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Old Nov 15, 2010, 10:27 AM
DazedNadConfused DazedNadConfused is offline
 
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Default TSA issues at San Diego Apt

While I cannot verify the accuracy of the statement there is A/V that seems credible on the posted link.

http://johnnyedge.blogspot.com/2010/...y-between.html

These events took place roughly between 5:30 and 6:30 AM, November 13th in Terminal 2 of the San Diego International Airport. I'm writing this approximately 2 1/2 hours after the events transpired, and they are correct to the best of my recollection. I will admit to being particularly fuzzy on the exact order of events when dealing with the agents after getting my ticket refunded; however, all of the events described did occur.

I had my phone recording audio and video of much of these events. It can be viewed below.


Please spread this story as far and wide as possible. I will make no claims to copyright or otherwise.]

This morning, I tried to fly out of San Diego International Airport but was refused by the TSA. I had been somewhat prepared for this eventuality. 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 When I arrived at the security line, I found that the TSA's website was out of date.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.

I made my way through the line toward the first line of "defense": the TSA ID checker. This agent looked over my boarding pass, looked over my ID, looked at me and then back at my ID. After that, he waved me through. SAN is still operating metal detectors, so I walked over to one of the lines for them. After removing my shoes and making my way toward the metal detector, the person in front of me in line was pulled out to go through the backscatter machine. After asking what it was and being told, he opted out. This left the machine free, and before I could go through the metal detector, I was pulled out of line to go through the backscatter machine. When asked, I half-chuckled and said, "I don't think so." At this point, I was informed that I would be subject to a pat down, and I waited for another agent.

A male agent (it was a female who had directed me to the backscatter machine in the first place), came and waited for me to get my bags and then directed me over to the far corner of the area for screening. After setting my things on a table, he turned to me and began to explain that he was going to do a "standard" pat down. (I thought to myself, "great, not one of those gropings like I've been reading about".) After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." He, a bit taken aback, informed me that he would have to involve his supervisor because of my comment.

We both 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. The supervisor, then offered to go get her supervisor.

I took a seat in a tiny metal chair next to the table with my belongings and waited. While waiting, I asked the original agent (who was supposed to do the pat down) if he had many people opt out to which he replied, none (or almost none, I don't remember exactly). He said that I gave up a lot of rights when I bought my ticket. I replied that the government took them away after September 11th. There was silence until the next supervisor arrived. A few minutes later, the female agent/supervisor arrived with a man in a suit (not a uniform). He gave me a business card identifying him as David Silva, Transportation Security Manager, San Diego International Airport. At this point, more TSA agents as well as what I assume was a local police officer arrived on the scene and surrounded the area where I was being detained. The female supervisor explained the situation to Mr. Silva. After some quick back and forth (that I didn't understand/hear), I could overhear Mr. Silva say something to the effect of, "then escort him from the airport." I again offered to submit to the metal detector, and my father-in-law, who was near by also tried to plead for some reasonableness on the TSA's part.

The female supervisor took my ID at this point and began taking some kind of report with which I cooperated. Once she had finished, I asked if I could put my shoes back on. I was allowed to put my shoes back on and gather my belongs. I asked, "are we done here" (it was clear at this point that I was going to be escorted out), and the local police officer said, "follow me". I followed him around the side of the screening area and back out to the ticketing area. I said apologized to him for the hassle, to which he replied that it was not a problem.

I made my way over to the American Airlines counter, explained the situation, and asked if my ticket could be refunded. The woman behind the counter furiously typed away for about 30 seconds before letting me know that she would need a supervisor. She went to the other end of the counter. When she returned, she informed me that the ticket was non-refundable, but that she was still trying to find a supervisor. After a few more minutes, she was able to refund my ticket. I told her that I had previously had a bad experience with American Airlines and had sworn never to fly with them again (I rationalized this trip since my father-in-law had paid for the ticket), but that after her helpfulness, I would once again be willing to use their carrier again.

At this point, I thought it was all over. I began to make my way to the stairs to exit the airport, when I was approached by another man in slacks and a sport coat. He was accompanied by the officer that had escorted me to the ticketing area and Mr. Silva. He informed me that I could not leave the airport. He said that once I start the screening in the secure area, I could not leave until it was completed. Having left the area, he stated, I would be subject to a civil suit and a $10,000 fine. I asked him if he was also going to fine the 6 TSA agents and the local police officer who escorted me from the secure area. After all, I did exactly what I was told. He said that they didn't know the rules, and that he would deal with them later. They would not be subject to civil penalties. I then pointed to Mr. Silva and asked if he would be subject to any penalties. He is the agents' supervisor, and he directed them to escort me out. The man informed me that Mr. Silva was new and he would not be subject to penalties, either. He again asserted the necessity that I return to the screening area. When I asked why, he explained that I may have an incendiary device and whether or not that was true needed to be determined. I told him that I would submit to a walk through the metal detector, but that was it; I would not be groped. He told me that their procedures are on their website, and therefore, I was fully informed before I entered the airport; I had implicitly agreed to whatever screening they deemed appropriate. I told him that San Diego was not listed on the TSA's website as an airport using Advanced Imaging Technology, and I believed that I would only be subject to the metal detector. He replied that he was not a webmaster, and I asked then why he was referring me to the TSA's website if he didn't know anything about it. I again refused to re-enter the screening area.

The man asked me to stay put while he walked off to confer with the officer and Mr. Silva. They went about 20 feet away and began talking amongst themselves while I waited. I couldn't over hear anything, but I got the impression that the police officer was recounting his version of the events that had transpired in the screening area (my initial refusal to be patted down). After a few minutes, I asked loudly across the distance if I was free to leave. The man dismissively held up a finger and said, "hold on". I waited. After another minute or so, he returned and asked for my name. I asked why he needed it, and reminded him that the female supervisor/agent had already taken a report. He said that he was trying to be friendly and help me out. I asked to what end. He reminded me that I could be sued civilly and face a $10,000 fine and that my cooperation could help mitigate the penalties I was facing. I replied that he already had my information in the report that was taken and I asked if I was free to leave. I reminded him that he was now illegally detaining me and that I would not be subject to screening as a condition of leaving the airport. He told me that he was only trying to help (I should note that his demeanor never suggested that he was trying to help. I was clearly being interrogated.), and that no one was forcing me to stay. I asked if tried to leave if he would have the officer arrest me. He again said that no one was forcing me to stay. I looked him in the eye, and said, "then I'm leaving". He replied, "then we'll bring a civil suit against you", to which I said, "you bring that suit" and walked out of the airport.
  #2  
Old Nov 15, 2010, 3:40 PM
NewJerseyDevils NewJerseyDevils is offline
 
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I know you can't have your phone on at passport control and where you pick up your luggage but what about going through security?
  #3  
Old Nov 15, 2010, 4:08 PM
DazedNadConfused DazedNadConfused is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewJerseyDevils View Post
I know you can't have your phone on at passport control and where you pick up your luggage but what about going through security?
Good question - the rules, as I understand them, are clearly subject to interpretation and the TSA employees have a great deal of latitude in enforcement. At every security entrance and exit there are posted signs informing that video/photos cannot be taken of the screening area but I have not noticed anything about phones. That being said - phones need to be placed with the rest of your belongings in the baggage screening device. I have never been asked to not use my phone in line.
  #4  
Old Nov 15, 2010, 10:05 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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This guy clearly knew that he was not going to submit to the intrusive "screening" and his decision to film long before he knew there would be a problem, foreshadows the fact that he was aware of the potential for this to happen. But this doesn't negate the value of his actions. Rosa Parks knew she was going to defy the regulates before she got on bus, but this doesn't negate the impact or value of her actions.

There is no legitimate reason for the excessive and intrusive "pat down". A terrorist could potentially put something in his rectum. This does NOT then make "random" rectal exams legitimate.

The security industry is ridiculous...they even search pilots, who are going to be in charge of the ultimate weapon... what is the point?
  #5  
Old Nov 17, 2010, 12:09 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
There is no legitimate reason for the excessive and intrusive "pat down". A terrorist could potentially put something in his rectum. This does NOT then make "random" rectal exams legitimate.
I somewhat disagree. Let me first say that I too think these searches are pointless. But what I disagree with here is that on the surface it seems like it would be a useful search. Afterall, just look at the underwear bomber. But, you are correct about the rectum, and for a woman, it's even easier. I'll let you figure out the details. It's one of these things that seemed like a good idea, but wasn't well thought out, and in the end is useless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
they even search pilots, who are going to be in charge of the ultimate weapon... what is the point?
I will 100% disagree with you on this one. At the checkpoint they have no way to know if that person dressed in a pilots uniform is still employed. He/She might have gotten fired yesterday. And not every pilot going through is flying the plane out of that city. It's very common for them to live in one city, but be based out of another. So they commute to work, and often times sit in the cockpit jumpseat.
  #6  
Old Nov 17, 2010, 12:15 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DazedNadConfused View Post
Good question - the rules, as I understand them, are clearly subject to interpretation and the TSA employees have a great deal of latitude in enforcement. At every security entrance and exit there are posted signs informing that video/photos cannot be taken of the screening area but I have not noticed anything about phones. That being said - phones need to be placed with the rest of your belongings in the baggage screening device. I have never been asked to not use my phone in line.
There is no issue with being on the phone at the checkpoint, except obviously while you are actually being screened. It also is acceptable to photo or video by the checkpoint, so long as you are not actually filming the checkpoint procedures.

The video this guy took is kind of questionable. They might try to make a huge deal out of it, but all he really got was the ceiling and the audio, neither of which documents any actually screening process.

The big issue that I see for him is his recording the conversation without consent of the others being recorded. Under CA law you must get the consent of the party you are recording. There are provisions for if you are in a public place and hence the conversation could be overheard, but even then you are not always in the clear legally.
  #7  
Old Nov 18, 2010, 12:07 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Quote:
I will 100% disagree with you on this one. At the checkpoint they have no way to know if that person dressed in a pilots uniform is still employed. He/She might have gotten fired yesterday. And not every pilot going through is flying the plane out of that city. It's very common for them to live in one city, but be based out of another. So they commute to work, and often times sit in the cockpit jumpseat.
Jetliner,

I think your logic is flawed. First, any airline which provides credentials to any employee MUST withdraw them immediately if the employee is fired. Therefore, if the TSA required all pilots to swipe their credentials, they would indeed know that the pilot had been fired the day before. The pilot has no need smuggle in a box cutter. If you need evidence of this read up about the EgyptAir crash off the coast of NYC. (Or the SilkAir crash). The same applies to pilots who are deadheading... there was an infamous attempt at murder/suicide by a FedEx pilot in exactly these circumstances. It is utterly illogical to confiscate the pilots bottle of water or his shaver, and then allow him through to sit in control of a flying missile, tanked up with fuel. If you don't trust your pilot, searching him to make sure he is not carrying a box cutter is not going to make you any safer. Indeed, your argument that the TSA don't even know if he has been fired, means that it is the exact opposite. If the TSA invested in live credentialling systems which would reveal this, we would perhaps at least be marginally safer.

On the question of searching... the new system raises questions of principle. The TSA say following the "underpants" bomber, a more intimate style of "pat down" is necessary. The question is, therefore, what is the limit of what is acceptable to expose millions of people to? If a bomber hides weapons or elements of weapons in their rectum or vagina, does that legitimise the TSA undertaking random rectal or vaginal examinations in the name of security?

I don't think so, and I strongly feel that a more radical, wholesale evaluation of security procedures needs to be undertaken, including using some of the profiling techniques utilised by Israeli security for example. What we have now amounts to nothing more than an employment programme for failed "police" wannabe's and frankly some of them appear so stupid, I fear having them in charge of our security.
  #8  
Old Nov 18, 2010, 3:42 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Except for the fact that the TSA does not have computer terminals to swipe credentials in the first place. Aside from that, even if the pilot has not been recently fired, does not mean he couldn't still be trying something. The FedEx case is a perfect example. He was still actively employed by FedEx. And he did smuggle weapons on board (no security for cargo crews).

Beyond that I think you and I pretty well agree. I do think profiling is more of the answer, and I think since people see what has happened now, they might not be so upset about profiling. But even that doesn't always work. The underwear bomber is a perfect example. He changed planes in Amsterdam. For those not familiar, the gates at AMS for flights outside of the European Union each have their own security checkpoint, and profilers with computes checking each person's credentials as they walk through. He sailed right past these guys.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 5:34 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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In any mass transit system, no system can be wholly secure. I repeat, there is no real need for a pilot to smuggle weapons onboard. There is an axe in every cockpit to facilitate emergency evacuation. Some US aircraft have guns on them in the cockpit. Indeed, I think a US Airways pilot managed to fire one by accident!! In reality, as 911 shows, the aircraft itself is a weapon.

An employee who goes toxic is a threat come what may. For example, an employee of an airside shop, who wanted to smuggle a liquid through security could do so, because whilst single bottles of water would be confiscated, the water which goes through for stocking the shops are not individually checked. The reality is that the government is heavily invested in creating an illusion of strict security. Why doesn't the TSA have equipment to check credentials? It is ridiculous.

The current system treats everyone as if they represent the same level of threat. This is nonsense and is not what we do in other security arenas. For example, the US does not treat Malta as if it posed the same threat to them as Russia. However, at airports, we treat a young radical Muslim who has recently travelled to Pakistan as if he represents the same threat as an 80 year old grandmother from Minnesota who has never even left the USA. That is just pointless. Grandma should not be made to remove her shoes and belt, have her perfume confiscated and subjected to the indignity of a naked scan, as if she represents any kind of threat.

Holding up pilots and crew at security, who are fully credentialled and scheduled to work, and treating them as if they are the same threat as our radical Muslim is equally ridiculous. Particularly pilots.

The cost of these universal procedures is huge. If we scaled this back, but invested the considerable cost instead in intelligence gathering we may have more success.

Every time that we close one hole, the terrorists look for another, hence the recent focus on cargo. The printer cartridges were located and diffused not because of good security measures, but because of good intelligence.

I personally wouldn't rule out the possibility that the UPS Cargo aircraft that crashed a few weeks ago in Dubai, following a cargo hold fire, wasn't due to terrorist activity.

Making Grandma take off her shoes doesn't make us safer.

Last edited by jimworcs; Nov 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 11:46 PM
stevicus stevicus is offline
 
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I think the blog writer makes a point in that most people were going through the TSA checkpoint without a pat-down search, so unless they're doing the same search procedures for everyone, I don't see how this is justified.

Unless it's the same search for everyone, it pretty much defeats the whole security argument anyway. While they're wasting time trying to muscle this guy into submitting into a pat-down search, how many potential terrorists got by without having to submit to a pat-down? They should either do it for everybody or nobody.

Also, I would question the legality of someone approaching him and telling him he couldn't leave the airport, especially after they told him that if he didn't submit to a pat-down search, they wouldn't let him past the security checkpoint. If they really thought he was a potential terrorist with an incendiary device, they wouldn't have messed around. They would have called out SWAT and cordoned off the entire area. What kind of terrorist would be fazed by the threat of a civil lawsuit? That whole discussion seems so absurd.
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:49 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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And just to add weight to my argument that security is a "fig leaf".. read this....

While the morons at the TSA snooze, the minimum wage skycaps are running rings round them...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101118/...irport_skycaps
  #12  
Old Nov 19, 2010, 4:05 PM
DazedNadConfused DazedNadConfused is offline
 
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Another satisfied customer....
  #13  
Old Nov 21, 2010, 3:09 PM
NewJerseyDevils NewJerseyDevils is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DazedNadConfused View Post


Another satisfied customer....
That is disgusting. The TSA guy is really getting into it. I'm wondering why there are only white men and women with breast implants stories.
It would appear they are taking away the evidence.
http://www.examiner.com/county-polit...an-diego-again
  #14  
Old Nov 22, 2010, 5:59 PM
stevicus stevicus is offline
 
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It just gets worse.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n7078699.shtml

Quote:
A bladder cancer survivor from Michigan who wears a urostomy bag that collects his urine says a rough pat-down by a security agent at Detroit Metropolitan Airport caused the bag to spill its contents on his shirt and pants.
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