Thursday, November 11, 2010

Response to "Female radio host cuffed to chair, ticket ripped up..."

Update 12-2-10 9:15 AM

When TSA received the CCTV footage from FLL, the timestamps were not included. TSA has worked with the airport (who owns the video cameras) and the manufacturer to get time stamped footage. We now have the footage and would like to share it with you.


Update 4:30 P.M

Some are asking for the rest of the CCTV footage. Well… that’s all there is. There were two camera angles and we posted the complete footage of both of those angles. From the time the passenger enters the checkpoint to the time they are escorted out of the checkpoint, it’s all there. The passenger stated the full experience was around an hour, but as the video shows, it was much shorter. ~ Blogger Bob


A YouTube video containing a radio interview of a woman who claims to have been cuffed to a chair at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International airport after opting out of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) has been circulating today. TSA takes situations such as this seriously and we immediately looked into it.

We diligently review claims of improper conduct. But when inaccurate passenger accounts are made either via media outlets or on the blogs, TSA works to resolve them and present both sides of the story. In this case, TSA has made the decision to post the CCTV video of the incident online.

You can listen to her radio interview, and then you can view our airport CCTV footage. We’ll let you decide what really happened.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team


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Parkylondon said...

No Bob. Please comment, on behalf of the TSA and ON the record, what your thoughts are on this atrocity..

Anonymous said...

1 passenger, 3 agents. No wonder people can create a distraction and let the bad guys slip by.

Anonymous said...

Totally confirms her story. Nothing inconsistent with what she said. Why would the TSA claim the video busts any myths? Case closed. TSA guilty as charged.

Ateo Fiel said...

Thank you for posting this and clearing this up. The difference between the original story and the video (even without sound) is striking.

I think you definitely need a couple more cameras in the area to cover exactly this kind of thing, to protect your agents and protect the public.

Antijingoist said...

oh wow! This shows what she said was true!

Anonymous said...

All a publicity stunt for a planned boycott of flying? I predict that will fail when people book on those days to avoid crowds.

Really, getting your news from talk radio? They still talking about Bigfoot?

Anonymous said...

That girl & the radio station promoting her slander should be ashamed. How about they take their 15 minutes of attention and share their suggestions on how they think air travel should be secured instead of trying to justify why they deserve special attention?

Anonymous said...

Mmm, as far as I can tell, the radio interview was not contradicted by your footage.... how about releasing ALL the videos??

Anonymous said...

Obviously she was a threat to National security? I agree her account was etremely over the top based on the video TSA posted. However where do we draw the line here> Did the TSA agents really feel she was a threat? How about some common sense in play here. I think the TSA took it just as far as she did....too far!

Anonymous said...

Is this all the footage? Are there timestamps available? Does the second video take place right after the first?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this video...yet another lesson that there are always 2 or 3 sides to any story. Now, will these blogs which grabbed onto this phoney baloney story from a clearly dishonest and agenda driven person correct or retract their story and spin? The video clearly depicts a very professional group of officers wasting over 20 minutes of their time dealing with her...aren't there laws or regulations against this type of disturbance at checkpoints? If so, I hope she gets the penalty she deserves...I know she will in the court of public opinion! Remember would be controversy stirrirs...everything you do is recorded. Shameful...

Anonymous said...

The fact that you guys need a public affairs blog to explain your daily actions in it of itself makes you a rediculous organization...

TSORon said...

Thanks Bob. I had a feeling that this one was a fabrication.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't really clarify anything, Bob, except the fact that she was detained for 20 minutes and then led somewhere by five officers. Why don't you explain to us what really happened?

Anonymous said...

No audio means we miss a great deal of contextual information.

She is off-camera for over three minutes. I also feel the TSA screener's body language is not quite right - it's more postural/confrontational in nature. It seems that this inspection area is in a position that is not seen on camera (intentional or not - you tell us, Bob), or is intentionally not releasing the video that would show the activities in that area during the three minutes she is off-camera.

The only thing that last video is good for is to confirm just how many BSO and TSA personnel showed up.

One thing we should be able to agree on - she's clearly upset.

Can't confirm or deny either of your positions with all that information missing.

Anonymous said...

Very nice video. However, you cannot possibly see what is going on in that chair in the exit video. I don't believe she wasn't cuffed. She was definitely intimated - there were 15 or 20 people standing around her. Let's see the full video before dismissing this outright.

Don said...

The caller did claim that she was there for over an hour, you are only showing about 15 minutes of clips. Are we to assume that as soon as she stands up and walks out of frame for the first one she is on her way out heading into view of the second camera? A timestamp would go very far towards your credibility in this one.

Karen Delano said...

I got bored; but she def. exaggerated (and I never saw handcuffs or tearing up of tickets).
she wasn't dragged anymore; nor I couldn't tell was she frisked so much it was painful. her hands (all we could see) didn't stop moving enough for that.
I did think it was odd that the area for secondary screening wasn't being watched. If that is where they are putting suspected bad people; then don't they want footage of said people doing bad?
I think they need to review their own security setup. Also having that angle covered would prevent someone from making up stories - right now anyone could say they were touched inappropriately and there would be no proof either way. and TSA will lose no matter the truth.

Anonymous said...

Of course, had the video corroborated the woman's story, the video would've mysteriously disappeared, or not been working, or not focused on that area.

Just an amazing coincidence that the only time that video happens to be available, working, and able to be posted on this blog is when it shows the TSOs in a good light, right?

Anonymous said...

Do you have a better angle of the second video where they took her to the other area?

Karen said...

This is a much more serious allegation
can you release the CCTV of this incident?

Brent said...

These videos do not show TSA being free and clear. The first video the female radio host is out of the frame for a good portion of it. The second video was taken from too far away for any details to be determined.

On a related measure, the first video shows a good imiage of the new xray machines. It also shows a screen of some sort on the side of the screeners. Is this the screen the imiage of the person inside comes up on? Not hardly a private imiage if that is the case. Also, when will TSA post actual photos from the xray machines? Oh, TSA says the photos are not stored...well, that is in direct contridiction to what TSA own's documentation says,

Thomas said...

Where are the time stamps? She said she was taken to a private area. That isn't shown. Without time stamps it means nothing.

Anonymous said...

You haven't EVER ACTUALLY CAUGHT A TERRORIST! Yet you still think that these procedures are necessary. How can you sleep at night?!?

Anonymous said...

She is a liar. There are a few inconsistencies between her story and the video that I could find.

She claims she was the only one singled out. You can clearly see others going through the machine.

She claims she was cuffed to the chair, and couldn't wiper her eyes. She was not cuffed in the first video, and the TSA agent gave her a tissue.

I'm not fan of the TSA or their policies, but she has lied, which makes me question other parts of her story.

Jim Babb said...

Blogger Bob, Thank you for not denying the abuse that was committed by TSA "heros."

Was there something in this video that a contradicts Meg's account? Anybody?

Anonymous said...

Did I miss it, or were there not any other young women singled out for scan/pat down during this tape? The vast majority were overweight men. I also saw that it was entirely random as to which of those men was given the additional pat down. The TSA is getting a reputation for being heavy handed and abusive.

Justin said...

Why is it that video is only posted when you *think* it supports your side? Yet somehow is privileged or non-existent in cases where you clearly are at fault? I actually hadn't heard about this story before, but given your track record and my own experiences with you, this highly edited video is hardly proof of anything.

benoit said...

Hi Bob,

please explain me how you can conclude based on the second video. Clearly the first video has a nice angle and shows some discussions but TSA agents behaving correctly.

We cannot see anything conclusive in the second video. Can we see handcuffs? No, however we cannot see the person. What I can see from this is that she had to leave the airport in socks and you should be ashamed of that.

Your friend Ethel said...

The video still doesnt help you. I find it ironic that the video only shows up in certain cases, but yet the most egregious events the video magically goes missing. Its also ironic no "enhanced pat-downs" were done during this maybe its because the sups knew that once this started the video might get out and didnt want to show violations of Florida state law to the rest of the country.

Then during this video there are multiple things wrong. Several TSA employees are seen going through without being screened including setting off a metal detector. So let me get this as a traveler im to be treated like a criminal till proven innocent, but yet any TSA employee can walk through the metal detector setting it off and not be searched because they have had a background check? right and im supposed to believe that with the history of TSA and the crimes its employees have committed.

THe vested female in this video violated TSA own privacy policy by just grabbing what looks like the ladies travel documents without her permission. So if this lady wanted to she could file attempted identity theft charges against this person.

This certainly doenst help your case TSA. This all smacks of TSA retaliating for contempt of smurf for not "respektin my authoriti" the vested female in the video came into the frame with body language of looking for a fight and proceeded from there to get more aggresive and in ms McLains face and invade her personal space. up to 04:28. The circling the person by the other two employees are also intimidation tactics that are very unprofessional. So much for a highly trained professionals.

In the second video to much of it out of view but yet again the circling of the person and the foot tapping by TSA employees is very unprofessional and very telling.

Then who is the person in the white pants that is pacing around as the body language there is out of control and unprofessional, and its not ms mclain.

Furthermore Curtis what is the purpose of the search in the second video. if she refused then that search isnt warrented and is going way way way outside of the scope of TSA charter and is a violation of the 4th amendment.

Then about the 09:19 i presume the white shirts at this point are LEO but it looks like even to them by the body langauge they are questioning all of this and wondering what the heck.

Overall this situation also points out that TSA is overstaffed and needs to have its budget thinned as if there are this many TSA employees standing around considering the state of the economy and the debt and deficit a thinning of the heard is needed.

I figure this post wont see the light of day but thats okay i will be back in contact with the OIGs office when they open in the morning.

Anonymous said...

The body language of the TSA officers is pretty confrontational, this is obvious to anyone with two eyes. It's also convenient that most of the agents were off camera for the entire thing. This angle seems to be released on purpose. I would like to see the camera angle that shows everything to the right of this one. I'm almost positive you have it. There are cameras everywhere in airports, to pick this specific one seems suspect.

Anonymous said...

You don't show the whole time you took her to the other area - do you have a link?

Adam said...

People please don't fall for this PR stunt. Ask yourself this. If the TSA agents didn't do anything wrong then why aren't they showing all the video, from the moment this woman entered the building to the moment she was placed outside?

There is something fishy here and I'm betting this is damage control. Plus it takes away from the fact that the body scanners and pat downs would be considered sexual assault for anyone else.

Yet another example of the government can do it but you can't. As well as if you as questions we mess with you, making you the example for other with such courage.

I'm still boycotting flying.

uvrays said...

They weren't posting these vids to prove they didn't stop her. They were posting these vids to show she greatly exaggerated what really took place. She wasn't molested, nor handcuffed, and her ticket wasn't ripped up.

carp said...

Typical. The more absolutely pointless the job, the more seriously it is to be taken.

The cockpit doors are locked. We don't need the TSA anymore. Period. We never had to put up with this before the war on Bogeymen.

What you are doing to people should be criminal. It is sad that you people walk the streets free.

Security Theater at its worst.

Anonymous said...

All security cameras and the DVR's attached carry automatic timestamps, obviously removed from these for what reason ?
She walks away cuffed, when did that happen and where do you justify the enormous manpower used to do exactly what ?
Finally what happens to her when she is lead away? Since her belongings are not returned yet, there is more to this then turning her away.

carp said...

BTW this cinches it.... I am done flying from my own country. If I want to fly anywhere, I am driving to Canada first.

Good work guys. I am more afraid of you people than the terrorists that you are deluded enough to think you are protecting me from.


James said...

This and the other video released by the TSA show almost nothing to rebut Meg McLain's assertions about the situation.

What's even more bothersome is this:

There are probably 10 or more security cameras covering this security checkpoint area. Why is it that the TSA has chosen to release two clips that only partially show the occurrences in question.

If you are going to release video to vindicate yourselves or show the "other side", then release it all, not just what you want people to see.

Anonymous said...

Does the TSA seriously think this proves anything? Horrible video with a bad angle that doesn't even show the incident. This kind of stuff makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

She was there for an hour, but the TSA posts 15 minutes of footage and claims that's the whole story. How about releasing the footage that doesn't line up with your official story.

Anonymous said...

Hey TSA,

I'm boycotting flying until your policies change.

Thanks for nothing.

-Concerned American

Doc Com said...

It has been proven that the internet is full of tough people as evidenced by the comments above.

Anonymous said...

The videos don't prove or disprove anything. There is no audio and the viewing able is useless. There's also no timestamps on the videos to allow proper syncing of the progression.

Again this just seems like an feeble attempt by the TSA to supposedly cover their butts by "showing video evidence".

If fact the video seems to help confirm the issue more so... The number of TSA agents that responded with very confronting postures and the expressions show that they are trying to bully her into submission. They aren't around for negotiate but are trying to make a very aggressive public stance.

See questioned the procedures and the TSA acts like a bunch of thugs in order to make an example of her to prevent future questioning. Classic tactic by those who have plenty to hide.

Yet another reason the TSA should be abolished.

Anonymous said...

Wow – I don’t know which is worse, the fabricated claims by the female or the comments by some of us who seemingly don’t want to believe what we are seeing. Yes, there is no audio or time stamps, but it is clear that as she moves from one camera to the next we are not missing any time. There is no sign her ticket was torn up. No sign she was handcuffed. The private screening area is just that private. If there was a camera there, then someone would be upset over the camera. There looked to be at least two screeners in the private area with her. I think she has the option to complete the screening in public (Bob, could you confirm). She is upset, but at the same time she is trying to circumvent/avoid screening. Now maybe some of us think she is attractive and so she isn’t a threat, but wouldn’t that be a good approach to be used by a terrorist? Remember, some of the most deadly attacks on US soil where committed by US citizens (Oklahoma City anyone?).

Anonymous said...

time stamps or it didn't happen...

Anonymous said...

I hope the debate over the verity of this woman's claims doesn't obscure the real issue: Who gave the TSA the green light to foist such a gross invasion of our privacy on the traveling public? The choice is between letting TSA agents effectively see you naked or touch your privates. That's no choice at all, regardless of how professional the watchers/gropers are acting.

If this woman's story is true, that's bad, but it's a staffing/training issue and thus, if an isolated incident, a relatively small matter. But even if she made it up, there's a real problem here, and that's the real story. Our government continues to take away our liberty and privacy in the name of security--or really, security theater.

Anonymous said...

While I agree she may have padded her story but nothing about the facts what she went through or TSA procedures are anything short of intimidation and harassment.

Last time I flew though MIA your agents refused to allow me to opt out until I used the phrase "opt out" (decline, rather not, etc. meant nothing to your agent). At this point the agents do shout "opt out" in an unprofessional manner. After opting out when you are taken to secondary your agents refuse to allow you to touch your bags or even keep a watchful eye over them. TSA could care less that they just made you remove valuable jewelery, cash from your pocket, etc.

My whole experience when I opted out felt like TSA was trying to teach me a lesson and make and example of me.

If this lady decided that the invasive screening was beyond what she was willing to tolerate then she should have been directed away from the sterile area. Having all those agents surround and escort this lady out the airport was nothing short of harassment of someone who was obviously had not threatened anyone.

Although TSA likes to think otherwise, you have NEVER been granted law enforcement privileges.

Anonymous said...


And stop blogging with my money.

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA

In all due respect, why all this undulating? What is it with the need to accost passengers in such a way? If someone wants to "opt out" of a scan then let them "opt out" sans hassle! Are these TSA agents scientists? Do they know the long-term ramifications of these devices? Some people are downright opposed to these things and would prefer the old fashioned "manual scan". Hey, I'm old enough to remember when your boss (the Federal Government) said that Smoking was OK, Thorazine was great to keep grandma from becoming "uppity", and Thalidomide was OK for pregnant women!

What comes across more and more is TSA agents acting like "Bad Americans". Sorry, but that's really all I can say towards such behavior as displayed recently by members of your organization.

Look at how Israel handles their air security. They have a polite conversation with the passenger and are well-honed to detect any sort of inconsistencies with a person's demeanor, story, and destination. Of course, at the time of ticket purchase they've already had one's name squared against the usual databases and lists.

If an agent fails at their job they are FIRED. Yes they actually have consequences for their inactions. And their agents are required to have some level of upper education under their belts.

For further reading:

More and more, as we venture forward into "This American Life" trends among youth and socioeconomic classes are bringing about more illiteracy and slackness; look among the agents and you'll see every walk of life represented: Nerd, Hipster, Clown, Gangster, Princess, and I'm sure there's a few "Stoners in Spirit" that punch your timeclock. That's just it.

Q-"Why do these people take the job?" A- "Because it beats working at Wal-Mart."

And with that mentality you will also have the varying levels of immaturity that accompany it. Can you imagine arming some of your agents in the lines with a tazer or even a firearm? I shudder at the outcome, in light of recent situations!

Hey, I'm not trying to instigate or cause a dustup (you guys know where I live, LOL)but rather to ask the questions that I've always wondered in my head. Seems if I were to ask them in this day and age I'd be taken in some back room and given the rubber glove massage, extra sandpaper. :D

Thank you for your forum and it should be noted more that you guys actually do release the video of said incidents and allow public opinion to decide. That's GOOD American behavior.

To all the veterans, THANK YOU for your service and sacrifice. We all owe our freedom to you. Some people need to remember that fact.

Good Day.

Anonymous said...

Show us a better angle of the second video. We know you have it, because that's an area you have to take people for secondary screening.

All of the things in question from the interview are said to have happened in the SECOND video, yet we can't see anything but her head. I want to see if she was handcuffed in the second video. I want to see if her ticket was torn up. Those are the two primary things everyone was looking for, but you just give us this trash! Way to waste 10 minutes of my time.

Anonymous said...

Nice choice of video. Knowing all the areas covered by cameras, you picked one that would show the least amount of what was going on with this young woman during the last video.

Kevin said...

You people (everyone who looks at this video and says it supports her theory) are completely rediculous and, dare I say it? mentally unstable.

1. She claims she was the only person selected because she was a "the hottest girl in line" when in fact multiple people passed through before her.

2. She claims she was detained for over an hour and she missed her flight because of this. She was detained for just under 13 minutes before walking off camera and the secondary video shows her walking out the exit in the same posture with the same agents behind her. Yes time stamps would help confirm this but give then other "inconsistencies" in her story I'm inclined to believe they are concurrent.

3. She claims she was surrounded by 12 Miami Police Officers and 7 TSA agents, in fact these people are not visible on the seating area but she definitely was not surrounded by 19 people when she walked out the exit.

In fact one agent was in front of her and two behind, helpfully carrying her belongings I might add.

4. She never claims she was taken to a room and interrogated, and the video supports this (non) claim.

5. She claims she was handcuffed to the chair. TSA agents are not law enforcement and are not authorized to physically detain any one, nor are they issued handcuffs (or flexicuffs or even zipties) that's why there is always a police officer at each check point.

She was never handcuffed to that chair, and if the videos are continuous she was never handcuffed at all.

6. She wasn't escorted from the airport for "asking questions" she was escorted from the airport for refusing the body scan and the follow up secondary screening. Newsflash, airports are private institutions and they can implement any security measure they choose. Much like many large office buildings have xray scanners and metal detectors at their entrances.

If you want to make it a rule that anyone visiting your house has to strip naked, pop a squat and cough then that's your right just as its your "guests" right to not visit your house. she was never forcefully searched or frisked, she simply declined for personal reasons. and when she declined she was not forcefully carried out and left the facility under her own free will.

This whole scenario is ridiculous, I disagree that the full body scans and strip searches are required for transportation security but this ridiculous and provably false hysteria is only a disservice to rational arguments against security theater.

Jim Stewart said...

It is troubling that she had national exposure for a story that the TSA shows in their video it is not as Meg described it. Her story is an important lesson for travelers and the TSA. But she really didn't need to pad her story with fiction: handcuffed, a dozen cops, etc. I appreciate Meg's account, but I trust the TSA video. When such stories get out on line -- and they are shown to be much less serious -- it creates unnecessary frustration and anger. Isn't there enough to worry about without hearing exaggerated stories?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had a feeling when I saw the story that there two sides to this but it's even worse than I thought - it seems clear that she simply embellished and out-and-out fabricated parts of her story. Clearly there were no handcuffs, she was not handcuffed to the chair at any time. I went throuugh one of those backscatter machines last week, no big deal. In my view of it, all she did is waste the agents time and lower the overall safety during those 20 minutes (by causing an unnecessary distraction). I'd like to see her make a public apology to the TSA, who is there specifically to try and protect HER and the flying public.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you opt out from an intrusive body search... and I commend her for not subjecting herself to such an unnecessary and demeaning procedure... TSA is coercing people to undergo the "virtual strip search" (which has not been fully tested except by those financing or manufacturing it... conflict of interest?!?! ) by making the alternative option a very unpleasant and violating experience.
the issue here is what would have happened if she did not opt out and allowed TSA agents to proceed with the "enhanced pat down"... would TSA have shown that video... I'd like to see the pat down videos of those individuals who have expressed offense with such procedures...

RB said...

The black vest some TSA employees are wearing, is that body armor?

Who was the lady in the light slacks dark top leaning on the equipment on the right side of the frame in the 1st TSA video?

Why was the TSA employee walking around with the persons boarding pass. Can TSA confiscate those too?

Why did several TSA employees gang around the person? Threats and Intimidation?

Why was the XRAY Strip Search Machine only use for a few people then not used? Those employees standing around doing nothing could better be used at WTMD clearing the large backlog of people seen in the video.

Why is TSA violating our civil rights by engaging in searchs that clearly go well beyond any level of an administrative search?

Dave Smith said...

I love how half the people commenting seem to see clear proof the TSA was right ... and the other half see clear proof the TSA was abusive.

The truth is neither video really reveals anything new and nothing has been proven either way.

If the TSA wants to show they were in the right, then they should release ALL of the video.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me how many people are willing to pretend that this verifies her story. She was not cuffed to the chair in the first video. She may have been yelled at but it did not appear that way to me. They gave her paper towels when she was crying. They calmly walked her to a private area to further discuss. She was then escorted out of the area along with her possessions. I listened to the radio show and this really isn't anything like what she described. I did not see her constantly surrounded by TSA agents. Others were going through the body scanner. There were never a dozen cops as she stated. The girl is cute and I think the policies of the TSA are bs but that does not change the fact that this girl seems to be a liar.

Anonymous said...

The video seems to support her claims. Why does the video cut the passenger out? There is no way to see what is going on behind her. All we see are her hands.

Anonymous said...

I admit I haven't watched the entire exit tape, but after listening to the interview and watching the checkpoint tape, Wow, there are SO many differences in her story and what the video tape shows. She says she couldn't wipe her face, yet someone clearly comes up with a roll of paper towels and gives her some. She says the TSA agents were screaming at her initially, but the reactions from the other passengers don't seem to show that, I mean, they barely give her a sideways look when they pass by, let alone when they are gathering their stuff.. She also clearly wasn't the ONLY person to be screened by the scanner, as many people walk through it before/after her, even during the hour she said that no one could use the scanner, because she was being restrained there. I also see her walk over, not grabbing her arm and dragging her, like she states.

This seems like the TSA took my Baby away story.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see anything that corroborates the passenger's story other than the stated length of time. Toward the end of the second video, it would seem that the passenger is becoming agitated as others are turning around to look as they walk past. The police officers never took an aggressive stance. The TSA people did not seem particularly concerned. But the longer this went, the officers seemed to be keeping an eye out to see if this was intended to be a diversion for something more sinister.

I did listen to the entire radio interview, so to say that the video supports the passenger story is not credible.

RB said...


In the second video all we see is the victim taken out of sight of the cameras then an excessive number of TSA employees, inclduing the lady in light slacks dark top (again), several what appear to be police and various other people milling about.

This video proves nothing other than the victim was in fact detained and was surrounded by many people in fake cop and real cop uniforms.

Give us the audio Bob, lets hear how TSA people interacted with this person. How about some other camera angles or would those prove
TSA acted like a bunch of bullies?

Is this what happens when law abiding people reject TSA's program to strip search or feel up people who wish to fly on commercial aircraft?

Anonymous said...

I really can not tell one way or the other if what she claims happened or not because there is only partial video and part of it is of such poor quality it makes seeing what is happening to her impossible, so I guess if I have to decide what happened I'll choose her side.
Until you prove her claims false why post anything? All this does is raise questions as to why the secure area is so poorly recorded.

Anonymous said...

Well, that kind of kills off her credibility. Nothing at all like what she claimed happened.

She claimed she was singled out to go through the scanner. Lots of other people were going through the scanner. She claimed she was handcuffed to the chair. She was not handcuffed to the chair.

Anonymous said...

She, as well as the radio hosts, implied that she may have been singled out because she was attractive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the assumption that there is something printed on the tickets that dictates who is going to be searched.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a better angle of the second video, but it sounds like this isn't exactly what the girl made of it. It's entirely possible she was treated poorly but I don't see any hard evidence of people screaming at her or her being handcuffed to a chair.

Anonymous said...

The fact that we are compelled to watch the video and listen to the audio shows the level of distrust we have in this untrained pseudo police force. The civil liberties that are being removed from US citizens are the reason the Founding Fathers left room for further revolutions when the government became tyrannical.

Mother Jones RN said...

Are we living in Nazi Germany? Why was she escorted out of the airport for refusing to go through the scanner? I believe her version of the events. This is a sad day in American history.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the posted video is not a complete record of the incident.

How does the public know that the TSA is not selectively posting information that would only show their behavior in a positive light?

Such selective information only serves to foster mistrust and doubt among the public.

Anonymous said...

So she didn't want to go through your porno peep show and get patted down instead. Why not give her a pat down, a high five, and send her on her way?

I can see how escorting her from the airport was a better solution. Congrats to all of you for another dumb decision executed poorly.

PS, every time you guys do something dumb like this, the terrorists win.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Watched the videos. Still driving to Chicago for the holidays rather than get on a plane.

Anonymous said...

The TSA workers can't help is their job after all. The policy is revolting and, in my opinion, a violation of the 4th Amendment. When one's choices are subject their body to massive radiation or be groped in a way that would be deemed harassment if it were anyone but a government agent, there's an obvious problem.

Are you listening, TSA? I hope the ACLU files suit after suit against you until you give up this invasive and perverted policy.

Anonymous said...

TSA: by only posting selected video clips from selected cameras, everybody will assume you're hiding the rest. Go ahead and post the complete set of videos. I'm assuming you have nothing to hide here, right?

thinkliberty said...

Where is the video the room you took her to, where you handcuffed her and rip up the ticket?

The video everyone wants to see, hasn't been released.

Bob/Paul said...

Most of her complaints (being handcuffed by a police officer, having her ticket torn up) are events that would have transpired in the second video.

Why is this video from such a horrible angle? Do you really have that many blind spots in your surveillance? We can't see her once she's sat down in the 2nd video, so it's impossible to tell if her ticket was torn or if she was handcuffed.

I will never step foot in a back scatter X-Ray, and I will exercise my right to leave before the screening process finishes if requested to enter such a device, even if it means missing my flight and re-booking at another airport or forgoing air travel all together.

Anonymous said...

The TSA does nothing but consistently violate our 4th amendment rights.

The 4th amendment guarantees our right against unreasonable search and seizure. Simply being a passenger on an airline does not give a federal agency the right to search you.

This woman likely provided no probable cause, as no one really does, yet they are all searched, and everyone just lets it happen.

Let's ask this. How many terrorists have the TSA caught? 0. Zero. None.

What would've happened if a terrorist had slipped by during this distraction?

Eventually, all of our rights granted by the Constitution, and its amendments will slowly be eaten away, all in the name of protecting us against terrorism. The question remains, when do we take a stand?

Anonymous said...

It all happens off, or partially off, screen. No sound feed. Try again, TSA.

This whole thing could be avoided if conducted by an EMT. At least they are under Hippocratic oath to treat a body with dignity.

Anonymous said...

I saw a woman sitting in a chair for over 10 minutes, separated from her belongings, being talked to by at least three agents (one of them quite animated - wish we had audio), and upset enough to be crying. For nothing, as far as I could see.

By the way, I watched the TSA videos before listening to her story.

Sounds like another wonderful airport experience.

Anonymous said...

Did I not see the same video most of the commenters did? I see a passenger who chose not to go through AIT screening ( which appears to be used as the primary method and not a random method as she claims in the interview), then chose not to undergo the alternate form of screening either. Her account is nothing even remotely similar to what happened.
While I know I am not a threat, I want everyone on my plane screened so I assume they want me screened as well. My appearance or my word for it should not be enough. And if I chose not to undergo screening, I wouldn't be surprised if that raised suspicion.
Perhaps if we got off our soapbox of self-righteousness we wouldn't be so hated by the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob, we appreciate you sharing. I think it's fair to say this doesn't change anything. Her story might be exaggerated, but I can see that anyone would be frightened. I have to wonder, because she opted out of a body scan she must be groped? Must be question as someone who has done something wrong? Why not just use the metal detector? Is it assumed that anyone not interested in being photographed nude is a danger?

The question this raises is how did this make anyone safer? Between the violation that is the scanner, which she opted out of, to the groping which has been notorious from TSA agents, what is a passenger to do?

How many terrorist have you, the TSA, caught? (I'll answer, not a single one)

How many honest american's have you violated? (I'll answer that too, too many to count) How about releasing the video of the "pat downs" accusations, haven't seen those on here.

Anonymous said...

What you don't see in a video isn't evidence that something didn't happen. That's why this video is incomplete. It's hiding stuff by omitting it. What you DO see IS evidence of some things that happened.

Anonymous said...

Bob, thank you for posting this and showing this liar for what she really is.

So, she CLAIMS she was there for an hour, but there isn't an hours worth of tape. Maybe that's because... say it with me... she wasn't really there for an hour.

You all are doing Bob a favor, because it just makes you seem like misguided conspiracy theorists. If you want to be taken seriously, this is not how to do it.

Anonymous said...

Most of the time, the woman in question is off camera. And the entry video is 13 minutes. Clearly she was there for much longer.

Since she's mostly off camera except for a few minutes, how do we know you didn't handcuff her, tear up her ticket or have 12 cops show up?

Please post the full video with a full view of everyone there including the woman, the TSA agents and the cops for the full period. The video you showed doesn't prove her story or yours.

In fact I think this points out that you need to install video cameras from all angles (front, back, sides and ceiling down) to record all behaviors from all participants.

jk said...

While I hate the new procedures, I do have to say that it appears that she way over exaggerated her story.

If you have to exaggerate to prove your point then you have no point.

Considering her relationship to certain right-wing blogs/outlets I bet this was a complete setup.

Matt Buck said...

It is entirely clear that the new intrusive genital pat-down procedure is meant to intimidate and harass the American public into accepting the backscatter scanners as the preferable alternative. This is just further evidence that the TSA is more interested in bullying than protecting.

Anonymous said...

Glad we have the TSA to protect us from all the terrorist that they have failed to stop in the past. Good job guys.

Anonymous said...

I know we won't get a response here, but still.

What of this contradicts her story?

You showed a few minutes of footage with her right next to the scanner, but then posted a 10 minute video that she's off screen for almost the entirety of. Showing us that, at FLL, it is standard procedure to bring people to an area hidden from video cameras (come on, seriously, in an airport security checkpoint, it's hidden from cameras?) doesn't prove her a liar, it doesn't prove her correct, it proves NOTHING.

Show us something damning to her if you want to make a point. Not something that can maybe sort of be mildly construed as not completely reinforcing her claims.

Brian Wohlgemuth said...

Policy is: If they opt-out then manual screening. Why was this not done? I see someone who opted-out and then was sat and then escorted from the airport. That is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Do you seriously expect us to believe that the location you take passengers for special screening is not visible by your CCTV cameras?

The fact that you published footage wherein she is off screen just makes her story more believable.

Anonymous said...

The reason to investigate claims is that no side will be absolutly truthful. Clearly the woman exaggerated in her claims, yet I can sympathise with her feelings.
I would be irate if the TSA felt they had the right to lay hands on my wife in the manor now described as protocol. Particularly as it is only part of "Security Theater".
Every time I have had the misfortune of flying I have observed glaring gaps in screening which would have and did allow prohibited items through.
If you really fell that this is the way to proceed with security the next logical step is body cavity searches. In the prison system the common method of smuggling is inside the body. The bad guys know that they probability of a scan is high so they will shift tactics and go that route.
How will you feel the next time you fly with your family and your wife or child is "randomly" asked to drop trow and spread?

Anonymous said...

Aside from finding it difficult to validate either side of the story, I am also quite startled by the fact that the TSA publishes surveillance video without pixelating by-passers.

So, now I might end up on YouTube just because I happened to be near somebody who said the TSA didn't treat her well?

Paulous Flavious Maximus said...

These two videos don’t show the entirety of what transpired – and we don’t hear audio. We don’t know what transpired (from the video) between when she leaves the holding area and we see her exiting the terminal. These clips neither confirm nor deny her allegations.

These events shouldn't come as a surprise to any liberty loving American. A lot of men and women have given up their lives to protect us against these kinds of abridgements of our rights - one of which is the right against search and seizure (4th Amendment).

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA, we're sick of it. Sick of your attitude. Please change NOW.

jb said...

The only thing these clips prove is that the passenger is seated/delayed for AT LEAST 10 minutes without being processed.

Doesn't TSA have a procedure for a usecase of this nature?

i.e. Passenger declines backscatter scan, passenger declines enhanced pat down. What now?

Don't tell me no-one has thought this through to a conclusion

Anonymous said...

The real story in this video is how many people are willfully walking through the porno-scanner.

Your Friend Ethel said...

The video still doesnt help you. I find it ironic that the video only shows up in certain cases, but yet the most egregious events the video magically goes missing. Its also ironic no "enhanced pat-downs" were done during this maybe its because the sups knew that once this started the video might get out and didnt want to show violations of Florida state law to the rest of the country.

Then during this video there are multiple things wrong. Several TSA employees are seen going through without being screened including setting off a metal detector. So let me get this as a traveler im to be treated like a criminal till proven innocent, but yet any TSA employee can walk through the metal detector setting it off and not be searched because they have had a background check? right and im supposed to believe that with the history of TSA and the crimes its employees have committed.

I figure this post wont see the light of day but thats okay i will be back in contact with the OIGs office when they open in the morning.

Anonymous said...

So is she being escorted from the airport in the second video or escorted to another area where she is handcuffed to a chair and has her ticket ripped up? Without this information the videos don't prove anything.

Your Friend Ethel said...

THe vested female in this video violated TSA own privacy policy by just grabbing what looks like the ladies travel documents without her permission. So if this lady wanted to she could file attempted identity theft charges against this person.

This certainly doenst help your case TSA. This all smacks of TSA retaliating for contempt of smurf for not "respektin my authoriti" the vested female in the video came into the frame with body language of looking for a fight and proceeded from there to get more aggresive and in ms McLains face and invade her personal space. up to 04:28. The circling the person by the other two employees are also intimidation tactics that are very unprofessional. So much for a highly trained professionals.

I figure this post wont see the light of day but thats okay i will be back in contact with the OIGs office when they open in the morning.

Your Friend Ethel said...

In the second video to much of it out of view but yet again the circling of the person and the foot tapping by TSA employees is very unprofessional and very telling. Then who is the person in the white pants that is pacing around as the body language there is out of control and unprofessional, and its not ms mclain. Furthermore Curtis what is the purpose of the search in the second video. if she refused then that search isnt warrented and is going way way way outside of the scope of TSA charter and is a violation of the 4th amendment. Then about the 09:19 i presume the white shirts at this point are LEO but it looks like even to them by the body langauge they are questioning all of this and wondering what the heck.

In the second video there is to much going on out of view to say whats going on, but certainly anything is possible.

Overall this situation also points out that TSA is definitely not comprised of highly trained professionals and is most certainly overstaffed and needs to have its budget thinned as if there are this many TSA employees standing around considering the state of the economy and the debt and deficit a thinning of the heard is needed.

I figure this post wont see the light of day but thats okay i will be back in contact with the OIGs office when they open in the morning.

Will said...

I'm sure there is much more to this than the TSA is willing to provide. There are no time stamps. There is no audio. Are there REALLY the only two cameras in the whole area? I'm curious to see the testimony of other passengers who went through security. We know all their names, so this should be a breeze. Also, why are their no statements from individual police or TSA officers (gag order?)?

I'm sure there is going to be a lawsuit, and as any defendant in a lawsuit, the TSA is not releasing any information that will make them look guilty during their 'impending investigation'. They're just putting up this smoke screen to advert the public attention while the settle out of court.

I smell a whopper of a FOIA inquiry coming up.....
which will probably get squelched

Anonymous said...

There has not been a proper review of the effects of the full body scan x-ray radiation on the skin, although it has been substantively posited to be dangerous.

It is humiliating to have your image taken by that machine or felt up by the ridiculous pat-down. It is humiliating to be treated like a criminal resist this invasion.

Meg was right, the TSA is way out of line here, and again , they have never caught any terrorists.

They need to remove these scanners and invasive feel-up/pat-downs immediately.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, she totally looks like a liar now.

Get real. She's being intimidated from frame one of the video footage.

Release the audio if you're so sure she wasn't harassed.

And don't tell me the cameras don't have audio, give us the microphones you have set up on the separate system in the area.

Luke said...

To everyone who is claiming the video only confirms what she said: you either didn't watch the video or didn't listen to the whole interview. Handcuffs - not there, 12 people surrounding her - 3 maybe, which quickly turns to 1 person who appears to be calmly explaining something and handing her tissues to wipe her face. (exactly the opposite of what was claimed in the interview).

I'm a little confused as to why people could think this helps her case. I'm not saying random full body searches and body scanning is a good thing, but this woman is obviously lying about a lot.

Erin said...

You can absolutely see where she is cuffed in the video.

Take a look at the very end of the second video full screened. If you start at about 10:30 you'll see the police and TSA escorting her out barefoot (as she mentioned). When you get to the point where they turn the corner at the exit sign (right around 10:36-10:38 you can clearly (well, as clearly as you can see anything for how fuzzy the video is) see the cuffs on her wrists. Also, throughout the entire walk you can see the way she is holding her hands, which would only make sense if they were cuffed. They are held in front of her body in a very distinctive manner. You have to pause it to catch the actual bands on her wrists, but they are obviously there.

Anonymous said...

Hey, what happened to TSA, with attitude, tearing up her ticket in front of her? What happened to the 12 regular cops surrounding her?

Anonymous said...

These videos do not corroborate anyone's story. They are clearly not simultaneous and do not show the same area. Without timestamps or audio they are worthless, and to imply that we can make an informed judgment on TSA's actions or the person's story is absurd.

Anonymous said...

To the last Anonymous poster. NO, she did not say no one else could use the scanner while she was being detained. She said no one else could use the secondary inspection station because she was being detained there. It's a wonder how people can say this contradicts her story when you can't remember the details of what she actually said.

Anonymous said...

why is it that our comments on the youtube video can not be submitted with out approval?

Aaron said...

Security Theater
look it up...

Security Theater is a term that describes security countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually improve security. The term was coined by Bruce Schneier for his book Beyond Fear, but has gained currency in security circles, particularly for describing airport security measures. It is also used by some experts such as Edward Felten to describe the airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks. Security theater gains importance both by satisfying and exploiting the gap between perceived risk and actual risk.[citation needed]

Anonymous said...

you are bulling you're costumers it's not about safety anymore

Nel said...

No sound though. Doesn't prove a thing.

Doesn't even show the time of when the police come.

Anonymous said...

"We’ll let you decide what really happened."

Stay classy, bob.

I can't imagine why the TSA has such an image problem; you're such consummate professionals.

Anonymous said...

Although it appears her claims are greatly exaggerated I have to agree that TSA has to have more cameras in these areas than what they have released? This puts doubt into them trying to "clear" the air. I also question why those that went through the scanner had to be body search as well?? I want to feel safe when flying but being abused by overzealous agents isn't my idea of being safe.

Anonymous said...

This is very misleading, Bob.

1. The first video was sharpened (edge-enhanced), the second was not, which is why it is very difficult to tell what is happening in the second video. The sharpening is obvious to anyone who edits video.

2. If you look closely between 9:43 and 9:57 in the second video, you will see this woman actually gets up. It becomes obvious if you rock back and forth between these two points. Apparently she was seated during this period (which is consistent with her recital indicating that she was handcuffed for 10 minutes). It also establishes, clearly, that there was a second chair, and the TSA seems to want the public to believe that the only chair was in the first video.

3. During this ten minute period when she is seated in the second video, only the very top and back of her head is visible. As with her description, there are many, many TSOs present, as well as what appear to be at least three LEOs.

4. What I find particularly interesting is her exit from the sterile area. If you freeze at 10:33, you can clearly see a "band" around her left wrist. At 10:36, you can see that her fists are clenched, but held very slightly apart. You can see this again at 10:37, as well as a "band" around her right wrist. If you look at the fist video, you will see the band on her right wrist as she enters. There is not, however, a band on her left wrist. Sure looks like she was handcuffed to me.

How about posting the video with less compression and without added sharpening and/or blurring? Then we can really determine what happened.

Anonymous said...

You do realize now every time TSA employees act crazy you will be expected to release the vido within 24 hours or people will assumer you are hiding something right?

Seth said...

How come the video does not continue until she leaves? Her story is that she was cuffed and her ticket ripped after the cops arrive. Did the police never show or what, where is the rest of the video of the interaction with this woman?

Anonymous said...

Two glaring inconsistencies just at the beginning:

Meg: "the only random person chosen for the body scanner"

Reality - the video shows 10+ people having to go through it

Meg: she "grabbed my arm and started pulling me into this area"

Reality - the video shows that no one touched her and she walked into that area on her own

Anonymous said...

The video proves that the scanners take a lot more than a few seconds. All persons I saw took more than 40 seconds to be cleared.

The video also proves that passengers cannot keep an eye on their belongings while they are being scanned (they are placed with their back to the belt, and the machine has a construction that keeps them from seeing out.

Anonymous said...

There are probably 10 or more security cameras covering this security checkpoint area. Why is it that the TSA has chosen to release two clips that only partially show the occurrences in question.

The first shot has half of the action cut off, and the second one is from a hundred yards away. You'd have to be an idiot to think that these are the best security camera views they had of the situation.

If you are going to release video to vindicate yourselves or show the "other side", then release it all, not just what you want people to see.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else happen to notice the skipping that occurs in the video?

Also, your own agent fails to follow the new pat-down procedure when checking the lady wearing the purple shirt. I assume you're taking disciplinary action correct? Just in case you missed it, she fails to do the crotch check.

Also, show the video coverage of that off-screen area. You almost certainly have a feed of it for court purposes, and you're doing yourselves a discredit by holding it back. Perhaps a freedom of information act request is in order?

I agree that there was some exaggeration on the victims part, however the body language of your agents suggest they are being confrontational.

You can clearly see one agent shake her head violently and you can see the other agent standing by reacting in a negative fashion to something said as well.

I personally will never fly so long as you have these violating policies in place. The airlines will begin to demand change when your absurd and inappropriate practices begin to cut into their bottom line.

Blogger Bob said...

Hey all... Just wanted to let you know I'll be moderating later tonight. Your comments will appear soon.


Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

If that is all the video there is the TSA should really update their guidelines on where to place the CCTV cameras, as you know, it might actually be useful to have good footage of potential terrorists instead of this hard to see at the edge of the screen crap given here, that really shows no detail at all.

Anonymous said...

I have looked at this video carefully and I want to say a couple of things... Question: Why can we spend millions of dollars on the imaging technology yet we get lousy quality CCTV security cameras which make it almost impossible to confirm your assertions or hers?

Clearly the female TSA Agent is adopting an "imperious" attitude throughout the first Video. Absent audio, it is impossible to give any context to the body language.
The second video also lacks quality and context... Did the Agent rip up the ticket? Certainly looks like that might have happened toward the end of the second video. The young lady appears to be led away in handcuffs at the end of the second video as well - the lousy CCTV quality makes it impossible to ascertain that with certainty.

Was she handcuffed to a chair? Certainly not in the FIRST video - In the second, who knows? Again it is difficult to ascertain - There are no cameras closer to that secondary area? It certainly appears that she was led away in handcuffs - so somehow the cuffs got on her....

Anonymous said...

Whether she exagerated her story or not, the video makes things very clear:

1. The TSA is using intimidation tectics when someone rightfully opts out.

2. The TSA prevented this passenger from getting on her flight for *no justifiable reason*.

The TSA owes this passenger an apology and owes the American public an explanation of what went wrong and what is being done to correct the problem.

Steven Frischling said...

While I may take the TSA to task with certain actions, usually administrative, I think I have to side with the TSA here.

The two videos run concurrent to each other, at no time do I see any handcuffs, nor do TSOs have handcuffs, As well the shredding of a ticket, would actually be the shredding of a boarding pass ... and that was not done.

My only thought is this ... did the woman have an altercation with the police who clearly were present to escort her out of the airside area?

Happy Flying!


Anonymous said...

The video may not be perfect but clearly shows the original story was all lies. Of course there will be annoying conspiracy theorists who won’t believe the gov. no matter what proof is presented. Shame on them and shame on anyone who blatantly lies to spin up a patently false account.

Anonymous said...

the big issue here is not her story but that body scans are unconstitutional in the first place

RB said...

TSA video two (The Exit), @ 10:37 sure looks like the lady has been handcuffed.

Anonymous said...

These new scanners are a waste of money, the old method has been working just fine.

I will avoid flying now so i dont have to choose between radioactive naked scanning and being groped by a rent-a-cop.

This new protocol will hurt the airline industry, and its only here because we have too many bureaucrats with too much free time.

Isn't there a debt crises in this country? And we piss our tax $$ away on this garbage. Oh well, I guess we can just have Helicopter Ben print more $$.

Anonymous said...

Absurd. This story line should read: "entitled, grossly misinformed passenger who wants special treatment complains to her entitled, grossly misinformed friends on the phone"

Even without the audio, subtitles, play-by-play and whatever else the conspiracy theorists want to see, the girl is lying about her experience and she is lying about the treatment she received. The mouths on the radio transcript egg her on and suggest that she should have been even more of a rule breaker? Yep, there is smoke AND fire, and it is all coming from these trouble-makers.

The rules are for everybody who choose to fly. but make no mistake, the extra security has to be on staff because there will always be the chance of some entitled passenger like this one who tries to cause a scene.

TSA has a thankless job. I am not alone in my willingness to be thoroughly screened so that that our flights are safer. What does it say about these folks that they don't??

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate the posting of these videos, they merely serve to support parts of Meg's story but don't contradict a single thing by virtue of the fact that they don't carry time stamps (no way of knowing the events covered are not edited down) not to mention the lack of audio (which is typical for CCTV, no doubt; simply highlighting a shortcoming of the material's use to discredit anything about Meg's story).

Of course this woman has merely become the momentary poster child for a deeper concern that needs attention: the ridiculous choice between the aptly-nicknamed "porno scanner" and getting a genital pat-down, AND the official training of agents to leverage the humility of the patdown as coercion to enter the "porno scanner".

Funny (or not) little detail: I reconsidered entering my Google account creds for this comment; not liking the direction these violations of civilian rights are going.

You can do better, folks – a lot better.

esme said...

I see a lot of people stuck on the fact that there were inconsistencies but what about concentrating on what clearly matched with that she reported?

Then taking those facts that you can see matching - now discuss whether they were rude, wasting time and that they could have handled this a different way? Instead of the TSA pathetically saying oo look some inconsistensies and gullible people falling for them - how about addressing the issues clearly seen in this scenario.

The TSA handled this inefficiently and without common sense. How about apologising for that as there is no denying this.

As someone on another article pointed out, only in the USA do you get such rude treatment of passengers. So smug about posting videos showing a TSA agent being rude - you guys must have been proud of this fact. Disgusting and immature response to a real issue for many people.

I will never visit the USA because of this and I am sure that others feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

I want to believe you on this one TSA... but your video doesn't really prove anything one way or the other.

90% of the time everyone involved is off camera.

Anonymous said...

How many lives are being saved every day by the TSA?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what any of you who claim "this clears everything up! The TSA is clearly here for our safety! Those people are liars!" are actually watching. As best I can tell, it completely corroborates her story. She was taken aside. Several agents talked to her. One was visibly sassy and looked a bit mean. She cried. She was taken to a different location. Police arrived (how many can't exactly be seen in the shot, but it's clear some are present). You can't make out if she was or wasn't handcuffed, and you can't see where the agent may have ripped her ticket in front of her.

There's no way this disproves the story, if anything it is just further evidence of wrongdoing on the TSA's part.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to remind you TSA guys that you have never once caught a terrorist. Ever.
But you've seen thousands of us naked! Way to keep 'merica safe!

Anonymous said...

Man, what a mockery of authority you have here TSA. You honestly mean to tell me she was a threat to national security? Get over yourselves. All this proves is how power hungry and abusive the TSA is. Remind me how many terrorists the TSA has caught? None. Notice how I said caught and not stopped. So far the TSA hasn't proven its useful even once. Yet they think they should step up security which justifies this. Step up security for what? So you can accuse innocent people of "impeding justice" or some such nonsense? TSA, you are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

It seems that there are validity to both sides. She obviously felt intimidated to a degree that was somewhat greater than we see on the cctv cam. However, your security personnel seem a bit over-aggressive and not well trained. The protocol for individuals who refuse to go tru the scanners should be a normal variation rather than an "incident" or danger alert. Also, if the individual refuses to a pat down or scanner an offer to have them disrobed and a visual check must be offered as some people have an aversion to being touched. If all the option are declined then a simple exit from the airport seems sufficient - considering that you have the incident on cam and you know the identity of the individual. There is no need to escalate to a confrontation or intrude upon individuals human rights.

Anonymous said...

@ Karen Delano
How did she exaggerate when nearly everything she said they did, they did in the video? The camera's clearly didn't show everything, so one can't say either way.

Anonymous said...


Maybe it would help if you could post videos with time codes to show the two cameras are continuous? That won't satisfy the crazies (nothing will really) but its something more at least.


Anonymous said...

It would appear to me that she not only opted out of AIT screening very strongly objected tobeing patted down in public so she was taken for a private screening. Didn't see any handcuffs, didn't see her ticket get ripped up. Sounds like she exagerated to me.

Anonymous said...

So walking through this:

- A very upset person exaggerated a bit while describing her terrible experience with TSA. No surprise, the TSA videos support the basic complaint and anyone detained for 20+ minutes in a very public position and humiliated in front of the public is going to exaggerate a bit.

- TSA demonstrates an attempt to care (paper towels to wipe her face and blow her nose) but has just documented a total failure of procedural execution and public awareness. As well as documenting the mannerisms and behaviour that cause the public to feel intimidated and distrustful of TSA agents.

What I take away from this is quite simple. If that had been my mother or colleague then I'd be furious. Furthermore my mother would have thrown one heck of a fit about being surrounded and, feeling threatened, would have matched the TSA officers escalation body language and probably gotten tasered. In short, it's probably not same for my mother to travel until TSA gets their act together.

Speaking of which, I just had to warn both my mother and father to be prepared for the state sanctioned sexual molestation which is required under the new pat-down rules. Since my mother is recovering from radiation treatment and my father is at risk, body imaging scanning is a risk they will not take. Luckily they are pretty seasoned travelers, and so long as something stupid like this event doesn't happen - they will probably just file their complaints and move on.

Richard Bellingham said...

This is all immaterial and whether the girls story is true or not doesn't detract from the fact that these ridiculous x-ray machines are poorly tested and fraudulently tendered and installed. TSA employees themselves are doing they and their families a disservice by not looking into the health risks associated with these machines.

People are rioting in Europe because of the exact totalitarianism that foisted these machines on the population. You Americans are going to learn it the hard way when your economy collapses because of the rampant fraud coming down from the top tier of politics.

Anonymous said...

There are no time stamps on the videos. You cannot make any claim from these videos regarding how long she was detained since what happened between the videos is unknown (again because of no time stamp on the videos). This doesn't clear anything up. Unless your working for TSA PR department and commenting here hoping people just read comments instead of actually watching the video and realizing what I just said.

Jon said...

I don't buy that the TSA does not cover the one spot where they detain "suspects"
Also, this is probably the first time that I've seen any security tape footage that doesn't have a timestamp in it.
This is not very transparent...

Anonymous said...

The nerve of TSA to video tape the checkpoints so that activists can't even lie about thier experiences. :)

Nice job TSA! Thanks for doing a professional job and for keeping us as safe as possible.

Jordan said...

"We'll let you decide what really happened"? Really, Bob? If I get to decide what really happened, do I also get to decide whether or not the agents in question are reprimanded or fired, or whether the TSA's policy's are changed? No, I didn't think so.

Letting us decide is about as productive as letting a convict decide what he wants to eat the day after his execution--which is to say it's totally moot.

What we need is for the TSA to decide, and then tell us the exact reasons why it came to that decision, and what the repercussions will be for those involved.

And by the way, why aren't there any cameras pointing at the area where secondary screening takes place? You'd think that would be useful when doing things like judging staff conduct. And being able to accurately judge staff conduct is something that should be an agency priority when agents are instructed to view nude images of travelers or feel their chests and groins, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

So, does walking through a security checkpoint also give you the right to release footage of me on the internet now?

- random passerby

Anonymous said...

Alright, so everything she said was true. I'm definitely not going to be flying anytime soon until you guys fix up your ridiculous policies and attitudes.

Anonymous said...

There's no way this is the whole video. They selected her to be screened, she said no. The video would lead you to believe that they just sat her in a chair then let her go with no screening at all. So then why did they select her in the first place if they are willing to just let her walk away? I'm really assuming they took her somewhere else and searched her privately.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob,

This is definitely interesting.

The woman in question certainly exaggerated her account, but of course when you are story-telling, the listener can always expect a certain amount of embellishment I would assume.

If anyone can embellish a story, it's the TSA - reading how the organization is trying to increase it's budget by 10% over its existing $200 million for questionable advanced interrogation techniques is interesting. $200 million annually & how many terrorists caught at the gate?

TSA's program to catch terrorists

It's interesting to see the justification of the program is 1,700 arrests for non-terrorist "illegal activity". I'd like to see more information around those numbers (ex: how did the extra $200 million actually contribute to those arrests? Would they have been caught anyways under existing methods? What is the cost per arrest ($117,648 additional cost per arrest) in comparison to per-arrest costs using only existing techniques?

What's interesting with this video is the TSA's approach and value on privacy.

- What kind of permission did the TSA obtain prior to posting this video?

- Is the video a record of the entire event (ex: she describes the ordeal as an hour event, however she also clearly explains time at a ticketing counter which wasn't captured on the 15-20 mins represented here)

- The TSA has now set a precedent of letting the court of public opinion weigh in on such matters, I'm personally not opposed to these tactics, however how can the public verify that all records, evidence, and all cases are brought forward? (it would be hypocritical for TSA to claim foul on presenting an opinion and then hold back critical information when arguing their case. Equally hypocritical to throw out evidence only when TSA can be presented in a good light)

It's sad to me to see that "the terrorists" have won. Flying is now a horrible and stressful experience. Security companies are certainly raking it in, but I think in the long run it will be a continued detriment to the aviation industry and the traveling public.

More than anything it's sad to see an erosion of our basic rights and dignities.

It's sad to see that Blogger Bob can access the video file of someone who has opted out of a security screening (when the options given were invasive body scan or invasive pat-down) and then try to make a public mockery of that person (I'm assuming without consent).

Blogger Bob - if one feels their rights have been violated by the TSA and would like a complete video record of the account so they can make a claim in the court of public opinion, how would one go about doing so?

It's clear the TSA has the ability to do this (and quickly), and the TSA claims to serve the public... it would be great to see how you can obtain the records of your own experiences when dealing with security. For example, I'd personally love to see what a body scan of me looks like so I can decide whether it's invasive or not and make a decision on whether I want that or a pat-down. I also want to know how I can protect my rights and prove there's been a violation in the event that I've been improperly treated in a pat-down. I'd also want to be able to have proof if I feel that I've been bullied by TSA officials if I decline either a pat-down or a body scan (I would fully expect to miss my flight if I opt-out, but wouldn't want to be intimidated or get my name on a list for protecting my personal privacy).

More than anything, I wouldn't want this treatment for my 13 year old daughter.

Thanks Bob - hoping this makes it through the moderating process & I get a response, but will paste this on other boards as well.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the veracity of the woman's story, should an official or semi-official communication from a government agency -- particularly one which has essentially absolute power over whether you can board a plane and has the power to detain US citizens -- be treating this issue in such a casual manner? You imply that her claim is "inaccurate," you make claims that are not supported by the available evidence, and you also imply that the subjective and uninformed conclusion of your blog's readers is sufficient inquiry into the incident, when in fact the appropriate response is a thorough and professional investigation.

This woman, like any individual, can make any claims she wants. The TSA, like any government agency, has a responsibility to the people it works for (the citizens of the United States) to be more professional and objective than this.

The fact that the TSA can detain citizens for pretty much any or no reason in the name of national security means the bar for judging the appropriateness of such actions much be extraordinarily high. We grant law enforcement officers of all kinds significant latitude in their discretion, because their work is not only essential, but also difficult and dangerous. However, we also hold them accountable not to overstep their authority, and to show respect for the people they are policing. If this woman's allegations are true -- and nothing you have presented factually discredits her claims, because the CCTV footage is incomplete -- your facile dismissal of her ordeal is not only offensive, but it is exactly the sort of "tyranny" the right-wing nuts have been crowing about since their guy failed to get elected President.

Anonymous said...

There is not a whole lot in these videos that discredits most of what she said on the radio. She was NOT handcuffed to the chair that can be seen in the first video, but I can't remember where she said she was cuffed (front vs. back room). There is no sound, so nothing in terms of what TSA agents said can be confirmed/denied. Also no time stamps, so that throws things for a loop a bit.

All in all, the videos really only confirm the fact that TSA WILL overreact when an attractive young girl doesn't want to be video tapped naked or groped by some stranger.

Well, I guess that's not quite true, the videos also prove that TSA will post largely meaningless videos and claim they discredit a story when they do not.

Anonymous said...

For a moment, I will assume that everything she said was a untrue, and that these videos document everything that happened.

I still see a girl being harassed and intimidated for not wanting a TSA employee to gawk at her in the nude.

Patrick Bailey said...

Wow, I guess this all just goes to show that the TSA isn't some gigantic pain in the butt with no purpose.

I will say that it's nice that they have allowed folks to comment that are saying, "So she was a liar!" and, "So the video confirms her story!" both at the same time.

That being said, hen do we get our liquids back?

Anonymous said...

Hi TSA -

We Americans are saying no to your invasive searches and harmful radioactive scans. These scanners have not been proven safe across a wide array of people and their longterm safety has also not been studied.

Anonymous said...

Lights, Camera, Action. Is this a journalism project in Civil Rights? Is this station trying to boost ratings? Bravo for being the first one to raise awareness of the the new Pat Down Procedure, but maybe now the facts can be brought to light. The people that pat you down hate it just as much as you do. If there is a better way to detect explosives maybe you should do a radio show about that.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

Why is the released TSA video only 15 minutes long?

She clearly states that her experience lasted 30+ minutes.

Anonymous said...

I once spoke with a reliable person who told me that his friend had accidentally gotten on a plane with a handgun. He just kept it hidden until he got off the plane, but it shows how useless and wasteful your organization is.

1. Your employees are the largest source of theft in any airport.
2. Few of your employees are well-trained security representatives. Most of them work for you because they couldn't get a real job.
3. All of the inconveniences you heap upon passengers prevent nothing. In any altercations, it's the courage of fellow passengers that have prevented the dangerous people you let through from accomplishing their goals.
4. You're already useless, so I'm not inclined to let you grope and leer at me naked when it won't make me any more safe.

It'd be a better use of resources if we turned you into a litter patrol.

Ian M. LAX flyer. said...

No one is exempt from the rules, no matter how many tears, or what type of cute-girl persona they might employ.

I really hate waiting in lines, but that's the way it has to be. The TSA did their job and this lady accomplished was to make their job harder, thereby making the lines slower and longer for everyone else.

I think this type of public information and open response is valuable.

Anonymous said...

Care to comment on this BloggerBob?

Anonymous said...

Having been through dozens of TSA lines I already know the confrontational Ghetto manner in which They address and CONFRONT situations. Their passive aggressive nature, their seething insolance. Watching the TSA Agents SWARM around her as if She is a Criminal is appalling! If the TSA thought that this would bolster their credibility (none!) They were seriously mistaken!

Anonymous said...

You guys are behaving like spoiled brats by posting this video online. Posting this video is completely unacceptable!

We allow CCTVs because they're supposed to be there for emergencies and crime prevention and after-the-fact detective work. This is not what you're using it for here... you crossed the border by posting this video online, without giving even a bit of thought to the other privacy of the other passengers seen in the video.

i think it horrible that nobody even blinks over the online posting of this video.

Anonymous said...

There is no sound, the person is out of frame, and we have only about 20 minutes of something that obviously went on much longer than that. This video by no means exonerates the TSA, not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

I notice from the video that when people go through the porno scanner their luggage sits unattended at the end of the x-ray belt. Isn't this against TSA policy? Shouldn't bags always be within sight? Can you please explain why you are allowing bags to be separated from their owners for well over a minute? Will TSA accept responsibility if bags are stolen?

Anonymous said...

I listened to the radio interview and this seems to confirm what she said. I don't understand how this is evidence to disprove what she said.

TSA sucks said...

This is proof that OBL won. Who does the TSA think they are? Giving up freedoms and personal rights and then being harassed about it.

Anonymous said...

This agency disgusts me.

Anonymous said...

Haha, liar liar pants on fire. This girl claimed she was cuffed to a chair, that no one else went through the body scanner, etc. For those who weren't watching closely enough, a liar is a liar.

Anonymous said...

Sorry bob, this simply proves her story to be correct. Sure maybe there are a few minor factual inconsistencies, but minor events are very fallible while under such emotional stress.

Also, regarding the length, there is really no way to tell how long she was or was not there, it's split between two video feeds without timestamps!

Anonymous said...

Well, that didn't look like an hour to me, nor did she look like she was handcuffed. It doesn't excuse the get zapped or groped policy, but it does prove her story was false.

Anonymous said...

re: 2nd video- there are anywhere from 5-7 TSA agents standing around a single petite female who is cuffed to a chair, and by now is obviously not a threat to anyone?

Does this strike you as a good use of TSA resources?

Coyote said...

The TSA has unlimited power and no accountability. Why were five agents surrounding this citizen? It seems pretty clear to me that they were trying to intimidate her.

Anonymous said...

This video shows nothing. Look at how TSA swarms her in the beginning of the first video. Look at the aggressive hand gestures of the female TSA agent speaking to her. I wonder what threats were made.

Anonymous said...

The real question here should be why everyone is treated as a criminal. What happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Why is a young girl, who is obviously not a criminal or a terrorist, being treated like this?

Another question: how many terrorists has the TSA screening actually stopped? I know the answer: none. How do you justify the existence of these methods when they are obviously ineffective?

Anonymous said...

As long as the TSA is tasked with violating the 4th Amendment as their mission and raison d'etre, there will continue to be more and more cases like this and the abuse of liberty that the TSA must perform will alienate the people of this country more and more.

Bob and his TSA are putting themselves at odds with the citizenry and with liberty, and digging in their heels. This will end badly.

Anonymous said...

You only need to watch 15 seconds -- at the very end of the second video. (Add &t=10m26s to the end of the URL, makes it faster.)

The girl gets up, with multiple TSO/LEO escorts, and they all start to walk down the hall. Then the video stops -- before they get to the end of the hall. The camera just stopped rolling. What happened next?

People under duress can easily misconstrue the order of events. Releasing partial CCTV footage does not help straighten out the disorder.

Robert said...

I'd like to believe you, but we need some timestamps on those videos. Without them, they are worthless, as we have no idea how much time passed between the two videos... I think they are sequential, but video timestamps would clear that up in no time if you can provide them.

Anonymous said...

One would think there would be one or more cameras on the detention area. After all, this is where one would expect the trouble will happen, and where people will accuse the TSA of abuse. It would make sense just to have cameras there to should there is no abuse happening.

CarrotTop TSO said...

I think this young lady is quite a story teller. She says that her breasts were "twisted" by a TSA officer, then she says she never got screened at all. Wow! I'm sure she felt singled out, and the experience was distressing. However, it sounds like she refused both the scanner and the pat down. If we don't let a pilot refuse to be screened why would we let this girl through without screening?

Connor said...

So... WHY is the enhanced pat down area situated off-camera?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob! I don't see any myths busted just a bunch of TSA employees bullying a little girl in pig tails...which matches with her story. It'd be nice to have some audio so we can actually hear the tirade issuing from the tsa employee with a bushy ponytail and serious attitude.

Anonymous said...

This is insufficient. Rather convenient that a good portion is recorded off camera and the recording does not provide complete context. What is immanently apparent is the utility of intimidation.

Anonymous said...

This segment of video doesn't disprove anything she said.

She was giving her account of an hour or more of her time. This is barely 14mins of time accounted for.

Its more likely that most of her comments on the harsh treatment occurred after the segment where she was taken away.

She said she couldn't wipe her tears because she was handcuffed.

Chances are not all TSA employees are Nazi-Power Mongers as demonstrated by the women who gave her the tissues.

But in looking at the body language of the other TSA employees in contrast to TSA woman who offered the tissues, especially the woman on the left waving her right hand with all sorts of sharp gestures gives me the impression shes more of the instigator who has a power trip about her position and probably escalated it beyond the point it needed to just because to prove a point.

And I think a lot of people's concern is that these type of power trips arent uncommon and people just make a bad a situation worse just because they can.

Harrison said...

First of all, I don't think this video clears up anything.

I think you, blogger bob, should go through and comment about what you see happening at the various time codes of the two videos.

The subject in question is out of frame for a good deal of the first video, and nevertheless it is clear that she is overwhelmed and in a state of distress. I can see her crying for several minutes and one of the TSA employees gives her a towel or tissue to wipe her face.

The second video is not focused on the subject, and I cannot tell what is happening at all.

Now I've been to the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale International Airport several times, and I generally found the TSA agents to be polite. I've been through the full body scanner shown in this video, and I was subject to a pat down as well.

I actually didn't have a problem with either procedure. I didn't feel violated by the body scanner, and the TSA agent who had to frisk me was down-right apologetic about the whole thing.

But just because I didn't feel violated doesn't mean that I'm willing to accept the fact that these procedures are safe for passengers, effective at catching terrorists, or respectful of travelers rights to feel secure in their persons.

I think that the TSA has a lot of explaining to do, and I think that this piddling attempt at blaming the victim in this circumstance belies an utter lack of professionalism from the public relations department of the TSA.

This isn't the first incident of a passenger feeling violated by these new procedures, nor is it the first time that someone has been subject to extra screening due to their lack of passive cooperation with TSA.

I hope you're still working on a much longer explanation of exactly what occurred in this situation along with similar explanations (complete with video analysis) of the scores of similar high profile complaints of inappropriate and invasive contact that have come out this past month.

Anonymous said...

Number one, I cannot believe that an airport only has 2 cameras that cover this happening. One of those angles being so far away that you can't see anything. Number two, this goes along with her story in every way. I think it is hilarious that Ateo says that the difference is "striking"... obvious TSA employed commenter is obvious.

Going back to Number one. If you expect us to believe that only 2 cameras captured what happened then you must believe the general population is a bunch of retards. We all know that every airport is covered with tons of cameras covering every possible angle. If there are in fact only 2 cameras covering the main security checkpoint of this airport then the person in charge of security should be fired.

gdw said...

Is there any official response to the claim of being hand cuffed?

You can't tell in the video for sure if she is or isn't. Well, the first video you can see she is not, but the second video you can't tell.

Anonymous said...

I have a strong stance on civil rights and hate what the TSA stands for.

I did not hear the woman's radio interview first but looked at both videos. What I see is a passenger who I perceive is a little nervous, perhaps overwhelmed.

However, I see the TSA people here as acting professionally. I see some of them appearing to motion toward the machine in what is probably an attempt to enumerate the tradeoffs of the scan vs. pat-down and, perhaps, that the scan is safe (in their view).

In fact, I see one TSA person, from her body language and stance as seeming to be personable and supportive, handing her paper towel.

It is extremely sad that we have to go through this and sadder still that we as a people put up with this.

I'm not sure its the answer.

But, if you ask me, this passenger was treated with respect.

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys need to stop being so stubborn. The lady's original story is in direct contradiction with this video.

First, she was not there for "an hour". She was in and out in under twenty minutes.

Second, she was not swarmed by "a dozen" cops like she claimed.

Third, in the first video a TSA gave her a paper towel for her tears. This contradicts her original claim that she was handcuffed to the chair in the roped off area.

I never saw her handcuffed to anything, as a mater of fact. In her original interview she claims she was handcuffed in the roped off section. Now, she MAY have been handcuffed in the second area she was taken to (couldn't see that well), but I doubt it because it goes against just about every agency's handcuffing procedures to handcuff somebody to an other object.

I support freedom too guys, but admit when your wrong. Suck it up. This girl was lying.

Anonymous said...

So am I to understand that if I am subjected to the new invasive patdown procedure, or am compelled to remove my belt, for example, TSA reserves the right to post video footage of that on YouTube?!

Anonymous said...

I used to love to travel and fly places. Thanks to the TSA, the body scanners and the alternative grope I hate it. I avoid flying as much as I can. It's just not worth being electronically strip searched or groped simply to visit friends. Forget it.

Anonymous said...

i only listened to part of the interview, the beginning. she said they grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to the side area. they didn't lay a hand on her. she said the lady was yelling at her. didn't look like yelling to me. maybe tsa handled it wrong, but i'd give the girl much more credence if she had told it as it really happened.

Anonymous said...

this video proves nothing, even at the "end" she doesn't have her stuff back, so how do we know she wasn't taken off camera and harassed / assaulted for another hour?

Anonymous said...

It's obviously a woman looking for attention and she created the controversy. You can clearly tell the TSA agent is miffed by this woman's behavior. She's not being intimidating. She has more the physical demeanor of "really lady?, i'm just trying to do my job, get in the scanner".

Anonymous said...

Could have easily posted another angle to see what was happening off frame but, you didn't. Nice selective "evidence" there TSA. You're going to have to go above and beyond to have ANY credibility in this.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I feel bad for the agents that have to put up with these people every day. It really gives me a feel for how off the mark our media is when supposedly independent reporters are expressing such an exaggeration of their own experiences. Thirteen cops, an hour in holding, cuffed to the chair, no comfort from the agents yelling at her, ticket torn up... she's completely off her rocker.

Anonymous said...

She clearly has handcuffs on in the second video at the end as the cavalcade of agents "escort" her out. Somehow, those cuffs got on her. When and why are the questions. People opt out all of the time from the deathray scanners for a pat down. What, is every suspect considered a ninja or something? Somehow I think at least one of the linebacker agents surrounding her could have taken a 120 lb girl who'd already been searched from head to toe. Let the airlines do their own security and abolish the TSA.

Anonymous said...

I think this is the first official Government statement I've ever seen from a person using an alias.

Anonymous said...

Very convenient that video's surface to put the TSA in a good light. But where are the timestamps, where is the audio? Why isn't there more footage available to show the woman's entrance to the airport until her exit?

Anonymous said...

a) There are no time stamps on the footage meaning the ordeal could have gone on much longer than said. How do we know the second clip is immediately following the first?
b) She and said officers are off camera for portions of the clip.
c) The number of officers surrounding the girl and attending to her situation is ridiculous. It does not take that many personnel to restrain one girl.

More info is needed. As far as I can tell now all you did was prove her point that the TSA overeracted.

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