TSA Takes "Rights Of Traveling Public" "Very Seriously"

WHO: The TSA
WHAT: A lawyer responds in general to some of the comments they’ve seen pop up on their blog.
WHERE: The “Evolution of Security” TSA blog
THE QUOTE: “TSA takes the rights of the traveling public very seriously, and in implementing security screening measures, carefully weighs the intrusiveness of those measures against the need to prevent terrorist attacks involving aircraft. Balancing the same considerations, the courts have long approved searches of airline passengers and their bags for weapons and explosives as constitutionally permissible under what is now commonly referred to as the “administrative search” or “special needs” exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement.” (emphasis added)

(Photo: nedrichards)

Comments

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  1. apotheosis says:

    Is “takes” deliberately boldfaced in the quote?

    Because that sorta makes it look like a ham-handed stab at suggesting they’re OPENLY ADMITTING to TAKING AWAY YOUR FREEDOM. Or something.

    Which I’m sure wasn’t the intent.

  2. kimsama says:

    @apotheosis: No, that’s just editorial emphasis, probably riffing on the same ideas you brought up. The blog does not have that bolded.

    Too bad we didn’t get an (emphasis added) to make that clear.

  3. forgottenpassword says:

    someone needs to photoshop that pic to reflect the current state of airline security.

  4. misteral says:

    FTA: the courts have long approved searches of airline passengers and their bags for weapons and explosives as constitutionally permissible

    That’s just great… now can I please keep my bottle of water so I don’t get taken advantage of for the privelage of hydrating myself while waiting for my flight?

  5. Wally East says:

    The larger question is what child wants to play “airport security screening”?

  6. apotheosis says:

    Unrelated observation: I never understood how Playmobil succeeded in a Lego-enabled world.

  7. Wally East says:

    @forgottenpassword: Indeed. All the action figures are smiling.

  8. forgottenpassword says:

    @rnkoneil:

    One that was picked on a lot. The same type of kids that generally become cops.

  9. Wally East says:

    @misteral: Bring an empty bottle to the airport and through screening. Fill it up after you’re through the security line.

  10. Tallanvor says:

    @rnkoneil: Darn you for making that comment before me!

  11. BSAKat says:

    @apotheosis:
    I dunno, I like a lot of the playmobil stuff.

  12. rmz says:

    The bold is to highlight the phrase “taking it seriously,” of course. Nothing more.

  13. Wally East says:

    @forgottenpassword: Or mall security guards.

  14. ColdNorth says:

    Every day, it seems just a little bit more like I’ve woken up in the movie “Brazil”.

  15. apotheosis says:

    @BSAKat:
    It’s cute, I guess, it just seems a little…static.

  16. forgottenpassword says:

    @apotheosis:

    Probably by parents who couldnt afford legos? I DOnt know…. I assumed playmobile was the cheaper alternative. I remember never getting legos as a kid, but I got a giant cowboys & indians playmobile set. The set had great little accessories like detailed pistols, cooking pot w/stand & spoon, headbands with feathers… etc. etc… I used to scalp my indians & cowboys by poppong the hair off the figures. lol

    When I grew up a bit I kinda esented my parents for never getting legos for me. Because all the other kids seemed to have them.

  17. apotheosis says:

    @rmz:

    The bold is to highlight the phrase “taking it seriously,” of course. Nothing more.

    Ah, yes. That’s been clarified in the edit. Thank you, editors.

    @forgottenpassword:

    I assumed playmobile was the cheaper alternative.

    Were they? I thought they were similarly overpriced.

    Or maybe that was those wooden train sets. Brio, I think was the brand.

  18. Nissan288 says:

    is that playmobile set real?

  19. jamar0303 says:

    Remind me why the liquid restrictions haven’t been removed after they figured out that the “liquid bomb” is near-impossible to make in an airplane? This is why I take trains or ferries whenever possible (Shanghai-Hong Kong was easy by train; Customs took all of 3 minutes and I got to use my cellphone all the way).

  20. forgottenpassword says:

    @rnkoneil:

    HEY! I worked as a security guard years ago! lol! However I refused to be a mall guard or any guard that dealt with customers. I was more of a “night watchman all alone in a building” type of security guard. I generally hated having any kind of authority over anyone & tended to let shit slide just so i didnt have to deal with it. I guess I was technically bad at being a security guard. lol. It was just a job for me that paid the bills & didnt involve hard work. Walking around all night looking around & jiggling doorknob handles was all I was willing to do. I dont like to bust people’s balls.

  21. MissTic says:

    “In the course of carrying out our mission by screening for weapons and explosives, however, we sometimes incidentally discover illegal items unrelated to transportation security. Federal law and policy require that we refer such items to law enforcement officers for appropriate action. See, for example, United States v. Marquez, 410 F.3d 612, 617 (2005).”

    So, we’re going to keep confiscating your sh*t.

  22. Mr. Gunn says:
  23. freshwater says:

    I don’t think Playmobil is any cheaper. But before Lego had a
    million different characters, Playmobil always had detailed little
    people with detailed little stuff. It was less about building, and more
    about creating scenes. I had both.

  24. MissPeacock says:

    @forgottenpassword: I believe that Playmobil is actually more expensive. You tend to find their products in specialty toy stores that cater more toward upper-middle class parents.

    And yes, that is an actual Playmobil playset. You can also get one that features HAZMAT employees!

  25. moore850 says:

    Anytime I think about TSA, I think of the movie Airplane 2, where the security screeners waste all their time with an old lady while extremely obvious threats in full army gear walk through with bazookas and stuff. It was a joke years and years ago, and based on current events I really don’t think the joke will go away anytime soon.

  26. apotheosis says:

    @MissPeacock:

    You can also get one that features HAZMAT employees!

    Awesome!

  27. bdgbill says:

    carefully weighs the intrusiveness of those measures against the need to prevent terrorist attacks involving aircraft.

    This would be great if the TSA did a single thing to make airlines safer or “to prevent terrorist attacks”.

    I have had the unfortunate oppurtunity to observe the TSA’s evolution since the first days after 911. My opinion of the entire agency drifts between “Keystone Cops” and “lowest bidder security guard company”.

    I do not believe the TSA has stopped a single terrorist attack since it’s founding. The TSA performs the same x-ray and bag searches that were done before 9-11, the same searches that every 911 hijacker passed through without incident.

    The difference is that the TSA is empowered to come up with arbitrary rules at it’s whim. The one function that the TSA excels at is burning through huge piles of our money.

  28. halftank says:

    But does the TSA have constitutional backup for women getting felt up @the security screening @Dulles? I don’t think so, but they do it anyway.

  29. vladthepaler says:

    What’s the point of having a constitution if there are going to be exceptions?

  30. emjsea says:

    The problem isn’t the concept of searching people or having security. The problems are:
    a) focusing on little old white ladies instead of young arab males (you know the ones that do 99% of the terrorist acts) so they can be politically correct and not get CAIR’s panties in a knot.
    b) the unprofessional, uneducated morons they have employeed to do all the searches and screenings.

    Especially B.

  31. apotheosis says:

    Those of you with anaphylaxis reaction to stings should duck and cover, because I believe a hornet’s nest just got spiked in the end zone.

  32. dorkins says:

    I think we should continue complaining about the TSA searches and what a hassle they are.

    How else will we make it easier for someone to down another plane … just so we can blame Bush for not implementing enough security? The end more than justifies the casualties.

    Same thing with the terrorist eavesdropping thing. Make our intelligence services wait a few hours for a warrant, even for international calls from known terrorists. Sure, after that the call’s over, but our rights are secure, and, more importantly, we might get a new and exciting terrorist attack that will EMBARRASS BUSH! Yeah, that’s certainly worth all the pain and suffering OTHER people will undergo … heh heh.

  33. clevershark says:

    @dorkins: Thank you for showing us the sort of insane paranoia that dominates the thinking of the Bush voter.

  34. Erskine says:

    @dorkins: Hey, Dorkins! Stop being such a, well, dork. Defending the current state of “security” utilized by the TSA is about the stupidest thing one can do, short of asking why we hate America.

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    Damn. Until I saw “emphasis added”, I was going to say:

    Well then. Since a TSA flack boldfaces very seriously, there’s nothing more to be said. Move along, cattle, move along!

  36. dorkins says:

    @clevershark: I live to serve.

  37. dorkins says:

    @Erskine: THere’s a reason for the name, you know.

  38. dorkins says:

    @Erskine: You’re right, of course. When the TSA has to stop Al Gore just to show we’re not profiling, we’re obviously so fearful of PC that we’re willing to divert our scarce resources and risk letting the real perps go. It’s hard to defend such nuttiness.

  39. camille_javal says:

    @dorkins: Same thing with the terrorist eavesdropping thing. Make our intelligence services wait a few hours for a warrant, even for international calls from known terrorists. Sure, after that the call’s over, but our rights are secure, and, more importantly, we might get a new and exciting terrorist attack that will EMBARRASS BUSH! Yeah, that’s certainly worth all the pain and suffering OTHER people will undergo … heh heh.

    I don’t necessarily believe that other administrations haven’t engaged in many of these tactics. What disturbs me with this administration is that they are so pervasive, and/or so ridiculously sloppy, that we keep finding out about it. Neither possibility makes me feel safe.

    And terrorist plots involve a single phone call. Yeah. Get your head out of Jack Bauer’s ass.

  40. Klink says:

    “TSA takes the rights of the traveling public.”
    There, I fixed it for you.

  41. CrazyRedd says:

    @Klink258: Bumped for win.

  42. dorkins says:

    @camille_javal: A single phone call? Why?

  43. BugMeNot2 says:
  44. Landru says:

    @dorkins: Yeah, Dorkins, we don’t want the terrorists to win and turn us into one of those police state countries, where there are no individual freedoms or rights. Where people live in fear of the state and are afraid to speak their minds in puplic places. Where they have to watch what they say or write because someone might be listening and it might be misconstrued. Thank goodness the TSA is protecting us from that.

  45. hhole says:

    This article is the BOMB!

    Am i in trouble now?

  46. dorkins says:

    @Landru: I agree; we certainly don’t want to be like one of those police state countries where censorship runs rampant …

    like Canada [instapundit.com]
    or the UK [www.telegraph.co.uk] [gatesofvienna.blogspot.com]
    or France [www.macworld.com]
    or Holland [pajamasmedia.com]
    or smaller countries like Harvard [www.mindingthecampus.com]
    or GWU [www.powerlineblog.com]
    or Cambridge U [corner.nationalreview.com]
    or UC Berkeley [indoctrinate-u.com]
    or Google [www.examiner.com]

    Help, TSA! We need you! :)

  47. @emjsea: Obviously your post is a joke poking fun at people who actually think that way..

  48. MrEvil says:

    I also like the fact that the government now interprets the bill of rights as rights granted by the government. This was a huge point of contention in the constitutional convention. Lots of folks beleived these rights were a given and needed no enumeration and others felt it was neccessary since governments are inherently evil.

    The Bill of rights are not rights granted to us by the government…they are rights “endowed by our creator”. The whole reason the colonies told King George 3 to go fuck himself was because they beleived that they had rights no government could take away for ANY reason. And I mean ANY reason.

    I personally think the federal government needs a huge wakeup call…weather it be via the pen or the bullet.

  49. apotheosis says:

    Go ahead, tell me the Lego/Playmobil discussion wasn’t more satisfying.

  50. The real problem is that suburban soccer moms and guys with stickers of Calvin peeing on things all across America actually live with the fear that at any moment on any day a young Arab man will crash an airplane into them. Like a classroom full of children suffering from mass hysteria all logic and reason is thrown out the window and replaced with absurd new rules, useless safeguards and being completely complacent with overbearing security measures that do not do anything to insure safety, while at the same time voting for politicians who do nothing to address the underlying reason (hint: foreign policy, not religion) that the threat exists.

    The problem is not a race, a religion or a region of the world. It’s the quality of life the person lives. The less you have to lose the more willing you are to make your life worth something to yourself or someone else and the more easily you are lead to believe (through your own learning, or the teaching of those with an agenda) that things need to change be it through, social activism, riots in the streets or being a martyr. Right or wrong in their individual choices, I am not willing to say.

    Moving back to the topic at hand:
    @bdgbill: You’re exactly right.

  51. @apotheosis: It was. I agree.

  52. GearheadGeek says:

    @dorkins:
    What TSA searches are is largely “security theater” (see earlier comments on this thread about the liquids lie.)

    Also on the topic of lies is the lie that the FISA court prevents intelligence agents from implementing a wiretap quickly. Way back before W quit snorting coke they had permission to implement a wiretap as needed and had to submit a request for a warrant to the FISA court immediately. I’ve never heard even an anecdotal case quoted by neocon hacks in which a warrant was denied by the FISA court, so anything they did learn would be admissible when they get the warrant, and if they learn something actionable (e.g. details of an imminent attack) they could move to stop that regardless of whether or not they had the warrant for the wiretap yet, all that warrant really governs is the admissibility of the evidence in court.

    The Bushies just want to create an Imperial Presidency, and that pesky FISA court is a form of oversight they can’t seem to tolerate. You know, that “system of checks and balances” our founding fathers designed into the US government…

  53. Landru says:

    @dorkins: So you’re saying what? “Everybody does it, so what’s the problem?” Or “We should just give in and celebrate our new overlords?”

    What?

  54. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Landru: Don’t blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  55. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @#!! stuck comment.

  56. superbureaucrat says:
  57. dorkins says:

    @Landru: I’m saying it’s easy to keep complaining, but what’s the solution? To stop searching passengers?

  58. Bill Brasky says:

    TSA = Too Stupid for Arby’s.

    How about looking for…Weapons, terrorists, and that sort of thing, instead of grabbing granny and searching her, so as not to piss off any one group?

    Just curious.

  59. dorkins says:

    @GearheadGeek: “The Bushies just want to create an Imperial Presidency”

    NYT: “After more than a year of heated political wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers after giving legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program.”

    Are they in on the conspiracy too? Will they get fiefdoms and dukedoms?

  60. dorkins says:

    @bill51773: Weapons, yes. How would you look for a terrorist, though? Profiling … probably the only way to do it.

    Then again, they’re recruiting people who don’t fit the profile, like that goofball with the shoe (Reid) or women with babies. [www.dailymail.co.uk]

  61. dorkins says:

    @Voyou_Charmant: “The problem is not a race, a religion or a region of the world. It’s the quality of life the person lives. The less you have to lose the more willing you are to make your life worth something to yourself or someone else and the more easily you are lead to believe (through your own learning, or the teaching of those with an agenda) that things need to change be it through, social activism, riots in the streets or being a martyr.”

    Sounds good, until someone does the actual homework:

    “A comprehensive study of 1,776 terrorist incidents (240 international, the rest domestic) by Harvard professor Albert Abadie, who was sympathetic to the poverty-terrorism idea at first, found no such thing. “When you look at the data,” he told the Harvard Gazette, “it’s not there.” [money.cnn.com]

    “A similar finding applies on the other side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Israeli Jewish extremists who attacked Palestinians in the West Bank in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Many of the extremists were Gush Emunim members. A list of 27 of the Israeli terrorists reveals a pattern of high education and high-paying occupations.” [www.businessweek.com]

  62. GearheadGeek says:

    @dorkins: They don’t care about the fiefdoms and dukedoms, they’re waiting for the checks from the telecom lobbyists. Our bicameral doormat…er.. congress is definitely complicit in the number of anti-constitutional goals achieved by this administration.