TSA Uploads Video Of "Sippy Cup" Incident On Special "MythBusting" Website

The TSA has uploaded the incident report and surveillance video that they claim shows the “sippy cup terrorist” Mom intentionally dumping her child’s water on the floor of the airport after having claimed “she was an officer and flashed her Secret Service badge and credentials and said that she should be exempt from all this and this was a stupid policy and this whole thing was [redacted].” We’re guessing that last word was bullshit, but like we said, that’s just an educated guess.

The video, which has no sound, is inconclusive. Obviously, you can’t hear what the TSA agents are saying or if they’re threatening the woman with arrest for spilling water. The mom’s original account leaves out the bit about her flashing her Secret Service badge and trying to get special treatment, so who knows. Perhaps she did spill the water on purpose. In the video it looks like she shakes the last few drops out before turning around and trying to get back into the checkpoint.

What we find a bit disturbing is the fact that so few of us nowadays are shocked by the idea that someone could be detained or be threatened with arrest by the government for carrying or spilling tap water. “Those are the rules,” we think.

We do like the new “MythBusters” section of the TSA’s website. Maybe they should hire those kids from the Discovery Channel to see if you can really blow up a plane with the contents of a sippy cup. Admit it. That would be a neat episode. —MEGHANN MARCO

MythBusters [TSA]
PREVIOUSLY: TSA Detains Mother, Threatens Arrest Over Sippy Cup Full of Tap Water
(Photo: TSA)


Edit Your Comment

  1. TheDude06 says:

    I dont have any proof that the discovery channel is involved specificly, but every website that posts videos with the word “mythbuster” anywhere near them seem to have a habit of suddenly changing their name the day after they get posted to some popular blog.

  2. Uriel says:

    If they believed that this woman was impersonating a secret-service agent, why didn’t they arrest her?

  3. MonkeySwitch says:

    In the woman’s account, I remember her saying that she was nervous and spilt a bit of water while she was trying to open it so she could drink some in front of them. What I saw in the video was her open the cup and dump whatever water that was in there out. I don’t think it is ridiculous to make her clean that up. I mean, wtf??

    I’m not convinced that either the TSA or the lady were being particularly nice.. that guy got carried away with the whole, “you missed a spot”..

    both sides of the story seem to be a bit skewed..

  4. tom55522 says:

    I don’t agree with how she acted, police are not above the law and none of the ones I know would go around flashing their badge. That being said, I don’t agree with the TSA posting camera footage and reports to improve their image. Next we will see stores posting footage and reports of their dumbest customers. The video and report should stay confidential.

  5. ShadowFalls says:

    Well, there is nothing to say distinctively she “flashed” a badge. Since there is no audio of her making claims and the video is from afar. Her nervous story hurts her credibility though. Regardless, the video is hardly complete as it ends with her still there and had not left yet.

    I would agree with it is not convincing they were being “nice” as mentioned the missed a spot guy was pretty ridiculous. Hard to say though, as again, no sound, they didn’t bust anything…

    Also, the report was way too short to coincide with 10 minutes of video.

  6. 160medic says:

    Did she go to Applebee’s after she left? [www.msnbc.msn.com]

  7. ElPresidente408 says:

    The video busted the most important part of her story that she accidentally spilled the water. Did she accidentally shake the cup as well cause thats what the video shows. You don’t need audio to figure out what’s going on. You can tell from her body language that she was pissed and had an attitude. TSA people reacted appropriately. As far as I’m concerned, she exaggerated the story just to get back at them for upsetting her. Too bad.

  8. kingofmars says:

    Why did she take the kid out of the stroller? Did she think the kid could make a break for it? Also, who just pours water on a slick floor? From the video I don’t see anything the TSA agents did wrong.

  9. Hoss says:

    If this happend in Walmart, I would think it would be unbusinesslike (even for Walmart) to post videos, etc., on it’s website. What’s up with TSA? There’s even a banner on their main page about this. Was this international news that the government feels they need to speak out about?

  10. castlecraver says:

    Wow… she just got pwned by a bunch of lazy hacks that couldn’t find a bomb unless perchance it contained over 3oz of liquid or wasn’t in a clear plastic bag. Not only is she a bitch, but a particularly stupid one.

  11. zolielo says:

    I normally have respect for the SSA and the TSA but this one still leaves me wondering what happened there. The sides of the story are so incongruent…

  12. Rotodyne says:

    This is a sad affair all around. It makes the TSA look overbearing for enforcing what is seen as a ridiculous regulation and for being tough on a mother. Some folks will see the “TSA Mythbusting” site as over the top as well. The woman does not seem to be blameless, either. Based on the incident report, it looks like she was trying to take advantage of her position, supposedly with the Secret Service, to get around what she sees as a [redacted] regulation…not cool. Also not cool to say [redacted] to TSA agents, or any law enforcement officer, for that matter. Moreover, it certainly appears to me that the video shows her intentionally dumping the contents of the cup onto the concourse.

    Some folks tend to sympathize with the woman because they see the TSA regulation on liquids as stupid. Could be; many regulations are stupid, like speed limits in some areas that are woefully inappropriate. Drivers play the odds, however, and in many cases can get away with exceeding those speed limits. In this case, however, the woman chose to play the odds in a situation where the chances of getting “caught” were virtually 100 per cent. I’ll probably catch hell for saying this, but the only winners in this little affair are the passengers who were on the flight she missed, who didn’t have to listen to a few hours of a screaming kid, whether he had a “sippy cup” or not.

  13. RandomHookup says:

    I like screaming ‘redacted’ whenever I get pissed. It just confuses everyone when they file police reports.

  14. timmus says:

    I am glad to see the TSA going public to try to tell their side of the story.

  15. catskyfire says:

    In my job, we have a saying. There are three sides to every story. The Complainant’s side, the Respondent’s side, and the truth.

    The truth is always the hard part to figure out.

  16. nucleotide says:

    @ElPresidente408: What the hell to do think pissed her off in the first place? Friendly service and a smile? The TSA jerks are under-trained, incompetent, condescending morons. That woman is my hero and I’m glad she’s called them on their BS. Oh, is it that there’s a “war” on that gives public servants the right to abuse the masses? I want TSA to record with audio and have them show the whole footage including the crap they probably said to trigger this incident. If you think what’s going on is cool please go to straight to the ministry of love. Big brother’s waiting.

  17. Hey, CNN just caught on to this. Reported today.

  18. nequam says:

    @zirkus: “The TSA jerks are under-trained, incompetent, condescending morons.”

    And apparently secret service officers are arrogant, position abusing, special treatment seekers. Well, at least this one was. But since we’re generalizing.

  19. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    You people that are like “That’s the case cracker!! She dumped the water!!” are really making me laugh.

    So what? So she dumped the water? These TSA people are clearly on a power trip. It does appear that she DARED to question their POWER.

    I regretfully watched the entire two videos and saw very clearly an agitated mother and TSA employees being dickheads. We have no idea what happened prior to this. They were probably being obnoxious and she probably lost it a bit. It happens to the best of us.

    So instead of focusing on their jobs, which is security, we instead got into the “I have a job where I can make you dance like a monkey, because otherwise I’ll abuse my power and make your day extremely unfortunate.” So they kept sending her back to clean up whatever trace of water there was and even brought her paper towels. It was painful to watch.

    That’s all there is to the story. She let them get to her and they were assholes about it. Maybe she’s a jerk. I don’t know. Is that illegal? No.

  20. ElPresidente408 says:

    Regardless of how stupid TSA policies are, she was taking it out on a person who has no influence over the TSA. The guards are just low level workers trying to support themselves or a family. If someone above tells them they can’t let someone through with bottled water then that’s what they have to do to keep their job. I’ve had jobs where I had to follow policies that were stupid and people got mad at me. Well what do you want me to do about it? TSA took my bike lock at the airport last year. Maybe I should’ve thrown it across the terminal to stand up against big brother.

  21. Kashell says:

    So in essence:

    1) It’s the woman’s own fault for missing her plane.

    2) It’s entirely ridiculous to be detained for spilling some water.

    3) The best way to deal with someone on a power trip (police, TSA, your mother) is -still- to comply in a firm and calm manner.

  22. rjhiggins says:

    Did we not learn anything from the Duke lacrosse case? Based on the woman’s original story, we all jumped to conclusions about the mean, incompetent TSA people hassling this poor, innocent mother.

    Clearly, there’s a lot more to this story than we’ll probably ever know. I think we all now have a hunch the woman wasn’t exactly blameless. But we don’t know that either. And that’s just the point: Let’s stop making snap judgments when all we have is one side of the story.

  23. arachnophilia says:

    discovery channel should sue. i would *LOVE* to see that go to court.

    also, if there’s anyone who can blow up an airplane with the fluid contents of a sippy cup, i will bet that the mythbusters crew would the ones to ask.

    regardless, there’s something a little unsettling about TSA posting security footage on their official site, in an effort to discredit their critics. one mom — government agency. bit of a difference in scale, and when you’re getting accused of abusing your authority as it is, this is not going to make it better.

    i would say that they are likely going to get what they deserve for stupidly hosting 45mb videos on their site — but it’s probably you and me paying for that bandwidth.

  24. nucleotide says:

    @nequam: I’ve been to 6 different countries in the last year and the TSA is by far the most unprofessional and impolite security service I have encountered on my travels.

  25. bnissan97 says:

    A) If she was in Secret Service and acted like that she should be fired. Secret Service should set an example of how citizens should behave.
    B) If she was Secret Service than more so she should have known about fluids and airports and NOT to take a full cup of whatever in.
    C) If she was Secret Service, it appears that she was traveling for leisure since her child was in tow. Any law enforcement should not use a badge to bully their way anytime, especially when not on duty.

  26. yzerman says:

    I don’t have a clue why you guys can post here and defend this person.

    TSA might be a pain to deal with but I would rather have these tight rules (even with the limited exceptions) than worry about someone trying to get a exception to everyone else and risk our lives. I know that the rules are stupid and there is still ways around them but its better than just opening the door and doing nothing as we did before.

    Seriously how hard is it to empty out the cup before the check point? Drink the damn water if necessary before you even get up there and put the cup in a bag or just let the kid play with it.

    Finally just because your off duty secret service gives you no right to get special treatment. So since im a local police officer I should be allowed special allowances as well?

  27. Lee2706 says:

    It’s a sad day when a federal agency has to put up video proof showing that “I’m right, you’re wrong.”

    And wouldn’t the Discovery Channel have a copyright on the title “MythBusters”?

    In any case, Kip Hawley is still a freakin’ idiot.

  28. tmweber says:

    Regardless of what actually happened, doesn’t anybody else think it just the most pathetic thing that the TSA has stuck there nose into this like an accused 12 year old. “Look, I didn’t do it!” I mean really, this is pretty unprofessional when you think about it.

  29. MiltyKiss says:

    There’s two sides to the story (as many have said) but we can’t resort to generalizing that the TSA is this or that. Maybe your experience (and hers) was negative, but don’t generalize all members of a workforce because of some mistakes… We’re no longer in middle/high school. :P

    As for this situation, it’s obvious that both sides are forgetting some part of the story. For all we know, the TSA could have been yelling at her the entire time or that she could have been yelling something worse.

  30. geeperz99 says:

    It is pretty shocking and sad that the TSA posted the video, but not that they left out some scenes.

    what’s not suprising is a) the TSA personnel appear to be power tripping as usual & b)a mom traveling with a toddler has a short fuse

    The job of the TSA is security. Application of common sense to a situation should not be precluded by mindless obedience to ‘policy’. That woman could have been on her way in a few minutes. Her detainment appears to be nothing but punitive.

  31. Brilluminati says:

    Bah…to all of you bashing the TSA.

    Without the video, most of you would blindly sit around and say how bad the TSA is, and the woman was victimized, blah blah blah.

    They post a video (somewhat inconclusive) to show at least a video of what happened, and they’re still the bad guy.

    Damned if you do, damned if you dont.

  32. nucleotide says:

    @yzerman: I don’t have a clue why you would blindly defend a dysfunctional organization. Why should we tolerate stupid, ineffective rules? Are we supposed to just “take it” from bad governance? Gee, I wonder how it got so bad in the first place? I’m really sick of these jokers and the “hell of a job” defenders.

    This thing is a TSA said, she said issue. There’s probably a bit of bad behaving on both sides. But, I trust the TSA a hell of a lot less than the mother. I seen the TSA steal, abuse and be incompetent first hand. Can’t say that about the mom.

  33. spacedebris says:

    Okay, suppose that she was overbearing and rude and that TSA and the police were up to their usual ever-changing rules, make-it-up-as-you-go incompetence. This inevitable dispute occurs and she goes on the attack, then TSA responds by posting their video. How are we safer and what about the privacy of all the other individuals who are shown in this 45 megs of stupidity?

    Has anyone seen a movie when one “bad guy” creates a diversion while another does the actual “bad thing?” This wasn’t the case–but it sure showed that a diversion would be successful. Did you see half-awake TSA agents bored and barely paying attention? I know that if I were a terrorist that that’s what I would be looking for.

    Why not just ask us if we mean to do any bad things while on the plane? It would be just as effective. The current tactics are leading to a Police State in the name of saving freedom.

    To my mind, this doe-see-doe demonstrates that Homeland Security as currently constituted couldn’t protect anything, hasn’t got the least bit of a clue of what it is doing and never has.
    I fly often and can tell you that mostly TSA workers are bored and/or hostile. I occasionally meet competent ones but the underling polices of considering all travelers to have the same degree of risk is absurd. Our safety would be better assured if we worked together to identify risks and if some intelligence were applied to the process. Other countries (Israel comes to mind) have been doing this longer and with greater success. Why not study how they do it?

  34. EtherealStrife says:

    @Brilluminati: Until they clean up their act these chimps will be pre-judged and condemned. Rightfully. This video release is just another example of their incompetence and unprofessional approach, and the fact that it shows the TSA employees acting like asshats is the icing on the cake. They should change their ways if they’re so concerned over public image.

    I have to bring along 5 containers to have a drink with me on the plane. 4 mini containers to get it past security, and one to pour them into (*gasp* oh noes, I now apparently have enough liquid to make multiple explosives!). They make me ditch my nail clippers, but I can carry my multitool. . . .

    The TSA is a joke, and needs to be abolished entirely. DHS is a terrorist organization, feeding on and propagating fear while promoting the idea of imminent violence and danger. It’s time to return to private security. It was fairly fast, while competently differentiating between legitimate threats and mere pointy objects.
    If someone wants to down a plane they’ll find a way. There’s nothing anyone can do about it other than not going off and murdering hundreds of thousands of people (the relatives left alive will often react poorly). Imagination will prevail, thinking up new solutions to old problems. But back to the article.

    The airport security itself is acting like every other authority figure, degrading others and exerting the will of the uneducated hick w/ penile issues on the common traveler. And because they’re all government employees, they don’t give a shit about the satisfaction of the customers. Private had to deal with complaints from travelers, because the alternative was the (potential) loss of the airport contract. TSA has complete job security, so they can shit on anyone they want and can’t be fired. And airports can’t tell the TSA to take a hike.

  35. consumerist11211 says:

    I think from the video it’s pretty apparently that the woman intentionally spilled water on the floor. It’s a f*cked up thing to do considering her intentions were to either make someone else clean it up or just not give a damn if someone slipped and fell.

    That being said, I travel quite a bit and for the most part I find the TSA pretty easy to deal with. Just be friendly and polite and let them do their thing and 4 out of 5 times no problem. However I have encountered that 1 out of 5 times with them as well when someone power trips and it’s brutal. It happened to me while flying out of albuquerque back to New York over the thanksgiving break. The woman there, I think her name was pat, an older angry white woman seriously just decided she didnt like the looks of me and put me through the ringer humiliating me at every chance she got. When I was about to raise a stink about being treated like a pile of crap for zero reason, my boyfriend’s cool head prevailed and reminded me we would likely be detained long enough that we’d miss our flight.

    So, to you Pat, or whatever your name was at the TSA at the Albuquerque airport: I hope you lose your job after you show up being a bitch on one of the TSA “Mythbuster” videos.

  36. samurailynn says:

    I wonder if it helped the situation to take the baby out of the stroller and let it wander around and get in everyone else’s way? I hate it when people think it’s okay to inconvenience everyone else with their children.

  37. nequam says:

    @zirkus: Okay. But which part makes her heroic: (1) exacerbating the situation by pouring the water; (2) her endearing plea “don’t you know who I am;” (3) or running to the media with her story?

    It’s often recognized on this site that standing up for oneself is good; being a whiny baby about it is bad.

  38. EtherealStrife says:

    @samurailynn: You assume the baby was removed by choice. I’ve seen security ask mothers to remove their children (apparently checking for hidden items in stroller; for the security to touch the baby is a big no-no). Besides, they have to make sure it’s a functioning baby. Otherwise it could have a bomb in it.

    The woman made a mess on purpose, but the TSA had no right ordering her to clean it up. And the multiple “missed a spot”s were pure arrogance. These people are public servants, not the other way around.

  39. nucleotide says:

    @nequam: Point 1 & 2 count as hearsay and I will not think otherwise until I get to hear the audio. Point 3 needs to happen more often.

    What makes you think “whiny baby”, the TSA’s account that isn’t even backed up clearly by the video. What it shows is how poorly composed the TSA employees are. The first video shows a “fine” example of a slouching TSA “offical” that finally gets her bored, broad ass off the chair to harass the mom. Seems like she was looking to be “entertained”. Then the fascist condescending BS ensues. It sad how animated the TSA goon with the white hair is while “overseeing” the cleaning and warning the passers by about the dangerous water-wielding mother. What a jerk!

  40. tcp100 says:


    “The first video shows a “fine” example of a slouching TSA “offical” that finally gets her bored, broad ass off the chair to harass the mom.”

    What would make her existance there “OK” with you? If she was standing at attention, saluting each great citizen passenger that passed by? Grow up. Security is often a boring job where you just sit there.

    “Seems like she was looking to be “entertained”.”

    Ah, you won’t concede other points without audio, however you can magically infer this.

    You know, I don’t like government or security people getting into my lives any more than anyone else, but if you’re going to get all huffy and play a holier than thou card, you’re not going to get excellent treatment – whether its TSA or a movie usher.

    I’m also thrilled that so many of you know so much better than the TSA, and assume that everything is just made up and pulled out of their ass. “The dangerous water-wielding mother”. When you’re working security (and I haven’t personally, but I come from generations of police) you dont know WHO the person you’re dealing with is, and what they have.

    You guys imply that there should be some “mom exemption” from screening? Ok, then, I want a “boring computer nerd” exemption; I also have a security clearance, hell, they should just let me through sight unseen, right?

    Everyone thinks they’re special, to themselves, and knows they’re not a threat and shouldn’t have to put up with this. Guess what, You’re the only person that knows that, and if you ask anyone who is a threat, I’ll bet you a buck they’ll insist the same thing.

    Really, it’s not too difficult nor freedom-quashing to comply with the whole liquid thing. Unless you think you’re special, or exempt. Imagine if they let her through with no problem with a gallon jug, BECAUSE she was a secret service agent. Everyone here would be pissing and moaning about that, too.

  41. nucleotide says:

    @tcp100: I’ve seen polite and professional security in many places from high security corporate environments to foreign airports. So, I know it can be done right. I don’t feel my tax dollars are put to good use paying these jokers that spend time harassing non-dangerous civilian VS keeping us safe from real threats. Take a good look at the video, those guys are inept and will not provide any real protection. I’d feel safer at an Israeli airport if there was an imminent threat. With all the money we’re blowing in Iraq you’d think we could use some of it to hire well paid professionals to protect our airports.

  42. EtherealStrife says:

    @tcp100: “Really, it’s not too difficult nor freedom-quashing to comply with the whole liquid thing.”

    Bullshit. I checked luggage maybe 1 flight in 5 before the latest idiocy. Now I have to check a bag more times than not. And the liquid ban DOESN’T DO SHIT. Any dangerous liquids you can haul in a gallon jug you can haul in 3 oz bottles, given enough determination. Its only purpose is to do the two things you listed.
    Everyone who flies should have an exemption. Except for TSA employees of course.

  43. superbmtsub says:

    This “secret service agent” clearly wasnt acting like one. The amount of moaning and bitchin she did would be a highly suspicious person in any airport.

    Not too long after 9-11, I was flying to Florida and I was stopped for carrying a nailcutter because it had the small filing knife thing on it. Did I cuss and swear at them tellin them I was a network adm and I could hack their accounts? No. I gave it to them and they dumped it in a garbage can.

    About that water spilling thing, I’m glad the TSA had the balls to show it out and prove once and for all that there is NO credibility with this woman whoever she claims to be. If she can dump water on the ground, what sort of precedent are we looking to have? TSA’s gonna tell me that I cant carry my shaving cream with me so I dump it on the ground and expect to walk away without a problem?

    This lady needs to open her eyes to the real world and quit her lying and complaining!

  44. cowheard says:

    TSA actually has tape contradicting yet another claim of abuse from a traveler, who, as someone with a badge, feels they deserve different treatment than the person standing behind them in line, waiting for their hissy fit to end! Outrageous. All of you unclear about this one, must have at one time been ahead of me in line at a checkpoint with either a badge, or prohibited thing, waisting the time of all of us that KNOW we are not exempt, nor are you, and have not packed things we shouldn’t. A TSA checkpoint has been in place for 4 or 5 yrs now, how do people still think they are above rules or just don’t get the rules by now. Granted, new rules and changes occur, but I am so sick of being delayed by those that DONT KNOW or think THE RULES don’t apply to them, and on top of it these ignorant individuals get to have fits and some are just absolute violent rages! Just annoying and pathetic. It’s amazing how many times I have to see it and be delayed by it. You all are as much of a hassle as a winter storm and frozen runway when I’m trying to get to Florida. Please educate yourself and get over it. By the way, when was the last time someone came to your job and treated you like you treated one of these screeners. Think about it, rip you apart for your bosses business and conduct/rules.

  45. bedofnails says:

    Let me get this straight, several days ago there were over 100 comments, most of them siding with this t@at – crying foul at how security “must have” acted.

    Now, we see video evidence (isn’t that what the “Loose Change” groupies crave?) of how moronic the woman acted, totally destroying her original story in the process, and revamping it with conveniently left out details?

    How can anyone still shift blame and judgments to coincide with their own personal resentment with the TSA’s? Moreover, how do personal convictions towards TSA’s equate to allowing individuals from violating current rules and regulations?

  46. endless says:

    i want to see a fratboy-jackass style stunt along these lines.

    dude brings a backpack with a 6 pack of beer to the TSAs, they say he cant have them, so he proceeds to chug all 6.

    that would show the TSAs who is boss

  47. WSUCanuck says:

    Wow, Consumerist… way to not take the side of logic on this one. “well, the video is inconclusive, so we’ll just stick to her story and provide this bullshit article that doesn’t admit being too hasty to publish a story w/o researching it… and that should appease those who saw the video”. You guys didn’t need evidence to take the stupid SS bitch’s side of the story, but when the TSA provides evidence that proves Ms. SS LIED, it becomes “inconclusive”. Then you have some idiot commenters who just can’t accept that a government organization would want to release evidence that vindicates themselves. OMG OPEN GOVERNMENT HOW UNPROFESSIONAL!

    Then a few hours later you guys are PROUD when Dell says “We were wrong to ask Consumerist to do something”. You guys just can’t accept defeat in any way. This is the second time in less than a month that you guys have taken some unproven story and ran with it, and then fail to issue a full retraction when evidence to the contrary surfaces. (re: the Chicago Cable guy who wasn’t a “rapist”)

    Why are you guys being such hypocrites? It affects your credibility. Just admit that this ONE TIME the TSA is right and you guys were wrong for rushing this story up to press. Imagine that… the TSA was actually right about something.

  48. WSUCanuck says:

    Just as an addendum, before anyone accuses me of something… i’m not a government apologist. I would love it if the TSA released videos of all reported incidents, fabrications or fact. All of us would probably agree that if this crazy SS lady’s story were anything close to true, the TSA would have NEVER released this video or the report.

    open government is a good thing people…. selective open goverment…. not so much.

  49. jburland says:

    Two things

    1) Whether we agree with the regulations or not, no liquids means no liquids.
    Get over it. Write to your congressperson. Don’t throw a fit in the security area. Don’t start an argument that you’re going to lose. DON’T BE STUPID.

    2. At 2:02:27, a TSA employee on his way to a secure area is carrying a bottle of water.
    He WORKS there and he KNOWS it’s going to be confiscated? Or he KNOWS he’s going to be waved through. Go figure.

  50. mac-phisto says:

    anyone else find it amusing that this is like “code red”?!? two guards, a supervisor, a BIKE COP…i dunno, i got bored after that. seems to be a whole lot of hullabaloo for a bit of water.


  51. h_magoo says:

    This video is pretty ridiculous. Why are they detaining someone and making her go through her bags in the hallway with many people walking around her. Its humiliating, and if they really thought she had a bomb it would be negligent.

    If the water was such a hazard why did they let all those people walk over it? There was a police officer on the scene- If she broke some rule by spilling water (by accident or malice), they should have arrested her or cited her. They are not judges, and its an abuse of their power to assign and enforce punishments for what they see as disrespect, especially if it means people can miss flights.

  52. bbbici says:

    Fact: a woman was harrassed and detained for water in a small child’s cup.

    This fact supercedes all following idiocy by either party. Therefore the TSA is 100% to blame.

  53. superbmtsub says:

    @jburland: because the TSA agents ARENT flying!

    @h_magoo: the problem is with her behavior towards the TSA. They’re the airport security and behaving inappropriately towards security can get you in trouble. Try dumping water on the floor in a club next to a bouncer who’s in front of you.

    @bbbici: and the TSA agent was harassed by the badge-wielding lady who also went out to dump water on the floor to publicly humiliate the TSA agent. Who’s to blame now?

  54. bbbici says:


    To reiterate:

    Fact: a woman was harrassed and detained for water in a small child’s cup.

    This fact supercedes all following idiocy by either party. Therefore the TSA is 100% to blame.

  55. superbmtsub says:

    @bbbici: So it would be different if a male TSA agent detained a male passenger?

    FYI, the woman wasnt detained for water in a small child’s cup. She was detained by the female TSA Agent for the water dumped from the small child’s cup to the ground resulting in inappropriate behavior towards the airport security staff.

    If I dumped toothpaste on the ground after being told I couldnt take it on the plane, how do you think the TSA agents are going to respond? Also, dumping water on the ground was done to show contempt to the airlines security staff and to simply put them in their place. Any airlines security will detain ppl acting in suspicious manner esp when it involves harassing security.

  56. @bbbici:
    Umm. Let’s see. The lady was trying to break a rule we all know about, and have known about, for years. No liquids through the checkpoint. Everyone knows this rule. When I travel and have to go through a checkpoint I stop at the restroom BEFORE going through checkpoint to dump out any water I might have left in my water-bottle, fully knowing I can refill it when I get through.
    You’re citing a lady who was detained for breaking the rules and thinking she was above them.

    Fact: A women was detained for trying to pass through a check-screen with a banned item.

    Whether or not the banned item should be banned isn’t what we’re arguing here.

    I follow the rules every time I fly, I make sure I don’t have banned items, and if I do I POLITELY dispose of them in an appropriate way.

    This lady got what was coming to her. If I was a screener and she dumped her water on the floor in front of me I’d make her clean it up as well.

  57. bedofnails says:


    She was detained because she was a moronic rule breaker.

  58. jburland says:

    A TSA agent is taking a substance/object that is not permitted on an aircraft into a secure area.
    Can a TSA agent take a knife through?
    A secure area is just that – only objects/substances that have been cleared are allowed in.No exceptions.
    Check what the UK do. Staff are handled as passengers are. No exceptions.

    I’m aware that the liquid component exposive is an urban myth, but lets assume that a TSA can smuggle ANYTHING through security into a secure/sterile area.
    The risks are immense.
    Back to you……

  59. royal72 says:

    “What we find a bit disturbing is the fact that so few of us nowadays are shocked by the idea that someone could be detained or be threatened with arrest by the government for carrying or spilling tap water…”

    my thoughts exactly… it’s also disturbing that the tsa seems to have a savvy pr/marketing department that comes up with stuff like:

    “Most importantly, you are an essential part of what we do. We strive to balance security with the necessity to treat each of you as if you were our only customer.”

    when/how the fuck did i become a customer and if i am, i’d like to immediately cancel the service. thank you.

  60. superbmtsub says:

    @jburland: Can a TSA agent take a knife through? If their job permits them to, yes. If it makes you feel any safer, they carry guns. But they’re NOT allowed to “smuggle” in anything into the secure areas. Just whatever’s permitted for their positions.

    Yea. I dont really buy into all this over-the-top security measures either but there’s no denying that the “secret service” lady was overstepping her boundaries. Pouring water on the floor? Who does she think she is? A janitor? When you’re in an airport, everybody’s the same. Just cuz you have a SS badge doesnt give you the right to do whatever you feel like.

    There are far worse situations of abuse of authority by TSA and you guys are bursting your lungs over a stupid SS-badge-wielding lady who is so used to getting what she wants. Bout time I say.

  61. shdwsclan says:

    Generally, this is because the TSA guards are generally black and the people that get on the planes are generally white….

    So as you can see, if you put a black person in a position of power over a white person, the black person WILL abuse that power indefinetly.

    But as comedy central said….well give them till 2012, which shold be the statute of limitations for any special treatment on racism allogations and the theft…and lazyness….and the foul mouth….o yeah…and the smell, for god sake the smell……

    So there you have it..

    Also, in my opinion, anyone requesting slavery reparations should also have their citizenship discharged and issued US visas. So in fact they will be treated as african citizens taken against their will, and they are still african citizens. So now it is fair.

  62. jeffislouie says:

    I smell some racial prejudice here.

  63. superbmtsub says:

    @shdwsclan: FYI, the female TSA agent dealing with the “white” lady was also “white”.

    Before you jump on another generalization, think of what that same “white” TSA agent would do if YOU dumped water on the ground in front of her?


  64. Mary says:

    You know, this weekend I saw a video about a police officer who got pulled over, and proceeded to cuss out and abuse the officer who pulled him over. He got charged with all kinds of things, and decided that it was all because he was black. It was interesting, because he shouldn’t have been pulled over, but he lost all his credibility and almost lost his job because he decided to be a complete jerk.

    I don’t care who the person is, TSA isn’t “abusing” authority or “power tripping” if they HAVE the authority and are excercising it.

    Disagree with the regulation? That’s fine. Petition, stage protests, argue about it online, I don’t care. Have fun with that, and here’s hoping you make a difference.

    But when you break a rule you should graciously accept the consequences. That’s called being a responsible adult. This woman broke a rule, and since neither her account or the TSA’s seem to remotely match, or match the video, I’d say that while the TSA probably got snippy and rude with her, and while the sippy cup isn’t really a big deal there’s just one final fact that shouldn’t be ignored:

    SHE BROKE A RULE. She knew the rule and broke it anyway. When you read her accout, you can tell she was an “entitlement” type who felt that the rules shouldn’t apply to her. If this is because she was retired secret service or whatever doesn’t matter. She felt entitled when she wasn’t.

    SHE COPPED AN ATTITUDE. If someone in a position of authority is being rude to you, the best defense you have is to be polite and refuse to rise to their bait. Be nice and smile and nod, give them no reason to do anything else to you. Make yourself so clearly the victim that nobody could blame you for whatever happens.

    Instead, this woman opened herself up to criticisms and now she ends up looking like just as much of a fool.

    Good job lady, nice example you’re setting.

    Be an adult, accept consequences, and if you disagree with rules and regulations fight them through perfectly legal channels and make sure you are without blame. Otherwise, you get nowhere.

  65. CLEADD says:

    I’m inclined to take the TSA side here. This transcript from Fox News was pretty slanted (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,284359,00.html). Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s Fox News. But this is different. This is like, Nancy Grace slanted! I hate cable news … and people with egos and attitudes who flash badges and don’t think the rules apply to them.

  66. 160medic says:


  67. Bay State Darren says:

    @tom55522: Certain federal agents are allowed to carry sidearms onto commercial airflights. I don’t know if the U.S. Secret Service is one such agency (It would make a lot of sense to me). I doubt this woman is a federal agent, especially since it hasn’t been confirmed to this point, but if she was and if they are one of the so-empowered agencies, it would make no sense to me that she could cary a gun onto a plane but not a sippy cup of liquid. (In our bureaucracy, though, I’d believe it.)