The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States
The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representative and Ernest Hollings in the Senate, passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on March 9, 2003. Source
There seems to be a lot of problems associated with this organization. Abuse of power being the worst. This is a rather long story. The facts are frightening to say the least.
To anyone who is going to fly, be warned it may be a very disturbing, humiliating, experience.
The scanners to begin with may be dangerous. Seems they have not been well tested as to side affects.
Scientists Cast Doubt on TSA Tests of Full-Body Scanners
by Michael Grabell
ProPublica, May 16, 2011
The Transportation Security Administration says its full-body X-ray scanners are safe and that radiation from a scan is equivalent to what’s received in about two minutes of flying. The company that makes them says it’s safer than eating a banana.
But some scientists with expertise in imaging and cancer say the evidence made public to support those claims is unreliable. And in a new letter sent to White House science adviser John Holdren, they question why the TSA won’t make the scanners available for independent testing by outside scientists.
The machines, which are designed to reveal objects hidden under clothing, have the potential to close a significant security gap for the TSA because metal detectors can’t find explosives or ceramic knives, which can be just as sharp as the box cutters that hijackers used on 9/11.
They are also important for TSA’s public relations battle over the alternative, the “enhanced pat-down,” which has bred an epidemic of viral videos: A 6-year-old girl is touched from head to toe. A former Miss USA says she was violated. A software programmer warns a screener, “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”
After the underwear bomber tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day 2009, the TSA ramped up deployment of full-body scanners and plans to have them at nearly every security line by 2014.
There are two types of body scanners. Millimeter wave machines emit a radio frequency similar to cellphones. Backscatters work like a fast-moving X-ray. In the latter, the rays bounce off the skin and create a fuzzy white image of the passenger’s body. Because the beam doesn’t go through the body, most of its radiation is received by the skin.
The TSA says the backscatter technology has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Survey teams are using radiation-detecting dosimeters to check the machines at airports. The TSA says the results have all confirmed that the scanners don’t pose a significant risk to public health.
According to the agency and many radiation experts, the dose is so low, even for children or cancer patients, that someone would have to pass through the machines more than a thousand times before approaching the annual limit set by radiation safety organizations.
But the letter to the White House science adviser, signed by five professors at University of California, San Francisco, and at Arizona State University, points out several flaws in the tests. Studies published in scientific journals in the last few months have also cast doubt on the radiation dose and the machines’ ability to find explosives.
A number of scientists, including some who believe the radiation is trivial, say more testing should be done given the government’s plans to put millions of passengers through the machines. And they have been disturbed by the TSA’s reluctance to do so.
“There’s no real data on these machines, and in fact, the best guess of the dose is much, much higher than certainly what the public thinks,” said John Sedat, a professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and the primary author of the letter.
The same group stirred controversy last year when it sent a letter to Holdren arguing that while the overall dose to the body may be low, the TSA hadn’t quantified the dose to the skin. Last fall, FDA and TSA officials released a study that estimated the dose to the skin to be twice the dose to the body, though still extremely low.
In the most recent letter sent to Holdren on April 28, the professors note that the Johns Hopkins lab didn’t test an actual airport machine. Instead, the tests were done on a model built by the manufacturer, Rapiscan, and configured to resemble a system previously tested by the TSA.
The researchers’ names have been kept secret, and the report on the tests is so “heavily redacted” that “there is no way to repeat any of these measurements,” they wrote.
The physics and medical professors also took issue with the device used to measure the radiation. Although the device, known as an ion chamber, is commonly used to test medical equipment, they argue that the detector gets overwhelmed by the amount of radiation the backscatter deposits in a short time and might not provide accurate readings.
Helen Worth, a spokeswoman for the Johns Hopkins lab, referred questions to the TSA.
Part of the trouble is that there is no ideal device for measuring the radiation dose given by backscatter X-rays, said David Brenner, director of the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research. The machines emit a pencil beam that rapidly moves across and up and down the body, he said.
“We are one of the oldest and biggest radiological research centers in the country, and we find this to be a very hard technical problem,” said Brenner, who was not involved with the letter.
Another issue is that there is a lot of uncertainty with the model used to estimate cancer risk from radiation exposure to the skin, said Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a UCSF radiologist who also was not involved in the letter.
Smith-Bindman, who has testified before Congress about excessive radiation from medical scans, studied the TSA reports and said she wasn’t concerned about the airport X-rays.
The risks are “truly trivial,” she wrote in an article for the Archives of Internal Medicine. A passenger would have to undergo 50 airport scans to reach the level of a dental X-ray, 1,000 for a chest X-ray, and 4,000 for a mammogram.
Though imperfect, the available models predict that the backscatters would lead to only six cancers over the course of a lifetime among the approximately 100 million people who fly every year, Smith-Bindman concluded.
“There’s really unnecessary fear related to these scans,” she said. “What I’m not as comfortable with is that there has not been access to these machines. They are not being tested on the same regulatory basis that we see on medical equipment.”
After her article was published, Smith-Bindman was contacted by a TSA public affairs officer. During the conversation, she suggested that she or other outside scientists be allowed to test the machine. The official was shocked by the suggestion and said such access could tip off people who want to avoid detection, Smith-Bindman said.
“It was not appreciating that there’s legitimate scientific questions that have to be balanced against the security questions,” she said.
The TSA did not respond to ProPublica’s questions about why it wouldn’t allow outside testing. But at a congressional hearing in March, Robin Kane, assistant administrator for security technology, said doing so would expose a lot of sensitive information the agency wouldn’t normally share publicly. The machines had already been tested several times, he said, and if set up securely, the agency would allow more testing.
The available information leaves scientists with little to work with. Peter Rez, the Arizona State physics professor who signed the letter to Holdren, has tried to calculate the radiation by examining the handful of backscatter images that have been released publicly.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group, sued the Department of Homeland Security, TSA’s parent agency, in federal court seeking release of 2,000 backscatter images used in testing. But it has not been successful.
The few images that have been made public do not reveal faces or detailed private features. The TSA says the images Rez used are out of date, but Rez says the current image on TSA’s website is unusable.
Using the earlier images, Rez concluded in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal that it was highly unlikely the machines could have produced such high-quality images with doses of radiation as low as those described by TSA. He estimated the dose, while still very small, is 45 times higher than the results measured by Johns Hopkins.
Applying Rez’s numbers, Brenner wrote a paper for the journal Radiology, estimating that 100 additional cancers would develop for every 1 billion scans.
For Rez, the real danger occurs if the machine stops in the middle of a scan, allowing the beam to focus on a tiny area for several seconds. Given that the backscatter works with a wheel rotating at a high speed, and that the agency plans to use the scanners continuously 365 days a year, mechanical failures are likely, he said.
The TSA says that the scanners have safety systems, such as automatic shutoffs and emergency stop buttons, that will kill the beam in the event of any problem that could result in abnormal radiation. How those fail-safe systems work isn’t entirely clear.
When Johns Hopkins researchers visited the Rapiscan facility, the automatic termination appeared to work. But the full results of the shutoff tests are redacted.
What’s more, the test system didn’t have an emergency stop button. Source
The question you must ask yourself: Are they telling the truth, when they say the scanners are safe? They of course show you, in all your glorious nakedness. That in of itself is humiliating on it’s own.
Now we must move on to how this so called Security works.
The beginning starts here:
TSA Worker Crimes
This is a rather long list of crimes perpetrated by the Employees of TSA,
Assault, harassment, theft, trying to buy sex, possessing child porn, rape, Statutory Rape, drugs, drugs smuggling, handguns in luggage, domestic violence, grand larceny, sexually abusing two young girls, federal extortion, bribery charges, Running Prostitution Ring, cooking meth, taking bribes, Child Molestation,
To name a few: These are the the type of people who work for the TSA.
Go HERE to read about the crimes of TSA Employees, mentioned above.
Now that you know, what type of people are hired, we can move on to the next step in our journey to enlightenment.
TSA agent forces elderly woman to empty colostomy bag
December 6, 2010 By Dead Serious News
Rosemary Fecteau, an 87 year old widow from Hershey, Pennsylvania, plans to sue the TSA for forcing her to empty her colostomy bag during a pat-down.
Fecteau, who has had a colostomy bag since a mosh pit injury two years ago, is claiming that the TSA agent humiliated her in front of hundreds of passengers waiting in the security line at the Orlando International Airport yesterday. According to Fecteau, she was selected for a pat-down when the full body scanner detected her colostomy bag. Fecteau, through her lawyer, claims that she told the TSA agent that it was a colostomy bag, but the agent had “never heard of that before.” After patting down the bag, the TSA agent stated that “something feels very strange in there” and requested that Fecteau empty the contents on the inspection table nearby. Fecteau claims when she protested, the TSA agent threatened her with arrest and a $10,000 fine. Fecteau, crying and trembling, emptied her colostomy bag on the table to jeers and laughter from passengers in the security line. The TSA agent scolded Fecteau. “Why didn’t you tell me the bag was full of your crap?”
Fecteau was allowed to board the plane after the incident. A TSA spokesperson who was not aware of this specific incident, said that it appeared the TSA agent involved “acted appropriately”. Source
A TSA spokesperson who was not aware of this specific incident, said that it appeared the TSA agent involved “acted appropriately”.
I be to differ. The agent in question was cruel to and elderly woman. She was absolutely humiliated, beyond anything imaginable. He orders her to empty the bag then goes on to give her Shit for dumping shit out. Excuse the language but this type of behavior is anything but acceptable. The woman had no choice in the matter facing, arrest or a $10,000 fine.
I don’t know what planet the agent is from but on earth this is considered profound abuse of power.
Condoning such an act as the TSA spokesperson did it also an abuse of power in every way imaginable. How dare anyone condone such an action towards an elderly terrified woman. TSA says they train their employees to be sensitive. Well that is a load of BS. A blatant lie if you ask me.
Who is protecting people like this Elderly woman so horrifically, humiliated by the TSA?
This is just one incident there are many more.
Check HERE for more nightmares the Elderly and Handicapped have been put through at the hands of TSA.
TSA Screening Abuse of Children & Minors
The short list:
Detaining and searching 3 year old;s., Exposes 17-Year-Old ’s Breasts, Baby 18 months old ordered off plane, 5th Grader Was Groped By TSA, TSA molesting child, Eight-Year-Old on TSA Terrorist Watchlist, to name a couple of infringements.
TSA Has No Idea How To Screen A 7-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy
The tiny (potential) terrorists of the world continue to wreak havoc at airport security checkpoints. We already brought you the story of the 4-year-old who dared to hug her grandmother in view of TSA screeners, and now comes the tale of a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy whose crutches and leg braces reportedly confounded security personnel at JFK Airport.
The girl’s parents tell TheDaily.com that they know their daughter needs to go through a pat-down when she flies because her crutches and braces throw off the scanners and other detectors.
But, says her father, the family recently missed their flight out of JFK because the TSA screeners were not only rude, but also could not decide how to properly screen his daughter.
Because their daughter is developmentally disabled and can react negatively to being inspected by strangers, the parents say they usually ask the screeners performing the pat-down to introduce themselves to the little girl.
“[T]he woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” the father recalls.
Things seemed to be okay after a supervisor decided that searching the girl’s crutches would suffice.
But after the family had been sitting at the gate for an hour, the TSA suddenly decided it hadn’t done its job and it needed everyone to come back to the checkpoint to re-screen the girl.
When that was all done, the family say they attempted to race through the terminal to make their flight but they were too late and had to be re-booked onto a later flight.
The TSA gave Consumerist the following statement:
TSA takes all passengers claims seriously and each one is thoroughly reviewed. A TSA manager determined that a TSA officer did not complete the screening procedure on the child.
When the checkpoint manager learned that the screening was not completed, TSA officers went to the gate and offered to conduct a modified pat-down at the gate, or back at the checkpoint, where there is a separate screening room for privacy. The family ultimately returned to the checkpoint to complete the screening process.
TSA officers strive to screen passengers respectfully while ensuring the safety of all travelers. Source
This type of behavior from TSA employees is not acceptable.
For All Reports on this topic go HERE
TSA Screening Abuse Reports – General Public
The short list:
Sexual harassment, TSA agents ‘laugh at travelers’ naked scanner images in backrooms, vandalizing travelers property, reaching into woman’s bra, Women’s Breasts exposed by TSA screeners, TSA pulls down man’s pants, ordered to strip naked for airport security while workers took pictures and video, people sexually assaulted, to name a few.
Flier’s TSA ‘grope’ nightmare
By HEATHER HADDON
March 27, 2011
The skies were a little too friendly for a Brooklyn woman who said her security pat-down at La Guardia Airport last week felt more like fondling than frisking.
“If I had been physically attacked, this would have been a very, very similar experience,” said Nancy Campbell, 33, an urban planner who said she was traumatized by a touchy-feely female TSA agent before her flight to Washington Tuesday.
Campbell had already cleared security and was approaching the gate when the young agent stopped her, told her to drop her stuff and demanded she stand spread-eagled.
UNHAPPY LANDINGS: Brooklynite Nancy Campbell claims her search was like a physical attack.
As passers-by gawked, the TSA agent patted Campbell down, touching her breasts, inner thighs and crotch, the freaked-out flier told The Post.
When she protested, the agent said, “You can either continue on flailing about, or you can let me do my job. If you don’t, you can’t fly.”
The petite Brooklynite was in tears when she boarded her plane after the three-minute ordeal.
Hers is just one of the hundreds of complaints heard since Nov. 1, when the Transportation Security Administration started sending some passengers through full-body scanners to better detect explosives. Those who refused the scan would face a more vigorous pat-down.
But Campbell says she was never asked to step through a scanner. The guard provided no other options to the random pat-downs at the gate.
Putting passengers through enhanced pat-downs after they’ve already cleared security is “very, very strange,” said Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the ACLU.
Campbell said two other women were groped during the random checks at Gate 18.
Ann Davis, a TSA spokeswoman, said the agency has randomly screened bags and travelers at gates since 2008.
Davis would not say if the pat-down described by Campbell broke agency protocols or was overly intrusive. When asked about the rules, Davis said she could not discuss them because of security concerns.
“We will certainly look into the specifics of this passenger’s complaint. Officers are trained to conduct these pat-downs in a professional manner,” she said.
The TSA has received 900 complaints from travelers who underwent or witnessed pat-downs and another 4,515 from those against the public friskings in general. Source
For more on this topic Go HERE
This is how the Department of Homeland Security and TSA protects the people of the US.
The above reports are up to April 2013 only.
Thank you, to those who have come forward and reported all the abuses. Thank you, to all those who have reported and collected all the information. There certainly is a mountain of crimes, being committed in the name of Security.
I will leave you with this last thought.
Disgraced Catholic priest who was defrocked after ‘sexually abusing two young girls’ now works as a TSA airport screener (Thomas Harkins)
A disgraced priest who was kicked out of the Catholic church after he allegedly abused two young girls has found new employment supervising airport security screeners for the TSA.
The post gives Thomas Harkin access thousands of travelers, including untold numbers of children, as they pass through security checkpoints at Philadelphia International Airport every day.
And now, a third alleged victim has come forward saying that Harkin molested her up to 15 times when she was 11, including in the rectory of Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, New Jersey.
All of the alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s, but none of the alleged victims came forward before the statute of limitations expired, CBS Philadelphia reports.
Harkin could not be prosecuted, but when the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, learned of the allegations in 2002, he was defrocked.
It’s unclear when Harkin landed the job supervising airport screeners, but the Transportation Security Administration says he in is charge of overseeing baggage, not passengers.
Karen Polesir, the Philadelphia spokeswoman with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the TV station she fears Harkin still has access to any passengers coming through the security gates.
New allegations: A third accuser has come forward to say Harkin molested her up to 15 times at Saint Anthony of Padua parish when she was 11As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that,’ she said.Harkin, when confronted by CBS Philadelphia, denied that the public was in danger, but refused to comment on his job, on the abuse allegations, or the lawsuit filed by his newest accuser.The TSA says it hired Harkin after he cleared a criminal background check. His security record was clean because he was never arrested on the abuse allegations.However, it’s unknown whether he would have been disqualified even if he had been arrested for child molesting, Huffington Post reports.
The TSA says its background checks search for ’28 disqualifying crimes,’ but the agency doesn’t say what the crimes are, so no one can say whether sexually abusing children disqualifies potential screeners.Harkin refused to speak with a reporter from CBS Philadelphia who confronted him over the allegationsVideos at Source
What do you think?
Who protects you from TSA Abusers?
As of June 1 2013
From June 2011
Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained documents that show how TSA workers got sick with cancer, heart disease and stroke. Source
So what about frequent flyers? They could get all of the above as well, from the scanners.