TSA Detains 5-Year-Old As National Security Risk

A 5-year-old boy was detained as “security risk” because he had the same name of someone on the TSA “No-Fly” list. The TSA had to conduct a full search of their persons and belongings. When his mother went to pick him up and hug him and comfort him during the proceedings, she was told not to touch him because he was a national security risk. They also had to frisk her again to make sure the little Dillinger hadn’t passed anything dangerous weapons or materials to his mother when she hugged him. Pretty insane. If you’re ever mistakenly on the No-Fly list, here’s how to get off it.

5-year-old mistaken for criminal at airport [KING5 via Elliot]

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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Looks like the terrorists *have* won folks!

  2. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    Oh do I miss the days of Port Authority police standing over me with their hands on their guns at 4:30 a.m. while the airline called to run a security check on my driver’s license. Particularly the part where it happened every time I flew for over a year, until I was switched to just the “SSSS” list for another year.

    I guess two years was enough time for them to figure out that I was not the person they were looking for.

    Good times.

  3. bsbeamer says:

    I’ve heard of some pretty insane things before, but this one really is pretty bad. I’d understand to hold or seclude the child if the parent (or guardian) is posing a risk or threat, but a 5 year old child? Unless the child is carrying the weapons or dangerous liquids (such as a digital camera with extra batteries and a water bottle) then there is no reason to stop and hold the kid. At LEAST let the mother stay with the child! Even if that means the mother needs to go through additional security screenings… that kid is WAY to young to be left there in fear of the TSA and what is going on.

  4. FLConsumer says:

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll ask it again, How do we get rid of the TSA? I’m 100% dead-serious. Incidents like this just underscore how useless the TSA is. As long as the TSA is in place, there will be no efforts made towards real security for our skies.

  5. warf0x0r says:

    Bureaucracy at its finest ladies and gentlemen!

  6. diannerose says:

    Ted Kennedy should be on the no-fly list…

  7. chili_dog says:

    The TSA isn;t the direct problem as much as the political correctness that has permeated society. All the supervisor would have to do is say “Gee, it’s a little white kid, he does not match the terrorist profile, off ya go sonny boy”. Problem Solved.

    But nooooooo, our government must treat EVERYONE equally in every situation, even if it’s the wrong thing to do. Just like harassing little old ladies with knitting needles.

    Thank you baby boomers for the utopian ideas that don;t work. please die now.

  8. bradanomics says:

    @chili_dog:

    So if it was a 5 year old black kid, he should have been detained?

  9. jeffjco says:

    Flying out of Philly a couple years back, my son (then 7) was flagged. All I had to do was provide his birth date and ssn to prove he wasn’t an infamous terrorist from ireland.

  10. snoop-blog says:

    @bradanomics: its funny how he just proved his own point.

  11. KarmaChameleon says:

    @bradanomics:

    Silly rabbit, everyone knows white people don’t commit acts of terrorism! Tim McVeigh was an albino brother from Detroit!

  12. Pasketti says:

    @chili_dog: No, the problem is that the TSA should have used a little common sense and realized that a 5-year-old kid is not going to be a national security risk.

  13. LikeYourFace says:

    @chili_dog: Don’t be a moron. The problem is that he’s a five year old. It has nothing to do with his skin color. Political correctness has nothing to do with the No Fly List. Cat Stevens is on it, for Christ’s sake.

  14. kalmakazee says:

    If this story wasn’t sooooo ridiculous it would be HILARIOUS! LMFAO! :-) :D :-)

  15. strider_mt2k says:

    Yeah those hippies really dropped the ball on all that change.
    WTF happened to all that, huh?

    “-all those day-glow freaks who used to paint their face, they joined the human race
    some things will never change…”

    -Donald Fagan/Walter Becker

  16. DrGirlfriend says:

    What other identifying information is on the No-Fly List? Wouldn’t it need to have more than just a list of names to avoid these kinds of situations?

  17. kalmakazee says:

    If this incident wasn’t sooooo ridiculous it would be HILARIOUS! LMFAO! :D

  18. unklegwar says:

    The bombers are using women now. What’s to stop them from using children?

  19. mac-phisto says:

    @chili_dog: if you say so. perhaps you can tell us exactly what a terrorist looks like.

  20. timmus says:

    Knowing the TSA attitude, I guess the 5-year old whined a little and the TSA agents felt their authority was threatened and went on the inevitable power trip.

  21. Jim says:

    TSA as a whole aside, what about these particular individual agents? No one paused to say “Wait, this is a child. This is wrong somehow.”

    No matter how soulless the organization is, an individual should have employed a bit of good judgement or common sense here and avoided all of this.

  22. B says:

    @unklegwar: The bombers would presumably be smart enough not to use children named after themselves.

  23. unklegwar says:

    We complain when we think the TSA isn’t paying ENOUGH attention to the no-fly lists, and now we complain when they adhere to the very letter of the No Fly lists.

    I’m sure the lists didn’t say “Bobby Smith, not the little kid, the OTHER bobby smith”.

    The kid’s name was on the list, it’s the agent’s job to execute the same procedures for everyone on the list.

    I’d prefer over doing it than slacking off.

  24. Erskine says:

    @chili_dog: Troll.

  25. homerjay says:

    Thanks for letting us know how to get off the no-fly list. Any idea how we find out if we’re on the list before we get to the airport and get anally probed?

  26. Erskine says:

    @unklegwar:
    “I’d prefer over doing it than slacking off.”

    I’d prefer intelligence over idiocy, thanks.

  27. OMG! Ponies! says:

    @Jim: Get your terminology straight. The TSA is not an organization – it is a government agency. And what is a government agency if not a bureaucracy.

    Bureaucrats do not employ judgment – to do so violates the central premise of a bureaucracy which is to give the appearance of furthering a mission without actually attaining any set goal.

  28. algormortis says:

    It seems like the more vivacious your economy, the dumber the TSA agents.

    This explains why Seattle and the NYC area seem to have the worst of the worst. A poorly paying job isn’t that exciting when you can make more money waiting tables.

    I always expect awful experiences in places where foreigners and non-hetero people are generally disliked on a governmental level (say, Oklahoma…the people are fine but the state loves to make laws demonizing us), as I fall into both groups. Strangely, that’s been anything but true. The security at the airport in Oklahoma City (named after Will Rogers, which ups the coolness anyways) was pleasant, speedy, and polite. Nothing like the TSA morons here in Seattle, who are about 15% great and 85% awful. The North checkpoint tends to be the least bad of the bunch and I’ll go through it even if it means walking across the bloody airport on the other side.

  29. chili_dog says:

    @bradanomics: Oh those 5 year old black kids are menace, just look at Bobby J. :)
    [www.liveleak.com]

  30. cmp179 says:

    Well, this is just one more reason why the TSA is now more hated than the IRS.

  31. chili_dog says:

    Wow, it’s super sensitive day at the Consumerist. He IS a white kid.

  32. MercuryPDX says:

    @Pasketti @unklegwar: What about using them for Germ Warfare? Kids are like a magnet for viruses, spreading disease and pestilence everywhere they touch… at least that’s what all those Lysol commercials tell me*.

    [*The above comment was sarcasm.]

  33. Buran says:

    @unklegwar: No, it’s the agent’s job to ensure safety while minimizing trouble. They certainly didn’t do that here. Aren’t we supposed to be training agents to use their gut instincts and recognizing threatening behavior?

    What exactly does a five-year-old do that’s “threatening”?

  34. phelander says:

    @unklegwar – Kicks the back of your seat during the entire flight.

  35. saltmine says:

    @unklegwar: What women bombers are “they” using? Has there been a woman suicide bomber in this country lately that I missed? Or um, any bomber? Or are you repeating something Hannity or Savage said on the radio this morning?

  36. jinjin1080 says:

    I don’t necessarily believe that it’s the TSA that’s the problem. See it’s “company policy” that’s the real problem. “Companie policies” protect stupid people from having to use common sense.

  37. darkened says:

    @Buran: Carrying C4-pie

  38. royal72 says:

    everybody knows, you need at least two bags of gummy cola bottles made from explosives, for any achieve a sizable detonation. he only had a handful, so let the fucking kid on the damn plane.

  39. OMG! Ponies! says:

    @jinjin1080: No, “company policy” gets rid of accountability by providing a corporate Nuremberg defense.

    The company can blame the employee and say that s/he should have used better judgment while the employee can blame an anonymous “company policy” that no one will ever verify exists.

    Everybody wins.

  40. royal72 says:

    scratch “for any”, insert “to”, and please add an edit button.

  41. trollkiller says:

    Did anyone watch the story? The name was on the list because someone named Mathew Gardner was wanted by the IMMIGRATION authorities. Don’t you think it is possible that the kid’s dad may have given the boy’s name instead of his own when he was caught the first time by INS?

    Of course they searched her after she hugged her kid. People stash all kind of things on their kids because of “who is going to search a 5 year old?”

    For once the system worked, they were detained, checked AND still made their flight. Plus they had no more trouble the rest of the trip AND were told how to get off the list.

  42. humphrmi says:

    @unklegwar: Actually, the TSA wasn’t doing their job properly here. You won’t find this on TSA’s website but it is in all of their rulebooks. By explicit definition, the no-fly list does not contain the names of any children. There are no children on the TSA no-fly list. If a child has the same name as someone on the no-fly list, that child is, by TSA regulation, not the person they are looking for. There is thus no excuse to prohibit a child from flying just because their name matches someone on the no-fly list.

  43. ARP says:

    I don’t even know where to begin.

    The TSA and many of its policies don’t make us safer as much as it makes us FEEL safer. If they actually invested the money in making us safer, that party would lose the election for being soft on terror. So both sides keep it up, even though its weakening our efforts.

    No more than 3 oz bottles. What’s to stop me from combining a few bottles in an empty one?

    The TSA regularly fails screening tests and lets bomb materials through.

    That’s what you get when you pay someone the same as you would pay someone at Wal-Mart. There’s something to be said about experienced security agents. They’re much like good cops.

    PS- Ted Kennedy actually was on the No Fly List and he talked about all the trouble it took to get off of it. A number of people who spoke out against FISA, TSA databases, etc. “magically” appeared on no-fly lists.

    Regarding the “PC” vitrol- Most terrorism attacks in the US have been by CONSERVATIVE WHITE PEOPLE. OK City, ATL olympics, abortion clinics (yes it counts as terrorism, even though Fox News doesn’t tell you that), neo-nazi attacks, etc. So, try making Bill O’, Rush, etc. miss their flights because they’re “suspicious” and see how fast the rules change.

  44. Buran says:

    @darkened: Talk about explosive taste.

  45. MrEvil says:

    I’m starting to wonder weather or not a requirement to work for the TSA is a full frontal lobotomy. Either that or a double digit IQ.

    Honestly, you don’t see street cops arresting 5 year old kids because the kid has the same name as someone they’re looking for. Real law enforcement officers are allowed to use common sense and best judgement. Oh, and they also have more than just a name when they’re looking for a suspect.

    If this doesn’t happen with LEO’s outside the airport, then why is this acceptable for the TSA?

  46. esqdork says:

    If I recall, shortly after 9/11, there was a big push to have airport security uniformly operated by the government. What was envisioned was a professional organization akin to law enforcement. What we got instead are the same group of people who were manning the gates pre-9/11 but with uniforms and more authority. The TSA is an an example of the best intentions running smack-dab into reality. Oh, for the record, scaring a 5 year-old is totally messed up.

  47. hubris says:

    @MrEvil: Yeah, cause you *never* hear about LEOs busting in, in full SWAT gear, the wrong door and terrorizing innocent people.

    It’s certainly not the norm, but cops certainly aren’t immune to foolish lapses of judgment.

    And yeah, screw the TSA and the smallpox-ridden blanket of safety they provide.

  48. @Jim:

    The problem is that agencies like the TSA hire applicants specifically because they do not have the ability to exercise independent judgment. If you hired a bunch of people who could think for themselves, the really stupid rules would just be ignored.

  49. Xerloq says:

    @MrEvil: That’s twice as many digits as most of them have.

  50. Mills says:

    I think it’s sad that my first thought when I saw this headline was, “At least it wasn’t a nun this time.”

  51. MissPinkKate says:

    Dillinger? Gross.

  52. FLConsumer says:

    @chili_dog: Political correctness is one thing, lack of common sense and human decency is another. There have been psychological experiments about giving untrained grunts power over others and they usually end with a bad result. See “The Stanford Prison Experiment”, where college undergrad volunteers were taken into a virtual prison for what was supposed to be 2 weeks. Students were randomly chosen as to whether they were guards or prisoners. The guards were given minimal training and left to their own ways. The guards quickly became vindictive and at least 1/3rd of them became very sadistic. The study was ended after only 6 days because of how quickly the situation had degraded. The “prisoners” felt totally dehumanized while the “guards” were increasingly perverted and degrading towards the prisoners.

    What I see the TSA agents doing is not too dissimilar.

    @algormortis: Ironically, I have the smoothest time with the TSA agents @ JFK compared to the ones in TPA. Of course, knowing airline crew at JFK certainly makes the whole experience run much more smoothly.

    My most recent round-trip flight (TPA-JFK) was very similar to all the others I’ve had. TPA’s screening lines in Terminal A are similar to the long cattle-lines you’ll find at amusement parks. While it would make sense to join at the end of the line of people, and they have gaps in the stanchions that would appear to be for this purpose, there was TSA agent there yelling at people that they needed to enter at the beginning of the stanchions and go round & round to meet the end of the line of people. I thought this guy was going to have a heart/panic attack over it.

    So, finally make my way towards the 4-5 x-ray & magnetometer lines and watch in horror as the one short, squat 4×4 (she was 4′ tall x 4′ wide) was barking out that anyone with electronics had to take every single piece of electronic equipment out of their carryons and place them into separate bins. I’m looking at my backpack containing: 2 still cams, 1 video cam, a week’s worth of batteries, cell phone charger, battery chargers, PDA, laptop, video encoder box, misc. cables, external HDD, pocket router, and lord knows what else, thinking to myself “oh sh*t.” It was looking like I was going to be routed into that lane, so I crouched down on the ground and fumbled around with my backpack, acting like I was looking for a boarding pass and let a few other people go by.

    This was enough to get me in a security lane with more reasonable people. The x-ray screener barked out in a military tone “Sir, you don’t have enough batteries in your bag.” I replied, “I’ll try harder next time, Sir” and went on my way. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had gotten stuck in the first lane.

    The flight back from JFK was totally uneventful. Met up with my friend who works for the airline, we chatted for a bit, we walked up to the crew/employee secure area where there was NO waiting. Threw the shoes in a bin and the laptop/PDA/cell phone in another. No problem, no hassle. And these TSA agents were smiling! (Is that allowed?) We had lunch and parted ways, no problems. If THIS was the typical TSA experience, I don’t think anyone would be complaining.
    .

    .

    The TSA is in stark contrast to the SS and other federal police/law enforcement agencies which protect some of the high security buildings I go to for my job. TRUE security professionals at those. The suit and tie is probably a good start — makes them feel professional. These guys are calm, cool, efficent and very observant. After awhile they’ll even greet you by name. “Good Morning Mr. ______, how are you today?” The conversation isn’t just a nicety — it’s how they judge people’s state of mind and intentions when they enter the buildings. They’re also very polite. It’s never “show me” or “you must”, instead it’s always “may I see you bag/ID/etc.” It’s a little thing, but it goes a long way.

  53. aka Cat says:

    @Jim: You’re assuming that the average TSA employee is intelligent enough to pursue an alternate career at, say, McDonald’s.

  54. FLConsumer says:

    @mercurypdx: re: small kids as infection vectors, ain’t that the truth! A few of the local hospitals here banned the vermin from sections of the hospital, such as intensive care & post-op. I’ve been in bed half the day today b/c of a friend’s little rugrat spreading her joy all around the room over the weekend.

  55. boandmichele says:

    @chili_dog: yeah over sensitive is right. funny how old people arent offended because you said he was a kid, but the race card is played immeditately. everyone else, remove that stick please.

  56. @chili_dog: Great… so now the consumerist comment board is being turned into a racial debate…

  57. trollkiller says:

    @MrEvil: Four words for you “don’t tase me bro!”

  58. chili_dog says:

    @Papa Midnight: What can I say other then everyone seems worked up today. Must be all the vitriol because of the primaries. I’m gonna wander back to dKos for some sanity.

  59. ARP says:

    As I mentioned above, if we want to play the race game, let’s do that. Conservative White males are the primary source of terrorism in the US. And, I’m not talking in some hippy metaphoric sense. White guys have blown up more stuff and tried to instill more fear on groups through violence in the US than middle-eastern extremists. As far as death count (if you want to measure it that way), they’re pretty close. So, let’s stop all the conservative white males, give them extra screening, treat them like criminals even if they haven’t done anything, threaten them if they object, etc. and see how long that lasts.

  60. hubris says:

    @boandmichele: Are you deliberately obtuse? chili_dog said “you’re a little *white* kid, off you go”. He brought the race card into it. If he had just said “you’re a little kid, off you go”, everyone would have just agreed with what he said. But having people quote you and pay attention to you is so much more fun, isn’t it? Even if you are being an e-tard.

  61. floydianslip6 says:

    @ARP: What are those FACTS? Shhhhhhhh stop with all that nonsense, we’ve got a war to manage!

  62. typetive says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Actually, it’s just a list of names, last time I heard. No DOB, not even ages or nationality.

    It might be nice if the TSA published the list five years ago so these parents would know what NOT to name their child.

    @Royal72 – actually, you can create a nice “explosion” with mentos & diet coke!

  63. CurbRunner says:

    Where do they get these people?
    This incident is just another example of how TSA has been empowered with a level of authority that appears to exceed the mental reasoning and common sense capabilities of many of their front line personnel.
    It would be interesting to know if any kind of psychological or reason based-testing is done on these any of folks during their employment screening process.
    I seriously doubt it because of the constant parade of examples that keep surfacing regarding their behavior on the job.

  64. machete_bear says:

    @FLConsumer: We should play them against the RIAA somehow, and have them fight to the death, 300 style.

  65. tinmanx says:

    Could have been a young looking teenager. It’s like how everyone is supposed to get carded for drinks and smokes.

    Everyone is out to cover their backsides, because if anything happens they will be “made an example” of, you know to get the spotlight off the higher ups.

  66. Elviswasntmyhero says:

    Since when did Al-Qaeda outsource recruitment to the Sesame Workshop?

    Oh my God!!!

    Big Bird is really Osama Bin Laden. Of course! It all makes sense now.

  67. FLConsumer says:

    @machete_bear: Other than making a lot of noise and costing quite a bit of money, I don’t know that either side would be competent enough to actually injure anyone from the other side, let alone actually kill someone. Shooting a gun is a 3-step process (ready, aim, fire). The TSA and RIAA only seem to be capable of two steps at most. Passenger, harrass, and Customer, sue, respectively.

  68. GearheadGeek says:

    Further evidence that many TSA employees should be sterilized before they breed, or breed again.

  69. TechnoDestructo says:

    @unklegwar:

    I have never seen anyone complain about TSA not adhering to no-fly lists. Please point me to somewhere that people are actually doing that.

  70. Tallanvor says:

    @ARP: I’ve heard stories about people who believe the TSA makes us safer, but I’ve never actually met one of them. I think they’re myths.

  71. mac-phisto says:

    @Elviswasntmyhero: then who is snuffleupagus?

  72. CurbRunner says:

    @TechnoDestructo:
    “I have never seen anyone complain about TSA not adhering to no-fly lists. Please point me to somewhere that people are actually doing that.”

    Al lot of people have complained about the TSA adhering to their flawed and uncorrected no-fly lists…

    Feds Pay To Settle ACLU “No Fly” Lawsuit:
    SAN FRANCISCO — The federal government has agreed to pay $200,000 in attorneys’ fees to the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California to end a Freedom of Information and Privacy Act lawsuit that succeeded in making public, for the first time, hundreds of records about the government’s secret “no fly” list used to screen airline passengers after September 11, 2001.

    “This case helped shed light on the existence and creation of the ‘no fly’ list and other secret transportation watch lists, raising serious questions about its effectiveness and value,” said Thomas R. Burke, a cooperating attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in San Francisco.

    The records revealed that the government watch list was implemented long before any coordinated policy was in place. The documents reflected, among other things, confusion, inter-agency squabbling and the admission that the criteria in placing names on the list are “necessarily subjective” and “not hard and fast rules.”
    “We brought the lawsuit because we believe the public has a right to know about the ‘no fly’ list and other government watch lists,” said Jan Adams. “And we succeeded in doing so by making public hundreds of pages of documents that not only confirmed the existence of the ‘no fly’ list, but exposed many of the serious problems with the secret list. Only by informed public debate can we make our government accountable and our country safer.”

    As a result of the lawsuit, the public learned how many individuals were on the “no fly” list. As of September 11, 2001, only 16 individuals were identified as being banned from air travel; the following day, more than 400 were listed, and by December 2001 there were 594 names. As of December 2002, there were 1,000 names on the list, according to the records the government was ordered to release. The “no fly” list is now believed to include tens of thousands of names, according to the ACLU. In November of 2005, the TSA indicated that 30,000 people in the last year alone had contacted the agency because their names had been mistakenly matched to a name on the federal government’s watch lists.

    The settlement was reached only days after the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency seeking to stop a secret electronic surveillance program that allows the NSA to monitor and collect e-mails and phone calls from innocent Americans without court approval. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of prominent journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations who frequently communicate by phone and e-mail with people in the Middle East. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, seeks a court order declaring that the spying is illegal and ordering its immediate and permanent halt. More information is available online at http://www.aclu.org/nsaspying

    The ACLU has also filed Freedom of Information Act requests in 20 states on behalf of more than 150 organizations and individuals seeking information about FBI spying. In response, the government has released documents that reveal FBI monitoring and infiltration by the FBI and local law enforcement, targeting political, environmental, anti-war and faith-based groups. All the documents received to date are available online at http://www.aclu.org/spyfiles

  73. KarmaChameleon says:

    @Elviswasntmyhero: Everyone knows Bert is the #2 in Al-Qaeda.

  74. FLConsumer says:

    @GearheadGeek: I don’t know if I’d take it THAT far. The TSA screeners I’ve seen don’t look anywhere near as scary as the Mal-Wart employees. They’re just generally grumpy, have too much power, and lack in common sense. Pretty much what I’d expect for bargain-basement security guards. See also Rent-A-Cops at your local shopping mall.

  75. Freedomboy says:

    Some day, some father will see his kid be made upset or get upset himself and go postal, last time I looked the FIRST place a gun can be detected at SeaTac is well within range, but outside the detector, of the TSA as targets. The same folks would run TSA likely think the death penalty is a deterent so they just might get…er….detered.

    TSA is a fake, anyone with half a brain could get a sharpened plastic shiv inside a roll along case’s tubing or tucked in the lid up against the seam. Seems like they only are there to be there.

  76. Trauma_Hound says:

    @FLConsumer:

    Simple get off your butts and start stumping for Ron Paul and get him elected.

  77. lukobe says:

    “Viva Seattle-Tacoma, viva viva Sea-Tac. Viva viva viva viva viva Sea-Tac: they’ve got the best computers and coffee and smack.”

  78. Angiol says:

    @Trauma_Hound: You mean the same Ron Paul that called MLK a gay pedophile, said “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”, supports the gold standard which would ruin our economy, and said “If you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).”? (Source: here)

  79. Waldo2129 says:

    @omerhi: I really doubt chili_dog meant that to be a racial statement. He was merely making a quote of the situation. Sure you can argue he should have known better. Well maybe everyone else should have known better than to read into the statement so deeply.

  80. newspapersaredead says:

    The mother did not appear to be angered by this episode, and it appears she even likes the attention. The boy indeed does look mighty suspicious playing with that batmobile thing, I must say. Overzealous yes, but think if you were the security agent and the plane went down. I don’t blame them. They are robots and that is what they are (under)paid to do. If we actually have this database of names, why isn’t the FBI going out and finding the real people on the list and arresting them? Once in custody the name can be removed from the list and everyone else who shares the name can fly without intrusion.

  81. ARP says:

    FLOYDIANSLIP 6-

    OK City Bombing- 180 dead, 800 wounded.
    Columbine- 12 dead, 24 wounded (It’s a stretch that it was a terrorist attack, but their goal was to kill people and cause fear, so it qualifies)
    Atlanta Olympic Bombing- 1 dead, 111 wounded
    Army of God bombing of Abortion clinic- 1 dead, 12 wounded.

    I could go on. Before the flames come, my response was very specific to a statement the “problem” is that we have to treat everyone equally and that’s why this 5 year old got stopped.

    My two responses are 1) White conservative males have their fair share of terrorists and we don’t treat all of them like suspects. 2) You live in a dreamworld if you think the TSA is colorblind because of this incident. I have Indian friends who arrive 15 minutes earlier than they should because they “magically” get extra screening every time. The TSA agents can’t even do racial profiling right.

  82. IrisMR says:

    And thus the world was saved. What heroes.

  83. erica.blog says:

    I am pleased that none of the kids-on-plane-haters has cheered the TSA on this :-)

    Regardless of the obvious idiocy of suspecting a kindergartener of terrorism just because of his name, I do not think that they are legally allowed to isolate a minor from his parent(s) like that — she couldn’t even TOUCH him? That is fucked up.

  84. gmark2000 says:

    @ARP: Was David Koresh a Republican?

  85. taka2k7 says:

    I think we’re all over-reacting a little.

    Security isn’t meant to be convenient (though it shouldn’t be the pain in the a$$ that some TSA employees like to make it).

    Security SHOULD profile, although not just passed on race or religion. However, there should also be random measures (which includes jacking up 5 year olds and grandmas). Military anti-terrorism measures always include random measures, that might not make sense , taken out of context.

    Who do I blame for inconsistent airport security? The trainers, the govt, the employees, and yes, the public.

    When people screw up, it’s either they are dead weight (TSA probably has quite a few of those), or they weren’t trained properly. The government doesn’t provide enough resources and isn’t clear on policies ( I don’t know how many times I’ve been told different things at the check point (put your bag in a tray, don’t put it in a tray… etc)

    Why blame the public? They don’t listen, or read the signs at the security check points. I’m sure the average TSA employee gets yelled out several times a day, leading to a high turn over of TSA employees.

    Several years ago, my daughter (4 at the time) was flying with my parents. She was pulled aside for additional screening. She loved the additional attention. My parents thought it was great. TSA employee was very polite.

    Still, I’d like to hear TSA’s side of the story.

    And no I don’t work for the TSA.

  86. goodkitty says:

    I’ve never been afraid of brown people with bomb vests, but damn if I don’t feel a bit afraid every day hearing about these kinds of ridiculous abuses from the TSA and similar agencies. I think I have a greater chance of being killed crossing the street.

    For all of the terrorism deaths that ARP listed (194 + ~2800 from 9/11) we’ve gone and spent enough money to temporarily solve our societal ills, killed 151,000 Iraqis, and over 3,900 US troops. No wonder some call US the terrorists. Yeah, I see what you did there…

    Oh yeah, 16,885 deaths due/related to drunk driving in 2005. Maybe we should have TSA at the doors to bars instead.

  87. CurbRunner says:

    Detaining a 5 year old child in for such obvious bullshit America?
    So now you can’t touch or comfort your detained kid because he’s an alleged national security risk?
    Give me a fucking break.

    Arbitrarily detaining and releasing people is one of the elements of control historically used by fascist regimes. It is intended to be known and travel by word of mouth (or media) to make people shut up and adhere further to this nonsense.
    As long as we act like sheep and just shut up and allow it to occur, it will continue to devolve further into whatever we allow.

    Thomas Jefferson had it right when he said that “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    That “Resistance is futile” is also pure bullshit.
    We wouldn’t be living in this country today if it were true.

  88. Jon Parker says:

    @algormortis: I’m not sure naming an airport after Will Rogers ups the coolness factor, considering that the man died in a plane crash.

    Actually, OKC has two airports named after plane crash victims. Wiley Post is the other.

  89. clevershark says:

    This is what happens when people get into the habit of unquestioningly following orders without exercising any judgment whatsoever.

    Anyone who actually feels safer because of the TSA might be interested in this rock I have for sale that keeps bears away… I certainly haven’t seen any bears around me since I’ve owned it!

  90. Benstein says:

    These TSA agents were following orders. They have strict orders to detain anyone on the list, they are specifically *not* allowed to make a judgment call based upon the appearance of the individual.

    You either racially profile or not. If not then you must use a list.

  91. banmojo says:

    @FLConsumer: Yes, THANK you. They are actually part of the PROBLEM, NOT the solution. At least one other person out there has clear vision.

    @OMG! Ponies!: And herein lies the problem and why I believe the TSA is part of the problem, not the solution: They give the illusion of security, without actually providing said security. Most large aircraft are not armed with anti missile technology, and the next attack will most likely involve some surface to air missile. We’re wasting money on bullshit instead of spending it on legitimate items that would actually increase our safety in the air. Sad, pathetic, so very very human.

    @chili_dog: f4## ‘em, dude. I understand your point, and clearly you’re not a troll. I’ve found the people most sensitive to ‘racism’ end up being racist themselves, much like those most vehemently against pron tend to be the kinkiest sickos around. Go figure. TSAGFY.

  92. Dick.Blake says:

    They had to make sure he wasn’t smuggling a bomb in his Spider-Man underoos. :)

  93. LionelEHutz says:

    The TSA people who did this should be extraordinarily renditioned for their extreme stupidity. A 5-year old? WTF is wrong with these people.

  94. Mrs. Gupta, Crimefighter says:

    My goodness!
    In my land, we are NEVER probed, or even stopped!
    Unless of course we have packed aboard a delicious Lamb Korma with some Sag Aloo, as I did the other day for my nephew Pushtab, who sometimes resides in the United States, where he helps outsource various softwears to my land.
    Good heavens! But I digress so much!
    The authorities in my land had no problem with the curry. But it was immediately confiscated by some disagreeable gentlemen in the US airport, who complained that it smelled like “Semtex” whatever that is! Probably some kind of fluid used in cow insemination, I assume! But why would I want to import our excellent (and sacred!)Brahma bull “seed” to use on those inferior American cows which they butcher to use as disgusting Macdonald meat?
    Shameful!
    Next time I shall bring dear Pushtab a bottle of my prized Pinoqachole. It is ALSO nectar of the gods! But this time, it will be in my CHECKED luggage!
    Americam barbarians indeed!
    Poor Pushtab… Thankfully he will be home soon with many of thos “softwear” jobs whetever that is…
    And he can buy me a new Tata Nano!

  95. Candyman says:

    @ARP:

    The olympic bomber was never caught, so how can you say it was a conservative white man. For that matter, the OK bombers were radical right wingers, not conservatives.