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For many of us who follow the travesty that is TSA, Politico featured an article by Jason Edward Harrington, who has maintained a blog called “Taking Sense Away”, initials TSA, since 2012. He has revealed several practices, including adolescent and prurient comments by TSA screeners who were “enjoying the show” of naked passengers parading through the scanners.
The TSA pushed back at a story published in POLITICO Magazine authored by a former TSA screener, saying the problems described are either inaccurate or no longer true. For two years they claimed it was only one person and that they were mostly women alone in that room. Now we learn there were men congregating in the room and mocking passengers and generally acting like 13 year-old boys.
Inexplicably, TSA did not attempt to directly refute that the claims were false, but that the agency contends that it has stopped creating child pornography and molesting or humiliating near as many passengers as they had for over two and a half years.
From POLITICO: In the article, the former screener said TSA workers routinely made fun of peoples’ bodies as the images from whole body imaging machines flashed across their monitors in a secure room near the screening area.
But TSA said “many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in this article are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately” — including the author’s references to whole-body imaging machines that used backscatter technology. Those machines produced virtually nude pictures of travelers, but were removed from airports in May in favor of scanners that render a generic avatar instead.
The agency has tacitly admitted that these and other allegations were true for over two years although they repeatedly denied them and other complaints at the time.
From POLITICO: “Every passenger deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and Transportation Security Administration policy upholds this standard. TSA does not tolerate any form of unethical or unlawful behavior by its employees and takes swift disciplinary action if discovered,” the agency said in a response to the article that also said screeners exacted retribution against rude passengers and used code words to alert other workers that attractive women were coming through screening lines.
In the case of the later confirmed strip search of Lenore Zimmerman TSA initially claimed that it didn’t happen. As usual they lied.
From CBS: TSA public affairs spokesperson Kristin Lee told CBS News that “TSA screening procedures are conducted in a manner designed to treat all passengers with dignity, respect and courtesy and that occurred in this instance. “While we regret that the passenger feels she had an unpleasant screening experience, TSA does not include strip searches as part of our security protocols, and one was not conducted in this case.”
There have been thousands of complaints against TSA for passenger molestation, humiliation, retaliation and abuse over the past three years. Children, handicapped and elderly passengers along with celebrities and politicians have all been victims of TSA abuse of authority.
From POLITICO: And, TSA said since November 2011 it has “aggressively implemented risk-based security procedures to move away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach,” including expedited screening for 55 million passengers that TSA said is “dramatically different than the procedures of years past.”
From POLITICO: “TSA’s top priority is to protect the traveling public, and every policy and security procedure in place is designed to mitigate threats to passengers and the aviation sector — which we know our adversaries continue to target. TSA is always taking steps to enhance our procedures, to most importantly stay ahead of evolving threats, and wherever possible to also improve the experience of the traveling public,” the agency said.
They have never stopped or identified even one threat after 12 years at 600-700 million passengers a year and have admitted that there is virtually no threat of another airline attack.
By going public with these revelations, Harrington may have blazed a trail that other TSA screeners will follow. Perhaps after in exposing this level of corruption and misconduct rampant in the agency Congress will finally demand and institute replace this out of control collection of societal misfits.