Thursday, July 1, 2010

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole Is On the Job: See Something, Say Something Launch

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole Being Sworn In
Last week, former Deputy FBI Director John S. Pistole was confirmed unanimously by the Senate as TSA's new Administrator. Today is an exciting day for TSA as it marks Administrator Pistole's first official day on the job.

As part of his first day, Pistole was ceremonially sworn in by Secretary Napolitano at New York City's Penn Station where he joined her in a "See Something, Say Something" campaign kick-off event. He'll be riding the rails with the Secretary as a part of a whistle stop train tour through New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC for the launch of the public awareness campaign that encourages passengers to report suspicious activity.

See something say something poster.The program is being launched in partnership with Amtrak just months after two alert street vendors reported smoke coming from a car in Times Square. They saw something, said something, and helped thwart a terrorist attack. This just proves what we've known all along. The public plays a very critical role in keeping our nation safe.

We look forward to hosting Administrator Pistole on the TSA blog in the future. Until then, please take the time to read his bio.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

70 comments:

Randy said...

Re: If you see something, say something.

The problem is that untrained travelers may think that behavior that *they* are not familiar with is unusual and will report it.

Can you say racial profiling?

Randy

Blogger Bob said...

@Randy - I see what you're saying, but couldn't that happen now even without the campaign? And the campaign is not just about reporting people. The two vendors at Time's square reported a smoking vehicle.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Now is Administrator Pistole's chance to make concrete, immediate progress on some of the real problems with TSA. He's new, and he deserves a fair chance. But the challenges before him are daunting.

What is he going to do to stop thousands of innocent Americans, including 6 year olds, from being harassed and delayed by the no-fly list? It is now obvious that Secure Flight has failed to address this problem and instead is just collecting more personal information about passengers, causing more of them to become near-matches for the NFL in addition to putting them at risk for identity theft.

What is he going to do about "rouge" TSA screeners who make up rules on the spot, for example forcing amputees to remove their prosthetics, confiscating items that have been cleared as not being WEI (e.g., leather bookmark, custom battery pack), claiming people cannot opt out of the strip-search machine, and going on fishing expeditions for things which are beyond TSA's statutory scope (i.e., cash)? Administrator Pistole could lead from the top and make it immediately clear that these behaviors are unacceptable and that employees who engage in them will be terminated.

What will it take for him to realize that it is long past time for TSA to eat crow, admit that the liquid ban was an overreaction, and terminate the war on water? How many actual threats (test or real) have gotten through because screeners were focused on water and toothpaste? 3 years is way too long for this insanity which should have ended after less than a month.

What is he going to do to reduce the absurd code-orange that has been going on for 3 years now? A threat level that is "high" or even "elevated" for year-after-year ceases to have any meaning and becomes a laughingstock.

What is his plan to engage in a thorough scientific evaluation of the risks and benefits of the strip search machines, taking into account that the strip search machines likely would not have stopped the underwear bomber and taking into account scientific/medical opinions that these machines concentrate unacceptable doses of ionizing radiation onto skin, the most vulnerable organ in the human body to cancer-causing mutations? Is he going to publish full-resolution front and rear images of a male and female as seen by screeners in the booth?

How is he going to address the ongoing issue of unscreened cargo? How come a shipper can easily become "known" to the TSA, but a passenger can't bring a bottle of water?

What will he do to provide citizens a definitive answer as to if passengers are required to answer questions from TSOs, BDOs, or others playing SPOT, and if TSA can deny passengers travel on the grounds of their silence?

On a related issue, what is his plan to publish a complete list of the rules that passengers are expected to follow in order for they and their luggage to pass through TSA?

Anonymous said...

The poster in your article appears to show only Caucasians.

Will other posters in the campaign depict people with more diversity?

Anonymous said...

At what age is my daughter going to be able to join the Spies? I know that most children join at 7, but I really hope she can join by special dispensation at 6. We need all the help we can to protect the Party from crimethink, after all.

In a less snarky tone, Bob, there's a difference when the government is actually encouraging people to, well, spy on their neighbors. It's going to lead to bad results. "Neighbors spying on neighbors" has become another one of those things that I learned about in school as one reason why we were better than those communist nations where such happens. Now it's something that's encouraged by the government. It makes me sad.

RB said...

In the spirit of "See Something, Say Something" I wish to report hundreds of people wearing police like uniforms including police type badges infesting our nations airports all while standing around, doing nothing while breathing MY air.

TSA employees are for the most part baggage screeners, dress them appropriately.

Eric said...

A few things.

One, Times Square is covered in cops all day long. They do nothing but stand around and talk to each other. Surely we can first focus on having the people we pay do their jobs, and not having to rely on street vendors?

Second, the vast majority of things that are suspicious aren't terrorism. Unattended bag? 99% of the time, someone forgot it. Car on fire? Problem with the engine, call the fire department. Out of the ordinary doesn't equal terrorism.

Anonymous said...

RB said...
In the spirit of "See Something, Say Something" I wish to report hundreds of people wearing police like uniforms including police type badges infesting our nations airports all while standing around, doing nothing while breathing MY air.

TSA employees are for the most part baggage screeners, dress them appropriately.

July 1, 2010 1:43 PM
***********************************
Thanks again RB for another optimistic viewpoint.

TSO Tom said...

Welcome Mr. Pistole, I look forward to your leadership. Word of caution, this audience can be pretty tough, especially folks like RB.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to TSA to do something like this in a very busy travel hub right before a holiday weekend weekend.

Anonymous said...

"Welcome Mr. Pistole, I look forward to your leadership. Word of caution, this audience can be pretty tough, especially folks like RB."

Bob, Mr. Moderator, that was uncalled for. I am disappointed you approved it.

Do you find singling RB out like that amusing?

It continues taking the blog in a direction that does not reflect well on the DHS/TSA.

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
Welcome Mr. Pistole, I look forward to your leadership. Word of caution, this audience can be pretty tough, especially folks like RB.

July 1, 2010 2:11 PM
..........
I would be a supporter if TSA did the job it is tasked with, searching for WEI and nothing more.

No 6 year old kids on NFL. No forcing amputees to remove their appendage at a checkpoint, nor harassment because someone has $4,700 or even $12,000, and getting TSA to secure checked baggage so you guys can stop stealing from us.

And while your at it stop screening children with the Strip Search Machines unless some valid reason presents itself to do so. TSA employees should not be forced to engage in pedophilia.

Blogger Bob said...

I don't see that as calling out RB. I see it is telling the truth. RB is tough on the TSA. Is that something RB should take offense to?

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
I don't see that as calling out RB. I see it is telling the truth. RB is tough on the TSA. Is that something RB should take offense to?

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

July 1, 2010 3:16 PM
..............
I don't take offense from TSA employees, they just can't help it.

Bless their hearts!

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...

" I don't see that as calling out RB. I see it is telling the truth. RB is tough on the TSA. Is that something RB should take offense to?"

And what does your post have to do with the topic?

Oh, that's right, TSA personnel are allowed to make off topic posts. That rule applies only to the rest of us....

Anonymous said...

"I don't see that as calling out RB."

You don't see singling out one commentator by name as calling someone out?



I guess we should not expect a reply better than that. After all, your job is to spin things.

RB is not the only one who is tough on the multitude of problems and failings of the TSA. He is one of many.

TSO Tom sucked up to the new boss and singled RB out from many critics.

Ha ha.

We could easily name many of the DHS/TSA staff and single them out in a passive aggressive fashion for their attitudes and actions under the guise of greeting Pistole.

And contribute nothing of substance to the discourse. Like TSO Tom's post.

You have been allowing more and more of those types of posts.

Anonymous said...

"I don't take offense from TSA employees, they just can't help it.

Bless their hearts!"

You a southern boy RB?

And while I am sure you can take care of yourself that just seemed totally uncalled for. :)

Bubba said...

I saw something! I saw an article in the top scientific journal Nature saying that there is no Science behind the SPOT program.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100526/full/465412a.html

I said something, repeatedly, in fact.

The TSA has completely ignored what scientists see, and continues to spend money on SPOT.

Don´t you think it is time to say something about this article, Bob??

And don´t tell me this post is off topic!

Anonymous said...

I saw TSA force Richmond to give a felon a security clearance. Where do I go to say something?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
"I don't take offense from TSA employees, they just can't help it.

Bless their hearts!"

You a southern boy RB?

And while I am sure you can take care of yourself that just seemed totally uncalled for. :)

July 1, 2010 3:53 PM

Texan born and bred!

http://www.ideamarketers.com/?What_Bless_Your_Heart_Really_Means&articleid=286411

Please see definitions #2 & #3.

Should explain everything!

Anonymous said...

Readers may wish to read about Pistole from sources other than the linked bio. They would learn things. Good things.

Seems that when Pistole was with the FBI he drew a line against them torturing people or even standing by as people were tortured by others.

He kept them off the slippery slope we are still on.

If he could take such a principled position, be against such unconscionable actions, he may bring meaningful change to the TSA.

Instead of wasting money on dogs and ponies like the unused color coded self select lanes, the abandoned 'puffer' machines, the voodoo of the SPOT program, etc

GSOLTSO said...

Welcome Mr. Pistole, congrats on your appointment.

West
TSA Blog Team

TSO Tom said...

Bob, Mr. Moderator, that was uncalled for. I am disappointed you approved it.

Do you find singling RB out like that amusing?

It continues taking the blog in a direction that does not reflect well on the DHS/TSA.
***********************************
As many times as RB has called someone out on this forum, and you call my statement uncalled for? I don't see RB complaining about it, in fact RB stated that he would be a supporter of TSA if certain criteria were met, well let's see if the new admin can meet that criteria and make RB a supporter.

TSO Tom said...

We could easily name many of the DHS/TSA staff and single them out in a passive aggressive fashion for their attitudes and actions under the guise of greeting Pistole.

And contribute nothing of substance to the discourse. Like TSO Tom's post.

You have been allowing more and more of those types of posts.
***********************************
Much like the MANY personal attacks on TSA employees by MANY of the posters in this forum, especially RB...but we are supposed to sit back, smile and say nothing....Oh by the way, I welcomed my new boss, that's not by any means "sucking up" as you put it. It won't get me a promotion, and it won't increase my annual salary, sorry you are so misinformed, and off topic.

TSO Tom said...

An anonymous poster stated in part....
What will it take for him to realize that it is long past time for TSA to eat crow, admit that the liquid ban was an overreaction, and terminate the war on water? How many actual threats (test or real) have gotten through because screeners were focused on water and toothpaste? 3 years is way too long for this insanity which should have ended after less than a month.
***********************************
I have to agree it is time to move on from liquids and concentrate on other more serious items, not to discount any types of liquid explosives that do exist, but we do now have some technology and I believe additional technology is being tested, that will ultimately end the ban on liquids. This has been a sore spot for many travelers over the past three years, and we do need to find alternative methods of mitigating possible threats.

avxo said...

What's his take on 6-year olds being "on the list"? I mean, besides the official mantra that "she's not really 'on the list' since children aren't on the list, and she's a child."

Because, despite that assertion, and others of like it, this girl still has trouble flying. Even after Secure Flight, which was supposed to be the panacea for exactly this sort thing.

And despite the lofty posts (and FAQs) about redress procedures, all they seem to amount to is nothing.

What's his take on screeners who don't know the procedures and the rules? Because despite claims of retraining on just about every subject, many TSOs still don't seem to know the procedures and instead just resort to making rules up as they go.

And, more than simply giving us his opinion on these issues, what will he do to ensure that they are addressed quickly?

Bob Hanssen said...

Mr. Under Secretary, if you truly swore your oath of office "without mental reservation or purpose of evasion," you will immediately stop any & all TSA actions which rub our noses in the Constitution you just got done swearing to support and defend. There are plenty of clearly documented examples We, The People, have attempted to get through the censors on this blog. I also suggest you look at the Travel Security & Safety (TSS) forum on www.flyertalk.com.

You can do this job effectively and correctly without making people like Steven Bierfeldt take you to court, you really can...

We'll be monitoring your progress.

Bob

Earl Pitts said...

Interesting to note that TSA is promoting this campaign to act like a police state on a day we're supposed to be celebrating freedom. Ironic and sad.

Earl

Anonymous said...

A large part (statistically proven) of crime reduction in large cities and suburbs has been community involvement. Remember the horror stories of people observing a rape an doing nothing? It is the responsibilty of every citizen to do their part to make our comunities safer. TSA has an impossible mission and is an easy target for anyone wishing to vent. But I hear no one offering a real alternative. Help or get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss

We won't get fooled again.

If and that is a big if he manages to improve TSA operations one iota it will surprise me and many others.

Anonymous said...

Earl Pitts said...
Interesting to note that TSA is promoting this campaign to act like a police state on a day we're supposed to be celebrating freedom. Ironic and sad.

Earl

July 2, 2010 4:10 PM
***********************************
Earl, would you prefer that video cameras be set up at every corner in your neighborhood so you DO NOT have to say you saw anything? It's already happening in many cities, because people DON'T say anything....that would be a TRUE police state. Red light cameras being used to help solve crimes, video cameras on top of the street lights in every neighborhood, I don't want to see that, do you?

Earl Pitts said...

Anon,

I think you're setting up a false choice. We already have cameras set up in places where a lot of these "see something, say something" things are going on. Have you been in the NCY subway at all? Tons of LEOs standing around and lots of cameras. I expect the same thing when I go into DC on the Metro tomorrow for the 4th. We already see LE trying to search people's bags to get on the subways now (happening in some instances already in DC and NYC), and TSA with its VIPR teams harassing people.

I'm not saying obvious things should go unreported - like say someone putting explosives on a track, someone getting mugged, or someone leaving a bag and walking away, for example. The problem I have with this is campaigns like this tend to promote paranoia and turn in things that aren't there. We've already seen things like this where people were thrown of planes for praying or speaking in other languages, for example. This leads to innocent people getting harassed and a waste of LEO resources running down false leads. While LE is busy running down chicken little stories, something real could be happening.

And to the other anon, I've been here since this blog started. I and many others have proposed solutions to TSA's challenges and problems. TSA doesn't seem to be interested in them. Can't really propose solutions to a group that isn't interested in listening, can we?

Earl

Anonymous said...

I think you're setting up a false choice. We already have cameras set up in places where a lot of these "see something, say something" things are going on. Have you been in the NCY subway at all? Tons of LEOs standing around and lots of cameras. I expect the same thing when I go into DC on the Metro tomorrow for the 4th. We already see LE trying to search people's bags to get on the subways now (happening in some instances already in DC and NYC), and TSA with its VIPR teams harassing people.

I'm not saying obvious things should go unreported - like say someone putting explosives on a track, someone getting mugged, or someone leaving a bag and walking away, for example. The problem I have with this is campaigns like this tend to promote paranoia and turn in things that aren't there. We've already seen things like this where people were thrown of planes for praying or speaking in other languages, for example. This leads to innocent people getting harassed and a waste of LEO resources running down false leads. While LE is busy running down chicken little stories, something real could be happening.

And to the other anon, I've been here since this blog started. I and many others have proposed solutions to TSA's challenges and problems. TSA doesn't seem to be interested in them. Can't really propose solutions to a group that isn't interested in listening, can we?

Earl

July 3, 2010 12:42 PM
***********************************
Earl, while I understand what you're saying, I don't think the intention of the program is to cause paranoia. In fact, the program hasn't even been given a fair chance yet, and already people are talking down on. I say give the new admin a chance to show us what he has in mind, we don't know for sure it's going to be the same old thing over and over again. Let's not forget that TSA has not had a permanent boss since January of 2009 when Kip left the organization. Now we have a man who is a career FBI, 2nd top man in fact in the FBI. Counter terrorism expert, I'm sure he's got ideas that will turn the agency around, just as I'm sure some of those ideas might not be popular. We have to give it a chance and see what he brings to the table.

Anonymous said...

For the most part, all I see here is anti-TSA rhetoric.

Some of you on here think and complain too much but offer no solutions.

Anonymous said...

"Some of you on here think and complain too much but offer no solutions."

So what is your solution to the complaint you are making?

MarkVII said...

RE Anon's comment at July 4, 2010 1:52 PM. Some of you on here think and complain too much but offer no solutions.

Many of us have followed this blog for extended periods of time (from the beginning in my case) and offered a number of very specific, actionable and constructive suggestions.

In the meantime, we continue to see the same problems -- notably checkpoint personnel not knowing the TSA's own procedures for dealing with the physically challenged.

The standard TSA response is that we should use "Got Feedback" to let the TSA know about problems. To this, I say that the TSA should police its own ranks and not expect the public to be their QA department.

I wish Administrator Pistole all the luck in the world in his new position. For a little background reading, I suggest that he read the "Gripes and Grins", "Inconsistencies" and "Liquids, Gels, and Aerosols" threads from the early days of this blog.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

We ask questions that often go totally unanswered by anyone at TSA.

We make suggestions that get ignored by TSA for improving relationships between TSA and the passengers subjected to an out of control answerable to no one agency.

TSA doesn't allow passengers to know what rules and regulations apply to the screening process thereby allowing for TSOs to abuse passengers.

We're tired of the same ol' same ol' from an agency that says 'trust us, we're here to protect you'.

I would hope that the new manager does a massive clean up of incompetent TSA/DHS management.

Anonymous said...

" TSA has an impossible mission and is an easy target for anyone wishing to vent. But I hear no one offering a real alternative."

A real alternative:

End the shoe carnival, since shoes present no threat to anyone or anything.

End 3.4-1-1, since liquids present no threat to anyone or anything.

End the BDO nonsense, since it doesn't work.

Stop using strip-search machines, since they're needlessly invasive, dangerous to the health of their victims, and TSA can't tell the truth about them anyway.

RB said...

.....I wish Administrator Pistole all the luck in the world in his new position......
Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

July 5, 2010 10:36 AM
.....................

It will take a lot more than luck given how infested TSA is with all manner of criminal.

Anonymous said...

I would love to know what the corruption statistics are like in the police dept's in your home towns that you can call all of the TSA criminals. Its something i have seen in this blog too many times and it is ridiculous. I hate security checkpoints as much as the next guy, but the guys who work it have ALWAYS been professional with me. As for this child pornography thing... how is it pedophilia, i suppose your local pediatrician is a child molester too? you people are so asinine.

SnallaBolaget said...

Hi Blogger Bob; first of all I'd like to ask why there's no link to the See Something, Say Something program in the post? At least that image could have linked to a full size version of it...
Anyway. I like the idea. People being more vigilant about their surroundings can only be a good thing. We've been asleep long enough, and that's why terror happens. Well, one of the reasons.

Second, I thought I'd just comment on one very critical commenter's post here; he uses the "qui custodiet ipsos custodes" phrase in his signature, but I don't think he knows what it entails. Or means, for that matter. Literally, it could actually mean who will guard the guards, as in who will protect the guards, but as to the meaning that has come from usage, I'd say that he needs to look at what Plato said, and check out the "noble lie"... is that the approach he would want to take with the TSA?

Best regards,
Snalla Bolaget

Anonymous said...

Is this model after programs used in countries such as the former East Germany and North Korea? Inform on your neighbors to be good citizens. Everyone must monitor their friends and family and report on activities if want to be patriotic.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I would love to know what the corruption statistics are like in the police dept's in your home towns that you can call all of the TSA criminals. Its something i have seen in this blog too many times and it is ridiculous. I hate security checkpoints as much as the next guy, but the guys who work it have ALWAYS been professional with me. As for this child pornography thing... how is it pedophilia, i suppose your local pediatrician is a child molester too? you people are so asinine.

July 6, 2010 7:22 PM

............
When a local policeman is caught doing something wrong his name and picture is on the evening news.

When a TSA Security Screener does something wrong TSA hides behind make believe privacy claims when questions are asked about what discipline the person received.

Whole Body Imagers when used on children is the same as looking at naked pictures of children, and TSA does it for no valid reason. That my friend is TSA Child Pornography.

Anonymous said...

You know what, I read through the first several strings of comments and have to say I am disappointed with the direction and focus of the points being made. I see nothing positive in the posts and the comments in no way represent positive feedback directed at improving TSA. If you are going to take the time to comment critically, then also take time to offer a solution or suggestion for improvement. As it stands now, you are wasting time and resources in useless banter.

Anonymous said...

How does looking at kids and old people naked make us any safer?
Has there EVER been an incident involving anybody under 18 or over 50? NO!
Giving kids cancer from the radiation is your answer to terrorism?
Giving older people basil cell carcinoma and cataracts is your answer to terrorism?
JUST SAY NO TO CHILD PORN AND RADIATION OF THE PUBLIC. TSA IS BEYOND STUPID! LONG TERM WE WILL KILL MORE PEOPLE FROM CANCERS THAN THE TERRORIST COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED!
Read this article carefully:
http://www.npr.org/assets/news/2010/05/17/concern.pdf

Hal Nicholson said...

Anonymous on July 9, 2010 1:26 AM, said...

Is this model after programs used in countries such as the former East Germany and North Korea? Inform on your neighbors to be good citizens. Everyone must monitor their friends and family and report on activities if want to be patriotic.

Interesting that you drew this parallel between the old communist bloc and the DHS/TSA. I had a now-deceased Russian expat friend who came to the US in 1978 with the first wave of Soviet Jews. One day, he was telling me about the offer he got to joint the Communist Party in the early 1970s. He said that one of the expectations of party members was to report on their neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Time to stop the liquid policy and if the liquid doesn't alarm then IT FLY'S

RB said...

When will the new Administrator post on the blog?

I would like his take on where he intends to take TSA.

Also comments on the Child Porn Machines TSA is using.

The stupidity of tossing suspected dangerous LGA's in common trash at checkpoints among other topics.

Anonymous said...

What really scares me is when TSA employees allow people with loaded guns to walk around in the secure areas of airports and the TSA doesn't even acknowledge that there may be a problem because the person is a police officer. (Salisbury, MD airport is a good example)These people are not screened, have no security clearance, and are ARMED! The TSA does not seem to care as I have brought this complaint to the agency several times and never see a reply. Security? Not likely.

Anonymous said...

If the TSA allows liquids again over the 3.4oz size then they will need to be tested. So if everyone wants to bring their liquids again then they will be tested which means much more time to get through the checkpoints. The liquid explosive threat is real, whether you believe it will be used or not on an aircraft is your opinion but it is real. If the TSA stops testing the liquids then it is telling people that want to use liquid explosives to try and use them as the TSA isnt checking for them anymore. So if the TSA allows large liquids again then they will have to test them and that means longer lines. Same thing goes for shoes. Richard Reid showed that previous attempts to screen shoes while on peoples feet didnt work. So if the TSA says leave your shoes on then you will have to have your shoes screened closer on your feet because people could use them to get explosives through. The reason why both of these screening ideas have been implemented is because people have used them to cause harm to aircraft. So, by allowing travelers to keep their shoes on and bring their liquids it will only cause longer lines because the TSA will still have to check them. If they dont and get rid of the restrictions and someone uses liquids explosives and/or shoe bombs to bring down a plane then it will create a total nightmare for TSA and the public. Its a give and take as a flier. Just put your large liquids in your checked bags (where there are no size restrictions) and wear socks cause you know you will have to remove your shoes. It is what it is and will help you get through and on to your destination faster and safer.

TSO Tom said...

RB said in part....
The stupidity of tossing suspected dangerous LGA's in common trash at checkpoints among other topics.
***********************************Yes RB, I too would like to know Mr. Pistole's take on the LGAs in bins alongside our work area. If these items are considered "potentially dangerous" then why are we keeping them on the checkpoint to begin with? Again, I say it's time to start utilizing the technology that we have, and elminate this pesky ban on liquids/gels/aerosols once and for all.

Anonymous said...

"The liquid explosive threat is real, whether you believe it will be used or not on an aircraft is your opinion but it is real."

What peer-reviewed independent research supports this claim?

"If the TSA stops testing the liquids then it is telling people that want to use liquid explosives to try and use them as the TSA isnt checking for them anymore. So if the TSA allows large liquids again then they will have to test them and that means longer lines."

Not really, since liquid explosives are not a threat to aircraft.

"Same thing goes for shoes. Richard Reid showed that previous attempts to screen shoes while on peoples feet didnt work. So if the TSA says leave your shoes on then you will have to have your shoes screened closer on your feet because people could use them to get explosives through. The reason why both of these screening ideas have been implemented is because people have used them to cause harm to aircraft."

No one has ever used a shoe to harm a flight. Nor has anyone tried to do so anywhere in the world since Reid's failed attempt -- regardless of whether or how shoes were or were not screened.

Anonymous said...

Any chance on getting a blog article from the new Administrator?

Al Ames said...

If we go by the "it only takes one person" bit to enforce a whole security measure, then Alvin Crabtree at DEN should be the poster child for why screeners need to be screened when entering the sterile area. After all, he brought a loaded gun to work. And yet for some reason, he's still employed with TSA.

Bottom line: it's ok for a one off as long as you work for TSA. If you're a pax, expect a new carnival.

Al

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous said...
"The liquid explosive threat is real, whether you believe it will be used or not on an aircraft is your opinion but it is real."

What peer-reviewed independent research supports this claim?
***********************************
Whether or not liquid explosives are still a threat, the liquid restrictions are still in place.
***********************************
"If the TSA stops testing the liquids then it is telling people that want to use liquid explosives to try and use them as the TSA isnt checking for them anymore. So if the TSA allows large liquids again then they will have to test them and that means longer lines."
***********************************
Not really, since liquid explosives are not a threat to aircraft.
***********************************
We don't know for sure that liquid explosives are not a threat to aircraft....there is no proof one way or the other.
***********************************
"Same thing goes for shoes. Richard Reid showed that previous attempts to screen shoes while on peoples feet didnt work. So if the TSA says leave your shoes on then you will have to have your shoes screened closer on your feet because people could use them to get explosives through.
***********************************
Again, there is technology to screen shoes without having to take them off. Prior to the current rules on shoes, they only had to come off if they alarmed the metal detector. And other procedures were in place for clearing shoes during hand wanding.
***********************************
The reason why both of these screening ideas have been implemented is because people have used them to cause harm to aircraft."
***********************************
People have ATTEMPTED to use them to cause harm to aircraft. Reid failed miserably, and the liquids plot was stopped before it happened. Therefore, NO harm was done. That does not mean people can't try to utilize these methods again.
***********************************
No one has ever used a shoe to harm a flight. Nor has anyone tried to do so anywhere in the world since Reid's failed attempt -- regardless of whether or how shoes were or were not screened.
***********************************
Anon, while I agree with you in part, it's not so much about what HAS been done, but what COULD be done. Security is proactive, which means, you put measures in place to PREVENT something from happening. The fact that nothing has happened, means absolutely NOTHING to the fact that something COULD happen. An ounce of prevention, remember that old saying? Yeah it's true that no planes have fallen from the sky as a result of terrorism since 9/11 but that does not mean that none of the current procedures are working.
I don't make the procedures, and there are procedures that I wonder about, it's natural to say to yourself, "is this really necessary?" But, I have seen how a shoe COULD be used to smuggle explosives, I have seen different types of liquids that COULD pose a threat to aviation security. Again, whether or not there is a current threat, the procedure is in place until someone up top says otherwise. You obviously don't agree with it, I may not agree with it, but it's still there for now. Hopefully it will end soon, as that will allow me and my co-workers to concentrate on other areas, but the threat is possible and it's something we have to take into consideration for the time being.
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Unfortunately, we cannot deal in absolutes, life would be so much easier if we could.
July 14, 2010 2:19 PM

avxo said...

TSO Tom wrote about dumping liquids in the trash: "If these items are considered "potentially dangerous" then why are we keeping them on the checkpoint to begin with? Again, I say it's time to start utilizing the technology that we have, and elminate this pesky ban on liquids/gels/aerosols once and for all."

Wow... I'm surprised to see someone from TSA write that. A modicum of common sense! Whoddathunkit?

Anonymous said...

"If we go by the "it only takes one person" bit to enforce a whole security measure..."

...then we can expect some really interesting new procedures thanks to the anus bomber.

At least rubber gloves are already in stock.

TSO Tom said...

Bob, what is the current status of the "magshoe" device which is being used in Isreal, Prague and other countries with heightened security measures in place? Obviously it is important to scan shoes for proper security measures, as we know that explosives CAN be smuggled in shoes. However, it is equally important for passengers (as stated by several in this forum) to be able to keep their shoes on. So if TSA can give us a guestimate of what is going on with this technology and when/if it will be deployed in US airports, maybe we can quell some of the complaints we are getting from people on this blog.

For info on the magshoe device which scans shoes and ankle areas of the body, go to youtube and keyword "magshoe".

Anonymous said...

liquid explosives are real, the BBC shoed demonstrations in a series they did, you can research it online. the BBC did it because they attack was set for the UK. Just because there arent instances of ot happening every day doesnt mean the the threat isnt there, take 9/11 for example. what is wrong with being proactive? perhaps the TSA is taking intel and trying to prevent problems from happening, proactivity is a good thing. same goes for the shoes, just because it doesnt happen anywhere else doesnt mean that it wont, why not prevent something from happening? so what is the solution for this? allow pax to keep their shoes on and have some sort of screening done while on their feet. thats fine but it will make the time to get through security alot longer, something that just about all pax dont want. same for the liquids, bring them with you and they will get screened some way, so just prepare to show up early so that you can keep the liquids.

RB said...

TSO Tom said...in part....


Anon, while I agree with you in part, it's not so much about what HAS been done, but what COULD be done. Security is proactive, which means, you put measures in place to PREVENT something from happening
..............................

TSO Tom, I submit that TSA is not proactive. If being proactive was a desireable goal for TSA then why does TSA permit hundreds of people access to the sterile areas of this nations airports daily with no screening what so ever?

I say TSA has failed!

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
Bob, what is the current status of the "magshoe" device which is being used in Isreal, Prague and other countries with heightened security measures in place? Obviously it is important to scan shoes for proper security measures, as we know that explosives CAN be smuggled in shoes. However, it is equally important for passengers (as stated by several in this forum) to be able to keep their shoes on. So if TSA can give us a guestimate of what is going on with this technology and when/if it will be deployed in US airports, maybe we can quell some of the complaints we are getting from people on this blog.

For info on the magshoe device which scans shoes and ankle areas of the body, go to youtube and keyword "magshoe".

July 15, 2010 9:10 PM
...................
Does this MagShoe device emit dangeporus X-Rays like the Backscatter Strip Search Machines?

Anonymous said...

"allow pax to keep their shoes on and have some sort of screening done while on their feet?"

Anything I would want to bring on to a plane in my shoes I can easily bring on other ways.

100% body scanning would make it more challenging but far from impossible.

TSO Tom said...

RB said...
TSO Tom said...
Bob, what is the current status of the "magshoe" device which is being used in Isreal, Prague and other countries with heightened security measures in place? Obviously it is important to scan shoes for proper security measures, as we know that explosives CAN be smuggled in shoes. However, it is equally important for passengers (as stated by several in this forum) to be able to keep their shoes on. So if TSA can give us a guestimate of what is going on with this technology and when/if it will be deployed in US airports, maybe we can quell some of the complaints we are getting from people on this blog.

For info on the magshoe device which scans shoes and ankle areas of the body, go to youtube and keyword "magshoe".

July 15, 2010 9:10 PM
...................
Does this MagShoe device emit dangeporus X-Rays like the Backscatter Strip Search Machines?
***********************************
RB, I have not researched the "magshoe" extensively, I don't know what the emissions rates are if there are any. I am however sure that TSA has done research on this equipment and should know with a degree of certainty (at least what the manufacturer tells them) what if any radiological emissions eminate from the device.

TSO Tom said...

AVXO wrote in part....
avxo said...
TSO Tom wrote about dumping liquids in the trash: "If these items are considered "potentially dangerous" then why are we keeping them on the checkpoint to begin with? Again, I say it's time to start utilizing the technology that we have, and elminate this pesky ban on liquids/gels/aerosols once and for all."

Wow... I'm surprised to see someone from TSA write that. A modicum of common sense! Whoddathunkit?
***********************************
This has long been a question on the minds of TSOs at least in my airport, but it was forgotten about because it never went anywhere. I have no problem putting it out there that I do agree with some of the posters on this blog, although i still believe that our current procedures are prudent considering the "potential" threat that we face. BUT....there is always a BUT isn't there? BUT....the procedures need to be flexible to the flying public while preventing the bad guys from doing what they want to do. Again, baseline sop must be followed and must be consistent, but two airports may implement procedures in a different manner to maintain unpredictability.

RB said...

TSO Tom said...

RB, I have not researched the "magshoe" extensively, I don't know what the emissions rates are if there are any. I am however sure that TSA has done research on this equipment and should know with a degree of certainty (at least what the manufacturer tells them) what if any radiological emissions eminate from the device.

July 20, 2010 8:25 PM
...............
I don't have the confidence in TSA that you do seeing that TSA has deployed Backscatter X-ray devices while numerous authorities question the wisdom and safety of such action.

Keep in mind the general advice is to not be exposed to any x-ray source unless a clear benefical reason is present.

Backscatter and Magshoe/Cast scanner don't seem to have any benefit for the person being scanned.

With TSA's history of doing things before doing proper research (GAO Reports) suggest that everyone should refuse WBI or other xray sources from TSA.

Firefighter Josh said...

First off, I want to acknowledge with relief and pleasure that another 9-11 has just passed and we had no attacks take place. Even the preacher in Florida didn't burn the quran.

But I want to respond to Eric's comment that cops in Times Square "do nothing but stand around and talk to each other". I think this is a little naive and shortsighted.

First of all, it's their presence alone that prevents most of the crime that used to take place and still could if they weren't there.

Second, they're much busier than they look. Every time you see a cop standing around chatting, there's a ton of others dealing with a situation that could easily get them killed. You're not seeing the same cops standing around all day everyday.

When they get a chance to do normal street patrol and the risk of their life is at a minimum, let's be happy they do what they do and that they have the chance to take it easy for a minute.

They're lives are at risk every time they put that uniform on.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he will fire all those TSA employees who hold up the walls so well at the airport. When I travel to San Jose it is amazing to see how many TSA agents are standing around leaning against the walls or as we called it in the military playing pocket pool.

Anonymous said...

Why do you search pilots, for they are aloud to carry firearms when flying. Just does not make sense and seems a waist of time.

Anonymous said...

Two ideas:
1) Apply "screening" in both senses of the word. If the pat downs occurred behind a screen so that travelers were not subjected to everyone being able to ogle the process, it would be less humiliating.
2) Establish a program to get a "flying license" similar to a driving license. Each person would have both fingerprint and iris scan on file, and then have a background check in order to get the license. Those with the license can simply go through a metal detector and have luggage screened as usual. A separate screening line would make this more appealing to frequent travelers. Perhaps the airlines could facilitate the licensing process using frequent flyer databases and resources in conjunction with TSA.

M. Crider

mAyong said...

At what age is my daughter going to be able to join the Spies? I know that most children join at 7, but I really hope she can join by special dispensation at 6. We need all the help we can to protect the Party from crimethink, after all.

In a less snarky tone, Bob, there's a difference when the government is actually encouraging people to, well, spy on their neighbors. It's going to lead to bad results. "Neighbors spying on neighbors" has become another one of those things that I learned about in school as one reason why we were better than those communist nations where such happens. Now it's something that's encouraged by the government. It makes me sad. Allmanga Manga Online