17 February 2010

TSA = Totally Stupid Administration

I have blogged on numerous occasions about the utterly inane and incompetent Transportation Security Administration.  Here are two more horror stories:
They asked him to empty his pockets, and he had some English-Arabic flashcards in them, as he’d been learning Arabic for three years and was a Middle-Eastern Studies major. After discovering the flashcards, the TSA agents kept him in the screening area for a half hour...

TSA supervisor: “You know who did 9/11?”

George: “Osama bin Laden.”

TSA supervisor: “Do you know what language he spoke?”

George: “Arabic.”

TSA supervisor: “Do you see why these cards are suspicious?”
Via BoingBoing, whence the image credit.  And this "security" travesty comes via J-Walk:
This happened to Bob Thomas, a 53-year-old officer in Camden's emergency crime suppression team, who was flying to Orlando in March with his wife, Leona, and their son, Ryan.

Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday.

The boy is developmentally delayed, one of the effects of being born 16 weeks prematurely. His ankles are malformed and his legs have low muscle tone. In March he was just starting to walk [with leg braces]...

The alarm went off.

The screener told them to take off the boy's braces.

The Thomases were dumbfounded. "I told them he can't walk without them on his own," Bob Thomas said.

"He said, 'He'll need to take them off.' "

Ryan's mother offered to walk him through the detector after they removed the braces, which are custom-made of metal and hardened plastic.

No, the screener replied. The boy had to walk on his own...

Addendum:  Nathan offered this additional example of utter crass insensitivity by a TSA employee.


  1. From another, better account: "The flash cards had an English word on one side and the corresponding Arabic word on the other.

    Of the approximately 200 flash cards, about 10 had words such as "bomb," "explosion," and "terrorist," George said."

    He's suing because they asked questions? I wouldn't get on that plane if they didn't ask questions, and I saw one of those cards on the conveyor belt when passing through.

    Also, the 2 screeners who made the kid remove his braces were not following procedure. It was them not the agency. They should be reprimanded, perhaps fired.

    Personally, I agree with much of what I see done by TSA when flying. I've been randomly selected and had my bags searched. I'm happy to do it. Most screeners are pleasant to me.

  2. "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

    The TSA is a farce populated by thugs.

  3. Wow, Amy, you sound as rigid as you believe TSA to be.

  4. Don't forget this best-of:

    Gal probably almost had a heart attack because of that d-bag's stunt.


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