TSA watch: A crazy agency finally gets an official diagnosis

You probably already suspected that the idea of a Department of Homeland Security in general, and the Transportation Security Administration, specifically, was a little crazy.

Last week, all doubts were removed.

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I mean, nothing says “nuts” like the plans for Janet Napolitano’s new office, which will be in the very same room used by the director of the nation’s first major federally run psychiatric institution. I’m not making this up.

DHS Secretary Napolitano and the rest of the Homeland Security team, including parts of the TSA, will soon move to a renovated castle-like structure opened in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane.

Ironic? Perhaps.

Even crazier, to some, is the idea that we’d be better off without the TSA. Only fringe politicians and pundits have seriously suggested that the country should disband the agency.

But this week, one of the most popular petitions on the White House’s new “We The People” section is advocating just that. It wants to dismantle the TSA.

Nearly 20,000 Americans have signed it so far.

The petition says it’s time for the president to act.

The Transportation Security Administration has been one of the largest, most expensive and most visible blunders of the post-9-11 homeland security reformation.

It has violated countless constitutional rights of average Americans, caused miserable and expensive delays in an already-overburdened air travel system, and allowed multiple known instances of harassment, theft, extortion and sexual abuse by its employees.

The poll urges the president to invest in “saner, more effective” security measures.

The fact that such a petition could be hosted by the White House site says a lot about the nation’s attitude toward the TSA. Who would have ever thought it would come to this?

It’s important to see this in context. The TSA hasn’t exactly endeared itself to the traveling public in recent days.

Big hair alert! We know TSA has a thing for hair, but chasing down a passenger after screening to check her coif is unusual, even by TSA standards. But that’s exactly what happened to a passenger in Atlanta. (Memo to TSA: That’s what the screening areas are for. You don’t want to be the agent running through the terminal, shouting, “The lady with the big hair, stop!”)

Working for the TSA can be murder. News that a TSA agent was caught stealing is so routine, it surprises almost no one. Ditto for drug trafficking or other serious but nonviolent crimes. But murder? A top TSA official in Mississippi is in jail in Gulfport charged the killing of colleague, according to reports. Needless to say, this is not good for the agency’s image.

And speaking of thieves …
Who says crime doesn’t pay? A former lead transportation security officer at Newark Liberty International Airport who faced up to 10 years in prison for stealing up to $30,000 from travelers as they passed through security-screening checkpoints, received three years probation and six months of home confinement for his crimes. A federal judge said Al Raimi had been cooperative in the government investigation, which led to several other arrests. In a related story, some TSA agents who failed to check bags in Honolulu were only suspended or allowed to retire after their negligence was uncovered.

So maybe America can be forgiven for wanting to get rid of the TSA. It hasn’t caught a single terrorist, its agents haven’t been on their best behavior and their crimes often go unpunished.

But will the government finally listen to the voice of its own people? And if it does, what should it do?

(Photo of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington by Amber Wiley/Flickr)

103 thoughts on “TSA watch: A crazy agency finally gets an official diagnosis

  1. I was saddened to see your headline and tag using the offensive term “crazy”  and your story reporting nothing but your assumed link between the TSA and a former mental hospital.  TSA behavior and decisions do not have anything to do with people who have a psychiatric disability.  I am truly flabbergasted to see this story from someone whose work I have admired in the past.  Please follow the AP stylebook.  Perhaps this resource might be of help:  http://depts.washington.edu/mhreport/qt_language.php

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. No offense was meant to the mentally ill with the headline or tag. In retrospect, I probably would have referred to the TSA as “insane” in the headline, mirroring the name of the former hospital, which was the “Government Hospital for the Insane.”

      I don’t cover health or mental health related issues, and if I did, I probably would be far more sensitive to the subject.

    2. Take a chill pill. Stop being so darn sensitive. We are not insulting you. You’ll know it when it happens. It’s people like you with all this darn political correctness faux insult routine that have contributed to where we are today.

    3. L K – Your PC attitude is whats wrong with this country.  WTF – you can’t even use the term crazy anymore?  Perhaps you should be the one to search out some help.

    4. I personally have no issue with Christopher using terms such as “crazy”
      or “insane” in any of his reporting on the TSA. Many TSA employees ARE
      mentally ill…some of them criminally so. What kind of person would
      take such sadistic pleasure in performing the aggressive, painful sexual
      assaults that both I and my disabled mother have been subjected to?
      What does it say about someone when they purposely seek to degrade, humiliate, punish and exert power over innocent civilians…just because they can? What kind of person would be at the top of such a disgusting and utterly
      ineffective organization, and NOT have the mental acuity to recognize that the entire agency is an affront to innocent Americans, and to our constitution?

      Furthermore, people need to stop being so ridiculously sensitive over words such as “crazy”. Sorry, LK Stromwall, but you are all wet here. Some people act crazy, not because they have a “mental illness”, but because they’re just a-holes. That, I believe, characterizes the majority of the crazy behavior of the TSA

      And just because someone has a mental illness, does that mean “hands off” in talking about them? God forbid we should actually call a spade a spade!

      I read your style-guideline link…and sorry, but it’s nuts. The words crazy, nuts, insane, all have meanings beyond diagnosed mental illness. I see all kinds of crazy behavior at airport checkpoints: TSA agents rudely screaming at passengers because they didn’t distribute their belongings correctly in the bin (“NO! Shoes must go in one bin, laptop in another! Don’t put your cellphone in your shoes!); gropings being done on bare skin (if you can SEE the whole leg, skin and all, what the hell do you think you’re going to find hidden on it by FEELING it?), demands that women take off their coat-dresses, even though they have nothing but underwear on underneath; tossing confiscated items into a barrel right there at the checkpoint (if they’re so dangerous, shouldn’t they be put someplace else?).

      It’s all insane.

    5. Truly, get a life! There was nothing wrong with the title. The Gestapo TSA is exactly that – crazy, insane, nutso.  Any organization that would deliberately commit government-sponsored rape on innocent people is certainly not sane by any definition.  Personally, I believe that anybody who is pro-humiliation, pro-violation, pro-rape by the TSA should be locked up with them in the above Government Hospital for the Insane.  How appropriate it is that it was actually a “government” hospital.  Our government is insane and crazy too. 

      1. Suggest several of you read a history of Germany and Hitler – the easily led sheep has a direct parallel to the scare tactics and creation of the world’s second largest police force – the TSA – and a violent overthrow of the US constitution.  I am a very frequent international and domestic traveler and the actions of the TSA are beyond abusive.

  2. “Even crazier is the idea that we’d be better off without the TSA. Only
    fringe politicians and pundits have seriously suggested that the country
    should disband the agency.”

    I fail to see what is crazy about this idea. And if most politicians find the idea “crazy” or illogical then all the more reason to do it.

    Return security to airlines and airports, disband the TSA (and undo the DHS back to where we were pre-9/11). Deputize American citizens who hold state issues concealed firearms permits as Reserve Federal Air Marshals and let us carry onboard (in most cases state-issued CCW permit holders have been through FBI background checks to get their permits) so we already know they are not “bad guys”.

    1. Er…no.  The whole idea of a concealed firearms permit is counter to most people’s idea of a society in which we want to live. And in what universe would I trust the FBI to decide whether someone is a bad guy?? The countries that strike the best balance between security and individual freedom have one thing in common: all of them ban handguns.

    2. “Return security to airlines and airports…”

      You mean the folks who stepped all over themselves on 9/11? Yeah, let’s give the job back to those who’ve demonstrated an inability to do the job.

      “Deputize American citizens who hold state issues concealed firearms permits as Reserve Federal Air Marshals and let us carry onboard…”

      Amateur Night at the OK Corral.

      1. How ignorant mr zakany. The airlines and airports had nothing to do with sept 11. The hijackers took legal items on board. When you know what actually happened then you become entitled to an opinion. Idiot.

        1. Actually, the airlines and airports very much have something to do with it.

          In the case of the airlines, they resisted securing the cockpits of planes… until 9/11. Guess what? You shut the door and you lock it, and nobody can get in with a box cutter.

          As for airports, many of them are designed poorly. Security lines, even before 9/11, are points of severe congestion. It has only gotten worse since 9/11.

  3. “Even crazier is the idea that we’d be better off without the TSA.”

    How in the world is that a crazy idea? Because the terrorist boogieman is still out there? Because our Constitutionally guaranteed rights aren’t that important in favor of the illusion of safety?

  4. “We’re beginning to see pushback, where people are becoming adversaries of the security systems that are put in place to protect them.,” said Brian Jenkins, an anti-terrorism expert.  
     
    “Now that’s a good way to destroy a security system, and we have to address that as an issue,” said Jenkins, co-editor of “The Long Shadow of 911:  America’s response to Terrorism,” published by the Rand Corporation think tank.

    Disband TSA
    Sign the petition.

      1. No wonder more people don’t sign these things – they want a lot of personal information first!  I’m sure they could get it anyway if they wanted, but it does seem contrary to the idea of an anonymous poll; how do we know that the government doesn’t keep a record of how each person registered on the site voted on each petition and use the data over time to decide who deserves extra searches at airports and so on?

        1. Why would you be afraid to let people know that it is your voice that is heard.   Yes, there MIGHT be some blow back, but it’s actually un-american to hide in the shadows and bitch.   Grow a pair.

  5. Chris, Relative to your generally even handed approach to issues, I’m a little dismayed at your constant attack on the TSA.  I’ll be the first to agree that there have been major problems with this relatively new agency that definitely need fixing.  However as a frequent flyer with my family and friends I would much rather go through the ordeal of airport security than find myself on board with somebody who wants to blow themselves up along with everybody else on board.  Not to say that that isn’t possible anyway, but to put my trust in the hands of some private agency is no comfort or guarantee of virtual safety either.  We know what the private sector is capable of when it comes down to looking out for the public good.  To wit: Halliburton, KBR, the Wall Street thieves, big banks,  etc..  Where’s the guarantee that private security companies would be any more effective or less likely to gouge taxpayers.  In addition I believe that Homeland secretary Napolitano, is doing as good a job as is possible considering it being an almost impossible job and certainly one most thankless, especially as compared to her predecessor during the previous administration.

    1. They are chasing the bogyman. You would think that with hardened security at airports, that terrorists would be blowing up bridges, shopping malls, sporting events, etc.
      It is very easy to wheel a suitcase into a shopping mall on Saturday afternoon with 100lbs of explosives and take out a whole bunch of people. It would be easy to wheel this same suitcase into a security line at the airport and take out a whole bunch of people. BUT IT HASN’T HAPPENED – because terrorists are exceedingly rare – especially in the USA. We are wasting billions of dollars on a stupid boondoggle. All the airborne threats since 9/11 have originated overseas, where TSA is NOT SCREENING people.
      I suggest we send all of the TSA overseas, and let America be free!

      Please sign the petition.

      1. I am continually confounded and baffled by all the seemingly intelligent people who just can’t comprehend this simple, indisputable concept.

        I can only assume they are so paralyzed by fear that they are willing to give up their most BASIC of freedoms – the freedom to decide who touches their genitals – in order to delude themselves that allowing themselves to be abused will lesson their chance of getting blown up by scawy tewwowists.

    2. Oh boy, here we go – another poster boy for the “anything for security” ilk. It is this exact mental state that we are referring to when we use the word “crazy”. You clearly have not been following the news about TSA’s war on innocent civilians. Nor have you given any thought to whether or not there is any value whatsoever to what the TSA does.

      You are simply, indisputably WRONG that the TSA is making you safer on airplanes. They are NOT. They are simply wasting 8 billion dollars a year (that’s billion with a B) abusing travelers for no purpose.

      Use your brain. If a terrorist really wanted to take down a plane, he could do it, even in spite of being irradiated, viewed naked, and groped. A determined terrorist could smuggle enough explosives onto a plane hidden in body cavities, which wouldn’t turn up in the search by even the most depraved TSA groper. Even the TSA has acknowledged that their dangerous nude-o-scopes, introduced in response to the underwear bomber, wouldn’t have even stopped him.

      The simple fact is, terrorists are not trying to blow up planes in the US! How do we know this? Because if any were trying, one of two things would have happened: 1) the TSA would have caught them, and then crowed loudly in the media about their success, or 2) the TSA wouldn’t have caught them…and a plane would have blown up. Or, actually, add a third, which is what HAS happened in the ONLY TWO CASES of moronic “terrorists” trying to blow up planes: TSA didn’t catch them, and passengers stopped them. Common sense, no?

      If a terrorist really wanted to attack Americans on American soil, he wouldn’t have to go through all the hassle to get on a plane. He could walk right up to a TSA checkpoint and blow hisself to smithereens, taking several hundred travelers and a bunch of standing-around-not-working TSA goons with him – all without having to have his junk touched by an infidel. If terrorist are trying so hard to attack our air transportation system, ask yourself why this hasn’t happened?

      And what makes you, or anyone, think that terrorists are hellbent on perpetrating their terrorist acts on planes? Doesn’t that seem like a rather bizarre obsession? It’s GOTTA BE A PLANE, right? Why not blow up trains or buses, as in Europe and Israel? Why not blow up a nightclub full of young, rich infidels, as in Bali?

      It’s all insanity – including the wacky “I’ll let ‘em grope my genitals because gosh darn it, they’re protecting me and my family from these scawy tewwowists!” mindset.

      Use some common sense, and stop being a sheeple, bending over and taking it as the TSA sticks it to ya in the interest of getting ever more federal dollars for their bloated, out-of-control agency. The TSA is wasting your tax money, for no good purpose.

      As for not trusting private security to do the job, you are simply looking for something that is not possible:  total 100% protection from terrorists. Sorry, but that is impossible. Life comes with risk. You risk dying every time you get out of bed in the morning. If you want your government to spend your tax dollars trying to prevent the possibility of your death, you might want to consider these facts: you are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease then a terrorist attack. You are 1,000 times more likely to die from an car accident than a terrorist attack.  You are 50 times more likely to die from getting struck by lightning. Your odds of dying in a terrorist attack are ONE IN 25 MILLION!  

      And yet you are fine with our government spending 8 BILLION dollars a year, to ineffectively attempt to lesson your 1-in-25-million chance of dying from a terrorist attack…using abusive tactics such as sexually assaulting innocent civilians, irradiating them, viewing children naked, humiliating disabled people, confiscating benign items such as nail clippers and eyelash curlers (yes, *I* had my eyelash curler confiscated!).  You’re OKAY with all of this?

      If anyone in this equation is nuts, it’s people like you.

      1. I like you!   I couldn’t have said it better myself!!   🙂

        One other thing to point out.   The safest you can ever be is locked up in a cage with out the ability for anyone to ever get to you.   If someone wants to feel safe, we can always put them in solitary confinement so that they can be happy that they are safe and someone else can take care of them.   

        Not for me though.  I’ll take my chances and live my life with those risks.

  6. Question:  has any other large inept government agency ever been dismantled?  I’m asking this as a serious questions b/c I don’t know that one has been. 

    1. Hmm, in this country, maybe the Civil Aeronautics Board? In other countries, democratic reforms swept away security agencies such as the Stasi (East Germany) and Securitate (Romania). Only, we seem to be doing it in reverse here in the States, in a way.

      1. Christopher, you are oh so scarily correct. In this country we are in the same condition that Germany was before WWII: plunging headlong into a police state.

        At the risk of being accused of Godwin’s Law (and you are the one who mentioned the Stasi & East Germany, so I think there’s precedence in this discussion), the similarities are astonishing: we are a nation in chaos. The economy has faltered, and people are worried they won’t be able to feed their families. Jobs are hard to find. Terrorist attacks have occurred, killing scores and frightening the public to the extent that they are willing to do anything, or allow anything to be done to them, to avoid having that happen again.

        All of these things were true in pre-Nazi Germany. And more similarities between America today and Germany in the 30’s:

        *A national catastrophe is used as the pretext to begin a war and institute extraordinary restrictions on constitutional liberties.

        *Citizen dissent is held to be treasonous…if you question anything our government is doing in the name of “security” or “defense”, you are accused of not being patriotic.

        *People who are members of a specific religion, regardless of their own personal actions, are persecuted and vilified solely because they belong to that religion

        *A frightened and cowed citizenry allow out-of-control government forces to do things that are, by any sane measure, wrong and criminal, but they do nothing to stop them because they think it’s all for the greater good…the security of their nation.

        I can’t help but think that we’re going to have to go through something horrific before we can get to the other side of this, when citizens recognize the wrongs being committed by our government, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

  7. Chris makes a great point here about how failure to punish TSA thieves and miscreants encourages more criminal misbehavior on the part of TSA, and simultaneously sends the unmistakeable public message that no one expects TSA to operate within the law. 

    Any trusted public employee who is in a position to steal cash and valuables from suitcases is a public employee who is in a position to accept a bribe to place dangerous items into suitcases.  The fact that TSA agents are already facing charges for the latter crime simply drives home the point. 

    How much more evidence do we need?  The TSA does not make us safer.  It’s not even a massive boondoggle that fails to protect us!  Every single day that the TSA operates, we are far less safe than we would be without them. 

    The TSA forces us to leave our bags vulnerable to tampering.  The TSA sexually abuses innocent passengers.  The TSA causes people to choose less safe modes of travel.  The TSA creates vulnerable concentrations of unscreened travelers by operating checkpoints too slowly.  The TSA issues badges to illegal immigrants and felons with inadequate background checks, and gives those people unfettered access to the tarmac and the planes.  The TSA confiscates life-saving medicine like insulin.  The TSA takes crutches, braces, and wheelchairs away from people who are unstable on their feet and forces those people to stand in precarious positions, exposing travelers to possibly severe injuries from falls.  The TSA doesn’t even bother trying to secure airport perimeters and mitigate risks from shoulder-fired missiles.  The TSA lets you fly on planes with unscreened cargo in the hold.  The TSA causes PTSD and re-activates trauma among sexual assault victims.  

    Anyone who thinks the TSA makes us safer has utterly failed to contemplate the law of unintended consequences.

  8. The level  of discourse regarding the TSA has fallen to precipitously low levels.  Basically it can be summed up as

    Rule 1: TSA bad
    Rule 2: See Rule 1

    It really is sad to see such an otherwise great blog be a gathering ground for the rabid anti-TSA, would-believe-a-TSA-agent-if-he-said-ice-was-cold. crown

    Someone asked why aren’t more Americans outraged by the TSA.  Here’s a hint. Most of us haven’t experienced anything to be outraged about.  In the last month, I have been in SFO, SJC, LAX, ONT, LGA, JFK, BOS, DFW and RDU.  Incident free.

    But to those who believe that since the TSA has not caught a terrorist, there are no terrorist around,  I leave you with the maxim of cosmologist Martin Rees’ made famous by scientist Carl Sagan, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    1. Well, I expect nothing less of you, Carver: the “I haven’t had a problem, therefore there is no problem” attitude.

      Nobody said there isn’t terrorists around, either. That is YOU are putting words in our mouths yet again.

      But then, you’re free to deny the fact that you’re far, far more likely to die on the way to the airport than you ever would be at risk of being involved in a terrorist attack at an airport. You’re free to deny that we’re spending billions on one of the greatest illusions ever created. You’re free to deny that the terrorist boogieman is just that: a boogieman, and that he isn’t lurking in every shadow.

      And in the end, the only thing you’ll have to show for it is that you’re simply in denial of reality.

      1. You’re also free to continue your goose-stepping without complaining about the rest of us who refuse to join you in the parade.

    2. Yep, it’s another member of “it hasn’t happened to me so it’s not happening” crowd. That’s real good logic, Carver.

      Well, it HAS happened to me. I had a woman RAM the side of her hand, with her thumb pointed up, into my vagina. It HURT. It was offensive, and felt like a sexual assault. She did this FOUR TIMES. As a rape victim, it was indescribably traumatic. When I flinched, she would jump back and shout “I can’t screen this lady! She won’t let me screen her!” Finally a supervisor came over, and I had to be screened all over again – including all of the places on my body I’d already been probed and pawed. And yes, then my vagina had to be rammed four MORE times. It left me shaking and in tears.

      My disabled elderly mother was made to wait so long to be groped that she urinated on herself, after her pleas to be allowed to use the restroom were ignored. Then, the TSO SCREAMED at her for “pissing on herself”. The next time she flew, she wore a diaper, only to have a TSO shout out, loudly enough for the nearby line to hear, “Whatchoo got in your pants?” as she squeezed her diaper.

      These are only two experiences. But they happened to ME and my mother.

      How DARE you suggest that these things didn’t happen? You owe me, and all of the innocent Americans who’ve been assaulted, abused and humiliated, an apology.

      I always respected your posts on this blog. But now you’re calling me a liar? Because it hasn’t happened to you? Respect gone.

      It happened to me. Accept it. And if you want to get your soul back, apologize.

      1. LeeAnne, I re-read Carver’s post.  He didn’t say it didn’t happen to you nor to your mother.  He said it wasn’t the experience of “most of us”, including himself at a number of locations.

        I am truly, truly sorry about your experience and the horrible way your mother was treated.  When you first posted about your mother’s trip to see you, I kept you and her in my prayers that her return trip would be better.  I’m sorry it wasn’t.

        Carver’s point is still valid.  If more people had your experiences, there would be more people than yourself and a very few others posting on elliott.org on TSA-related articles.  There would be a greater outcry than in the blogosphere.  I appreciate Chris’ efforts in bringing problems to light, but many of the comments aren’t moving toward a resolution of those problems.

        1. Jeanne, thanks for your kind words. I hear what you’re saying…but that doesn’t change the fact that Carver’s post completely invalidated and minimized not only my experience, but the thousands of others that have occurred. The idea that because something hasn’t happened to “most of us” somehow makes it unimportant, is just sickening.

          “Most of us” have never had a violent crime committed against us. Should that lessen the outcry when it happens to someone? “Most of us” have not been gang-raped by bands of government thugs roaming through refugee camps. Does that mean we should turn a blind eye to such atrocities?

          The suggestion that there are only a few incidents is flat-out wrong. The ACLU logged THOUSANDS of reports of abusive treatment by the TSA in just the first few months after they instituted the “enhanced pat downs” late last year. And those are just the ones reported! Imagine how many have occurred on a daily basis, but were never reported? And WHY don’t people report these incidences? Because they are afraid! They don’t want to be retaliated against, as in the case of Stacy Armato, who was targeted because she previously forced the TSA agents at a checkpoint to follow their own documented procedures for transporting breast milk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334228/Breast-feeding-passenger-claims-harassed-TSA-wanting-pumped-milk-passed-X-ray-machine.html

          Nor do they want to be arrested for protesting having their genitals touched, as in the case of Claire Hirschkind, a rape victim who decided she’d rather not fly if she was going to have to have her genitals groped, but when she tried to decline the grope, was handcuffed, DRAGGED 25 YARDS ACROSS THE FLOOR, and arrested! http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/24/rape-victim-arrested-refusing-tsa-pat/

          Nor do they want to be arrested and prosecuted for trying to get the TSA to follow their own rules about medically-necessary foods and liquids, as in the case of Nadine Hayes, who was prosecuted for ASSAULT after she tried to stop a brutish TSO from yanking the small cooler carrying her 93-yr-old Alzheimers afflicted mother’s food and drink, needed for the long flight. http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-ventura-woman-beats-tsa,0,346508.story

          These are just a few of many horrific incidents that have occurred at checkpoints across our nation, which have become pockets of police-state mentality where innocent civilians are treated as terrorists until they can prove otherwise, where dissent is not allowed, where our 4th Amendment rights protecting us from unnecessary search and seizure are violated with impunity.

          Yes, more Americans NEED to stand up and fight. Why don’t they? Because most Americans don’t fly enough for it to matter to them. So, some rich business people are getting groped at the airport? Not their problem. Furthermore, the TSA has them so convinced that there are terrorists hiding around every corner, ready to pack a baby’s diaper with a poop bomb if they DON’T allow themselves to be sexually assaulted before they fly. So they let it happen because gosh darn it, they want to be SAFE!

          There are organizations and grass-roots groups trying to fight this. Trust me that it’s not just a few malcontents on Christopher’s blog. A few of us have assumed responsibility for making sure that the frequent travelers who read Chris’s blog get to hear the truth.

          Thanks for understanding…and for not minimizing and invalidating what happened to me and my mother. That shouldn’t happen to ANYONE.

      2. Leanne

        Since you have always respected my posts in the past, perhaps you might want to consider that I remain the same person. 

        First, As Jeanne_in_NE correctly states, I never mentioned anything about you, or your mother.  Having never met either of you, I see no reason to doubt the veracity of those items which you personally witnessed. 

        If anything, you owe me an apology for calling me a liar.

        Regardling logic, I have one degree in physics and am a practicing attorney, having appeared successfulyy before trial and appellate courts..  I feel quite comfortable in the logical arena.

        Your multiple responses however takes untoward liberties with my post.  The fact remains, that people get upset over an item when it becomes personal. Again, that is merely a fact.  It is not a judgment or a conclusion.  There is injustice all over the world.  Much of it we ignore. However, when it becomes personal that is when we act.

        What you fail to understand or appreciate, is that you have had a certain set of experiences and you base your opinions on those experiences.  That is fair. However, you refuse to acknowledge that others may have had different experiences and accordingly base there experiences

        1. I will concede, as Sommer did, that you may not have experienced any of the horrific gropings that so many of us have. However, your utter lack of concern for what IS happening out there is disgusting.

          I will also concede that I misread your post to say that because it hasn’t happened to you, it must not have happened to any of us.  Upon re-reading, you apparently do realize that abuses have happened.  The crux of my disgust with you is that don’t seem to CARE. What does that say about you?

          And I am but one person. The media has reported countless similar incidents. The internet is rife with horrific stories. ACLU itself has thousands of reports. Read TSA’s own blog – the comments sections are filled with so many reports of abuse it should make ANY American feel ill.

          Instead, your attitude clearly is “it’s not happening to me, so I don’t care”. And then you dismissively refer to those of us to whom it HAS happened as the “rabid anti-TSA crowd.”  As if we have nothing to be rabid about.

          If a TSO forcibly sexually assaulted YOU, or your mother, or your daughter, would you THEN become part of the “rabid anti-TSA crowd”? Must it impact you directly before you can even acknowledge that what’s happening out there is WRONG? What would it take for you to finally accept that your own government is assaulting, abusing, and stealing from innocent civilians, on a regular basis?

          No, my respect for you is still gone. You may be a lawyer, physicist and god-knows-what-else, but you are also a cold-hearted *******. Clearly all your education hasn’t given you a soul.

          By the way, I didn’t call you a liar. I said you called ME a liar. Instead, after re-reading your disgusting post, I realize you simply made it clear that you don’t give a cr*p about the thousands upon thousands of people who’ve been abused by the TSA, myself and my mother included. Hasn’t happened to you, so it doesn’t matter.

          Lovely attitude.

          1. Well

            At least your reply is less vitriolic than before.  But you still seem unable to distinguish underlying facts from conclusions and conjector.

            You have a set of beliefs as to what is happening with the TSA.  Based upon those beliefs you formed an opinion and a course of action.  That is of course correct.  Where you lose credibility is that you simply refuse to accept the fact that others may have different beliefs as to the underlying factual situation.

            If I shared your underlying factual beliefs then I might also share your conclusions.  However, I do not share your underlying factual beliefs that thousands are being molested or sexually abused by the TSA.  The prima facie case has not been made as to the veracity of that statement.

            A substantial part of your belief is based upon your experiences both as a victim and as a witness to your mother’s ordeal. 

            I am doing exactly the same thing.  I am basing my beliefs upon my experiences, in exactly the same way that you are basing your beliefs on your experiences.  The difference is that while I accept and respect your experiences with TSAl, you simply do not respect mine.  That is, of course,  your right.

            Incidentally, for the record, the rabid anti-TSA folks that I refer to is anyone who makes a knee jerk reaction that the TSA is alwasy wrong, even before they have received the first facts.

    3. Funny that you should use the Carl Sagan quote when that is the same position you have taken with regard to the TSA abuse.  Maybe you need to examine the stones you are casting more carefully.  I have not flown in quite sometime, have never experienced the TSA abuse personally, yet I have no doubt that it occurs.  Even one occurrence is one too many.  We are citizens of what is supposed to be a free country.  Why are we allowing ourselves to be treated like criminals when no crime has occurred?  Isn’t the government supposed to represent the interests of its people and not the other way around?  We are protected from unreasonable searches by the 5th Amendment to the Constitution – why are so many so eager to give up this right? 

      1. Let me see. By your own words

        1.  You haven’t flown in quite a while; and
        2.  Have never experienced the abuse personally,

        and yet have no doubt it occurs.

        My question is do you have a factual basis for this belief?

        1. Maybe he believes the TSA abuses people because thousands of travelers have publicly reported being brutalized by the TSA?  Including dozens who have posted detailed accounts right here at elliott.org?   Maybe because TSA is fighting a dozen and a half lawsuits over their abuse of the traveling public?  Maybe because Lisa has posted a list of hundreds of documented instances here: http://www.travelunderground.org/index.php?threads/master-lists-of-tsa-abuses-crimes.317/

          You can certainly argue, if you like, that you don’t believe any of these people have really been violated – but you can’t accuse MRaff of having no factual basis for believing that they were, given the independent and consistent reports of TSA abuse by thousands of victims.

          1. Facts don’t matter to people like Carver. He hasn’t seen it, it hasn’t happened to him, so it’s all just unsubstantiated rumor.

            He reminds me of the one time I was on a jury. A woman had had her purse stolen off her desk. A gang member was caught attempting to use the credit cards. Five different people had seen him step into the office building, walk into the first-floor office, and walk out with a purse. Three of them were able to describe his unique neck tattoo. All five picked him out of a lineup. The purse was found in a nearby trash bin with his fingerprints on it. On the stand he made no actual efforts to explain any of this – he just kept saying he didn’t do it.

            Yet we ended in a mistrial, because ONE WOMAN refused to convict. She said “we don’t know he did it, he says he didn’t do it, how do we know he’s not telling the truth?” She misinterpreted the meaning of “beyond reasonable doubt” to mean “beyond a shadow of a doubt”. She didn’t see him, so she had doubt.

            That’s Carver. He’s never personally SEEN anyone abused by the TSA. Case dismissed.

          2. No, that post describes your defense of TSA perfectly. Since you have not experienced the abuses of TSA, the abuses therefore do not exist.

            Try getting out of your bubble some time.

          3. CJR,

            That is demonstrably NOT my post.  No fair reading of my various posts could lead anyone to that conclusion.  particularly after I am telling you that your understanding of my word is incorrect.

          4. Then perhaps you should take a different tact in your posts. To quote from you just a little further up:
            “My question is do you have a factual basis for this belief?”

            You are outright questioning whether somebody has the right to believe whether TSA abuses occur because they have not experienced them personally.

            How else should somebody interpret your comments then? You haven’t experienced such abuses, nor witnessed them, and you doubt the experiences of others because of that. Thus, you all but accuse others of making their stories up since you didn’t witness them.

            According to you, since I have not experienced abuse at the hands of TSA, apparently I have no reason to despise TSA for what they do to others. Sorry, but that ‘logic’ doesn’t fly in my book. Nor does it fly in the court of public opinion, where TSA has long been found guilty of being incompetent, wasteful, violating our rights, and doing more harm to this country than good.

          5. Perhaps because its late, but I didn’t see hundred of documented instances on that post.  I say a colored map with almost no information.  For example, in the entire state of CA there is listed exactly one TSA crime with no information by which its veracity could be substantiated.

        2. Okay, I take back my earlier concession. You apparently ARE calling me a liar!  So, in spite of the overwhelming, indisputable (unless you want go ahead and actually say “you’re a liar”) evidence that TSA abuses ARE happening, to thousands of innocent travelers, you are asking this person if he has “a factual basis for this belief”?  Do you really think there ISN’T a factual basis for his belief?

          YOU are unbelievable.

          So, go ahead – call me a liar. You know you want to. You already have in every way short of using the word. Don’t be a wuss – stand up and say what you believe.

          It would appear you think it’s all a bunch of poppycock! You think the numerous documented incidents, the YouTube videos, the lawsuits, the thousands of ACLU complaints, the court cases, the news reports, the  innumerable accounts posted on travel-related message boards, the first-hand reports in this blog by myself and other frequent participants (by the way, I use my real name, as do several of us, we’re not hiding behind pseudonyms), are…what…FAKE?

          If that’s what you believe (which would seem to be the case given that you are openly questioning whether any abuse happened), then be a man: stand up and say so. Of course you would be indisputably and demonstrably WRONG, but hey, at least you’d be honest, instead of this weasily non-committal crap you’ve been posting.

          On the other hand, if you DO believe these things happened, and you STILL think that there’s nothing wrong, that the discourse about TSA on Christopher’s blog has “sunk precipitously low”, that it’s “sad” to see this “rabid anti-TSA crowd” in here, then…well…what kind of person would think that? What kind of person would feel that way? All I can say is…wow.

          It’s really hard to avoid ad hominem attacks, when faced with such a disgusting display of inhumanity.

          1. Once again, you seem unable to distringuish between facts and conclusions.

            For the record, if I wanted to call you a liar I’d do it openly, publicly, and repeatedly.  This is the first time I have ever been accused of timidity.

            Back to the topic.  You, Leanne, believe that thousands of abuses are happening.  But you don’t know that for a fact because you weren’t there.  You couldn’t testify because you have no first hand knowledge beyond the the horrible ordeal you and your mother were subjected to.

            You have read it and you believe it and God help anyone who disagrees with your beliefs.  But you have no first hand knowledge and accordingly shouldn’t attack people who have a different opinion.

    4. So, Carver, have you or anyone you know ever been murdered? No? I guess it’s not really happening out there, and anyone accused of it should be set free.

      Ever been denied housing because of your race or religion? No? Well then, it must not be happening. Let’s just not bother with laws to protect against it, because gosh darn it, if it hasn’t happened to you, then it must not be real. And scratch the outrage, because most of us haven’t experienced it. We’re incident-free. So those of you complaining about it are just a rabid anti-housing-discrimination crowd.

      Ever been the victim of any crime at all? No? Well then, why are we bothering with all these laws? It hasn’t happened to Carver! It must not be important!

      Regarding your nonsensical comment about terrorists, the idiocy and utter lack of logic is mind-boggling. Yeah, there’s never been a gremlin seen crawling out on the wing of an airplane, either. But gosh darn it, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there!

      If terrorists are so hell-bent on bringing down American planes, answer these questions:

      1. If terrorists are trying to bring down planes, why haven’t any been caught?

      2. If terrorists want to attack our air transportation, why haven’t any tried to blow up a TSA checkpoint, which would be far easier, even more effective, and would not require having to make it past screening?

      3. If terrorists want to attack our transportation systems, why are planes the ONLY form of transport subjected to such intense protection? Why not buses, or trains, as in Israel and Spain? And why haven’t any been targeted by terrorists?

      4. If terrorists are trying to attack Americans, why have none of them attempted to blow up a nightclub, as in Bali?

      5. Given the fact that you have only a 1 in 25 MILLION chance of being killed by a terrorist, do you feel it’s appropriate for the US to spend 8 BILLION dollars a year to attempt to lesson that chance?

      1. Once again, your logic is nonexistent.  I appreciate that a horrible thing happened you which is why I have generally avoided engaing you in debating this issue.  However, personal attacks must be answered.

        To answer your questions, irrelevant though they are

        1, Yes, my little cousin was shot in the head last August.  I flew home to attend his funeral. He was unrecongnizeable at the viewing.  Several ladies close to me, ( who I will NOT identify) have been the victims of sexual assault.

        2.  Yes, I was denied a job right after law school because the owners felt a Christian wouldn’t fit in with the firm.  The school denied that law firm posting priviliges after that.

        3.  I was denied another job that same year because of my race. 

        4.  Yes, my house was robbed, my car stolen and stripped bare at a time when I could least afford to replace a car.

        So yes, it has happened to Carver, so please stop making assumptions.

        Again, what you fail to understand is that even if I were personally, not discriminated against, sexually assaulted, been a crime victim, I know people who have, and most of us know people who have been victims.  Accordly, there is a general outrage in these areas.

        By contast, I, and I suspect most people, do not personally know anyone who has been sexually assualted by TSA.

        My dissappointment with you Leanne is that rather than discuss the issues, you descend into name calling and other ad hominem attacks which quite frankly I thought you were above.  Obviously I erred in my judgment

        1. Okay, so you accuse ME of putting words in your mouth. CLEARLY those were rhetorical questions in my post, to make a point. I wasn’t actually asking for your direct experience with crimes.  My point was, just because a crime hasn’t happened to someone, doesn’t mean that it’s not important, that you shouldn’t feel anger towards the perpetrator, that people fighting to STOP such crimes are nothing more than a “rabid anti-whatever crowd”.

          And I’m sorry you’ve had experience with crime. But I would NEVER, in a million years, attempt to minimize or invalidate these horrible experiences.

          Unlike what you’ve done to me.

          I’m sorry, but to hear somebody refer to me as nothing more than part of some “rabid anti-TSA crowd”, as if our efforts to stop them are nothing but silliness, infuriates me. I WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY THE TSA. So were thousands of others. Do you get that? I find your posting such invalidating comments to be nothing short of cruel and disgusting. We are victims of crimes.

          If you can’t see this, well, go back and read that part I wrote earlier about not having a soul.

          By the way, I noticed you completely avoided my NON-rhetorical questions. Hmmmm???? No good answers?

          1. Leanne

            You have taken my words out of context and repeatedly failed to understand anything I have written.

            I do not minimize your suffering.  I have taken great pains to describe it as a horrible ordeal. I have also made it a point to, until today, not engage you in your various posts regarding the TSA because of that ordeal. And would have continued not engaging in what is obviously an emotionally charged issue given your experience.

            In fact, you were the last person on my mind when I commented that the reason why Americans aren’t up in arms about the TSA is because most Americans haven’t had a negative TSA experience either directly or vicariously through a friend; a sentiment that I believe you actually agree with. 

            Incidentally the reason why I didn’t answer the second set of questions was twofold, 1) I’d answered them elsewhere and 2) it would have made my post enormous, even for me.

          2. Leanne,

            Stop wasting your breath with this fool.  He’s deliberately baiting you.  Don’t dignify him with a response.

        2. Oh, now I get it! You’re white,  a racist, a lawyer and a born again Christian (or why would you be telling a prospective employer about your religious beliefs?) I would have thought your little cousin’s death might have engendered some compassion for real victims (which you are not), but I guess the impervious carapace of your racial attitudes, religion and profession make that impossible. I do wish you’d and leave LeeAnne alone; maybe you should restrict your social interaction to your co-religionists and members of your political party, which we can now guess.

    5. I agree Carver.  Who would have thought that this issue would generate such a rabid response     so indicative of  this divided country.  You can generally tell who the chronic government (sometimes pronounced GUMMINT) haters are  by the number of misspellings and grammatical errors one finds in their comments.

        1. And ya gotta love his debating skills, huh? Using argumentum ad hominem in an misguided attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a supposed negative characteristic of the person, instead of arguing the actual subject. That’s always impressive, and adds loads of credibility, doncha think?

          The funny part is just how off-the-mark he is. Of all the people I know who are opposed to the TSA, and especially among those who are actively working to fight their abuse, the vast majority are affluent intellectuals. If you think about it, that makes sense: who are the people who are most impacted by TSA’s abuses? Those who fly a lot. And who flies a lot? Generally, people in the higher echelons of our society…professional people with education, management-level or higher jobs, money. Not “gummint-hatin knuckle-draggers”, as this moron seems to think.

          Makes me wonder who the knuckle-dragger is in this equation.

      1. Really? How many did you find in my post? I’m a technical writer, so I happen to have a strong grasp of the English language. I challenge you to find any grammatical errors in my comments. Go ahead, find them. Not ‘typos’ (my fingers aren’t always perfect on the keyboard), but actual errors. What? Can’t find any?  Yeah. ::rolling eyes::

        As for the rabid responses – come back and tell us we’re being rabid after YOU’VE been sexually assaulted, and threatened with being tossed out of the airport when you flinched. Or had to stand there and watch your elderly disabled mother sob while she was being publicly humiliated and HURT as a brutish TSA agent squeezed her breast two weeks after her breast cancer surgery.

        Yes, our country is divided, along many lines and fractures. I personally do not hate the government. In all other political arenas I’m actually a liberal. But I’ve been sexually assaulted by my own government. I hate THAT.

        You might want to develop a sensitivity chip.  Oh, and you might want to check your OWN grammar.

    6. I am willing to concede that many Americans, even some who actually fly, have not experienced anything to be outraged about at a TSA checkpoint.   Part of this phenomenon, though, has to be that human beings have a range of reactions to physical intimacy with strangers: some of us feel tremendously violated when strangers place their hands on our genitals through our clothes, and others seem to just shrug off the imposition and have no emotional reaction to that kind of touching.  My husband always refuses the scanners as a way to register his disapproval of TSA’s tactics (I’m so proud!), and he feels no trauma even at a sexually intrusive patdown.  That’s fine for him and for you, but what you are saying here is that because many people don’t think sexual touching is a big deal, those of us who do find it to be a big deal are somehow, well, crazy.  I can say that this is an enormous emotional hurdle for me.  I don’t feel safe with strangers touching my sex organs.  That’s not okay for me.  What I hear you saying is that I’m the one with the problem, because there are others like you and my husband who can endure this without flinching.  What I’m saying is it’s my body and it’s my right to insist on keeping my body to myself, even if I did buy an airline ticket.

      Or maybe you’ve just never had a patdown and so you don’t really know how you’d react if it were your balls in that man’s hands.

      1. Thank you for articulating my own thoughts and feelings, Sommer.

        Sometimes the blatant obtuseness of commenters in these TSA discussions is so frustrating. Not to mention the utter lack of concern for anything that doesn’t directly impact them.

        To invoke Godwin’s law once again (which is always a likelihood in any dialogue about the TSA), the German people at first didn’t care about the Jews being rounded up and disappearing because, y’know, it wasn’t happening to them.

        We humans just don’t learn from history, do we?

      2. Sommer,

        I absolutely respect the fact that different people have different levels of tolerance.  I don’t think that you are crazy if you don’t want to be touched.  Not at all.

        Personally, I’ve been patted down about 5 or 6 times in SFO, LAX,  LGA,and RDU.  It was a purely professional pat down, much as if you were at a doctor’s office. No “balls” were in anyone’s hands.  In fact, the screeners were extremely professional, using the back of his hands each time.  The pat downs were unremarkable and barely memorable.  If I met any of the screeners on the street I woudn’t even recognize them.

        On a side note, please tell me why you believe that I think that you have a problem.  That certainly was not my intent.

        1. I think when you pegged me as part of a “rabid anti-TSA crowd”, that’s what made me feel you found my objections to the TSA to be crazy.  Since the TSA hasn’t shown any remorse for psychologically traumatizing thousands of victims, and doesn’t show any indication of mending its ways, I feel I have a perfect right to be rabidly anti-TSA.  In fact, if you don’t think I’m crazy to have a problem with the way TSA threatens to touch me, if you know that the TSA is emotionally harming innocent travelers, shouldn’t you be anti-TSA also?

          1. Wow, that was classy, Anna.  I prefer Carver’s approach: ” I generally don’t see any value is making perjorative remarks about my
            fellow forum participants.  It stifles the free exchange of ideas and
            generally attempts to bully others into silence.  That is the tactic of
            someone who can’t persuade on the merits.”

          2. I remember that exchange.  You may remember that I actually didn’t specify any particular person with regards to calling people anti-TSA. You felt I was talking about you, but I explained that I wasn’t speaking about anyone in particularly.  I generally don’t see any value is making perjorative remarks about my fellow forum participants.  It stifles the free exchange of ideas and generally attempts to bully others into silence.  That is the tactic of someone who can’t persuade on the merits.

            With regards to the TSA specifically, I prefer a more nuanced approach.  For example, there are police officers who do evil, vile things.  In today’s paper, a police officer was accused of partying with underage boys, giving them money and booze for sex.  He should be tried in a court of law and convicted if the evidence is there. Yet most police officers are good hard working folks.  We don’t disband the police because of a few bad apples.  I see the TSA in the same light.  Most are simple hard working people who just want to make an honest living.

            The ones who do bad things should be fired and prosecuted if appropriate to the fullest extent of the law.

          3. If I understand you correctly: you’re saying that once in a while, a bad apple TSA person may do something that is vile.  But usually, their actions aren’t abusive.  

            I disagree completely, because their publicly acknowledged procedures, which involve touching an innocent and unwilling victim’s genitals, are prima facie abusive regardless of the intent or honesty of the crotch toucher.   I still say there’s a fundamental contradiction in your position here: if you think I’m not crazy to object to genital touching, why do you support the TSA in their procedural insistence on touching the genitals of innocent travelers?

          4. Sommer

            Its a fair question.

            Let me clarify.  I do not support the TSA’s position is touching genitals of travelers absent some probable cause.  However, I don’t need to be in 100 percent support of their policies. I’d rather reform the agency that see it disbanded.  Obama could issue an executive order tomorrow that would solve that problem.

          5. I concur.

            The TSA has a very bad perception problem which does little to engender trust in the government.  This trust is crucial to the way American democracy functions.

          6. It’s interesting that you mention the damage that TSA has done to people’s trust in the government.  I must be the poster child for that.  In the last year, I’ve re-examined all of my political opinions and reversed most of them, and it’s entirely because of what the TSA is doing to people.  I used to trust government, but now all I can do is fear a government that would inflict what I consider ritualistic sexual abuse on its citizens.  Thank you for an interesting exchange.

          7. You used to trust the government? I haven’t felt that way since the beginning of the Vietnam war (and before that I was too young to follow the news)!

        2. You are very lucky that it hasn’t happened to you yet. Keep flying. Eventually, you’re balls and/or penis will be touched. Almost every frequent traveler that I know has had their genitals touched at some point or another.

          Of course, that may not bother you one bit, and that’s fine. Some people don’t mind having their intimate body parts touched by strangers. But it bothers me…and THOUSANDS of us. It’s wrong. Any time someone touches my genitals without my consent, that’s sexual assault. To people who’ve experienced sexual assault previously in their lives, this can be overwhelmingly traumatic. Nobody should be forced to submit to unwanted genital contact in order to board an airplane.

          To refer to those of us fighting to STOP this abuse as if we are a nutty, “rabid” crowd, is heartless and insensitive. You should be ashamed.

          1. In fact, out of intellectual curiosity, how far can someone disagree with you in this matter and not be sheeple, or apparantly in my case cold and heartless. I suspect I know the answer, but its only fair to give you a chance to articulate your own position rather than me putting words in your mouth.

          2. It’s hard to know where to even begin responding to you, Carver, since there are so many things just plain wrong in your responses to me, and so many responses all over this thread. I’m not going to go back and respond to all of those posts…I’m just going to boil it all down to this:

            The facts are the facts. And it’s impossible to have an intelligent conversation with someone who denies facts.

            There are, indisputably, thousands of reports of abuses by TSA. This is not an opinion. It’s a fact. It’s all over the news, it’s on the ACLU website, it’s all over the internet, it’s in the courts, it’s on TSA’s own blog, it’s in my own personal experiences, and in the experiences of many people I personally know. If you had any desire to inform yourself BEFORE you inserted yourself into this conversation, you could have done just a few minutes of research yourself and learned the facts.  Instead, you seem to want to simply deny the facts. Because it hasn’t happened to you, and you didn’t see it yourself.

            You are saying (and I’m not going to go digging back through all your posts, I’m busy today) that because you didn’t see it, it hasn’t happened.  Okay, scratch that – actually I AM going to go find your words, and here they are: 

            “Back to the topic.  You, Leanne, believe that thousands of abuses are
            happening.  But you don’t know that for a fact because you weren’t there.  You couldn’t testify because you have no first hand knowledge beyond the the horrible ordeal you and your mother were subjected to.”

            Yes, I DO know it for a fact, and so does anyone who bothers to inform themselves.

            You say I “believe” that thousands of abuses have happened, but I don’t KNOW because I wasn’t there. So you are acknowledging that your standard for knowing something to be true is that one must have SEEN IT THEMSELVES? This is EXACTLY why that story about the woman on that jury applies to you: she didn’t SEE the dude steal the purse, so in spite of the overwhelming evidence that he DID it, she set him free. Hey, Martians could have done it, right?

            You are a lawyer, so you should have some concept of “reasonable doubt” vs. “shadow of a doubt”. There is NO REASONABLE DOUBT that thousands of abuses have happened. The evidence is overwhelming. You say I couldn’t “testify”, but you seem to think that we’re in court of law here. We’re not – we’re in the real world. We all know that the whole truth often does NOT come out in court, so that is a poor standard to apply outside of court. In the real world, the truth is often self-evident. It’s not always about what you lawyers, with your obfuscations and smarmy tactics to win, your efforts to suppress truth if it doesn’t support your side, can “prove”…it’s about REALITY. Facts are facts.

            You can disagree with this all you want, but all you are doing is denying indisputable facts. Which brings us full circle to where I began this post: it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with someone who denies facts. It’s like trying to talk with a Holocaust denier, or a Birther, or a Scientologist. Facts don’t matter to some people. And there’s just no point in talking to people like that.

            Hence, let’s just end this, because clearly there’s no point in my continuing to discuss this with you.

          3. Leanne

            Your basic lack of understanding simple English is almost painful

            Let me reiterate.

            Fact:  Yes, there are numerous reports on the internet about TSA abuses.  There also  numerous reports on the internet about alien  abductions, bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster,  and Elvis. The existence of these reports is a fact.  The veracity however of the reports is not a fact but a conclusion subject to differing opinions.

            Would you automatically believe everything that was posted on conservative websites?  I’d hope not.

            What you are missing is the very basic point that while you BELIEVE that thousands of abuses are being committed bythe TSA, you dont KNOW that for a fact. Dogmatic statements to the contrary, don’t you know better than to believe everything you read.

          4. You just can’t stop thinking and talking like the worst caricature of a lawyer, can you? This isn’t about what can be proved in a court of law.  This isn’t about imaginary creatures such as bigfoot, or Xenu. It’s about REAL CRIMES that happened to ME, and PEOPLE I KNOW. And the thousands of similar reports, of which I KNOW a large percentage to be true BECAUSE IT HAPPENED TO ME.

            Nor can you stop saying horrifically insulting things to a person who has openly and painfully detailed MY SEXUAL ASSAULT at the hands of brutal government goons. I’ve taken this painful step for the purposes of trying to stop this from happening to others.

            Sorry, but again, you have lost what little respect I had left for you. Actually I didn’t have any left. You’ve gone into the negative. Is it truly not possible for you to remove your lawyer hat, and just be a human for once?

            Leave me alone, I have nothing left to say to you.  I mean that. Leave me alone.

          5. Leanne

            Dont worry, I lost respect for you a long time ago when I realized that you are a bully.  If you don’t get your way; if people don’t agree with you; you simply attack them personally.  Truth and mutual respect obviously aren’t your values. Most evidently, even when people who agree with you point out, repeatedly, that your assessment of my posts is wrong, you refuse to budge, but rather prefer to malign my character and good name with these vicious attacks

            That speaks volumes about about you.

            Equally importantly, this is a forum for the exchange of ideas.  I am prepared to exchange my ideas, and respectfully listen to others, and I see no reason why I should allow a cyberbully to intimidate me into silence or acquiesence.

          6. Humanity proven once again. I sincerely hope that in your lawyerly practice, you do not interact with crime victims. That would be an atrocity.

            Please leave me alone. That is a request. Can you be human? Just in this one instance? Or will you have to proverbially jam your thumb in my vagina one more time, just like the TSA?

            I will not be returning to this thread, so jam away, if it makes you feel good.

    1. And this non-sequitur is supposed to mean…what?

      If you can’t participate intelligently in the dialogue, better to stay out completely and leave it to those of us who are actually able to express a complete thought.

      1. You’re right, I should have included the complete thought for those who aren’t familiar with common aphorisms, so here goes: IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT.   

  9. Getting rid of Napolitano would make me feel safer.  She utterly failed to protect the state of Arizona.  She appears to be far more interested in being politically correct and protecting the rights of law breakers and foreigners than standing up for American citizens. 

    1. Hmmm. you must not be familiar with recent statistics indicating the much improved border security as a result of both Bush and Obama’s beefing up the Patrol.  As for Janet, she had an over 70% approval rating when governor of Az. and was one of the best governors the state ever  had although we may never know how she would have compared to two others who went to prison before their terms were up.  Of course you know there are those that find fault with any Democrat even if they told people to vote Republican.

    1. Re: ACLU testimonials

      One woman on the ACLU site said that the agent put her thumb into her vagina…..just like LeeAnne stated in her previous posts.  That’s two separate people unknown to each other who said the same thing happened.  Don’t they call that a corroborating witness, Carver?

      “The pat down was so invasive that the woman doing it stuck her thumb through my jeans into my vagina, significantly more than simple resistance. She cupped each of my breasts, and ran her hand inside the waistband of my jeans…. ”

      I can only imagine how much force was used to get the thumb into the vagina through a pair of jeans.  Must have been excruciating.

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