Better Behave!

Here we go again with the TSA, the “next level” of security for air travelers as Pistole gets ready to roll out the “behavior detection techniques at airport checkpoints.” This has been reported previously by news outlets and here on The 6th Floor. “I’m very much interested in expanding the behavior detection program, upgrading it if you will, in a way that allows us to….have more interaction with a passengers just from a discussion which may be able to expedite the physical screening aspects,” Pistole said.

More interaction with a passenger? Last thing I want when I am traveling is more interaction with the “make-work” program who protect our nation’s airports. Sorry more interaction does not equate to better security. Why does the TSA believe they can implement a “Israeli model” to the degree they do abroad? It won’t be as effective because the U.S. won’t “involve a degree of religious and racial profiling that would draw controversy.”

There’s a lot—under that Israeli model—a lot that is done that is obviously very effective,” he said. However, critics have said the Israeli program is too time consuming to use consistently at U.S. airports and may involve a degree of religious and racial profiling that would draw controversy in the U.S (source).

Unfortunately one of the major differences between the potential U.S. implementation and the Israeli model are those individuals who implement the program. The Israeli National Police (INP). “At least since the early 1970s, it has been given significant homeland security responsibilities. Moreover, though terrorist activities have varied over the last three decades in Israel, it has remained a core national concern throughout this period. In turn, the Israel National Police is considered highly efficient and professional in its
approach to homeland security responsibilities” (source).

NOTE on source: If you are interested, I highly suggest reading The Israeli Model for Policing Terrorism: Goals, Strategies, and Open Questions by David Weisburd,
Tal Jonathan and Simon Perry
.

Unfortunately the TSA is not a “police” force. They could double for mall security, but outside of manning a checkpoint and playing touchy, feely with your private parts while violating your Fourth Amendment rights, I can’t see the U.S. implementation of the Israeli model being effective. At least as Pistole has envisioned.

From a 2005 AW&ST article, “Israeli-style observation and questioning tactics–widely regarded as the most thorough, but verbally intrusive, screening processes in the airline business–are slowly gaining momentum” called Behavior Pattern Recognition (BPR). This from 2005! Unfortunately much like the Poltico comment, “selective use of Israeli security profiling methods could strengthen airport infrastructure security and make technology-based screening more robust. Opponents, however, fear the practice could mean unnecessary hassles for certain populations.

Offer Einav, president of Virginia-based Ganden Security Services Solutions (GS-3) and a former director of security for El Al Israel Airlines, says 85% of passengers are no threat to a flight; it’s the other 15% that will warrant a closer look” (source). At Tel-Aviv-Ben Guion Airport “90% of interviews take less than a minute, while 1-2% end up with the “57-min. treatment.

It didn’t take long for The American Civil Liberties Union to become involved. In 2004 a state trooper stopped an ACLU officer at Boston Logan International Airport and asked for identification. Needless to say the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the “constitutionality of BPR as it was potentially infringing on passenger privacy. “Airport officials retorted that the program was designed specifically to protect constitutional and civil rights.

I don’t see the TSA behavioral program being successful. It will introduce another layer and open the door to further scrutiny. Still for true change it will take another terrorist attack in the U.S. for the government to really wake up and take notice.

Above the Law

Three recent news stories that have come forward and stirred more controversy surrounding the TSA and their illegal searches prove that the agency is “above the law.” The first story is out of Washington D.C. where a circuit court has ruled that “naked scans” of travelers is constitutional and do not violate OUR Fourth Amendment right.

Judge Douglas Ginsberg said advance imaging technology is not unreasonable given the security concerns on airplanes, and that people have the option to opt out for a pleasurable patdown. He writes:

“On the other side of the balance, we must acknowledge the steps the TSA has already taken to protect passenger privacy, in particular distorting the image created using AIT and deleting it as soon as the passenger has been cleared. More telling, any passenger may opt-out of AIT screening in favor of a patdown, which allows him to decide which of the two options for detecting a concealed, nonmetallic weapon or explosive is least invasive (source).”

Yeah fuck you Douglas! Side with the government, it’s agents, DHS, TSA and the maufacuters Rapiscan and L-3 who build the screening equipment. The TSA did violate an administrative law when it failed to ask for public comment before the new rule making, yet Ginsberg said, “better late than never.”

It also seems that Donald Rumsfeld stopped for a photographic moment with the TSA when he was “allegedly” selected to be randomly screened. Personally, I don’t believe it. I think it was nothing more than a publicity stunt to get the American public to buy into the fact that illegal screening is acceptable in todauy’s culture and even government officials have a chance to be groped. The Who’s Exempt List is ever growing. Are you on it? It is now a travel norm, not an exception. All courtesy of YOUR U.S. Government and their attacks on 9-11.

Finally a fed up air travel groped back at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Arizona the other day. The female passenger is accused of putting her hands on a TSO. “Court records show 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae grabbed the left breast of the female agent Thursday at the Terminal 4 checkpoint…Police say she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.” Now she faces a felony count of sexual abuse (source). I say good for her! I would contribute to her defense fund. Although I believe the changes will be dropped by the TSA for publicity reasons and to prevent the TSA for further damaging their image they attempt to uphold.

Less Not More

Here we go again. Yet another threat to airline security that the U.S. Government (DHS/TSA) will make top priority in order to take away more of your freedoms in the name of security. “Travelers may find themselves subjected to more scrutiny when flying in the heart of summer vacation season, especially to the U.S. from abroad” (source). In a memo sent to security officials, the “tactic” is called body packing. Officials say this could have “possible terrorist implications.”

Possible? So our the official statement from our government is suspect at best. There is no hard information or known cases in the U.S. where a suspected terrorist has explosives surgically implanted with the intent to blow up an airline. “People-scanning machines in airports aren’t able to detect explosives hidden inside humans” (source). This will be another round of the TSA/DHS vs The People when it comes to just how many freedoms we are willing to give up in order to travel.

It will give manufacturers of  scanning machines more contracts and more money in order to develop a next generation machine that not only scans what’s under your clothes but what is possibly implanted in your body. I am sure Mike Chertoff will benefit from yet another contract with the U.S. Government.

With the increase in security at check points it’s becoming nearly impossible to travel with any sort of carry-ons. You are limited in the amount of any substance you can carry through security. You are still not allow to bring many items, once common into a sterile corridor (terminal) and onto an airplane. Even bottles of water are not allowed due to the fact they could contain a liquid explosive.

Due to the significant advances in global aviation security in recent years, terrorist groups have repeatedly and publicly indicated interest in pursuing ways to further conceal explosives,” TSA spokesman Nick Kimball said, adding that passengers flying into the U.S. may notice additional security (source). Additional security is NOT needed! Less intrusive procedures are needed, not more enhanced techniques to allegedly deter terrorists from down commercial airliners were explosives.

This is just another potential “false flag” being hoisted by the alphabet agencies and the U.S. Government. In the end the level of security at airports will not be better, but remain much the same. More “interaction” between agents and passengers will result in more outcries of injustice, more videos on YouTube and more articles about how we are being treated like terrorists. All in the name of security, just to fly.

News source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=14007673

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

When is the traveling public to say, “Enough!” When are airlines going to say, “Enough!” When will the U.S. Government realize the TSA is nothing more than window dressing when it comes to security? Since America is going to hell in a hand basket and the sheeple would rather not pay attention and speak up when YOUR civil liberties are being violated every day you step into an airport.

Yet ANOTHER asinine story comes to light when a 95-year old woman flying out of northern Florida was asked to remove her adult diapers because…as the media reported, “a suspicious item.” Bound to a wheelchair and stricken with leukemia the TSA agent could not resolve an alarm. “During any part of the process, if there is an alarm, then we have to resolve that alarm,” said Sari Koshetz, a mouthpiece for the Transportation Security Administration. I guess a wet and hard Depends undergarment could be considered “suspicious.”

It took 45 minutes to perform the pat down to make sure YOU the traveling public was safe from this would be terrorist, who was 95 with leukemia and bound to a wheelchair. That’s YOUR tax dollars at work, providing the best airline security money can buy.

Jean Weber, daughter of the woman in question has filed a complaint. “I’m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong. People need to know. Next time it could be you.”

It comes as no surprise to me the TSA is stands behind it’s procedure (source). “While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” the federal agency said. “We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.” This has become the same old reply when incidents such as this make media headlines, “our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.

How are the actions of the TSA harassing and groping a 95-year old woman considered professional or appropriate? ” After feeling “something suspicious on (her mother’s) leg they couldn’t determine what it was…a TSA agent came out and told her that her mother’s Depend undergarment was “wet and it was firm, and they couldn’t check it thoroughly.”

Every traveler is a critical partner in TSA’s efforts to keep our skies safe,” Administrator John Pistole, who ordered the new approach, said last fall. “And I know and appreciate that the vast majority of Americans recognize and respect the important work we do.” I beg to differ. Americans are just afraid to speak up for their Fourth Amendment rights stated by the U.S. Constitution for fear YOU, will single them out as a terrorist and further more serious actions will be taken. All in the name of aviation security.

Pistole, much like Big Sis can their their rhetoric and go fuck themselves! I refuse to take their invasive and unacceptable advances at a checkpoint THEY consider to be done in the name of security. This is not security this is ILLEGAL! You know it. The TSA know it. Pistole and Big Sis know it. Yet being part of TPTB you are willing to take away our freedom and rights.

Change in Molestation Policy

You hypocrites! Not that calling out the DHS/TSA or Big Sis is actually going to change anything, except make me feel better for venting. Today we see TSA changes pat-down procedures for young kids. This after numerous videos of young kids being molested at airport security checkpoints. The most telling video came out this past April, when a 6-year girl was caught on video being molested, as the parents stood by and watched. About 10 days later the backlash continued and Big Sis said the pat-down was “done professionally according to the protocols.

With all the outrage, the policy seems to have shifted, “Airport security workers will now be told to make repeated attempts to screen young children without resorting to invasive pat-downs” (Source). While it won’t make the pat-down molestation obsolete, we should see a decrease in the number of young kids being touched inappropriately.

The concern for the U.S. Government is the use of children as suicide bombers, which is rather commonplace in countries outside the U.S., but has not be used in attack on this country. Pistole said, although that hasn’t happened in the U.S. “We need to use common sense,” he told lawmakers. Something the DHS/TSA don’t use when it comes to screening procedures. Maybe the entire department should review their policies and program. But as we know, common sense it’s always so common.