TSA screener insists that full-body screening is mandatory

Sai, who is seeking an injunction against the TSA's new mandatory full-body screening test (but only for people they don't like), flew out of SEA-TAC on Dec 31 and was told that the full-body scanner was mandatory.

He refused to go through the scanner and he was refused boarding, his bags removed from the belt and returned to him. He demanded to see the TSA Transport Security Manager, who overruled the Supervisory Transportation Security Officer and said Sai could travel after a pat-down. However, the TSM demanded that Sai explain the medical nature of his liquids, which he is not required to discuss with the TSA. After more wrangling, his liquids were screened and he was allowed to fly.

Sai captured most of this on video, and he will be submitting it with an affadavit to the First Circuit, where his ongoing, pro se actions against the TSA are underway.

Sai v. Neffenger, No. 15-2356 (1st Cir.)

Just went through SEA TSA [Saizai]

Notable Replies

  1. saizai says:

    @Ericb: There were two separate questions: am I able to, and am I willing to. I clearly said multiple times that I am neither able nor willing. (Does disability somehow rob me of the right to volition?)

  2. saizai says:

    I don't think he was confused. He was intelligent enough to understand that there was a difference. I think it reflects black-and-white training, under which disabled people are incapable of volition, and seemingly able people can't have a disability.

    So the notion that someone might be neither able nor willing, and also not have obvious physical defect, just does not fit in the worldview he was trained to interrogate.

    I intentionally said both. Even if I were able to go through, I am not willing, and if he was going to subject me to retaliation for that, I want it to be heard in court. He very clearly said that anyone capable of going through would be forced to do so.

    I do not want to get out of AIT just because I have disabilities. I want it banned because it's a violation of my constitutional rights. I am much more interested in making systemic change than making things easier for just myself in one situation.

    It might help to read my manifesto on civil obedience to understand where I'm coming from philosophically.

  3. saizai says:

    I don't think that saying I'm neither able nor willing to go through AIT was at all unclear. The STSO clearly was not allowing opt-out.

    I do not want to give any medical info to them. I've had multiple bad experiences with that. They're not my doctor, and I'm not going to give them any slack when they want to pretend they are capable of medically evaluating so much as a hangnail. And in any case, it's an unconstitutional invasion of my privacy that has zero relevance to helping them detect weapons or explosives.

    As for ranch dressing: who gives a fuck? If they can tell it's not an explosive, I say let 'em have it. If they can't, then they're fundamentally unable to do the one job they're supposed to do, and should admit it's a charade in the first place. And for all you know, maybe someone does need ranch dressing for something.

    It's simply none of our damn business what someone wants to bring with them (or why) unless it's an actual weapon.

    FWIW, I have in fact gotten an airport DFSD before (at least by phone). So it's not as laughable as you may think. But sure, escalating to the TSM is reasonable, and I should have thought of that as the next step in the chain. Brainfart.

    I have no objection to x-ray (or magnetometer), because
    a) it actually works to detect weapons, with relatively low false positive / false negative rates (especially compared to AIT),
    b) it does not strip search my body, and
    c) it poses zero possible risk to my health (with some exceptions like medical devices, which I don't have).

    I do not object to TSA doing the one and only job they are allowed to do: search for weapons and explosives, with the minimal amount of intrusion necessary to do so.

    But when they want to electronically strip search me, sexually assault me, or subject me to screening that is completely ineffective (which has been proven true of AIT — see the DHS OIG & GAO reports), then I have a problem.

  4. Sometimes it's hard to find the line between taking a stand for justice and being a dick to low-paid civil servants. Of course, if you're a libertarian I suppose it's the same either way.

  5. saizai says:

    I was extremely clear that I was not refusing screening in general. He acknowledged that multiple times. I volunteered to be patted down, ETD'd, etc. So no, I don't think that was in any way an issue of clarity. He was mandating AIT, and I was refusing.

    Re. liquids: a) there's a piece of paper (visible on end in the video) with my liquids that says in giant letters "MEDICAL LIQUIDS"; and b) I have lost count of the number of times TSA grunts have told me I'm not allowed to have them. Including the STSO.

    I have lost patience on this and am not interested in training them on the law. Nor am I interested in telling them what conditions I do or don't have.

    My boots are boots. They are possible to remove; it's just a pain. You're doing the same dichotomizing bullshit that they were. Disability is not binary; it's levels of difficulty. Ones that I do not want to negotiate with some TSA grunt. Their policy is not, as the guy claims, to only pat down boots if it is "not possible" to take them off (short of it being welded on to my foot, it's always possible); they do so on request. I explicitly requested.

    I did not refuse to be touched, because people have lost court cases on that exact point. I specifically said they could pat me down. I consider it a sexual assault nevertheless.

    To point out an underlying issue with this line of things: You seem to think that it's my job to be sweet and explanatory to the people who are violating my rights, and blaming me for their breaking the law when I'm snippy. I think that it's their job to obey the law to begin with, and when they deviate from that, they're the ones who are starting with being extremely rude to me. I try to be very polite, but I am not going to cede an inch on civil rights.

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