorically refusing any and all types of search or saying airports should return to pre-9/11 security levels.

 

The airport apparently has three main types of security monitoring: metal detectors (hardly intrusive), AIT/backscatter screening (more intrusive), and physical pat down (most intrusive). The great majority of passengers received only the least intrusive metal detector scan. This last is the type of scan Mr. Tynor was expecting and the one for which he stood in line. He reports, "I told [the female TSA supervisor] that I would be willing to submit to a walk through the metal detector as over 80% of the rest of the people were doing...."

 

Mr. Tynor was not allowed to stay in the metal detector queue. He refused the AIT machine scan. Only the third option, the pat down, remained. In his words, he

"...stood there for no more than probably two minutes before a female TSA agent (apparently, the supervisor) arrived. She described to me that because I had opted out of the backscatter screening, I would now be patted down, and that involved running hands up the inside of my legs until they felt my groin. I stated that I would not allow myself to be subject to a molestation as a condition of getting on my flight. The supervisor informed me that it was a standard administrative security check and that they were authorized to do it. I repeated that I felt what they were doing was a sexual assault, and that if they were anyone but the government, the act would be illegal. I believe that I was then informed that if I did not submit to the inspection, I would not be getting on my flight. I again stated that I thought the search was illegal. I told her that I would be willing to submit to a walk through the metal detector as over 80% of the rest of the people were doing, but I would not be groped."

 

Point to note: the TSA agent describing the groin area pat down was female.

 

If you examine the specifics, you'll find the issue is more complicated than it may appear from a simple outline of the story. As is so often the case, "The devil is in the details."

 

Frankly - if I were a man, I would not want a strange man physically touching my genitalia in an airport. I'm not sure if this is done in view of other passengers, but if so I would find this detail alone extremely embarrassing.

 

Will women also be required to submit to a physical search of their private parts in order to board flights? Had the underwear bomber been female, I expect we would already have such a procedure. Naturally I'd find this horrifying, but it is logical and in fact the current physical searches discriminate against males.

 

Finding a balance between public safety and personal freedom is not easy, but I believe it's essential to discuss.

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As with all pat-downs, it should always be same sex.

 

But my question is, why did the guy not want to go through the full body scanner, only the metal detector? To me it makes it sound suspicious, even if he wasn't planning or hiding anything. The metal detectors don't catch everything. For all you knew is that he had an explosive liquid taped to his body somewhere and he didn't it seen on the full body scanner. That's their job, check every possible thing to ensure passenger safety. Just because 80% of the people walked through, doesn't mean everyone does. You have to change it up, keep it random. That's the easiest way to catch people.

 

These are the days where the slightest suspicion could cause a big issue within the airports. Walk through the full body scanner, stand there for about 2 seconds and be done with it. Its as easy as that.

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It's not air travel if it isn't horribly inconvenient. My rant is totally separate from security devices - but still related.

 

Last Christmas, I went to Florida for a week. Was great. Then when I was flying home, it took TWO DAYS. No, there were no broken planes. No, because security took so bloody long in Toronto, the crew of the plane had been working too long, and the flight got cancelled. Two days later, they FINALLY got a plane to come get us.

 

Whatever you think about intrusiveness, they need to focus on efficiency. If these scanning machines stop planes from being delayed or cancelled, go for it.

 

Honestly, we shrug off way too many delays and cancellations when considering air travel. Airlines pay off anyone who complains with future discounts and free flights, instead of actually fixing problems. it's hard to find anyone who's never gotten stuck in an airport through no fault of their own.

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....

But my question is, why did the guy not want to go through the full body scanner, only the metal detector?

....

 

From his blog:

"I have been reading about the millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray machines and the possible harm to health as well as the vivid pictures they create of people's naked bodies. Not wanting to go through them, I had done my research on the TSA's website prior to traveling to see if SAN had them. From all indications, they did not. When I arrived at the security line, I found that the TSA's website was out of date. SAN does in fact utilize backscatter x-ray machines."

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He does have one valid point there - theyre new, we don't know the long term health effects of them. If you travel a lot, you may end up getting put through them more than once.

 

He may just be paranoid...but so is everything related to airport security these days.

 

You can have freedom, or you can have security. The key is knowing where to draw the line between police state and anarchy.

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But did he state that to the offical's at the airport? Or did he just refuse? That's the question. How did he approach his reasoning? Yes, they might be new and might be harmful to your health, but now days, there is so much radiation and signal waves in the air, that you are hit by something everyday and not even know it. Everything new that we get could be harmful, but you will never know until years later down the road.

 

I do communications for the Army, and if I took a spectrum analyzer out in a city, it would be going off the charts. As Belanos said, X-Ray machine at the dentist. That is pretty much the same thing as those scanners.

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The body scanners are a number of factors less intense than the dentist Xray... They *have* to be, because they do not want to look THROUGH the body, they want to see what you're hiding ON your body...

 

But TBH, health-wise, people expose themselves willingly to WiFi, DECT, Bluetooth, etc. etc.

It is my opinion that the prolonged exposure to those is worse than the occasional exposure you get at the airport... And have you considered the increased exposure to radiation you get when flying up there at 30.000+ feet?

 

But yes, health risk *is* something to be considered as well, which is probably one of the reasons you're not exposed to these machines every time, but only a small percentage, based on random selection...

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He does have one valid point there - theyre new, we don't know the long term health effects of them. If you travel a lot, you may end up getting put through them more than once.

 

He may just be paranoid...but so is everything related to airport security these days.

 

You can have freedom, or you can have security. The key is knowing where to draw the line between police state and anarchy.

 

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

 

I have been given the pat down before. Let me tell you, from a woman's point of view, if it is ever done to me again it will be done by a woman or not at all. When the guy did it, he did it in full view of everyone, and groped me places I didn't let the boys touch at the high school dance. I ended up filing a complaint against the guy. I am pretty sure my complaint went straight into the supervisor's trash bin too.

 

Understandably people are a bit paranoid. I think it is my right, however, to still be innocent until proven guilty in this country. When I objected to being patted down by a guy in the first place, I was told that no women were available and they would stick me in a "holding unit" until a woman showed up for her shift, which was several hours away. I wasn't given the option to walk through a scanner, or even just say screw it and go home. I would have been detained until I submitted to a physical search.

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The government makes mistakes all the time, from cost overruns on projects to invading countries without WMD's, lol

 

Reading all these responses, the core issue seems to be people giving up privacy for security. But is choosing to fly by air some sort of protected right under the Constitution? No. It's a commercial endeavor, altho it does have oversight by the government. Do the fedz make McDonald's reveal the recipe for the Big Mac sauce or the formula for Coca-Cola? No, it's just oversight to make sure there isn't arsenic in it. There is no law making people eat Bic Mac's and drink Coca-Cola, if they don't like it they can just go to Burger King and get a Whopper and large Pepsi, lol

 

If people don't want to get scanned or have their goodies brushed, there are alternatives aplenty, just like if they don't want to give their address or DOB to the state out of privacy concerns to get a driver's license they can walk, ride a bike or use public transportation. Sure it would suck, but that's the choice presented, would you want unlicensed drivers on the roads with you? They would have no oversight by the state on their identity and probably not the annual safety inspection to make sure their vehicle is roadworthy and safe to operate.

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First, let me say I am all for safety.

 

However, I will not submit to a scan.

These scans are kept for a certain period of time. And just like credit card information, anything recorded can and eventually will be released to the public.

I do not believe any body should have to endure what is basically a strip search to board an aircraft.

 

I will consent to a random search if necessary. But here is my problem with this, even criminals are not searched by the opposite sex. If a female is to be searched a female officer is called to the scene. Why should I not deserve just the same liberties. Even convicted prisoners who by law have no constitutional rights in the US are not subjected to that. Then why should I be subjected to that to board an aircraft?

 

And one thing is certain--if a male put his hands in the places required for the "pat downs" to a woman to enter a McDonald's (I can carry that bomb there just as easily), they would certainly be arrested.

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When I objected to being patted down by a guy in the first place, I was told that no women were available and they would stick me in a "holding unit" until a woman showed up for her shift, which was several hours away. I wasn't given the option to walk through a scanner, or even just say screw it and go home. I would have been detained until I submitted to a physical search.

 

Detaining people because they refuse to submit to a scan? That is total BS. If they don't like it, they can be told they can't get on their plane, but holding people for something like that has got to be the dumbest thing i've ever heard.

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Must passengers have a logical, scientifically proven valid reason with which the majority of passengers and security staff agree in order to refuse the AIT full body scan and its photographic image?

 

If they refuse intrusive security checks, for whatever reason, ought they to be automatically considered a security threat and refused the option of simply leaving the airport without taking their flight, detained or threatened with detention in a holding area, threatened with fines and other legal repercussions, have their right to summon the police challenged or curtailed with counter threats?

 

As a result of airport incidents, will such travelers find their names on a government watch list? Were their names already on such a list and this triggered closer scrutiny? If so, what reason(s)? Do citizens have the right to discover if they are being watched? If they find it's so and they believe it's unjust, are they able to challenge this?

 

When we begin to worry about secret government lists to the degree that we might hesitate to speak or act freely, that is a serious step toward tyranny I believe.

 

And remember that societies generally lose their freedoms for "justifiable" reasons.

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Sometimes I wonder how blind people are. This is just what the terrorists want to happen. Change the life we are living. And they succeed. Bit by bit the rights are taken away from us. At the end we are living in a world where we can't do anything anymore. And even then there will be still the risk of a terrorist act.

About dentist vs body scanner xray argument... might be that the dentist xray is more harmful. But two things... it shouldn't be done lightly and it is done to diagnose if something seems wrong. Not just "in case of".

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It is a fact of life, that as long as we value freedom, there will be a risk. But I think we'd do better with having things like bomb-sniffing dogs, and the current X-ray devices, than pat-down searches.

 

I'm not against airport security, and if you aren't willing to accept it, then don't fly. But I am against what I posted above - holding people because of it, instead of just denying them from taking their flights.

 

And if security increases to where we've got to be at the airport earlier again, well it just might be quicker door-to-door to take that train. It's already up to where you check-in 2 hours before your flight time here.

 

Though I don't mind travelling by train. We should be spending money putting in high speed rail lines for short trips, and use air travel for distances greater than 500 or 1000 miles.

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I think the logic is: what if a terrorist has a bomb/weapon, comes to the airport, declines the scan, declines the patdown, and is not allowed to board? They just leave? I believe this is called probing the defenses. They'd just keep doing it til they get waved through.

 

Should those who refuse the more intrusive scans be automatically detained? For how long? In whose custody and under what conditions? What are their legal rights in such cases?

 

How are these people selected for special treatment? Is it random or through profiling? By whom and by what standards are these choices made? Is there independent, impartial oversight or any appeals process?

 

Would a cloud of suspicion fall also on their family and associates?

 

When these individuals return to the airport at another time, should they be automatically detained again because they might be terrorists probing the defenses?

 

If there is a serious, legitimate reason to believe a traveler may be carrying an explosive device, does it make sense to put that person into a holding area in a crowded airport?

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When I go to a concert, they do a pat down, and you have to walk by a drug dog to get inside. They have different lines: one for men, one for women, and a different one for women (and the occasional man) who are carrying handbags, satchels, whatever. You hold anything that may be in your pockets so it is visible, and get patted down by the same gender. A quick sniff from the dog and you are in. It is fast, safe, and not a problem. If you have something you don't want sniffed or patted, you get out of line and miss the show. It's that simple.

 

The last time I flew was when I got patted down by a man. That was not even a pat down. He did a full hand contact grab on my breasts. It was a grope, plain and simple. When I objected I was told that he didn't do it, and it was my imagination. It friggin hurt!

 

If they are going to be subjecting people to searches like that, it is their responsibility to make sure they have enough women scheduled to work that this doesn't become a problem. I was told no women were working at the time. Not just at another gate or something, but not on duty at all. That is why they said they would detain me for several hours until one showed up for her shift.

 

If I had been pulled over by a cop while driving my car, the cop would not have been able to search me or my car without probable cause. Someone can put a bomb in a vehicle a lot easier than a plane. Does this mean we should have random checkpoints on the highways to see if anyone is driving around with weapons?

 

Airports within the USA are not above the law themselves. They still have to abide by the constitution. I agree, we should be safe. I am not willing to let some overblown security guard who is paid $7 an hour manhandle me in the name of safety, however.

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I think it's important that all these searches are recorded. Either to protect someone from outright groping(I'll work the supermodel line, lol) so they can protest and have footage, to protect the TSA worker and organization from frivolous lawsuits, or even as evidence when they do find a bomb or whatever.

 

I think the concert analogy is example. Either you want in and are willing to subject to search or you don't and forfeit your ticket. Why arent the privacy activists hounding concert venues for something that's been going on decades?

 

In regards to the male/female conducting the search, what if either the passenger or the worker is of the same orientation? One could argue that would be an additional consideration? Well, perhaps, but I think it would get shot down as the purpose of the search is security and not some sort of personal satisfaction.

 

Then again, Im no lawyer.

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I've never been searched at concerts here. (Both in arenas or large outdoor shows)

 

However, I went to an NFL game in Buffalo, and they do a light pat down (not an intrusive one, they didn't go near the genital areas). I suspect it was more to look for hidden beer cans than anything else.

 

Also, what about luggage? If they can sneak something through carry-on security, it's the same X-rays going over the checked baggage. (In Toronto, I know bags get X-rayed about 5 or 6 times between the counter and the plane.) Even if it doesnt make it to the plane, a bomb in a busy airport is just as deadly. And random searches of baggage are only on international flights, unless the X-ray picks up something suspicious.

 

One smart change brought about with increased security is the seizure of unattended baggage, however. I think that's a great idea...someone could've just left a bomb next to a bathroom or something, and nobody would've noticed.

 

But then, where do we draw the line? I don't think there is an answer that provides 100% safety.

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Why arent the privacy activists hounding concert venues for something that's been going on decades?

 

Concert goers are not subjected to intrusive body scans that preserve photographic images with graphic details of their bodies or require a stranger to do an intimate physical examination.

 

Although some of us music lovers may debate this, concert attendance is not so essential as freedom of travel.

 

And yes, having your body examined by a stranger of either gender may be offensive, particularly if it is coerced in any way (e.g., Adri being told she would be detained for several hours until a female agent became available). I should have mentioned this before. Although it's conventionally accepted as appropriate for travelers to be examined by agents of the same sex, we are not taking into account that people may be offended by any detailed examination or that some examinees aren't heterosexual. In fact, there's a built-in bias against the GLBT community in this detail.

 

Given the above, what option does the TSA have? Do they ask travelers about to undergo a physical search which gender of agent they prefer?

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I completely agree that the pat down that you received was wrong. All pat downs should be conducted by the same sex. If there is not a female on shift that can conduct a pat down, then the airline is wrong. A simple finger brushing against your genitals or breasts could be considered sexual assault. Plain and simple. On situations such as that, I think people should start filing complaints of sexual assault against the airlines itself. I myself would never conduct a pat down on a female. Just cause I think I'm doing my job, doesn't mean that she doesn't feel assaulted by my hands rubbing along her body.

 

As for the scanners, I still see nothing wrong. Refuse to go through, to me that is suspicious. Medical problems would cause you an issue going through, provide proof and then I'll understand. Before long, metal detectors will be going away and everything will be a full body scanner. Then what are you going to do? Might as well start hitchhiking.

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You sign away certain rights to travel on an airplane. You don't sign them away forever, and you don't have to travel via airplane. Part of buying a ticket is consenting to search.

 

We sign away portions of our constitutional rights every day in America:

 

- Walk into a bar. You can't light up. Step outside, bub.

- Join the military. No first amendment free speech for you.

- Visit you kid at school? No concealed carry, licensed or not (typically)

 

I do this for a living, folks. Trust me when I say that the terrorists are out there. They are evil. They want to kill your children and will exult in your tearful anguish. Most of them *look* like terrorists, but some of them look like you or me.

 

Terrorists are plotting to kill you. Every. Day. Eventually, they will slip something past security that kills a bunch of people...again. Let's delay that day as long as possible, and use every tech trick in our bag while we build a better mousetrap.

 

~M

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You sign away certain rights to travel on an airplane. You don't sign them away forever, and you don't have to travel via airplane. Part of buying a ticket is consenting to search.

 

We sign away portions of our constitutional rights every day in America:

 

- Walk into a bar. You can't light up. Step outside, bub.

- Join the military. No first amendment free speech for you.

- Visit you kid at school? No concealed carry, licensed or not (typically)

 

I do this for a living, folks. Trust me when I say that the terrorists are out there. They are evil. They want to kill your children and will exult in your tearful anguish. Most of them *look* like terrorists, but some of them look like you or me.

 

Terrorists are plotting to kill you. Every. Day. Eventually, they will slip something past security that kills a bunch of people...again. Let's delay that day as long as possible, and use every tech trick in our bag while we build a better mousetrap.

 

~M

 

And with this bolded part of the quote, the terrorists have won. Plain and simple. These actions by the government are no different than the internment camps of the 40's, when we threw thousands of Asians into what basically amounted to concentration camps, simply because of how they looked. They are no different than the McCarthyism of the late 40's and 50's, when the evil red commies were out to destroy our way of life. No different than J. Edgar Hoover in the 60's, keeping files on American citizens that were guilty of having thoughts and ideals different than those that were in *POWER*. Or Tricky Dicky, and his "list" in the 70's. And so on, and so on.

 

Your examples are disingenuous, at best, Magister -

 

If you walk into a bar, you already KNOW the local laws, which, by the way, are LOCAL ordinances, and not federally mandated. I can go, within an hour by car, to 5 different states, and smoke and drink in a public establishment in at least 2, and possibly 3 of them.

 

If you join the military, you sign a contract - you KNOW what you are getting in to. I know that I did. And you don't give up 1st amendment rights - you agree to abide by the UCMJ, which limits certain aspects of the 1st. But again, I reiterate, you SIGN a contract, so ignorance isn't an excuse.

 

If you go on to school property, and you aren't a LEO, you know it's illegal to carry a weapon on property - it's only posted all over the place. I can't honestly think of a valid reason to carry an operational weapon on to school property to begin with. I say operational, because when I was in school, the ROTC kids would drill with very non-functional rifles - I don't know if that holds true or not any longer.

 

But as to your first line, I sign away NO rights when it comes to air travel. I sign no contract, expressed OR implied, allowing for complete body searches and/or scans, and I defy you to show me where I do.

 

I'm an educator, and I'm a southern conservative - I'm educated enough to know better, and I'm politically savvy enough to know this is bullocks.

 

Government. Officials. Are. Plotting. Every. Day. To. Figure out ways to dig more money out of my pocket, and this latest set of regulations is no different.

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But that's where you are wrong. You may not know it completely, but you do give consent for yourself to be searched by buying a plane ticket, you just haven't researched it.

 

Delta Airlines legal mumbo jumbo for example

 

Refusal to Transport

 

Delta's conditions of carriage permit Delta to refuse to transport passengers when:

 

* Compliance with government regulations or directives is required.

* Advisable due to weather or other conditions beyond Delta's control.

* Passenger refuses to submit to a search or produce proper identification.

* Passenger lacks necessary documentation for international travel.

* Passenger fails to comply with any of Delta's rules or regulations or any term of the Contract of Carriage.

* Reasonably necessary for the passenger's comfort or safety, for the comfort or safety of other passengers or Delta employees, or for the prevention of damage to the property of Delta or its passengers or employees. For specific examples, see our Contract of Carriage.

 

Delta will not refuse transport based on a passenger's:

 

* Disability, except on the basis of safety or where transporting the passenger would violate the Federal Aviation Regulations.

* Race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ancestry.

 

 

Taken straight from their website. I haven't looked at all the other websites for all the other airlines, but I am sure that they all have the same thing.

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Sorry, getting patted down to board a plane is a far, far cry from imprisoning people based on ethnicity. There were security checks long before 9/11, theyre just more consistent and, to a degree, invasive now.

 

The terrorists have not won. If getting patted down is a measure of victory for the terrorists, then it is us who have severely overestimated them. They win when there are smoldering ruins of western cities and thousands, if not millions, of people are dead. Let's keep things in perspective here and not in the hyper-hysterical realm of talk tv where pundits scream whatever they need to get people to keep watching so they get paid.

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But that's where you are wrong. You may not know it completely, but you do give consent for yourself to be searched by buying a plane ticket, you just haven't researched it.

 

Delta Airlines legal mumbo jumbo for example

 

Refusal to Transport

 

Delta's conditions of carriage permit Delta to refuse to transport passengers when:

 

* Compliance with government regulations or directives is required.

* Advisable due to weather or other conditions beyond Delta's control.

* Passenger refuses to submit to a search or produce proper identification.

* Passenger lacks necessary documentation for international travel.

* Passenger fails to comply with any of Delta's rules or regulations or any term of the Contract of Carriage.

* Reasonably necessary for the passenger's comfort or safety, for the comfort or safety of other passengers or Delta employees, or for the prevention of damage to the property of Delta or its passengers or employees. For specific examples, see our Contract of Carriage.

 

Delta will not refuse transport based on a passenger's:

 

* Disability, except on the basis of safety or where transporting the passenger would violate the Federal Aviation Regulations.

* Race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ancestry.

 

 

Taken straight from their website. I haven't looked at all the other websites for all the other airlines, but I am sure that they all have the same thing.

 

I don't object, per se, to searches, as long as they are within certain limits. I recently traveled to Greece, and back, and both times, I merely walked through the old style, metal detector type machines. This was international, US -> Greece, and back. The US airport I left from didn't even have the new scanners in place (although they are supposedly on order - the uproar over them here has been significantly loud enough to cause the various agencies involved to pause and take notice). I guess I wasn't considered enough of a threat to be given a full body grope, although I was rather insistent that they didn't run my laptop and usb drives through the MRI like machines - the results would have been rather annoying, and they had a policy in place for that at any rate.

 

However, it's my opinion that this will eventually end up in front of SCOTUS, as a very heinous end-o-round on the 4th amendment. With sites like Gizmo, Wired, etc, and hundreds of bloggers making the waves they have, there *IS* going to be a legal challenge.

 

And the airlines are already in enough financial trouble - they don't want to push things any further - the backlash against all the prior bail-outs will pretty much ensure that the government won't bail them out.

 

What's funny, in a very sad way, is that every time a government declares war on an idea (drugs, terrorism, etc) the only people that get hurt are the ones supposedly being protected.

 

And if I were to admit an overt concern about terrorists/ism, it would be far more in the direction of the Timothy McVeigh and Unibomber types than it would be the Bin Laden types.

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Sorry, getting patted down to board a plane is a far, far cry from imprisoning people based on ethnicity. There were security checks long before 9/11, theyre just more consistent and, to a degree, invasive now.

 

The terrorists have not won. If getting patted down is a measure of victory for the terrorists, then it is us who have severely overestimated them. They win when there are smoldering ruins of western cities and thousands, if not millions, of people are dead. Let's keep things in perspective here and not in the hyper-hysterical realm of talk tv where pundits scream whatever they need to get people to keep watching so they get paid.

 

The mere fact that we have had to give up, or severely adjust, our liberties, based on the actions of others, is a victory for them. These changes were made out of fear, and nothing more - and given that the 9/11 tragedy could have been avoided if our supposed leaders had of followed up on the information they had in hand, I'm not entirely confident in believing in them or their ability to guard the hen house now, after they did such a spectacular job in the first place.

 

But if you are fine with giving up your 4th amendment rights wholesale, to a government agency with NO public oversight, be my guest. And yes, feeling me up to the point of grabbing my junk, or copping a cheap feel on the ladies in line, is excessive, unwarranted AND unconstitutional.

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The airlines really can't do anything, however. But their customers will associate a bad security experience with the flight they took, regardless of that fact. They're basically just as helpless as the line of people waiting to be searched.

 

Like when I went to florida and got stuck. The flight was late because of security problems. The airline couldn't get a plane down to get us for two days. We all have negative memories of that flight, the airline had to put us in hotels and feed us for two days, as well as the expense of pulling a crew off of vacation, and sending an extra plane to come and get us.

 

Was it the airline's fault? No. But they had to pay for it in the end.

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And in further idiocy on the subject, a 13 year flight attendant, and 3 year (well documented) breast cancer survivor, was forced to remove and display her prosthetic breast to 2 TSA officers "AFTER" she had already done the full body scan - at least they had the courtesy to do it in a side room...

 

In the same airport (Charlotte/Douglas), the same bunch of TSA thugs are accused (and on film) of doing full body pat downs, including excessive groping, of a 6 year old male child.

 

Yep - this is EXACTLY the kind of thing that we should expect, and accept... and no, this is not anecdotal, nor is it merely local. This is nationwide. I'm thinking perhaps the original rant was coming from the wrong side of the topic.

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You seem to make it sound like all TSA agents are perverts and sex offenders that hate the Constitution. Let's be reasonable here.

 

I don't have to be reasonable - the facts speak loudly enough on their own. There is no oversight. There is no reasonable training of the employees. Is it not bad enough that the new scanning machines are being sold and provided exclusively by the former director of the TSA?

 

Do I think that all TSA agents are perverts and sex offenders that hate the Constitution? No, but all it takes is 1 rogue to cast that aspersion, and there is more than enough evidence out there that it is more than just 1, being, in the most kind of light possible, abusive of their authority.

 

When even someone like Ron Paul, who's politics I have little to no use for, says there is a problem, it's time that people stand up and take notice - or, by failing to do so, in his own words, become nothing more than fattened cattle, readying themselves to be eaten up. *I* am not cattle... and I sincerely hope moo, or baaa, isn't a regular part of your vocabulary, either.

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I agree, to me TSA agents are held to the same ethical standards that 9.50$ a hour security guards that work the 7/11 are held to. I do not think they are properly supervised (and when they are supervised, what qualifications does the senior guy have... I mean other than just having the job the longest). When I flew from san diego to norfolk on a flight the military paid for, and I was in uniform I had to do one of the full body pat down when I was in my dress blues when I didnt even have a carry on bag. Kind of ridiculous. But to be honest alot of police (civilian and military) are no different, people just seem to get on power trips way to easy

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You seem to make it sound like all TSA agents are perverts and sex offenders that hate the Constitution. Let's be reasonable here.

 

Of course not! However, the system can only be as ethical as the most corrupt person within it is. So if you have one pervert/sex offender upholding that system, the whole thing can come crashing down.

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Even astronauts, teachers, congressional representatives, military, CEO's, policemen, etc. all have their failures, they are human too. To say that one bad apple ruins the barrel is a bit unrealistic and is a diversion from the issue at stake, namely transportation security in this case. The arguement I'm hearing is that we should abolish the scanners and patdowns and return to pre-9/11 standards like nothing happened in a misdirected evocation of civil rights. The terrorists attacked, thousands died, we put guards on the ramparts but then remove them over a little squeamishness and a few incidents involving some bad hires? I think this line of reasoning is a bit unrealistic. I also think if the TSA is forced to let down it's guard by Congress or whatever, we'll just be back to square one with almost certain results to follow...

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Even astronauts, teachers, congressional representatives, military, CEO's, policemen, etc. all have their failures, they are human too. To say that one bad apple ruins the barrel is a bit unrealistic and is a diversion from the issue at stake, namely transportation security in this case. The arguement I'm hearing is that we should abolish the scanners and patdowns and return to pre-9/11 standards like nothing happened in a misdirected evocation of civil rights. The terrorists attacked, thousands died, we put guards on the ramparts but then remove them over a little squeamishness and a few incidents involving some bad hires? I think this line of reasoning is a bit unrealistic. I also think if the TSA is forced to let down it's guard by Congress or whatever, we'll just be back to square one with almost certain results to follow...

 

Tancred - you are missing some very simple, and very overlooked facts in this situation:

 

1) The perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocity were not Americans, had known terrorist ties, and were ignored by multiple government agencies prior to the fact.

 

2) All attempted terrorist incursions/attempts since 9/11 have come from OUTSIDE the US, with the latest being the packing of printer cartridges full of high explosives. Something that the TSA and their searches would not have found. For that matter, if not for a Saudi informant, there would have been not 1, but 2 more air explosions.

 

The TSA has done nothing to protect us. If they have, I'd love to see even *1* example of where the scanners and/or pat downs have helped to apprehend a single terrorist.

 

Again, I advise you to watch the Ron Paul video - listen to some of the numbers he lists. On one, very sad occasion, between the 4 planes and the WTC victims, we lost roughly 4k people. It's abhorrent that it happened. Yet 3,700% more die yearly on our roads. 1500% more die due to homicide. And jurisdictions are cutting more and more funding to our police. Jurisdictions are cutting more and more funding to our schools. Charlotte/Mecklenburg NC just closed 10 schools - not due to lack of students, but lack of funds. And they will probably have to repeat that action again in the next 12 months. No child left behind won't be a problem - we'll just leave them all behind.

 

Yes, every walk of life has it's rogues. And when they become high profile, they get taken down (except the politicians... but that's another rant). When an issue has gotten to the point where it is agency wide, and it takes dozens of news reports, and threats of legal suits, to get an agency to quit patting down children in a manner that would get anyone else arrested for molestation, then there is a problem.

 

If it were merely pat downs, that would be one thing. These are no longer merely pat downs. They are a full fledged grope, being foisted on to people that have legitimate concerns about their health by being exposed to untested x-ray equipment, which may very well end up being determined to be illegal due to the acquisition process, among other things. And there are those that are abusing the process. And NOTHING is being done.

 

And some people here think that's just fine and dandy. I hope, for your sake, that the next news report isn't about your mother, daughter or wife.

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Consider the idea that we don't have terrorists boarding planes domestically *because* of the TSA efforts, that door has been shut, the terrorists now have to rely on Third-World airports without adequate security.

 

Consider that no terrorist action has been successful after getting *past* TSA, the ones that have come close on board planes have been outside of TSA jurisdiction. In some cases they've given up the bomb on a plane routine and now opt for just showing up and killing people like in Mumbai or buses/trains in Europe.

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Consider the idea that we don't have terrorists boarding planes domestically *because* of the TSA efforts, that door has been shut, the terrorists now have to rely on Third-World airports without adequate security.

 

Consider that no terrorist action has been successful after getting *past* TSA, the ones that have come close on board planes have been outside of TSA jurisdiction. In some cases they've given up the bomb on a plane routine and now opt for just showing up and killing people like in Mumbai or buses/trains in Europe.

 

I'd consider it *IF* there was some evidence. The reason I discount the idea is simple - the TSA has no influence over the smaller airports, with people flying their Piper Cubs, etc. Yet how effective were they in stopping the small plane from flying into the IRS building in Austin, TX... I'd say not at all. Now, picture that with a load of explosives in even 1/4 the amount that McVeigh used in Oklahoma... or worse yet, a Piper loaded with *REAL* explosives, and not the home made stuff McVeigh used - say, a couple hundred pounds of C4 or even TNT.

 

9/11 was a clear indication that these people were more than intelligent enough to know how to operate a plane - they went to school for it...

 

Mumbai is a hard one to call - yes, they were terrorist attacks, but when one considers that India and Pakistan have basically been at war with each other for decades, it's not as easily dismissed, or explained, as an act of terrorism vs an act of war. I know some people won't, or can't, differentiate between the two, but there are some subtle differences (right or wrong). At one point during the investigation, Pakistan went so far as to move massive amounts of troops towards the Indian border...

 

Lack of an action is not proof of thwarting said action.

 

And going back to your prior post, the actions of certain TSA employees, if they had been done by ANY of those mentioned, would have resulted in job termination, at minimum, and imprisonment as the norm.

 

Point blank, I don't believe that the increase in intensity of the pat downs was warranted - they tried it in 2004, and now they are trying it again. I seriously believe that parts of our government are trying to boogeyman us into some sort of acquiescence in giving up rights to privacy and unlawful, unwarranted search. And I don't believe there is a valid reason for it.

 

And unless you, or anyone else, can point to valid, legitimate, irrefutable evidence showing where the actions of the TSA has done anything to thwart a terror attack, I'm going to continue to believe there is no valid reason for their actions.

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And it begins -

 

Airport kicking out the TSA

 

And before anyone says that the private firms are still going to have to use the TSA rules, there is 1 MAJOR difference - the private sector company will be directly accountable to the airport management, and also criminally liable to the people.

 

And Markus, nobody here is whinging (or whining, for anyone here not from the UK) - when a country is used to a set of liberties and laws, and, lacking anything resembling evidence, are forced to abide by a set of rules promulgated by a person who is now making huge profits from his former government position, people of conscience get angry.

 

Just as people of conscience were angry at the release of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi - who still hasn't died...

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