Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TSA Response to "TSA Breast Milk Screening" Video

Updated on 12/9/2010 at 8:25 P.M. to add that proper procedures were followed.


Nearly a year ago, a passenger going through airport screening on two separate occasions requested that her breast milk be visually inspected and not screened by the X-ray machine.  She filed a complaint with TSA regarding her screening experience. TSA investigated the matter and sent a letter of apology to the passenger in March of this year. The passenger has flown since these events occurred and has provided TSA a written confirmation that she no longer experiences issues.


After the investigation, the officers received refresher training for the visual inspection of breast milk (an infrequently requested procedure). I’d like to reassure readers that while our top priority is to prevent a terrorist attack and to ensure that your family, friends and loved ones arrive safely at their destinations, we also strive to provide the highest level of customer service to all who pass through our security checkpoints. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. We go to great lengths to train our security officers in the proper way to inspect individuals and their personal items.

We extend our sincere apologies to any passenger who may have experienced discomfort and inconvenience during the screening process. We appreciate hearing from passengers and
encourage you to share your experiences with us Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time, we acknowledge this particular passenger experienced an out of the ordinary delay, and have worked with our officers to ensure we proceed with expediency in screening situations similar to this.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

218 comments:

1 – 200 of 218   Newer›   Newest»
Outraged traveler said...

An out-of-the-ordinary delay or a retaliatory illegal detention in response to precisely the sort of sharing that you ask for here?

What happened to the employees who illegally detained Ms. Armato? Were they disciplined?

Anonymous said...

As usual, the offending power-tripping employees received unspecified "retraining," no disciplinary actions mentioned. Standard pro forma wrist slap no doubt. Though they also are just as likely to get good marks for being aggressive and helping cower passengers into submitting to the mm-wave / x-ray backscatter scanners.

Anonymous said...

So the "supervisor" who exercised poor judgement showing he is not fit for the job is still in his supervisory role? You can't retrain common sense and respect into someone.

JHA said...

I'm with the other commenters in that I'd like to know what, if any, discipline resulted from this incident. The video did not simply reveal a failure to understand procedures, but gross misconduct. Further, the full video was never released. If the TSA believes in openness, it should post the full video on this blog, along with a full explanation of how the incident was handled.

avxo said...

It's nice to hear that this issue was investigated and resulted in some action on behalf of the TSA. It's also nice to hear that the lady in question no longer experiences issues while travelling.

However let me add (and to do so without having full knowledge of the facts) that it appears that all too often the action tends to be a press release in the form of "Stern talking-to delivered. Refresher training ordered. We aim to please. Now move along and put your shoes on the belt!" And when the stern talking-to isn't enough we get a "Action was taken. We can't tell you what it was." press-release.

I don't dispute that there are good TSOs who work hard, follow procedure and do their best in what I am sure is a very challenging environment. And although I'm sure that they outnumber the bad apples, they get lost behind them.

And sadly, it seems that those bad apples stay there, probably going through a ton of training that doesn't seem to pay off.

Anonymous said...

Your sincere apologies don't cut it. They're not sincere. When you make a sincere apology, the next thing you do is try to make sure you don't repeat!

"Retraining" your employees for what was clearly an abuse of their power will not keep them from repeating their actions. Disciplinary action would be appropriate. Either demotion, docking their pay, or firing. Preferably firing.

Anonymous said...

"We concede that this passenger suffered an out of the ordinary delay"

Is that what you call being locked in a cage for an hour?

justmyopinion said...

What can I say? Standard TSA fare when it comes abuse of the flying public. TSA employees screw up and abuse a woman and all TSA can say is, we are retraining our employees. One would almost think TSOs on the "front line" of defending our flying public should know the rules especially when it applies to breast milk. Just typical of what I see and have come expect when I have to fly. Another job well done by the professionals of TSA.

Anonymous said...

thanks for addressing this matter which has been bothering me for weeks -- and for admitting fault (it's quite refreshing!).

i have to agree, though, with the other commenters that behaviors and actions such as these will not change due simply to retraining. i hope some sort of disciplinary action was taken that you're not telling us about, because "refresher training" isn't going to make someone who abuses their position of power change their MO.

even if your policies and procedures -- which you can train people on until the cows come home -- are dignity/respect/courtesy-focused, having employees who don't take that as a core value will make it all moot.

KLP said...

Why do you insist on calling us customers? How do you justify that?

Anonymous42 said...

Dear Bob,
TSA keeps saying their officers are well trained professionals. So, treat them that way. That means that when they abuse and detain passengers for no reason, and fail to know the regulations they are supposed to be enforcing, they should be disciplined. So: what was done to discipline the employees? I have viewed the (edited by TSA) videos. They were not just bumbling and inefficient, but abusive and retributive. If they didn't know what to do, they should have consulted a manual or a supervisor immediately, not detained this woman. They owe her a personal apology. And recompense for her wasted time and stress.

Of course, I don't expect that TSA really did or will do anything to reprove these employees, because TSA organizational culture is seriously flawed. TSA employees regularly behave in appalling ways--I fly frequently, and I've experienced rude and abusive behavior personally--and two weeks ago, I watched, helpless and angry, as TSA officers reduced a man to tears with a "pat-down" that for some reason required them to explore his groin area THREE times. DTW TSA employees have even been nasty, for no reason, to my thirteen year old daughter.

Many of us are afraid to complain via your system because we're afraid of being tagged for "special" screening every time? T I'm afraid to even speak up politely to TSA employees for being rude to my child, because I figure we'll be singled out to be patted/scanned/detained/fined/slammed to the floor and handcuffed--take your pick; all these things have happened to passengers--I've seen the videos and personally witnessed incidents.

TSA is already being sued by several parties, and unless it changes its training and supervisory methods, it's going to end up with more lawsuits--lawsuits which I as a taxpayer will end up funding.

Reebcca said...

This is not an adequate response. You do not address AT ALL the holding of Ms. Armato inside the "special inspection area." You do not explain whether or not such delay is permissible - in fact, your explanation seems to imply that the reason she was held was because she requested the inspection!

Also, again, your answer contradicts the TSA policy regarding breastmilk. Ms. Armato was not requesting something special. She was asking that the TSA follow their own policy! Medical liquids do NOT go through the X-ray. If the TSA puts breastmilk through the machines regularly, then the entire agency needs retraining!

And finally, to emphasize again, this "apology" does not apologize for Ms. Armato missing her flight, does not apologize for her being singled out, and is phrased in such a way as to make it seem as if what happened was just "inconvenience"!

This is not in any way acceptable. What's the point of telling the TSA our experiences if the agency won't respond?

Anonymous said...

Did the manager or any of the other security personnel not know the TSA guidelines for breast milk? Once presented with them by the woman, did they not think to make a call or jump online to check? This is absurd. Because only a portion of the video was released, we can only assume the part that has been kept from the public was WORSE than what we saw.

Adam C said...

I really don't understand this. Even considering the training issue, I think this only demonstrates the perversity of the current "security" policies. While the TSA has yet to demonstrate the ability to capture a single would-be attacker, they have demonstrated famously on many occasions that they are really really good at violating the privacy and dignity of innocent people. Good work?

Anonymous said...

That "TSA Supervisor" should have been FIRED!

The lady handed the TSO's the official TSA policy, and they chose to ignore policy. Added to that; under color of law, they illegally detained her.

Anything short of job termination puts the entire TSA management teem as derelect in their duty as that supervisor...

Anonymous said...

"We extend our sincere apologies to any passenger...." Trying to make it sound so general. Did the TSA apologize to that specific woman? Will the TSA ever release the missing 30 minutes of video? Will the TSA ever explain why a pat-down was necessary on this woman?

I watched the video, I saw three things - a complete and total disregard for the rights of the passenger; a completely unreasonable staff that lacked basic knowledge of how to doe their jobs; and a completely unnecessary, pointless, invasive, and retaliatory pat-down. Not something that's going to be solved with "additional training".

Anonymous said...

The employees in question should have been fired. I don't accept your 'retraining' response. As long as you accept this sort of behavior on the part of your employees this sort of ridiculous misuse of power will continue.

Rock said...

Why was video missing from the video sent to the lady who requested it? Is it standard TSA practice to have tons of video at every angle they need it when it's convenient and then to discard it when it's bad?

Anonymous said...

"[She] has provided TSA a written confirmation that she no longer experiences issues."
Why don't you post the statement here? How about the rest of the video that was cut off, where she had to go through security a second time?

jb said...

I can JUST about accept that a TSO is perhaps unfamiliar with an infrequent procedure.

I can't accept that when a manager is showed documentation of the correct procedure, the response is dismissive

"Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy."

This would, then, include holding a passenger in the modern equivalent of the medieval stocks for an excessive length of time?
A blatant abuse of power

Greebo said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for following up on this and posting this update.

I notice however that your reply is verz carefully worded. Whilst you admit :

"We acknowledge this particular passenger experienced an out of the ordinary delay, and have worked with our officers to ensure we proceed with expediency in screening situations similar to this."

You don't say what happened to the agents who quite obviously victimised this passenger.... are they still working for the TSA?

cheers,

G.

Anonymous said...

Not a word in your post about TSA staff harassing her.

You do not mention that your staff detained her.

You don't mention that your staff intentionally caused her stress and mental anguish.

This was not about your usual ignorant and poorly trained staff ignoring SOP.

This was about small people in the TSA using their authority to harm someone.

No where do you address this.

No where do you say the TSA staff retaliation on an innocent citizen was unacceptable.

No where do you say TSA staff were counseled not to abuse their authority.

You are just trying to sweep this under the carpet. You had another post ready to go unusually fast.

Anonymous said...

"We extend our sincere apologies to any passenger who may have experienced discomfort and inconvenience during the screening process. We appreciate hearing from passengers and encourage you to share your experiences with us."

If that incident had not been brought forth to the public's attention by that courageous, patriotic citizen, the TSA would have swept it under the rug and she might have been threatened with a fine, imprisonment or both.

What is the TSA doing for the hundreds if not thousands of people who have submitted complaints to the ACLU? I have not seen ANY response in relations to those complaints, and in fact, the TSA appears to be censoring information about those complaints on this very blog.

Brian Wohlgemuth said...

Ahh yes...sounds pretty similar to what we have seen before.

And speaking of customer service, when I opted out of a scan at O'Hare on Sunday most of the TSA staff were pleasant. Except for one who criticized me about asking about my personal belongings which had already gone through the X-ray machine . Said " that's what I should expect" when I opt-out. Maybe I should file a complaint and she could get some more training as well.

I asked her for her name and she turned around and walked away. Good thing I read her name tag before she refused to answer my question....

Anonymous said...

Did the TSA fully reimburse the traveler for all out-of-pocket expenses as well as compensation for her loss of freedom while she was denied her rights?
If not, why not?

Did TSA fully document and make public all retraining procedures used to make sure agents TSA wide will not make this same mistake again?
If not, why not?

Why must innocent travelers bear the responsibility of training TSA agents?

Charlie said...

Wow. If the 'sincere apology' you sent Stacey Armato in March was anything like this 'sincere apology', no wonder she is still madder than a cut snake about it.

Blogger Bob, the reason why people all over the Internet are ropeable about this issue and won't let it go, is that we have eyes. We can see that what happened was quite plainly a vindictive and retaliatory abuse of power. I feel as outraged for this woman as if it had been my own wife locked in that perspex box. 'Retraining' of the perpetrators on fluids screening procedures misses the point entirely.

You need to tell us that the manager concerned went back a pay increment, or lost seniority, or received some other kind of formal administrative punishment. Anything less looks like a whitewash and official corruption.

Dead Dog Bounce said...

When a US Navy ship runs aground, the captain's career is over.

When an incident like this happens, again, someone needs to know their career is on the line.

Whether you like it or not, any organisation as large as TSA will have some bad apples. Bad apples with the powers granted to TSA need to be removed post haste.

The supervisor in this incident should be busted down to mopping floors or out the door. He's an existential threat to the whole of the TSA, since his continued career shows that TSA is all about CYA.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous.

Brian said...

Why doesn't "Blogger Bob" provide an actual name (or the names of the individuals behind particular posts)? This seems to accord with the general culture of non-accountability at the TSA.

Jim Huggins said...

Bob, I don't want to be seen as "piling on" here. It sounds like TSA generally responded appropriately --- other than, of course, the completely inappropriate handling of the original incidents. But, as usual, I'm going to nit-pick with you on how you presented the information.

You wrote: "After the investigation, the officers received refresher training for the visual inspection of breast milk (an infrequently requested procedure)."

This sounds like you're making an excuse: namely, that the infrequent occurrence of the procedure contributed to the confusion in the incident.
Of course, actual acts of terrorism (attempted or successful) are also extremely infrequent, as compared with the millions of passengers who fly every day in the US without malicious intent.

If TSA can't train its workforce to handle extremely rare events like alternative screening of breast milk, how should we have confidence in TSA's ability to prohibit even more rare events like a terrorist attack?

Dead Dog Bounce said...

Bob, can you explain why the second pass through security for this woman was erased?

Sounds like a breach of the "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" rule.

What is TSA Phoenix trying to hide?

What was the explanation for the lost video, where the supervisor started making rules up on the fly to ensure the young mother missed her flight?

Anonymous said...

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/11/tsa_training.pdf

I am less than reassured by a statement from the TSA claiming that anyone's going to get any remedial training when it's apparent they're not getting their mandatory training in the first place.

SSSS for some reason said...

Thank you, Blogger Bob, for responding to what many fellow travelers were requesting, it makes this blog so much closer to the dialog you're seeking.

I will add my one voice to what will undoubtedly become many in asking what happened to the 'offending' TSO's in this story.

I know you can't give us specifics for a whole bunch of reasons, and I'm not really asking for specifics. What I am asking is were the TSO's involved disciplined in writing? Is there now a 'mark that will go down on their permanent record?'

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I know a lot of people will want specific knowledge of exactly what actions were taken against the overreacting agents in the breast milk situation, but even though TSA agents are public employees, I don't think their full employment records are or even should be made public, unless it becomes part of a public legal case.

Because the distrust between the public and TSA is so strong, it is normal that all of us outside of the situation are suspicious that the agents weren't reprimanded enough or at all. It is difficult to take your or any TSA rep's word that appropriate action was taken against the offending agents, but I accept that I won't know unless the parties themselves make the situation public. Any statements the TSA makes has to be vetted by their legal department so they don't violate employment law.

I do want to say, though, that were I in the position of hiring, I would not consider any TSA agent who willingly works at the airports and violates the law and Constitution.

Curious in Kansas City said...

"Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. "

Based on the video that I watched, this did not happen at all. This particular passenger was TARGETED for retaliation and harassment.

Leaving her - to stand up, no chair - in a glass box like an animal exhibit in a zoo - for more than an hour is NOT treating a passenger with dignity, respect and courtesy.

Why was she not allowed to reach for the paper that showed the breast milk screening rules? Why was her hand swatted away? Why was she left in a glass box for an HOUR???

You did not address any of the particulars, Blogger Bob. You must put a "spin" on the story and said, "Oh, well - people were retrained after this."

I want to know WHY this woman received the treatment that she did??!!

Why? Why? Why?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob:

The action that frightened me the most is that she was detained in a glass cell and not allowed out for quite some time and then relevant video went missing. That, and the fact that she was THAT upset, and your employees did nothing but escalate the matter through their continuing actions.

This matter didn't involve just the breast milk. There was the matter of the detainment, the retaliatory nature of the TSA employees' actions and the missing video.

Yet you didn't address the detainment or the concerns of the flying public about being forced into a cube and detained, missing flights and being treated as a public spectacle and threatened with arrest for doing nothing but following TSA published procedures. These are the matters we want addressed - not the fact that you retrained employees as to the handling of breast milk.

This kind of posting does little to negate my fears about TSA actions against passengers. You said essentially nothing. It's almost insulting how relevant items are continually not addressed here, despite repeated requests.

BTW, the woman in question has posted publically on her blog and other websites that she is again expecting another child, and is concerned that this will happen all over again once she has given birth and resumes her business travel. FYI, future travellers - even the woman remains concerned to this day.

TJ said...

Of course she longer experiences issues. She probably no longer pumps breast milk. Unless she is one of those "have 1 kid a year" type of moms...

Kristin said...

I agree with most of the comments that the "training has been provided" summary does not suffice.
As I understand, this poor woman was forced to wait an inordinate length of time, missed her flight, and experienced extreme undue stress. All because she is providing natural sustanence for her baby.
This is not an issue where the supervisor needs training on procedure. He needs training on human compassion and decency.

Your_Friend_Ethel said...

Retrained, are you kidding me. All involved should have been fired with prejudice in the private sector, but typical government spineless actions not fire bad apples. TSAs actions in this incident is opening up all sorts of liability risks for lawsuits.


Still doesnt explain the long missing section in the middle of the tape. why was it not turned over? was the actions in that time more egregious then those shown and would have shown TSA in a even worse light then it already is?

Curtis this is not a "isolated" incident this is endemic to TSA from the top to the bottom. Rude, spiteful, retaliatory unprofessional attitude that has caused the public not to trust TSA at all. This is why i have at least two voice recorders and a video camera running every time i go through security, because tapes have a pretty high incidence of "being erased" or not able to be found when TSA looks bad.

hmm the timing of the this entry is suspect as well. late night release along with being buried under another puppy post shortly after being posted. got something to hide curtis?

this most likely wont see the light of day. its okay ill just add it to the regular letters to the OIG for censorship and 1st amendment usurption.

Boomshadow said...

Your agents stuck a woman in a glass box in full view of other passengers and all the agents got as punishment was retraining?

Get out of our airports.

Anonymous said...

Those agents were already aware of the policies regarding breast milk. They didn't need a "refresher" on that.

If they didn't know the procedure for breast milk, she had it available for them, printed from the TSA's WEBSITE, BUT THEY DIDN'T ALLOW HER TO SHOW IT TO THEM.

As a reminder... the police officer explained that the agents were familiar with her, remembered her from the previous week, and were waiting for her, and would have her arrested if she objected!!!

So now this blog plays defense by saying "oh we made it right, we explained breast milk to the gate agents."

That tells us that the TSA's ignorance and defense of unconstitutional practices is not limited to incidents regarding gate agents, but is spread broadly throughout the agency.

(You realize, at some point, constantly blaming the gate people is not going to cut it. It's organizational behavior. It comes from the top.)

Anonymous said...

You are missing the point by a wide mile. Proper breast milk screening procedures aren't the issue. coordinated harassement, lack of respect by all tsa agents involved, treating a mother as less than human, systematic abuse of power, etc etc are the issues that need to be addressed.

Granted that there needs to be reasonable assurance that public transportation remains safe from threats. Something has gone horribly wrong, though, when we have lost the ability to treat each other with respect and dignity. That is what I see and what has me so outraged with this video.

Bob, breast milk is NOT the issue.

Anonymous said...

Really? No punishment of any of the implicated employees? That's absurd.

Gavin said...

Does the TSA truly believe that this incident is going to be forgotten and go away just like that? The TSA employee concerned should be fired, as would any employee that treated a customer in this way in the private sector.

Not Good Enough.

Daniel said...

"...we also strive to provide the highest level of customer service to all who pass through our security checkpoints. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy." Ha ha ha ha ha! This is the funniest thing I have heard all day! How can you write this and keep a straight face? Anyone who has flown in the last 9 years knows this is the exact opposite of reality! Blogger Bob - you don't really believe what you wrote, right? You realize it is completely false, right? You can seed clearly that it is just bureaucratic doublespeak, right?

Dead Dog Bounce said...

Bob, the more I think about this incident the worse it gets.

The video went missing. If the TSA is doing a vital job, the missing video is a critical security failure. No ifs, no buts. We need an explanation and if necessary, pink slips. Possibly a civil rights suit for harassment and unlawful detention.

If it isn't a critical security failure, we don't need TSA.

I don't think "refresher on screening breast milk" cuts the mustard.

Anonymous said...

This is woefully inadequate. For anyone who has not seen the incident, you should watch it here: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/11/our-new-safety-overlords/67079/

At a minimum, the employees and supervisor should be fired and prosecuted for false imprisonment.

I could not be more disappointed in TSA or in my own government in its pathetic response to this outrage.

Walt said...

I seriously need to play the lottery. My ability to predict the future is uncanny!

Here is what I said about this story in the comment section of your previous post:

"However, I can imagine the PR-spun response would include meaningless words like 'additional training,' 'review policies,' 'rare incident,' and other nonsense."

Son-of-a-gun, if that isn't EXACTLY what you did!

"officers received refresher training"

"an infrequently requested procedure"

"out of the ordinary"

Maybe you misunderstood. I wasn't giving you a template to follow. :)

Can you please elaborate on what kind of training officers receive in retaliatory and punitive searches? Can we get a denial that the actions taken were NOT retaliatory?

Certainly you can understand why the possibility of retaliatory actions would be a concern for citizens. If I were in charge of public relations, I'd be pretty worried about that perception.

Anonymous said...

And we are not to be ashamed as to what our country has become? Children routinely abused by government employees under the guise of security and told it's a game. Humans reduced to their nakedness. What once were called citizens fearing travel which was once their right. The great law of the land, our Constitution reduced to a worthless piece of paper. Arbitrary and capricious contradictory rules created by the whim of bureaucrats at all levels.

Does that star-spangled banner yet wave over a land of the free?

Anonymous said...

Oh, well, I guess it's okay then. They apologized, so it's forgotten that the mother printed off the breast milk policy so that the TSO's could read it themselves. They were retrained, so abuse of this mother is fine. I can't wait until it's my turn to get harrased by my friendly neighborhood airport screener.

avxo said...

Reading through the comments something caught my attention, and I'd like an official answer, citing specific rules, regulations and laws:

Under what circumstances, if any, does the TSA allow a TSO to detain an individual going through the checkpoint and for how long can this detainment last?

Please note that I am using the term detain on purpose and that it has a very specific legal meaning.

Courts have defined being detained as being in a situation where a reasonable person would conclude that they are not free to leave.

Certainly being led to a room by men in uniform and told to stay would lead a reasonable person to conclude that they are not free to go. Which leads us to the second question: what legal authority does the TSA claim to have that authorizes it to detain people?

Again, please provide specifics.

avxo said...

Also more retraining seems to be in order, because the word about the photography policy seems to have fallen on deaf ears according to accounts from people here and here

This demonstrates that despite TSA's policies, updates and training, your staff misunderstands the regulations they must operate under or is simply not aware of them. Or, worse still, they know and understand them, but disregard them nonetheless.

This also ties in to my previous question about TSA and detentions. Can the TSA detain an individual and if so, for how long, under what circumstances can they do so and what grants them the legal authority to do so?

Anonymous said...

This woman was targeted and punished - and it's routine. Only her persistence globally confirmed what we all know goes on daily, we used to see the power trips ourselves.

Nice try at sweeping this under the rug - but we're not forgetting - nor are we flying anymore until the TSA stops treating Americans as criminals.

Can you understand this? - we don't want this nude scanning and groping - or being intentionally caged.

We'll all be glad when Law Enforcement is retrained back to the time when they actually protected us from people like TSA.

Anonymous said...

I also don't understand why the public is called "customers." And if that's the case, in customer service, the motto is generally "the customer is always right." So I hope in retraining TSA, that is a big consideration. And instead of telling passengers that they are WRONG and yelling at them, they change their attitudes, call for a supervisor, or just lie and say something like "we need to inspect this further, please remove it."

And what's wrong with a TSO telling a passenger, "i'll look into it" or calling over a supervisor if needed, or the TSO following up on their own later. Is there no initiative by TSO's? And perhaps it's not done right at the moment, but end of shift, or just at some point.

Overall it seems like TSA is trying to condition passengers into submition thru fear and intimidation, which is very sad. We are the American public, not criminals. We want to be safe too, but to be treated fairly also.

Retaliating on "customers" by TSO's should be a fireable offense. Its simply not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Way too little & way too late.

What is the TSA's position on puttint a priority on resolving these types of issues *before* someone misses their flight? There certainly didn't seem to be any sense of urgency shown in the video.

Since the TSA acknowledges it was at fault here, was any compensation made to the passenger, to cover lost time and any fees associated with her missed flight?

And were any steps taken to see if this really was a one-off incident with these particular TSA agents and supervisor, or if they regularly detain people for extended periods before finally letting them pass through screening with all their belongings?

Anonymous said...

This video is very disturbing, and I hope the TSA employees were also disciplined for retaliating against a passenger who knows the TSA guidelines better than they do.

"refresher" training seems like such a joke, unless the training involved locking the TSA employees in the isolation cube for an hour and stared at by other passengers, much like this poor woman was.

Anonymous said...

I am also a breastfeeding mom who travels frequently, but I just put my milk thru the x-ray because there are no screeners, and I mean NONE, who know that the milk is not supposed to go thru x-ray. Most of the time it goes thru x-ray and then gets tested again in the liquid explosives machine as well. And, because I have an "item" which requires special screening, I too am subjected to the additional screening. This blog post is nothing but government propaganda, because as somone who personally deals with this issue several times a month, I can assure you that I haven't come across a TSA worker yet who doesn't insist that the milk go thru both x-ray and additional screening, whether the radiation will be harmful to the milk or not. These TSA employees have NO IDEA what the official TSA policy is. I carry a copy with me, but like Stacy, I don't have it in my hand as I go thru the metal detector so I'm sure that if detained, I wouldn't be allowed to retrieve it from my bag either.

RB said...

It was reported that this same lady had issues the prior week when being screened at this same checkpoint. Why did it take a second incident for these screeners?

Also the TSA employee wearing the suit, being a higher level employee should not be uneducated about TSA procedures and policy. Also this individual was party to holding a person hostage, an illegal act.

Where any of these TSA employees charged with a criminal act? If not why not?

Bob, your post just doesn't cut it this time.

Rock said...

Bob, simple question. Other than your original post, there seems to be a lot of legit followup questions.

When will they be answered?

Anonymous said...

Thank you TSA!

Without your due and just diligence in cases like these surely hundreds of terrorists dressed up like breast feeding mothers would have slipped through security and caused great pain and suffering to innocent lives.

Anonymous said...

Detained in a see-thru cell for all to see. Reminds me of a scene in "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn regarding Soviet prison life. We've adopted so much of that life, haven't we?

Anonymous said...

Bob, exactly what motivation do TSOs have to follow the rules and regulations, considering that even an egregious breach such as this results only in "retraining"?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Take a look at the gestures and postures of the TSA guards. It could be used as a training film for behavioral scientists. The quest for dominance, the sexist belittling of the victim. Parent to child behavior.

People should just stay away from commercial airlines. I admit it, the terrorists won; and they control the airport security and it will stay that way as long as passengers accept it.

Ayn R. Key said...

Bob, in another thread I asked you to comment on the discrepancy between proper procedure and what actually happens on the front line.

This is another example of the difference between proper procedure and what actually happens on the front line.

And do you notice that the supervisors backed up the TSOs? I pointed that out as well in the other thread when I said that any pax who confronts a TSO, the LTSO or STSO will always back up the TSO instead of enforcing the proper procedure.

Really, you do need to address the topic of the discrepancy.

Pandaemoni said...

Shameful. Exactly how bad do your employees need to be before they get fired. She missed her flight, so I certainly hope you paid her money in addition to your useless apology.

You should be sick to your stomach defending this crap, Blogger Bob.

The real problem was not the lack of familiarity with your own procedures, but 40 minutes of false imprisonment and a refusal to follow your own procedures even when they are pointed out to you in black and white.

I personally think you need to release the whole tape, not just the snippets you prefer we get to see.

Anonymous said...

When will TSA screeners be held accountable for their actions? Is it possible to fire a screener or is it the same as other government positions?

Anonymous said...

Wow... this event is almost a year old, get over it already. This woman was quiet for so long and all of a sudden makes national headlines? We are desperate for news, aren't we? A little inconvenience is no big deal. Keep up the great work TSA.

Anonymous said...

These employees showed complete lack of judgment and should be shown the door. That would be the only adequate response to this egregious abuse of power. If you seek to regain the public's trust, you must act accordingly. Do the right thing!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, I don't want to be disrespectful but your answer to this tragic event is nothing less than another glaring example of how poorly trained, out of control, arrogant, self important, and without fear of repercusion for their actions TSO are. They feel they have an unlimited authority to treat the flying public however they want and will not face any adverse action other than "retraining". Am I to believe these TSOs had never been trained on how to properly deal with breast milk? If they had never been trained TSA obviously has a significant training problem. If they had been trained and ignored the rules then TSA employees obviously have a problem with following the rules and treating the flying public with respect. Regardless TSA has a major problem that needs more than a "retraining" effort.

Anonymous said...

Can you guys do anything right?

jb said...

Aaaah...

Bob's posting as Anonymous again

Wow... this event is almost a year old, get over it already. This woman was quiet for so long and all of a sudden makes national headlines? We are desperate for news, aren't we? A little inconvenience is no big deal. Keep up the great work TSA.

December 9, 2010 9:36 AM

Anonymous said...

Was the woman compensated financially for missing her flight due to the negligence of the TSOs involved?

Anonymous said...

When I first heard of this incident, I seriously questioned whether I was safe (from TSA) when flying. Having read this facile, insincere, and inadequate apology, I feel certain I am not. I guess we're staying put for a while (or doing lots of driving!) I guess killing the air industry by driving people away is *one* way to keep the American people safe from terrofism on planes!

Anonymous said...

I'm not even going to comment about the harassment this woman received. This incident was obviously unacceptable.

I saw that the mother being harassed had filed a complaint the previous week. I'm left wondering why the employees didn't receive their retraining before this incident happened. Where and what is the failure of your system that allowed this to happen?

Any reasonable person would expect severe disciplinary action for the agents involved, but I wonder about their superiors. Has there been a new complaint response system put in place to keep second offenses from occurring?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I see that Amato is preparing to file a lawsuit against the agents involved. Her statement is also that she never received nor accepted an apology.

More details here: http://www.sustainablemothering.com/2010/12/05/breast-milk-mom-prepares-to-sue-the-tsa-over-detention/

MarkVII said...

Whether this happened a year ago or yesterday, it happened. TSA personnel not only failed to know their own procedures twice, they clearly planned retaliatory action against the passenger.

If a passenger had committed such a blatant violation of the TSA's rules, the full enforcement apparatus would have come down on this individual. They wouldn't have been "retrained". Talk about a double standard....

I've been yelled at, not having broken any rules at all -- just having the temerity to want to get on a plane and go see my family. TSA personnel can egregiously violate SOP and all that happens is they get "retrained".

The TSA simply doesn't "get it".

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

keeping a young mother trapped in the special inspection area for 1.5 hours and causing her to miss her flight home to her new baby is respecting her dignity?????? really???? you could have fooled me.... her story is heartbreaking. the actions of your agents is sickening!

Anonymous said...

The reason that Bob's response is so infuriating is that it's bland as tofu. Here is a TSA incident that is clearly beyond the pale. The TSA itself admits that they were in the wrong. The video (only recently made available, hence the reason why this year-old incident is only now hitting the news) shows a law-abiding traveller being provoked and treated with contempt by TSA employees and a TSA manager. This wasn't just "discomfort and inconvenience", and it demands far more than some plodding by-the-numbers response. Bob, your response serves as further evidence that your agency has lost its way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, I notice the link to the TSA rules concerning breast milk is broken. You guys having trouble trying to provide this info to the traveling public or is TSA in the process of changing the rules to make it easier for TSOs to justify their handling of this terrible incident?

Anonymous said...

As bad as this episode was, if the public knew about the complaints that have been filed at the ACLU, the TSA would be even more hated than it is now. But the MEDIA is NOT reporting what happened to those people. Instead, the MEDIA is HELPING the TSA cover up it's misdeeds and crimes and continuing the propagandization of the public. If not for the Internet and concerned, Liberty loving citizens, our rights would be even more in danger.

Don't you get it TSA people? WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO CONTINUE TO HELP THE AUTHORITARIANS IN CHARGE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION TO CONTINUE TO DESTROY THE BILL OF RIGHTS!!

Earl Pitts said...

@Anon: "So the "supervisor" who exercised poor judgement showing he is not fit for the job is still in his supervisory role? You can't retrain common sense and respect into someone."

Why not? Alvin Crabtree showed poor judgment by bringing a loaded gun to work and he is still employed with TSA at DEN. This is just small potatoes compared to that.

Earl

amelie522 said...

Apparently, the fact that there was already rules and regulations regarding the screening of breastmilk, and that they were BLATANTLY DISREGARDED by TSA employees, just proves that the rules mean nothing. TSA employees can do whatever they want to you, and even if there are rules in place and you try and make them aware of those rules, it will just get you detained for God-knows-how-long. NOTHING has to be poured into two ounce containers, so why was she made to put the breastmilk into them?? Makes no sense whatsoever. And the video shows them playing with the breastmilk like it's some strange, foreign substance. If they were supposedly "trained" in the handling of breastmilk, like it has been claimed, wouldn't they know what it looks like and it's consistency??

The TSA needs a new director.....a lactating mother.

Anonymous said...

It is incidents like this (and far more others) that have made the decision for me to drive, not fly, for a trip I have in a couple months. I am NOT about to go through TSA security like this with my baby. NO way.

Things like this are pushing more and more people to make this same decision... in a time when the economy is not great and people are already not flying as much.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely missing the point, as typical from our government overlords.

Y'all used your unchecked power for personal retaliation that had nothing to do with security, safety, or even preventing the appearance of terrorism.

Will you retaliate against me when I next try to fly because I disrespected your authority on this blog?

Anonymous said...

An apology needs to be made to this mother. The TSA agents that did this should be FIRED, not trained because this is completely inexcusable. Shame on the TSA for targeting this mother out of spite and to get back to her for filing a complaint. Instead the TSA should've listened to the complaint and made a change right away instead of HARASSING this mother.

Anonymous said...

HOW EXACTLY do you justify retraining someone on FUNDAMENTALS of their job when they have clearly demonstrated to have no understanding of what they are???

Anonymous said...

Proper procedures were followed!? Are we to understand that it is proper procedure for a passenger who requests alternate screening that is listed on the TSA web site to be denied the alternate screening, detained for a lengthy period of time, have law enforcement called, and subjected to a pat down? In what manner were proper procedures followed?

Yes, TSOs should be retrained on their own rules and regulations, such as breastmilk can be treated as a medical liquid. But, more importantly, what needs to be addressed in this situation, is the (perceived) abuse of power.

I am further frustrated by this situation in the response on this blog. I hope that this can be resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to Ms. Armato and we, the bystanders, who are, quite simply, alarmed at how the handling of this incident can be extrapolated to the overall conduct of the TSA.

Anonymous said...

"Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time, "

Then why the retraining?

So are you saying we can't believe anything on the TSA web page?

Anonymous said...

Ya know...people who abuse their power are called bullies, and that's exactly what was happening to this pumping mama. How pathetic that your employees have such little respect for her and the feeding method for her child.

I find it really hard to believe that "retraining" your employees is going to do much of anything. She showed them SEVERAL times exactly what the law allows, and was not asking for them to "bend the rules just this once, just for her" or anything like that. She was asking them to DO THEIR JOB, and they failed. In any other circumstance when someone fails to do their job they get FIRED. So what exactly did happen to these power hungry moguls?! Maybe you should train your employees to be good citizens, and not egotistical maniacs.

I, too, would like to know what happened to the missing 30 minutes of film. And where exactly is that picture of her breast milk. And if the supervisor was so against the alternative screening method, WHY did he need a picture of her milk?

Here's to hoping you realize that you've peeved another pumping and breastfeeding mama that flies. Quite possibly you might meet me going through security with some of my pumped milk, JUST to see if your employees really know what their own rules and guidelines are.

Brandislee said...

I love how they make it sound like she had a small issue twice. They never mention that she was restrained in that awful plastic cage, in site of all, for over an hour for the simple reason that she tried to stand up for her own rights.

Beyond all the woman's issues here, I think it is ridiculous that the TSA, a government agency that is supposed to keep us safe, employs people who are so juvenile and petty that they feel the need to retaliate against someone for complaining. The way the agency is portrayed is that they are ALL POWERFUL over us while we are traveling- we have to do what they say, no matter what it is. How does it make me feel any better that the people with this power over us are vindictive children?

Not to mention that the TSA has allowed them to, and even aided them in, covering up this incident. Part of the video of the incident was destroyed, they lied about the appology, and they talk about it as if her rights weren't completely and totally violated.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that DISCIPLINE or REMOVAL of some of the agents (at least the supervisor) involved is what is called for in this case. RETRAINING is what should have happened after the first incident. Here it appears the agents were WILLFULLY DISOBEYING policy and RETALITATING against a citizen who was acting within that policy. Not sure how the TSA works, but everywhere I've worked that is enough cause for DISMISSAL.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

From a purely PR point of view, your quote:

"Proper screening procedures were followed at the time"

Could be a PR nightmare for the TSA.

Anonymous said...

This isn't an apology--this is a lie! This post, and what Stacy went through, makes the TSA look like Keystone KGB. If it weren't such serious abuse of a woman traveling alone, twould be hilarious.
"Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time" NO THEY WERE NOT. TSA best go back to shed on this one because MOTHERS will not let this rest until a REAL&proper apology is issued AND that the agents involved are REPRIMANDED. They weren't merely poorly trained, they were on a power high.

Anonymous said...

This is not an apology. It sounds like you are saying "we're really sorry she got upset" and do not admit that TSA did anything wrong, even when it seems pretty clear that TSA rules and procedures were NOT followed. You never mention that anyone received disciplinary action for mistreating this mother.

lovinangels said...

No, the proper procedures WEREN'T followed. Breast milk DOES NOT need to be in containers less than three ounces, and an agent POCKETED her personal information.

WHY LIE?

RB said...

Brandislee said...
I love how they make it sound like she had a small issue twice. They never mention that she was restrained in that awful plastic cage, in site of all, for over an hour for the simple reason that she tried to stand up for her own rights.


.......................
I have characterized what TSA did to this woman as "being held hostage" which is clearly the case.

All of the TSA employees involvedminn this screening acted in a criminal manner and should have been charged with a criminal complaint.

Hostage taken is easily proven in this case. The lady was detained against her will but would have been released if she played TSA's little power game.

The question is why TSA did not take legal actions against these employees.

Apparently it's ok to conduct criminal acts while employed by the TSA.

And TSA wonders why there is a lack of trust between travelers and their felons.

Anonymous said...

what happened was inexcusable!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, so it is officially policy that TSA retaliates against anyone foolish enough to complain? Thanks for clarifying that, Bob!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, you said, "Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time, we acknowledge this particular passenger experienced an out of the ordinary delay, and have worked with our officers to ensure we proceed with expediency in screening situations similar to this." Please explain to me how the proper screening procedures were followed. Why did the TSOs not examine the breast milk according to procedures that were in place at the time of the incident? Why was this lady detained long enough for her to miss her flight? Please explain what procedures concerning breast milk have changed since this incident. Bob, you just need to admit these power hungry TSOs abused this lady and then fire them. I'm sure employees of TSA will be more attentive in how they treat the flying public after a few TSOs are fired for abusing their power. I'm sure most of your TSOs are more than happy to receive more retraining instead of working doing the job they are paid to do.

Gunner said...

So, when I fly next month out of Phoenix, I will politely but fimly advise the person with a blue shirt that if they touch my genitals with other than the back of their hand, I will have them arrested for sexual assault. Then if they try to put me in the glass cage I refuse to go in because TSA only has adminstrative search authority and does not have the authority to detain me, and if htey insist I will go in the cage but once out will demand that they be arrested by REAL law enforcement for illegal detention as it was done without the authority of law.

My question is, how much money do you think I will win? Will I miss my flight?

Anonymous said...

What kind of discipline did these TSA agents receive? Would you like your wife or yourself to be treated this way? Of course, being a supervisor, I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't have to go through any screening.

By the way, do these TSA people have to undergo screening every day they come to work? I am curious in light of the TSA agent who beat up a co-worker for teasing about the size of his genitals after he inadvertently stepped in front of the screening device. My guess is TSA are not screened daily or you would have more of these incidents. What kind of monsters are you hiring any way?

I hope you get sued up one side and down the other.

Former flier

Anonymous said...

Here is why there is so much trouble with the way TSA agents treat people.

1. The only qualification is a GED and a satisfactory criminal background check.

2. The only training is 40 hours in class and 60 hours on the job, two and a half weeks.

When you take the least privileged of society and give them power with little training, none in courtesy, or clear disciplinary consequences for abusing people. They take a lot of pent up frustration out on passengers they see as wealthy and privileged.

Come on TSA 40 hours of training before loosing these people on the public? Are the nation's best interests served with this quality of training and discipline? Do you honestly think people feel safer? I don't.

Statistically, it is highly unlikely that a plane will be taken over by terrorists. I'd gladly take that gamble by going back to the old security since having my fourth amendment rights taken away is the alternative.

Anonymous said...

So nobody was fired for illegally imprisoning this woman? Typical.

MarkVII said...

Bob -- this situation has reached new levels of asininity with the statement that "procedures were followed."

Holding a passenger in the penalty box for an extended period of time, for no apparent purpose other than to delay her? Calling the police when she hadn't committed a crime? That's "procedure"?

I can just picture how this would unfold if the situation were reversed -- a passenger breaks the rules, ties up one checkpoint worker for the entire time, ties up a few other workers part time, and the police are called. The TSA would throw the book at them -- not give them a slap on the wrist and a "do over".

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- the TSA expects the passengers to know and follow not only all its various rules, all the local interpretations and embellishments, plus submit themselves to the caprice of individual checkpoint workers, but has difficulty with its own rules set out in black and white.

It's no wonder the TSA is regarded so poorly.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

P.S. Who's watching the watchers? Seems like no one, until a situation goes viral.

Holli said...

This was nothing short of BULLYING and a misuse of power to harm another US CITIZEN. Make this right, TSA!

Anonymous said...

As a nursing mother what happened to Ms. Armato was deeply disturbing to me - and the TSA response has been even more disturbing.

You've basically said, "We're sorry she was offended" rather than offering a genuine apology and ensuring this will not happen to ANY mother again. Bob, would you be OK with your wife being treated that way when all she wanted to do was return home to her child with her breast milk?

I would be fine with my pumped milk going through the X-ray if it meant that it would be safe from a TSO opening the bottles to test for explosives. Those checkpoints must be full of germs and viruses, and that milk is my infant's sole food source - I am shocked that the TSA thinks it's OK to potentially contaminate breast milk (or liquid formula for that matter). If the bottles or bags contained explosives (which as you know is exceedingly unlikely) then swabbing the outside of the container would suffice to detect that.

As for pouring the milk into 2 ounce portions - absolutely nothing else on the TSA website indicates that 2 ounce portioning would be required for either human milk or infant formula. It merely says that quantities greater than 3 oz may be tested for explosives. The TSO requiring that Ms. Armato re-package her milk was on a power trip, pure and simple. Why has this TSO not been disciplined, up to and including termination of employment?

I'm thanking my lucky stars that I have no business travel planned in the near future, and that when I fly for the holidays our baby will be with me - I can just nurse rather than risk an experience like that of Ms. Armato.

Nicky B. said...

Are you suggesting, that since this request, doesn't happen often, the TSA has zero liability in regards of their behavior towards Stacey?

These TSA employees took advantage of their power, and abused it.

I am a breastfeeding mom. I know of many other breastfed moms.

I refuse to fly since 1. I breastfed and don't want to be targeted by unnecessary searches.
2. If my child cries, I could be kicked off of the flight.

The TSA is nothing more than a legalized tyranny allowed to physically, emotionally, abuse its boss. Yes, we pay for your wages and we are treated like villains.

This fear mongering tactic on terrorists, is old and abused by every governmental agency since 9/11.

It is all in the name of the " War on Terror".

It is like the boy who called wolf. No one takes is serious anymore. It is over played and over abused.

DCM said...

TSA only posted this because the video made it to the public and they are now trying to save face. Too late, you should have had this in play when the video hit the media. We understand the importance of security, but you have no right to treat us like a terrorist without probable cause. There has to be a better way, more practical than exposing us to unnecessary levels of radiation or having to be groped in public. What about the videos of the treatment of children being groped and taught to play a "touching" game? I am disgusted by the new practices for "our safety". I hope you figure it out quickly, as I have a small child and I am not traveling because it is not worth the risk of traumatizing my child for "safety". Bomb sniffing dogs and metal detectors should be sufficient. Wake up TSA! The people are not going give up their 4th Amendment rights...that is what's hitting the media now, educating people to not forfeit their freedoms for your lack of training and human decency. So what's next?

Tab said...

Of all the comments I read (all up to this point) there were 2 positive comments, one of which was still critical and the other was completely bogus (must have been "Bob" under anonymous); several sarcastic comments; and a mess of comments that were critical of TSA and TSO.

So, when are you going to honestly respond?

Anonymous said...

I'm flying with my small son this week, with no other adult. The TSA website clearly says I will not ever be separated from my child during screening. But what happens if a the agents I come in contact with aren't familiar with this policy? Should I print a copy of the policy and keep it in my pocket so that I won't be caught without it? I do not trust the TSA.

Anonymous said...

those really were proper procedures? so everything that happened was a-ok, but just done slower than you'd prefer?

Anonymous said...

Every day I am more outraged at the calous audacity and incomprehensible arrogance of the TSA.

When TSA agents are caught stealing, the TSA says that those caught stealing will be terminated. However, when TSA agents detain a woman and hold her against her will in a CAGE, the agents only need to be "retrained". When TSA agents detain a citizen for the crime of having a few thousand dollars in cash and checks after attending a conference on LIBERTY, there is NO accountability for them detaining and threatening an INNOCENT PATRIOT!
When HONEST, PATRIOTIC CITIZENS object to having their Constitutional Rights eroded and their persons and families abused by government agents, we are called "Domestic Extremists" by TSA leadership.

Have you no honor? Have you no shame?

Anonymous said...

The manager in the video has got to be one of the most unprofesional people I've ever seen. The fact that he whipped out his phone to check it and his body language throughout the ordeal was terrible. I think that manager needs some training on how to actually handle situations.

TSM West said...

Anonymous42 said
Of course, I don't expect that TSA really did or will do anything to reprove these employees, because TSA organizational culture is seriously flawed. TSA employees regularly behave in appalling ways--I fly frequently, and I've experienced rude and abusive behavior personally--and two weeks ago, I watched, helpless and angry, as TSA officers reduced a man to tears with a "pat-down" that for some reason required them to explore his groin area THREE times. DTW TSA employees have even been nasty, for no reason, to my thirteen year old daughter.

Many of us are afraid to complain via your system because we're afraid of being tagged for "special" screening every time? T I'm afraid to even speak up politely to TSA employees for being rude to my child, because I figure we'll be singled out to be patted/scanned/detained/fined/slammed to the floor and handcuffed--take your pick; all these things have happened to passengers--I've seen the videos and personally witnessed incidents.

TSA is already being sued by several parties, and unless it changes its training and supervisory methods, it's going to end up with more lawsuits--lawsuits which I as a taxpayer will end up funding.

December 7, 2010 11:49 PM
-----------------------------------
Where do people get this stuff. Slammed to the floor and handcuffed. Way to show your daughter how to stick up for herself. If it were my daughter having to go through additional screening would have been worth speaking up.
As a security Manager for TSA I can honestly say that no one at my airport has ever been sent through additional screening because they complained about treatment. We investigate all complaints and appropriate action is taken. I can't give you specific cases but I can tell you that I personally issued corrective action ranging from counseling through removal from federal service when the actions warrented.

Anonymous said...

Anon said
I am less than reassured by a statement from the TSA claiming that anyone's going to get any remedial training when it's apparent they're not getting their mandatory training in the first place.

December 8, 2010 9:22 AM
-----------------------------------
Do you have any idea how many rules TSOs have to learn. Then add to that all of the changes and new rules used to replace the ones that were changed. Doctors, lawyers, mechanics and thousands of other professionals careers allow their professionals to review their books of procedures when they're not sure of the procedure. Just because someone doesn't know a procedure, doesn't mean they're not trained properly. You complain about TSOs making up the rules as they go. Now you have a Supervisor who researched his procedures without making up the rules and he's poorly trained. Unless your job is flipping burgers, I'm pretty sure that you don't have all of your policies and procedures memorized, especially the ones that continually change.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: "The only training is 40 hours in class and 60 hours on the job, two and a half weeks."

That's what they're supposed to get. It isn't what they're getting, according to the Inspector General's report:

http://bit.ly/flFRYs (PDF)

Anonymous said...

TSMWest

"As a security Manager for TSA"

Do you believe "proper procedures were followed" in this incident?

Let's see if anyone at TSA is interested in back and forth...

Anonymous said...

Where do people get this stuff. Slammed to the floor and handcuffed. Way to show your daughter how to stick up for herself. If it were my daughter having to go through additional screening would have been worth speaking up.
As a security Manager for TSA I can honestly say that no one at my airport has ever been sent through additional screening because they complained about treatment. We investigate all complaints and appropriate action is taken. I can't give you specific cases but I can tell you that I personally issued corrective action ranging from counseling through removal from federal service when the actions warrented.

You investigate all specific cases and appropriate action is taken? Are you people for real? Tell me what action has been taken to address the over 1000 complaints that have been filed with the ACLU.

Anonymous said...

So, basically, this is a statement by TSA saying that they condone the illegal actions that take place in the video.

No one was held accountable for the illegal search and seizure, for the ADMITTEDLY retaliatory nature of the detention, for the threats of being arrested without breaking any laws or regulations.

Everyone still has jobs, and the only thing being apologized for is the delay.

Yes, rules are complex, ever-changing. I've dealt with changing federal regulations myself, when my company contracted with a government department. And I know that when you are presented with evidence of a regulation you are unaware of, YOU CHECK. You don't make up some arbitrary rule (ie: pouring milk into new containers), rather than follow the procedures that actually exist.

The TSA employee VIOLATED THE LAW. He needs to be held accountable, rather than "retrained".

He needs to receive punishment at least equivalent to the punishment meted out to a woman who did NOT break the law by TSA employees.

avxo said...

TSM West wrote: "As a security Manager for TSA I can honestly say that no one at my airport has ever been sent through additional screening because they complained about treatment. We investigate all complaints and appropriate action is taken. I can't give you specific cases but I can tell you that I personally issued corrective action ranging from counseling through removal from federal service when the actions warrented."

It is laudable that you actually oversee your subordinates, that you investigate complaints and that you take action when the situation warrants.

However, evidence seems to suggest that you are the exception rather than the rule.

If this incident had happened at your airport, then what would you do?

Maybe you could discount the first incident, and simply decide to go over the policies with the TSOs and LTSOs in question, request extra training or what have you.

But what about the second incident? Remember, according to her the same manager and supervisor that she had dealt with a week before were standing a mere 50 feet away, a fact backed up by video.

Let that sink in for a second.

The very people that a few days ago caused the first incident are again doing the same thing. They disregard the printed TSA policy she has with her and are just going out of their way not only to inconvenience her but to punish her.

Do you at least understand why people are frustrated at this TSM West?

And then, we have Bob (who I'm sure isn't personally responsible) post things like: "the proper screening procedures were followed at the time [...]."

REALLY?!?!?!

We have Bob saying that these people -- the ones who treat the checkpoint like a serfdom and the public as serfs -- followed procedure and that the TSA regrets the delay. But that they will still be undergoing retraining.

The delay isn't the issue. And retraining isn't a panacea. Yes, there are legitimate cases where people ought to undergo refresher training.

But there are also cases -- cases like this -- where the agency should take a long and very hard look at the facts and whether people ought to be subjected to serious penalties (see 18 USC 241 and 18 USC 242).

But this doesn't seem to happen.

Instead what happens is that a blanket and canned apology is issued, applicable to any passenger.

Instead what happens is that the TSM takes the TSO aside and says: "That was against policy. And it was awesome! You rock dude! Oh, and you've been counseled." And that is that.

And we're surprised when the same thing happens again. But should we? After all, there seem to be no appreciable consequences for power-tripping and for being abusive.

Anonymous said...

"Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time, we acknowledge this particular passenger experienced an out of the ordinary delay, and have worked with our officers to ensure we proceed with expediency in screening situations similar to this."

Even in your "so called" apology you defend these actions that by your own guidelines were not properly followed. The arrogance of the TSA is just too much even for those who wish to ignore their fourth amendment rights and allow TSA to intrude into their privacy rights.

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "You complain about TSOs making up the rules as they go. Now you have a Supervisor who researched his procedures without making up the rules and he's poorly trained."

Again, remember that this didn't happen once. It happened again, a week later. The same LTSOs and TSMs that have previously dealt with this lady were standing less than 50 feet away according to the video footage, as she was detained for the same thing that they had researched a week ago.

That significantly changes the calculus, don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

So, an appology was made to the woman who was caged for an hour. Have you appologized to Celeste yet?

http://pncminnesota.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/rape-survivor-devasted-by-tsa-enhanced-pat-down/

Coming back from Chicago, Celeste, like increasing numbers of travelers, was forced to make a difficult choice – either allow strangers to see her naked or allow strangers to touch and squeeze her breasts and groin in full view of other travels and TSA agents. “This was a nightmare come to life,” Celeste says, “I said I didn’t want them to see me naked and the agent started yelling Opt out- we have an opt here. Another agent took me aside and said they would have to pat me down. He told me he was going to touch my genitals and asked if I wouldn’t rather just go through the scanner, that it would be less humiliating for me. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I kept saying I don’t want any of this to happen. I was whispering please don’t do this, please, please.”

Since Celeste didn’t agree to go through the scanner, the enhanced pat down began. “He started at one leg and then ran his hand up to my crotch. He cupped and patted my crotch with his palm. Other flyers were watching this happen to me. At that point I closed my eyes and started praying to the Goddess for strength. He also cupped and then squeezed my breasts. That wasn’t the worst part. He touched my face, he touched my hair, stroking me. That’s when I started crying. It was so intimate, so horrible. I feel like I was being raped. There’s no way I can fly again. I can’t do it.”

Bryan P said...

Interesting that Blogger Bob has responded in the comments to the updated nail clipper post, but I don't see him on the comments to this post at all. I find it very disturbing that we have a federal agency that hands a great deal of power to low-level employees, many of whom see themselves as unaccountable to anyone. It creates an atmosphere that is rife for abuse. Who watches the watchmen, indeed. And the Economist is reporting that the backscatter machines are trivially bypassed: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2010/12/backscatter_scanner_vulnerabilities

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA,

In case no one from your leadership has informed you, you work for the American people. Our tax dollars fund your salaries.

Quit wasting tax dollars trying to justify bad behavior by TSA employees. Inside of wasting tax dollars apologizing and explaining, use it to institue accountability and customer service training. It's evident by those of us who fly frequently that the tax dollars spent to date on training have been wasted.

unethicalTSA said...

Dear Bob,

There is no mention of the erased 30 minutes of tape, who did that, and what happened to them. It is only because the TSA and employees have apparently complete immunity against following actual laws, that this is not a criminal case with the additional charge of obstruction of justice.
How about some details on this "retraining?" Does that involve watching a little video a going right back out to assault the public? I bet it does.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

For some reason you chose not to post my comment asking for clarification, so here I go again.

I see in this video that the woman was held in a cage for a long period of time.

I have no problem walking for miles, but I have an issue with a joint that prevents me from standing still for long periods of time, more than 5 minutes and it becomes so painful I want to cry (and I am a grown man, I don't cry easily.)

What are my choices should something like this happen? Can I ask for a chair? Can I ask for alternate arrangements while I wait for whoever is going to touch me?

This is a very serious question and I hope you can answer.

MarkVII said...

TSM West said ...I can tell you that I personally issued corrective action ranging from counseling through removal from federal service when the actions warrented.

That's good to hear, but...

It's been suggested here before (to no apparent effect) to add some metrics to "week at a glance" on number of passenger complaints received, number investigated, number of TSA personnel counseled, terminated, etc. Even if you can't name names, aggregate data would be a positive step.

I have a problem with the TSA's immediate, aggressive action against passengers, but appears lackadaisical policing its own ranks. Passengers are expected to know the rules, when the TSA personnel get away with not. (Mr. Gel Pack's story, the amputee mom, the kid with the leg braces all come to mind.) Similarly, the passengers are expected to adapt to rule changes basically overnight (3-1-1), while the TSA excuses its own ignorance with "there's a lot of rules", "it takes time to get the word out in an organization this large", etc.

Consider the following relative to retaliation...

The latest breast milk incident reeks of premeditated retaliation. 'nuf said. Consider the reports of "grab a man's testicles and squeeze to the point of pain" if a male passenger opts out of AIT. Go back to the early days of this blog and there's talk of "retaliatory secondary", "slow motion secondary", "the bag dump", etc.

There was blog chatter about a "requirement" to show photo id (and sometimes have your particulars recorded) in order to receive a comment card. To me, that a clear attempt to squelch comments.

If I had been in charge, I would have ended that practice with a quick stroke of my pen. The only acceptable response would be to provide a comment card, with the optional question of "is there something I can help you with?" after the card was in the passenger's hand.

I remember the launch of "Got Feedback", and the blog team's comment that they "cringed" when they read those stories. If I'd been in charge, the only ones "cringing" would be any TSA employee who attached any strings whatsoever to providing a comment card. (The same would go for not wearing a name tag and refusing to identify oneself, but I digress.)

As Got Feedback moved along, the blog chatter talked about "form" email responses that didn't address the passenger's issue, or not receiving any response at all.

I used to work in consumer relations at at Big 3 automaker. We had specific criteria that had to be met before an owner relations situation could be "closed", and there was oversight and accountability to keep us from gaming the system. The blog chatter suggests the TSA doesn't have this oversight.

Unfortunately, I get the impression that your thought process is the exception rather than the rule. Many of us have questioned the TSA's level of accountability. We've also offered very specific suggestions. Unfortunately, I do not see the TSA taking actions that would bolster accountability.

In fact, the usual response to an suggestion is why it can't be done. My favorite example is putting the airport, date, time and a screener identifier on the "love notes". The immediate response is "if something turned up missing, we'd be the prime suspects." Maybe so, but if a prohibited item shows up in my unlocked, checked bag, who's the prime suspect? If you can take from a bag, you can add to it as well.

If the TSA put as much accountability on itself as it puts on the passengers, most of these incidents would simply never happen. Those individuals who were not deterred by the accountability measures would get broomed in short order.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

I flew in Oct 2008 with a child with a very severe peanut allergy. The TSA website states that liquid medication does not have to go through the x-ray and can get manually checked. Apparently the TSA workers at Philly didn't know the rules either. They decided to fight with me on what THEIR RULES were before my Dad came over to insist they be checked manually. Only then did they compile. and they did so begrudgingly because they actually had to work. I can only imagine if I was by myself.

RB said...

Couple of questions.

Can breast milk be screened by methods other than xray?

Is this procedure taught in TSA initial training classes?

In the video there is a man wearing a suit, is this person still employeed by TSA?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

I'd like it better if you didn't think we were stupid.

Anonymous said...

Gunner said...

So, when I fly next month out of Phoenix, I will politely but fimly advise the person with a blue shirt that if they touch my genitals with other than the back of their hand, I will have them arrested for sexual assault. Then if they try to put me in the glass cage I refuse to go in because TSA only has adminstrative search authority and does not have the authority to detain me, and if htey insist I will go in the cage but once out will demand that they be arrested by REAL law enforcement for illegal detention as it was done without the authority of law.

My question is, how much money do you think I will win? Will I miss my flight?


Do you really think that you have a case here? As for real law enforcement, That dude in the blue shirt, he is a fully sworn federal law enforcement officer. No he doesn't carry a gun or have "arrest" powers. But still, he is law enforcement.
Ad to everyone that keeps wanting to know what and how anyone is disciplined? That is between the officer and their superior and doesn't have to be made public. Do we get advised every time you get disciplined for screwing up on your job, what ever it is?

Anonymous said...

Here is Stacey Armato's response to this post

http://www.sustainablemothering.com/2010/12/14/stacey-armato-responds-to-the-tsa-post-on-her-breast-milk-detention/

Anonymous said...

Stacey Armato, the woman discussed in your blog, gave an interview very recently (since Bob's blog. It is more than clear that her experiences are VERY different than Bob's version of the events:

http://tiny.cc/oim7a

One way or another, via administrative procedures or a lawsuit, the truth WILL come out about the indignities this woman endured at TSA's hands, as well as the indignities and horrible treatment many of us endure on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Provided written confirmation that she no longer experiences issues? No. That's a lie. Here's her response to you trying to mislead the American people.... again.

http://www.sustainablemothering.com/2010/12/14/stacey-armato-responds-to-the-tsa-post-on-her-breast-milk-detention/

Anonymous said...

The woman maintains that TSA did not apologize - except via a bland form letter, and that their ineptness continues.

http://www.sustainablemothering.com/2010/12/14/stacey-armato-responds-to-the-tsa-post-on-her-breast-milk-detention/

TSM West said...

Anon said
TSMWest

"As a security Manager for TSA"

Do you believe "proper procedures were followed" in this incident?

Let's see if anyone at TSA is interested in back and forth...

December 12, 2010 8:25 AM
-----------------------------------
I would need more details on what exactly did occur, when it happened and what procedure they used to mitigate the threat. All I know is that someone came through with medically exempt liquids and asked for them not to be x-rayed. If that is the case then additional screening would need to be conducted on both her and her property to include tests of the liquids. Depending on how long ago this happened would determine what type of additional screening was needed. For me to determine if proper procedures were followed I would have to know exactly what they did.

I've read something about pouring the milk into smaller containers. I have no idea what that would be for. That is not a procedure. But again i don't have all of the facts.

If it did indeed take over an hour for the screening process to be completed,to me that would have been excessive and I would be asking for a detailed report explaining that delay.

I can't tell you whether or not Bob is correct in telling you that the proper procedures were followed
because I don't have all of the facts. I believe that Bob would be answering the same way I am if he didn't have the facts in front of him when he posted. As far as the appologize to the mother. If procedures were followed I would not appologize for doing my job. But if because of the length of time it took I would definitely be appologizing for the inconvenience.

If you could show me where I could find all of the information on this incident and I don't mean the video because there isn't any volume for me to hear what is being said, I would be glad to expand on what I believe should have happened.

I hope Bob posts this. I don't believe I put any SSI in this.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I just read the victims response to your blog posting.

You should be personally ashamed of what you posted.

RB said...

TSM West said...
Anon said
TSMWest

"As a security Manager for TSA"

Do you believe "proper procedures were followed" in this incident?

Let's see if anyone at TSA is interested in back and forth...

December 12, 2010 8:25 AM
-----------------------------------
I would need more details on what exactly did occur, when it happened and what procedure they used to mitigate the threat.
...............
West is it normal TSA policy and procedure to detain and hold a person hostage for the best part of an hour?

No audio is needed to document that fact!

RB said...

Do you really think that you have a case here? As for real law enforcement, That dude in the blue shirt, he is a fully sworn federal law enforcement officer. No he doesn't carry a gun or have "arrest" powers. But still, he is law enforcement.
Ad to everyone that keeps wanting to know what and how anyone is disciplined? That is between the officer and their superior and doesn't have to be made public. Do we get advised every time you get disciplined for screwing up on your job, what ever it is?

December 14, 2010 11:29 AM

...........
Support the claim that front line TSA employees are FLEO.

I dont think you can.

Anonymous said...

TSMWest said

"If you could show me where I could find all of the information on this incident and I don't mean the video because there isn't any volume for me to hear what is being said"

-----------------------------------

Then there is no way Bob could "know" exactly what happened either.

Brent said...

Do you really think that you have a case here? As for real law enforcement, That dude in the blue shirt, he is a fully sworn federal law enforcement officer. No he doesn't carry a gun or have "arrest" powers. But still, he is law enforcement.
Ad to everyone that keeps wanting to know what and how anyone is disciplined? That is between the officer and their superior and doesn't have to be made public. Do we get advised every time you get disciplined for screwing up on your job, what ever it is?
----------------------------------

You are flat wrong sir. If TSA officers were federal law enforcement offices they would have to under training at either the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia or New Mexico. Also, if there were federal law enforcment officers, they would be issued sidearms. FLEOs are required to carry their sidearm with them at all times (they do have some discretion such as if they will be drinking, leaving on a personal foreign trip etc) because as FLEO's they are required to enforce federal law whenever they are.

TSA agents are NOT FLEOs!

Anonymous said...

TSM West said...
All I know is that someone came through with medically exempt liquids and asked for them not to be x-rayed. If that is the case then additional screening would need to be conducted on both her and her property to include tests of the liquids.

Why would having medically exempt liquids require additional screening of her or her other belongings??

Anonymous said...

"Do you really think that you have a case here? As for real law enforcement, That dude in the blue shirt, he is a fully sworn federal law enforcement officer. "

Nope, TSOs are not Federal law enforcement officers. Get your facts straight.

"That is between the officer and their superior and doesn't have to be made public. Do we get advised every time you get disciplined for screwing up on your job, what ever it is?"

Are you really this dense? This is a taxpayer paid, federal employee who violated the rights of a citizen and the policies of the TSA. Of course this is discoverable under the FOIA.

Where do we get people like this?

Anonymous said...

"I have no problem walking for miles, but I have an issue with a joint that prevents me from standing still for long periods of time, more than 5 minutes and it becomes so painful I want to cry (and I am a grown man, I don't cry easily.)

What are my choices should something like this happen? Can I ask for a chair? Can I ask for alternate arrangements while I wait for whoever is going to touch me?

This is a very serious question and I hope you can answer."

I have an answer for you: Tell the TSA rep about your condition and if it's not addressed, leave. If law enforcement is called over, explain the situation. You have rights (ADA and others).

The TSA has NO POWER to detain you. None. Zilch.

RB said...

Anon said in part............

"Are you really this dense? This is a taxpayer paid, federal employee who violated the rights of a citizen and the policies of the TSA. Of course this is discoverable under the FOIA.

Where do we get people like this?

December 16, 2010 12:19 AM"
....................

The poster your responding to said this:

"Do we get advised every time you get disciplined for screwing up on your job, what ever it is?

December 14, 2010 11:29 AM"

................

Which leads me to believe this person is one of the highly trained and exceptionally skilled TSA screeners Bob brags about all the time.

Truly frightening that some TSA employees think they are law enforcement when in reality they are overpaid baggage inspectors.

Anonymous said...

This is a very serious question and I hope you can answer."

I have an answer for you: Tell the TSA rep about your condition and if it's not addressed, leave. If law enforcement is called over, explain the situation. You have rights (ADA and others).

The TSA has NO POWER to detain you. None. Zilch.

-------------------
Further, if the TSA rep doesn't address your condition, consider asking for a law enforcement officer (before leaving the area) -- if you are being mistreated or abused, you should be able to talk to a real police officer. They are always in the airport, sometimes by checkpoint. You have rights too.

Anonymous said...

blogger bob, perhaps you need "retraining" on Public Relations. I absolutely love how stupid you must perceive the American public to think that your response to a woman being humiliated in public while doing nothing illegal was adequate. Maybe go try your propaganda in a country where its citizens aren't going to fight to the death for their rights. the TSA are the true terrorists. Is the TSA not terrorizing us through fear, embarassment, and confinement?

i doubt this wont even make it to the comments cause they are going to censor me obv

RB said...

Bob, based on the "Breast Milk" caper just how long can a TSA screener detain a person?

TrackerNeil said...

Sigh. The TSOs certainly put the blocks to this breastfeeding mom; let's hope they are equally intimidating to potential bombers.

Once again we're told that we can't know the details of this situation because the revelation would be a Mega Super Duper Breach of Security, and that telling would mean The Terrorists Win. I'm no conservative, but in this situation I can't help but remember the words of Ronald Reagan: "Trust, but verify."

Brent said...

well, no answers from TSA regarding this issue. TSA wonders why they are hated more then that IRS, well, when everything is "classified" for national security it leads people to believe that TSA is hiding something.

It's funny that TSA has no problem stopping breast milk and relatitation against a mother because they sure can't stop much else.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/loaded-gun-slips-past-tsa-screeners/story?id=12412458

To the mod...I know you won't post this comment and TSA will never answer questions honestly. Which is why it is going to be great to watch y'all squirm in front of congressional hearings in the 112th Congress!

Anonymous said...

Thank you to both Anonymous posters who took the time to answer my question about the pain caused by standing still for an extended period of time.

It's sad that I have to rely on the kindness of strangers because Bob, or any of the official TSA spokespeople who post here, cannot be bothered to answer a question from a peasant.

What's the point of this blog?

RB said...

COMMENT DIRECTED TO TSA MANAGEMENT

A poster to the TSA Blog posted this extreme bit of misinformation and TSA Bloggers did not comment on the inaccuracies of the statement.

Do you really think that you have a case here? As for real law enforcement, That dude in the blue shirt, he is a fully sworn federal law enforcement officer. No he doesn't carry a gun or have "arrest" powers. But still, he is law enforcement.
Ad to everyone that keeps wanting to know what and how anyone is disciplined? That is between the officer and their superior and doesn't have to be made public. Do we get advised every time you get disciplined for screwing up on your job, what ever it is?

December 14, 2010 11:29 AM



I am not in favor of censorship but surely if TSA is going to allow a post with such incorrect information a comment would be appropriate to note the misinformation.

Allowing the comment from this poster without comment is not responsible work by government employees and certainly does not reflect a professional operation of this blog.

Anonymous said...

"I have an answer for you: Tell the TSA rep about your condition and if it's not addressed, leave. If law enforcement is called over, explain the situation. You have rights (ADA and others)."
-----------------------
It has been made clear that explaining the situation, along with various laws/rules that should be followed do NOT mean you will be listened to. (even if you talk to a supervisor)
Also, I'm almost 100% positive that trying to walk out of the glass box would result in being tackled, not exactly what someone with joint problems needs.
Having a policy that requires a chair in every one of the glass "shame" boxes would solve this issue though.

Anonymous said...

And these same people are responsible for keeping us safe. I guess I'll be driving.

RB said...

RB said...
Bob, based on the "Breast Milk" caper just how long can a TSA screener detain a person?

December 16, 2010 4:18 PM

...................
Bob, you seem to have gone back to the your old habit of being silent and hiding under your blanket instead of having a dialog which is what this blog is supposedly about.

In the post you submitted for this incident you clearly state that proper procedures were followed;

"Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time,"

and the lady was held hostage in a locked cage for almost an hour the question remains, how long can TSA detain a person?

There must be an answer to this question since TSA did in fact hold this lady for an extended period of time and you have clearly told us the TSA employees acted correctly.

So what's the answer Curtis?

How long can TSA hold a person hostage?

Anonymous said...

Bob,
We're all waiting for your answer...If "proper procedures" involve keeping a person in a small glass cage for an hour without a chair, water, access to a restroom or a telephone (to call law enforcement, family or a lawyer, then how long is NOT a proper procedure? Two hours? Three?

We're waiting...What ARE TSA guidelines about how long a person can be detained?

Anonymous said...

RB brings up a very valid question when he asked "how long can TSA detain a person?".

This should be a simple answer, as the legalities of seizures and detainment are well trenched in law.

So how long can TSA detain a person?

Anonymous said...

"RB brings up a very valid question when he asked "how long can TSA detain a person?".

This should be a simple answer, as the legalities of seizures and detainment are well trenched in law.

So how long can TSA detain a person?"

This ones easy but you won't get the answer from the TSA: The TSA can not detain anyone for any length of time. If you can show that you were detained by the TSA, the person or those who detained you are probably guilty of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment or a host of any other crimes. The standard is high, however, unless you try to leave and are stopped by the TSA, it will be difficult to prove the elements of a crime. The TSA can, however, summon law enforcement.

If you feel as if you've been detained, insist that LE take your statement. You can ask that he/she remove you from detention and/or make a report. If you pursue any legal action, a report from LE will be extremely useful.

Anonymous said...

"Having a policy that requires a chair in every one of the glass "shame" boxes would solve this issue though."

Making people comfortable as their rights are being trampled is NOT the answer. If you're put into a box and you decide not stay there, leave. If LE is called, explain the situation, allow him/her to question you and then go. Don't be intimidated by the TSO - they lack any authority whatsoever to impede your departure. If they so much as touch you as you leave, they've committed assault. Depending on what they say, they may commit battery.

A professional, educated TSA workforce is also not the answer but it would be a good start. let's start with a basic test on Constitutional liberties. You pass, you can be considered, you fail, back to scanning pizza boxes for job opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Want to know what disciplinary actions were taken? Write your Representative. If we bombard the TSA with CONGRINTs, the question will be answered. The new Congress will be significantly more sceptical of the TSA and, one can hope, will curb some of the abuses.

Funny, isn't it, how we know John Tyner's name but not of the TSOs who may have assaulted him.

We must impose accountability on the TSA; it's clear it will not live up to its responsibilities as a member of the Executive Branch, either administratively or operationally.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB brings up a very valid question when he asked "how long can TSA detain a person?".

This should be a simple answer, as the legalities of seizures and detainment are well trenched in law.

So how long can TSA detain a person?

December 22, 2010 8:49 AM

..........
We know that Stacey was held hostage for almost an hour by TSA.

We know that TSA has stated through Blogger Bob that proper procedures were followed.

When this goes to trail I see a clear win for Stacey.

I think calling Blogger Bob as a witness for his remarks here would only be proper.

TSA has admitted guilt.

Stacey will win her case against TSA.

The senior TSA employee present at that screening should have had criminal charges brought against him/her. They acted illegally.

Anonymous said...

Well it appears Bob has taken a "duck and cover" position. When is Bob going to further explain how these abusive TSA agents were following proper procedures when they detained this lady and properly screen her breast milk? This is just another case where arrogant, abusive TSA employees have disrespected the traveling public without receiving any punishment other than "retraining". I realize TSA has a very difficult job but that does not give them the justification to mistreat the people they are supposed to be serving. Come on Bob come our from under the desk and explain how proper procedures were followed and what action was taken against these representatives of TSA. We're waiting....

RB said...

Bob, you say that TSA followed proper procedures when TSA employees held Stacey hostage for almost an hour.

Can you reconcile the hostage taking and detention of Stacey with current TSA procedures?

Many people have asked similar questions. Why no answer?

Concerned Observer said...

I am deeply disturbed that legitimate questions are not being addressed. If proper procedures were followed, as Bob states, if I request alternative screening for some sort of medical liquid, how long would my detainment have to be before it would be considered improper?
Might as well ask this one as well: is it standard procedure to retrain TSOs who have been determined to have followed standard procedure and merely caused an unusual delay?

omars said...

Bob, please explain how TSA employees were disciplined following these egregious lapses, specifically how many were officially reprimanded, reassigned, or fired.

RB said...

Bob, how many times will it take asking why TSA taking Stacey hostage and the claim by TSA that proper procedures were followed before we have some explanation of the apparent discrepancy of that explanation?

Was the senior TSA official on scene charged with a criminal complaint for taking a citizen hostage?

RB said...

Bob, still waiting for the explanation of how TSA Screening Procedures were followed correctly while TSA held Stacey hostage for almost an hour at a TSA Check Point.

Please explain.

Also, was the senior TSA employee at that checkpoint charged with a criminal complaint for taking a person hostage?

Anonymous said...

"We concede that this passenger suffered an out of the ordinary delay"

Classic. The passenger didn't "suffer" an out of the ordinary delay, despite your concession.

The TSA violated its own rules and broke Federal law illegally detaining "this passenger."

TSA blithely characterizing this incident as it did does not change the facts: "This passenger" should file federal and state criminal charges as well as file a huge civil claim.

I can't wait to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

it's really bothering me that there still hasn't been an official response regarding how what happened can be considered proper procedures. if there is still some sort of investigation pending, just say so. if not, a simple official comment/addendum will suffice.

i'm not ready for this to be swept under the rug just yet.

RB said...

Bob, still waiting for your explanation of how TSA procedures were correctly followed while TSA employees held Stacey hostage.

Was the senior TSA employee at that checkpoint charged with a crime?

If not why not?

RB said...

Bob, still waiting for your explanation of how TSA procedures were correctly followed while TSA employees held Stacey hostage.

Was the senior TSA employee at that checkpoint charged with a crime?

If not why not?

Still waiting Bob.


What correct procedures allow for TSA taking a person hostage?

Was the Checkpoint manager in this incident charged with a crime?

justmyopinion said...

Well Bob, all we are asking for is an explaination of how TSA followed proper rules and procedures when they detaind and mis-handled this lady's breast milk. It really seems like a very simple question with a very simple answer since you said proper procedures were followed. We're all waiting.

RB said...

RB said...
Bob, still waiting for your explanation of how TSA procedures were correctly followed while TSA employees held Stacey hostage.

Was the senior TSA employee at that checkpoint charged with a crime?

If not why not?

Still waiting Bob.


What correct procedures allow for TSA taking a person hostage?

Was the Checkpoint manager in this incident charged with a crime?

January 1, 2011 8:29 AM

..............
Instead of asking this question again I will leave this discussion with the following points.

TSA did in fact take a person hostage only because they asked to have an exempted items screened by means other than Xray as allowed by TSA rules.

TSA employees not being properly trained held the individual as hostage in order to force the person to accept screening of this item by means these poorly trained TSA employees could comprehend and not by the exception process developed by TSA HQ.

The TSA employee in charge of this checkpoint did commit a felony level crime but TSA does not hold its employees accountable for such crimes.

The blog posted by Blogger Bob is nothing but a pack of lies when claims that proper procedures were followed are advanced.

TSA has clearly demonstrated that retaliation is the order of the day if a person stands up for their civil rights.

TSA has demonstrated that the public should never trust or rely on TSA employees at any level to act in an honorable or legal manner.

TSA has demonstrated that TSA has nothing to do with public safety but is engaged in acts that only destroying America with its unconstitutional acts.

Finally we know from evidence on this blog that truth is something totally foreign to TSA and its employees.

RB said...

RB said...
Bob, still waiting for your explanation of how TSA procedures were correctly followed while TSA employees held Stacey hostage.

Was the senior TSA employee at that checkpoint charged with a crime?

If not why not?

Still waiting Bob.


What correct procedures allow for TSA taking a person hostage?

Was the Checkpoint manager in this incident charged with a crime?

January 1, 2011 8:29 AM

...........
Well I tried to end this question but Blogger Bob censored my comment so I guess the questions will continue until answered.

.....

What correct TSA procedures allow for the taking of a hostage who only requested that an item be screened in a manner that TSA specifies?

What legal action was taken against the Checkpoint Manager who allowed this citizen to be held hostage by TSA?

RB said...

Bob, why won't you answer even one question that has been asked in this thread?

Is it because your TSA keepers have to tell you what you think and say?

RB said...

Bob, what proper TSA procedures call for taking a person hostage at a TSA Checkpoint?

I won't ask if anyone was held accountable since it is clear TSA does not hold its employees accountable for illegal acts.

Misha said...

Looks like the TSA is still at it, x-raying breast milk:

http://www.anktangle.com/2011/01/tsa-x-rayed-my-breastmilk.html

RB said...

Still waiting Bob!

Bob, what proper TSA procedures call for taking a person hostage at a TSA Checkpoint?

I won't ask if anyone was held accountable since it is clear TSA does not hold its employees accountable for illegal acts.

RB said...

Bob, what postitions do these TSA employees hold at MSY?

Randell C. Lundsgaard

Mr. Ruholl

Anonymous said...

I just read about another incident where a woman asked for alternate screening and was bullies into irradiating her frozen breast milk.

As a working mother I know just how much effor 12 ounces of breastmilk represents. It's a full day worth of pumping, probably from three separate pumping sessions. It's a bit deal, and here we have the TSA not adhearing to their own rules and bullying women and targeting them for retaliation when they that their milk be handles properly.

Your supposed apology is completely inadaquate, and since TSA screeners in other locations are still forcing women to send milk through the X-ray machine the TSA clearly doesn't make it a priority that their screeners follow their own rules.

You and the TSA should be ashamed of yourselves, and I hope Ms. Armata kicks your butts in court.

RB said...

Bob we know your working like heck to get this story off the front page but it won't work this time.

You posted that TSA procedures were properly followed yet a person trying to get to their flight was held hostage at the checkpoint for almost an hour.

What TSA procedure calls for holding a person hostage?

Why are TSA employees who took a person hostage not held accountable?

What TSA policy is it that makes it ok for TSA employees to commit felonies at TSA checkpoints and not lose their jobs?

RB said...

Bob, we are still waiting.

Are the questions so hard you can't make up more lies to cover your earlier lies?

.......................
Bob we know your working like heck to get this story off the front page but it won't work this time.

You posted that TSA procedures were properly followed yet a person trying to get to their flight was held hostage at the checkpoint for almost an hour.

What TSA procedure calls for holding a person hostage?

Why are TSA employees who took a person hostage not held accountable?

What TSA policy is it that makes it ok for TSA employees to commit felonies at TSA checkpoints and not lose their jobs?

RB said...

Bob the same basic question has been asked repeatedly over the course of several weeks and still no reponse.

Can we take your silence to indicate a lack of backbone on your part to address difficult questions?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that so long after Stacey Armato's detention over breast milk that the TSA still doesn't have a coherent policy that TSOs can follow?

http://www.anktangle.com/2011/01/tsa-x-rayed-my-breastmilk.html

Another mother, more breast milk - and again, the TSA can't seem to present a simple policy for the passengers and screeners to work through?

RB said...

Bob the same basic question has been asked repeatedly over the course of several weeks and still no reponse.

Can we take your silence to indicate a lack of backbone on your part to address difficult questions?

January 8, 2011 1:24 PM

.................

Still waiting for your answer to the waiting question.

If the question is to difficult for you to comprehend let me know and I will try to simplfy to your level of understanding Bob.

RB said...

Bob, I really fail to understand why no response has been forthcoming.

All that is being asked is some explanation that "correct policy" was carried out in this incident.

Is it that hard to explain how "correct policy" was used to take and hold a citizen hostage by TSA employees when all they did was buy a ticket to fly on a commercial airplane?

I take your silence to be acknowledgement that your post on this matter was not truthful.

Marilyn austin said...

Where can I report that a security person stole my jewelry pouch while hand-searching my carry-on items. My bag and purse had gone through the machine, but when I got through in a wheel chair, a security person opened my purse and was going all through my different make-up,eyeglass cases, etc. unzipping them, finding nothing. I tried very hard to watch, because my money and other necessessities and valuables were all in my handbag. When I got home, my jewelry pouch was missing. I am heartbroken, because included was an absolutely beautiful opal pendant, cut and polished by my husband-irreplaceable, and a pair of diamond ear-rings, a gift from my son. I was very careful with my handbag, and held on to it, never letting it get out of my sight, except for this security instance. I was in a wheelchair and I tried to watch this lady carefully, but may have been distracted in looking for my cane. This must be reported to the MBJ police. Please, someone help me, I must report this terrible incident, but do not know how. I am an eighty senior citizen.
Travelers need to know that carry-on luggage and bags are vulnerable to theft from "security people". My name is Marilyn Austin
I traveled on Delta flight #718 on Jan. 3, 2011.

RB said...

Bob??????

justmyopinion said...

Dang Bob, how difficult can it be for you to provide an explaination of your own words. Seems so simple. Just explain how TSA employees followed proper procedures when Ms Armato tried to board her aircraft. Remember, those were your choice of words not ours. You might also try to explain the events earlier this month related to the lady in New Orleans. Did TSA follow proper procedutes in New Orleans too?

RB said...

Bob, still waiting for your explanation of how proper procedure was followed when TSA employees committed a felony by taking a person hostage and holding that person for an extended period of time.

I fail to understand your lack of response. Are your superiors preventing you from answering or is it more along the lines of lack of character on your part Bob?

You posted the claim that policy was properly followed yet seem incapable of supporting that claim.

Bob, did you lie which would be an offense against TSA's Core Values and if you did why haven't you resigned?

Jaydeegrrrl said...

"Proper screening procedures were followed"?!!!??? Is that what you call it when multiple TSA agents tell a new mom that her choice is to either radiate breast milk or throw it away? Is that what you call it when multiple TSA agents won't believe her when she shows proof of their own regulations? Not to mention the retaliatory holding of her and their attempt to have a police officer arrest her for her lawful and proper request. This unapologetic apology does not make me feel better at all! No procedure was followed at any time.

RB said...

I'm surprised to see this topic back on the front page but not surprised by the cowardly act of not addressing the many questions asked in this thread.

Just in case you haven't heard them yet please explain how TSA employees followed correct policy when they committed a felony by taking a person hostage?

Why are TSA employees not held accountable for their acts when those acts are clearly illegal?

RB said...

Bob, what your state as correct procedures were followed in the case of the Breast Milk Screening at PHX was actually a felony committed by TSA employees when they took a person hostage and held her without cause.

Why has TSA taken no legal action against these employees?

Can the public expect TSA to cover up illegal acts committed by TSA employees in this nations airports?

Is that what TSA is really all about, abusing civil rights and being a lawless agency?

We are waiting on an explanation Bob.

How were proper procedures followed when it is clear the TSA employees involved in this incident violated federal law?

And TSA wonders why they are the most distusted agency of all Federal agencies in the United States government.

TSA, nothing but a bunch of criminals!

The actions of a few does reflect on the whole organization!!

RB said...

Bob is felonious hostage taking correct procedure in TSA?

That certainly seems to be your claim.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, not only am I not seeing any updates to the Stacey Armato story, but now I see that TSA can't even seem to find a way to direct individuals to a page where they can lodge complaints. Even if you're going to ignore this thread, surely TSA can help the poor woman who posted recently trying to find out how to report a theft in a TSA line?

RB said...

Bob, is it still your opinion that proper TSA procedures were followed when TSA employees clearly committed a felony by taking a person hostage?

RB said...

Once again our Blogger Bob who took and oath to defend the Constitutionis practicing illegal censorship. Good job Bob!

Still the questions remain, the most important of them is how could proper TSA procedure be followed when TSA employees committed a felony by taking a passenger hostage?

How is that simply possible Bob?

RB said...

Bob, is it proper TSA Procedure to hold a passenger hostage at a TSA Checkpoint?

Under what law would this be done?

RB said...

Bob, I would think you would grow tired of making statements that you can't defend and then have myself and others ask for clarification.

Like in this Breast Milk post.

Is TSA against motherhood and Breast Milk?

Is it proper procedure to abuse lactating mothers?

Is it proper TSA policy for TSA employees to hold a person hostage just for asking for alternative screening in accordance with TSA rules?

Is it correct TSA policy for its employees to commit a felony against a traveler and then not be held accountable for that felony?

Is it correct TSA policy for the TSA to make a blog posting that is not truthful?

Is your silence correct TSA policy when answers to these questions might embarrass TSA?

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