Your Morning Cup Of TSA Backwash

American citizen with free time declines both backscatter scan and patdown upon re-entering country, ends up being able to walk through security without doing either even after cops are called. [NO BLASTERS!]
TSA head makes ad explaining why there’s nothing to fear. Message belied by ominous grey background. [YouTube]
Reporter goes through pat-down to show us how easy it is. “He uses the back of his hand to check the front of my groin area.” [KDAF]
An “I’ll be groped for Christmas” holiday jingle. [YouTube]
Man opts for third choice: stripping down to his skivvies. Is then arrested and walked through two terminals in his underwear. [NBC San Diego]
SNL reimagines TSA as a sexy 80’s hookup company. [Hulu]


Edit Your Comment

  1. T Daniels says:

    the palm of his hand was on the man’s thigh, the back of his hand touches his “junk”

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    So much for the idea of stripping down to save the TSA time. :/

  3. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    OK, so underwear is out. How about German tourist Speedo’s?

  4. chaesar says:

    this pat-down stuff is straight out of a Chuck Palahniuk novel; behind-the-scenes look at people who are paid to legally grope strangers

  5. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Well, I guess on the one hand it’s good that this guy had 2.5 hours to waste and tested the system. Whether you like what he did or not, he has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no legal requirement for a US citizen to go through TSA screening upon landing in the US after an international flight. The FSD said so, and it’s on record now.

    Keep in mind though that that is a pretty specific case…he’d already gone through TSA-style screening before boarding his flight…so realistically speaking, it’s pretty damned irrational to do such screening again to people getting off the flight – it’s not like you’re going to magically create a WMD while in the air.

    So it may or may not apply to the initial screening process you go through in order to get to your flight in the first place. But, it is an important bit of evidence-on-record demonstrating that there’s no legal requirement to put up with this bit of TSA theater.

    • Brontide says:

      FWIW. All legal citizens have a “right of return”. You may be detained upon probable cause but they can not deny you entry to your own country.

      He also would be legally obligated to go through the TSA screening if he was catching a domestic flight.

      Whomever designed the customs so that there was no exit to baggage claim that did not go back through the terminal is a moron.

      • coldfire409 says:

        At one time you didn’t have to go through the airport screening once you got off a flight. I do agree that if he was catching another flight he would have had to be screened again since he was leaving the secured area, but this isn’t the case. All that was done was he went though customs and then wanted to get his own baggage and leave. They may say he wasn’t detained but for all practical purpose he was detained in the screening area for 2 and a half hours.

    • outlulz says:

      It sounds like after 2.5 hours the supervisor decided he’s not a threat and just someone standing up to them (again). Seeing as he was coming into the country the concern would be more about smuggling than checking for weapons as he had just gotten off a flight safely. They should have had a dog sniff him and his luggage and then let him just go rather than even entertain him.

  6. The cake is a lie! says:

    Holy crap! That NoBlasters one is freakin EPIC!!! That dude is now my official HERO!! I just entered the country again on Saturday and went through no fewer than 8 security check points from the time I left Manila till I arrived home in SLC. It is getting a little redundant to have security checkpoints 100 yards from where you just went through a security checkpoint…

    • Battlehork says:

      Sup dawg, I heard you like security, so we put a security checkpoint right after the security checkpoint so you could get patted down right after you got patted down.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        That’s what I’m saying. Do they seriously think I’m stuffing WMDs down my pants between security checkpoints? And what’s the deal with having to go through these when you are done flying? I’m home now, godammit. I’m not a threat to your precious airplanes. Once I leave those doors, I’m free to put guns in my boots and drugs in my pockets and shower with dynamite dust if I want to. What exactly is this security checkpoint supposed to accomplish when I’m heading straight for the door to leave the airport?? Can’t they just look up my itinerary and see that I’m done flying for the day and there is more important groping I’ve got planned for later that day with someone more important than the TSA which I need to get started on??

        • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

          “…dynamite dust…”

          It’s easier to shower in Nitroglycerin before you add it to a solid. >_>;;

        • dolemite says:

          That’s a good point. I don’t agree with scans and genital gropes BEFORE the flight. What is the point of them AFTER the flight? You might blow up your rental car with yourself inside?

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        heh- I love this meme.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      the thing about that dude’s story that got me was how the tsa supervisor kept trying to intimidate him by calling first the police, and then the fsd, and when those didn’t work he just let him go with an escort. its like do your job layout the options to the OP and proceed as necessary no need to constatly threaten someone so they’ll do what you want them to

    • nbs2 says:

      But, Pissy told me that he hates America, freedom, puppies, apple pie, and moms. If you agree with him, Pissy says that you’re no different than he is. Why do you hate your mother?

  7. lymer says:

    The TSA deserves some praise.

    Nothing has united The LEft, The Right, and libertarians more since the do-not-call list.

  8. Nighthawke says:

    I want that TSA YT clip torn down and reviewed frame for frame. There has to be something embedded in it.

  9. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    my personal choice, I’ve already decided I’m doing this for my next flight in dec, is to wear a kilt w/o undies and opt out of the backscatter @ philly int’l. I figure that’ll dial back the aggressiveness of the patdown

    • deejmer says:

      HAHAHA….i LOVE This idea. Want to grope my junk? Grope my BARE NAKED junk. By they way, be sure to get a massive bout of schwetty balls and jock itch before arriving.

      • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

        well I am taking rapid rover to the airport and because of the christmas travel im sure the van they send will be cramped as usual, and PHL airport is ALWAYS ungodly hot so i think the junk will have some moisture

    • maddypilar says:

      You are not the first person I know to suggest this. I believe my friend suggested that they will have their hands full (of his junk).

      • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

        I may also speak in a scottish brogue, but that might be going too far

        • kc2idf says:

          Only do it if you can get it really right. If it’s a little off, you’re more likely to come off as a parody, rather than making them the parody.

          • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

            well i’m already a black guy wearing a kilt sooooo

    • JonathanR says:

      I just flew out of PHL and never even saw the backscatter machines. I just walked through the normal metal detector.

    • bravohotel01 says:

      Make sure you insist that your groper for the day changes his gloves before laying a hand on your junk.

  10. madmallard says:

    can someone explain why this group needed unionization? Is their employer guilty of grevious indescretions against its own workforce?

    • lymer says:

      Are you seriously asking for reasoning behind government employee unions?

    • Battlehork says:

      Well, they are making them commit sexual assault…

    • Doubts42 says:

      Because they are the scrapings off the bottom of the employment pool. With the average TSA employees lack of skills and basic humanity they would be fired from any job that did not provide union protection.

    • Tim says:

      Employees don’t need to suffer “grevious [sic] indescretions [sic]” from their employer to form a union. You just need to convince a majority of your colleagues that you, as employees, deserve a seat at the table when the employer is making decisions that affect employees.

      Most unions don’t fight dangerous work conditions or abuse on a daily basis. Most get along pretty well with the employer, and are just there to give the employees a voice.

      • madmallard says:

        most don’t have the weight to crush the economy either. if more did, it would be nigh impossible to impose will as an employer on any issue.

  11. dragonfire81 says:

    I love this site, but don’t you think you guys are going a little overboard with the TSA attacks?

  12. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Anyone else get the creepy car-salesman vibe from the head of the TSA? TOO MUCH HAND MOVEMENT

  13. Penn20 says:

    EVERYBODY wants to jump on the ban wagon now. They will all be singing a different song after Obama caves, lightens TSA screening procedures, and as a result someone blows up a plane. I just hope I am not on that plane.

    • Doubts42 says:

      Well since the odds of you dying in your car or a cab to the airport are something like 200 to 1 better than that plane blowing up, I will not lose any sleep over your desire to be fondled by the bottom of the gene pool.

    • pop top says:

      Did you mean “bandwagon”?

    • dolemite says:

      It hasn’t happened yet (meaning the TSA actually catching a bomber), why would it happen now? You are aware the TSA is a relatively new department, and in its history, it has never caught a terrorist, right?

    • Angus99 says:

      So the guy using the SS Totenkopf badge for his avatar is in favor of oppressive state security? Go figure.

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        “when fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts; it will not be with jackboots. It will be Nike sneakers and smiley shirts. Smiley-smiley. … Germany lost the second World War; fascism won it. Believe me, my friend.” ~ George Carlin

    • madmallard says:

      only this security procedure isn’t looking for terrorists, just the tools they MAY use. The plane itself is the weapon, so it makes perfect sense that we’re looking for… things… that people…. may use… to gain control of an airplane somehow..

      …and totally makes sense we’re not looking for people who would want to do this instead.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Not much outrage after 2 planes were nearly blown up by mail bombs. (It seems rather hypocritical to have a skull avatar rather than a penis btw)

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I accept the chance of being blown up in a plane the same as being struck by lighting, shot by a mugger, robbed by a bank, going broke, hit by a drunken driver etc. I more worried about being hit a by a distracted driver on a cell phone at this point.

      I think the movie Point Break says it best when Patrick Swayze tells Kenau Reeves something to effect ‘Fear causes hesitation. Hesitation causes your worst nightmare to come true’.

      All this obessing with the CHANCE the terrorist might blowup a plane thus depriving you of life,liberty and pursuit of happiness is in effect depriving you of those things in the here & now. those very samethings. This is where the terrorists have won.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      Nope, I won’t. Just like after 9/11, I put all the blame on the intelligence community.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      The touch my junk bandwagon is one I’ll never jump on.

      This is nothing but CYA policy by the beaurucrats that want to get re-elected, a good job/contract after retirement and/or not sued. I don’t agree with this policy but in a day and age where you can sue for everything and the sheeple want easily identifiable scapegoats it doesn’t surprise me.

      I take a terrorist attack in stride along with other things like being struck by lighting, mugged, shot, robbed, electrocuted or cracked skull if I slip on a wet floor in a 7-11 buying a slurpee. I don’t want nor will accept life in a bubble boy world.

    • mythago says:

      Since it won’t happen, you won’t be. Save the scare scenarios for Halloween.

    • Rachacha says:

      I don’t think that anyone wants to lessen security. Most people simply believe that the TSA security screening procedures do little if anything to deter terrorism or protect flyers. When was the last time that someone hijacked a plane with a pair of nail clippers, or a 4oz bottle of shampoo? The TSA has created a series of rules and procedures, and that is fine, but when the logic of these policies is questioned, their arguement seems to come apart.
      For example: The ban on liquids and gels over 3.4oz in carry on. TSA has argued that the 3.4oz quantity makes it difficult to assemble a liquid explosive that will cause sufficient damage to a plane to take it down. Fair enough, but I can carry as many 3.4 oz containers as will fit in my quart sized baggie as well as an empty container and mix all of these together after the security point. I can also meet up with a couple friends who have done the same thing, therefore the amount of liquid that can be brought through security is limited only by my network of friends.
      Taking things a bit further, if 3.4oz is not a concern, what about 3.5 oz magically becomes a problem? Many 3.4oz containers can easily fit 3.5oz or more, so the imprinted content amount really does not indicate the total amount of liquid available in the container. In light of the above arguement, I can easily come on board with several gallons of liquid as long as I pass it through security and combine the materials after the checkpoint.
      Next, assuming that everything more than 3.4oz is potentially hazardous, why is this material simply discarded in a normal trash can in close proximity to hundreds of people, usually near large plate glass windows (which would make great shrapnel). And why are these trash containers when full, empltied and placed into a larger dumpster that is pushed through the entire terminal, again, in close proximity to hundreds of people. This large dumpster is then emptied into an even larger trash bin or compactor that is usially under or adjacent to the terminal and may be stored next to jet fuel storage containers.
      TSA’s response to these questions has been to point back to their procedures and citing security concerns as a reason not to respond when people question whether the procedures are reasonable and effective.
      This is the same TSA that cites security concerns when a citizen attempts to film the security screening process, but they have often released video of security screening procedures when someone says they were treated inappropriately to prove to the public that they did nothing wrong. So is it OK to film security screenings, or is it not OK?

      Look, I believe that security is unfortunately necessary to prevent another 9/11 tragedy, and the TSA as a new federal agency is going through some tough times, but they need to look at the procedures that they are imposing and ask themselves what is the effectiveness of this procedure, and what inconveniences will it cause, and what are the loopholes. They keep pointing to the shoe bomber and underwear bomber as to why these rules have been implemented, but the question to really ask is why were these individuals even allowed to get on a plane bound for the US in the first place? What audits have been done to check the effectiveness of the security checkpoints, and how effective were they? If officials tried to sneak things through, and the security agents caught 100% of the banned substances, I think they would be touting that statistic, but as we have not heard any results of any such test, I have to think that the screenings are not very effective.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      You’re right. If things were to change and something bad were to happen, all the dipshits of the world who think these new procedures are actually preventing terrorism will be the first to blame it on the absence of redundant, ineffectual policies. That is a lot easier than checking the facts.

  14. ellemdee says:

    Just read this rather disturbing article this morning:

    Everyone probably kinda assumed it was common sense to change gloves between each person’s patdown. Yeah, not so much. So those gloves that the TSA groper wore to do a crotch check 5 minutes earlier? They’ll now be used to check your face/hair, etc. Way to spread germs, infection, diseases, etc. Eww.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      oh just great, by using the same gloves to search multiple victims the TSA will wind up spreading disease better than any bio weapon could. They’ll will literally help spread disease across the country via AIR mail.

      So the choice is get zapped/irradiated or suffer that lovin feeling only residual bodily fluids can exude.

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        Great. Now not only do I have to be worried about being groped and irradiated, now I got some stranger’s crotch touching my clothes, skin, face and hair.

        Charming. :|

        • outlulz says:

          Since when do they frisk your skin and hair? Can you actually get sick by someone touching your clothing after touching someone else’s clothing? Is this any more of a threat than sitting in a small tube of recycled air for 5 hours?

          • ellemdee says:

            I’ve read multiple reports of the new “enhanced” patdowns including hair searches, or at least the rep feeling the passenger’s head and hair. While each TSA rep may search differently (since we’ve seen how inconsistant the process is), this is certainly a possibility. There have also been reports of them searching people’s junk under their clothing. Even if they simply touched someone’s face and then touch yours, there is still the risk of transmitting nastiness to the next passenger. There is no reason they shouldn’t be changing their gloves between each pat down. The reps don’t even have the sense not to mess with people’s medical devices, so it’s not a stretch to believe that they also haven’t been properly trained on how to prevent the spread of diseases, or else they would not be performing pat downs without a new set of gloves each time. As the article I linked to points out, the gloves are for *their* protection, not the protection of passengers.

            Even people with allergies are put at risk by the reps not changing their gloves. Say they frisk some kid with peanut butter on his shirt, then touch someone with a severe peanut allergy. There are lots of bad scenarios that could occur if they don’t change their gloves.

            • outlulz says:

              But that could be said of anything, anywhere. What if a kid in front of me opened a door with peanut butter on his fingers and then I opened the door next? Hell, have you ever thought about how dirty the luggage scanning machine is that you grab your luggage off of? Or even your armrests on the airplane?

              The whole world is filthy but it’s more more convenient for the current argument to think about only the TSA having dirty hands.

              • mythago says:

                So you’re totally okay if your doctor re-uses gloves between exams, right? I mean, hell, it’s just like that kid with the peanut butter, innit?

                They’re disposable gloves, for crying out loud. How much brainpower does it take for the TSA to instruct its employees to change gloves between pat-downs?

                • outlulz says:

                  My doctor touches all my most fun spots with his gloved hands. The TSA touches them with two layers of clothing in between. And that’s after touching someone else between at least one layer of clothing. There’s a difference to me. And if a TSA is touching someone’s genitals directly then that’s a dumbass employee breaking regulations, and can’t be used as a blanket statement for the entire agency.

                  • theycallmeGinger says:

                    So, if you get a disease from a pat-down, it’s OK because it was by a dumbass employee? Well, you’re right, that does make it all better! I mean, lord knows the TSA is employed with nothing but the most moral, rule-abiding folks evar, so this would be an unusual slip through the cracks! Like this story:


                    You might want to ask yourself why they would have to wear gloves in the first place if there isn’t a reason to…

                    • outlulz says:

                      How would I know if I got a disease from a TSA employee’s search and not from the other thousands of things I interact with every day. How would I know I didn’t get it from sitting in the seat of the airplane since, judging by these comments, venereal diseases can be transferred through numerous layers of clothing and intermediates.

                      And I have no problem with disciplining or prosecuting TSA employees violating their procedures. To me it’s no different than if someone at a restaurant stole my credit card number. I wouldn’t start a blog about how TGIFridays is a corporation of crooks and no employee working there is innocent.

                    • theycallmeGinger says:

                      Touching a person’s parts and then immediately touching another’s parts has no intermediates, especially when gloves are not changed! Great that you always have 2 layers of clothing and no one will ever go under your clothes, because it just doesn’t happen! (Except in the example I gave…) But remember that many will thoroughly “enjoy” the enhanced pat down and choose to go commando or worse. And those who thwart it might do the same. So I’m glad you feel safe.

                      Again, with your logic, I just don’t see why they’d have to wear gloves at all! Do you have an answer for that?

                    • ellemdee says:

                      One of the issues is that’s it’s not even clear if the TSA even *has* a policy regarding changing gloves. From the article I linked:
                      “TSA officials..declined to respond to WND inquiries about the policy for changing gloves to prevent an infection that may be on the clothes or body of one passenger during a pat-down by TSA agents from being transmitted to other passengers, including children, in line.

                      Asked today about the possibility of contamination being spread from one passenger to another on the gloves of TSA agents, a spokesman for the CDC bailed.

                      “Please contact the Dept of Homeland Security and/or TSA on this issue,” the spokesman told WND. “

                      So they might not even be violating a TSA policy if they pat down hundreds of people one day, then put the same gloves back on the continue pat downs the next day. Many of the TSA issues are systemic and not just the fault of one of two “rogue” employees. They aren’t properly trained or instructed on how to prevent their security procedures from jeopardizing the public’s health any more than necessary. Proper handling of medical issues and changing of gloves for each person will reduce the risk of spreading infection and disease. This is well established. How can anyone argue against that?

                      A door knob is filthy, but I have a choice not to rub my face on it. If the TSA employee touched a bathroom doorknob while wearing gloves that they then want to use while inspecting your glasses, hat, hair, or anything else they consider suspicious, you don’t have a choice in the matter.

                  • ellemdee says:

                    It’s not a blanket statement, it’s a risk. It does happen, whether it should or not. Even if there is a layer of clothing between the gloves and the person before you, there’s still a risk of transmitting infection, germs, or disease. They can easily have direct skin-to-glove contact with someone’s feet, face, neck, arm, or leg, even if they remain fully clothed during the pat down. They could have a skin condition, athletes’ foot, or some other easily transmittable condition. And next those gloves are touching you. Not a risk they should be forcing the public to take.

                    • outlulz says:

                      It’s the same risk you take any time you touch anything in a public place. Again, stop pretending the world isn’t already a filthy place. Those same people the TSA are frisking are also touching other things that you have touched and will touch. You would have the same exposure to them with or without the TSA as an intermediate.

                    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                      it’s not the same risk for some of us. i don’t go around rubbing my insulin infusion site on the clothing of someone who just picked at a skin infection and wiped it on their own sleeve. but if the TSA agent pats that person down and then touches my infusion site with the same glove, they’ve just contaminated my infusion site.
                      normally that site is covered by my clothes, and a plastic medical sterile tape thing. but it’s pretty clear from the news lately that the TSA is really likely to be trying to identify the port coming out my belly by putting their dirty hands on it.

                  • mythago says:

                    So, again, because you can get germs in the waiting room, you’re totally OK with your doctor not changing gloves between patients? I mean, you’re not trying to pretend that the world is something other than a filthy place, right?

                  • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                    no, they are touching skin in some cases. the article linked above includes an link to an ABC employee reporting that the TSA agent stuck her hands in the passenger’s underwear.

                    and yes, it’s against procedure. doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              eh, i’ve read reports on them putting their hands in kids diapers.

          • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

            I have very long hair, and often wear it loose. Whenever a pat-down is called for, it often includes the back of the neck, and lower scalp, in cases like mine.

        • ellemdee says:

          Hey, some people pay good money for those things. Just consider it a complimentary perk from our friends at the TSA.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      Think I just threw up a little in my mouth after reading that.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      oh yeah, this just reinforces my resolution to not ever let them near my medical devices which are stuck in my skin – basically a covered, sterile, but open wound if they mess with the tape
      also… damnit, i was about to go to lunch!!! ugh

  15. u1itn0w2day says:

    Do the some assembly required kit bombs really work? Are they really the big threat?

    Do you really think the underwear bomber was the first terrorist to try this? How many undiscovered attempts were there?

    But really are the some assembly required kit bombs really a threat worth all this attention?

  16. swimman1 says:

    We all lose our rights once we hit airport security. At that time, we are a prisoner of the gov’t. What a pain in the neck air travel is these days. I understand precautions have to be taken but most of the process is a joke/smoke screen.

    If a terrorist wants on, they will get on. There is always a way to defeat the system and this goes for any industry. Build a better safe and the safe-cracker will find new ways in. Build more secure software and updated anti-virus software and technologies will come out.

    I WILL NEVER GO THOUGH THE SCANNERS and hopefully I can get a member of the opposite sex to molest me at security.

    • outlulz says:

      But the question is, if a terrorist can always get through and screening does nothing, does that just mean we have no security and let anyone on?

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        I think the degree of security the sheeple of America WANT or ASSume they can get is unrealistic and impractical especially when trying to be legal & ethical.

        But the government beaurucrats and terrorist want reactionary responses because it’s gives them justification to further their agendas.

  17. catskyfire says:

    On the guy who didn’t go through scatter or get the pat down. My only comment is this: “I filled out the customs declarations, confirmed that I hadn’t set foot on any farmland, and answered questions about the chocolates that I had purchased in Switzerland.” He believes these questions and such aren’t necessary for security. Technically, he is right. It’s not ‘security’ that asks about farmland. It’s the Department of Agriculture, which is trying to make sure you’re not bringing something unpleasant back with you that can damage our ecosystem.

  18. ellemdee says:

    Another example of the “effectiveness” of the TSA:

    They confiscated a soldier’s nail clippers because they “could be used as a weapon”, meanwhile they were all carrying pistols, rifles, and machine guns (unloaded, but still). So they could have actual weapons, but nothing that “could be used as a weapon”. Just let that sink in for a minute….

    Really? Soldiers can’t be trusted with clippers (which I believe the TSA isn’t even banning any more anyway)? Way to focus on the real threats, TSA.

  19. pridkett says:

    The summary of the story at NoBlasters is INCORRECT. The many was not allowed entry into the secure area of the airport. ATL and CVG (his final destination and first destination in the US) have this weird process where even if they are your final destination you need to go back through security and re-check your luggage. What he writes WILL NOT WORK if you are trying to board a flight. It is specific to narrow situations at airports where international customs only has one exit and it’s back to the secure area of the airport. The let him through because they had no legal grounds to hold him there.

  20. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    “Wolanyk was arrested for refusing to complete the security process. A woman, identified by Harbor police as Danielle Kelli Hayman,39, of San Diego was detained for recording the incident on a phone.”

    So, you’re arrested if you decide to just leave the airport without getting groped. And you’re arrested if you’re brazen enough to videotape this abuse of government power. WTF, America?