Friday, May 27, 2011

Texas House of Representatives Seeking to Ban Current TSA Pat-Down

***Update: 5/27/2011 – Read this story in the Houston Chronicle for an update.***

What's our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.

We wish we lived in a world where you could just walk on a plane with no security screening, but that just isn't the case unfortunately.  Aviation security agencies worldwide have been using pat-downs long before TSA was created to prevent dangerous items from getting onto airplanes. The pat-down is a highly effective tool to resolve certain alarms and keep these dangerous items off of planes that could cause catastrophic damage.  It's important to note that if a passenger (or bag) alarms during screening, our officers must resolve the alarm before allowing the passenger and their baggage on the airplane.

Here are some pat-down myths and facts:

Myth: Everyone who travels will receive a pat-down.

Fact: In fact, less than 3% of passengers receive pat-downs. Only passengers who alarm a walk through metal detector or AIT machine or opt out of the AIT receive a pat-down. In addition, some passengers may also receive a pat-down as part of our random, unpredictable security measures.  In his testimony to a Senate subcommittee, Administrator Pistole said: "The bottom line is few people in the overall scheme of things will actually receive those pat downs. Now, we've heard some examples, and obviously, there's a vocal group out there who have experienced this for the first time, and, rightfully so, raising concerns, what's behind this. And the bottom line is we, the transportation security officers in particular, are trying to work in partnership with the traveling public to say we want to ensure that you are safe on this flight. Work with us in a partnership to provide the best possible security. And that's what it comes down to."

Myth: All children will receive pat-downs.

Fact: No. TSA officers are trained to work with parents to ensure a respectful screening process for the entire family, while providing the best possible security for all travelers. Children 12 years old and under who require extra screening will receive a modified pat down. 

Myth: Complaints about the pat-downs are extremely high.

Fact: Only a small percentage of the traveling public receives a pat down as they travel through the security checkpoint.  Between November 2010 and March 2011, TSA screened nearly 252 million people. In that same time period, we received 898 complaints from individuals who have experienced or witnessed a pat down. That's roughly 0.0004%.

Myth: Pat downs for certain individuals are limited to the head and neck.

Fact: No one is exempt. Everyone is subject to the same screening. TSA is sensitive to religious and cultural needs, but everyone must be screened effectively.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team 

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

1,032 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1001 – 1032 of 1032
RB said...

kellymae81 said...

EVERY agency, corporation, etc have bad eggs

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

To say TSA only has a few bad eggs is like saying McDonalds has only served a few hamburgers.

Al Ames said...

Kellymae, the problem with TSA is that it seems to be a lot more than 5%, and we keep hearing of these Isolated Incidents® from these Few Bad Apples® on a weekly basis.

"Do you want to fly today" is an all too common occurrence at the checkpoints. I'm glad you haven't heard it during your shifts. However, that doesn't discount the fact that it happens WAY too often, and shouldn't happen at all.

The fact that these Isolated Incidents® keep happening on a regular basis shows that either TSA management doesn't care, or it's incapable of controlling its workforce. Neither speaks well of an organization we're supposed to be trusting to keep our skies safe.

Too many screeners don't see us as "people just like you." We're potential terrorists and are often treated as such until proven otherwise. If you want to be treated nicely, knocking off the abuse, yelling, and harassment at checkpoints is a great place to start.

Al

SciMjr2 said...

TO KELLYMAE:

Some of the most horrible and oppressive things in history were done to good honest people because others were "Just Following Orders".

That is the excuse you are making for the T.S.A. ... so when somebody finally blows something up using a bum bomb will you start doing cavity searches because you are "Just Following Orders"? Even though you KNOW it's wrong ... will you do it because you were told to?

There are times, sir, when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders.

Chip and Andy said...

kellymae81 said...

"I am a TSO at SDF (Louisville)"

First, thank you for speaking from the heart and not from the 'Company Line."

I have a question for you... how does it make you feel when you hear about all the horrible things other TSA personnel are doing to give the TSA such a horrible public image thereby making your job that much more difficult to perform?

You obviously take your job seriously, and just from your one comment you seem to be infinitely more professional that the entire staff at FLL combined. Don't you get a little mad at all the other 'bad apples' spoiling the proverbial barrel? I mean they are kind of ruining it for you, aren't they?

Sommer Gentry said...

Blogger Bob, you say, "we, the transportation security officers in particular, are trying to work in partnership with the traveling public to say we want to ensure that you are safe on this flight. Work with us in a partnership to provide the best possible security." I just wanted to respond:

I am not your partner. I will never, ever partner with people who inappropriately touch children. I do not partner with people who create naked images of innocent travelers. I am your opponent. I am your nemesis. I am here to fight the TSA with every ounce of my being until your depraved mistreatment of the American public ceases forever.

ToryJ said...

You want to talk about safety on aircraft then go to the people who know about it. EL AL. Get rid of the TSA call the Isrealis. They will have the american sky's safe in a matter of months. Why? they understand what it takes. The process is simple and easy. All the TSA is is another goverment hole for money to be dumped in. And another way for the people of the country to be violated. If they want to enforce the constitution you might want to read it first. Becuase if you do then there will be alot less jobs in DC!!!

Anonymous said...

You can't even conduct security procedures with a modicum of comptence. What possibly makes you think you are capable of interpreting the Constitution? Leave those matters to the grownups who earn your salary.

f2000 said...

Texas bill back on the agenda in Special session in shameless appeal to voters that respect the Constitution and human decency.

http://weaselzippers.us/2011/06/21/gov-rick-perry-goes-gunning-for-the-tsa-in-texas/

I'm also curious what the argument for these pat downs is now that they've moved them outside airports to every other conceivable form of transportation.

Anonymous said...

kellymae81 said...June 19, 2011 4:41 PM
"...that everyone tends to focus on and then conclude ALL of TSA is that way."

Does this maxim mean anything?:
"Equality under the law is paramount and mandatory."

Sure it does! It is only fair [and equal] that passengers conclude ALL of the TSA is "that way."

Why? Because the TSA concludes ALL passengers are terrorist threats. ALL grannies and infants must have bombs hidden in their undies, or whatever the morbid powers-that-be decide for today.

You may be sweet and bubbly, but you are still TSA and it must be concluded you are "that way."

Would you grope your grandmother if your supervisor told you to?

Would you grope your grandmother if your supervisor at the restaurant where you waitress told you to?

"...its probably about 5% of the entire TSA employees..."

By your own admission only 95% do what appears to be an "honorable" job.

NOT GOOD AT ALL!

Would you have a job at the restaurant if you treated the customers with respect only 95% of the time?

How many others would work with you if only 95% of them were respectful?

Also, what does being polite and bubbly have to do with being right?

The predators who stalk children are very polite too. Sometimes they give their prey candy too. Say, even the portrayal of the Nazis was one of courtesy: "Your papers, please."

So, Kelly...nice try but your posting did not convince me otherwise. The TSA is strictly SECURITY THEATRE. You have never caught a terrorist.

dragonlord10 said...

You wish to cite supremacy clause? Fine. Then I cite the 49 U.S.C. § 40103:

(2) A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit
through the navigable airspace. To further that right, the
Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the Architectural
and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board established under
section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 792)
before prescribing a regulation or issuing an order or procedure
that will have a significant impact on the accessibility of
commercial airports or commercial air transportation for
handicapped individuals.

You have zero right to treat me like a criminal to travel in MY OWN COUNTRY! You want to pat me down? Bring a warrant. That simple.

I am ashamed to be an American where people like you think tossing granny on the floor and feeling her up is actually "protecting our nation".

You haven't stopped a thing and never will.

RB said...

Bob, why no update discussing that the Texas Anti-Grope bill is likely to pass in special session?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, when did the Congress pass a law requiring invasive pat downs of citizens who are not specifically under suspicion of a crime? Please cite the act.

If there is no such law, the TSA administrator would be violating the Constitution by enforcing departmental rules that violate state or local laws. Could the Postmaster require all mail trucks drive 50 mph through school zones? And if they did, would local police be violating the Constitution by writing a ticket?

Bottom line - TSA is violating the Constitution by conducting unreasonable searches and their argument citing the Constitution against Texas doesn't hold water.

Anonymous said...

lets compare the tsa's "bad apples" to those of other govt agencies. lets start with congress. or even go local to police depts etc, that actually enforce the law.

Anonymous said...

"Work with us in a partnership to provide the best possible security."

You mean: do whatever we tell you to do, correct?

SciMjr2 said...

To any TSA officers or believers ... PLEASE watch this video starring Rand Paul because he is going over some of the major reasons why we don't like or respect any of you.

Senator Paul even called the TSA "Clueless"! Is he wrong? I certainly don't think so!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-elwtnWyYU

Anonymous said...

scimjr2 said:
"Senator Paul even called the TSA "Clueless"! Is he wrong? I certainly don't think so!"

good thing all senators and congress people arent wrong. what was former rep weiner again?

Anonymous said...

Just checking in to see where everything stands with the groping issue at airports and get a sense if it's OK to fly, again.

Nope — not yet.

I haven't flown since TSA agents starting feeling up passengers, and I won't be flying until that procedure comes to a halt.

I know I'm not alone.

RB said...

Bob, there are 23 postings missing in this thread.

Please account for them.

Anonymous said...

rb posted on 6/22:
"Bob, why no update discussing that the Texas Anti-Grope bill is likely to pass in special session"

so what were the results? is tsa out of tx?

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,

Here is a fact: TSA has never stopped one single terrorist at an airport. It is ineffective, unconstitutional, and needs to be abolished immediatley. A total wast of taxpayer dollars.

The TSA "airport security" is a federal power grab, which uses baboons in blue uniforms on petty power trips to harrass and keep law abiding good citizens in place. Its purpose isn't to thwart or stop terrorists, but to intimidate and make sure good people do dot dissent.

Nice way way to cover up and spread disinformation about TSA though. Good try, Bob. The American people are waking up to this atrocity known as TSA.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't think the Supremacy Clause can be triggered by administrative law, which is what the pat downs and body scanners are. Statutory law (express acts of Congress) or international treaties have the force of the Supremacy Clause.

"In cases such as this, it is necessary to look beyond general expressions of 'national policy' to specific federal statutes with which the state law is claimed to conflict." -Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Montana (1981)

I'm no authority, but I would love to see how the courts would adjudicate this...

geezer-chick said...

I have an artificial hip. It triggers metal alarms. This isn't going to change. Why should I be patted down every time I fly? Most explosives aren't metal anyway. Please develop a way to identify me as a known person with a metal medical implant and leave me alone.

Anonymous said...

I do not appreciate TSA going through my checked golf club bag. I dont think its right that they go through everything and throw it back in.. and have no regard for expensive property. TSA protects us from explosives but who protects my belongings from TSA employee's when they can steal and help themselves.

Terence Thomas said...

I'm not exactly sure why this "pat-down" issue is really such a heated topic. If there's a drawback to being pat-down, it would be that the other passengers pass judgement on you without knowing any facts, or knowing who you are. It's not like you're going to see them again anyway. The intention is clear: try and catch would-be criminals (not solely terrorists - that's not the only danger out there.) I've been patted down before, and I'm a victim of racism growing up! I did not think my civil rights were being violated by being pat-down.

geezer-chick said...

Terence, pat-downs are a violation of my civil rights because a) I get patted down every time I fly because I have an artificial hip. This is the equivalent of patting you down every time because of your race. b) pat-downs are not a uniform procedure. Some TSA Agents touch "private parts."

Anonymous said...

Both the naked body scanners and the intrusive searches are illegal violations of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

There is no way the TSA outrages live up to this standard.

1. You have no probable cause. Refusing to submit to a naked body scan is NOT probable cause.

2. You have no warrant.

3. You have no supporting oath or affirmation.

Ergo, these searches are illegal and by law must you must desist from carrying them out immediately.

Davey Hardy said...

We wish we lived in a world where you could just walk on a plane with no security screening, but that just isn't the case unfortunately. Aviation security agencies worldwide have been using pat-downs long before TSA was created to prevent dangerous items from getting onto airplanes. The pat-down is a highly effective tool to resolve certain alarms and keep these dangerous items off of planes that could cause catastrophic damage. It's important to note that if a passenger (or bag) alarms during screening, our officers must resolve the alarm before allowing the passenger and their baggage on the airplane.

Michael said...

I for one applaud the state of Texas for trying to stop these unreasonable searches upon airline passengers. Giving up our liberties, no matter how small they seem, is a slippery slope to go down.

Anonymous said...

Those who do the pat downs are often crude and treat travelers as criminals. Look at who they are patting down, generally older folks who have had joint replacements. Yeah a real criminal/terrorist threat there. Furthermore, where is the evidence that someone who sets off a metal detector is more likely to be carrying a bomb in there underwear? How foolish are the people who develop policies like this? I applaud the Texas efforts. Get rid of wasteful government spending and learn to treat good citizens with respect.

Cody Skywalker said...

If the Constitution were followed those TSA agents would be agents of Texas because many airports are run by Local and State Governments. Airports are vital to National Security and Interstate commerce so how about instead of a new Federal bureaucracy, have a few FBI agents to be liaisons between the state and federal agents.

Anonymous said...

Could you please explain why the TSA is allowed to ignore the 4th amendment?

Anonymous said...

In regards to your comment that we wish we lived in a time when we didn't need pat-downs - we do. Your invasive unnecessary procedures are really enraging the public against your efforts. This is counter to good government. You are only servants and employees of tax paying citizens you represent, but I'm pretty sure you all forgot that in your bully-state attitudes. I think I can safely add that we never asked for this, any of this. You give us the numbers of people that begged to be groped or scanned with radiation and I'll counter with at least 4 times the number of voters that you serve that demand this end. "...by the people, for the people" seems to have gone out the window someplace and I want that back!

Now make sure you spell my name right for when the thugs in black suits bang down my door for being a dissident.

«Oldest ‹Older   1001 – 1032 of 1032   Newer› Newest»