On Thursday March 27, 2014 Politico Magazine featured another story by former TSA screener turned writer who produced the “Dear America, I Saw You Naked,” piece earlier this month. In it he recounts some of the inane and idiotic behavior of TSA workers that he witnessed while employed at the dysfunctional agency.
In the article he reveals that anyone who thinks that filing a complaint using a comment card from the checkpoint may be sorely disappointed to learn that “ the yellow complaint cards passengers are given to voice their concerns are widely regarded as a joke by TSA supervisors. “Rarely does anyone actually read those” was something I heard all the time.”
Also, for those who used the scanners while they still produced a naked image, they also saw you face. He notes that he “witnessed TSA breaking its promise to the public that the screeners who reviewed the full-body scanner images would never come face-to-face with the passengers whose naked bodies they’d just seen.”
This supplement to Mr, Harrington’s earlier piece provide further confirmation that everything bad that we suspected about the degenerates in blue is sadly true or even worse than imagined. Perhaps we’d all be well advised to consider his suggestion about traveling by train instead of air.
An excerpt from the article follows. The full article is available at Politico Magazine.
Politico Magazine – Thursday, March 26. 2014 – By Jason Harrington
Soon after the article went up on the Politico website, I sent a note to my editor marveling at the fact that I had 30 new Twitter followers, up from a grand total of 240. I’d thought my article would get passed around in government and civil-liberties circles—a curiosity story of an anonymous TSA blogger unmasking himself, and that would be it.
I got more emails in response to the article than I had in my entire year and a half writing my blog, Taking Sense Away, even when I revealed on the blog that the “nude” scanners didn’t work and that TSA employees were making predictably awful jokes about passengers’ bodies. I got only one piece of hate mail in response to my Politico Magazine article: an anonymous message that informed me that I was a “goon” because, it said, “Once a TSA goon, always a TSA goon.”
A few people did reach out to warn me that I am almost certainly being monitored by intelligence agencies now that I have revealed myself as a critic of the TSA. “My ex-husband is now a senior executive at the NSA at Fort Meade,” one said. “The NSA will probably track you.”
I’m not sure how credible these warnings are, but after being the subject of two official government responses—in which TSA denied and downplayed the claims made on my blog and in my essay—it’s hard not to worry that I’m being watched. I’ve received so many letters making this point that I now take it for granted that my every online move is being monitored by someone, somewhere. If the truth is more banal, so be it: I’d much rather be paranoid and wrong.
One of the agency’s biggest problems is its arbitrary promotion system, which is also the source of a lot of outrage in letters I’ve gotten from current and former TSA workers. I saw signs of rampant cronyism and favoritism at O’Hare while I was there, and the emails I’ve received from around the country contain similar observations. And it’s not just me seeing this: Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced it would launch an investigation after a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report found “rampant” favoritism at the TSA.
The second most common cause for complaint that I’ve heard from floor-level employees is the yearly re-certification system. While I was there, an officer’s suitability for his or her job was determined in large part by a two-hour test administered once a year, in which a TSA screener was put before two clipboard-wielding test administrators and observed while giving patdowns and doing bag searches on test subjects.
In practice, this meant that screeners who were rude to co-workers and passengers or just generally incompetent but had made it through their probationary period could hang onto their jobs by learning to work the system. All they had to do was give a convincing two-hour performance once a year—their conduct the rest of the time carried relatively little weight.
I personally experienced the absurdity of the TSA’s certification bureaucracy when I was informed one day—more than two years after I’d been hired, and after having checked thousands of driver’s licenses and passports—that I was not on-record as having ever received travel-document training from the TSA. Apparently, my certification papers had been lost, so I was pulled off the travel-document checking position on the spot and de-certified until I took the training class again.
“So does this mean,” I asked my supervisor, “that all the passports and driver’s licenses that I’ve cleared through security over the past two years have been security breaches?”
“Let’s not think about that,” my supervisor said.