Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TSA Personnel Demonstrate Their Talents... Yet Again

Had enough of Anthony's Weiner? Absolutely?! Yeah, well, kudos to Andrew Breitbart and Stacy McCain.

Now back to more familiar territory: The folks over at the Transportation Security Administration have been their busy selves, this time abusing a bunch of elderly British citizens on a two and a half month cruise of the US, who made the mistake of making port in Los Angeles. There, they were put through scrutiny that made no sense what so ever, given their obvious age, citizenship and multiple prior port stops in the US. That's bad enough, but it gets worse:
"But when a handful of them questioned whether the lengthy security checks at the port were strictly necessary for a group of largely elderly travellers officials were not amused. Although they had already been given advance clearance for multiple entries to the country during their trip, all 2,000 passengers were made to go through full security checks in a process which took seven hours to complete. The fingerprints of both hands were taken as well as retina scans and a detailed check of the passport as well as questioning as to their background."
Brilliant. Thank god we have the retina scans on these elderly citizens of the realm.
"The passengers complained that they were “herded like animals” and made to stand for hours in temperatures up to 80F with no food or water or access to lavatories.
Well, the real mistake these intrepid travelers made was to question the sanity of the TSA'a practices in ear shot of the TSA. Having the temerity of mentioning that the TSA's methods make little sense is a tip off of likely terrorist association, and at this point the TSA was obliged to take these people down, and take them down hard. Nothing sets off one's public employees as making obvious comments on the idiocy of the decisions they make.
Some are said to have passed out in the heat while others were left confused and bewildered. When one lady asked in desperation whether she could use a bathroom, one immigration official is said to have replied: “Do it over the side, we won’t mind.”
You see? And you thought they were totally lacking in humor.
"The delays forced the liner to extend the stay in LA by a day, forcing it to cancel a later stop-off at Roatan, Honduras, scheduled for this week."
Yep, can't stop in Honduras because the twits at TSA got their panties in a wad, resulting in their kicking it up a notch to display the kind of crack screening that has made the TSA the scourge of al Qaeda. And why, pray tell, did all this occur? Dr. John Randall, a retired dentist on board the cruise offered his observations:
"A couple of passengers got a bit stroppy about having to go through all the rigmarole again and these petulant officials decided to take revenge. They were just doing basic checks to begin with but after the argument we had to do full finger prints on left and right hands and all the biometric stuff. Then their computer system broke down but no one was bothered about helping us. A couple of people struggled to control their bladders and someone said they'd suffered a prolapsed disc.”
I love that, "got a bit stroppy" Well, these are the measures we need to keep our nation safe. And these are the same people Janet Napolitano wants unionized, so you can never fire them, never, never ever. I'm sure that will do wonders for their care and consideration.
“We are holiday makers, here to try and enjoy ourselves - we are not potential inmates of Guantalamo Bay, and should not be treated as such.”
You'd be amazed how many of these guys fit in a car.
Yes, they know that, but that is mere detail. We're talking security here.

A spokeswoman for the company stated:
“The US has a record for the most stringent and thorough security and entry requirements in the world, and they felt the need to enhance their security checks further, which they have the power to do.”
Certainly they have the power to do so, ma'am. The question is do they have the judgment. The short answer is...



  1. Standing for hours? No toilets available? No water available?

    Not only is it illegal to treat convicted felons this way, I think it violates the Geneva Convention regarding treatment of prisoners-of-war.

    Since the visitors subjected themselves to this voluntarily, does that mean they have no recourse?

    And I am curious -- did the agents involved take their regular breaks during this enhanced interrogation, I mean, security check?

  2. Those are all excellent questions. What strikes me as the unifying theme is the happy combination of the TSA's doggedly stupid interest in screening individuals whom a seven year old could tell you pose no risk to the nation, and their callous disregard and lack of consideration for those people they are screening, people that are here legally and are attempting to engage in commerce with US citizens ashore. The TSA is tasked with keeping the nation secure, but in doing so must not allow itself to become the agent of the terrorists by inflicting undue hardship on the populace and inflating the impact the terrorists have. Of course, such considerations require a certain level of critical thinking, and that is the one asset the TSA has amply demonstrated to be in critically short supply.


    It endangers us and our friends and visitors far more than any terrorist does.