Sunday, June 26, 2011

TSA At It Again

The security threat on St. Patrick's Day.
Never one to rest on their laurels, the TSA is out demonstrating their crackerjack safety protocols with the pat down and diaper search of a 95 year old leukemia patient.

On her way to Michigan to be with family during the final stages of her fight against the disease, the frail, elderly woman was picked out for special additional screening. The woman's daughter, Jean Weber, related the episode:
“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”

Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami, said

“The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner”
Fair enough, but in the future I insist you submit yourself to a simulacast pat down while making your heartfelt statements to the press, just to communicate to the public your deep, shared sense of commitment to the pat down program.
Weber’s mother entered the airport’s security checkpoint in a wheelchair because she was not stable enough to walk through, Weber said.

Wheelchairs trigger certain protocols, including pat-downs and possible swabbing for explosives, Koshetz said.

“During any part of the process, if there is an alarm, then we have to resolve that alarm,” she said.
Alarms should be going off all right, but they should be the ones in your head that warn you when you are doing something indefensibly asinine. You are clearly working with a protocol that places no value on human judgment, that holds the unsupportable view that searching every conceivable person will not degrade the effectiveness of your searches, and are working with a bunch of dolts who are no more likely to make the nation safe by their pathetically pointless searches then they are to generate a workable Grand Unified Theory of Physics.
Weber said her mother was first pulled aside into a glass-partitioned area and patted down. Then she was taken to another room to protect her privacy during a more extensive search. Weber sat outside the room during the search. Security personnel then came out and told her they would need her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled and was impeding their search. Weber wheeled her mother into a bathroom, removed her diaper and returned. Her mother did not have another clean diaper with her, Weber said.
Pity. I suppose this still falls under the category of respectful and sensitive?
“I don’t understand why they have to put them through that kind of procedure” she said.
No one can understand it. It is one of those imponderables of the TSA.
Koshetz said the procedures are the same for everyone to ensure national security.
Ah yes, to ensure national security. We had to remove the depends and left her to travel on the plane without one... in the interests of national security.
“TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability” she said.
"We know from intelligence" is simply a non-sequitur when speaking of the TSA.
“I’m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong. People need to know. Next time it could be you.”
I'm sure she is not one to make waves. She was simply overwhelmed by the dogged stupidity of the TSA. Well, damn straight.

Update June 27th

Mark Steyn comments on the inner workings of the TSA:
"Big Government – more-more-more money-no-object government — will by definition be profoundly stupid government."
Exactly. Read the whole thing here.


  1. Can you believe these clowns have so little sense that they feel they need to search this very frail older lady in case she is a terrorist and is attempting to blow up the airplane? If you can look at this little old lady and honestly say to yourself "Now this is a woman we have to search for explosives", I'm sorry but you are an absolute imbecile and are likely not safe to be walking the streets without supervision.

  2. "Alarms should be going off all right, but they should be the ones in your head that warn you when you are doing something indefensibly asinine."

    And cruel. Thanks for the post.

  3. Was this an outrage?!


  4. Depends?! Sadly, none were available for the actual plane flight. The outrage may very well have fallen into the lap of the flight crew, who bore a share of the consequence. I suppose the TSA could be viewed as undertaking a risk shifting action. They eliminated the risk of something that had absolutely no chance of happening, and subjected everyone on the flight to the risk of something that had a very good chance of happening.

    Nice work.

  5. The TSA is not, and never was, about security from Moslem (or any other sort of) terrorists. So, of course, it engages in this pointless Kabuki theater.

  6. What in the world was it about? Was the creation of the TSA all just an elaborate stage show? Do they merely intend to "appear" to be securing air travel? And are we all putting up with this for the sake of governmental appearance?

    One wonders.

  7. Several things:
    1) the *appearance* of doing something substantive, without actually doing anything substantive; this is why no questions about it may be expressed;
    2) "JOBS" -- you may recall some of my comments about how the political focus on "jobs" is actually destructive of the economy;
    3) increasing bureaucracy;