Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chalk Up a Smooth Holiday Travel Season to Hard Working Officers and Prepared Passengers

Passengers at an airport.The holiday travel season of 2010 has come and gone and thanks to our hard working officers and prepared passengers, travelers were able to move through our checkpoints smoothly and uneventfully. Some are saying this is due to TSA turning off Advanced Imaging Technology machines (AIT). Just as I said after Opt Out day, this is not the case and there may be several reasons somebody might think this.
  •  First off, everybody is not necessarily screened by AIT. I think people need to understand that TSA operates out of 450 + airports. Of these 450 + airports, 78 currently have AIT. There are a total of 486 machines in the field right now. (We’re working quickly to deploy more units to the field - above and beyond the 486). 
  • Even at airports with AIT machines, they are not yet deployed at all checkpoint lanes.
  • At times, machines could be shut down for routine maintenance, or maintenance issues. 
  • If the technology just arrived at the airport, it's possible passengers would see a unit in the checkpoint but not in use. Several things have to happen before we can start using them, they have to be installed, tested and we have to fully train officers on how to use the technology.
After reading comments around the web from travelers, I learned that some saw the machines in action and some didn’t. That sounds about right to me. 

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

106 comments:

Scott G. Lewis said...

Another great post. This will stem ALL complaints. Thanks for addressing all the pictures, stories and videos we've seen about aggressive TSA agents of late. It was also nice to see you not just address the issues, but explain how your new training program will mitigate the problem.

masimons said...

I'd be just as happy if the AIT's were unplugged. But as a taxpayer, I'm annoyed by the purchase of 450+ machines costing what $150k each that is in use for less than 10% of the day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Propaganda Bob!

We appreciate the constant ignoring of the real issues that the traveling public has.

Next time can you post a pic with a baby or some children so you can try again with the perception that the public actually likes you.

Anonymous said...

I had a bad experience at one of your checkpoints and asked for a complaint form. I was told that I could only make a complaint online, and that the cards they clearly DID have were only for compliments. Is this, in fact, TSA policy?

Anonymous said...

You are working hard to deploy more whole body imaging machines which are invasive and do not detect explosives. Why? Why insist in inadequate methods?

DJ Behrens said...

Thank you TSA for keeping me and my family safe for both of my flights over the holidays. I wonder how some of the people who are upset about the new procedures and technologies would feel if harm came to a loved one as a direct result of the removal of these procedures and technologies? Would they complain that TSA did not do enough?

Anonymous said...

I went through a checkpoint at Tampa International Airport in Florida which had the AIT screening. The thing that I did not like about it was that the orientation of the machine made me turn my back to my belongings (going through the X-ray machine) while I was being screened. I am concerned that while my back was turned, someone could have made off with my laptop or other belongings.

Anonymous said...

Well done Bob.

Again, we see how you can sweep all of the legitimate complaints under the rug with the same hollow reasoning from past posts while ignoring what your readers and commentators are asking you repeatedly.

/Sarcasm.

You say it isn't so all you want, but it is a fact that some AIT machines that had been previously in use were not in use during busy holiday travel periods. This is my personal testimony from traveling through multiple airports on multiple days, and is the testimony of many other travelers as well. You can hide the truth all you want, but it is still the truth.

Anonymous said...

How many women traveling for the holidays had to get a pat down for the "crime" of wearing a menstrual pad, whether disposable or (heaven forbid!) a washable cotton one (which is clearly un-American)? And did the TSA officer doing the search make them remove the pad? And did the TSA officer put on a fresh pair of gloves after doing this?

(I don't even want to think about what would happen to a woman using a menstrual cup)

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA,

When are you going to quit wasting our tax dollars with these silly blogs like this? Why don't you begin 2011 and address some real concerns of frequent travelers like...

1. An independent health study of the AIT systems (installation and ongoing maintenance).

2. Privacy concerns over AIT machines - and not your typical TSA responses.

3. Protection for taxpayer property while passengers are being "patted down".

4. TSA officer accountability to taxpayer complaints.

Trying listening to your customers..

One American Taxpayer

Anonymous said...

Bob,

The TSA and you demonstrate your disdain and disrespect to the American people with posts like this.

TSO's and the TSA should not be surprised with the response.

RB said...

Bob, you claim that 78 airports have Strip Search Machines.

Of those how many are Backscatter Xray Machines.

Exactly which airports are those that have the Strip Search Machines.

Of those airports with Strip Search Machines how many checkpoints at each airport are Strip Search Machine equiped vs total checkpoints at each airport.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that most of the TSA officers work hard, however, most fall way short regarding their mannerism and policies regrading liquids and gels. Why are the airport stores permitted to sell these products in excess of the allowable amounts. i.e . perfume, gels, shaving cream etc. to airline passengers leaving the airport, and the same passengers are not permitted to take them home on the return trip. I often wonder who dreams up all these rules and applies them to a select few.

Anonymous said...

I appeal to all Americans to email your congressmen and senators telling them to stop these ridiculous security measures. Exposing us to radiation and gropings that God knows what kind of trauma that is going to leave on most people. Have you seen the people being groped!!!! Seriously old people and kids mainly. Is grandma and grandpa terrorist. Is your preschooler making bombs at the daycare. What is going on in this country. We wont let Canadians become citizens, yet we have no problem letting people from the middle east becoming citizens. Apparently our government missed the memo on who is likely to be terrorist. Oh wait thats profiling they cant do that, unconstitutional. Yet they can force me to either go through a radiation machine or have some stranger touching me in spots only my doctor and husband have touched. If we don’t stop this now what is next. Your boss having the right to grope you on your way into work. STAND UP PEOPLE BE HEARD!!!!! The terrorist is now our own government

Anonymous said...

None of your little points change the fact that numerous people saw AIT machines not being used on the busy holiday travel days, yet they were used the days before and the days after. Did AIT machines all over the country have 'maintenance' on the same exact same days through sheer coincidence???

Puh-leeze.

travelers were able to move through our checkpoints smoothly and uneventfully

Well, you know, except for the ones who weren't. Like Brian Williams: "They go, they go right in. This new thing, they go right after Dave and the twins."

And the pilot who had feds show up and confiscate his gun permit(!) after posting videos showing that the TSA security sucks: "The series of videos featured scenes from inside the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and were narrated by the pilot, who pointed out the contrast between the passengers, who were heavily scrutinized, and airport employees who just passed through a single door."

And Adrienne Durso, who says she "informed the TSA agent of the mastectomy to her left breast but was still “subjected to a pat-down wherein she was repeatedly and forcefully touched and prodded at the mastectomy area, leaving Ms. Durso in pain and on the verge of tears”"

And Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar, who "was singled out of a group flying out of the airport for a thorough pat-down, despite having shown her diplomatic papers. She was told she was chosen because she was wearing a sari, a traditional Indian robe."

And the 'shirtless boy', who the TSA Lied about setting of the metal detector. After a video came out proving thaqt a lie, "the airport’s top TSA official admitted the boy didn’t trigger the alarm"

And all the people affected when a screener saw a frozen chicken and thought it was a bomb.

And.... well, you get the point. Travel was "uneventful", except for all these events, Right? (And I'm sure that for every one that made National News, 10, 100, 1000 more didn't.)


The TSA is a travesty and should be shut down.

Ayn R. Key said...

Let us not forget how the TSA turned off many of the AIT machines, leading to a much smoother holiday travel season. And ordered the TSAgents to be on best behavior.

Anonymous said...

So are the AIT machines intended to be the primary (or possibly only) scan method now? Or is that SSI? Yesterday in Omaha the conveyor belt on the magnetometer side of the TSA checkpoint had a handmade "closed" sign on it, and everyone coming through was directed to the AIT machine. I declined, and was sent to the patdown area (via the magnetometer, which did not go off when I went through it). I was then given an incredibly invasive patdown by a TSA agent who was not very friendly and made it impossible for me to see my belongings after they came through the x-ray machine. He also denied touching my genitals when I told him that he had. I asked him how many people the TSA had actually caught via the patdowns, and he said he "didn't want to discuss it." I told him that I figured that given the absolutely horrible PR that TSA has, they would be trumpeting any "victories" to the high heavens. He seemed unimpressed, and reiterated that he wasn't going to to discuss it with me. On top of this, he gave me the "I'm just doing my job" sob story. I told him he should get a different job, preferably one that didn't shred the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bob. I made my plans for the summer travel season yesterday. My family and I will be driving to our vacation. It's 11 hours, but we won't have to sacrifice our Fourth Amendment rights to an ineffectual government bureaucracy. Looking forward to Congress defunding you in 2011. It'll protect our constitutional rights and lower the deficit.

Anonymous said...

How does the TSA "resolve" the image of a breast implant or sanitary napkin found using whole body scanners?

Patting down is not an answer - patting won´t differentiate normal stuff from explosives. Asking isn´t an answer either. And both are unacceptably invasive (as are the imagers).

Swabing for chemicals is a good answer. So why not swab instead of scope? More specific for the desired task, and many, many less false positives and privacy issues.

You make no sense. You don´t have to see or feel an explosive to know it is there.

Anonymous said...

Since AIT analysis is done by humans, I would like to know their detection failure rates in test runs.

Anonymous said...

I drove instead of flying as a way to protest.

Bob, in the last post people consistently asked you ONE question. The same question over and over again. Would you mind taking 30 seconds to answer it?

Anonymous said...

The issue of not being able to see ones belongings during the screening process is an interesting one. I'm a federal employee who must be able to see my federal laptop at all times. If there's a line at the metal detector, I have to wait to put it on the belt until I can be sure that I'll see it go in and then see it come out the other side. So, how does TSA handle that? I cannot allow the laptop to be out of my sight and your system basically makes that impossible. I'm sure it'll be fun when TSA is responsible for the loss of classified information.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "I had a bad experience at one of your checkpoints and asked for a complaint form. I was told that I could only make a complaint online, and that the cards they clearly DID have were only for compliments. Is this, in fact, TSA policy?"

That is not policy according to what I have read and what I have been taught in training. The comment cards are to be avilable for any comment that passengers wish to make (be it constructive, negative, positive, efficiency suggestions, etc). There may be a situation where a checkpoint runs out of the printed media, but the forms provided are for your commentary whatever it may be.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

@DJ Behrens

Did you know that you are over 350 times more likely to die by lightning strike than by terrorist in America?

Did you know that it is much more probable to die via pilot or mechanical error than by terrorist?

Not to mention the dangers of traveling by car.

I am amazed that Americans like you are willing to give up their constitutional rights for an organazation that hasn't caught a terrorist since they have been created.

If you are willing to do anything to protect life out of safety then why do you drive it is far more dangerous? Heck even trying to travel by plane when conditions are bad (ie: all the snow last couple of weeks) is exponentally more dangerous than terrorists.

If you think that seeing 9 year old girls naked is necessary to stop terrorism then we will just agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

They had machines during my holiday travel, but I didn't see them using them on anybody.

RIC had MMW on Dec 26th and wasn't using it.

STL had Backscatter but wasn't using it on Jan 2.

If TSA were perfect, which it certainly isn't, the best result that TSA could possibly achieve is moving the mythical terrorists out of the planes and into the crowded checkpoint lines.

If DHS actually cared about saving lives, we could save far more lives by spending TSA's budget on providing first-aid training for schoolchildren.

Anonymous said...

In response to DJ Behrens wondering "how some of the people who are upset about the new procedures and technologies would feel if harm came to a loved one as a direct result of the removal of these procedures and technologies?"
I would feel terrible, just like I would feel terrible if a loved one died in a car accident, or from bird flu, or from cancer. It's a dangerous world, and nobody gets off of this big blue marble alive.
The fact is that you and I and 99.999 percent of us could fly every day of our lives and not be in any danger. If you need the government to protect you from risk that small at the cost of having naked pictures of you examined every time you travel, then George Orwell was absolutely right.
In short, you are saying "Give me liberty or give me death! Unless that death comes by terrorists on an airplane, in which case, take my liberty."

Anonymous said...

Some are saying this is due to TSA turning off Advanced Imaging Technology machines (AIT)

You also said you only post official policy, not necessarily what actually happens.

Anonymous said...

"That is not policy according to what I have read and what I have been taught in training. The comment cards are to be avilable for any comment that passengers wish to make (be it constructive, negative, positive, efficiency suggestions, etc). There may be a situation where a checkpoint runs out of the printed media, but the forms provided are for your commentary whatever it may be."

No, I was shown the comment cards and then told that they were only for compliments. So why was I given inaccurate information?

M. K. said...

My experiences in Boston this holiday season were incredibly negative, and completely against everything Blogger Bob claims is "policy." I am female and was patted down (after setting off the alarm due to metal plates on my jaw) by a male. When I asked for a female TSA agent, I was told "there aren't enough available." I was patted down (aka violated) by this guy, palms forward.

The event left me in tears.

I've filed a complaint, which I know will never be dealt with. It'll be brushed under the "just another smooth holiday travel year" illusion posted here on the TSA Blog.

But I will NEVER be flying again while the TSA is in charge, unless I need to go overseas. I will NOT allow myself to be physically abused again by the TSA.

Anon_1984 said...

I would like to thank TSO West for actually providing a spin-free answer to a question. A very refreshing change around here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

If things went so smoothly, then why did another breastfeeding mother encounter TSA agents who would not comply with TSA rules in regards to breastmilk?

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

If things went so smoothly, why were TSA agents refusing to look at their own website www.tsa.gov to see that they were wrong?

If things went so smoothly, why did the TSA agents lie to the woman and make up their own regulations?

If things went so smoothly, why are you hiring TSA agents that don't even know the long-known scientific fact that radiation is a safety hazard?

I hope you will address this issue and maybe even show us some video of the incident so we can see if there are any discrepancies between the blogger's account and your "company line."

If she her story is accurate, then TSA needs to better train their agents and supervisors.

Anonymous said...

Riddle me this:

If AIT/enhanced "pat downs" (in quotes because it's clearly not a "pat" but a "rub") are only used sporadically, why haven't any of the numerous terrorists who are trying to attack us taken advantage of this clear hole? During the post-Christmas storms my family and I were stuck in Philadelphia. There was a line of several hundred people directly inside the terminal doors. Why weren't we seriously concerned about someone just coming inside and attacking this mass of defenseless people?

Huh, maybe it's because terrorist violence against American targets is a miniscule threat that's been blown ridiculously out of proportion? You folks do realize that every dollar you spend could go to, oh, I don't know-- diabetes research? Your pursuit of imaginary enemies is costing lives. Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous asked:
'How does the TSA 'resolve' the image of a breast IMPLANT ( not a mastectomy prostheses )?
They then go on to state that swabbing of ALL ( you would have to swab all women because without a body scan you would not know who had a breast implant and who did not) women's breasts would be FAR less invasive than a body scan or pat-down. Really?
I wonder how many women would agree with you?

Mike E. said...

I was going through the checkpoint in Las Vegas and was selected to go through a scanner machine. I told the TSA lady, "I'd rather not." She said, "Ok, just go through the metal detector."

I laughed, and proceeded on my merry way.

Grandma said...

I would like Blogger Bob or a TSO to answer my question:

How can I get you to STOP TOUCHING MY BREASTS every time I fly?

I have a metal hip, so I set off the metal detector every time I fly. EVERY SINGLE TIME I go on an airplane, I have to get the full pat-down. I'm not opting out of anything - I've never even been given the option of the AIT. I'm not choosing to be patted down. But I am every single time anyway.

I find it interesting that you say that only 3% of passengers are randomly selected for the pat-down. For people like me with metal body parts, it's 100%!

Every time I flew to visit family this holiday season (which was several times), I told the TSO that I'd just had breast cancer surgery on my right breast, and asked them to please not touch it. But they touched it anyway. This HURT me, and caused me to wince and tear up in pain.

Again, I repeat: this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I FLY. How can this be considered acceptable? How is this making anyone safer? I am a 74 year old grandmother who walks with a cane. I fit no profile of any terrorist in any culture or country. So why must my breast be touched by strangers any time I want to visit my children and grandchildren?

I would like to know how I can avoid this painful treatment every time I fly. How do I get you to stop touching my breast?

Please, someone, answer my question.

Anonymous said...

"We’re working quickly to deploy more units to the field - above and beyond the 486"

You should be working to get rid of the machines. The use of them blatantly disregards the Constitution, and therefore, are a tool of tyranny.

The American people will not be safe until the government and all of its agencies honor the God-given rights and liberties the Constitution was set up to protect.

We can protect ourselves if we have the freedom to do so.

Cathy said...

Anon_1984 said...

I would like to thank TSO West for actually providing a spin-free answer to a question. A very refreshing change around here.

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

Yes thanks, West, for stopping by.

You know, I have a theory about Blogger Bob. Do you folks remember a post within the past month in which Bob actually responded to a bunch of questions, was helpful, and, I believe, even agreed with us about some procedure not being very good? This interchange stood out in my mind and many folks commented on that post that they were grateful to hear from Bob. Even another TSO chimed in that the tone on that post was so much more positive, thanks to Bob's honest dialogue.

Well, I just searched back through a ton of posts and cannot find that dialogue any more. Does anyone remember what the topic was?

My theory is that Bob got in trouble from his higher-ups for agreeing with us and for not toeing the party line. Perhaps that whole post was deleted. In any event, Bob might have decided that he's not going to talk with us any more because he may lose his job over it.

So, as much as we like to blame Bob for not engaging us in dialogue, it's probably not his fault but that of his bosses.

Just like the problems at the checkpoints are not the fault of the TSOs working there, but of the system in general. The big bosses just hide behind the front-line soldiers, who all get beat up but who can't make any real changes.

avxo said...

DJ Behrens wrote: "Thank you TSA for keeping me and my family safe for both of my flights over the holidays."

That's an interesting statement. Do you have any actual, verifiable evidence that the TSA directly kept you and your family safe in any meaningful way?

You know, except for something like "but nothing happened during our trip so they did a good job" and "I don't know, I just felt safer!"


DJ Behrens then mused: "I wonder how some of the people who are upset about the new procedures and technologies would feel if harm came to a loved one as a direct result of the removal of these procedures and technologies?"

I'm sure there would be a number of different reactions. But that's not really what's important.

The question that you should be asking has at least two basic sub-questions:

a) What are the chances that harm would come if tomorrow we stopped using those procedures and technologies? And before you answer, remember that human beings are terrible at analyzing and quantifying risk.

b) Is what we are currently doing the best and most effective and efficient way of addressing the threat vectors that we are faced with?

avxo said...

DJ Behrens finally asked a rhetorical question: "Would they complain that TSA did not do enough?"

Regardless of what the TSA does, if something does happen, this is going to be the reaction of some people.

But the question isn't "does TSA do enough?" The question is: "is what TSA does reasonable and effective?"

Ultimately, for the first two, it depends on what we as a society consider reasonable and effective.

Is it reasonable to give patdowns to young children by feeling up their legs until resistance is encountered?

Is it reasonable to not allow a 500 ml bottle of water past the checkpoint on the grounds that it could be a harmful explosive, and require that it be casually tossed into a bin right next to the checkpoint, where hundreds line up?

Is it reasonable to threaten people with a $10,000 fine for refusing both the AIT scanning and the patdown?

Is it effective to prevent pilots from bringing on the plane bottles of water? Remember, these are people who will shortly be in command of a 900,000 lbs flying fuel-tank. Some of them can even legally carry weapons on board.

Is it effective to have members of the TSA hide fake white powder in the luggage of passengers in the process of being screened?

And remember: that nothing has happened to you personally, or even at large, while flying isn't necessarily evidence that the TSA is doing a good job.

TSORon said...

Good post Bob.

One little thing though. AIT's are fairly manpower intensive, and even TSO's get breaks now and again. It is less than rational to expect that the AIT systems are going to be manned 24x7 365 if the manning for their use is not available.

We did lots of overtime, I can certainly say, but overall it was a quiet holiday season and the passengers were far more than plesant. Its the part of the job that I enjoy the most, working with the people. My thanks to those who traveled, and had a good time doing it.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed a couple of very obvious things as I have read these TSA blogs.

First, the comments in opposition to the current TSA protocols are about 98% opposed.

Secondly, the TSA when they actually DO publish citizen's questions only answer those questions about 3% if the time.


In realiy, this Blog is propaganda that is being paid for by the taxes of citizens who are overwhelmingly opposed to the TSA, their actions, procedures and protocols.

What has America become?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the TSA should have something like the Navy. If someone screws up fire them.

Anonymous said...

Well my post was deleted yesterday guess the truth dont make it on here. So let me try some more. If the TSA/Government was so concerned about our air travel safety where was these measures years ago. They are here now because of the lobby for these machines. Politics as usual. Michael Chertoff, former Department of Homeland Security secretary, has been touting the full-body scanners, while at the same time maintaining a financial interest in the company that makes them.

Anonymous said...

How many ANUS BOMBS did you find Bob?

Oh, I forgot, that's just a theoretical.

Oh WAIT! It's not!!
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/28/eveningnews/main5347847.shtml

What are all of you irradiaters and sexually assaulters going to do about the ANUS BOMB?

$360,000,000,000 of stolen taxpayer money and you guys are 0 for 4 against terrorists.

Passengers stopped 3 of the last ones and an intelligence tip.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anon_1984 said...

I would like to thank TSO West for actually providing a spin-free answer to a question. A very refreshing change around here.

January 6, 2011 12:37 PM

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

Except he provided no answer or advice. He merely placated the poster with the typical TSA party line rhetoric. But i guess your a BDO West, so while you're trained to not detect terrorists (as the 2009 GAO report proved) you must also not be able to discover the failure of your fellow employees.

West, I would like to know why you think this particular Screening Clerk denied giving this passenger a comment card after showing him that he had them? Do you think this Clerk was just poorly trained? Or is he a person of generally low morale character that just happened to sneak by the extremely thorough background check that all of you guys are supposedly subjected to....an "anomaly" in the workforce so to speak?

Anonymous said...

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/daytoncrime/entries/2011/01/05/passenger_refuses_to_leave_tow.html

Why does the TSA screener have to contact an LEO about this? There is no prohibition about how much cash one can have in their possession in the United States. I'm not asking about the LEO and the narc squad. Want to know about the TSA actions and why legal behavior is reported to the police.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon_!984. Let's put TSO West in charge of the blog. The spin-free answers would indeed be refreshing.

RB said...

My theory is that Bob got in trouble from his higher-ups for agreeing with us and for not toeing the party line. Perhaps that whole post was deleted. In any event, Bob might have decided that he's not going to talk with us any more because he may lose his job over it.

So, as much as we like to blame Bob for not engaging us in dialogue, it's probably not his fault but that of his bosses.

Just like the problems at the checkpoints are not the fault of the TSOs working there, but of the system in general. The big bosses just hide behind the front-line soldiers, who all get beat up but who can't make any real changes.

January 6, 2011 5:13 PM

.................
So your saying that Blogger Bob is not allowed to thnk and only say what his superiors tell him to say.

Bogger Bob's superiors must not have much faith in his abilities if that is truly the case.

Not much dialoge is going to happen if that is really the ground rules.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon 0204am sez – “Except he provided no answer or advice. He merely placated the poster with the typical TSA party line rhetoric. “ and a whole other segment of comments.

I provided a firsthand account that thousands of these shoes have traversed our checkpoints and had no problems with them at all. I am not aware of a position within TSA titled “Screening clerk”, so I am not certain as to what you are talking about with the rest of your comments.

Anon 1101am sez – “I agree with Anon_!984, let’s put TSO West in charge of the blog. The spin free answers would indeed be refreshing.”

Ummm, thanks for the vote of confidence, but I think Bob does a much better job than I would ever be able to (there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and I am glad Bob is there to do it!). How about I just respond to a few more questions here and we keep it at that?

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

West, the post you're responding to was clearly referring to your post which admitted the TSA clerks who refused to give someone a comment card were wrong to do so.

RB said...

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/02/unconventional_wisdom?page=0%2C2


Anne Applebaum
HOMELAND SECURITY HASN'T MADE US SAFER

.............
I suggest that TSA only makes travel more difficult and interferes with peoples freedoms.

HardWorkingTSO said...

Is it reasonable to give patdowns to young children by feeling up their legs until resistance is encountered?

A. chldren under the age of 12 are not given patdowns of this nature

Is it reasonable to not allow a 500 ml bottle of water past the checkpoint on the grounds that it could be a harmful explosive, and require that it be casually tossed into a bin right next to the checkpoint, where hundreds line up?

A. Cant argue with you there

Is it reasonable to threaten people with a $10,000 fine for refusing both the AIT scanning and the patdown?
A. People know the deal when they show up at the airport. If they continue to the checkpoint and refuse screening they are either 1. Trying to slow down and disrupt security or
2. probing security.
To the best of my knowledge no one has received a fine for this but they should.

Is it effective to prevent pilots from bringing on the plane bottles of water? Remember, these are people who will shortly be in command of a 900,000 lbs flying fuel-tank. Some of them can even legally carry weapons on board.

A. Pilots are exempt from the LGA limitations.

Is it effective to have members of the TSA hide fake white powder in the luggage of passengers in the process of being screened?

A. obviously not which is why the employee in questions no longer works for the TSA. There are bad apples in every group. should the American military be disbanded because there has been many allegations and reports of abuse from military abroad. how about police agencies all around the world?

And remember: that nothing has happened to you personally, or even at large, while flying isn't necessarily evidence that the TSA is doing a good job.

A. And remember that just because nothing has happened, doesn't mean we aren't doing our job either. I wouldn't however argue that the trend of attacks on "soft" targets show a pattern of terrorists avoiding airports (presumably) because of the difficulty involved.

HardWorkingTSO said...

Question:
Why are the airport stores permitted to sell these products in excess of the allowable amounts. i.e . perfume, gels, shaving cream etc. to airline passengers leaving the airport, and the same passengers are not permitted to take them home on the return trip.

Answer:
The liquids that are sold by venders in airports are screened by Xray machines after being brought in by trusted venders. You cannot take these items on return trips because they have left the secure area and therefore are no longer acceptable to travel with in carry on. Once the item leaves the secure area it can exposed to hazardous and prohibited sources.

8675309 said...

"In realiy, this Blog is propaganda that is being paid for by the taxes of citizens who are overwhelmingly opposed to the TSA, their actions, procedures and protocols. "

If so, it is propoganda against TSA. 99.99% of what is read here is from a handful of squeaky wheels who think the slave owning writers of the constitution were right when they thought there was no such thing as too much freedom, even they believed that only white male property owners should be allowed to vote.

I loathe going through airport security but I've done it about 400 times since 9/11. And I've never been irradiated or groped. When the time comes, I'd rather volunteer for the human xray than get patted down.

Millions of people go through airport security every day who DON'T complain on this blog, so I doubt that your statement that all "citizens who are overwhelmingly opposed to the TSA, their actions, procedures and protocols." YES, THEY ALL HATE GOING THROUGH SECURITY- WE ALL DO. But I don't want anybody flying with me who hasn't been screened.

TSM West said...

Anon asked
West, I would like to know why you think this particular Screening Clerk denied giving this passenger a comment card after showing him that he had them? Do you think this Clerk was just poorly trained? Or is he a person of generally low morale character that just happened to sneak by the extremely thorough background check that all of you guys are supposedly subjected to....an "anomaly" in the workforce so to speak?

January 7, 2011 2:04 AM
-----------------------------------
Or what about the possibility that the original poster just lied?
No that doesn't happen around here does it?
I don't suppose that he went on line and filed his complaint and gave the details about the poorly trained screener that refused to give him a complaint form, do you?

Some one else made a comment about a large number of posters posting in opposition to TSA and a very small amount of answers provided back by TSA. Take a look at the responses, whenever anyone from TSA tries to answer any questions, the answers are met with negative responses to include calling the person who answered the question a liar. Most of the people on this blog not only need to adjust their tin foil hat, but need to replace the tin foil on their windows also.
Just my opinion.

Dave said...

I travelled 4 times in December, out of BWI, O'hare, and Atlanta. At each airport, I was able to choose a security lane that did not have the AITs, even though the AITs were active at the airport. Only 1 time at Ohare did it appear that my choice of the magnetron over the AIT slowed me down due to apparent extra security being applied to the baggage of those in that lane.

So are the AIT scans effective if anyone carrying something that could be detected by these machines able to choose not to go through the AIT lines?

Anonymous said...

When did the TSA become radiologist? I thought you had to get a degree for that. Guess they get away with that since they are neither treating nor diagnosing an illness. They are creating them. This should help fix the health care crisis.

justmyopinion said...

Bob, your PR program is a 10. Your credibility is a ZERO.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "West, the post you're responding to was clearly referring to your post which admitted the TSA clerks who refused to give someone a comment card were wrong to do so."

I have never heard of a position in TSA by that name, so I am unable to comment on what you are asking.

West TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

West, what does your linguistic obtuseness have to do with the fact that the post you were responding to was clearly referring to your post which admitted the TSA clerks who refused to give someone a comment card were wrong to do so?

Anonymous said...

"Why are the airport stores permitted to sell these products in excess of the allowable amounts. i.e . perfume, gels, shaving cream etc. to airline passengers leaving the airport, and the same passengers are not permitted to take them home on the return trip.

Answer:
The liquids that are sold by venders in airports are screened by Xray machines after being brought in by trusted venders."

So those products are x-rayed prior to getting to the "venders" but x-rays don't detect liquid explosives.

Want to try again?

RB said...

HardWorkingTSO said...
Question:
Why are the airport stores permitted to sell these products in excess of the allowable amounts. i.e . perfume, gels, shaving cream etc. to airline passengers leaving the airport, and the same passengers are not permitted to take them home on the return trip.

Answer:
The liquids that are sold by venders in airports are screened by Xray machines after being brought in by trusted venders. You cannot take these items on return trips because they have left the secure area and therefore are no longer acceptable to travel with in carry on. Once the item leaves the secure area it can exposed to hazardous and prohibited sources.

January 7, 2011 3:30 PM

.................
Don't believe you.

I personally watched an airport vendor push a cart load of beverages through a TSA checkpoint at DFW without any screening of the cart, its contents or the individual.

And we all know that "Trusted Vendors" cannot be trusted based on recent accounts in the media.

Anonymous said...

HardworkingTSO said:
"A. People know the deal when they show up at the airport. If they continue to the checkpoint and refuse screening they are either 1. Trying to slow down and disrupt security or
2. probing security.
To the best of my knowledge no one has received a fine for this but they should. "

No, people are hoping that things are not as bad as they have heard. We have no choice but to fly in this country, so we have to endure your absurd and arbitrary rules, not to mention their inconsistent enforcement.

But nice attitude about the people you serve. Nice to know that if I don't want to be irradiated by the nude scanner (the one you lied about John Hopkins' safety test results), or be groped, that I'll be accused of being an activist or a terrorist.

How many terrorists have you caught again? Oh, but you managed to catch Montel Williams with a pot pipe! WOW! $2 billion, and you found a pipe! How does the TSA even have jurisdiction for such an arrest?

Anonymous said...

masimons said:
"I'd be just as happy if the AIT's were unplugged. But as a taxpayer, I'm annoyed by the purchase of 450+ machines costing what $150k each that is in use for less than 10% of the day."

what percentage of the US budget did these machines carry? $100million may seem like alot to us but in a trillion dollar budget thats a drop in the bucket.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
" Why are the airport stores permitted to sell these products in excess of the allowable amounts. i.e . perfume, gels, shaving cream etc. to airline passengers leaving the airport, and the same passengers are not permitted to take them home on the return trip."
actually you can buy them before you check your luggage and put them in there.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"The issue of not being able to see ones belongings during the screening process is an interesting one. I'm a federal employee who must be able to see my federal laptop at all times. If there's a line at the metal detector, I have to wait to put it on the belt until I can be sure that I'll see it go in and then see it come out the other side. So, how does TSA handle that? I cannot allow the laptop to be out of my sight and your system basically makes that impossible. I'm sure it'll be fun when TSA is responsible for the loss of classified information."
you are clearly stating that your computer is out of your sight when it is in the xray machine. im sure that this happens at other buildings such as courthouses. how do handle these situations at these buildings?

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"And we all know that "Trusted Vendors" cannot be trusted based on recent accounts in the media."

just like we cant trust "trusted passengers" that say that they have nothing in their bags and then loaded firearms are found. it cant work one way...

Anonymous said...

Blogger GSOLTSO said...

I have never heard of a position in TSA by that name, so I am unable to comment on what you are asking.

West TSA Blog Team
---------------------------

Argue semantics to avoid answering the question. Very professional. The clerk is the screener who enjoys touching the genitals of children...I think you refer to the clerks as TSO's.

But if you can't even deduce the fact that "clerks" are used by some posters to refer to "TSO's" then how in the world are you going to identify a terrorist? I thought you were a BDO? Oh wait I know.....a terrorist is anyone who bought a plane ticket.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez Argue semantics to avoid answering the question. Very professional. The clerk is the screener who enjoys touching the genitals of children...I think you refer to the clerks as TSO's.

But if you can't even deduce the fact that "clerks" are used by some posters to refer to "TSO's" then how in the world are you going to identify a terrorist? I thought you were a BDO? Oh wait I know.....a terrorist is anyone who bought a plane ticket."

If you have a question and can use correct terminology, then I will be happy to try and answer your questions to the best of my abilities. Otherwise, I will answer someone that is serious about their questions.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

West, post the name and contact information of your direct superior. This is not a request.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "West, post the name and contact information of your direct superior. This is not a request."

You may send an email in care of Blogger Bob at "tsablog@dhs.gov".

West
TSA Blog team

Anonymous said...

TSOWest Said

If you have a question and can use correct terminology

Where can we find an official listing of "correct terminology" that is we ordinary citizens must employ in order to get an answer for a high an almighty employee of the TSA??

Anonymous said...

"If you have a question and can use correct terminology, "

Is that the reason questions are never answered?

I'm guessing "correct terminology" is SSI and constantly changing.

Must be another one of those 'layers' of security.

What a joke

Anonymous said...

"You may send an email in care of Blogger Bob at "tsablog@dhs.gov".'

Apparently refusing to answer questions unless "correct terminology" is used is Official Comment Policy

Another fine example of the professionalism of the TSA...

LOL

Anonymous said...

West Says:
"If you have a question and can use correct terminology, then I will be happy to try and answer your questions to the best of my abilities. Otherwise, I will answer someone that is serious about their questions."

Your role here is to either give the public good information to help us understand the truth OR pass on teh TSA's policy in a way that aids the agency.

If the best you can do is argue semantics and blame the public for not researching the proper job titles, you are doing a poor job at both.

Anonymous said...

Is Bob your direct supervisor? Is "Bob" his full legal name?

Mike Toreno said...

West, if you weren't going to provide useful information, why did you even bother answering? We can all figure out that it's not policy to give passengers cards only for compliments and refuse to give them for complaints. What would have been useful information would be for you to explain how policy is enforced, or if it is enforced. Policy that isn't enforced isn't policy. What we know is that the Screening Clerk in question violated the stated policy. But we knew that already, you answer didn't tell us anything. If you want to tell us something, tell us what is typically done to enforce policy in instances of such violations by Screening Clerks.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
rb said:
"And we all know that "Trusted Vendors" cannot be trusted based on recent accounts in the media."

just like we cant trust "trusted passengers" that say that they have nothing in their bags and then loaded firearms are found. it cant work one way...

January 8, 2011 8:25 PM

...........
What "Trusted Passengers"?

If you don't keep up with the news a TSA "Trusted Shipper" was found to not be doing the inspections they signed off doing.

TSA doesn't screen airport workers, vendor employees or even themselves to any acceptable degree.

I have to wonder why is it only passengers who are "Strip Searched or Sexually Assualted" by TSA when all of these other people are in the secure area without benefit of screening?

The passengers are the ones with something the most to lose yet TSA does nothing to mitigate those who have access to the aircraft and sterile areas.

TSA FAIL!

Ayn R. Key said...

Anon wrote:
West, post the name and contact information of your direct superior. This is not a request.

West wrote:
You may send an email in care of Blogger Bob at "tsablog@dhs.gov".

West
TSA Blog team


I used that email address to try to reach Bob's supervisor. Bob wrote back from that email address telling me he was considering mentioning my request to his supervisor. Not that he had. Only that he was contemplating it.

Of course that was as far as I got when attempting to reach anyone who would hold these bloggers accountable.

Even though we pay the salaries, you (plural) are not answerable to the public in any way.

Anonymous said...

Blogger GSOLTSO said...
If you have a question and can use correct terminology, then I will be happy to try and answer your questions to the best of my abilities. Otherwise, I will answer someone that is serious about their questions.

West
TSA Blog Team
-----------------------------

Why are my questions less valid simply because i don't know what you consider to be the "correct terminology"?

I will work with you on this one.

What do you call a person employed by the TSA that touches the genitals of passengers that opts out of AIT? What is the proper term?

Anonymous said...

As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

Anonymous said...

Hnmmm. Thanking the TSA for "keeping us safe" from terrorists via nude scanning and groping... Reminds me of this bit on the Simpsons:

Homer: “Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!”

Lisa: “That’s specious reasoning, dad.”

Lisa: “By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.”

Homer is confused: “Hmm; how does it work?”

Lisa: “It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!”

Homer: “Uh-huh.”

Lisa: “… but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?”

Homer, after a moment’s thought: “Lisa, I want to buy your rock…”

Concerned Citizen #655321 said...

Bob -

Could you put in a request to your higher-ups to discontinue the whole AIT routine? It is obvious to any thinking human being that these machines 1) do not work 2) may pose a significant danger and 3) are pork (politically speaking).

Other that that, you are doing a great job keeping up the Security Theatre Song and Dance.

God Bless America,

A Concerned Citizen

RB said...

Anonymous said...
As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

January 11, 2011 5:33 PM

.............
Why would you expect people working for TSA to have any honor or be expected to be truthful to the public?

DHS/TSA has lied to Congress during testimony.

The TSA Blog Team routinely uses dishonest comments to forward TSA's position on multiple issues. Just look at the Breast Mild thread for an example.

TSA employees have no honor and I would not rely on anyone connected with TSA to be truthful unless doing so served the goals of TSA.

This is the situation we find ourselves in and is the main reason that TSA must be removed from our nations airports.

TSA does not have the publics interest as their primary goal but the expansion of TSA's control of the public.

The tide is starting to turn, airports and communities are looking at removing government screeners. Congress is taking another look at TSA's policies that abuse civil rights.

Stay the course, contact your elected representatives and call for the disestablishment of TSA.

GSOLTSO said...

People working for TSA at the front end are identified as TSOs or Transportation Security Officers. So, for those of you that have serious questions about the terminology, you can use any term that is common – we have been called screeners, TSOs, Officers, and such, but other terms designed to insult the workforce, I will not respond to. Thank you for your time!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

Anonymous said...

but other terms designed to insult the workforce, I will not respond to. Thank you for your time!

Can we demand the same of TSO's at the checkpoint without retaliation?

Anonymous said...

West Says...

"People working for TSA at the front end are identified as TSOs or Transportation Security Officers. So, for those of you that have serious questions about the terminology, you can use any term that is common – we have been called screeners, TSOs, Officers, and such, but other terms designed to insult the workforce, I will not respond to. Thank you for your time!"

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

Are you saying that the term 'clerk' is offensive? If you find this term offensive, then your sensibilities are quite questionable.

Or are you saying you were out of line and incorrect in your earlier posted (timestammp = January 7, 2011 12:55 PM). If this is an apology for your misguided lecture I had a hard time recognizing it.

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO, I have a direct and simple question for you, and I will do my best to use appropriate terminology. I hope you will grant me an answer.

I recently had breast cancer surgery. I also have a metal hip. There is no AIT at my airport, so I have to get the pat-down every single time I fly - that's 100% of the time (not 3% - 100%).

Last time I flew was right after my lumpectomy. I asked the TSO giving me the pat down, in both directions, not to touch my surgical wounds on my right breast. On the first flight, the TSO put her HAND up in my face and refused to let me finish my request, then proceeded to rub her hand, palm down, directly over my wound, causing me to cry out in pain.

On the flight home, the TSO at least listened to my request - then proceeded to rub her hand, with significant pressure, directly over my surgical wound, causing me to cry out in pain.

I am about to go through radiation treatment that involves inserting rods into my breast, which will leave yet another surgical wound. I have a flight scheduled for right after this procedure is completed.

Can you please tell me a way to get TSOs to stop touching my breast in such a manner that it hurts me?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Are you saying that the term 'clerk' is offensive?"

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

He is. I am a clerk and proud of it.

The fact that the TSA looks down upon me is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

The question above by the breast cancer survivor is important.

I'd like to remind Bob and the other TSO's who post here of the official Comment Policy


"The purpose of this blog is to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process. "

Failure of the TSA to promptly answer this person's question simply furthers people's negative view of the TSA.

Here was a perfect opportunity to help a member of the public with a serious concern.

Another fail by the TSA

GSOLTSO said...

Anon says - "GSOLTSO, I have a direct and simple question for you, and I will do my best to use appropriate terminology. I hope you will grant me an answer."

Anon, I would contact the airport that you are going to fly out of via Talk to TSA and explain to someone ahead of time what is going on – you can go into as much detail as you like. The more details they have, the better they can help you.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am the breast cancer survivor who posted my question above.

GSOLTSO, are you telling me that, in order to prevent my breast from being handled in such a manner that is exceedingly painful for me, I must go to all the trouble of contacting TSA and/or the airport in advance of my travel? Is this really necessary? Can I truly not count on TSA to have policies in place, and provide appropriate training to its staff, that would prevent such physical abuse of cancer patients?

I'm sorry but that is simply unacceptable. As an American citizen, I do not feel it is right for strangers to be allowed to physically manhandle my surgical wounds. I shouldn't have to make prior contact with an airport to request something that should be self-evident: strangers shouldn't be touching cancer patients' surgical wounds. That seems so elementary to me. Why should I have to go to all that trouble to ensure that TSA doesn't do something to me that, if it happened in any other setting, would result in arrest? If any other stranger reached out and placed their open palm directly on my recently-operated-on breast, I would have them arrested for sexual assault. But you are telling me I have to contact the airport in advance, to ask TSA not to do it?

Do you at all see anything wrong with this? I would like an answer to that question.

I want YOU, or someone above you who has some clout, to contact ALL airports, and tell them to stop touching elderly women's breasts. I do not wish to have to talk about my private medical issues with strangers, in order to be able to fly.

I am looking to you to offer me some assurance that I will not be physically harmed the next time I fly. And please do not tell me that it's MY job to make prior contacts to request this. Why should I have to?

RB said...

Here was a perfect opportunity to help a member of the public with a serious concern.

Another fail by the TSA

January 14, 2011 8:28 AM

...............
Bob and TSA have no desire to help or respond to the concerns of the public.

Their only goal is to make travel as invasive as possible.

This is Security TSA Style!

Anonymous said...

I submitted a comment yesterday pointing out that the link provided by GSOLTSO does not work

Why was it blocked?

Anonymous said...

avxo why do only question people that support tsa? why is that if someone has something positive or someone is thankful to the tsa there is a problem. this is a place where bloggers can be positive too is it not?

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"I suggest that TSA only makes travel more difficult and interferes with peoples freedoms."

i suggest that your are wrong. you are aware of the tsa policies before subjecting yourself to screening, therefore by continuing on into the tsa screening area you are agreeing to be screened by whatever means the tsa choses. your choices are yours and you can choice not to go through. the tsa is providing a service to the public it can be your opinion that it isnt, however you are choosing to go through the tsa area by doing it. you always have to choice not to.

Anonymous said...

Dave said:
"So are the AIT scans effective if anyone carrying something that could be detected by these machines able to choose not to go through the AIT lines?"

its a no win for the tsa. everyone complains when only ait lanes are open and if they arent then these questions arise. whatever the tsa does it will not win. you can take your statement one step further, if you know that an airport has aits and others dont, if you have something to hide then travel through the ones that dont. but if the tsa puts the machines in all airports then they are wasting tax payer dollars to have the machines everywhere. and on and on it goes...

Anonymous said...

People working for TSA at the front end are identified as TSOs or Transportation Security Officers. So, for those of you that have serious questions about the terminology, you can use any term that is common – we have been called screeners, TSOs, Officers, and such, but other terms designed to insult the workforce, I will not respond to. Thank you for your time!

West
TSA Blog Team

YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY FORGOTTON THAT YOU WORK FOR US, WE DO NOT WORK FOR YOU.

YOU AND YOUR FELLOW TSA AGENTS ABUSE THE AMERICAN CITIZENS ON A DAILY BASIS ON A VAST SCALE.

And now you have the audacity and temerity to insist that we address you in a respectfull way or you will censor our comments on a blog that we pay for with our tax dollars.

If you were working for a private company and addressed the customers with such disrespect and arrogance, you would be immediately fired.

Anonymous said...

"Anon sez - "West, the post you're responding to was clearly referring to your post which admitted the TSA clerks who refused to give someone a comment card were wrong to do so."

I have never heard of a position in TSA by that name, so I am unable to comment on what you are asking.

West TSA Blog Team"

Simply another example of self-serving, rude and condescending arrogance on the part of the TSA.

Here is some terminology.

NUDE IMAGES OF CHILDREN ARE CREATED AND VIEWED BY TSO's EVERY DAY!

CARE TO DEFEND THAT PRACTICE OR WILL YOU SIMPLY CENSOR THIS ISSUE ONCE AGAIN?

GSOLTSO said...

I have had it pointed out to me that a link I posted was not working, I apologize for not getting back and posting correcting it earlier. The link is for the Talk to TSA page and can be found here - https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/talktotsa.aspx

Sorry I haven't posted this earlier, it has been a busy week!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

Anonymous said...

As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

RB said...

As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments,,,,,,,,,,, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, ............. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?

January 17, 2011 4:36 PM

Epecting anything resembling truth from TSA or its employees is an exercise in fultility.

It seems clear that TSA Bloggers do not answer questions. I have asked a couple and they have gone unanswered for weeks.

One in particular is how a TSA employee can take a person hostage and that be called "proper procedures".

Folks, TSA and its employees are not our friends, they do not have our interest as their primary job. I'm not sure exactly what TSA is about but it is not passenger safety on airlines.

Anonymous said...

Anon said:
"As the person who had the unpleasant experience and was told the comment cards were only for compliments, I don't care what the various TSA employees are called, I'd just like to know why they thought they could blatantly lie to me about policy, and what I can do to make sure they don't do that to any other travelers. Can you stop playing word games and address my question?"

The answer to this question and many others is, apparently, no. Write your Representatives and put an end to this travesty.

And, Bob, since mentioning writing to Congress is apparently grounds for rejection, you should be happy to know that postings are sent to my Rep, along with a note that says they were rejected on a taxpayer-sponsored blog.