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Thread: 'It was no joke at security gate', Daniel Rubin, Inquirer Columnist Philly.com

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    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lo...rity_gate.html

    In the tense new world of air travel, we're stripped of shoes, told not to take too much shampoo on board, frowned on if we crack a smile.
    The last thing we expect is a joke from a Transportation Security Administration screener - particularly one this stupid.
    Rebecca Solomon is 22 and a student at the University of Michigan, and on Jan. 5 she was flying back to school after holiday break. She made sure she arrived at Philadelphia International Airport 90 minutes before takeoff, given the new regulations.
    She would be flying into Detroit on Northwest Airlines, the same city and carrier involved in the attempted bombing on Christmas, just 10 days before. She was tense.
    What happened to her lasted only 20 seconds, but she says they were the longest 20 seconds of her life.
    After pulling her laptop out of her carry-on bag, sliding the items through the scanning machines, and walking through a detector, she went to collect her things.
    A TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him.
    Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on - the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.
    She remembers his words: "Where did you get it?"
    Two thoughts came to her in a jumble: A terrorist was using her to sneak bomb-detonating materials on the plane. Or a drug dealer had made her an unwitting mule, planting coke or some other trouble in her bag while she wasn't looking.
    She'd left her carry-on by her feet as she handed her license and boarding pass to a security agent at the beginning of the line.
    Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK.
    Solomon, 5-foot-3 and traveling alone, looked up at the man in the black shirt and fought back tears.
    Put yourself in her place and count out 20 seconds. Her heart pounded. She started to sweat. She panicked at having to explain something she couldn't.
    Now picture her expression as the TSA employee started to smile.
    Just kidding, he said. He waved the baggie. It was his.
    And so she collected her things, stunned, and the tears began to fall.
    Another passenger, a woman traveling to Colorado, consoled her as others who had witnessed the confrontation went about their business. Solomon and the woman walked to their gates, where each called for security and reported what had happened.
    A joke? You're not serious. Was he hitting on her? Was he flexing his muscle? Who at a time of heightened security and rattled nerves would play so cavalierly with a passenger's emotions?
    When someone is trying to blow planes out of the sky, what is a TSA employee doing with his eyes off the ball?
    When she complained to airport security, Solomon said, she was told the TSA worker had been training the staff to detect contraband. She was shocked that no one took him off the floor, she said.
    "It was such a violation," the Wynnewood native told me by phone. "I'd come early. I'd done everything right. And they were kidding about it."
    I ran her story past Ann Davis, regional TSA spokeswoman, who said she knew nothing to contradict the young traveler's account.
    Davis said privacy law prevents her from identifying the TSA employee. The law prevents her from disclosing what sort of discipline he might have received.
    "The TSA views this employee's behavior to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional," she wrote. "We can assure travelers this employee has been disciplined by TSA management at Philadelphia International Airport, and he has expressed remorse for his actions."
    Maybe he's been punished enough. That Solomon's father, Jeffrey, is a Center City litigator might mean this story isn't over.
    In the meantime, I think the TSA worker should spend time following passengers through the scanners, handing them their shoes. Maybe he could tie them, too.


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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    You know, some people just need a good ass beating.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    That statement may get you on a list, more than just a no-fly list. Watch yer back, bro.

    Safety is the first act of security theater...

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    +1.....NO +2
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    I've purchased many handguns, rifles, and ammunition this last year. I'm sure I'm on some list.

    Μολὼν λαβ*
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    protias wrote:
    You know, some people just need a good ass beating.
    yes. it would have been ugly, but it would have happened.

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    Master Doug Huffman wrote:
    That statement may get you on a list, more than just a no-fly list. Watch yer back, bro.

    Safety is the first act of security theater...
    Are you kidding? Just being on this forum should be enough to get you on a "list". LOL

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    Gordie wrote:
    Master Doug Huffman wrote:
    That statement may get you on a list, more than just a no-fly list.* Watch yer back, bro.

    Safety is the first act of security theater...
    Are you kidding?* Just being on this forum should be enough to get you on a "list".* LOL
    who says that everybody on gun forums isn't on a list???

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    There has to be some law broken here. I would have immediately demanded a real police officer to come over and investigate. At the very least it would make a big scene and teach him a lesson.

    And, yeah, if he did this to some woman whose husband was inclined to uncontrolled anger, the clown may have had that smile wiped off his face. While it would feel good, it's not the best way to handle this.

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    July 24, 2008 the Sacramento Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center did send out a notice to law enforcement about this site. I am personally a bit forward in my speaking of our rights and personal freedoms.. I know someone has my name..

    btw, do any of you drive a black van?

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    Yeah, we've all been black-listed. Remember the Napolitano memo that partially defined potential subsersives as "anyone who supports the Constitution"?

    What does that make her?
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    JBURGII wrote:
    July 24, 2008 the Sacramento Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center did send out a notice to law enforcement about this site. I am personally a bit forward in my speaking of our rights and personal freedoms.. I know someone has my name..

    btw, do any of you drive a black van?


    anyone else find humor in the confidentiality statement at the bottom of the page?

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    bomber wrote:
    JBURGII wrote:
    July 24, 2008 the Sacramento Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center did send out a notice to law enforcement about this site. I am personally a bit forward in my speaking of our rights and personal freedoms.. I know someone has my name..

    btw, do any of you drive a black van?
    anyone else find humor in the confidentiality statement at the bottom of the page?
    Wonder what the "penalty" is for reading it?

    I mean the darn thing should be available through FOIA anyhow.

    Yata hey
    [img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Dale/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-5.png[/img][img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Dale/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-6.png[/img]
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Ya know, if I had been inline behind that young lady, I might ahve been tepted to punch somebodies running lights out. Of course, I'd tell him, "ahh just joking"

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    JBURGII wrote:
    July 24, 2008 the Sacramento Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center did send out a notice to law enforcement about this site. I am personally a bit forward in my speaking of our rights and personal freedoms.. I know someone has my name..

    btw, do any of you drive a black van?
    On the second page

    PC 12031(g) **Case law now states the ammunition much be in a positionfrom which it canbe fired. (People v. Clark)

    Does this mean that you may have a loaded magazine in the firearm as long as there is not one in the chamber?
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    rodbender wrote:
    JBURGII wrote:
    July 24, 2008 the Sacramento Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center did send out a notice to law enforcement about this site. I am personally a bit forward in my speaking of our rights and personal freedoms.. I know someone has my name..

    btw, do any of you drive a black van?
    On the second page

    PC 12031(g) **Case law now states the ammunition much be in a positionfrom which it canbe fired. (People v. Clark)

    Does this mean that you may have a loaded magazine in the firearm as long as there is not one in the chamber?
    Anyone ever think of this scenario;
    What if the TSA doofus was the slightly overzealous type, and was hoping to get someone busted for carrying contraband onto a plane but he was not able to fulfill his goals?
    What ifhe plantedthe contraband,and claimed it came out of the travelersluggagebut did not do it as a joke! butinstead wanted someone to get busted for drug possession just to get a few gold stars on his report card!

    Their are some sick twisted bastards out there that would do this just for fun, and sadly more than just a few of them end up wearing uniforms and a placed in a position of granted authority where they ruin other peoples lives to fulfill their twisted fantasies.

    We do not see many news reports about TSA missing bomb-making materials placed in luggage to make sure they are doing there job. I think they are covering their failures in detection so give people a better flase sense of security.

    I do remember a news story (if someone can link to it, please do) abouta woman finding a few sticks of what looked like TNT in her bag or some other explosive device when she got to her destination, and totally freaking out about it, and the a TSA representative saying they planted it to check the efficiency of their agents, but they forgot to remove it before it made it to the plane.

    and passengers finding stuff like that left on airplanes after training exercises too.

    That is why I drive to my destinations whenever possible since 2001.



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    This little episode wouldn't be 1/20 so bad if TSA wasn't so full of itself, and took itself so seriously to begin with.

    They create the security-theater, and the oh-so seriousatmosphere. Well, of course, a delicate, emotional woman is going to come unglued when something like this is done.

    TSA didn't fire the guy because he scared a mere passenger.He was fired because he went off-script into comedy during TSA's super-serious program. No different than a kid laughing during a church sermon.

    Can't have thatat all!! Why, it totallyundermines the seriousness of the situation and the rationale based on that seriousness for shutting down a whole airport because some college student slipped under abarrier and gave his girlfriend a kiss; andrequiring all passengers to re-screen. And shutting down one section of another airport because some middle-aged Haitian guy opened the wrong door.

    Why, if they didn't fire the guy, it would totally undermine their whole zero tolerance thing againsteven making a sideways joking comment, much less a direct joke, about bombs on aircraft.

    He absolutely had to be fired. There is no way TSA was gonna let that undermine their gig. No way.

    Now, if he had just claimed she got unruly...
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Grossly unprofessional and totally unacceptable.

    So where's the accountability?

    LEOs are held accountable.

    FBI officers are held accountable.

    CIA agents are held accountable.

    Members of the military are held accountable.

    Please explain why TSA agents are apparently exempt, again???
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    TSA employee pranks college studenthttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jan/23/tsa-employee-pranks-college-student/

    PHILADELPHIA | A college student returning to school after the winter break fell victim to a prank at Philadelphia's airport by a Transportation Security Administration worker who pretended to plant a plastic bag of white powder in her carryon luggage.
    The worker is no longer employed by the TSA after the incident this month, a spokeswoman said.
    Rebecca Solomon, 22, a University of Michigan student, wrote in a column for her campus newspaper that she was having her bags screened on Jan. 5 before her flight to Detroit when the employee stopped her, reached into her laptop computer bag and pulled out the plastic bag, demanding to know where she had gotten the powder.
    In the Jan. 10 column for The Michigan Daily, she recounted how she struggled to come up with an explanation, wondering if it was bomb-detonating material slipped in by a terrorist or drugs put there by a smuggler.
    "He let me stutter through an explanation for the longest minute of my life," Solomon wrote. "Tears streamed down my face as I pleaded with him to understand that I'd never seen this baggie before."
    A short time later, she said, the worker smiled and said it was his.
    The worker "waved the baggie at me and told me he was kidding, that I should've seen the look on my face," she said.
    Solomon said she asked to speak to a supervisor and filled out a complaint, and during that process was told that the man was training TSA workers to detect contraband. Two days later, she said, she was told he had been disciplined.
    "I had been terrified and disrespected by an airport employee," she said. "He'd joked about the least funny thing in air travel."
    There was no answer Saturday at a telephone listing for Solomon at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. An e-mail message seeking comment from her was sent Saturday by The Associated Press, and a telephone message was left at her parents' home in suburban Philadelphia.
    TSA spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said late Saturday that the employee was no longer with the agency but did not say whether he had been fired or quit, referring only to "disciplinary action" taken by the TSA. She also declined to identify the worker or his job title, citing privacy laws. She said she did not know whether his actions would be subject to criminal charges.
    "The behavior exhibited by this TSA employee was highly inappropriate and unprofessional," Trevino said in a statement.
    ___








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    http://www.michigandaily.com/content/personal-statement

    Tsk, Tsk, TSA: A frequent flyer's experience with an airport prank gone badI consider myself an expert traveler at this point in my life. After four years and countless flights commuting between Philadelphia and Ann Arbor, I’ve mastered the art of packing and I can put my shoes on and my laptop back in its case in record time. As winter break ended last week, I decided that despite my unshakable skills as a lone traveler I'd still get to the airport a little earlier, conscious of the inevitable repercussions in the wake of the failed Christmas-day bombing.
    Check-in went off without a hitch, and once I reached the front of the security line, I was ready for my usual routine. I took off my coat and sweatshirt and put my scarf and shoes in the bins. I took out my laptop, placing it in a separate container, and sent it down on the conveyer belt.
    I was the epitome of compliance and went through the detector without any problems. But as I reached to reclaim my bag, a TSA officer stopped me and wouldn’t return my things.
    He informed me that that if I answered him truthfully, I’d be fine. Just be honest, he said. I panicked. Had I accidentally packed shampoo in my carry on? Did I keep my Swiss Army knife on my keys? I had been so careful when packing that I couldn’t imagine what I could have done wrong.
    Then he reached into my computer case and pulled out a small baggie of white powder. Before I continue, I’d like to review my thought process as he said the words “where did you get this from?”
    My first thought: I left my bag on the floor when I was reaching for my license to show the attendant. A terrorist slipped bomb-detonating powder into my bag. The terrorist wants me to get through security and then once I’m airborne, he’ll find me, reclaim the substance and blow up the plane. I’m going to be responsible for a terrorist attack.
    My second thought: This is a bag of drugs. I have just been made part of a drug smuggling ring. Someone saw my open bag, dropped it in and now I’m going to jail.
    I immediately told him I had no idea where the bag came from and that I hadn’t left my bags unattended— a cardinal sin in airport security. He let me stutter through an explanation for the longest minute of my life. Tears streamed down my face as I pleaded with him to understand that I’d never seen this baggie before.
    But as I emotionally tried to explain that I couldn’t explain, he started to smile, an odd reaction to such a monumental find in my things. Then he waved the baggie at me and told me he was kidding, that I should’ve seen the look on my face.
    Really?
    As politely as I could, I explained to him how unfunny I thought his prank had been and gathered my things to leave. I was clearly outraged and upset, yet, most of the people around me didn't offer to help me or commented on this completely unprofessional and mean “prank.” Two other TSA officials went about their jobs and a man in front of me walked away after hearing the entire ordeal. Only one woman behind me was as infuriated as me and followed to see if I was okay.
    I ran from the line and cried to this stranger who was kind enough to play the role of my interim mother. I had been terrified and disrespected by an airport employee. He’d joked about the least funny thing in air travel, and through my tears I decided to take action.
    I asked to speak with the director of security. The supervisor met me at my gate and I explained what I’d just experienced. I identified the employee, who, to my shock, was not immediately removed from the floor, and filled out a complaint form.
    While writing my incident report, I was told that the guard who’d done this to me was dressed differently than other TSA employees because his job was to train the staff to detect bombs and other contraband. Here was a man at the forefront of our fight against terror, making a joke about one of the most serious issues facing our country right now.
    And that was it. I got on my flight and landed safely in Ann Arbor.
    Sure, the airline was apologetic, but instant action wasn’t taken. Two days later I received a call from the airport — only after I had first called them — informing me that disciplinary action had been taken.
    As passengers and patrons of airports, we have a lot of responsibility to comply with airline security. Our safety depends directly on how well we follow the rules. This same standard needs to be applied to the staff.
    Cooperation is necessary for successful system operation, especially on a scale as large as an airport. In order to cooperate with airlines, I want to believe that they will show me the same respect I show them as I comply with their rules and regulations.
    One man's actions aren't enough to tarnish the reputations of the many hardworking airline personnel, but it does open my eyes to how small mistakes can have big consequences.



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    since9 wrote:
    LEOs are held accountable.

    FBI officers are held accountable.

    CIA agents are held accountable.

    Members of the military are held accountable.
    Really?

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    rodbender wrote
    On the second page

    PC 12031(g) **Case law now states the ammunition much be in a positionfrom which it canbe fired. (People v. Clark)

    Does this mean that you may have a loaded magazine in the firearm as long as there is not one in the chamber?
    No. This exemption is for shotguns with shells located in a side saddle or shell holder on the firearm.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    since9 wrote:
    LEOs are held accountable.

    FBI officers are held accountable.

    CIA agents are held accountable.

    Members of the military are held accountable.
    Really?
    For the most part, yes. those who aren't usually make the news. Thank God for the 1st Amendment! It helps support the 2nd.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    since9 wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    since9 wrote:
    LEOs are held accountable.

    FBI officers are held accountable.

    CIA agents are held accountable.

    Members of the military are held accountable.
    Really?
    For the most part, yes. those who aren't usually make the news. Thank God for the 1st Amendment! It helps support the 2nd.
    That's not credible. This TSA employee was FIRED, which is more than you can say for a cop who goes too far. They just just get a paid vacation until the investigators or the grand juryclears them.

    And that has zero to do with the 1st or the 2nd ammendments.

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