TSA asked 95 year old woman in a wheelchair in terminal stage of leukemia to remove adult diaper for pat-down

Discuss

117 Responses to “TSA asked 95 year old woman in a wheelchair in terminal stage of leukemia to remove adult diaper for pat-down”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now that this policy has been in place for a bit, has anyone seen any stats on how effective it actually is? I mean, how many terrorists/crims/otherwise dogdey people have been exposed per number of “pat downs”?

  2. rebdav says:

    It is soft terror, it enforces obedience and pacifism. What if the bad TSA man does something bad to me?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can we finally say that the terrorists have won here? These TSA stories continue to get more and more shameful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think the whole incident is horrible. There is a way to do things without total exploitation. The TSA are very uneducated and a large majority are unhappy with their jobs. Remember Gen Joe Foss. Those TSA people didn’t even recognize a Medal of Honor. I am dumbfounded. Yes we need tight security measures but the TSA should be educated, professional personnel with the ability to be compassionate and discreet. They have an inability to handle the duties assigned without a sense of aggressive power. I feel sad for this woman and her family. I hope they get some type of satisfaction from the TSA but I doubt they will.

  5. msikk says:

    I would say it is easier to plant explosives/contraband on an unsuspecting senior than most other alternatives. As long as the TSA doesn’t cause any more discomfort than minimally necessary, I’d be all for checking old people.

  6. Awesomer says:

    “She said security personnel then came out and told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled.”

    That sounds a little less ridiculous. Of course, it’s still pretty ridiculous that she was subject to the pat-down in the first place, but we all already knew that the TSA was ridiculous.

    • mlw99 says:

      “She said security personnel then came out and told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled.”

      That sounds a little less ridiculous.”

      It is only a “little less ridiculous” if you assume that this elderly lady’s soiled diaper was NOT caused by stress of this extremely intrusive encounter with the TSA.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Given how over-lawyered the United States is, I’m surprised we’re not seeing lots of TV commercials by attorneys asking people whose Fourth Amendment rights have been violated to call them to sue the TSA.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bin Laden wins again!

  9. John says:

    Boy everyone in line there – were they not complete cowards shoudl have said NO, this is too much and inappropriate.

  10. mordicai says:

    I don’t see the problem here. Being an old person doesn’t preclude you from being a potential threat, nor does it grant you special rights. Now– I think the whole security system is nonsense, a bait-&-switch of dubious effectiveness, part of the slide into the constant surveillance of a police state, & probably unconstitutional…but I don’t see how this particular case is different than any other.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Mordicai

      Screeners at Ben Gurion Intl’ have proven for decades that pointed questions are better at identifying would be hijackers/bombers, than any technology or pat-down protocols ever invented. They could have easily asked a few questions and determined that she was not a likely threat.

      The question is, are we willing to die to give this woman her dignity? The odds of her and her family setting off zero red flags under a few pointed questions and her still turning out to be colluding with terrorists is millions upon millions to one, but there is still the one. Are we willing to take that chance with our lives to let each other keep our dignity. Ultimately, you have to be willing to say, “Yes, I am willing to sacrifice my life to let that person keep their dignity.” It does take some courage (but not that much…).

      • ocschwar says:

        “The question is, are we willing to die to give this woman her dignity? ”

        No, the question is: “are we willing to incur a higher risk of terrorist attack to give this woman her dignity.”

        I am.

        When I fly, I am more likely to die because the control tower is understaffed and the landing is botched, than I am to die because terrorists put a box cutter in a soiled diaper. We take all sorts of risks when we fly, and terrorism is not the greatest among them. I AM willing to take this risk. Especially when it means all the money we have going to the TSA going to something that will make us safer (like, say, more staffers in the control tower.)

      • spriggan says:

        @ Anon #63 & 64

        I take it perversely inappropriate to be lectured on bravery by someone who posts anonymously. That being said, I do agree with many of your points.

  11. Anonymous says:

    http://www.snopes.com/military/medal.asp

    Remember this guy — winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, ex governor of SD, and they they thought the medal was some kind of ninja throwing thing …

    • Mister44 says:

      THAT was a fucking disgrace. I would gladly buy dinner for any MoH winner I came in contact with – and if I had the funds – their plane ticket.

      I mean – are they that fucking retarded, even if they didn’t know what kind of medal it was, that they couldn’t discern a cast piece of bronze (or what have you), from a sharpened ‘ninja’ star (or what ever they fuck they thought it was). People that stupid shouldn’t be in charge of security in anything more important than a strip mall.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So who are the folks demanding this sort of abuse? Who are the pathetic cowards who are so obsessed with terrorism fantasies that they would bring our nation down to this sad level?

  13. josebrwn says:

    Let me guess the TSA’s response:

    “TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that officers followed proper current screening procedures”

    When will the TSA stop being a bureaucracy addicted to security theater and allow for intelligent and intuitive security screening?

    I believe this will only happen after there are congressional hearings and the matter is forced upon them.

    • MikeKStar says:

      @josebrwn
      Let me guess the TSA’s response: “TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that officers followed proper current screening procedures”

      WE HAVE A WINNER FOLKS!!

      The TSA released a statement Sunday defending its agents’ actions at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.

      “While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” the federal agency said. “We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”

    • mn_camera says:

      I believe this will only happen after there are congressional hearings and the matter is forced upon them.

      I’m not so sure hearings are the answer. The results might not be to your liking. Or mine, for that matter. The way they’re constituted now, I would only trust Congress to make matters worse.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What many people now seem to ignore is that freedom requires sacrifice, especially in terms of safety.

    So that our government no longer violates the rights of anyone, let alone our elders who deserve far more respect, I am perfectly willing to accept a higher rate of terrorist attacks on our soil. Even if I, my family and my friends end up killed by one of these attacks. Freedom is far more important than safety, and you do have to be willing to give up some (or even a lot) of your safety for freedom.

    Is everyone else willing to give up some of their safety? Especially this bullshit illusion of safety the government sells these days? There’s a lot of talk of “smarter” ways to be safe but at a certain point we have to realize that freedom isn’t free, to use that tired cliche. The only way to have a perfectly safe society is authoritarianism, but I’d rather have freedom.

    Who’s with me?

  15. Anonymous says:

    If the TSA cared about America they would sifted through her feces to make sure were no weapons, but they didn’t. Good one TSA, endanger america some more!

    • Anonymous says:

      You miss the very real threat she could have been infectious. The plan being to either infect the tsa through contact with fecal matter, or better, by enclosing her into a contained environment of an airplane in an effort to infect others who would then disperse creating a pandemic.

      If the tsa was on the ball, each person would go through a mandatory quarantine process.

  16. flytch says:

    Who are the terrorists now??? I’d say the TSA!!!! this is over the top sick and it’s time we tossed out the TSA!

  17. iluvhatemail says:

    did they find a dirty bomb?

  18. Anonymous says:

    If this is not the be-all-end-all, there will never be one. We will go on like this forever.

  19. EvilCatBucky says:

    Is it just me or does it seem like the TSA’s mission is not so much security as stripping people of their dignity?

  20. murrayhenson says:

    Yawn. Expect to read/see/experience incidents like these until you guys vote out the assholes that voted for the TSA.

    • simonbarsinister says:

      The people in charge present us with two carefully prepared candidates who differ in irrelevant ways, then create a tempest-in-a-teapot over those differences. True choice is not allowed to rise to any position where it could interfere with anyone’s plans or profits.

      • emmdeeaych says:

        They differ in important ways, we’re just not informed of those ways, because that is hard work and then someone competent might get elected and stop the gravy trains.

      • danfan says:

        If you think there are not substantial and important differences between our political parties then your grasp on reality may be compromised.

        • Mister44 says:

          While the two parties have competing views on some things – they are both the same thing in a lot of respects. The big thing they are the same on is they are both self serving and care little (and in many cases have no idea about) the average person.

          • Scaramanga9 says:

            This is true of ALL political parties eventually. Hardly unique to America or Reps and Dems.

  21. petsounds says:

    I have always been fascinated at how the Roman Empire could crumble. As I see my country descend into a police state, I get it now. Most people lack the courage, conviction, or even concern to stand up, and so we sink into the mud inch by inch. It is a slow erosion caused by laziness and selfishness. We seem to care about the plight of Arab countries, while our own is not terribly better.

    There has always been corruption in government, but what’s different now is that we have ordinary citizens acting as police officers, treating fellow citizens worse than dogs. Isn’t this what we proclaimed such disdain about communism just a few decades ago? Ratting each other out, saying “well, it’s him or me.” Becoming desensitized to the whole affair. “It’s just a job, nothing personal.” Orwell with a huge I Told You So look on his face. This incident doesn’t seem much better to me than the women protesters given “virginity tests” in Egypt. They are both acts designed to strip all sense of dignity from a person.

    And these people working TSA jobs because they couldn’t find other work; well, unfortunately Congress and Presidents made sure of that by incentivizing corporations to outsource manufacturing jobs, and at the same time setting up giant government bureaucracies to employ what’s left of the middle class to spy on and harass each other.

    I think if the Founding Fathers saw what has happened to the country they instituted and codified, I think they would be horrified. I’m sure my ancestors who died in that revolution would be asking my generation, “what physical or symbolic blood have you shed in the face of tyranny? Look what you’ve squandered!” The country we have now is much worse than the monarchy they revolted against.

  22. Diziet Sma says:

    The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

    • mneptok says:

      The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote. – Kosh Naranek (Babylon 5)

      FTFY (attribution, especially for JMS, is a good thing)

  23. Anonymous says:

    we are living in the Stanford Prison Experiment

  24. Victor Drath says:

    Funny no matter how insane the request is, everyone always complies rather than telling them to f off.

    Is there no limit here? Is there no depravity so low that a person would rather loose the cost of an airline ticket?

  25. tamgoddess says:

    In this case, the woman was going to see her family for the last time. Hardly a matter of simply giving up the price of an airline ticket.

    • Victor Drath says:

      I skipped over the first couple paragraphs and missed that. But that can’t be the case in most of these instances and people show grow a spine and say no.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an unabashedly nerd-ful reference that occurs: remember how the powers-that-be insisted that the HAL-9000 [eyes-skyward] be handed directives that forced him to do horrible things? And the powers-that-be were surprised that their conflicting demands had unexpected bad results? …remember that? It’s just time to gently shut down the TSA (to the tune of “daisy, daisy”…) that’s all i’m say’n.

  27. Mister44 says:

    What the fuck is wrong with the TSA???

  28. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how TSA employees can even look at themselves in the mirror. Anyone who works for the organization should be ashamed of themselves. History will find them to reprehensible collaborators.

  29. Alvis says:

    Sigh – this is silly.

    Look, you can’t have it both ways. There’s no allowing for compassion or common sense when doing security. When you make allowances for the elderly to not be thoroughly inspected, you open a hole just asking to be exploited.

    Honestly, what would you have the TSA do? 95yo white lady with a big soggy diaper gets waved through security, OK. What about 95yo Yemeni woman with bulky undergarments?

    So either get comfortable with having zero privacy should you choose to travel, or accept that, despite the best efforts of intelligence agencies, sometimes people will die in terrorist attacks, so we should all just chill the fuck out and enjoy life.

    There is not a middle ground here, nor sliding scale of paranoia.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Yes but now we know that the daughter isn’t a good american, despite saying dadgummit, because she made waves. So somebody to keep an eye on there.

  31. zapan says:

    This article sould have been titled “American soiled”.

  32. SedanChair says:

    I don’t want to hear any complaining about this from people who don’t complain when Arabs get searched. All, “why are they searching HER?” Subtext being, “we all know who they SHOULD be searching…”

    • Mister44 says:

      OH yes – let’s not profile because that’s racist. No – it’s fucking smart. Bias isn’t always a bad thing. (note: profiling is not ‘ok’, nor required in all situation. My statement is not a blanket approval of profiling.)

      That said, if it was a 95 yr old Arab woman with an adult diaper, it would be just as big of an outrage.

      Mark my words – if there is ever a bomb on a US plane from Arab terrorists, it will have gotten there from the mail or package (which they tried), or by someone working as a baggage handler.

      But it’s been 10 years, we need to stop living scared and move on. The big bad bogey man is dead. Even if there were another 2000 people dead tomorrow, the outrageously low number of deaths don’t warrant this much of our freedoms from being infringed on. It is all psychological – risk vs perceived risk. Your Big Mac is more likely to kill you.

      • SpeedRacer says:

        I ask this every time. Tell me, what race is terrorist? In short, if you are going to buy into the fallacy that all terrorists are Muslim (ignoring such worthy people as the KKK, those who fire bomb abortion clinics in the name of Christianity, etc.) then I still ask what race are we discussing? Islam is a world religion, with followers in every country on every continent (possibly not Antarctica, but I don’t know for certain). Racial profiling won’t ever work simply because there is no race to profile.

        By your comments, you seem to think the only terrorists are Arabic. You ignore the Underpants Bomber, who was Nigerian. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Nigeria is usually counted as an Arabic nation. So. Again. I ask. What race are you wanting to profile?

        • Mister44 says:

          I am perfectly aware of the large population of North African Muslims. Profiling some Arabs made sense (at one point – I don’t think it really matters now.) Why? Because that is where we are actively fighting extremist terrorists. That is where the original people from 9/11 originated from. That is who wants to kill us the mostest.

          Let’s say there is an e-coli outbreak with strawberries from Chile. Are you saying you wouldn’t ‘profile’ your strawberries, double checking they aren’t from Chile?

          Now – it’s been a month and the outbreak is over. Does that mean we need to keep checking our strawberries to see if they are from Chile? Not really.

          Does profiling stop everyone? Of course not! I am not advocating mindless profiling – just like the TSA is doing now with their mindless, idiotic searches. In some situations it can be useful.

  33. ocschwar says:

    “There is not a middle ground here, nor sliding scale of paranoia.”

    Baloney. There is always a middle ground. We cannot stop every terrorist conspiracy conceivable, but we can make the bastards WORK to get it done.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I think the answer is to have flights that are checked and others that are not, and advertise them as such. So those who don’t want or can’t be checked could take flights where no one is checked. And those who may be afraid to fly because they don’t want to blow up in the sky can take flights where everyone has agreed to be checked.

  35. Magnus Redin says:

    Your nation is ill.

    Please heal it.

    Please.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t they subject her to the same test that everybody else seems to get who doesn’t fit neatly into their security screening methods: a pat-down, followed by a spectrometer (?) test of the gloves for explosive residue, then they send you on your merry way? Last I remember they didn’t ask *me* to remove my underwear.

  37. Aknaton says:

    Maybe TSA has been instructed that terminally ill patients are prime recruitment candidates as suicide bombers?

  38. Anonymous says:

    be-autiful

    between the tsa, your abusive cops, and your death squads running rampantly policing the world, your country is begginig to look as some badly written orwellian soap opera.
    And whats worse, is how its own people enable it. There are more blog posts about this than people getting together to demonstrate. Really, really sad.

  39. oasisob1 says:

    You fools! Look at the TSA success rate! ZERO successful terrorist incidents since 9/11. It’s working, fuck your freedom!

    • Anonymous says:

      The TSA has stopped NO terrorists!!!! They are responsible for allowing 17 KNOWN terrorists to board planes, actually escorting one of them to the flight because he did not have a passport. These were all airports with the “SPOT” program in place. So really who’s the fool? You think they are actually keeping you safe? Wake Up!!!!!

    • annelib* says:

      Oh my gosh you must be correct, it works,there are no more naked elephants in my yard either. but there are better ways to get protection than personal humiliation

  40. Anonymous says:

    The only terrorist most Americans will ever encounter work for the American government. They are being paid by the American people. Congrats America, you have done this to yourself. Now if you could just keep your bullshit out of other countries and enjoy the insanity for yourself.

  41. Anonymous says:

    First, I do think this is terrible.

    But – what is the point here? Shouldn’t the TSA be implementing their policy unilaterally on all passengers regardless of age, race, sex, etc? Wouldn’t anything else be leading to calls of profiling?

    If this is an argument against TSA’s ridiculous and humiliating procedures, then yes this is terrible.

    BUT if this is an argument against screening an old lady, then I don’t think there is much of a point – because the counter point would be “Why aren’t you screening those that look more like they are a threat?”

  42. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes I think the TSA is carrying on these levels of scrutiny to primarily justify their existance and annual pay raise. I would think the terrorists choose the path of least resistance which at one time was air travel to create havoc. If that path has become more difficult they will choose an easier way to place the bomb on board. We have seen mechanics and workers being arrested for these. If that is more difficult, they will move on. They have nothing agianst airline travel, I am sure; they just need to create a lot of deaths and destructions and make the evening news. This TSA incident served to create resentment and to provide a false sense of security.

  43. Ember says:

    My heart breaks for this woman and her family. As if the indignities of losing control of your own body and the ravages of cancer weren’t enough, the TSA feels the need to degrade and humiliate people like this. I hope the family sues them into the ground. The agents responsible for this travesty should be ashamed of themselves, and pray that either they or their family never faces such a lack of compassion.

  44. folkclarinet says:

    I agree that screening in its current iteration is pointless. I do appreciate many of the points made in discussions of Israel’s security in their airports.

    However, to be completely past the point, if you wear diapers (adult or otherwise) why wouldn’t you bring a couple of extras??????

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Unless you’ve personally tried to travel with a terminally ill, 95 year-old wheelchair user, I don’t know that you can really grasp the difficulties in pulling everything together without a glitch. Even an average parent with a baby might easily forget one vital item in the rush to get to the airport.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can answer that. I’m not 95, I’m 52, but I’m a bladder cancer survivor and since my treatment I need to wear adult diapers. I’m physically disabled and use a wheelchair if I’d need to walk more than 200 yards or so, and walk with a crutch otherwise. On my last trip I had several adult diapers packed in my carryon. Despite being allowed an extra bag for medical needs if needed, I try to travel with just a carryon and my laptop bag, just like everyone else. The diapers won’t fit in the laptop bag. At the airline’s counter where I met the airline assigned assistant who assists wheelchair users traveling alone through the airport, the assistant suggested that instead of what I usually do–pull my four-wheeled carryon beside my wheelchair–it would be easier for me if the airline took it to the gate and placed it in the overhead compartment while I was escorted through the checkpoint. It takes me a long time at the checkpoint since it’s very difficult for me to get my shoes on and off and at most airports I’m expected to walk through the checkpoint withut my wheelchair or crutch. I have a really hard time walking through the checkpoint without assistance, so it takes some time. After takeoff I asked the flight attendant to help me find my carryon to get my medication and no one was able to find it. Crew members looked again when I needed a fresh diaper. On my layover in Dallas, even the pilot was concerned, since my bag was nowhere to be found. The pilot later determined that my bag had been checked instead of loaded in the overhead compartment and there was NO WAY for me to get access to necessary medications NOR fresh adult diapers until I arrived home 10+ hours after I left. As advised by the airlines and the TSA, I packed my medications and other things I can’t do without in my carryon, yet I was still without those things. I spent more than 8 hours in a wet adult diaper and missed doses of necessary medications, despite careful planning. It’s really not about bringing extras. It’s about insane security procedures that don’t make us safer and aren’t designed to. They are to humiliate us and make us docile.

  45. Anonymous says:

    On my mother’s last flight screening was not so severe as the story but equally ridiculous. She was wheelchair-bound and dying of a broken heart and old age. She had a small sewing kit in her purse. The tiny 2 inch scissors set off additional screening. I stood there incredulous. Here was my dear sweet mother, an incredibly charitable woman who had given so much to her family and community, had lived through the great depression and had served in WW2. She was a patriot in my eyes, orders of magnitudes greater then any of the mouth breathing flag waving idiots running our country. She looked at me, for the first time in my life, with the look of helplessness and asked me, “why are they doing this?” I had no answer.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I think the TSA has some sort of on-going internal contest to see who can perform the most outrageous search/patdown without getting into any legal trouble.

  47. futnuh says:

    I would love to see someone wear a diaper, be forced to remove it, and purposefully urinate in as ballistic a manner as possible. Males are obviously suited to this task more than females. Anyone willing to take one for the team?

  48. Lsamsa says:

    So many people (TSA) being paid to do a job that has resulted in no results. Perhaps the terrorists are a tad more clever than those who hired said people…and are planning ways of entering ‘the Land of the Free’ by means other than airplanes.
    So far said people (TSA) have found no terrorists, but have been allowed to ‘use their own judgement’ in investigating individuals, despite having questionable qualifications & standards to follow.
    Perhaps the terrorists aren’t your biggest threat…seems that you have quite a few problems with American corporations & politicians who are whittling away at your freedoms.
    Myself, I lived in the States quite a while ago…visited there just two years ago, before all of this fear-driven absurdity started. I will never again set foot in the States again or fly anywhere that a stop-over there is required.
    Your country is feeding right into the hands of terrorists…and stupidly so.
    9/11 happened with airplanes…ugh, let’s focus all of our attention on airplanes.

  49. MarkM says:

    I’d like to know: What does El Al do in such a
    situation? They have the best security in the business
    and you never seem to hear peculiar stories about El Al.
    I’m tired of all the snarky stories about TSA doing its job.

  50. Anonymous says:

    People should do something about this. How about a mass diaper rally where everyone descends upon the airport in adult diapers and forces the TSA to strip everyone naked in front of everyone else? Lets get condescending.

  51. Anonymous says:

    @iluvhatemail
    I think we have a winner.

  52. mraverage says:

    prsnl stry: tk smn t th S.F. rprt rcntly wh dsn’t spk nglsh. wntd t g thrgh scrnng t th gt t hlp mk sr sh gt thr. t’s bg plc. Th TS gnt llwng ppl nt th ln t b srchd wsn’t sr tht t ws k s t skd t’s sprvsr nd th sprvsr snppd “n. gt t f hr nw” nd wlkd wy. nthr TS prsn sd qtly tht f gt pss frm th rln cld g thrgh scrnng. Th rln gv m n mmdtly, gss bcs t’s sr t hv fr gd thn strndd pssngr.
    Wnt t knw th nm f th rrgnt SB tht wldn’t tll m hw t d wht ndd t d?

    MHMD.

    Fckng Mhmd.

    ws ndr th mprssn tht Mhmds wr wht th TS s sppsd t “prtct” s frm (thnk Frt Hd Txs hr). Prsnlly; fl mr thrtnd by bllnrs, trst fnd bbs, ppl flyng n wy wth n lggg, Rpblcns, Dmcrts, Msns nd nvstmnt bnkrs thn d ppl wth Mslm nms. Stll; cn’t mrcns b trstd t d th jb f sprvsry prck? Mst w tsrc tht t th sppsd nmy? Whn th nxt 9-11 cms, th n tht gts s nt th nxt wr, t my wll b n rprt r TS mply tht fcltts t by ntrdcng bmb frm scr r.

    Thy hv th nfrms. Thrfr; W r th nmy.

    • teapot says:

      I feel stupid for spending the time to partially decipher your idiocy.

      There is an old saying:
      It’s better to say nothing and be presumed a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

      Try to learn something about the world before you come here and flap your trap about whatever you think is a relevant issue.. like a person having a name (how dare they!)

    • GuidoDavid says:

      Wait… I didn’t know that the name Mohammad/Mohamed was forbidden by the American Constitution, or something. Because there is no way that an American can be called Mohamed, right?
      Facepalm.

  53. CognitiveDissident says:

    You can’t have Authoritarian Leaders unless you have Authoritarian Followers. Don’t be mad at the TSA agents, if anything, have sympathy for the way they see the world.

    Yes, there are REAL terror threats, but the Authoritarian Followers (of all stripes) just don’t understand the path they are leading us down. They SHOULD question orders if they are irrational.

    Humor doesn’t work (disrespect), Anger REALLY doesn’t work (us vs. them), maybe respectful sympathy will help them to see the world more realistically and less threateningly, otherwise the downward spiral will continue to accelerate.

  54. jtegnell says:

    So, essentially, the terrorists have won.

  55. Anonymous says:

    yet another reason why i am NEVER going to visit the USA anytime soon.

  56. The Mudshark says:

    Why, it’s something I couldn’t imagine happening anywhere BUT on American soil.

  57. bshock says:

    The TSA has apparently realized that the easiest way to find terrorists is to create them. The more stories like this we hear, the more likely the TSA will succeed in its quest.

  58. Anonymous says:

    At what point will Americans just stop flying?

  59. oldtaku says:

    Give the TSA a damn break.

    They’re not supposed to feel up toddlers anymore, so how are they supposed to get their jollies if not by going after the grannies and handicapped?

  60. Mister44 says:

    This got me thinking – serious question – has the TSA STOPPED anyone since 9/11?

    The two bombers I can think of (panties and shoe) were already on the plane. The other attacks were stopped ahead of time by the FBI. Has the TSA ever caught someone with explosives etc?

  61. Anonymous says:

    I am just about as suspicious of the feds as the next guy, but I don’t hear very many people discussing this scenario: the terrorist who takes advantage of the most feeble, least suspicious elderly person available by gathering information about his or her family members and providing specific threats to their lives unless he or she boards a flight with explosives. This seems like a no-brainer approach, and from their statements it seems possible that the US govt. has gathered intelligence indicating that this is a tactic that been considered by terrorists.

    So my sincere, not-necessarily-rhetorical question is which is more expensive, these insults to dignity that we are now hearing about (and the accompanying PR nightmare), or another 911-style attack?

    • marc anthony says:

      @ anon, #55

      It’s a very unlikely scenario. If the TSA’s competence level is such that they can’t even stop knives from getting through the X-ray machines, I’m sure that any true terrorist could find a much easier vector for their mayhem than strapping explosives to an emotionally distraught elderly person. If terrorists want to strike, they’ll exploit another hole in the current system or simply move to the next weak link in the safety chain, such as the safety check line itself.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      So my sincere, not-necessarily-rhetorical question is which is more expensive, these insults to dignity that we are now hearing about (and the accompanying PR nightmare), or another 911-style attack?

      Well, for this to lead to another 9/11 style attack, either the 95 year-old woman or her daughter would have to use the weapons in her diaper to seize the cockpit and then fly the plane, or the terrorists would have to get the weapon out of her diaper in the middle of the plane and use it to seize control.

      • teapot says:

        That, or take the diaper firearms and place them in a previously agreed drop point inside the security area for other beard-sporting, Allahu Akbar-screaming colleagues to collect. The options are endless!

        Biohazard material and weapons…. think of the 9/11 you could mastermind with THAT!

  62. Anonymous says:

    TSA screeners need to be trained and re-trained continually. And something that might help their attitudes would be to get them out of uniforms. Their dress code should be khaki trousers and blue polo shirts that has TSA embroidered onto the chest. No badges; no uniforms. They have no police powers; they need to be told that repeatedly by their supervisors.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Dadburnitt, what a bunch of poopyheads they have at the TSA!

  64. g0d5m15t4k3 says:

    Eventually we will have NOTHING to worry about foreign terrorists. They will all just sit back and laugh while fed-up Americans decide to start bombing the TSA themselves. I feel like this is a self-fulfilling prophecy being carried out by Homeland Security and the TSA.

    “Oh no, there are terrorists out to get us. So we will dehumanize our own people until our own people are the terrorists.” Then “Oh no, see? There are terrorists! We must continue!”

  65. Anonymous says:

    mraverage, why do you assume Mohamed is not American? As far as I am aware, you cannot tell a persons citizenship status by their name.

  66. Magnus Redin says:

    Gravytop, thats one of the points but I am also frightened for
    the weak economie, the lack of understanding of physical resurce issues, the botched wars on *, the possible fall of “pax americana” and all this badly influences the nation I live in.

    Plese fix your nation.

  67. myword says:

    @Antinous: your point is taken, but real point is not the technicalities of a 911-style attack. The point is whether someone like this person could be exploited for the purposes of terrorism. It is my opinion that he or she could be, without being recruited per se.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      your point is taken, but real point is not the technicalities of a 911-style attack.

      If we’re stripping the diapers off of 95 year-olds, or anybody for that matter, I would say that the technicalities are of utmost importance. Our information, our risk assessments and our responses need to be as precise as possible. The absence of precision about ‘the technicalities’ is why we now suffer Paranoid Security Theater when we travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      @myword

      You have to look at the odds and decide whether letting this woman keep her dignity is worth risking your life.

      If you do a thorough analysis, I think you’ll find that the odds of endangering your life by enacting a policy that allows this woman to keep her adult diaper on are far less than, say, climbing up a ladder once per year. The simple fact is that wearing adult diapers by itself (soiled or not) does not indicate a significant potential risk. We have to put a baseline on how risky a behavior must be before it justifies a gross invasion of privacy. Simply being a particular gender and of a certain age would probably give you higher odds of concealing something in your rectum, than a senior citizen would have of carrying something in their diaper. So let’s not be hypocritical or xenophobic here, if that level risk really bothers you, you should be advocating having to open up your anus for the TSA based on demographics which you cannot change.

      In any case, we do need the courage to be able to stand up and say, “Yes, I am willing to risk (at odds of one to many, many millions) my life to allow this slightly-less-secure policy to remain in force.” It takes some courage, but not much…

  68. ADavies says:

    There’s a point where I’m willing to be a little less safe so I can be a proud American again. We passed that point about 8 years ago.

  69. penguinchris says:

    I recently met someone who is a TSA screener. It was several days before she admitted that was her job – she dodged the question at first. I don’t know if she’s really embarrassed about it, but she knows damn well that everybody hates her as soon as she puts the uniform on.

    I avoided getting into the politics with her (though I did tell her that her job shouldn’t exist and some stuff about eroding freedoms etc.) but she understood when I said I could never, ever do that job even if it was the only thing I could get hired for (I *am* unemployed…)

    To her, and I suspect most TSA screeners, it’s just a job. They don’t care about the politics, and they probably even find having to do secondary screenings (including pat-downs and other intensive searches) unpleasant and distasteful, as she does, but they do it because they need a job.

    So, that’s the problem. Most people just don’t care enough. No one will do anything until it’s already gone too far. Kudos to BB and other sites that bring attention to all of these stories, but until mainstream media picks it up and won’t let it down until something changes (fat chance, it’d last a couple of days at most), we’re just preaching to the choir here.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Dadgummit, what assholes.

  71. OrcOnTheEndOfMyFork says:

    Ah, the joys of a guilty-until-proven-innocent aviation system.

  72. Jake0748 says:

    Boy the TSA keeps topping themselves, don’t they? Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  73. Daemon says:

    Tangentially: somebody actually said “dadgummit”?!?!?!

  74. Anonymous says:

    I don’t mean to defend them, but if we are still to pat down any traveler (randomly or routinely), there can’t be anyone excluded from a pat-down. If I were to try to sneak something aboard a plane, I would probably try to use an elder or an infant or disabled person to appeal to sympathy and to avoid too much invasive scrutiny.

    There’s always been the question of how much personal freedom we are willing to give up in the name of safety, and it’s important to seriously consider. Personally, I don’t feel that the terrorist threat is so strong that we need these security measures. But there are others who are afraid of the threat, and are probably somewhat reassured by these measures.

    I think it is a shame that this woman was humiliated this way, but it’s got to be a difficult position for any airline to be in.

  75. zyodei says:

    Hey, hasn’t anyone else heard the reports of the scourge of Al Qaeda old-lady-in-wheelchair bombs?

    I read all about it at the Drudge Report and Fox News…

  76. Anonymous says:

    Get the f*ck out of here. How long are we going to stand for this bullsh*t?

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