April 25, 2012

Why fly?

Filed under: Government, Liberty, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 00:06

Amy Alkon on yet another blatant attempt by the TSA to lord it over passengers, especially the young, weak, and vulnerable:

Chris Morran on Consumerist excerpts a Facebook post from a Montana mom, Michelle Brademeyer, who was flying home from Kansas with her two young children and their grandmother. Grandma apparently triggered some alarm at the checkpoint, and was forced to have a seat and wait to be groped by an agent. That’s when the 4-year-old ran over to give Granny a hug. Sweet — until the TSA went all police state on them. The mother writes:

[. . .]

First, a TSO began yelling at my child, and demanded she too must sit down and await a full body pat-down. I was prevented from coming any closer, explaining the situation to her, or consoling her in any way. My daughter, who was dressed in tight leggings, a short sleeve shirt and mary jane shoes, had no pockets, no jacket and nothing in her hands. The TSO refused to let my daughter pass through the scanners once more, to see if she too would set off the alarm. It was implied, several times, that my Mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter.

My child, who was obviously terrified, had no idea what was going on, and the TSOs involved still made no attempt to explain it to her. When they spoke to her, it was devoid of any sort of compassion, kindness or respect. They told her she had to come to them, alone, and spread her arms and legs. She screamed, “No! I don’t want to!” then did what any frightened young child might, she ran the opposite direction.

That is when a TSO told me they would shut down the entire airport, cancel all flights, if my daughter was not restrained. It was then they declared my daughter a “high-security-threat”.

[. . .]

The TSO loomed over my daughter, with an angry grimace on her face, and ordered her to stop crying. When my scared child could not do so, two TSOs called for backup saying “The suspect is not cooperating.” The suspect, of course, being a frightened child. They treated my daughter no better than if she had been a terrorist…

A third TSO arrived to the scene, and showed no more respect than the first two had given. All three were barking orders at my daughter, telling her to stand still and cease crying. When she did not stop crying on command, they demanded we leave the airport. They claimed they could not safely check my daughter for dangerous items if she was in tears. I will admit, I lost my temper.

Finally, a manager intervened. He determined that my child could, in fact, be cleared through security while crying. I was permitted to hold her while the TSO checked her body. When they found nothing hidden on my daughter, they were forced to let us go, but not until after they had examined my ID and boarding passes for a lengthy amount of time. When we arrived at our gate, I noticed that the TSOs had followed us through the airport. I was told something was wrong with my boarding pass and I would have to show it to them again. Upon seeing the TSO, my daughter was thrown into hysterics. Eventually, we were able to board our flight.

Terrorize ’em young and they stay terrorized, pliable, and afraid to confront authority. It won’t be long before the TSA is Tasing ’em before they can run away (if they don’t already have that power).


  1. Being in the military I have seen this a couple of times. The some of the TSA (and Cnd Border Services Agency) agents are the type of people who should never be given any authority what so ever. They don’t know how to use authority, or how to exercise restraint. They are just full authoritarian and expect people to respect the authority. Like I said, I have seen people promoted to higher rank who gain authority but not respect, and then wield the authority without thought or restraint.

    They could fix this by training and promoting people properly, but that takes time and work, which they don’t seem to want to expend. Common sense also seems to have fled, scared by the bone head simplicity of treating everyone, regardless of age, as a “suspect”.

    Comment by Dwayne — April 25, 2012 @ 09:31

  2. Perhaps even more to the point is that the kind of people the TSA has been recruiting are — in many cases — the sort of people who have never been given a position of responsibility or authority before. And for lots of them, there were reasons nobody had given them those kinds of roles. Petty tyrants are likely to enjoy exercising their new-found power over others and require obvious, immediate, fawning deference to their superiority.

    The TSA, in particular, would probably have to be completely disbanded to resolve the problem: training and supervision can only go so far to address the problem of small souled individuals finally being given authority over their “betters”.

    Comment by Nicholas — April 25, 2012 @ 09:46

  3. Well said. The main thing is that people need to understand that to talk back to these folks is to “defy their authority” and will just cause trouble for themselves. The only way to deal with them is to just smile and do as they say and get away from them as fast as possible.

    Comment by Dwayne — April 25, 2012 @ 12:47

  4. There are authoritarian jerkwads everywhere. But when they act with the power of the state the best thing you can do is (as you say) smile, cooperate, and get the hell away from them. Then get in front of a judge.

    That said, a few thousand more 4-year-olds are going to have to be treated like perps before the bulk of the civilised world figures out that a whole host of post-9/11 security measures are worthless tyranny.

    Comment by Chris Taylor — April 25, 2012 @ 18:46

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