Friday, April 25, 2008

The TSA Puppy Program

TSA announced in March we were going to be training and deploying TSA employee-led canine teams. Since then, we’ve had two classes graduate at Lackland Air Force base. That’s 18 K-9s!

The deployment of additional explosives detection canine teams will significantly enhance TSA’s threat readiness and response capabilities at air cargo facilities nationwide. There are currently 500 K-9 teams in the field. Over the next two years the TSA plans to add 400 more teams. Of those teams, 85 will be TSA-led teams while the rest will be TSA-certified teams through our law enforcement partnership program.

Before our dogs can go through this training, they have to get through their puppy stages. You know… biting, barking, jumping, begging, digging and so forth. (My knuckleheaded dog is six and still does all of that) We have established a “puppy foster family” program to help accomplish the task of socializing our future bomb sniffers, and we’ve event sent some puppies to prison. I’m only kind of joking… they’re not bad and they’re not being punished. Like the puppies with the foster families, they are spending time every day socializing with people and getting used to sights and sounds and smells of their new unexplored surroundings.

The puppies are booked into the Travis County State Jail in Austin for a year and are cared for and offered companionship by prisoners on good behavior. It’s a win-win for all involved. The puppy foster family program is similar to puppy prison except the families are not paying a debt to society.

So if you’re interested, you either need to live in the San Antonio/Austin, Texas area or get locked up at the state pokey. (Make sure you stay on good behavior)



Shepherds, Belgian Malanoises, Labs, Vizslas and other types of dogs are used in the program because of their super sniffers and a successful history for this type of work. Each dog that is born into the TSA breeding program is named after a 9/11 victim.

The TSA provides all food, toys, veterinary care and kennels. Make sure you visit the puppy program Web page if you’re interested.

Bob
TSA EoS Blog Team

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob, please tell me that this isn't a distraction for the MMW program.

NoClu said...

Oooo Cute Puppy.

I'm now distracted from my distain for the TSA by the cuteness of the puppy.

Gunner said...

Quick, check again, that puppy may have nipple rings.....

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm not usually one to think you're making a post to "bury" an old post, but this is about as blatant as it gets.

winstonsmith said...

Quick! Look over there! The MMW post has been a disaster and is making us look bad. Put the cutest puppy in the world on there and hope it all goes away soon... Hate to tell you Bob... but we are not going away.

Anonymous said...

1 - I am happy the TSA finally is inventing a new way to improve security that does not further inconvenience and cause embarrassment to the passenger.

2 - I will not be distracted by little doggies to the scandalous use of invasive full body scans.

Anonymous said...

Clue: when you find yourself at the bottom of an ever deepening hole, stop digging.

Bob said...

winstonsmith said...Quick! Look over there! The MMW post has been a disaster and is making us look bad. Put the cutest puppy in the world on there and hope it all goes away soon... Hate to tell you Bob... but we are not going away. April 25, 2008 6:12 PM

Winston, I don't want you to go away. If that were my strategy, why would I still be at work on a Friday at 6:20 PM researching questions and answers for that very post?

That is a cute puppy though, isn't it?

Bob

TSA EoS Blog Team

DoogieSD said...

Bob,

Great program! Thanks for all you folks are doing to make things a little easier for us and protecting the homeland...

I hope one day the world shapes up and you are "out of a job" :) :)

winstonsmith said...

That is a cute puppy though, isn't it?

There is no such thing as an uncute puppy or kitten. In all seriousness though Bob, putting this post up so quickly while there are so many outstanding unanswered questions out there about the millimeter wave strip search machine doesn't do the TSA's image any good at all.

A lot of people (including myself) have asked a lot of questions, and there have been nearly no answers coming from the TSA. Like I said before, I don't envy you your job. You are tasked with defending the indefensible.

Anonymous said...

I take it that the TSA executives who assigned Bob to write that post about millimeter wave strip searches being "nonoffensive" and "suitable for the cover of Reader's Digest" have finally been informed that we're not buying it. They probably had several classified meetings with dozens of PowerPoint charts to devise a strategy to counter this latest threat to national security. Then they met with their Public Relations consultants, prepared more classified PowerPoint charts to brief their superiors, and finally agreed on the appropriate strategy: Assign Bob to write another post about puppies that are cute enough to distract everyone from the serious issues of bullying and electronic strip searches! After all, how could anyone distrust any oppressive government agency that has such cuuuute puppies?

I'll tell you what, Bob (and Kip). I'll trust the puppies. I'll let them sniff me and my belongings all the want (as long as you let me pet them when they're done). But my opinion of the TSA isn't changing, as long as some screener confiscates my 1-ounce sunscreen bottle because he made up a rule that it has to be in a manufacturer's labeled bottle, and as long as you keep insisting that a millimeter wave scanner (also found in prisons) is something other than a strip search that's a major invasion of privacy.

Love the puppies. Distrust the owner.

trollkiller said...

Distraction Dog to the rescue.

I would bust you out on the distraction but I see everyone else already has, so I am just going to have fun with the doggie picture.

You should have used this photo instead.

trollkiller said...

winstonsmith said...

There is no such thing as an uncute puppy or kitten.


I hate to disagree with you Winston but there are some ugly puppies.

winstonsmith said...

I hate to disagree with you Winston but there are some ugly puppies.

Trollkiller, not even. He's way cute. But you're going to be hard pressed to find a dog or cat that I don't like so maybe I'm biased.

Did you see that Bob finally put up some signs on the Millimeter Wave post? I noticed that they're just in English though... nothing for our non-English speaking friends. No frontal view (oh that's right... SSI) and no mention that they're about to undergo what amounts to an electronic jailhouse strip search.

I wonder what TSA's reaction would be to a protester or group of protesters standing at the entrance to the security lines, not blocking entrance, but handing people pamphlets describing what the MMW was really about. How many people would choose that over the pat down then?

Anonymous said...

I look forward to having a dog to help enforce the arbitrary rules of some hirsute mesomorph TSA officer who failed to land a job in law enforcement. Epic. Fail. TSA.

Bartlett said...

Man, there are some seriously cranky people here. MMW is worth talking about, but after a while the steady polemic drone fails to impress. I gave up on those posts about a hundred comments ago.

The posts aren't gone, though, and the cheering section seems unabated there, so why not end a Friday afternoon with a picture of a puppy? It's even topical.

FWIW, just got back from yet another business trip (ATL this time, coming back home). Lines were about 10 minutes, the screener smiled at me, and the only hitch was that the tub with my shoes had the image cut in half by the machine, so they had to re-run it. Not a single egregious civil rights violation in sight, and the delay waiting for the stupid cab was worse than the delay through security.

Like I've said before here, I'm up for a discussion any time about the utility of security theater, the degree to which the current approach (which reminds me a little of the ancient levees-only policy for Mississippi flood control) can work, the civil rights questions, and all the rest. It's not that the system is as it should be, or that what TSA is trying for is advisable.

But on Friday afternoon after the week I had, and even with immediate personal experience of TSA virtually every day, I appreciate the puppy.

trollkiller said...

winstonsmith said...

Did you see that Bob finally put up some signs on the Millimeter Wave post? I noticed that they're just in English though... nothing for our non-English speaking friends. No frontal view (oh that's right... SSI) and no mention that they're about to undergo what amounts to an electronic jailhouse strip search.


I don't worry or even care that the signs are only in English, but then again I am a conservative. What does bother me is the image for the third sign has a section that is "cut out" and that the sign appears to be intended for the back side of the sign above it.

The cut out could just be a imaged that messed up if they were converting from PDF to JPG or it could mean that the sign is bogus and someone can not handle Paint very well.

winstonsmith said...

I don't worry or even care that the signs are only in English, but then again I am a conservative. What does bother me is the image for the third sign has a section that is "cut out" and that the sign appears to be intended for the back side of the sign above it.

The cut out could just be a imaged that messed up if they were converting from PDF to JPG or it could mean that the sign is bogus and someone can not handle Paint very well.


Point well taken about the messed up signs Trollkiller. Whatever your feelings about English only in general life around the US, one of the places where multiple languages is very appropriate is at an international airport. LA, NY, Phoenix, Chicago, etc., are all very heavily traveled ports of entry for international visitors and immigrants, many of whom do not speak English or speak it well, but all of whom are protected by the Constitution -- at least while they are guests in our country. This is my point in bringing this issue up, just to keep things clear. We can save the larger debate on "English as the official language of the US" for another time and place.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Could you please post a frontal image of a MMW scan of the puppy?

Anonymous said...

Can we have front and rear images of the puppy going through the MMW imager please?

Either just say your not going to provide the front and rear strip search images or prove the point that these images are perfectly ok for children like was stated in the post.

The MMW issue is not going away, no matter how TSA attempts to deflect attention elsewhere.

DoogieSD said...

winstonsmith said...

I noticed that they're just in English though... nothing for our non-English speaking friends."


THATS Right, DAMNIT Bob lets get those signs in the 1,000+ languages and dialect's there are in the world...

And on every immigration and customs form we print, damit Its THE WORLDS God Given right to sort through 500 pages of documents and a 10X20 foot sign on a 4x7 foot device to try and read for our "non-English" friends...

Please make sure this all happens at tax payer expense...

(end sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

Dogs pose a particularly difficult security problem at TSA checkpoints. They have six nipples, any or all of which could contain a dangerous piercing. They'll have to change the rules yet again, I suppose.

I can also suggest an easy way for Bob to satisfy our demands to see a frontal millimeter wave scan. Just post a scan of a puppy from the front. That will surely offend nobody, and indeed be suitable for the cover of Reader's Digest or for posting in a preschool. And it probably would be gosh darned cute, if a bit fuzzy (but the pattern of waves reflecting off a cold wet nose might reveal SSI information). Bob's post, after all, never specifically said millimeter wave scans of humans were "nonoffensive."

Dave Nelson said...

Great way to deflect attention from electronic strip-searching. You're counting on the average American's short attention span. The sad aspect of this is that you are probably correct.

Are these puppies also going to be training to sniff out drugs? Just think about all the other stuff you could just "happen" to find in the course of a screening.

Are you going to train your screeners to fake a hit with the dogs as some cops have been known to do at traffic stops?

Just think, TSA, the possibilities for future harassment are endless.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

Clue: when you find yourself at the bottom of an ever deepening hole, stop digging.

April 25, 2008 6:20 PM"

Let the puppy dig your way out.

I still think you should use rescue dogs, there are many suitable breeds.

winstonsmith said...

I noticed that they're just in English though... nothing for our non-English speaking friends."

THATS Right, DAMNIT Bob lets get those signs in the 1,000+ languages and dialect's there are in the world...


Doogiesd, your snark did not go unnoticed, and I understand your position -- even though I may not personally share it. Take a look at my response to Trollkiller at 9:27pm which may not have been posted when you put your post up.

What I don't want to have happen here is to get lost in a side argument about whether English should be the official language of the US. The real issue here is whether the TSA is ensuring that people understand exactly what the millimeter wave machine is about. If the signs said in clear language that the mmw looked through your clothing down to your skin I think a great deal fewer people would be willing to subject themselves to this because they would see it for the strip search that it is. They don't. There is not a frontal picture of a person showing just what the screener gets to see. The screenee does not see the person doing the looking (which opens up yet another can of worms -- how are we to know if we can't observe the process that the TSA is following its own rules?)

Anonymous said...

Bob, While you're researching answers, research the answer to the question about why very small knives are prohibited while 4" scissors and knitting needles are not.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see the point of this blog anymore. This just seems to be the same twenty or so people complaining anonymously over and over again. Being referred to as gestapo pervert idiots who only have this job because a) noone else wanted it b) we couldn't get a job in law enforcement and needed a place to exercise our powermad desires or c) that all TSOs are gay and wanted to grope people of the same gender, does get annoying. I have seen comments that are completely idiotic. "TSA lies, so give me proof I'll believe!" "Only one person tried a shoebomb, so why are shoes still coming off?" Uh, hello, it almost worked! If people weren't taking shoes off, they would have tried again.
7 year tso

Anonymous said...

"I look forward to having a dog to help enforce the arbitrary rules of some hirsute mesomorph TSA officer who failed to land a job in law enforcement. Epic. Fail. TSA."

"Hirsute mesomorph" For those without a word-a-day calender, that means hairy musclebound person. Does that also apply to those that retired from Law Enforcement and the military? How about those that NEVER wanted to work law enforcement?
7 year tso

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to read about all the problems people have with the security check points. While not an absolute gaurantee at least they represent a first line of defense and if that means I have to remove my shoes and pull some toothpaste out of my bag so be it. I travel a lot and while security is a necessary part of the travel day, I don't find it all that bad. Maybe some of the whiners in this blog should do the simple things like "Plan Ahead" for the time in the security line. It used to be where the security group was a little untrained on handling people through the line especially the irrate ones but they have improved tremendously. I don't find the TSA people to be a problem, I find it is the idiots in line who seem terribly confused on how to remove their shoes, remove a small bag of liquids from their bag, take their laptop out, remove their keys and 40lbs of quarters. As you can see most of my problems come from the passangers with vapor lock that seem to get confused very easy. I wouldn't doubt if they are the main bloggers on this blog. My hats off to the TSA for at least trying. I would only ask that you continue to push for better technology and break throughs in continuous improvements in trainng your people, especially to handle the problem passengers. Also, don't let any administration/legislature deteriorate the continued emphasis on stopping the terrorists. They are out there everyday and good bad or indifferent your jobs are important and represent a line of defense. Keep up the good work and continue to improve.

Anonymous said...

"I find it is the idiots in line who seem terribly confused on how to remove their shoes, remove a small bag of liquids from their bag, take their laptop out, remove their keys and 40lbs of quarters. As you can see most of my problems come from the passangers with vapor lock that seem to get confused very easy. I wouldn't doubt if they are the main bloggers on this blog."

Exactly! About time someone said it. The problems I have seen have almost entirely been caused by the passengers who refuse to read the signs and who refuse to listen to the loudspeakers and who fail to follow the examples of the people ahead of them in line.
7 year tso

Anonymous said...

tsyhazsYou people would Criticize any that TSA does get a grip. Give up on the MMW because they will be there if we like them or not so if they are there and you wan't to stand in line longer so be it. I my self will take the fastest meathod as will my wife and daughter. I have shown them and you are worried because? Sorry back on track so they would like home for their puppies. Does everything have to be a Conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Todays Drabble cartoon fits you TSA types to a T.

Perhaps some changes are needed, eh?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I find it is the idiots in line who seem terribly confused on how to remove their shoes, remove a small bag of liquids from their bag, take their laptop out, remove their keys and 40lbs of quarters. As you can see most of my problems come from the passangers with vapor lock that seem to get confused very easy. I wouldn't doubt if they are the main bloggers on this blog."

Exactly! About time someone said it. The problems I have seen have almost entirely been caused by the passengers who refuse to read the signs and who refuse to listen to the loudspeakers and who fail to follow the examples of the people ahead of them in line.
7 year tso

April 27, 2008 10:58 AM

It seems that you might not be really a tso since the first class of MSF were sworn in March 2002 and the first TSOs weren't sworn in for months later so the most you could be is maybe 5-51/2 year TSO so if your coments have any crdibility be honest in your date of hire, it sounds like someone who isn't even with TSA stiring the pot.

Anonymous said...

I worked with the screening company prior to TSA taking over. Plus I like the sound of 7 year tso better than 6yr 8mos tso.

7 year tso

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

It seems that you might not be really a tso since the first class of MSF were sworn in March 2002 and the first TSOs weren't sworn in for months later so the most you could be is maybe 5-51/2 year TSO so if your coments have any crdibility be honest in your date of hire, it sounds like someone who isn't even with TSA stiring the pot.


They bring guns to work when it is against the rules and you expect them to be able to count too?

P.S. the TSO was not fired for it.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of the whiners in this blog should do the simple things like "Plan Ahead" for the time in the security line. It used to be where the security group was a little untrained on handling people through the line especially the irrate ones but they have improved tremendously.


Whiners rejoice, it is working even if Kip does not fully get it yet. Here is a quote from the Kipper about the whiners "It's not personal. It's a frustration that says, 'I don't think security makes any sense,'"

Kip, we the whiners think security makes sense, we would like to see some real security like making sure our bags are not COMPROMISED after we give them to the TSA not play security like "cop" uniforms for screeners.

Bob said...

Check out yesterday's ABC Good Morning America piece on the TSA K-9 program.

Bob

TSA EoS Blog Team

Trollkiller said...

Bob said...

Check out yesterday's ABC Good Morning America piece on the TSA K-9 program.


The dogs are cute and will be a good addition, but am I the only one that thinks naming them after dead victims is a bit tacky?

Dunstan said...

"Trollkiller said...

The dogs are cute and will be a good addition, but am I the only one that thinks naming them after dead victims is a bit tacky?"

I think the whole program would get a boost if they used young rescue dogs. Naming rescue dogs after 9/11 victims would be hard to find fault with. Breeding dogs for this program, fostering them for a year, and then sorting them for performance does nothing to alleviate the shelter dog problem.

Ayn R. Key said...

Dear Blog Team,

1. The demonstrations about imaging technology only shows an image of a man from the rear as proof that frontal images will not show any intimate details. To further support the promise that intimate details are not shown, the viewing screen used by the TSA is carefully protected from view by the public. Given the track record of the TSA on "just trust us" issues, do you really feel yet another "just trust us but don't verify" is a way to increase public trust in the TSA? What measures are being taken to ensure that images from your new advanced technologies are not overly invasive and do not ever leave the TSA?

2. Every chemist who has been asked has answered that there is no scientific basis for the 3-1-1 rule, a binary liquid explosive that is undetectable, stable, and can be easily turned into an explosive. Yes, we know about the London plot, with some guys who had no equipment and no knowledge and no plans beyond the "gee this would be a neat idea" stage, but the fact is that science has refuted both their plot and your rule. We know that the TSA has some data that contradicts the scientific facts, that they have research that contradicts scientific laws, but the TSA research is "classified" and the message from the TSA is "just trust us" with regards to a rule that violates the laws of nature. It's obvious that the TSA itself knows the rule lacks any scientific basis by the free mixing of liquids in an unshielded trash can at the check point. Given all of that, why do you keep the 3-1-1 rule?

3. It is TSA policy that TSOs do not have the authority to deny someone the right to fly. It is also TSA policy to not give additional screening to someone as a punishment for complaining. Note, the order of events in that statement is not extra screening leading to complaint, but complaint leading to extra screening. This question has nothing to do with avoiding extra screening by complaining about it - this question has everything to do with getting extra screening because one dared to complain about the TSA. Given that TSOs still hold complainers for extra screening, and given that holding someone for extra screening until after their plane is in the air is de facto denial of flight (although apparently not de jure), is there any plan in place to dicipline screeners to conduct retaliatory screening and de facto denial of flight?

4. Given that nipple rings are clearly not deadly weapons, clearly not disguised weapons, and that a visual inspection was actually offered as a means to solve the alarm situation, why was the traveler with the nipple rings forced to remove them?

5. In the near future, when REAL ID is implemented, the TSA has determined that the only valid IDs for flying are IDs that conform to REAL ID requirements. Several states have announced that they are either delaying or outright denying the REAL ID requirements for their drivers licenses. What plans does the TSA have to give additional screening to 100% of the travelers from those states? Have additional personnel requirements and additional space requirements already been analyzed? Given that one of those states is California, with several major national and international hubs, do you think that the insistance on REAL ID instead of a regular drivers license is overly onerous a burden?

6. The biggest security hole is after the TSA inspects baggage and before the baggage is put on the airplane. Since the luggage is all either unlocked or bearing a TSA approved lock that can be easily defeated, and the TSA specifically denies any responsiblity for the baggage after screening, what is to stop a baggage handler from either stealing from the bags or planting a dangerous item in the luggage?

7. What measures are being taken to ensure that terrorists themselves do not infiltrate the TSA with the objective of becoming TSOs and therefore bypass security to get deadly devices planted on airplanes? If you cannot answer that for security reasons, can you tell us if any measures are in place at all?

8. Given that this blog is about facilitating communication, why does nobody on the blog team ever answer comments in any but the most recent entry? Why are these very questions occasionally censored?

The common theme in these questions is that the TSA has an institutional impediment to admitting error. The closest you ever come is "we are reviewing policies." Even the TSA knows the 3-1-1 rule has no scientific backing, but to repeal that regulation is to admit they did something wrong. They cannot admit they did something wrong. Therefore the rule cannot be repealed. The more I question them about their obvious mistakes, the harder it is for them to avoid admitting you made a mistake. They can, and do, make mistakes. They erred on the 3-1-1 rule, they erred on the piercings, they are going to err on REAL ID.

The common theme in the answers previously given is that not even the TSA believes what the TSA tells the public. It would be insulting if you thought your official statement ware meant to be believed. If you actually thought that statements were serious you would be showing contempt for our intelligence. Instead you are simply showing contempt for us. That is beyond insult. It shows you do not care enough about us to even insult us.

marsha said...

aahhhh!! I want to be a puppy foster parent. I'm thinkin it would be difficult to give the puppy back once I am done with it...I probably should just admire from afar.

Anonymous said...

I think shelter dogs aren't used because they can have hidden mental and health issues that might manifest at very bad times.
7 year tso

Dunstan said...

"Anonymous said...

I think shelter dogs aren't used because they can have hidden mental and health issues that might manifest at very bad times.
7 year tso"

The dogs are usually checked over by a vet and evaluated, so I don't see this as an issue. I adopted a dog 17 months ago and he was perfectly healthy, and has no other issues. Puppy mills, failure to neuter pets and poor breeding practice have all contributed to a glut of abandoned animals that could be used by programs like the TSA dog program. Why breed dogs for the program, and then evaluate them, and reject them if they don't meet the standard, when you could just adopt year old dogs that pass the evaluation process? To me this TSA program seems wasteful, counter-productive, and adds to the growing number of animals that are potentially uncared for.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

I think shelter dogs aren't used because they can have hidden mental and health issues that might manifest at very bad times.


You make it sounds like the dogs would be walking around pushing shopping carts and barking to themselves.

Seriously I think you are right. If they used shelter dogs that may have been abused, the dogs might bite for an unexpected reason.

We had a dog we left with some neighbors when we moved. After about 6 months we visited the dog and found him chewed up with fleas and pretty much neglected at the end of a chain. We took him back. Over a year passed and the dog was as docile as ever, until one of my parent's friends went to pet the dog on the neck. The dog attacked.

Come to find out the neighbor we left the dog with would get drunk and beat the dog. When my parent's friend reached to the dog's neck to pet him, the dog smelled beer on his breath and attacked.

Anonymous said...

ok This is very simple 99.9% of the people who are going to be refered to the MMW are people with metal implants such as Knees or hips. so if you dont have a metal implant you would walk through the metal detector and be on your way. unless your not smart enough to understand that keys, cell phones, coins, and anything else on the left side of the Periodic Table is a metal you will make it through the metal detector with no problem. but if you do alarm you get a second chance.

So that proves that only people with metal implants will be subjest to this machine but then they also have the choice of the MMW of a pat down that they have been getting for years and years.

So if you dont have a metal implants you have nothing to say on this subject.

I for one do have a hetal hip and 2 knees and i would rather someone take a naked picture of me than grope me. i have been offering for years just to walk through naked but i guess this(MMW) will work fine for me too

its not that difficult to make it through security. Im laughing with the TSOs each time i go through (mainly about you people on this blog who would rather complain than compliment)

Heres a story that happened to me once:
I was in cleveland flying out and they have this machine called the COBRA(its really cool you can leave everything in your bag including your laptops and 311 bags) and they have a TSO standing out infront of the machine telling people to leave everything in their bags this Tso phrased that about 7 different ways and was very polite about it. the people infront of me stared at himlike he was speaking a different language or something and said that he was lying to make it more difficult for them. The TSO then pointed out the sign stating what he just said and the PAX infront of me said the sign was wrong they then took out their laptops and 311 bags as i laugh a bit the TSO came up to me and said now you know what i deal with everyday.

P.S. so give the TSOs a break they have a difficult job that gets no appreication.

marsha said...

@Ayn R. Key



I imagine the TSA Blog team does not have time to answer everyone's questions.

1. It's a blurry image front or back. It allows for TSOs to see if there are any hidden items. Why do you "need" to see the front side?

2. Every Chemist? I'm pretty positive every chemist hasn't weighed in on this particular subject. Just because TSA doesn't give you instruction on how to make an explosive device using chemicals doesn't mean it's not possible.

3. This is just stupid. I have heard this argument over and over again. Arrive early, you won't miss your flight even if you are selected for additional screening.

4. As for the nipple ring or any other ring. You know you are going thru a metal detector. Nipple rings are metal. I do not wish to see a naked boob or any other part of a passengers anatomy. If the area alarms, what ever is alarming needs to be removed. It's not that difficult of a concept. If you have a nickle in the pocket of your pants I ask you to remove the item and then I check the area again. The nickle is not dangerous either. It's the same thing with the nipple ring.

5. I fail to see why having valid ID on your person is an issue at all. If you don't have a valid ID you get additional screening. Also not a hard concept.

6. All baggage is screened. People are hired by people. People are not perfect there is bound to be a few bad apples. I wish this wasn't so but it is. TSA wants you to get to your destination safely and with "all" of your belongings. The airlines wants you to get to your destination safely with "all" of your belongings.

7. When I was hired I filled out an extensive background check going back 7 to 10 years. Even law abiding citizen are sometimes terrorist. They come in all shapes and sizes.

Dunstan said...

"Trollkiller said...

Seriously I think you are right. If they used shelter dogs that may have been abused, the dogs might bite for an unexpected reason."

Shelter dogs are evaluated for just that reason, trollkiller. The ones who show aggression are put down. I am sure you regret giving your dog to an abusive neighbor. The TSA training program is just as likely to screen out aggression in rescue dogs or dogs from its own breeding program. Since the dogs are used for finding explosives in cargo, the possibility of them coming into contact with the traveling public is remote. Fostering the bred puppies for a year could lead to the kind of experience that you had with your dog.

Anonymous said...

@ ayn r. key

I am going to post some common sense and some answers that you can take time to research because I know the information is out there to be found. Maybe this can help you stop complaining so much.

Answers:
1. If a TSO is in another room then no one that sees your MMW image will know who you are. If you saw your own image you would not know if that were you. With that being said who cares if it is invasive or not. I wouldn't even care if the picture became leaked out of TSA. Also you really shouldn't care about this if you was TSO's to look at nipples as you seem to think is ok below in your questions.

2. Catch up on your news and research. There was a plot to blow up planes headed to the USA with liquid explosives. Infact those people are on trial lately. The evidence is there on television and the evidence is real enough to of got the job done. As for the mixing of liquids, who cares. Mixing all the liquids will not cause any harm. They need to be scientifically measured as far as I know and also ... if by accident they mixed and made explosive liquid how would you set that explosive off? You need more components than just the explosives.

3. I have seen people get selected for screening and get mad after. Maybe people blow this part of screening out of proportion. Like Marsha said, just arrive early enough to undergo screening because you never know when you will be selected.

4. I have heard enough about nipple rings. You think TSO's are that dumb that they think a nipple ring is dangerous? Use some common sense and figure it out. When that area alarms and TSO's are not aloud to touch you there what happens? You can't figure it out so let me help you. TSO's can NOT see through clothing. They are human. They don't know its a nipple ring. They aren't aloud to touch you there if your a woman. They are not even aloud to visually inpect nipples. This is why the woman that don't know how to take her nipple ring out was asked to take it out or you don't fly. You see why would the TSA let someone through security when they are not cleared. The woman takes nipple ring out and they re wand her and she doesn't alarm there. Cleared to go yay! Anyways the big easy fix of this problem could indeed be the MMW technology they are implementing.

5. My knowledge is kinda low on this one, but if you have a government ID then your good to go. I think you may be talking about something I have not heard about yet.

6. The airport in itself has its own security. TSA can not be everywhere but has done some things to increase security in this area. TSA does screen airport employees and at some places they have a pilot out that it is 100% screeing of airport employees all of the time. So the employees couldn't get by with the dangerous goods.

7. TSO's go through background checks. Infact everyone with secure access, even the baggage handlers, go through background checks I think. I have seen TSO's get screened and I think BDO's could scrutinize anyone, even TSO's for the intent to do harm.

8. They don't answer questions that are answered already on the blog. They don't take their time to answer things that you can figure out maybe. I'm not sure but they are busy people don't you think?

If this doesn't help you then for that I am sorry. I have tried to make blunt answers for you and for you to think a little about what you are asking.

Anonymous said...

5. I fail to see why having valid ID on your person is an issue at all. If you don't have a valid ID you get additional screening. Also not a hard concept.


This seems to be a hard point to get across for those of you who do not understand your rights.

Travel within the United States does not require an identity card. That is one of the hallmarks of this free country. To surrender this hard fought right is unpatriotic. Thousands have died preserving our rights only to have DHS/TSA attempt to destroy our heritage.

Joe Physicist said...

To anonymous, who wrote:

"There was a plot to blow up planes headed to the USA with liquid explosives. Infact those people are on trial lately. "

They were going to mix hydrogen peroxide and Tang (yes, the breakfast drink). That was their big plan. Hydrogen peroxide + Tang = a nasty, possibly lethal beverage. It DOES NOT go boom.

There are hundreds of times more solid explosives than liquids. This is why the 3-1-1 rule is completely, 100% useless.

Phil said...

Someone anonymously wrote:

"There was a plot to blow up planes headed to the USA with liquid explosives."

See also:

The Register: Mass murder in the skies: Was the plot feasible?:

"Once the plane is over the ocean, very discreetly bring all of your gear into the toilet. You might need to make several trips to avoid drawing attention. Once your kit is in place, put a beaker containing the peroxide / acetone mixture into the ice water bath (Champagne bucket), and start adding the acid, drop by drop, while stirring constantly. Watch the reaction temperature carefully. The mixture will heat, and if it gets too hot, you'll end up with a weak explosive. In fact, if it gets really hot, you'll get a premature explosion possibly sufficient to kill you, but probably no one else.

"After a few hours - assuming, by some miracle, that the fumes haven't overcome you or alerted passengers or the flight crew to your activities - you'll have a quantity of TATP with which to carry out your mission. Now all you need to do is dry it for an hour or two."



The Guardian: The Timing is Political (Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray):

"Nine days on, nobody has been charged with any crime. For there to be no clear evidence yet on something that was "imminent" and would bring "mass murder on an unbelievable scale" is, to say the least, peculiar. A 24th person, arrested amid much fanfare on Tuesday, was quietly released without charge the following day.

[...]

"None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not have passports. It could be pretty difficult to convince a jury that these individuals were about to go through with suicide bombings, whatever they bragged about on the net."




On the implausibility of the liquid explosives plot:

"The news this morning was full of stuff about "ordinary looking devices being used as detonators". Well, if you're using nasty unstable peroxides as your explosive material, you don't really need any -- the stuff goes off if you give it a dirty look. I suspect a good hard rap with a hard heavy object would be more than sufficient. No need to worry about those cell phones secretly being high tech "detonators" if you're going this route.

"Anyway, from all of this, I conclude that either

"1) The terrorists had a brilliant idea for how to combine oxidizer and a ketone or ether to make some sort of nasty organic peroxide explosive in situ that has escaped me so far. Perhaps that's true -- I'm not omniscient and I have to confess that I've never tried making the stuff at all, let alone in an airplane bathroom.

"2) The terrorists were smuggling on board pre-made organic peroxide explosives. Clearly, this is not a new threat at all -- organic peroxide explosives have been used by terrorists for decades now. Smuggling them in a bottle is not an interesting new threat either -- clearly if you can smuggle cocaine in a bottle you can smuggle acetone peroxide. I would hope we had means of looking for that already, though, see below for a comment on that.

"3) The terrorists were phenomenally ill informed, or hadn't actually tried any of this out yet -- perhaps what we are told was a "sophisticated plot" was a bunch of not very sophisticated people who had not gotten very far in testing their ideas out, or perhaps they were really really dumb and hadn't tried even a small scale experiment before going forward."

Marsha said...

@ anonymous

should you decide to fly without an ID, you will get additional screening and your property will get additional screening.

The "airlines" does not have to let you fly.

marsha said...

@ Joe Physicist

You are not thinking out of the box. You are fixated on one issue. It's not necessary to blow up a plane to bring it down.

311 is not "just" for explosives compounds.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the work being done on Wasps as explosive sniffers? They were cheap, quickly trained and in a pinch could be let loose on a terrorist in a swarm.

I really think rattlesnakes may be the answer. I was transiting Phoenix some time back and they had a guy off to the side with a cop for having a gun in his carry on. I heard him tell the officer that he forgot this thing was in this small bag that he had likely packed a few hours before and I thought, come on!!!! Give me a break! Maybe if you guys would simply throw a rattlesnake on someone when they had such a major screw up there would never be another. Word travels fast, especially if the penality was a snake vice $.

Ok, I know, stop being a smart A--. Great program, I hope you get a lot of takers.

Lastly stop beating up on Bob....he seems like a nice guy, the kind that might even have a puppy in his future.

Anonymous said...

Man Bob, these people are ruthless. Some day you will promote within HQ and they won't have you to kick around anymore. I'm not sure what you did in a former life but you are certinly paying for it now. I hope you do not wake up in the middle of the night screaming MMW, MMW, Nooooooo. Hang in there and remember - It's always darkest just before it is pitch black:)

Anonymous said...

The "airlines" does not have to let you fly.

April 28, 2008 1:19 PM


The "airlines" is not the government, Marsha.

I'm truly sorry you don't understand the difference being made here.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea!

This one is for all the jerks out there: you complain all the time about TSA. Yet, they are people doing a job. Just like you. (I hope you have a job...) They lift your 98lb bags, they deal with your unsavory attitudes at the checkpoint, and they still try to make your traveling faster and less painless. Forget the fact that they are trying to make sure you dont get hurt. They are just there to make you miserable. Yes, that must be it.

I hope they dont let the rude people foster puppies.

Phil said...

Marsha wrote:

"The `airlines' does not have to let you fly."

If you have a ticket (which is a contract between you and the airline -- you pay, they transport) and you follow their general rules, then, yes, they do have to let you fly.

Airlines are subject to some regulations that other businesses are not. In return for this arrangement, they are allowed to use some of our scarce public resources -- our airways, airports, air traffic controllers, etc.

Anonymous said...

Poor Marsha - as another poster implied, you just don't get it do you?

Anonymous said...

"I hope they dont let the rude people foster puppies.

April 28, 2008 4:19 PM"


Well if they do then TSA would be out of puppies!

Ayn R. Key said...

To those who tried to rescue the TSA from my questions.

1. According to the TSA, the frontal image is so safe that you could post it in a pre-school. The TSA refuses to allow us to verify this point. This is a "just trust us" issue, and there are too many cases where "just trust us" means "we are lying to you." I want to find the truth of this matter. Don't you?

2. I didn't write "every chemist", I wrote "every chemist who has been asked." Selective editing only discredits your answers to my question, and you didn't answer my question. The laws of chemistry say one thing, the TSA regulations say another, who am I supposed to believe? As I pointed out in my question, I know there was a plot. The plot never got to the "we will use these chemicals" stage. The plot only got to the "gee this would be neat" stage. Those who say I am underinformed need to investigate the story they are using to try to refute me.

3. Is everyone determined to reverse the order of events? Ok, let me make this really simple. Event one: person arrives at airport 3 hours early for a domestic flight, one hour earlier than is recommended by the TSA. Event two: A TSO (such as TSO NY and his labeled bottles rule) makes up a rule on the spot and enforces it. Event three: Traveler complains about the rule. Event four: THEN AND ONLY AFTER THEY COMPLAIN THEY ARE HELD FOR MORE SCREENING. Event five: The TSO, knowing traveler has three hours, holds the traveler for four hours out of spite. Although the TSO never said "you will not fly today" and the TSO never said "you will miss your flight" the de facto end result is that the TSO made the person not fly. If the events are in that order, not in some other order, is there any punishment for the TSO?

4. Marsha, are you a TSO? If you don't want to see it, and you are not a TSO, then what's your problem? Anonymous, do I think the TSOs are that dumb? No, I think they are that spiteful and power hungry, willing to enforce whatever they want on whomever they want for whatever reason they come up with on the spot.

5. Both of you need to Google REAL ID. It is a new Federal mandate that all State driver's licenses must conform to certain federal guidelines. Some states are balking. Some states have flat out told the federal government where to stuff it. The TSA has said that after the deadline any driver's license that doesn't confrom to REAL ID is not a valid ID. That means that the entire state of Montana lacks valid ID. Does the TSA have sufficient manpower to provide extra screening to every traveler in the state?

6. The reason this is a question is because the TSA has mandated easily breakable locks. Baggers can easily break the locks. The TSA has made our luggage less safe and refuses to take accountability for their own actions. Do you think they should be unaccountable? The answers provided so far indicate that you do.

7, Until a TSO has actually done something wrong, their background is clean. Some terrorists actually look for someone with a completely clean record to recruit for their nefarious deeds. What measures is the TSA taking to ensure that there are no terrorist TSOs? Are they screened every day?

8 They don't answer any substantive questions. They reply to the softball questions. This blog is their job, and you say they are too busy to do their own jobs?

Yes, I know what I'm asking. The problem is, especially as evidenced by question 3, you don't know what I'm asking.

Let's review question three one more time.

Event one: person arrives at airport 3 hours early for a domestic flight, one hour earlier than is recommended by the TSA.

Event two: A TSO (such as TSO NY and his labeled bottles rule) makes up a rule on the spot and enforces it.

Event three: Traveler complains about the rule.

Event four: THEN AND ONLY AFTER THEY COMPLAIN THEY ARE HELD FOR MORE SCREENING.

Event five: The TSO, knowing traveler has three hours, holds the traveler for four hours out of spite.

Do you see the order of events, and how you reversed them? Do you see how your "arrive early" advice is irrelevant? Do you think the TSO might have done something wrong? Do you think TSOs ever do anything wrong?

Justin Newman said...

It is my hope that the puppy program will provide an opportunity for TSA to train its TSOs on the handling of service animals of all kinds while passing through security checkpoints.

As someone who is currently raising a puppy for guide work, I've been very disappointed with the level of consistency provided at checkpoints. Sometimes, we've even been asked to remove the animal's leash - a major "no no."

That said - everyone's always been nice, and had a big smile.

-jbn

Dunstan said...

"This one is for all the jerks out there: you complain all the time about TSA. Yet, they are people doing a job. Just like you. (I hope you have a job...) They lift your 98lb bags, they deal with your unsavory attitudes at the checkpoint, and they still try to make your traveling faster and less painless. Forget the fact that they are trying to make sure you dont get hurt. They are just there to make you miserable. Yes, that must be it."

What, pray tell, is your complaint really about?
This is a two way street, if you are a TSO, it is part of your job, a job you accepted, to deal with the public in a professional manner. So bitch and moan to your heart's content, or find a job where you feel more appreciated.
Many travelers really don't have a choice either, they go through the check points out of necessity, not because it adds any feeling of security. They just want to get to their destination, with as few hassles as possible.

marsha said...

@ Phil

Just because you purchase a ticket does not mean the airlines has to let you on the plane. The airlines has the right to say no to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, "marsha"...classic TSO grammar and spelling, in that post. NOW I feel safe for sure.

Anonymous said...

To Anon - April 29, 2008 6:20 PM
Oh my god, "marsha"...classic TSO grammar and spelling, in that post. NOW I feel safe for sure.


If you're going to mock someone's grammar, you should check your own. "God" should be capitalized and there's no need for a comma after "spelling."

CBGB said...

and the distraction from the e-strip search 9000 has now moved beyond the 'oh puppies' phase and into the grammar battle...

The TSO's trolling (correct usage btw my latest anonymous friend)on here are just helping the TSA. Not because their arguements are intelligent, but instead because all the realistic discussion of whats blatantly unconstitutional and wrong here gets lost in the true citizens of America battling the party members.

This post is causing me to officially declare that the fail boat has docked. But don't ask where, when, how, or why because thats SSI.

winstonsmith said...

cbgb brought a smile and a chuckle to my face by stating:

and the distraction from the e-strip search 9000 has now moved beyond the 'oh puppies' phase and into the grammar battle...

The TSO's trolling (correct usage btw my latest anonymous friend)on here are just helping the TSA. Not because their arguements are intelligent, but instead because all the realistic discussion of whats blatantly unconstitutional and wrong here gets lost in the true citizens of America battling the party members.


When I first started posting on here I realized quickly that were I to focus on people's grammar and spelling mistakes rather than on the message that they were trying to communicate, what I was trying to say would be lost in a sea of [sic].

The best thing we can do as posters is to follow the examples of people like yourself, Ayn R. Key, Sandra, Trollkiller, Marshalls SO, Dunstan, and so many others and continue to hold TSA's feet to the fire and to keep asking the tough questions in a very public way, and not to accept "trust us" or "it's SSI" as an answer. Be polite, and be persistent. To paraphrase Ghandi:

First they ignore you;
Then they laugh at you;
Then they fight you;
Then you win.

Ayn R. Key said...

Thank you winston. I also hold you in high regard, both for your dedication in holding the TSA's feet to the fire, and your greater eloquence than I have in doing so.

Fishing Forum said...

Bob,

Good program! Thank you again for helping make things a little easier for us and protecting the homeland. Best of luck.

Chad

Dunstan said...

"Ayn R. Key said...

Thank you winston. I also hold you in high regard, both for your dedication in holding the TSA's feet to the fire, and your greater eloquence than I have in doing so."

I'll give a hearty second to that.

CBGB said...

Thanks winston!

The only problem with your Ghandi analogy is its us laughing at them. It really does sadden me every day that we are quickly approaching 1984 albite 24 years late. The book has always held a special place in my heart as someone born in 1984. The jingoism, stupid rhetoric, and flat out lies are one thing that most governments approach shortly before a significant backlash from the population. However the outright incompetance displayed by organizations such as the TSA deeply saddens me and makes me think Orwell may have been right.

The problem with this blog is that the TSA simply continues to post somethign new everytime the individual blog post backlash becomes to harsh. Thus effectively silencing the arguements presented through basic suppression in the constantly forward moving internet envirorment in which we function. So heres my proprosal...

Lets seriously try and get most posters (obviously not all it simply won't happen) to not move forward with the loosely linked chain of PRBS that is being issued. There are intelligent and well spoken people (much more so than me) here on bot hsides of the issue. So lets take this post and simply not comment any further along than here. lets discuss it here between both sides in a manner that the TSA (and the true party members) refuse. And lets make a fuss that the TSA isn't really listening to feedback, its simply giving it rudimentary face time.

I know this probably won't work but hell, lets try :)

Anonymous said...

"Lets seriously try and get most posters (obviously not all it simply won't happen) to not move forward with the loosely linked chain of PRBS that is being issued."


I agree, any effort to stop this blog in its tracks is totally justified. The MMW image question is still hanging and the TSA Cowards won't make any comment one way or the other.

I think the public has a right to have reasonable questions resolved and TSA started the dialog.

I am happy to join any effort to force an issue and get an answer.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to point out that those puppies contain more than 3 ounces of blood, which is a liquid. In fact, blood has even been known to harbor various pathogens.

Why does the TSA want to let the terrorists win?

German Shepherd Names said...

Man that's such a cute puppy!!

Jed Rose said...

Very interesting puppy training concept. Love the prison program, but the video is a bit too cheesy even for a dedicated dog lover. I realize you've put a lot of work into this little film, but the "voice" of the puppy makes me want to run a mile.

Jacksonville said...

wow, i don't think my dog would qualify for this program, she bites, barks, jumps, begs, digs, and chases squirrels. Sounds like these dogs have the life though. Nice program. Maybe there are show dog winners that can participate? they are well trained.

dog sitter said...

with such a cute puppy you could be saying anything and people would still go awwwww :)

Los Angeles Attorney said...

Looks like this post was a while ago. I wonder how the program is working out? I imagine a ton of time and training is involved, and some love.

John said...

Oh my god...serious cuteness on this page! I really want a bay lab even more now...!

Jeff Monson said...

Is this puppy foster parent program still in effect?

dogshop said...

Whenever you're walking your dog on a leash, usually do not tighten the leash, since it could hurt your dog. Aside from that, it can also make him pull you as a counter response, which is not excellent. Hold his leash loose, to ensure that he can take pleasure in the walk more, and would appear forward to it day by day.

SusanK said...

I love the puppy program. What a great way to also commemorate the fallen of 9/11. Too bad Yorkshire Terriers aren't a breed with a super sniffer. Wish you all the best with this super puppy program.