A Date With The TSA *UPDATED: TSA’s Own Rules

While leaving the Providence, Rhode Island gathering for the Franklin Center where the first annual Breitbart Awards were held, we were detained by the TSA and my husband was subjected to intrusive screenings based on the claim that he was covered in “nitrates.”

We fly frequently and when told to walk through the hotly debate Backscatter machines, we opt out for patdowns. I walked through the metal detector but Chris was directed to the bodyscanner, at which point he opted out.

He was subjected to the standard pat-down: back of the hands, check your waistband, run hands up and down the inside of the leg stopping at the groin. When the agent went to check his gloves he claimed that something on his gloves “set off the alarm” at which point informed us that Chris would be subjected to another pat-down and his luggage searched.

They directed us over to the side of the security area and searched his luggage; they also swabbed everything in it. It was at this point they began talking about “nitrates,” a reason often in the news because of the propensity for false-positive results in such tests. They asked him if he fired a gun or handled gas today. We explained to them that we had not been to a range in a few weeks and did not go in the clothes he was wearing or take with us our carry-on luggage. They zipped up his luggage and directed us to a private room.

He was not given the choice as to whether or not he wanted a private or public screening for the second, more invasive pat-down.

At this point we were becoming annoyed as we’d been detained for around 25 minutes minutes already (the entire screening process took about 45 minutes) and were concerned that we would miss our flight. I flipped on my camera after we had been escorted into the private room and kept it vertical, rather than horizontal, to look less confrontational.

The TSA agent informed us, as he snapped on his blue latex gloves, that he would be performing another pat-down, this time using the front of his hands, and he would be touching Chris’s “groin.” It was at this point I began asking questions. He became aggravated and asked for me to turn off my camera. I asked once more about photos and video for clarification, and he stated that the reason I could not film them touching my husband’s genitals through his shorts was due to “security reasons.” The other agent in the room spoke into his shoulder walkie about security. I complied and turned off my phone. When I asked for the agent’s name a second time, he informed me that if I would like, he would call security. The agent demanded that I put my phone away entirely and get it out of my hands and would not start the intrusive screening procedure until I had done so.

He performed the pat-down which began as routine, except that he used the front of his hands. He then bent down and specifically targeted Chris’s crotch. Using the front of his hands, he pressed against his genitals and swept his hands across the crotch three times across, and then pressed at the top of his genitals and wiped his hands down three times.

Make no mistake: outside of the airport this would be considered molestation.

They claimed that the alarm went off again after this second intrusive pat-down and that it was, again, due to “nitrates.” They were going to have to hold us further and were not sure whether we would make our flight. I informed them that I planned to speak out publicly about it, which aggravated them, but I wanted them to know that this process was unacceptable.

They called over a supervisor and huddled together to discuss the situation. They were considering not allowing him to board, from the muted discussion I heard. It was at this point, per the supervisor from my understanding, that they agreed to release him, having found nothing on his person and no reason to suspect him. As mentioned before, the entire screening process took around 45 minutes.

We ran to our gate and fortunately made it as the last group boarded.

One of the agents suggested that perhaps he got whatever tipped off the alarm from the cab — but I was also in the cab, I reminded them. For the sake of the argument, had we been terrorists, their screening would have failed as their metal detectors would not have detected any explosive materials on me, and their bodyscanners do not detect such materials; if either of us had ill intent one of us would have been allowed on the flight. The TSA’s policy of nonsensical random screenings, which look for items rather than behavior, can be easily exploited, which is why our country has a bloodier history with sky-terror than, say, Israel, which focuses on behavior in their security protocol.

The citizenry should not have to put up with such a violation of their civil rights, airline customers should not suffer the harassment of being felt up or molested to fly the skies, and the government should not forces private airline companies to subject their customers such intrusions. Airlines should have the right to privatize their security and the federal government needs more intelligent means of thwarting sky-terrorism than fondling citizens.

More from Twitchy here.

*UPDATE: Jimi971 notes this:

TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might.

 

Taking photographs may also prompt airport police or a TSA official to ask what your purpose is. It is recommended that you use the Talk To TSA program on tsa.gov to contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport to determine its specific policy. Or, if you are a member of the press, you should contact the TSA Office of Public Affairs.

I’m curious to know what Rhode Island’s regulations are concerning the taping of TSA agents performing intrusive screenings.

When O’Keefe Met Shuster

We met David Shuster in the lobby of our hotel the other evening before we met for drinks the following day. He walked past the post-reception for the Brietbart Awards in the hotel bar and as luck had it, said hello as I was speaking with James O’Keefe. It only seemed natural to introduce the two, even though O’Keefe is currently suing Shuster. One big happy family!

*UPDATE: The following day we had drinks with Shuster to see if he had two heads and a forked tongue like he did on Twitter. He did not. O’Keefe is still suing him.

CBS Early Show: Murkowski, Tea Party

From my hit the other morning. I do disagree that the movement is “fickle.”

To wit:

Most Say Tea Party Has Better Understanding of Issues than Congress

57% of Likely Voters Describe Democratic Congressional Agenda As Extreme

Independent Voters Favor GOP in 2010 Election Tracking

In 2010, Conservatives Still Outnumber Moderates, Liberals

Election 2010: Senate Balance Of Power

Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen: One nation under revolt | Washington Examiner

Tea Party’s already won – TheHill.com

More States “Competitive” in Terms of Party Identification

It’s not “fickle.” It’s discerning, consistent, and mainstream.

Jan Schakowsky Blasphemes Against Star Wars

And I’m not talking about that heinous Power Point presentation that looks as though it was done by a toddler using Corel Draw. Here’s my slogan for Shakowsky:

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: A COMIC SANS KIND OF GIRL

I’m talking about repurposing the hallmark of scifi Americana for a cheap partisan attack against conservatives.

Duh, everyone knows that the evil Empire wanted to suppress free trade, over-regulate, and control the galaxy, much in the same way that socio-progressive policies believe in heavy government regulation of the private sector and individual mandates that penalize people for not choosing government health care. Shakowsky is a Paplatine sycophant, I suspect she lacks the force sensitivity to even register as a Sith apprentice.

Sorry, Schakowsky but as a Star Wars nerd I personally reject your rudimentary knowledge and bastardized galactic analogies.

Libs Quiet on Conservative Assaults

I’ve been watching Media Matters fake concern over the Reid-supporting chick punched at a townhall forum this week.

Suddenly Eric Boehlert is a defender of women. Except when those women are conservative, because hey, Kelly Owens and Allee Bautsch TOTALLY had it coming, right?

Because Media Matters likes to portray itself to its three readers as being objective and high enough to serve as a faux-journalism critique, I expected to find tons on the on-video, cop-witnessed (as per police report) assault of Kelly Owens by the SEIU crowd. So I did a little search in the Media Matters’ archives:

What? That bastion of media purity, the calvary to the rightwing media, the Soros-funded “media” outlet didn’t have anything about the assault of conservative Kelly Owens?

OK, so I imagine that they’re hurriedly drafting a post now to remedy that glaring oversight, since, afterall, they’re such huge defenders of women all of a sudden.

I figured that Media Matters/Eric Boehlert/George Soros would also have written about the severe beating of Allee Bautsch, too, right?

That’s ‘No for $200,’ Alex. Oh, wait, sorry, MMfA did mention Bautsch’s name in an attack on Jim Hoft. So, that’s something, right?

So why, after all this time, nothing on MMfA on either Owens or Bautsch? Why the silence? Why the double-standard?

We’ve had:

tea partiers attacked in Florida:

an Obamacare supporter bite the fingers off a man;

SEIU and lefty crowd beating Kenneth Gladney;

- I received threats concerning my children just last week from a leftist and have since involved the police and the cyber crimes division and, along with my station who is involved, am pursuing maximum criminal charges against the perpetrator

- leftists threatened Andrew Breitbart in Nevada

- leftists spit on people, call Breitbart and conservatives at Right Nation gay slurs

- leftists assault a videographer at a public event

- a lefty congressman assaults two college kids

- the assault of Nathan Tabor and his wife

- More lefty assaults, lefty screeching and intimidation, threats of assault, advocating violence, hateful rallies.

Meanwhile, the tea parties repudiate any such things.

Violence in lieu of discourse is wrong, period. Party, ideology is irrelevant.

Why are only the conservatives saying this, though?

Maybe Media Matters can do a story on it.