New FBI definition of rape could be bad for TSA

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Filed under In The News

The new definition of rape by the FBI (pending approval) is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

There have been numerous documented cases wherein TSA agents have physically penetrated the vagina or anus of a traveler during the course of a pat down. The most infamous case of such invasive groping occurred earlier this year, when journalist Amy Alkon reported that a TSA screener penetrated her genitals “four times” during a search.

It should be interesting to see if the TSA will continue to exist above the law or if they will change their procedures in order to stop raping people.

TSA Apologizes For Strip Searching Potential Terrorist With Dangerous Walker

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Filed under In The News, TSA Fail

The TSA is apologizing to an 84 year old woman who claims she was strip searched and brutalized with the weapon she tried to sneak through security. (a metal walker)

I am glad that the TSA is doing their job. However, I don’t think this woman is strong enough to really hijack a plane with her walker and I still really feel the TSA needs to be focusing on people with strong hands.

TSA now larger than depts of Labor, Energy, Education, Housing, Urban Development and State combined.

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Filed under In The News

A congressional analysis — conducted by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — alleged numerous shortcomings at TSA. Among them:

  • Staffing: “TSA is a top-heavy bureaucracy with 3,986 headquartered personnel and 9,656 administrative staff in the field.” With more than 65,000 employees, TSA is now larger than the departments of Labor, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development and State combined.
  • Turnover: “More employees have left TSA than are currently employed at the agency.” TSA has had five administrators in less than a decade, with occasionally long vacancies between appointments.
  • Mission: “TSA has failed to develop an effective, comprehensive plan to evolve from a one-size-fits-all operation — treating all passengers as if they pose the same risk — into a highly intelligent, risk-based operation that has the capacity to determine a traveler’s level of risk and adjust the level of screening in response.”
  • Security: “More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at U.S. airports in the last decade,” despite a 400 percent increase in manpower.” The report said 17 “known terrorists” have traveled on 24 different occasions through security at eight airports where TSA operated a Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) behavior detection program.

Wow, with Washington continuing the deficit fight, why not agree to make some cuts to the TSA?

After Decade, TSA Decides Military Is Not A Threat

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Filed under In The News

The Washington Post is reporting that active military on official orders may soon pass quickly through security. It all depends on if The Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of The Armed Forces Act, passes. It is actually a bit refreshing to see that we may pass a law that makes sense.

Although anything is possible and a terrorist could always join the military in order to get access to airplanes. It is quite unlikely and it really makes sense to exempt military from screening since they are generally the ones who are fighting terrorists, not becoming terrorists.

Airport X-Ray Scanners Better Odds of Giving You Cancer Than Winning The Lottery

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Filed under In The News
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Daily Mail is reporting that Europe is banning x-ray scanners that are now common in the US. It turns out that as early as 1998 radiation experts reported their concerns that it could cause cancer.

It is estimated that 100 people per year could get cancer from these machines. While that may seem like not very many considering that 630 million people fly each year. Consider this. If you buy one of the ever popular multi-state lottery tickets such as Power Ball or Mega Millions each time you fly. You have a far better chance of getting cancer from the rapiscan x-ray machines than you do winning money to pay for your new cancer from the lottery ticket in your pocket.

Good luck in the cancer lottery!

 

Ventura, Miffed Over TSA Lawsuit, Will Turn Back, Raise Fist During National Anthems

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Filed under In The News

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is so upset by the dismissal of his airport security lawsuit that he threatened Friday to apply for dual citizenship so he can spend more time in his beloved Mexico — or run for president of what he labeled “the Fascist States of America.”

On Thursday, a U.S. District Judge dismissed Ventura’s lawsuit against full-body scanners at airports, ruling it should have been filed in a Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Friday outside the federal courthouse in St. Paul, with a crew from his “Conspiracy Theory” cable TV show filming, Ventura said he hadn’t decided whether to continue pressing his lawsuit.

But the former Navy SEAL said he had lost his patriotism.

“I will never stand for a national anthem again. I will turn my back and I will raise a fist,” he said.

Read Full Story at: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/11/04/judge-dismisses-venturas-lawsuit-over-tsa-pat-downs/

TSA Agents Get 6 Months For Stealing $40,000 From Checked Bag

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Filed under In The News

I don’t know why someone would be flying with that much cash. But it doesn’t matter. People should have the right to pack a bag full of cash and not have the government steal it.

Two former TSA workers at JFK Airport pleaded guilty yesterday to grand larceny after they were caught swiping $40,000 from somebody’s luggage. Coumar Persad, 44, of Jackson Heights, Queens, and Davon Webb, 31, of the Bronx will each serve six months in jail for their crime, which was perpetrated in Januaryafter Persad X-rayed a piece of baggage headed for an American Airlines flight.

Read the whole story here: http://gothamist.com/2011/10/28/tsa_agents_stole_40000_from_checked.php

Note-leaving TSA agent suspended

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Filed under In The News, TSA Fail

Last week a TSA agent upon finding a vibrator in this woman’s luggage, decided to leave a friendly note.

Although maybe humorous. Definitely not professional. Yes, we know the TSA goes through our bags. But they don’t need to rub it in our face any time they encounter something that might be a bit private.

Well, at least the person responsible was found and suspended. If you think that sounds odd. Don’t worry, the TSA firmly denied it first.

John Mica Attacks TSA ‘Chat-Downs’ As ‘Idiotic, ‘ Secret Report On TSA Will “Knock Your Socks Off”

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Filed under In The News

Huffington Post and Prison Planet are reporting on Congressman John Mica’s (R – FL) comments on the TSA “chat downs” and the incredible failures of the TSA over the past decade.

Mica suggested that the TSA’s performance report would read “sort of like the record of the Marx Brothers”.

The TSA has withheld results of its official security tests, despite repeated requests to release the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Department of Homeland Security has classified the results of the most recent random, covert “red team tests,” where undercover agents try to see what they can get past airport security. The reason they have done so, according to Mica, is because the results have been so shockingly and consistently bad for the past nine years.

We are really looking forward to this report if it manages to get released. But I suspect the TSA will continue to say it is a matter of national security to keep the lid on it.

TSA Now Conducting Highway Searches

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Filed under In The News

Wow. When will it end?

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111020/11465616440/tsa-decides-terrorists-must-be-driving-partners-with-tenn-law-enforcement-to-randomly-search-vehicles.shtml

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Tuesday partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and several other federal and state agencies for a safety enforcement and awareness operation on Tennessee’s interstates and two metropolitan-area bus stations.

But this was no ordinary random search of vehicles. This one had its own acronym:

The agencies conducted a Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) operation at scale complexes where trucks and large vehicles are weighed. The VIPR operation was also conducted at two regional bus terminals in Nashville and Knoxville.

As awesomely G.I. Joe-ish as VIPR sounds, one would think that random searches of vehicles might run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. The word from above is: Don’t worry about it. You’re probably just thinking too much. Highway patrol Colonel Tracy Trott offers some much needed perspective:

The random inspections really aren’t any more thorough [than?] normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott who says paying attention to details can make a difference. Trott pointed out it was an Oklahoma state trooper who stopped Timothy McVeigh for not having a license plate after the Oklahoma City bombing in the early 1990s.

Question, the first: If these inspections aren’t any more thorough than “normal,” why the extra personnel and additional super-cool acronym?