95 year old veteran and 85-year-old friend humiliated, searched and robbed at San Diego TSA checkpoint

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184 Responses to “95 year old veteran and 85-year-old friend humiliated, searched and robbed at San Diego TSA checkpoint”

  1. Kimmo says:

    Smash the fucking TSA.

    Stop sitting around moaning about it, and get a bloody campaign going.

    Collate their atrocities into a litany of horror and start rubbing noses in it.

    Slogan: Did Bin Laden have his way with us?

    • Tokay says:

      You’re onto it Kimmo. OBL sure did. Dead, but laughing his ass off. 

    • KBert says:

       Litany of atrocities, collation of horror; nose to the grindstone.

    • miasm says:

      do you think it might be seen as a bit combative to start a database containing the names and faces of thieving TSA agents, bad cops and the like?
      Facial recognition could be used with smart phones to detect infringing employees.
      At this point my idea breaks down because… well there’s f all you can do about it.
      Politely request another TSA agent/Police officer?
      Start a campaign to mail rocks and stones to their houses?

      My point is… I had a point… oh, yes; if you cant penetrate the upper echelons of power (and seriously, why are they going to listen?), I think the only step is to make it near enough impossible, or at least downright difficult for the infringing individual to personally make the decision to abuse their position of power.

      • Kimmo says:

        Well, I guess that’s better than nothing in a pinch…

        But it smells like charging Lynndie England instead of Donald Rumsfeld.

        Shouldn’t it be possible to employ such vigilante tactics against those with a higher degree of responsibility?

        • miasm says:

          here’s where I get unpopular.
          No.
          You would literally need a truth tree derived from every conversation, every interaction and utterance of every impactful decision made by every major player in world politics and finance to be able to trace culpability. And an army of people to process and litigate the evidence. People who can be bribed, work for other interests etc.
          For sure, the internet is our friend in these regards but unless Branson and pals are willing to pour all their asteroidal profits into an AI or some form of distributed, interactive intelligence; we need to pursue winnable goals.
          And, unfortunately, those are the people on the ground making the bad decisions, not the people who are enabling those bad decisions.
          It, in my experience, doesn’t get shoved any farther up the chain until the lackeys can no longer get away with… it.

    • Kimmo says:

      Yeah, um, instead of preaching to the choir by posting about the TSA every other time, why doesn’t somebody knock up a page where people can sign petitions and organise some movement and have a Kickstarter fund for legal activism and stuff?

      Like, create a whole other blog just for the fucking TSA. With a proper forum instead of just a comments system though. And instead of the full story being a BB page, the BB headline should link to the TSA blog so you know, all that boiling outrage has some kind of outlet beyond generating comments and smashing trolls.

      And then when you’ve finished taking down the TSA, repurpose the online system and activist network and take on a bigger target.  How about capital punishment? Why the fuck not? Get going!

  2. Ryan Holmes says:

    More warming news from the Land of the Free!

    Someone better than I should start donations to get the money back

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      It’s an outrage that the TSA robbed an elderly couple, but it’s rather unlikely that they need donations to replace their stolen cash because, well…Bloomfield Hills /= hurting for money.

      • ROSSINDETROIT says:

        Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield /= Bloomfield Hills.  Reading comprehension/jumping to conclusions Fail.

        • IronEdithKidd says:

          Mea culpa, I mistook the tiny Hills for the Twp.  And…since you’ve decided to pick that nit, let’s compare the Hills to the Twp (source – city-data):
          median income - $114k/$105k
          median home value – $677k/$382k
          So sure, this couple might be two of the 87 people over the age of 75 (2009 stats) living below the federal government defined poverty line in the Twp.  
           
          That said, I don’t know about you, but when I was living in poverty, it was tough to scrape together enough scratch for a tank of gas (back when it was cheap, mind you).  I sure as shit didn’t fly anywhere. 

          • EH says:

            Blame the victim much?

          • So it’s ok to rob someone based on net worth? What are you worth and please send your address.  I need some god damned sneaks. 

          • dementiapugilistica says:

            The people below me are morons. You idiots. IronEdithKidd did not say “its ok to robb old people.” He said starting a fund to raise $300 to return to them is moot. 

          • Guest says:

            “I sure as shit didn’t fly anywhere. ”

            How can I say what I need to say about this, without invoking Godwin’s law?

        • Brian French says:

          Retired Air Force Major= not broke, but not deserving this crap.
          nuff said 

      • travtastic says:

        Do you know something about these people’s personal ethics that I don’t?

        Even if these two have ten times as much money as I do, I would have no problem kicking a few bucks in.

  3. Andrew Singleton says:

    Terrorists are already at our airports, and they’re government paid. I agree with the first poster. We need to get organized, Get Mad, Get Even.

    • MatthewJamesGoodwin says:

       I wonder how many people humiliated/robbed and abused by the TSA have cops as relatives or friends?
      “Your tail lights broken.”  Smash.
      “You broke my tail light!”
      “Why are you being so defensive?  Got something to hide, is that an open container, can I smell dope in there?”

  4. Mister44 says:

    Too blurry to see who took the money????? Then what fucking good are they?

    Seriously FUCK the TSA.  Disband it and let the malls hire them back.

    • awjt says:

      If it’s too blurry to see money being taken out of a bin, then it’s too blurry to see who’s actually wearing the explosives.

  5. thedreadpiratewesley says:

    Thieving Scaremongering A*****s.

  6. Shinkuhadoken says:

    It’s a sad day when retired service men are being treated like they lost the war.

  7. Sagodjur says:

    I feel safe now that this man’s $300 is no longer  a threat to our airplanes and our freedom.

  8. steveboyett says:

    I just emailed my senator. Feel free to mine from this if you like:

    The Detroit News reports the latest in a long line of unacceptable behaviors by the TSA. In this case, two seniors — 95 and 85 — were detained, searched, humiliated, and relieved of $300 in cash by TSA workers. story at http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120418/OPINION03/204180345

    I am both outraged and mortified at the degree of freedom we have given up, and the disregard of our Constitutional rights, in the name of a demonstrably ineffective, incompetent, and overpriced security system that does not remotely justify its existence.

    This is the year that Americans have realized they can be effective activists online. It will certainly show come November. Is there nothing you and your peers can do to end this charade?

    Many thanks for your attention.

    • Finnagain says:

       Did you include the $10,000 campaign donation? Oh, put it in that pile over there then..

      • oasisob1 says:

        I think your comment is unfair. I wrote to mine, included NO money and got prompt attention — and resolution for my problem.

        • princessalex says:

           It must be nice to have a senator who listens to their constituency.  Try writing about any issue to Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl (AZ).  I should have kept a scrapbook to keep all the letters I’ve received that essentially say, “While I hear your issue, your position is not one that I feel is best for our country.” 

        • Goodie for you. My Senator, Durbin, doesn’t even have the balls to write back like princessalex’ did, with something truthful, and responds months later, if at all. Mostly what I get from him, says something non-committal along the line of “I read and consider all communications”, and then he votes with the same corrupt power structure he always has voted with: pro-Israel, pro-TSA, pro-neofascism.

        • Ah, good. Then write your senator about this and report back to us about how these TSA shenanigans get resolved. You have the golden touch. The rest of us are getting fuck all from our elected representatives on these issues.

    • M Carlson says:

       Our senator in Michigan, Carl Levin (D), is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee so maybe with these gentlemen being veterans, this will make it more pertinent.

    • Mojo Hornyan says:

      To Someone and Everyone:

      Start posting a few links of authorities who are in a position to right this wrong, so that others could mass-mail a chained letters of responses.

      Power to US the People and Power of  The Vote in conjunction with the Internet Voices of Dissent.

  9. Shame on USA treating people like this!  The Land of the Free is no longer alive.
    he fought for freedom and it has already been lost.  Amen.

  10. niktemadur says:

    This is the only type of BB post that gets around a hundred comments or more.  Unfortunately, I see posts with around a hundred comments, more and more often.

    Government and/or corporate stupidity/greed is a stream that just keeps on flowing. One of these days, Boing Boing is gonna be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

    • Judas Peckerwood says:

      “One of these days, Boing Boing is gonna be diagnosed with high blood pressure.”

      Or be declared an enemy combatant.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Speaking of blood pressure, may I just request that, when the trolls show up, nobody feeds them?

      • Kimmo says:

        I gather TSA threads on BB are something of an Everest for trolls these days; I don’t see any takers yet.

        I know it’d take bigger balls than mine to poke this hornet’s nest.

        Anyway, harking back to my first post for a sec, is there any chance BB can facilitate the creation of something to address this travesty?

      • HahTse says:

         Na, that would make your job too easy… ;)

      • Layne says:

        My mind hurts trying to see think of any feasible way a sane, rational person can justify the atrocity that is the TSA. This is, what, incident #507,371?
        Molesting, robbing, ‘disarming’ and obliterating our civil rights without ever stopping a single terrorist attack. But the only single govt representative i can think of who opposes the TSA is Rand Paul. 
        Disgraceful.  

        Whoops – as I can see below, spoke too soon!

      • niktemadur says:

        While on the subject of blood pressure… After more than a month of allergies, infections and Afrin rebound, I finally got my first 119/73 BP reading today, yay!

    • Mitchell Glaser says:

      Not true. I made a comment on a post about foreskins that got 82 likes!

    • MB44 says:

      Comment can be empty.

    • penguinchris says:

      The post about bananas from yesterday has 105 comments!

      (bananas are something of a sacred item around here, of course, and even so don’t normally get that many comments, so your point stands ;)

    • VicqRuiz says:

      Ways to make TSA more boinger-friendly and keep blood pressure down:

      (1) Redecorate all the scanners in steampunk style.  More gears, more pulleys, more rivets…

      (2) Screeners will strum ukuleles while looking at your carryon in the X-ray screen.

      (3) Free banana if you wait in line more than ten minutes.

  11. catherinecc says:

    America Uber Alles! 

  12. polnareff says:

    Sir! I just needs to check inside ya aaaasshole!!

  13. TWX says:

    The terrorists didn’t have to really work to take away our freedom.  They convinced us to do it to ourselves.  All they have to do to keep us doing it to ourselves is let just enough “plans” “leak” to the right people and we’ll just keep at it.  I have to laugh at the Orwellian doublespeak that is the Patriot Act and the entire rest of the package that surrounds it.

    THIS is what Benjamin Franklin meant when he said that those that would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

  14. JonS says:

    On the upside, though, neither Omer not Madge were able to hijack the flight.

  15. Lithi says:

    This is utterly despicable. In the name of security we have let the terrorists in and they are shaking down elderly people and kids, stealing and humiliating on a regular basis. The TSA has become a monster like the IRS and the time has come to gut this beast.

    Too bad so many people are so complacent as to keep letting this shit happen.  

    • Sagodjur says:

       They make the IRS look downright friendly. At least the IRS only takes your money. The TSA takes your dignity and makes you pay for the treatment.

      • Guest says:

        It’s like the IRS, for the 99%!

      • Paul Souders says:

        I was audited once. It was…I won’t say “pleasant,” but at least they were professional and courteous. They were also very clear about standards: here’s what we’re allowed to see, here’s where you’re allowed to consult a lawyer, you aren’t legally required to answer this question, etc.

        Actually: compared to the pat down I got at Reagan last year, yeah it was pleasant.

      • machinestate says:

        Most money paid to to the IRS goes on to pay for, well, everything we need that can’t/shouldn’t be privatized.
        Most money paid to TSA goons likely goes to pay for alcohol, UFC tickets, and WoW subscriptions

        • A Nonny Moose says:

           What the TSA goons do with their paychecks is as irrelevant to this discussion as what you do with yours is. The fact that they are getting paid to harass and humiliate citizens is the issue, not what they spend their earnings on. (And yes, they do earn their paychecks. However we feel about what they do, they’re trading their time and effort for pay, just like most of the rest of us.)

  16. Maybe somebody should do something?

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

       We are doing something!  We’re posting our outrage on a site where everyone agrees with us!

      What, did you think we were going to run for office?  Survivor‘s on.

  17. glittalogik says:

    These people weren’t treated like terrorists, they were treated like rubes. Shouldn’t the TSA be classified as a racketeering operation by now?

  18. Stephan says:

    A 95 year old veteran? I couldnt think of a greater security risk.
    Glad the TSA showed him.

  19. Guest says:

    Fucking Hell.

    Is this camel reinforced with Adamantium or something?

  20. Mitchell Glaser says:

    As nauseating as this story is, there is not much new here. While we are getting strip searched and humiliated by the TSA, the baggage handlers enter the airport without getting scanned in any way; neither are they subjected to rigorous background checks when they are are hired. And baggage handlers steal a billion dollars worth of stuff out of our luggage every year. What is the TSA doing to protect us from this thievery and the inherent terrorist threat? Not a fucking thing, because all they are is a huge money making operation not the least bit interested in our safety, only our dollars.

    • Guest says:

      Oh shut it with your baggage handling distractions, Go handle your own baggage. 

    • rattypilgrim says:

      Yes, part of the continuing rip-off  of America saga of the Bush administration. Arise, Americans! The rest of the world is not subjected to this criminality and they have to live with the same threats we do. So much for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      • Finnagain says:

         This is the new normal, Citizen. Next year it will be even worse, and that will be the new normal. Citizen.

      • enterthestory says:

        I live in Britain. We had worse threats in the 70s (regular bomb attacks on the mainland). So we finally talked to the bombers and now the threat has gone. Turned out they didn’t like us interfering in their country. Who knew?

      • John Stephens says:

        If Bush is so horrible, maybe people shouldn’t have re-elected him back in 2008 then?  Oh, right. We can ‘tu quoque’ all the way back to Abraham Lincoln if you like, but the fact remains that how we got here isn’t nearly as important as what’s to be done about it.  

        • Eric Rucker says:

          Except for the way we got here being important for knowing how to not fall into that trap again, or the way we got here making it literally impossible to maintain any semblance of a democracy while getting out.

          (I’m thinking that it may actually require the mythical “benevolent dictatorship” for at least 2 generations to restore the US to proper function, then a proper educational system can be put in place, rather than the 1860s-era corporate keep-the-plebes-stupid educational system we have.)

          • VicqRuiz says:

             There’s a good reason why the concept of a “benevolent dictatorship” is, as you correctly state, mythical.

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

             Well, that’s the pattern, according to Plato and to Mr. Korita’s theory of cyclic history.  After the vote is extended to everyone (regardless of their ability to choose wisely) the voters wreck the state by continually voting based on short-term goals and electoral propaganda, after which they vote in a tyrant.  Occasionally the tyrant fixes everything and goes back to his plow, but more commonly the tyranny phase immediately after democracy is called a “reign of terror”.  Then the state destroys itself, and you’re back to the beginning of the cycle at subsistence farming and tribalism again.

      • VicqRuiz says:

        I can hardly wait to get rid of Bush so we can have our civil liberties back, how about you???

        • rattypilgrim says:

           The TSA is an industry created by the Bush administration which depended on maintaining a state of constant fear among the uninformed to behave in ways unheard of previously.
          Once the abuse of power was accepted by MSM and the public do you think any president after Bush was going to let any of it go? It was a slippery slope and we’re sliding fast.

          • Layne says:

            FAIL. 
            Obama COULD actually lead on this issue and call for a return to sanity and common sense. This would be a slam dunk for the most part. 
            The TSA abusive to our rights, it’s a costly, useless program that restricts our commerce, provides no additional safety and is hated by a huge portion of the population. It’s overpowering bureaucracy at it’s most vile.

            Nah, it’s easier if he just continues to squash all our rights, just like Bush did and even moreso: increased immigrant deportations, violent drug raids, persecution of whistleblowers…   Wheeee!

          • VicqRuiz says:

             I believe that a lot of the people who voted for Obama thought exactly that, that he would let some of “it” go.  It would be nice if a few of them admitted “Oops, we were fooled!”.

            And the TSA is near-universally loathed by both left and right.  Everybody with three functioning brain cells knows that locking the cockpit door and relying on passengers to defend themselves is the only real answer.  The TSA’s demise would be met with near-universal approval.

      • Ito Kagehisa says:

         s/Bush/Reagan/g

  21. rattypilgrim says:

    Not to mention, European airports dumped the full body x-rays for health reasons. Hell, you don’t even have to take your shoes off and they’ve been living with terrorists of many persuasions for close to 40 years.

    • retepslluerb says:

      Yes, but those were weak-ass European terrorists!  You do not want to imply that America doesn’t get the bestest, most bad-assest terrorists in the world, do you?  

      And in all fairness, no one really knows where the two alleged veterans had been during the war – they could have been turned into moles, waiting for their chance.

    •  Not in the UK they didn’t :(

  22. I don’t understand the surprise of everyone at this news. In the last 9 years more than 3 billion dollars worth of personal property, (laptops, wallets, musical instruments, jewelry, and much more) have gone missing into the criminal web that is the TSA. This has been reported in hundreds of articles and never has any thing been done about it. It is a CRIME to do anything about it. They are the TSA a part of home land security, and to speak of it is a felony. The Nazis are running your life and all you can do is sit around a wring your hands while the horror grows. Do you feel safe now?

  23. Petzl says:

    There’s no way TSA has rules requiring you put non-metal objects in the scanning bins. That’s a complete violation, saying it’s required to put paper currency in the bins.

    • Cefeida says:

      They made me put my passport and ticket in the bin several times, so it’s something they do even if it isn’t policy.

    • snowmentality says:

       You do if you’re going through the X-ray or microwave scanners. Can’t have anything at all in your pockets. I understand the travelers in this story were going through a regular metal detector, but I bet the TSA agent had been told “nothing in pockets” and couldn’t understand that it applied to the body scanners only.

    • zartan says:

      Petzl you’re wrong, they require you to entirely empty your pockets of all material, metal and non-metal, thanks to the pornoscanners

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

       The TSA has rules that require you to submit.  Everything else is just window dressing.  I have flown exactly once since 9-11, and I very much doubt I will ever board a commercial plane again in my life.  Ritual humiliation and submission isn’t my scene, although I understand some people enjoy it.

  24. vader says:

    the reason i refrain from travelling to the u.s.

  25. SedanChair says:

    Oooohh, so much anger! Feel that anger! Fall in love with it! Let it wash over you.

    Now ask yourself: have you ever felt so angry about children dying in drone strikes in Afghanistan? Or a black Marine veteran gunned down in his own house? Prisoners who spend years on death row before DNA evidence exonerates them: is the anger you feel so fervent? Unlawful raids and searches on Hispanic Americans, do you deplore them with such anguish as you do the TSA?

    If so, then I’m with you. But if this seems like special injustice, new injustice, I’m not with you. This country has been fucked from the beginning, from colonial times. Its masters are finally turning to cut white folks out of the deal, and why don’t you all just cry me a fucking river

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’m sorry. Were you looking for this post?

    • Mister44 says:

       I really want to tell you how stupid  your post is – but they told me not to feed the trolls. I think they meant you. And I have a whole box of  troll kibble. Must… resist… feeding…

    • Snig says:

       The four instances you’ve mentioned have effected the thousands of lives, and they’re certainly horrible things worse than the TSA.  But cadmium contamination in fertilizer, global warming, air pollution, to say nothing of the eventual expansion of the sun which will reduce the earth to a cinder, have the potential to effect millions to billions and could end all life on earth.  And maybe you care about them, but if you haven’t, maybe you should have a relaxing lie down, put your feet up and think about it.

    • Guest says:

      SedanChair, you probably should learn more about Boing Boing before writing such an asinine post. 

      Google is your friend:
      http://boingboing.net/2012/04/03/black-marine-veteran-68-shot.html

      Almost all of the items in your list are things that have been written about on BB, where they received many comments from readers. In case you didn’t know, liberty and justice are popular topics on this site.

    • Kimmo says:

      I can’t see why this shouldn’t be regarded as a novel development by those who are also suitably outraged about more remote atrocities.

      The TSA’s reign of terror represents the beginning of the end of the illusion of freedom Zappa spoke of.

      The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.

      That’s pretty notable IMO. It means people are losing the ability to even look like challenging the gatekeepers; legitimate means of redress are evaporating.

      Consider Maslov’s hierarchy: folks require basic freedoms before they can consider any dissidence on anyone else’s behalf.

      • SedanChair says:

        I don’t disagree with any of that except this:

        Consider Maslov’s hierarchy: folks require basic freedoms before they can consider any dissidence on anyone else’s behalf.

        If you’re interpreting Maslow correctly, how would he have accounted for MLK engaging in dissidence on behalf of the Vietnamese?

  26. So…………..anyone followed Kimmo’s lead in the first post and started a TSA smashing campaign yet?

    • pKp says:

      There’s two I found : http://wewontfly.com/ and Freedom to Travel USA.

      DISCLAIMER : I have not checked out on the finances, membership, political views or induction rituals of any of these groups. They could be complete kooks for all I know.

    • Kimmo says:

      I hear Obama reads this blog.

      Is there any reason BB shouldn’t or couldn’t get this ball rolling? My post was directed at the management, in an effort to see the inevitable outrage actually harnessed to something beyond a comment count.

  27. Eric Rucker says:

    You know, there’s no TSA checkpoint for the TSA checkpoint, so a terrorist that wanted to attack the TSA checkpoint would be unimpeded.

    Just saying.

    • ocker3 says:

       Yeah, have they really considered what bunching all of those people into one place does?

      • Eric Rucker says:

        Well, on holidays, they’ve actually reduced screening to minimal specifically so that that doesn’t happen.

        But, that doesn’t do anything about someone who actually wants to attack the TSA checkpoint itself, rather than cause terror by attacking the people waiting to go through it. I’m actually surprised that someone hasn’t been pissed off enough to attack one.

        • PathogenAntifreeze says:

           They reduced holiday screening quite visibly, when there was an organized plan for tons of people to opt out of x-ray and go for manual pat downs during Thanksgiving a year or two back.  Was it to prevent terror or was it to defuse a TSA protest that was getting a lot of media attention?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Why would the government bother to protect the people at the TSA checkpoint? They’re not concentrated financial services like the WTC or military like the Pentagon. They’re just meat.

  28. awjt says:

    Take your money, stick it in your wallet.  Take your wallet, stick it in your jacket.  Take your jacket, stick it in your backpack.  Put your backpack thru the scanner.  If they want to steal your money, they’ll either have to take your backpack or stick their hand in it.  Whereupon, the hungry ferret that you are smuggling will bite the living shit out of them.

    • Ben Grogan says:

      How about instead of that we go with “don’t steal money from a 95 year old man”.

      • awjt says:

        Or better yet, “Don’t steal.”

        Or still better, “Don’t. Just DON’T.”

      • ROSSINDETROIT says:

        It’s possible, likely even, that the $300 was taken by another flyer.  He put it in a plastic bin.  In my experience, the bins often end up all together and you’re left to sort out your stuff with the other passengers.  If the TSA officers were distracted with the couple that was a great opportunity for someone to help themselves to an extra stack of cash.  Which may mean that the TSA themselves aren’t the thieves, but they enabled the theft.

        • Kevin says:

           Not a chance it was stolen by a passenger. It was stolen by the TSA. If it was stolen by a passenger the camera would have seen who did it.

  29. Mark A says:

    Billions of dollars spent on security technology, yet it’s “too blurry” to see what happened. What’s missing is not just the $300.

  30. machinestate says:

    Get rid of these wasteoids.  People are lumping them in with ALL “federal morons” and that is not true, not fair, and eroding the public’s confidence in the entire federal government.  Aside from TSA, DOI-MMS, FDA, ad maybe some others, most feds do great work, with poor tools to work with (the tools part mostly because the federal contractor bids process is such a joke)

  31. machinestate says:

    Next time I’m forced to fly, I’m carrying alot of loose cash in 20′s, soaked in LSD

  32. Ben Grogan says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting Blogger Bob’s spin on this one…

  33. adent1066 says:

    What would you expect ?    Police are not allowed to profile, so that means people must be chosen at random, this means that anyone is eligible to be searched.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      Which is why this particular bit of law enforcement has struck such a nerve with people who don’t normally care about this type of abuse, or even support it- it’s impacting them due to it’s generally non-discriminatory application.

      Which isn’t to say it’s OK in some sort of twisted “Haha, it’s your turn now crackers!” way, because it’s clearly not OK.

      But it should be understood that when folks like Mr. Petti here complain, “Can you imagine an 85-year-old lady and 95-year-old retired Air Force Major in wheelchairs being treated like terrorists?”, they aren’t complaining about the TSA and the laws themselves, only about the fact that it’s being applied to them and not “those people”. Which is to say, they’re complaining about it’s fairness.

      I’d like to think this outraged reaction from “good people” like Mr. Petti would lead to the whole system being overhauled in a good way, but I very much doubt that’ll happen. Just look at Rand Paul’s reactions to the TSA and it’s patdown of him- he’s advocated racial/religious profiling as a better alternative to searching cute little (white) girls and wholesome (white) US veterans and senior citizens.

      When the media continually spotlight cases like this, with wonderful old white people in wheelchairs and cute little kids, they’re pushing (likely unintentionally) for what’s almost certain to be a racist and discriminatory alternative, and not a return to the pre-9/11, pre-TSA days.

      • adent1066 says:

         Excellent point. 

      • Jerril says:

         On the other hand, you can’t ignore when they do something unpleasant to someone who is in the privileged white christian majority.

        The correct solution is to publicize every failure and every abuse – make the noise as equally as the screening is applied. 25 year old black women and 45 year old ambiguously brown men (of able body) are just as entitled to coverage as the elderly white couple.

        Don’t take the coverage away from the elderly white couple so we can all be equal in our silent oppression, give the coverage to everyone.

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      So in your world, the necessity of randomizing searches somehow makes theft, intimidation and harrassment not only OK, but expected?  That’s an interesting viewpoint.  How do I subscribe to your newsletter?

      • adent1066 says:

         Where in my comment did I say that I approved of it ?     I was talking about the searches in general.   No one should be harassed or intimidated.  

        My point is that the  media gets upset if people are profiled, so the alternative is that it must be done randomly, if it is done randomly, then anyone is subject to search. 

  34. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    My friend George F. spotted this in the paper, found it online and forwarded it to me.  It looked like something Boingers should know about.  This concerns me because my grandmother is also 95 years old and flies once or twice a year out of the country.  She’s nearly deaf and has poor eyesight.  I can only imagine what kind of trouble the hostile policy drones of the TSA could make for Grandma.

  35. psycho_chick says:

    Maybe the real police should be called and larceny charges could be brought against the TSA???  They were the last ones in contact with the money…..

  36. Lars says:

    My parents flew from Europe to Australia a few years back, to visit my aunt. They had a stop in America on the way. Now my dad is blind, my mom is seventy and they had never flown such a distance.

    Really the sweetest couple you’d ever meet. Maybe that makes them prime suspects (who’d ever suspect a blind man and his wife, right?) Anyway, they too were subjected to all the TSA humiliations and missed their connecting flight because of it.

    They could’ve done without the aggravation and will probably never fly to/through America again.

    Americans might not want to think so, but I believe in a very real sense, the terrorists won, that fateful Tuesday.

    • ednorton545 says:

      American here and I agree. Until TSA is ordered to cease and desist under the Constitutional Law of the US, the terrorists won. They’ve also influenced Congress to shred the Constitution!

  37. kartwaffles says:

    The TSA’s budget is 4 billion dollars more than NASA’s.

  38. CaptainPedge says:

    Imma guess that IF “blogger bob” mentions this on the tsa blog it’ll be nothing more than the same old coverup/we followed all our self made rules/no proof the $300 ever existed/they were probabl terrorists anyway and we scared them into submission that we usually get

  39. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Please don’t make this a “don’t abuse our vets” issue.  I’d prefer that even non-vets not be abused.

    • Guest says:

      Uh, this is a “they did abuse the elderly” issue. Past tense.This isn’t a warning, it’s documentary. Please don’t hear this as something that might happen, but rather as something that cant be undone.

  40. jasen s says:

    Good job TSA Workers, by your amazing diligence, thousands & thousands of terrorist have been caught at TSA Check Points… oh wait, not one has-never mind. 

  41. cstatman says:

    this makes me so angry, I want to scream.   TSA,  well, enough.   As far as the Veteran,  he probably does not need $300,  but it would be nice to be able to send a card, and say  “I am sorry this happened to you, and thank you for your service”

  42. B E Pratt says:

    I at least have written my Congressman and one Senator (uh, not John Cornyn–he just doesn’t count for much).

  43. just goggle “TSA theft” and see what you get.. #FCUKtheTSA

  44. “When I was patted down, I’ve never before been touched in every part of my body before,” Woodward said.
    He’s 95 and has never been touched on every part of his body before? I think that’s the real tragedy here.

  45. emo hex says:

    Do you think the TSA people will work right up to the end of the day on December 21st?

  46. cymberlilyharp says:

    On Feb. 25, 2011, I went through TSA in Raleigh. I received a pat-down because I had foam earplugs in my front pocket. When the TSA employee touched my crotch, I passed out. I woke up on the floor with a large male police officer standing over me, which completely freaked me out. I started crying, and asked for medical assistance. The police officer refused to get me medical assistance. I had a cut lip where I bit myself and a bruise on my face where I hit the ground. 

    Instead, I was forced into a “private room,” with two male TSA officers, two female TSA officers, the policeman and my husband. They proceeded to search me more thoroughly and I passed out twice more. Again I was refused medical assistance. 

    When we arrived in California, I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

    I repeatedly tried to get the TSA in Raleigh to do an investigation. I had all the names and badge numbers. The TSA simply refused. I asked my Congresswoman, who said she would look into it but never did, despite repeated requests. 

    The Raleigh Airport Police did an investigation and their lawyers sent me a vaguely worded, one-paragraph letter thanking me for pointing out a problem in their department. 

    I asked attorneys, but no one would take the case because it’s Constitutional Law vs. a crazy, middle-aged woman (me). The ACLU was too busy. 

    I dare all you out there to take action. One person means nothing in this game. Don’t just chat on a blog — do something.

  47. Kimmo says:

    Yeah, BB – what’s the point if it stops at hand-wringing?

    Make a fucking fist, dammit.

    And before anyone challenges me to follow through, let me point out I’m Australian and this isn’t really my problem – but it pisses me off enough from over the Pacific to be enormously frustrated at the total lack of traction everyone who’s righteously hopping mad over this is getting.

    Arise, FFS.

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