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When I respond, or seek responses, I think of the Internet Republic and the people [[whump]] and the places who have made our water world Eden brave and free and fair. Permitted, required, and impossible. Stand alone or stand with, whose choice to what degree [[Thn/]] O[[thn/]]ne water world Eden under "We the people" – created by whom?

Unable to fiind TSA physical fitness test details [snap]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_Security_Administration

Transportation Security Administration
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Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed 2002
Jurisdiction Transportation systems inside, and connecting to the United States of America
Headquarters Pentagon City, Arlington County, Virginia
Employees 58,401 (2011)
Annual budget $8.1 billion (2012)
Agency executive John S. Pistole, Administrator
Parent Agency Department of Homeland Security
Website
TSA Official site

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States.[1]

The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representatives[2] and Ernest Hollings in the Senate,[3] passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on March 25, 2003.

John S. Pistole is the fifth TSA Administrator, having replaced former head Kip Hawley.[4]
Contents

1 History and organization
1.1 Funding
2 ID requirements for airport checkpoints
3 Policies over time
3.1 Behavior Detection Officers
3.2 Uniform
3.3 Luggage locks
3.4 Large printer cartridges ban
3.5 November 2010 Enhanced Screening Procedures
3.5.1 Concerns about radiation
3.5.2 Legal Challenges
3.6 TSA Precheck Program (Trusted Traveler)
4 Criticisms
4.1 Screening Center
4.2 Unintended consequences of strict security
4.3 Covert security tests; gaming and failures
4.4 Employee records lost or stolen
4.5 Unsecured website
4.6 Screening procedures – 2010 to present
4.6.1 Public opinion
4.7 Baggage theft
5 Incidents
5.1 2009
5.2 2010
5.3 2011
5.4 2012
6 See also
7 References
8 External links

History and organization
Seal when under the Department of Transportation

The TSA was created as a response to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Its first administrator, John Magaw, was nominated by President Bush on December 10, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate the following January. The agency’s proponents, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, argued that only a single federal agency would better protect air travel than the private companies who operated under contract to single airlines or groups of airlines that used a given terminal facility.

The organization was charged with developing policies to protect U.S. transportation, especially in airport security and the prevention of aircraft hijacking.

With state, local, and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, pipelines, ports. However, the bulk of the TSA’s efforts are in aviation security. The TSA is solely responsible for screening passengers and checked and carry-on baggage at 450 U.S. airports.[5][not in citation given]

It also works with local police and other law enforcement official to reduce baggage theft in many airports.[citation needed] In Las Vegas in summer 2007, a sting operation caught two airport employees stealing weapons.[6] However, the TSA does not, as a matter of policy, share baggage theft reports with local police departments.[7]

Private screening did not disappear under the TSA, which allows airports to opt out of federal screening and hire firms to do the job instead. Such firms must still get TSA approval under its Screening Partnership Program (SPP) and follow TSA procedures.[8] Among the U.S. airports with privately operated checkpoints are San Francisco International Airport; Kansas City International Airport; Greater Rochester International Airport; Tupelo Regional Airport; Key West International Airport; Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport; and Jackson Hole Airport.[9][10]
TSA security search

Among the types of TSA employees are:[11]

Transportation Security Officers: The TSA employs around 45,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), colloquially known as screeners. They screen people, property and control entry and exit points in airports. They also watch several areas before and beyond checkpoints.[12][13]

Federal Air Marshals: A federal law enforcement officer, a FAM blends in with passengers, to detect, deter, and defeat terrorists and other criminals targeting U.S. air carriers, airports, passengers, crew, and when necessary, other transportation modes. The TSA oversaw the Service until December 1, 2003, when the program was transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In the U.S. government’s 2006 fiscal year, the Federal Air Marshal Service was transferred back to the TSA.

Transportation Security Inspectors: They inspect, assess, and investigate passenger and cargo transportation systems to see how secure they are. TSA employs roughly 1,000 aviation inspectors, 450 cargo inspectors,[14] and 100 surface inspectors.[11]

National Explosives Detection Canine Teams Program: These trainers prepares dogs and handlers to serve as mobile teams that can quickly find dangerous materials. As of June 2008, the TSA had trained about 430 canine teams, with 370 deployed to airports and 56 deployed to mass transit systems.[15]

Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams: VIPR teams started in 2005 and involved Federal Air Marshals and other TSA crew working outside of the airport environment, at train stations, ports, truck weigh stations, special events, and other places. There has been some controversy and congressional criticism for problems such as the July 3, 2007 holiday screenings. In 2011, Amtrak police chief John O’Connor moved to temporarily ban VIPR teams from Amtrak property. As of 2011, VIPR team operations were being conducted at a rate of 8,000 per year.[16]

The TSA also oversees the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which gives some pilots permission to carry firearms in the cockpit as a defense against hijackers.

TSA has had five administrators. They are John Magaw (2002), Admiral James Loy (2002–2003), Rear Admiral David M. Stone (2003–2005), Kip Hawley (2005–2009) and most recently John Pistole (2010–). Current Deputy Administrator Gale Rossides served as TSA’s Acting Administrator from early 2009 until Pistole’s confirmation in the summer of 2010.
Funding

For fiscal year 2011, the TSA had a budget of roughly $8.1 billion.
TSA agent screening luggage
2009 Budget[17] $ Millions Share
Aviation Security 4,809 71%
Federal Air Marshals 767 11%
Transportation Security Support & Intelligence 524 8%
Aviation Security Capital Fund 250 4%
Checkpoint Screening Security Fund 250 4%
Transportation Threat Assessment & Credentialing 164 2%
Surface Transportation Security 47 1%
Total 6,814 100%

The salary for a TSO is currently $25,518 to $38,277[18] per year, not including locality pay (contiguous 48 states) or cost of living allowance (COLA) in Hawaii and Alaska. A handful of airports also have a retention bonus of up to 35%.[19] Employees receive an annual uniform allowance and public transportation vouchers upon request. Employees are also eligible for medical, dental and vision benefits along with a federal retirement and pension plan.

This is considerably more than what private screeners were paid.[20] TSA Officers are all paid the same and are only paid more if they are promoted, or if they receive an in-band bonus. TSA Officers range in rank from D, E, and F Band Officers and F Band leads. There are also G Band Supervisors and the Managers are H, I, and J Bands.[21]
ID requirements for airport checkpoints

Adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo identification.[22]
Policies over time
Behavior Detection Officers

Behavior Detection Officers, or “BDOs,” are officers whose primary responsibility is to observe the behavior of passengers going through the security checkpoint. Sometimes police officers are called in to help ask questions or do a background check.
Uniform

In 2008, TSA employees began wearing new uniforms that have a blue-gray 65/35 polyester/cotton blend duty shirt, black pants, a wider black belt, and optional short-sleeved shirts and black vests (for seasonal reasons).[23] The first airport to introduce the new uniforms was Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Starting on September 11, 2008, all TSOs began wearing the new uniform. One stripe on each shoulder board denotes a TSO, two stripes a Lead TSO, and three a Supervisory TSO.
Notice of Baggage Inspection
Luggage locks
TSA lock with symbol and general key access

The TSA is allowed to open and search air passengers’ luggage for security screening in the U.S.[24] They are also allowed to cut open, destroy, or otherwise disable locks during a search.

The agency has sanctioned two companies to make padlocks, lockable straps, and luggage with built-in locks that can be opened and relocked by tools and information supplied by the lock manufacturers. These are Travel Sentry[25] and Safe Skies Locks.[26][27] TSA agents have these tools, as do certain authorized security agencies such as HM Revenue and Customs.

TSA agents sometimes fail to replace locks or close them properly. Passengers who find their TSA-approved locks missing can file a claim with form SF-95.[28]
Large printer cartridges ban

After the October 2010 cargo planes bomb plot, in which cargo containing laser printers with toner cartridges filled with explosives were discovered on separate cargo planes, the U.S. prohibited passengers from carrying certain printer cartridges on flights.[29] The TSA said it would ban toner and ink cartridges weighing over 16 ounces (453 grams) from all passenger flights.[30][31] U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the ban would apply to both carry-on bags and checked bags on domestic and international flights in-bound to the U.S.[31] PC Magazine opined that the ban would not affect average travelers, whose toner cartridges are generally lighter, but would affect the importing of laser printer supplies, as many laser toner cartridges weigh well in excess of a pound.[31]
November 2010 Enhanced Screening Procedures

Beginning in November 2010, TSA added new enhanced screening procedures, including expanding the use of backscatter X-ray and millimeter wave detection machines at airports that allow security officers to detect both metal and non-metal weapons hidden underneath passengers’ clothing. The agency also modified its existing pat-down procedures to allow officers to more thoroughly check areas on the body such as waistbands, groin, and inner thigh.[32] This was due largely in part to the actions of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian Islamist who attempted to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253 using explosives that he had smuggled aboard the aircraft in his underwear.

As of November 23, 2010, the new procedures were implemented at all U.S. airports, with many having added the new Advanced Imaging Technology, or AIT, units. Passengers who enter the AIT unit are directed to hold their hands above their heads for a few seconds while front and back images are created. These images are displayed only to a TSA officer in a remote, secured room.[citation needed] The officer viewing the images cannot see the passengers in person, and the officers screening the passengers cannot see the images.[citation needed] The images are then reviewed for various materials, which typically takes on average 10–15 seconds, then discarded.[citation needed] While the machines can be capable of storing images, the manufacturers disable these features prior to delivering them to the TSA.[33] In February 2011, the TSA began testing new software on the millimeter wave machines already used at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport that automatically detects potential threats on a passenger without the need for having an officer review actual images. Instead, one generic figure is used for all passengers and small yellow boxes are placed on areas of the body requiring additional screening.[34]

Passengers who have an anomaly on their person at the AIT unit, decline to go through the AIT unit, or who alarm the metal detector are referred for additional screening, which will include a physical search to resolve or detect any concealed items. All physical searches are conducted by a TSA officer of the passenger’s gender[citation needed], and can be done in a private room if requested, and the passenger may have a witness present as well.[citation needed]

TSA officials said they created the measures in reaction to the “underwear bomber” who smuggled plastic explosives onto an airplane in Amsterdam in December 2009.

TSA officials have declined to provide specific details of the pat-down procedures, as they are classified as Sensitive Security Information.[citation needed] The public learned about the extent of the searches from passengers who posted their stories on the Internet, and news reports providing what information they have.[35][36]

To prevent potential terrorists from probing the security system, U.S. federal law prohibits passengers from withdrawing from the screening process after it begins, thus passengers who decline any secondary screening (including a pat-down search) are considered to be refusing the screening process and can be subject to civil penalties[citation needed] and will not be permitted to board the aircraft. A person though still has the right to refuse any primary search and leave the airport before the screening process has begun.[37]
TSA Administrator John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano meet with President Obama in the Oval Office; October 2010.

On November 23, 2010, TSA officials said that some high-ranking US government officials were being allowed to bypass some security procedures if they were traveling with government bodyguards and escorts. Among the officials are executive-branch leaders such as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and FBI Director Robert Mueller and congressional leaders such as Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner. Law-enforcement officials are also allowed to bypass the screening process if they are traveling armed, have the appropriate paperwork, and have completed a training course by TSA.[32]
Concerns about radiation

Concerns have been raised with regards to exposure to radiation emitted by backscatter X-rays, and there are fears that people will be exposed to a “dangerous level of radiation if they get backscattered too often”.[38] Ionizing radiation is considered a non-threshold carcinogen, but it is difficult to quantify the risk of low radiation exposures.[39]

While the most recent studies have deemed the radiation risk from AIT units to be trivial,[40] some physicians have voiced concerns about the radiation emitted by the scanners. Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society told CNN that he “takes a pat-down instead of going through a scanner when he travels” because he is “concerned about whether the machines are calibrated and inspected properly.”[41] Brawley’s deputy, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, does “whatever [he] can to avoid the scanner,” since he is “concerned about the cumulative effect of the radiation”:[41]
“ This is a total body scan—not a dental or chest X-ray. Total body radiation is not something I find very comforting based on my medical knowledge. I can still remember getting my feet radiated as a child when I went to the shoe store and they had a machine which could see how my foot fit in the new shoes. We were told then that they were safe, and they were not. ”

Dr. Dong Kim, chair of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical School and neurosurgeon for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, stated that “[t]here is really no absolutely safe dose of radiation. Each exposure is additive, and there is no need to incur any extra radiation when there is an alternative.”[41] Dr. Andrew Weil agreed, saying that “All radiation exposure adds to the cumulative total you’ve received over your lifetime. Cancer risks correlate with that number, so no dose of radiation is too small to matter.”[41]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a webpage providing backscatter X-ray scan safety information.[42] However, biochemists and biophysicists at the University of California, San Francisco, in a May 2010 letter to the head of the TSA, raised concerns about the validity of indirect comparisons the FDA used in evaluating backscatter x-ray machine safety, asking that additional data be made public. When the much-redacted report was made public, the same UCSF biophysicists objected in an April 2011 letter that the data could not be independently verified and called for the use of readily-available alternate technologies in preference to backscatter x-ray scanning, which they continue to maintain is dangerous.[43][44][45]
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Legal Challenges

On July 2, 2010, the Electronic Privacy Information Center petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of three DHS actions— one failure to act, one agency Order, and one agency Rule—of the TSA, a DHS component.[46] The Petitioners filed a motion for emergency stay, urging the Court to shut down the program as soon as possible in order to prevent irreparable harm to American travelers. On July 15, 2010, the federal agency opposed the motion. On July 20, 2010, EPIC filed a reply to the opposition. On September 1, 2010, the Court ordered the motion be denied, and set out the briefing schedule.

On November 1, 2010, EPIC filed its opening brief, arguing that the DHS “has initiated the most sweeping, the most invasive, and the most unaccountable suspicionless search of American travelers in history.”[citation needed] EPIC further argued that the TSA “must comply with relevant law, and it must not be permitted to engage in such a fundamental change in agency practice without providing the public the opportunity to express its views.”[citation needed]

On November 5, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security moved to exclude religious objector Nadhira Al-Khalili from the lawsuit. Ms. Al-Khalili is Legal Counsel for the Council on American Islamic Relations, one of the organizations that supported EPIC’s petition, which is the basis for the challenge to the body scanner program. Ms. Al-Khalili’s claims are based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Islamic modesty requirements. EPIC opposed the government’s motion and stated that the agency is “simply afraid to have the Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims heard by this Court.” EPIC further argued that “Respondents hope by seeking to exclude Ms. Al- Khalili . . . they will avoid judicial scrutiny of an agency practice that substantially burdens the free exercise of religion in violation of federal law.”[citation needed]

On December 23, 2010, Respondent DHS filed its answer brief, again urging the Court to exclude Nadhira al-Khalili as a religious objector in the suit. Respondents also asserted that the body scanner program was not substantial enough of a change in agency policy to constitute a “rule” under the Administrative Procedures Act. EPIC has previously argued that the body scanner program is “the single most significant change in air traveler screening in the United States since the creation of the agency,”[citation needed] adding that the agency has considered far less significant changes to be rules, including policies relating to butane lighters and transportation worker identity documents.[citation needed]

On January 6, 2011, EPIC filed a reply brief, arguing that “the TSA has acted outside of its regulatory authority and with profound disregard for the statutory and constitutional rights of air travelers, the agency’s rule should be set aside and further deployment of the body scanners should be suspended.” On the same day, EPIC hosted a one-day public conference “The Stripping of Freedom: A Careful Scan of TSA Security Procedures” in Washington, DC. Oral Argument in the case were scheduled for March 10, 2011.[47] On July 15, 2011, the D.C. Circuit court of appeals ruled that the TSA did violate the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to allowing a public notice and comment rule making period. The Court ordered the agency to “promptly” undertake a public notice and comment rule making. On October 28, 2011, and December 23, 2011 EPIC filed motions for the court to enforce the order but both motions were declined. On July 17, 2012, EPIC filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus again asking the court to force enforcement.[48] On August 1, 2012 the DC Circuit Court of Appeal granted the request to compel the TSA to explain its actions by the end of the month.[49]
TSA Precheck Program (Trusted Traveler)

In October 2011, TSA cooperating with Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, allowed selected members of the Delta Skymiles and American Advantage frequent flyer programs, along with members of Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI to receive expedited screening. Those selected members from the Delta SkyMiles and American Advantage programs must be US citizens and provide the airline, who provides TSA, additional information about themselves. Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI members must be US citizens and include their Customs and Border Protection identification number on their reservation to receive expedited screening. If approved for expedited screening, it is embedded in the barcode on the boarding pass and the passenger is directed to the expedited screening line by the TSA document officer.

In February 2012, TSA has announced that it is expanding the Precheck program to more airports and airlines. United Airlines and US Airways are expected to join.[50]

Precheck is currently available at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Coming soon are Boston Logan International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, Denver International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Honolulu International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia International Airport, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Portland International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Tampa International Airport, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.[50]

TSA has said that they will incorporate random and unpredictable security measures and no individual would be guaranteed expedited screening.[51]
Criticisms
Insignia

Measures employed by the TSA have been accused of fostering a false sense of safety.[52][53] This has been described by security expert Bruce Schneier as security theater.[54]

Criticisms have also included assertions that TSA employees slept on the job,[55][56][57][58] bypassed security checks,[59] and failed to use good judgment and common sense.[60][61][62]

TSA agents are also accused of having mistreated passengers, and having sexually harassed passengers,[63][64][65][66] having used invasive screening procedures, including touching the genitals, including those of children,[67] removing nipple rings with pliers,[68] having searched passengers or their belongings for items other than weapons or explosives,[69] and having stolen from passengers.[7][70][71][72][73][74][75][76]. The TSA fired 28 agents and suspended 15 others after an investigation determined they failed to scan checked baggage for explosives.[77]

The TSA was also accused of having spent lavishly on events unrelated to airport security,[78] having wasted money in hiring,[79] and having had conflicts of interest.[80]

The TSA was accused of having performed poorly at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration viewing areas, which left thousands of ticket holders excluded from the event in overcrowded conditions, while those who had arrived before the checkpoints were in place avoided screening altogether.[81][82]
Screening Center

The “Terror Watch List” had more than one million names, including the name of a CNN reporter who claims he was added to the terror list while he was reporting critically on the Federal Air Marshal Service. According to the TSA, the watch list, maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice’s, division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Terrorist Screening Center. The TSC was formed by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6) on September 16, 2003,[83] as a multi-agency along with the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF) of the FBI Counterterrorism Division and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) with efforts to identify, screen, and track known terrorists through the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). The list contained about 755,000 people as of 2007[84], most of whom are not US persons.

The TSA list contains some US citizens incorrectly flagged as suspicious, notably Michael Winston Hicks of Clifton, NJ, at eight years old (in 2010), despite attempts as early as the age of two by his family to have him removed.[85][86][87] The TSA denies Drew Griffin’s claim that he is on the list.[88][89] The TSA reacted to complaints of misidentification by saying it would fine airlines $25,000 for wrongfully informing a traveler that he or she is on a government watchlist.[90]
Unintended consequences of strict security

Two studies by a group of Cornell University researchers have found that strict airport security has the unintended consequence of increasing road fatalities, as would-be air travelers decide to drive and are exposed to the far greater risk of dying in a car accident.[91][92]

In 2005, the researchers looked at the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and found that the change in passenger travel modes led to 242 added driving deaths per month.[91] In all, they estimated that about 1,200 driving deaths could be attributed to the short-term effects of the attacks. The study attributes the change in traveler behavior to two factors: fear of terrorist attacks and the wish to avoid the inconvenience of strict security measures; no attempt is made to estimate separately the influence of each of these two factors.

In 2007, the researchers studied specifically the effects of a change to security practices instituted by the TSA in late 2002. They concluded that this change reduced the number of air travelers by 6%, and estimated that consequently, 129 more people died in car accidents in the fourth quarter of 2002.[92] Extrapolating this rate of fatalities, New York Times contributor Nate Silver remarked that this is equivalent to “four fully loaded Boeing 737s crashing each year.”[93]

The 2007 study also noted that strict airport security hurts the airline industry; it was estimated that the 6% reduction in the number of passengers in the fourth quarter of 2002 cost the industry $1.1 billion in lost business.
Covert security tests; gaming and failures

Undercover operations to test the effectiveness of airport screening processes are routinely carried out by the TSA’s internal affairs unit and the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s office.

A report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found that TSA officials had collaborated with Covenant Aviation Security (CAS) at San Francisco International Airport to alert screeners to undercover tests.[94] From August 2003 until May 2004, precise descriptions of the undercover personnel were provided to the screeners. The handing out of descriptions was then stopped, but until January 2005 screeners were still alerted whenever undercover operations were being undertaken.[95] When no wrongdoing on the part of CAS was found, the contract was extended for four years. While employees of the firm and TSA were disciplined, none lost their jobs.[96][97]

A report on undercover operations conducted in October 2006 at Newark Liberty International Airport was leaked to the press. The screeners had failed 20 of 22 undercover security tests, missing numerous guns and bombs. The Government Accountability Office had previously pointed to repeated covert test failures by TSA personnel.[98][99] Revealing the results of covert tests is against TSA policy, and the agency responded by initiating an internal probe to discover the source of the leak.[100]

In July 2007, the Times Union of Albany, New York reported that TSA screeners at Albany International Airport failed multiple covert security tests conducted by the TSA. Among them was a failure to detect a fake bomb.[101]

In December 2010, ABC News Houston reported in an article about a man who accidentally took a forgotten gun through airport security, that “the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports”.[102]

In May 2012, a report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General stated that the TSA “does not have a complete understanding” of breaches at the nation’s airports, with some hubs doing very little to fix or report security breaches. These findings will be presented to Congress. [103]
Employee records lost or stolen

On May 4, 2007, the Associated Press reported that a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data, and payroll information for about 100,000 employees had been lost or stolen from TSA headquarters. Kip Hawley alerted TSA employees to the loss, and apologized for it. The agency asked the FBI to investigate.[104]
Unsecured website

In February 2007, Christopher Soghoian, a blogger and security researcher, said that a TSA website was collecting private passenger information in an unsecured manner, exposing passengers to identity theft.[105] The website allowed passengers to dispute their inclusion on the No Fly List. The TSA fixed the website several days after the press picked up the story.[106] The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated the matter,[107] and said the website had operated insecurely for more than four months, during which more than 247 people had submitted personal information.[108] The report said the TSA manager who awarded the contract for creating the website was a high-school friend and former employee of the owner of the firm that received the contract.[109] It noted:

neither Desyne nor the technical lead on the traveler redress Web site have been sanctioned by TSA for their roles in the deployment of an insecure Web site. TSA continues to pay Desyne to host and maintain two major Web-based information systems. TSA has taken no steps to discipline the technical lead, who still holds a senior program management position at TSA.[110]

In December 2009, someone within the TSA posted a sensitive manual entitled “Screening Management SOP” on secret airport screening guidelines to an obscure URL on the FedBizOpps website. The manual was taken down quickly, but the breach raised questions about whether security practices had been compromised.[111] Five TSA employees were placed on administrative leave over the manual’s publication, which, while redacted, had its redaction easily removed by computer-knowledgeable people.[112]
Screening procedures – 2010 to present
Screenshot from an active millimeter wave scanner
X-ray backscatter technology produces an image that resembles a chalk etching.[113]
A backscatter unit.

After the November 2010 initiation of enhanced screening procedures of all airline passengers and flight crews, the US Airline Pilots Association issued a press release stating that pilots should not submit to Advanced Imaging Technology because of unknown radiation risks and calling for strict guidelines for pat downs of pilots, including evaluation of their fitness for duty after the pat down, given stressful nature of pat downs.[114][115] Two airline pilots filed suit against the procedures.[116]

A number of publicized incidents created a public outcry against the invasiveness of the pat-down techniques,[117][118][119] in which women’s breasts and the genital areas of all passengers are patted.[114] Concerns have also been raised as to the constitutionality of the new screening methods, with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union leading the opposition.[120] As of April 2011, at least six lawsuits have been filed for violation of the Fourth Amendment.[121][122] George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen has supported this view, saying “there’s a strong argument that the TSA’s measures violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.”.[123]

Some highly publicized incidents around the screening procedures included:

Passenger John Tyner refused a pat-down in a videotaped encounter, famously telling security personnel “If you touch my junk I’m gonna have you arrested.” This phrase was commonly paraphrased as “Don’t touch my junk”.[114][124]
A breast cancer survivor was forced to remove her prosthetic breast.[125][126]
A bladder cancer survivor had his urostomy bag seal broken during a pat-down, leaving him soaked in urine.[127]
A woman with a hip replacement was singled out for pat down.[128]
A rape survivor was distressed by a pat-down that she described as feeling like being sexually assaulted again.[129]
A 3-year-old child was distressed by surrendering her teddy bear and being subject to a pat-down.[130]
An eight-year-old boy was patted down on his genital area.[131][132]
A woman claims that she was selected for additional screening by a male TSA worker for the size of her breasts.[133]
A woman claims to have been harassed and detained inordinately by multiple TSA agents over a container of saved human breast milk, and was told by a police officer that the TSA agents targeted her due to her previous complaints.[134]
A woman claims that she was patted down because the body scanner revealed her sanitary towel.[135]
A woman was arrested, strip searched, and charged with assault when she argued with several TSA agents over trying to pass applesauce through security for her elderly mother, despite being told by another TSA agent that it was permitted to bring the applesauce on the flight.[136]
Actress and model Donna D’Errico claims that a TSA agent selected her to go through an extra search and justified his choice by saying “Because you caught my eye”.[137]
Former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura, who had set off metal detectors at airport security checkpoints due to having a titanium implant from a hip replacement, filed a lawsuit against both the TSA and Department of Homeland Security after he was subject to pat-downs. Ventura’s attorney stated he did not want monetary compensation but that the TSA end future pat-downs on him and an acknowledgement that his rights were violated.[138] However, in November 2011, Ventura’s lawsuit was dismissed.[139]
On May 7, 2011 an 8-month-old baby was patted down at Kansas City International Airport after traces of explosive material were detected on his stroller.[140]
On June 26, 2011 during a pat-down, a 95-year-old leukemia patient in a wheelchair was forced to remove her diaper.[141]
On December 21, 2011, the TSA in Las Vegas confiscated a cupcake packed in a glass jar from a Massachusetts woman, Rebecca Hains, who had been permitted to bring the same cupcake on a flight from Boston to Las Vegas the previous week. Hains said, “The TSA at Logan Airport said the cupcakes looked delicious. … But in Las Vegas, they were dangerous. They shouldn’t be delicious in one part of the country and a security threat in the other.”[142] Two weeks later, the TSA responded on their blog, writing that the cupcake “had a thick layer of icing inside a jar. … In general, cakes and pies are allowed in carry-on luggage”.[143] Hains wrote to The Consumerist that “the TSA post was slightly misleading” about the amount of icing in the jar. Including a photo of the same kind of cupcake from the same bakery, she added, “If the TSA says cakes and cupcakes are safe to fly, there should be no caveat saying, ‘oh, um, unless it’s conforming to the shape of a container, like a glass jar!'”[144]
Senator Rand Paul missed a flight after he refused to undergo a pat down after an anomaly was spotted during a TSA body scan. The TSA agents would not allow him to attempt another body scan. He re-booked on another flight and went through the scanner without incident.[145]
A Hawaii traveler was not allowed onto her flight until she demonstrated that the breast pump she had in her luggage was real to a TSA agent. The woman subsequently was forced to use the device in the woman’s bathroom rather than in a more private place, an ordeal she described as making her feel “embarrassed and humiliated.” The TSA has apologized and has said that the agent in question will receive remedial training. [146]
In March 2012, a three year old in a wheelchair was selected for an invasive pat down. The child was visibly trembling and asking for comfort from his parents, but the TSA agents refused to allow the child’s parents near him. The incident was recorded on video and became viral within hours.
In April 2012, a four year old girl was subjected to a full body pat-down after she hugged her grandmother during processing at an airport security checkpoint. TSA agents suspected that the grandmother had passed a handgun to the girl during the brief hug. The 4 year old’s treatment by TSA agents allegedly caused her great distress. [147]
On April 18, 2012 an elderly couple reported that they were groped by TSA screeners and robbed of $300 during the incident. Omer Petti, a retired Air Force Major, said that he and companion Madge Woodward were taken to a private room and suffered humiliating searches. When released they discovered that $300 was missing from their bin. TSA responded that the checkpoint video was too blurry to reveal who stole their money. [148]
Also in April 2012, Congressman Francisco Canseco stated he was assaulted in the San Antonio Airport by a TSA agent. Conseco stated that the agent attempted to grab his genitals. In response, Conseco moved the agents hand away. Conseco says that the incident demonstrates changes in airport security are needed. [149]
In April 2012, a seven year old with cerebral palsy was singled out for a pat down, and then the family was called back to the screening area almost an hour after getting through security because the TSA could not determine how to properly screen the person. Subsequently, the family missed their flight. The father of the 7 year old referred to the TSA agents as “rude” and said that the agent started yelling at him when he asked that she introduce herself to his daughter to make her feel more comfortable. [150]
In May 2012, a Colorado teenager with Type 1 diabetes said she was forced to go through the scanner, despite having a doctor’s note saying that the insulin pump she wore should not go through the machine. During the security screening, the pump was broken, which the passenger blames on TSA agents who had not been properly trained and educated about how to deal with people using pumps like hers. [151]
Also in May 2012, an 18-month old girl was pulled off of a flight after she was misidentified as being on the no-fly list.[152]
Wheelchair bound former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received a pat down in May 2012. Freelance reporters covering the incident noted that the TSA agents “did not seem to know who Kissinger was.” [153]
A double amputee veteran who lost his legs fighting in Afghanistan received a pat down that involved agents lifting the man out of his chair “to make sure he did not have anything under his torso.” This incident was witnessed and reported by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, who described it as “heartbreaking.” [154]
The TSA accused a female traveler of “assault” after the woman demonstrated her pat down procedure on a TSA supervisor. The female traveler was subsequently arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery. The traveler, a former TSA employee, claims that she “did not touch the supervisor as intrusively as she was touched.” [155]
A traveler who was attempting to transport his grandfather’s ashes to Indianapolis had an agent at a Florida airport open the container marked “human remains” and spilling up to a third of the ashes on the terminal floor. The agent reportedly started “laughing” after the spill. The traveler is demanding an apology from the agency. [156]
A deaf Louisville traveler was harassed by the TSA due to his condition, and was referred to by agents as a “dumb deafie.” [157]
In July 2012, a North Texas traveler alleged that his wife was stripped searched by the TSA due to the feeding tube in her stomach. TSA agents also physically handled the tube and swabbed it, which put the woman “at risk of infection.” [158]

The American Civil Liberties Union has called the scanners a “virtual strip search.”[159] United States House of Representatives by Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the American Traveler Dignity Act (H.R.6416).[160] Two separate Internet campaigns promoted a “National Opt-Out Day,” the day before Thanksgiving, urging travelers to “opt out” of the scanner and insist on a pat down.[161] US. Representative John L. Mica (R-Fla.), the incoming chair of the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, called for refining TSA procedures and for airports to consider private screeners.[159] Rand Paul, who had previously been detained by the TSA, has called for the entire program to be eliminated and will be introducing legislation to do so. [162] Georgia Congressman Paul Broun has called for TSA chief John Pistole to resign, saying Pistole “has been totally incompetent in his position.” Broun also called for DHS head Janet Napolitano to resign. [163]

On November 17, TSA chief John Pistole defended the TSA’s screening policies in a Senate committee hearing, and was quoted as saying “I’m not going to change the policy”.[164] TSA also promised to correct issues brought to their attention.[165]

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she personally would like to avoid a pat down but said United States President Barack Obama administration officials were responding to terrorists “getting more creative about what they do to hide explosives in, you know, crazy things like underwear.” President Obama said he had asked his counter terrorism team if the measures were “absolutely necessary.”[159]

In May 2011, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it illegal for Transportation Security Administration officials to touch a person’s genitals when carrying out a patdown. The bill failed in the Senate after the Department of Justice threatened to make Texas a no-fly zone if the legislation passed.[166][167]

In March 2012, technology entrepreneur Jonathan Corbett posted a video on YouTube explaining a simple way to bypass the TSA’s screening procedures. He subsequently tested it at two airports with a metal carrying case, and managed to get through security with no issue. Corbett concluded that the program is “a giant fraud.” [168][169] The TSA subsequently stated that Corbett’s video was “a crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.” [170] while at the same time “cautioning” media outlets from covering the issue, stating that Corbett “should not be aided by the mainstream media.” [171] Corbett has since presented his video to Congress, in conjunction with Freedom To Travel USA, and filed a lawsuit with the United States Supreme Court, asking them to judge the constitutionality of the procedures. [172]
Public opinion

A CBS telephone poll of 1137 people published on November 15, 2010 found that 81% percent of those polled approved TSA’s use of full-body scans.[173] An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted by Langer Associates and released November 22, 2010 found that 64% of Americans favored the full-body X-ray scanners, but that 50% think the “enhanced” pat-downs go too far; 37% felt so strongly. In addition the poll states opposition is lowest amongst those who fly less than once a year.[174] A later poll by Zogby International found 61% of likely voters oppose the new measures by TSA.[175]
Baggage theft

The TSA has been criticized[176] for an increase in baggage theft after its inception. Reported thefts include both valuable and dangerous goods, such as laptops, jewelry[177] guns,[178] and knives.[179] Such thefts have raised concerns that the same access might allow bombs to be placed aboard aircraft.[180]

In 2004, over 17,000 claims of baggage theft were reported.[177] As of 2004, 60 screeners had been arrested for baggage theft,[177] a number which had grown to 200 screeners by 2008.[181] 11,700 theft and damage claims were reported to the TSA in 2009, a drop from 26,500 in 2004, which was attributed to the installation of cameras and conveyor belts in airports.[182]

As of 2011, the TSA employs about 60,000 screeners in total (counting both baggage and passenger screening)[183] and approximately 500 TSA officers have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency’s creation in November 2001. The most affected airports are in the New York area – John F. Kennedy International Airport JFK, LaGuardia Airport LGA and Newark Liberty International Airport EWR.[184]

In 2008 an investigative report by WTAE in Pittsburgh discovered that despite over 400 reports of baggage theft, about half of which the TSA reimbursed passengers for, not a single arrest had been made.[7] The TSA does not, as a matter of policy, share baggage theft reports with local police departments.[7]
Incidents
2009

In March 2009, TSA employee Troy Davis was found to have stolen five laptop computers and other electronics from baggage at the Philadelphia airport. He plead guilty and was sentenced to three years probation. [185]
2010

In January 3, 2010 a TSA agent was arrested in Terminal One at LAX, a source told NBCLA. He had just gotten off duty and was behaving erratically, saying, “I am god, I’m in charge.” Meanwhile, a TSA Internal Affairs investigation turned up evidence of LAX TSA agents using drugs at an after-hours party. TSA officials say a videotape of the party was of poor quality and the employees were not in uniform, but 4 employees were tentatively identified. [186]

On 5 January, 2010, a 22-year-old student named Rebecca Solomon passed through security at Philadelphia International Airport and was told by an unnamed TSA agent that a bag filled with white powder was found in her bags. She was later told the agent was joking. The TSA spokesman did not deny the story but did not provide the employee’s name due to privacy concerns.[187]

In November, 2010, Carolyn Durand, an employee of ABC News complained that an unnamed TSA worker had reached inside her underwear during a search. As a result the TSA Administrator John Pistole went on Good Morning America to say, “There should never be a situation where that happens,” and “The security officers are there to protect the traveling public. There are specific standard operating protocols which they are to follow.”[188]

In November, 2010, a TSA screener, Randall Scott King, was accused of kidnapping a young female from ATL airport, taking her to his Hogansville residence and sexually assaulting her.[189],

On December 17, 2010 former Transportation Security Administration officer, 37-year-old Troy Davis, of Willingboro, N.J was placed on probation for stealing electronics from luggage he screened at Philadelphia International Airport. Authorities say he took five laptop computers and a PlayStation game in March 2009. An airline baggage handler spotted him hiding the items behind an explosive-detection machine. [190]
2011

On 16 February 2011, press reports indicated two TSA employees, Persad Coumar and Davon Webb were charged with stealing $40,000 from a single suitcase at Kennedy International Airport. The money was quickly recovered. [191]

In February 2011, Transportation Security Administration officer Michael Arato, 41, pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars in cash and other valuables from unsuspecting travelers, mostly non-English speakers, during security screenings at Newark airport. He also admitted on Monday to taking kickbacks from a subordinate officer, who stole between $10,000 and $30,000 over the course of a year while Arato agreed to look the other way. [192]

On March 17, 2011 – Devon Samuels, 45, and Keisha Jones, 30, both of Stockbridge, Georgia, plead guilty to federal charges. Samuels plead guilty to conspiring to launder drug money and attempting to smuggle guns onto an airplane. Both Samuels and Jones pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit marriage fraud. [193]

In February 2011 Indianapolis Airport TSA employee, Michael Merriman, 59, has been fired after being arrested on airport property for aggravated assault Tuesday morning. The incident, according to an airport police report, happened around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on the fourth floor of the airport parking garage. [194]

In March 2011, 43-year-old Transportation Security Administration employee Minnetta Walker was arrested on charges that she provided information to suspected drug traffickers and helped them get past security checkpoints with minimum scrutiny. Walker is accused of a felony charge of conspiring to defraud the government by interfering with security measures at the airport. [195]

In April 2011 former Transportation Security Administration screening supervisor at McCarran International Airport faces six months in a halfway house and three years of probation after pleading guilty to stealing $2,000 last June from an airport lost and found. Records show 35-year-old John W. Miller pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to a federal misdemeanor theft charge. Sentencing was set for July 18. Miller could face a year in prison and $100,000 fine. [196]

In April 2011 former Transportation Security Administration supervisor Dawn Nikole Keka, 35, pled guilty to one count of theft Friday in Honolulu District Court for stealing $200 from an undercover agent at Kona International Airport. The sting operation took place on the morning of March 11 after Japanese tourists complained to the TSA about missing money from their carry-on bags. [197]

On April 27, 2011, Former Miss USA Susie Castillo issued a statement attacking the TSA, alleging that she had been groped and touched inappropriately four times during the enhanced pat-down. She released a blog post and video describing the experience,[198] and created an online petition demanding an end to the “enhanced” pat-downs.[199]

In May 2011, a veteran Los Angeles International Airport security officer was charged for allegedly stealing items from a traveler’s suitcase. Airport police Sgt. Belinda Nettles says 31-year-old Transportation Security Administration officer Ryan Driscoll was arrested May 10 at Terminal 6 for investigation of felony grand theft. [200]

On May 17. 2011 A Transportation Security Administration agent was arrested at Orlando International Airport. Orlando police said they issued an arrest warrant for 25-year-old Rynel Delacruz. The arrest affidavit is only a page long and says he forgot that had a loaded handgun in his bag. He was arrested on weapons and personal misconduct charges. [201]

Also on 19 May, TSA agents in Philadelphia failed to follow procedures when they required a four-year-old boy to remove his leg braces to pass through the security checkpoint. A TSA spokesman later admitted the agency’s employees were at fault. [202][203]

On May 20, 2011 a Dominican Republic-bound JetBlue flight made a U-turn and headed back to Kennedy Airport after the pilot discovered a scamming TSA screener had sneaked aboard. Carlos Rodriguez, 30, got an employee pass from a pal who works for JetBlue, but he was told at the gate that the flight was sold out, sources said. Insisting that he was authorized to use a jump seat in the cabin, he caught the pilot’s attention 45 minutes into the flight. [204]

On June 23, 2011, TSA officer Paul Yashou, 37, was arrested on suspicion of taking $30,000 worth of items from suitcases at the airport, according to this Daily Breeze story, which also said that a police search of Yashou’s home turned up “numerous items belonging to LAX passengers.” TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said Yashou worked at Terminal 1, where the baggage screening area is in a very public lobby area near ticketing counters. [205]

On June 27, 2011 a TSA agent at Bush Intercontinental Airport was arrested amid accusations of theft. Officers arrested Karla Morgan, 49, Thursday for theft. Police say an undercover officer gave Morgan a wallet he said he found with a thousand dollars inside. Investigators say Morgan put the wallet in her backpack and walked out of the airport. Officers then arrested Morgan in a parking lot. [206]

On June 24, 2011, Olajide Noibi was allowed to board a Virgin America flight from New York City to Los Angeles after TSA agents allowed him through security despite having an expired boarding pass, the name on the ID and boarding pass not matching and using a University of Michigan student ID. In Los Angeles, he was allowed into the sterile area with an invalid boarding pass before a Delta Air Lines ticket agent stopped him from boarding a Delta flight to Atlanta.[207]

On June 28. 2011 TSA screener Rolando Negrin, 46 who had been charged with assaulting a coworker who taunted him about the size of his penis after his genitalia was exposed by a full-body scanner has agreed to attend anger management classes and write a letter of apology as part of a settlement of his criminal case, records show. [208]

On July 7, 2011, TSA officer Nelson Santiago-Serrano was arrested and charged with two counts of grand theft after allegedly stealing $50,000 worth of electronics from passengers’ luggage and selling it. Nelson Santiago-Serrano was stationed at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and was caught by a Continental Airlines employee as he was stealing an iPad. He was released after posting $4,000 bail.[209]

On July 22, 2011 a Transportation Security Administration agent lost his job and is facing grand theft charges for allegedly pocketing a $450 pen owned by prominent South Florida car dealership owner Rick Case. Officials filed charges against Toussain Puddie, 30, on Wednesday after investigators say the agent admitted to taking Case’s pen after it was left behind during a checkpoint screening at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last month. [210]

On July 26, 2011 an off-duty T.S.A. agent Donald Eichler, 63, is accused of flashing his badge to get another driver to speed up in South Windsor is accused of harassing and intimidating another driver. A woman called 911 around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday and reported that a man was following her car very closely and flashing a badge at her, police said. The woman told police she was scared and felt intimidated by his actions. Eichler was charged with driving a vehicle to harass or intimidate. [211]

In September 2011, three TSA workers based in Florida and New York were arrested for accepting bribes from drug smugglers. They were charged with conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone.[212]

In October 2011, the son of a former L.A. city fire chief was arrested for allegedly bribing a Transportation Security Administration agent at LAX to help him smuggle marijuana onto a flight, authorities said. TSA employee Dianna Perez, 28, of Inglewood, also was arrested for allegedly accepting the bribe, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles. [213]

On October 12, 2011 a Transportation Safety Administration employee was taken into custody Tuesday after he unlawfully tried to bring a handgun into the secured area of Miami International Airport, police said. Just before noon, Eduardo Valdes, 29, a screener for TSA was reporting for duty on the sterile side of the airport. He was passing through an employee security checkpoint when another screener noticed a handgun in his bag. [214]

In October 2011 a female traveler received a TSA inspection notice with the note “get your freak on girl!” scribbled on it. The travel’s baggage contained a personal vibrator. [215][216] [217]

On October 12, 2011 a Transportation Safety Administration employee was taken into custody Tuesday after he unlawfully tried to bring a handgun into the secured area of Miami International Airport, police said. Just before noon, Eduardo Valdes, 29, a screener for TSA was reporting for duty on the sterile side of the airport. He was passing through an employee security checkpoint when another screener noticed a handgun in his bag. [218]

On November 08, 2011 to two whistleblowers reported that members of the Transportation Security Administration Behavioral Observation unit at Honolulu International Airport targeted Mexican travelers for extra screening so often they are referred to as “Mexicutioners” by their co-workers. [219]

On 22 December 2011, an unnamed TSA employee failed to screen a number of bags that were considered suspicious. Press reports said his action required bags already on planes to be offloaded in order to be checked properly. [220]
2012

In January 2012, press reports indicated that a New York-based TSA agent, Edwin Rosario, was fired for stealing a laptop computer from a bag.[221]

On January 21, 2012 a TSA worker at Miami International Airport was charged with grand theft after allegedly stealing from passengers’ bags and hiding the items in a special constructed pocket added to his uniform jacket. Michael Pujol and his wife, Betsy Pujol Salazar, were released on bond Friday, the Miami Herald reported, after the pair were arrested Thursday and charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property.[222]

On February 2, 2012 a TSA officer was arrested at New York’s JFK airport after a fellow officer allegedly saw her steal cash out of a passenger’s jacket as it moved along a conveyor belt, a TSA spokeswoman has acknowledged. Alexandra Schmid is accused of taking $5,000 from the jacket as it passed by on its way to be X-rayed, the Associated Press reported.[223]

On February 8, 2012 the head of the TSA said today that people were fired after an investigation into allegations of sexism, bigotry and incompetence in the Federal Air Marshal Service, charges described in a government report obtained by ABC News.[224]

On February 28, 2012 a training instructor with the TSA at Philadelphia International Airport pleaded guilty in federal court to taking a bribe from a security officer. Shannon Gilliam, 29, of Sharon Hill, potentially faces four to 27 months in prison under advisory sentencing guidelines.[225]

On March 29, 2012 a federal criminal complaint alleged that workers for Delta Air Lines and the TSA helped a methamphetamine ring operate between southern California and Hawaii. The complaint charges five people.[226]

In April 2012, TSA inspector Clayton Dovel was caught with eight stolen iPads taken from passengers’ checked luggage.[227]

In April 2012 it was revealed that the TSA hired screeners without completing full background checks. The TSA refused to identify which airports hired screeners without completing background checks. [228]

In April 2012 the TSA incorrectly instructed a sixteen year old girl with diabetes through a body scanner. Her insulin pump stopped working immediately afterwards. [229]

In April 2012 a seven year old girl[who?][where?]with cerebral palsy was harassed by a TSA screener. [230]

On April 4,2012 a TSA screener was arrested at JFK Airport for hurling a cup of hot coffee at an American Airlines pilot who told her and some colleagues to tone down a profanity-laced conversation in a terminal.[231]

On April 19, 2012 Jacob Wisnik a 10-year-old who has had diabetes was “put through borderline humiliation,” says his mother, Eva, Her 5th grader was marched through the terminal by armed guards, put in a private examination room, then poked and prodded. [232]

On April 24, 2012 U.S. Representative Francisco Canseco said he was assaulted by a TSA agent at the San Antonio International Airport. The Texas Congressman said the security agent went too far during a pat-down earlier this month. [233]

On April 25 2012, two current and two former TSA employees were arrested in an alleged drug and bribery scheme by screeners who allowed large shipments of narcotics to pass through security at Los Angeles International Airport in exchange for cash.[234]

On April 23, 2012 a mother, Michelle Brademeyer, reported that the Transportation Security Administration went too far, during an incident at Wichita, Kan., airport. Her daughter, age four, gave her grandmother a hug and a peck on the check after the child had already gone through the TSA checkpoint. An agent began yelling at the child, and demanded she too must sit down and await a full body pat-down. The mother was prevented from coming any closer, explaining the situation to her, or consoling her in any way. Mrs. Brademeyer reported that her child had nightmares days afterwards. [235]

On April 27 2012, a terminal at the Newark Airport was evacuated after it was discovered that a child was not screened. The family was not found. [236]

In May 2012, an 18 month old child was ordered off a plane at the Fort Lauderdale Airport because she was on the no fly list. Her parents believe they were profiled because they are both of Middle Eastern descent. [237]

On May 27, 2012 it was discovered that a defrocked priest who was kicked out of the Catholic church after he allegedly abused two young girls is supervising airport security screeners for the TSA. The post gives Thomas Harkin access thousands of travelers, including children, at Philadelphia International Airport every day. [238]

On June 15th, 2012, CBS reported that seven employees of the TSA had been fired after it was discovered they bribed their training instructor in order to receive a passing grade on their annual proficiency exam. An additional three employees resigned over the allegations. All of the agents had been working at the Philadelphia International Airport. [239]

On June 26th, ABC reported that a TSA agent inappropriately opened a jar belonging to Indianapolis resident John Gross which contained the cremated remains of his deceased grandfather, despite TSA policy prohibiting any container labeled “human remains” from being opened under any circumstances. The agent then sifted her fingers through the ashes and caused the jar to be spilled on the floor. Gross also claimed the agent offered no apology and laughed at him while he collected the spilled ashes.[240]

On June 29th, 8 TSA air marshals were fired for consuming alcohol on the job. Six more employees were suspended for not reporting the misconduct. [241]

On July 5th, TSA officers were credited with rescuing a kidnapped woman as she and four others were going through a security checkpoint in Miami. The officers saw the woman at the airline ticket counter trembling and talked to her. She had initially said she was fine but later claimed she was kidnapped. The officers pulled her away from the group and called in the police who eventually arrested and charged two members of the group with kidnapping. [242]
See also

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