Saturday, July 16, 2011

C4 Explosive Found In Passenger’s Checked Luggage

ETD Machine
ETD Machine
A passenger flying out of Yuma International Airport was arrested after a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) searched his bag in response to an Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) test that came back positive. One-half ounce of C4 explosive was found in his checked bag, concealed in a tobacco can. 

ETD machines can detect the smallest amounts of explosives and have been in use since TSA rolled out in 2002. They are used in checkpoint, checked baggage, and cargo environments. We swab things such as laptops, shoes, film, cell phones, bags, wheelchairs, hands, casts, etc. Basically, our officers run the white swab over an area  to collect a trace sample. They then place the swab in the ETD machinery which analyzes the sample for extremely small traces of explosives. The test takes a matter of seconds.

Great job TSA Yuma!

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.
 

140 comments:

DJ said...

i've said it before and i'll say it again. roll out as much explosive trace detection as you want! it's fairly unintrusive, and it works!

you'll find that most of us who post here are in favor of strong aviation security. but we want it to be effective, efficient, as minimally invasive as possible while still accomplishing the goal.

ETD does all of that. AIT/WBI does none.

AmericanSecurityTheater said...

Congrats, you did something useful for a change, ETD, dogs, that stuff is all great because it can be considered to be confined in good faith to the purpose of detecting *threat items* not just drugs and cash at the expense of civil liberties.

The body scanners need to go. We have no need to search people for paper, and there have been no credible studies showing the scanners more effective at detecting explosives than dogs, ETD or any other less invasive procedure.

I will continue to refuse to fly until I can do so unmolested.

The court already smacked you down for acting without public comment with regards to the scanners, when can we expect the official comment period?

Similarly, when can we expect an official comment period on the outrageously unconstitutional VIPR teams?

Anonymous said...

Something stinks about this story.

Anonymous said...

Great post DJ -- well-said: ETD and, I would add, bomb-sniffing dogs. I think most of us are in agreement on those two things being useful tools in aviation security.

Body scanners get a fail. Random full patdowns for the entire flying public. Fail.

John Smith. said...

What they don't tell you is that those who shoot weapons a lot will also trigger the explosives detector... It senses strong concentrations of nitrogen based molecules.. They have a digital filter system but it works so so. Anything on the list or unknown reacts with the system. Since explosions produce many unknowns the system trips easily. One reason it has so much trouble with baby carriages is due to the plastic containing nitrogen.. The C4 sample itself was not detected. It was the residues on his bag and the tobacco container that were sniffed..

George said...

Yes, "Great job TSA Yuma!"

Two things are particularly interesting. First, now that you're reporting something legitimately worth crowing about, it's the result of using technology that's effective, appropriately tailored to the job of detecting threats to aviation, and minimally intrusive to the rights and privacy of passengers. That's exactly what aviation should be! This post at least can give us hope that real aviation security is at least possible, even if it doesn't have the "benefit" of being security theatre that's impressive by virtue of its hassle and intrusion.

Second, this detection and arrest may be newsworthy because of its rarity. We see lots of posts here about TSA "successes" in detecting drugs, cash, and oversized liquids, none of which pose any threat to aviation. We read lots of accounts of TSOs humiliating passengers and making them feel "violated" (despite always "acting properly"), again in the absence of any actual threat to aviation. We see continual indication that the TSA seeks to expand its authority so it can eliminate rights and privacy that interfere with "security" at places beyond airports.

But we almost never see anything about the TSA doing what it claims is its mission, detecting an actual threat to aviation and delivering the culprit to law enforcement. And it's really good to see that happening this time. But the rarity of such reports really raises questions about whether the threat really is sufficient to justify the TSA's high cost, in liberty, privacy, dignity, and time as well as in billions of dollars.

JustSayin said...

Great job, TSA!!!

I know it can be frustrating when the TSA wants to swab down your laptop, shoes, or bag, but this is exactly why they do it.

A careful inspection of all items is a much better option than your plane going down.

rwilymz said...

Sussesses are so rare they can garner their own entry.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in favor of strong security, but I despise the invasion of privacy and unjust searches. The TSA is an out of control beast.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you finally found something other than nail clippers and water bottles. This almost makes up for you repeatedly getting the water bottle out of the luggage while missing the faux bomb it was next to.

Anonymous said...

time stamp when this happened please and provide other sources to confirm. TSA has been conducting a lot of constitutionally illegal actions. This could be a story never printed or fabricated. I want evidence as to this stories validity. Also, private firms could have just as easily found this and dealt with it. You also neglect to discuss any sort of triggering device associated with this "C4". Post the whole story and sources Bob or don't post at all.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done.

Randy said...

Good Job!! This is *exactly* the technology that will keep bad *stuff* off of planes.

Randy

Al Ames said...

And that was found without the Nude-O-Scope! Imagine that!

Al

kimm said...

And I STILL have not received any reply (after how many attempted contacts...) from either TSA or the airport of the burn on my leg that I received from your "safe swab" last summer.

If you ever swabbed my computer, you'd best have your cehck book out, as you'd be buying it right then in there, as I could NOT risk using it after that.

I will say that if I'm ever swabbed again and burned again, there WILL be an attorney involved.

Use D-O-G-S.... Can we all say it any plainer?

Anonymous said...

I agree with DJ, concentrate much more money and resources on ETD,no one will legitimately complain about this and it is the right way forward.

Anonymous said...

RE: The 1/2 of one ounce of C4 found. Did you find any detonators? If you didn't, then big deal, you solved a non-problem. What is the explosive power of 1/2 of one ounce of C4? Could it have even exploded out of the suitcase it was even in? If not, you solved a non-problem. I can't believe you guys are patting yourselves on the back for solving something that was not a problem. Typical government employee thing, solve a non-problem, congratulate yourselves, and ask for a raise.

f2000 said...

Unless it was a swab of his glans that turned up the C4, please don't try and turn this into a blanket example of the usefulness of TSA procedures.

Trace detection is great. Minimally intrusive and very effective. The exact opposite of the grope downs and porno-scanners.

Anonymous said...

Good job, I must say! Citizens don't hate the TSA; they hate the bullying tactics of the TSA.


More swabbing and less radiating and groping, please!

Anonymous said...

This person wasn't a terrorist. This is a situation similar to someone who is smuggling fireworks. It's true that the substance was a lot more explosive than consumer fireworks are, but the intended use was probably the same.

Of course, you want us to think that the TSA stopped a terrorist attack. This post is purposely written to confuse and encourage readers to infer that the TSA did something valuable here.

In fact the TSA did not protect anybody from anything. Click through to the CNN story to see what I'm talking about.

JustSayin said...

AmericanSecurityTheater said...

I will continue to refuse to fly until I can do so unmolested.




So you refuse to fly but continue to check out a blog about flying...

Makes sense.

Anonymous said...

i hope they put this guy away for a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

And what a coincidence that this story comes out right as the TSA is in the middle of a storm of bad press.

Very convenient! You lucked out, Bob.

AK-VStrom said...

Hey, once in a while even a blind squirrel finds a nut!

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait- CHECKED BAG? And no detonator?

Big whoop.

But I would like to congratulate y'all for actually finding a bom... er, part of a bomb. Unlike the dozens of other times when bombs and bomb materials got past you in tests.

0/100 --> 1/100 = you're improving!

Anonymous said...

What assurance do we have that this wasn't a 'test package' that some tester snuck into a passengers bag, then forgot about or lost?

I mean, such a small amount of explosive (not enough to cause any damage, but enough to be found), and in a checked bag (which the passenger has no access to during the flight), and without a detonator (or you would have mentioned it)?? Sounds useless as a 'real' bomb, but useful as a training scenario.

Of course, the tin-foil hat crowd might even say it's mighty... convenient... that the TSA scored such a major find, shortly after 'Adult Diaper-Gate'. Could this be the real-life version of Blogger Bob's Puppy Posts, designed to distract us?

RB said...

Are these the same ETD machines that cannot tell a safe contact lens solution from a dangerous chemical?

Anonymous said...

ETD, one of the few things at the TSA that works!

Anonymous said...

ETD actually detects explosives - this is what you should be doing. Stop virtually strip-searching people.

Anonymous said...

Hey look a non-intrusive method worked!!! This is the kind of security that was needed not groping or nude scanners.

Anonymous said...

John Smith said:

"What they don't tell you is that those who shoot weapons a lot will also trigger the explosives detector... It senses strong concentrations of nitrogen based molecules.. They have a digital filter system but it works so so. Anything on the list or unknown reacts with the system. Since explosions produce many unknowns the system trips easily. One reason it has so much trouble with baby carriages is due to the plastic containing nitrogen.. The C4 sample itself was not detected. It was the residues on his bag and the tobacco container that were sniffed.."

Right on a few accounts, wrong on many more...

TSA agents can tell exactly what your bag alarms for in a false alarm. Most common is glycerin. There are some alarms you NEVER get a false positive for, that is why this person's checked bag was pulled after his carry-on alarmed at the checkpoint. His bag alarmed because he had handled the C4 before handling his bag, and the ETD picks up the slightest trace of this residue, so yes, the C4 sample WAS detected.
Baby carriages don't give much trouble at all at the checkpoint, I don't know where you got this information from, and on the rare occurrence one does alarm, it's not from the plastic.

kellymae81 said...

Great catch TSA!

Anonymous said...

Anon said:Glad to hear you finally found something other than nail clippers and water bottles. This almost makes up for you repeatedly getting the water bottle out of the luggage while missing the faux bomb it was next to.

Ok, #1-TSA doesnt take nail clippers, so trying to make your argument against TSA sound good by exaggerating the truth, doesnt help your argument.

#2-I'm not understanding what TSA is missing (according to you), if it is a "faux" bomb the water bottle is "supposedly" next to. What do you mean? This doesnt quite make any sense.

And YES, oversized liquids can pose a threat to aviation, if TSA allowed them. BC they are not allowed now, the bad guy is less likely to use this method, so yes, your water bottle is 99.99999% a WATER BOTTLE. But if TSA allowed oversized liquids, it creates that loophole that the bad guy could take advantage of.

kellymae81 said...

Kimm said: And I STILL have not received any reply (after how many attempted contacts...) from either TSA or the airport of the burn on my leg that I received from your "safe swab" last summer.

Kimm, I am a TSO and just want to help answer any unanwered questions for you. First, Im just a little curious as to why they were swabbing bare skin on your leg. Second, our swabs are nothing button sterile cotton swabs. There are no chemicals on them. They are not for transferring some type of material onto you, they are for picking up trace amounts of explosives from whatever we are sampling. Example, your palms, a brace, shoes, laptops, etc...

So this sounds like an unfortunate case of coincidence. There is nothing on those swabs that can burn you. I know this doesnt necessarliy help you but I hope this clarifies things a bit.

-Kelly

kellymae81 said...

Anon said: RE: The 1/2 of one ounce of C4 found. Did you find any detonators? If you didn't, then big deal, you solved a non-problem. What is the explosive power of 1/2 of one ounce of C4? Could it have even exploded out of the suitcase it was even in? If not, you solved a non-problem. I can't believe you guys are patting yourselves on the back for solving something that was not a problem. Typical government employee thing, solve a non-problem, congratulate yourselves, and ask for a raise.

Im sorry, but if you dont see the big deal in finding explosives (no matter how little) in a bag that was suppose to be on a commercial plane (or any plane for that matter), you have issues. ITS ILLEGAL. TSA finds explosives, and we are still "theatre" to you. I don't get it. I understand TSA is an inconvenience, but its necessary. I'll agree some procedures need to be improved but we DO have great systems in place regardless.

kellymae81 said...

Anon said: What assurance do we have that this wasn't a 'test package' that some tester snuck into a passengers bag, then forgot about or lost?

HUH?!!!!!!! We dont "sneak" explosive materials into a passengers bags. Where in the world did you hear that? And if it was a test, they wouldn't arrest the tester. I seriously hope you think first next time you post something. That just sounded rediculous..sorry but HUH?!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with so much everyone has said here. ETD, yes. Dogs, YES! Body scanners, no. Random full-body patdowns for the entire flying public, no. VIPR exercises, heck no.

Alright, Blogger Bob. You've got some good, constructive comments here from the public. Now march your little tukas down to John Pistole's office with a copy of this, on Monday, and make some changes.

Do I still think aviation security should be privatized? Yes, I do. But in the meantime, let's work together to make aviation safe. And that involves TSA making some drastic changes to acknowledge the dignity and freedom of the traveling public. You're wasting your money -- oh no, wait, OUR money -- treating every last person who flies like a dangerous criminal.

Jannis said...

Anonymous said… “The 1/2 of one ounce of C4 found. Did you find any detonators? If you didn't, then big deal, you solved a non-problem.”

If you truly believe that a person brining C-4 onto an aircraft is a non-problem then I am very grateful that TSA is in charge of my safety on an aircraft and not you. If you don’t truly believe that then you should apologize for making such a ridicules statement.

Jannis said...

Anonymous said… “ETD actually detects explosives - this is what you should be doing. Stop virtually strip-searching people.”

Brilliant idea! From now on when we go through screening we should have some TSA screener rub one of their sample swab things on every passenger, from head to toe. Everyone who sets of the alarm gets scanned, everyone who doesn’t gets a pass. Of course I am quite sure you would think this process would be to invasive and touchy-feely.

Anonymous said...

I (and most passengers) have no problem with the swabbing. But...again this story has been posted to obscure recent questions about TSA effectivness and poor behavior.

What about the stun gun recently found on Jet Blue plane (by an airline employee)? How did this happen?

What about the TSA officer recently found to have stolen aprx. $50K in electronics over the last two years (again, stopped by an airline employee)? Do TSA agents look through luggage without others being present? If not, is there an ongoing investigation of how other TSA employees went along with/ covered up this crime?

Today an Indianapolis woman revealed that she was able to carry a 3" knife in her carry-on TWICE without notice. How did this happen?

Anonymous said...

Anon said: What assurance do we have that this wasn't a 'test package' that some tester snuck into a passengers bag, then forgot about or lost?

HUH?!!!!!!! We dont "sneak" explosive materials into a passengers bags. Where in the world did you hear that? And if it was a test, they wouldn't arrest the tester. I seriously hope you think first next time you post something. That just sounded rediculous..sorry but HUH?!!!
___________
That really is a shame you consider this "rediculous" because Israeli security (the best in the world) DOES send test bombs through.

DJ said...

"Brilliant idea! From now on when we go through screening we should have some TSA screener rub one of their sample swab things on every passenger, from head to toe."


that's basically what the old puffers accomplished without physical contact. hopefully work continues on getting those done right. somehow, tho, i think rapiscan and L3 are content with the status quo, and not trying too hard...

the traces that can be detected are so small that it doesn't take a head-to-toe physical search.

Scott said...

I'm astouned there are people who are finally posting positive things about the TSA....thanks Yuma folks!

@AST I've come to hate the term civil liberties that AST throws out. It isn't even used properly anymore. "unmolested...." what an idiot.

The court didn't smack anyone down. Where did any court rule that VIPR is unconstitutional. Do you know anything about VIPR or do you just guess with your paranoid conspiracy theories. Nice try.

Scott said...

@George regarding "the rarity of these reports."

I'm sure you have a detailed document that chronicles every single threat that has been prevented in the U.S. by the TSA regarding explosives, knives, etc.....

yeah, that's what I thought......

Anonymous said...

Nowhere in the post is it mentioned that the passenger was a US serviceman or that half an ounce of plastic explosives hidden in a tobacco can without any detonator did not pose any realistic threat to the safety of the aircraft.

Anonymous said...

Jannis says: "Brilliant idea! From now on when we go through screening we should have some TSA screener rub one of their sample swab things on every passenger, from head to toe. Everyone who sets of the alarm gets scanned, everyone who doesn’t gets a pass. Of course I am quite sure you would think this process would be to invasive and touchy-feely."

You don´t have to swab from head to toe. These techniques detect traces of chemicals, and therefore require no such action. All you have to do is swab a small portion of skin on the hands, for example.

Anonymous said...

" We dont "sneak" explosive materials into a passengers bags. Where in the world did you hear that? "

kellymae81 they got that idea from the well publicized story of the TSA agent traumatizing a passenger about finding drugs in her bag. Drugs he had planted.

Anonymous said...

Jannis, they used to have a system like that. Remember the Explosive Trace Portals? You can still artfully conceal explosives from the AIT machines, but I believe hiding them from the ETPs was significantly harder.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Ok, #1-TSA doesnt take nail clippers, so trying to make your argument against TSA sound good by exaggerating the truth, doesnt help your argument.
#2-I'm not understanding what TSA is missing (according to you), if it is a "faux" bomb the water bottle is "supposedly" next to. What do you mean? This doesnt quite make any sense.

#1 - They did for while, but have stopped that now. They do still take every knife no matter how tiny. A little pocket knife with a 1 inch blade is considered a deadly and dangerous weapon.

#2 - I don't have a link, but this refers to a test done a while back at a checkpoint where the water bottle was confiscated but the test bomb was missed.

Anonymous said...

First, congratulations on your success at finding a bad thing at the airport.

Then, this shows up two specific failures on the part of the TSA:

The search for THINGS that are bad.

The useless (and expensive) circles the TSA runs in trying to find those THINGS.

The guy with the C4, he's an idiot. Not malicious, just stupid, but that can be forgiven in a 19 year old.

One of the lease obtrusive technologies for finding threats was successful in finding this perceived threat.

The Nudescanners didn't help because the item was in checked baggage. So why are we spending so much money and time using them?

The "Random" property searches and enhanced pat-downs in the security lines wouldn't have helped, again because the item in question was in checked baggage. So why spend so much time and money needlessly searching passengers.

If the TSA were to spend more time on checked baggage and less time on passengers Aircraft would be considerably safer and our Constitutional Rights as US Citizens would be safer too.

Sandra said...

OK, Bob, so you did not mention that the "passenger" caught had been at an Army explosives training school or that he was not carrying anything to detonate the
C4.

Without mentioning that, your "article" is certainly misleading at best.

TJ said...

Whew. It's a good thing there wasn't a bottle of water on top of it, or they'd never have found the C4.

RB said...

Bob are these ETD Machines the same machines that cannot tell a Contact Lens Cleaner from a dangerous Explosive?

Why the silence on this matter?

Seems TSA just got lucky with a machine that really doesn't work all that well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Ok, #1-TSA doesnt take nail clippers, so trying to make your argument against TSA sound good by exaggerating the truth, doesnt help your argument.

Yes, they do. There were posts on this very blog on 5.09.2009 and 12.01.2010 that go into this. Of course, the Official Word of the TSA is that they don't, but there are plenty of incidents told by passengers that show they actually do.


#2-I'm not understanding what TSA is missing (according to you), if it is a "faux" bomb the water bottle is "supposedly" next to. What do you mean? This doesnt quite make any sense.


It's called a TEST. Testers place a fake ('faux' being too hard a word, I guess) bomb in luggage and try to get through the checkpoint. There have been cases where the screeners have failed to find the fake bomb, yet have removed the bottle of water fromthe same suitcase.


And YES, oversized liquids can pose a threat to aviation, if TSA allowed them.

Passengers remaining hydrated on a flight? The horror!!

But if TSA allowed oversized liquids, it creates that loophole that the bad guy could take advantage of.

And of course,there's Absolutely No Way a Bad Guy could simply split the liquid into 3.4 ounce containers and put themin abaggie. Nope. No way. Impossible.

Anonymous said...

kellymae81 said...

Im sorry, but if you dont see the big deal in finding explosives (no matter how little) in a bag that was suppose to be on a commercial plane (or any plane for that matter), you have issues.

There is no big deal with finding such a tiny amount, with no detonator. If you truly think the amount doesn't matter, may I point out that virtually every passenger has on them small amounts of both Sodium (reacts explosively with water) and clorine (poisonous). Of course, the small amounts (atoms) of these dangerous substances are combined in such a way (sodium cloride, aka "salt") that they are harmless. But they are still there, and if you truly beleive size doesn't matter, you'd stop every sweating passengers from boarding.

So, quit with the 'amount doesn't matter' talk.


ITS ILLEGAL.

So is going 1mph over the limit. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.


TSA finds explosives, and we are still "theatre" to you. I don't get it.

Of course you don't.

You (the TSA, not you personally) miss an average of 70% of test bombs, up to 100% of test guns, you make 95-year-old grannies take of their diapers, you look at kids naked through scanners, don't bother screening the airport workers or delivery workers, you steal tens of thousands of dollars of valuables from passengers, you confiscate nail trimmers while letting though 10 inch steel knitting needles. You feel up Miss Teen USA (a real security threat there!) and the former Secretary of Defense (ditto!), you hire people from ads on pizza boxes and gas pumps, you are rude and inconsiderate.

And you (personally) don't see anything wrong with any of that.

And that's what's wrong.


HUH?!!!!!!! We dont "sneak" explosive materials into a passengers bags.

And screeners don't sneak (fake) drugs unto passengers bags either, Right? (http://tiny.cc/1dvod)

That just sounded rediculous..sorry but HUH?!!!

"ridiculous". ::sigh::

John Smith. said...

@ anonymous aka the guy sitting in the next cubicle from blogger bob.

TSA agents can tell exactly what your bag alarms for in a false alarm. Most common is glycerin. There are some alarms you NEVER get a false positive for, that is why this person's checked bag was pulled after his carry-on alarmed at the checkpoint. His bag alarmed because he had handled the C4 before handling his bag, and the ETD picks up the slightest trace of this residue, so yes, the C4 sample WAS detected.
Baby carriages don't give much trouble at all at the checkpoint, I don't know where you got this information from, and on the rare occurrence one does alarm, it's not from the plastic.

The Tsa machinery is not that precise. The residue on his bag would have been detected whether there was any in his bag or not... If he would have had any sense he would have had nitrile glove changes at every step of the packing procedure. Method of packaging is what spells the difference between being caught and getting through...
What are you saying then the people wipe the baby carriages in c4 then put their children in them??? Glycerin? Seriously. Do you know how many times the detector would go off from glycerin related chemicals if that were true.. I use a glycerin deodorant in crystalline form.. I put it in my carry on.... Its dimensions are 4" x 1.5" yet strangely it is never detected and the bags are never searched....No flights would ever take off. By the way? Have you ever fixed the problem with the contact lense cleaner setting off the explosives alarm???

Anonymous said...

Well, good job at finding the C4. Let's look a little more at what happened.

According to the Yuma Sun (http://www.yumasun.com/articles/airport-71446-yuma-arrested.html#ixzz1S7IPjkkr) the man arrested is a serviceman and IDIOT who was at a military training course to train dogs to detect explosives. The C4 was part of the training material and he was taking it home to show his relatives.

After the military lets him out of the stockade in five years, maybe he can find a place at the TSA. This looks to be the kind of stunt that a TSO would pull.

And for you TSO's saying that the TSA would never plant explosives in a bag as a test, let's not forget one of your prize winners who was playing a "joke" by pretending to find drugs in passengers' bags.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/01/23/tsa-worker-fired-pulling-prank-student-airport/

Anonymous said...

Nowhere in the post is it mentioned that the passenger was a US serviceman...
________________________
The person carrying the C4 was a 19-year old Army private. The FBI detained and interviewed him and determined he didn't intend to do any harm with the material. But I believe he's still being charged.

I did notice in a news article on this that John Pistole was front and center giving quotes on what a great job TSA does, (note: overall, they don't.)

So he can take the time to brag to a reporter, but he can't take two minutes to come to this blog and address some of the concerns of the flying public - maybe answer a question or two. That's some self-serving behavior right there.

I do appreciate the responses of some of the TSO's who have posted here in the last few days. At least we're finally getting some answers with a little detail rather than the typical canned, "we followed protocol" response. So thanks to the TSO's for doing that.

JustSayin said...

Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8256711

By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it.

doug said...

"Authorities found no evidence to believe that Wey intended any harm with the small amount of explosives in his possession," the U.S. attorney's office in Arizona said in a statement.

Bill Waldock, who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., said the amount of explosive that Wey purportedly carried could not have seriously damaged a plane.

"It might mess up his own luggage" if detonated, Waldock said.

TSA - Terrorists Stopped: Aught.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some elements of what this man said to CBS news:

"The people in the blue shirts that go through our stuff, they're great people, but at the top, we don't have people anticipating security threats. (September 11) was not a passenger screening failure, it was a total security failure. We have to have a security system other than the TSA, which isn't working, that anticipates threats, has mitigation programs, and looks ahead and thinks like a terrorist. We don't have that. Believe me, we're no safer than we were before 9/11 regardless of the press releases put out."

Boyd said he'd suggest the government switch to professional security.

"The TSA is not a professionally-managed organization," he said. "The problem with it is we have politics involved. We have go and show -- the other day they announced they found a bag with 13 knives in it. I'm not impressed. The reality of this is, this is show and it's not going to improve anything."

RB said...

JustSayin said...
Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8256711

By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it.

July 18, 2011 2:03 PM

..................
You think so? TSA is receiving more negative opinion every day from a growing audience.

This is what the public thinks of the lady who gave a little payback.

as posted on the "Drudge Report".

WOMAN ACCUSED OF GROPING TSA AGENT HAILED AS HERO...

Do you think TSA will come out as the winner if this lady is prosecuted?

TSA has already lost the support of the public and will continue sliding further down the sewer pipe unless some real leadership is brought to DHS and TSA.

Chip and Andy said...

JustSayin said..."Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???"

I'll stop when you stop. Forgive the childish response, but I can think of none better.... You started it!

Lets see.... just from this blog we know that there are something like 30,000 enhanced pat-downs performed daily by the TSA. I think the number is higher, but the actual number is not important, just the knowledge that it is quite large.

And there is ONE recent report of a Passenger turning the proverbial table on the TSA. I know there are more, but you linked to once incident specifically.

That puts the ration of "Us (the passengers)" to "Them (the TSA)" at something on the order of less than 1 in 30,0000.

Hardly the uprising you seem to think it is.


Ha! Captcha for this comment is prodding! Strangely appropriate.

Anonymous said...

"When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???"

Now, now. TSA always says passengers play a part in security, and that anyone in an airport could be a terrorist. So passengers patting-down TSA screeners isn't molestation, it's just good security sense!

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said...
Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???


When they stop molesting us.

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said...

Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8256711

By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it.




Hey Ben Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these colonists stop "molesting" British soldiers???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_war

By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch British soldiers...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it.

avxo said...

Good catch.

ETD Machines: Technology that works, is not intrusive and makes good sense!

RB said...

Could have been a bomb

Feds bust airport smuggling operation.

So what does this tell us?

That not doing screening for aiport workers is stupid but that seems normal for TSA.

Earl Pitts said...

@JS: "Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8256711

By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it."

I don't know KellyMae. When do you think TSA will stop getting away with molesting people?

Some might argue turn about is fair play. :P

Al Ames said...

Even a blind rat finds cheese occasionally, Kelly.

Do it consistently and with a significantly better than 70% failure rate and maybe then you can crow about a success.

Getting one thing right doesn't excuse a whole slew of failures.

Al

Anonymous said...

Justsayin would you care to give a full objective layout as to why the TSA is not an illegal government agency and explain how and why they are in "full" compliance with the Bill Of Rights? I'd love to hear your analysis. Could you also post sources (if any) showing any/all background you have in security and/or public service? Clearly you must have a stronger grip on all of this than the rest of us here. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
" We dont "sneak" explosive materials into a passengers bags. Where in the world did you hear that? "

kellymae81 they got that idea from the well publicized story of the TSA agent traumatizing a passenger about finding drugs in her bag. Drugs he had planted.

July 18, 2011 6:28 AM

it was a bag of powder that was meant to "look" like drugs. it doesnt make it right, but he didnt plant drugs on her. its a very important fact you left out.

Anonymous said...

RB said...
Bob are these ETD Machines the same machines that cannot tell a Contact Lens Cleaner from a dangerous Explosive?

Why the silence on this matter?

Seems TSA just got lucky with a machine that really doesn't work all that well.

July 18, 2011 11:52 AM

Probably because TSA doesnt use ETD machines to test liquids. Where did you come up with that? Did you make it up?

avxo said...

doug wrote: ""Authorities found no evidence to believe that Wey intended any harm with the small amount of explosives in his possession," the U.S. attorney's office in Arizona said in a statement.

Bill Waldock, who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., said the amount of explosive that Wey purportedly carried could not have seriously damaged a plane.

"It might mess up his own luggage" if detonated, Waldock said.
"

He's correct. On top of that C4 will basically not detonate under any circumstances short of having a detonator physically stuck in it and triggered as it requires both extremely high heat and high pressure to detonate.

Regardless of that, however, the fact is that explosives are not allowed on planes. That's a sensible policy and they are a reasonable and legitimate thing to search for -- as opposed to, you know, snow globes, Audi keys, nail clippers, half-finished soft drinks, the Medal of Honor, etc.

The TSA did a good job this time around -- they caught legitimate contraband and prevented it from being carried on board the airplane in the cargo hold.

I would bet, however, that unlike dangerous soft drinks and shampoo bottles at the checkpoint, they didn't toss it in the garbage, but actually called the bomb squad.

kimm said...

"JustSayin said... When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???"


When the TSA stops molesting and looking at nude passengers, stops pulling out handicapped people (but TSA says they don't profile), stops playing into the hands of the terrorists and uses dogs for security instead!!!!!

kimm said...

..."You don´t have to swab from head to toe. These techniques detect traces of chemicals, and therefore require no such action. All you have to do is swab a small portion of skin on the hands, for example...."

And when you get a skin burn like I did, and no one wants to address it, then tell me how great the "safe swab" is.

Anonymous said...

This proves that the TSA has not uncovered anything else in all of its years of existence because had they ever found anything else it would have been published on this site faster than it takes to pat you down.

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said:
"By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it."

Don't worry, JustSayin, your chance of being molested at work is vanishingly low. The traveling public, on the other hand, has a much better chance of being mistreated by you and your co-workers.

Also, please consider that jury nullification is absolutely an option for this passenger.

My prediction: The matter will be quietly dropped after the passenger agrees to be retrained.

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said:
"By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law."

You need to get your facts straight before you post.

According to Ms Miyamae's attorney:

"Ms. Miyamae felt panicked and experienced a volatile aversion to the TSA personnel violating her personal physical space. She felt endangered and threatened based upon prior traumatizing security pat-downs, repugnance at the prospect of being touched again in such a violent and undignified manner, and instinctively pushed the female TSA agent away."

There will be no felony charges and likely no misdemeanor charges.

I suspect Ms Miyamae may also be planning civil action against the TSA as a result of her mistreatment.

JustSayin - I know you're just trying to protect your TSO job but, as you can see from above, you must get your facts straight before you post.

Anonymous said...

Okay, if I go to the range and shoot a few rounds and then head to the airport, it is likely I will test positive for "explosive residue."

Great.

I am engaged in a lawful activity but yet I will be put through the grinder at TSA because I enjoy exercising my 2nd Amendment rights.

I asked the TSA employee what I can do to avoid this silliness. He responded that he CAN'T TELL ME!

Where is the sens in that? Whewre is the "helping" the public with their travel? This policy of NOT TELLING PEOPLE is nonsense.

1--leagl activity
2--constitutionally protected activity
3--bag sets of alarm\
4--asked how to avoid this nonsense in future, was told "CAN'T TELL YOU"

Pffflll. . .

Anonymous said...

Earl Pitts asked...When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???

When you quit terrorizing easy prey.

In the incident you are talking about the TSA did the dog pile act on a diminutive woman. A lot of TSA staff ganged up on and surrounded one small woman. She freaked and acted defensively. Good for her!

Don't intimidate, surround, threaten and terrorize people. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

My apologies to Earl Pitts.

It was JustSayin I should have addressed my response to. JustSayin called a diminutive woman defending herself by breaking out of a frightening ring of larger TSA staffers an assualt.

Sorry Earl.

TSORon said...

Al Ames said...
Even a blind rat finds cheese occasionally, Kelly.

Do it consistently and with a significantly better than 70% failure rate and maybe then you can crow about a success.

Getting one thing right doesn't excuse a whole slew of failures.

Al
------------------------
The GAO report you seem to be quoting is more than 7 years old there Al. TSA had been in service less than 2 years when the investigating for that report was done. Please, bring something to the table that is more current.

Another Anonymous poster claimed:
That really is a shame you consider this "rediculous" because Israeli security (the best in the world) DOES send test bombs through.
--------------------------
No Anon, they don’t. They do exactly the same thing we do, and if they are better at it its because they have more experience and different laws to work under. You wouldn’t like Israeli style security, there is no “Fourth Amendment” protections in Israel, and it starts long before you ever arrive at the airport.

RB said...
Bob are these ETD Machines the same machines that cannot tell a Contact Lens Cleaner from a dangerous Explosive?
-------------------------
RB, ETD machines don’t work on liquids, cant work on liquids. But you already knew that.

Anonymous said...

Please, bring something to the table that is more current.

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

From 2011

As of January 2011 some of the EDS in
TSA’s fleet detect explosives at the level established in 2005 while the remaining
EDS detect explosives at levels established in 1998. Further, TSA does not have
a plan to deploy and operate systems to meet the current requirements and has
faced challenges in procuring the first 260 systems to meet these requirements

JustSayin said...

JustSayin said...
Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers.

Just one question...

When will these passengers stop "molesting" TSA agents ???

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8256711

By the way, any other "geniuses" out there who decide to touch a TSA agent...be prepared to be in a world of trouble with the law.

It's certainly not worth it.


Hopefully, you all got my point. Saracasm aside, making comments like the TSA "molests" people are simply ignorant and unfounded.

Again, you have a choice: you can make informed decisions by educating yourself about the TSA's mission, or follow the herd and buy into media hype and negative, unfounded comments.

RB said...

TSORon said...
-------------------------
RB, ETD machines don’t work on liquids, cant work on liquids. But you already knew that.

July 20, 2011 4:30 PM

........................
Acutally I did not know that but I see you still jumping to conclusions without evidence.

So what is the purpose of rubbing these swabs on contact lens solution bottles?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
it was a bag of powder that was meant to "look" like drugs. it doesnt make it right, but he didnt plant drugs on her. its a very important fact you left out.

People can and have gotten arrested for having non-drug items that 'looked like drugs'. Thus, planting something that only 'looks like drugs' can get someone in as much trouble as planting real drugs.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
The GAO report you seem to be quoting is more than 7 years old there Al. TSA had been in service less than 2 years when the investigating for that report was done. Please, bring something to the table that is more current.

More current? Like the stun gun just last week that 'somehow' got aboard a plane? (gettit- current? Stun gun?)

Or the tester who managed to get a gun past the TSA 5 times out of 5 a few months ago.

Or the women who carried a knife through two checkpoints recently.

Any of those current enough?? if not, I'm sure there'll be another story in a day or two.

Anonymous said...

great to see the true character of the majority of the bloggers on here, its never good enough. just accept that the tsa is in a no win situation and thats that. this is part of the reason why this blog is a failure. whether positive or negative stories are put on here its all seen as negative by the majority of the bloggers. just get rid of the blog and keep doing what your doing.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Justsayin would you care to give a full objective layout as to why the TSA is not an illegal government agency and explain how and why they are in "full" compliance with the Bill Of Rights? I'd love to hear your analysis. Could you also post sources (if any) showing any/all background you have in security and/or public service? Clearly you must have a stronger grip on all of this than the rest of us here. Thanks in advance."

lol can ANY blogger on here that gives there opinion provide their background for what they say? are you trying to get this blogger to stop his Constitutional right to free speech? the same rights that you are saying the the tsa violates?

Anonymous said...

Wow,

Now TSA is censoring posting of GAO reports critical of the TSA.

Way to go!

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said:

"Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers."

Negative naysayers, huh? What planet do you live on, JustSayin, where it's ok to treat children, disabled people, and the elderly the way your TSA has been treating them?

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
"According to Ms Miyamae's attorney:

"Ms. Miyamae felt panicked and experienced a volatile aversion to the TSA personnel violating her personal physical space. She felt endangered and threatened based upon prior traumatizing security pat-downs, repugnance at the prospect of being touched again in such a violent and undignified manner, and instinctively pushed the female TSA agent away."
----------------------
You did see that this quote came from HER ATTORNEY, didn't you? you know, the guy who IS PAID to get his client out of trouble using any means at hand, including fabrication, lying, etc.

TSORon said...

Some Anonymous poster asked:
More current? Like the stun gun just last week that 'somehow' got aboard a plane? (gettit- current? Stun gun?)

Or the tester who managed to get a gun past the TSA 5 times out of 5 a few months ago.

Or the women who carried a knife through two checkpoints recently.

Any of those current enough?? if not, I'm sure there'll be another story in a day or two.
--------------------------
Of course you are ignoring the 15 to 30 firearms we find in carry-on luggage each week, the massive amount of “prohibited items” (which can only be measured by the ton, and does not include water), the 75+ other prohibited weapons we find each week, or even the explosive components (which also is usually measured by the ton) we find. Not to mention the illicit drugs found, the falsified documents, or the continuous abuse by the main stream press looking for a headline.

Yeah, it’s easy to ignore the facts when one is blinded by their own bias.

TSORon said...

RB said:
Acutally I did not know that but I see you still jumping to conclusions without evidence.

So what is the purpose of rubbing these swabs on contact lens solution bottles?
------------------------
Our discussions over the last 2 years would indicate to me that you knew about the nature of the ETD systems already, so I have plenty of evidence for that conclusion. As for why they swab the bottles, well those bottles are usually made of plastic, most plastics are not a liquid. And I’m fairly sure you knew that as well. But I understand RB, honestly I do. For you, nothing TSA does or can ever do will meet your approval. It’s a burden I and my fellow TSO’s are willing to bear.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said:

The GAO report you seem to be quoting is more than 7 years old there Al. TSA had been in service less than 2 years when the investigating for that report was done. Please, bring something to the table that is more current.

Ron, is there a more up to date report that we have access to and can look at? If not, we have to default back to that report and supplement it with the news reports of what all has slipped through as well as the red-flag failure stories (e.g. 5 times out of 5 through AIT with a gun).

With the limited information I've seen, it appears to be getting worse on both the failure rates and the obtrusiveness of the searches.

If there is a newer report, please let me know where it can be found. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

The DA looked at the facts and dropped the case. He would not do that on the unsupported statements from the defense.

"You did see that this quote came from HER ATTORNEY, didn't you? you know, the guy who IS PAID to get his client out of trouble using any means at hand, including fabrication, lying, etc."

Anonymous said...

TSORon is making all sort of ridiculous inflated claims again.

Talking about how much stuff he claims TSA intercepts each week he drops this gem: [we find] explosive components (which also is usually measured by the ton)

Tons of explosives each week?

And if you really find as many weapons as you claim why does the TSA not include them in the list on their homepage?

Make all the fantastic, self serving claims you want. The TSA is not backing you up on them. If your claims are accurate get Bob and/or the TSA to back you up. Otherwise you are just another TSO making things up for their own benefit.

Anonymous said...

"TSORon said....
Of course you are ignoring the 15 to 30 firearms we find in carry-on luggage each week, the massive amount of “prohibited items” (which can only be measured by the ton, and does not include water), the 75+ other prohibited weapons we find each week, or even the explosive components (which also is usually measured by the ton) we find. Not to mention the illicit drugs found, the falsified documents, or the continuous abuse by the main stream press looking for a headline.

Yeah, it’s easy to ignore the facts when one is blinded by their own bias."

Yes, apparently it is easy to ignore the facts when blinded by your own bias. This is proven by the fact that you cannot get on here and respond without lying as the numbers you claim have never been reported by the TSA week at glance, not even close ever.

The TSA doesn't need the press to abuse them to produce a story, you're agency does that quite well without any help.

As far as bomb components, that can be virtually anything of which most are allowed on the plane. And drugs, give me a break, are you law enforcement? No, but this seems to be a continuing problem with your attitudes.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
Of course you are ignoring the 15 to 30 firearms we find in carry-on luggage each week

::sigh::

You were confronted about this in the Fireworks thread and ran away. First, in that thread, you claimed "15 to 20" guns, now it's "15 to 30" guns. Your numbers keep changing in a direction that makes your acomplishments greater. In any case, even the smallest number you quote is much too large. In the last three weeks, the front page of TSA.GOV has reported 8, 7, and 9 guns were confiscated. This is about HALF of the low range of your claim.

What happened to the other guns?

the massive amount of “prohibited items” (which can only be measured by the ton, and does not include water)

Again, front page of tsa.gov: "7 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints". Those 7 items must have weighed hundreds of pounds each, if they total 'tons'.

the 75+ other prohibited weapons we find each week

7 > 75??

the explosive components (which also is usually measured by the ton)

The only way you could be finding "tons" of explosives each week is if you assume each water bottle is a molotov cocktail.

Not to mention the illicit drugs found

I thought the TSA was charged with keeping flying safe. How does someone having drugs pose a threat to the airplane or passengers?? In other words, I thought the TSA was about safety, not whoring out its searches to the DEA.

the falsified documents

Like Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi's?? Surely you remember, it was just a month ago he got past the TSA with a student ID card (not valid identification according the TSA's website!), and an expired boarding pass with a different name on it.

or the continuous abuse by the main stream press looking for a headline.

Stop violating out Rights, and you'll eliminate 99% of that coverage. :-)

Yeah, it’s easy to ignore the facts when one is blinded by their own bias.

Indeed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
it was a bag of powder that was meant to "look" like drugs. it doesnt make it right, but he didnt plant drugs on her. its a very important fact you left out.

People can and have gotten arrested for having non-drug items that 'looked like drugs'. Thus, planting something that only 'looks like drugs' can get someone in as much trouble as planting real drugs.

July 20, 2011 11:46 PM

But thats not what you said in your post. I was simply pointing out that you didnt. You suggested that a TSO had drugs on him. Thats simply not true, is it?

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
Of course you are ignoring the 15 to 30 firearms we find in carry-on luggage each week, the massive amount of “prohibited items” (which can only be measured by the ton, and does not include water), the 75+ other prohibited weapons we find each week, or even the explosive components (which also is usually measured by the ton) we find. Not to mention the illicit drugs found, the falsified documents, or the continuous abuse by the main stream press looking for a headline.

Since no one knows the quantity of banned material brought into security checkpoints, the quantity found isn't a measure of effectiveness.

Maybe you are finding 90%, maybe you are finding 10%. Without independent testing no one really knows.

JustSayin said...

Anonymous said...
JustSayin said:

"Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers."

Negative naysayers, huh? What planet do you live on, JustSayin, where it's ok to treat children, disabled people, and the elderly the way your TSA has been treating them?

July 21, 2011 11:30 AM

Hmmmm........thought provoking question, Anonymous!

Last time I checked, the TSA screens everyone equally. If there's an anomoly, that anomoly needs to be resolved.

It's a much better option than taking a chance and having your plane go down.

Anonymous said...

See why people are clamoring for use of ETD as a replacement for AIT scanners and enhanced pat-downs? It's not barely-veiled pornography, it's not legalized sexual harassment, and wonder of wonders, it's way more effective than either of the above! Start putting some real effort into ETD and canine detection and stop delving into people's underpants. Then not only will you actually be making us safer, but people will stop hating you.

JustSayin said...

Anonymous said...
TSORon said...
Of course you are ignoring the 15 to 30 firearms we find in carry-on luggage each week, the massive amount of “prohibited items” (which can only be measured by the ton, and does not include water), the 75+ other prohibited weapons we find each week, or even the explosive components (which also is usually measured by the ton) we find. Not to mention the illicit drugs found, the falsified documents, or the continuous abuse by the main stream press looking for a headline.

Since no one knows the quantity of banned material brought into security checkpoints, the quantity found isn't a measure of effectiveness.

Maybe you are finding 90%, maybe you are finding 10%. Without independent testing no one really knows.

July 22, 2011 8:30 AM

TSORon...there's no sense debating one of the 'negative naysayers' on here. They just want to argue: you're better off debating a wall. :)

Anyhoo...just wanted to say thank you for your service, TSORon. I know you folks at TSA have extremely stressful jobs and deserve recognition for your tireless efforts at keeping America safe!

Thank you.

RB said...

JustSayin said...
Anonymous said...
JustSayin said:

"Hey Earl, RB, Chip and Andy, and the rest of the panel of negative naysayers."

Negative naysayers, huh? What planet do you live on, JustSayin, where it's ok to treat children, disabled people, and the elderly the way your TSA has been treating them?

July 21, 2011 11:30 AM

Hmmmm........thought provoking question, Anonymous!

Last time I checked, the TSA screens everyone equally. If there's an anomoly, that anomoly needs to be resolved.

It's a much better option than taking a chance and having your plane go down.

July 22, 2011 7:54 PM
...........................
TSA screens everyone equally.

That statement is just not true.

TSA screens people differently and some people not at all.

So the fact of the matter is that TSA is taking a change and a big chance that something will get through.

Chip and Andy said...

JustSayin said... "...Last time I checked, the TSA screens everyone equally. If there's an anomoly, that anomoly needs to be resolved.

It's a much better option than taking a chance and having your plane go down."

No. And no.

The TSA does not screen everyone equally. You have some kind of random number generator on each line that selects people for 'property search' regardless of them having any anomaly that needs to be resolved. How is that screening everyone equally?

And, no, nothing the TSA does makes me feel any safer. How many planes have gone down since the TSA has been in charge? Now compare that to how many planes went down before the TSA took charge? You have 'improved' airline security by some insanely small percentage, less than a fraction of one percent.

I would rather take my chances in the air with NO screening. The odds would still be in my favor.

Anonymous said...

"JustSayin said....
Last time I checked, the TSA screens everyone equally. If there's an anomoly, that anomoly needs to be resolved."

People keep saying this and it still isn't true.

The TSA does not, has not, cannot, and will not ever be able to screen each and every person the same.

Just not possible.

I'm just sayin.

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said:
"Last time I checked, the TSA screens everyone equally. If there's an anomoly, that anomoly needs to be resolved."

Nope. Some are not screened at all, such as senior members of government.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said:
"RB, ETD machines don’t work on liquids, cant work on liquids."

Sorry, Ron, but they certainly can. You are obviously not knowledgeable about this technology. They can detect aerosol, liquid and solid compounds.

"But you already knew that."

*I* knew it. The question is why are you posting erroneous information under the "authority" of being a TSO?

IraqVet said...

It was probably planted by the FBI/BATF as a side note to Operation Gun Runner...just doing their part to help the TSSA's sagging ratings. When the government starts breaking the laws of the nation (read the Constitution) it loses its legitimacy.

JustSayin said...

Chip and Andy said...

The TSA does not screen everyone equally. You have some kind of random number generator on each line that selects people for 'property search' regardless of them having any anomaly that needs to be resolved. How is that screening everyone equally?



Because it is in fact - random. It's not prejudice in which the machine goes, "Well, that looks like someone who needs to be randomly screened."

It is, in fact, one of many additional layers of TSA security that's helped keep America safe since 9/11.

Anonymous said...

To TSOron and Justsayin... Why do you believe so strongly in the TSA aside from your obvious opinions that they are making things safer? Please cite facts other than the obvious shoe bomber, underwear bomber. What exactly is it that you believe is so amazing about the TSA? Also, are you on the feds government payroll?

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said:
"Because it is in fact - random. It's not prejudice in which the machine goes, "Well, that looks like someone who needs to be randomly screened."

So which is it, JS? Are people screened equally or are people screened randomly? And what does prejudice have to do with this?

Also, are you a TSA employee?

"It is, in fact, one of many additional layers of TSA security that's helped keep America safe since 9/11."

Perhaps we could use the Iranian model. I'm told that a person can walk in downtown Tehran in the middle of the night with little risk. The totalitarian nature of the regime makes for safe streets. Would that be acceptable to you in the US?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Maybe you are finding 90%, maybe you are finding 10%. Without independent testing no one really knows."

True enough but TSA testing reveals that approximately 70% of weapons are missed in screening so if 10 firearms are detected, it's likely that 15 make it on board.

JustSayin said...

Anonymous said...
JustSayin said:
"Because it is in fact - random. It's not prejudice in which the machine goes, "Well, that looks like someone who needs to be randomly screened."

So which is it, JS? Are people screened equally or are people screened randomly? And what does prejudice have to do with this?



Well...are we agreeing to disagree, or disagreeing to agree?

And..........Who's on first?

Anonymous said...

How convenient that the TSA finally "caught" someone - with an amount small enough, that, even if missed, wouldn't have been enough to bring down an airplane.

Just like Richard Reid, the Nigerian underwear bomber, etc.

Can you say, "false flag operation?"

TSORon said...

An Anonymous poster quipped…
More current? Like the stun gun just last week that 'somehow' got aboard a plane? (gettit- current? Stun gun?)
---------------------
So, a cheese manufacturer produces a package of cheese that is bad, its consumption kills someone, and therefore all cheese everywhere made by anyone is poisonous? That does seem to be your logic, but as such it is indefensible. Occasionally TSA misses things, we are human and therefore not perfect. I asked you (or some other anon, which is one of the problems with dealing with the anon’s here) to bring something more up to date. Do you have a report, an actual study even similar to that which was produced by the GAO in 2005, to support your bias about TSA?. No. I don’t believe you do, but in case I’m wrong then I am sure you can provide a link to such a report, right?

Another Anonymous poster said…
Ron, is there a more up to date report that we have access to and can look at? If not, we have to default back to that report and supplement it with the news reports of what all has slipped through as well as the red-flag failure stories (e.g. 5 times out of 5 through AIT with a gun).
---------------------
To the best of my knowledge Anon, no such report exists. I could be wrong, there might be one out there, but I don’t know anything about it. As to your supposition that the media can be used as a supplement to the 2005 GAO report, well if you believe that to be an accurate means of gathering data then please let me know when you are ready to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, I have the deed here somewhere.

Another Anonymous poster who claims I lied said…
Tons of explosives each week?
---------------------
Did you read the word “components” in my comment Anon? Do you know what an explosive component is? Given your statement I am a bit dubious about that.

And yet another Anonymous poster who claims I am lying said…
This is proven by the fact that you cannot get on here and respond without lying as the numbers you claim have never been reported by the TSA week at glance, not even close ever.
----------------------------
I don’t get just the “glance” there Anon, I get quite a bit more. Are you another Anon looking to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

TSORon said...

Another Anonymous poster who has counting issues said…
First, in that thread, you claimed "15 to 20" guns, now it's "15 to 30" guns. Your numbers keep changing in a direction that makes your acomplishments greater.
-----------------------
Why YES Anon, the numbers do change, every week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I don’t control the number of numbskulls who bring guns to the checkpoint, I can only give the information I have. If you are any true interest in these things I have a link for you that is usually fairly accurate. (http://www.aviationsecuritynews.com/index.html) I read there often, you might want to give it a try as well.
--
Those 7 items must have weighed hundreds of pounds each, if they total 'tons'.
--
You do know that there is a difference between “prohibited items” and “artfully concealed prohibited items”, right Anon?
--
7 > 75??
--
Why yes Anon, 7 is certainly less than 75. Switchblades are prohibited weapons, as are brass knuckles, and throwing knives, and Asp’s, and a whole bunch of other “weapons”. Try thinking outside of the box for a minute.
--
The only way you could be finding "tons" of explosives each week is if you assume each water bottle is a molotov cocktail.
--
Again Anon, I am talking about explosive components, not just “explosives”. Please, read what I write, not what you believe.
--
And lastly Anon says: “Stop violating out Rights, and you'll eliminate 99% of that coverage. :-)”
--
Just which rights are those there Anon? Our searches do not violate your rights according to the courts. I know that your personal feelings on the subject may differ from their findings, but your feelings are not a part of the screening process. If you feel that strongly about the screening then don’t go through it. Walk away. Don’t come to the TSA checkpoint and present yourself or your property for screening. Its just that simple. Honestly.
--------------------------
Another anonymous poster claimed…
Sorry, Ron, but they certainly can. You are obviously not knowledgeable about this technology. They can detect aerosol, liquid and solid compounds.
--
Are we both talking about ETD systems here Anon, or is it just me? ETD, Explosive Trace Detection. These devices don’t deal well with liquids or aerosols, in fact they can ruin the devices. Try Wikipedia, you can learn a bit about the technology there, and then realize where your assumptions are incorrect.
-----------------------------
Another Anonymous poster (of the many) asked…
To TSOron and Justsayin... Why do you believe so strongly in the TSA aside from your obvious opinions that they are making things safer? Please cite facts other than the obvious shoe bomber, underwear bomber. What exactly is it that you believe is so amazing about the TSA? Also, are you on the feds government payroll?
--------------------
Well Anon, I cant speak for “Justsayn” , but I obviously am a federal employee. And I cite facts all the time, but the folks here tend to ignore fact like they ignore the pavement they are walking upon. Keep reading, and welcome to the forum.

Anonymous said...

kimm said...
..."You don´t have to swab from head to toe. These techniques detect traces of chemicals, and therefore require no such action. All you have to do is swab a small portion of skin on the hands, for example...."

And when you get a skin burn like I did, and no one wants to address it, then tell me how great the "safe swab" is.

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

The swab is made of cloth with no chemicals of any kind on it.....its just a cloth piece of fabric. Are you allergic to cloth? You can ask the officer to change his/her swab before they swab you or your property, I do all the time.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
I don’t control the number of numbskulls who bring guns to the checkpoint, I can only give the information I have.

Too bad the "information you have" doesn't relect reality. Again, the posted numbers on the TSA's home page show you to be wrong, wrong, wrong.

Again Anon, I am talking about explosive components, not just “explosives”.

What, exactly, does that mean? Some explosives contain nitrogen. Does that mean every molecule of air counts toward your total? Alcohol can burn, are you counting all the Duty-Free booze you confiscate? Heck, water is made of Hydrogen ("highly flammable and will burn in air at a very wide range of concentrations between 4% and 75%") and Oxygen ("Highly concentrated sources of oxygen promote rapid combustion. Fire and explosion hazards exist when concentrated oxidants and fuels are brought into close proximity") are you counting all the water you find??
Or maybe you are counting things like metal pipes or fake grenade belt-buckles. Those are ordinary objects, but could be construed as "explosive components" by someone twisting definitions enough.

Just which rights are those there Anon? Our searches do not violate your rights according to the courts.

That's still to be determined. A common-sense reading of the Constitution and its Amendments shows it does. Does "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." ring a bell? A search looking for nail clippers and bottled water before getting on a plane... doesn't sound reasonable to a normal person.

Anonymous said...

[[yes, your water bottle is 99.99999% a WATER BOTTLE. But if TSA allowed oversized liquids, it creates that loophole that the bad guy could take advantage of.]]

And sadly, you are undoubtedly sincere in this irrational belief.

What oversized liquid presents a threat to the plane? An acid wouldn't affect the plane; it may affect the passengers. A good way to determine whether or not an acid is being carried in that Gatorade bottle is to have the passenger sip from it. Yes, that would be flexibility, and I realize that TSA abhors flexibility as it requires their agents to engage their brains ... but there you have it.

A noxious liquid - such as a cleanser - also wouldn't affect the plane. It may also affect passengers. And the way to determine if it would is to ... ditto.

And there's no real difference between a hooligan sporting a quart of HCl threatening to burn passengers with it unless the plane is flown to Cuba, and the same guy sporting a few 3oz bottles of same doing the ditto with it. Any is too much, and so therefore the 3oz rule is pointless.

See, guys, this is the major issue that many people have with your policies: they're categorical; they're reflexive; they're boilerplate; they're brainless; ... they're lowest-common-denomenator. It's the checkbox method of security, geared for use by those who can't think for themselves.

It's insulting to anyone with intelligence or who has, like a few others here, worked in *actual* security for decades. Or those, like me, who are both.

Earl Pitts said...

@Ronnie: "So, a cheese manufacturer produces a package of cheese that is bad, its consumption kills someone, and therefore all cheese everywhere made by anyone is poisonous?"

That's the assumption TSA makes of all of us because one person does something.

If you don't like the logic being applied to you when you mess up, then don't apply it to everyone else because of one idiot. Fair enough?

Earl

Anonymous said...

"Well Anon, I cant speak for “Justsayn” , but I obviously am a federal employee. And I cite facts all the time, but the folks here tend to ignore fact like they ignore the pavement they are walking upon. Keep reading, and welcome to the forum."

Well that's reason enough for me not to trust you. actually, i do not support your agency either. i'd like to see every TSA in the unemployment line.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
Anonymous said...
[[yes, your water bottle is 99.99999% a WATER BOTTLE. But if TSA allowed oversized liquids, it creates that loophole that the bad guy could take advantage of.]]

And sadly, you are undoubtedly sincere in this irrational belief.

heres what you fail to see, since the govt has taken over it has to go on the possible threat. you are an individual that is on a blog giving your opinion that is not in a position to make these decisions. if the govt stops the liquid ban and something happens then the backlash would be way worse than what goes on the blog. the 100s, yes 100s, of regular bloggers on here speak, well there are millions, yes millions, of people that dont come on here and only see what the media presents. that would be that the govt failed in protecting its citizens. yes its great to come on here and voice your opinon however people are elected by the people to make decisions for the whole country. if you want to be in that position then please run for office as an american citizen you can do that. and yes as an american citizen you can come on here and speak your opinion BUT the people making the decisions have to look out for everyone and you have to look out for your opinion. the ones making the decisions have data to know what should and or shouldnt be done. as crazy as it sounds there is info out there that isnt presented on cnn or foxnews, etc.

Chip and Andy said...

Anonymous said...
"...since the govt has taken over it has to go on the possible threat. ...if the govt stops [TSA]... and something happens then the backlash would be way worse than what goes on the blog."

It is an untenable position the TSA has placed itself into.

If they stop doing anything they are doing and something happens, the backlash will be huge. 'Why did you stop doing that thing that could have prevented this horrible thing from happening?'

The opposite position is also true. If something does happens the backlash would actually be worse. 'You're doing this thing and this other horrible thing happened on your watch, what are you doing and why didn't you stop it?'

The saddest part of the whole situation is the Government, by way of the Patriot Act, walked fully into this No-Win situation as a reactive measure to one instance of something bad happening on American Soil.

Government is supposed to do things slowly, it is designed that way. Rushing into anything has historically turned out very poorly for the Government.

The Patriot Act gave birth to the DHS, which begat the TSA, which has been reacting to yesterday's threats tomorrow since around day 2. It was a rushed idea, and once again history bears out that rushed legislation turns out poorly for the Citizens in the final analysis.

So, I will repeat it again... write your elected officials. Get your friends and neighbors to write, get their friends and neighbors to write. It will take a long time to make the change, but if you don't keep working on the change it isn't going to happen.

Anonymous said...

ANON said: "I'm all in favor of strong security, but I despise the invasion of privacy and unjust searches. The TSA is an out of control beast."
I'm in favor of a STRONG military but I despise all the guns and weapons and fighting....warships fighter planes...killing, war.

Joe C said...

Well, there's a first time for everything. Funny how the scanners & pat-downs had nothing to do with it.

TSM/West said...

Anon said in part

See, guys, this is the major issue that many people have with your policies: they're categorical; they're reflexive; they're boilerplate; they're brainless; ... they're lowest-common-denomenator. It's the checkbox method of security, geared for use by those who can't think for themselves.

It's insulting to anyone with intelligence or who has, like a few others here, worked in *actual* security for decades. Or those, like me, who are both.

August 1, 2011 11:08 AM
-----------------------------------
Another real security expert heard from. I guess when you applied for the position as security advisor for TSA that position must have been filled by the idiots you keep refering to. I mean you are obviously more intelligent than the ones that the Government hires. Maybe you just felt like the pay wasn't worth it or maybe you just don't qualify for the position. Either way it's easy being a armchair quarterback than actually being in the game. The people who make these rules and procedures have a lot more information than you do when they have to make the determination on what would be a more effective way to mitigate the real threats they receive. So if you're smarter than these people are, fill out an application and show them how to do it the right way, otherwise take your key clock experience and leave the real security to the professionals.

Anonymous said...

TSM/West said...
... leave the real security to the professionals.

I'd love to, but it looks like we're stuck with the TSA instead.

RB said...

"ETD machinery which analyzes the sample for extremely small traces of explosives. The test takes a matter of seconds."


And just why does this machine alert on hand lotion?

Is that really a valid test if the machine can't distinguish a dangerous material from a harmless material?

TSA wasting more money on things that don't work correctly.

Anonymous said...

"TSM/West said....

leave the real security to the professionals."

Please show us how this applies to the TSA.

Anonymous said...

TSMWest said:
"Another real security expert heard from. I guess when you applied for the position as security advisor for TSA that position must have been filled by the idiots you keep refering to. I mean you are obviously more intelligent than the ones that the Government hires. Maybe you just felt like the pay wasn't worth it or maybe you just don't qualify for the position. Either way it's easy being a armchair quarterback than actually being in the game. The people who make these rules and procedures have a lot more information than you do when they have to make the determination on what would be a more effective way to mitigate the real threats they receive. So if you're smarter than these people are, fill out an application and show them how to do it the right way, otherwise take your key clock experience and leave the real security to the professionals."

Employment at the TSA is not indicative of security expertise, nor is it necessarily contraindicative. The problem is that the front line of TSA security, the TSOs and TSMs, are completely unqualified for the task they're in place to accomplish.

You don't know my qualifications, West, but I know yours; they're online for anyone to see. Suffice it to say that a person truly qualified as a security expert would not work as a TSM, if for no other reason than the pay and working conditions are so poor.

Sadly, the TSA is getting what it pays for and the travelling public suffers as a result.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said:
"Again Anon, I am talking about explosive components, not just “explosives”. Please, read what I write, not what you believe."

This comment was made in reaction to Ron's assertion that "tons" of explosive components are confiscated at checkpoints every week.

According to the TSA, Ron's comment is not accurate.

Try again, Ron, and prepare for privatization. We can't put up with this nonsense any longer.

Anonymous said...

[[heres what you fail to see...]]

That's a losing accusation, there, sport.

[[you are an individual that is on a blog giving your opinion...]]

No, actually, I'm not giving an "opinion". Reality isn't my "opinion" and frankly it's rather offensive to be presented by a suggestion that it is. Please pay attention: THERE IS NO MATERIAL DIFFERENCE between a harmful liquid in one quart amounts versus 3oz amounts. If it's harmful, then it's harmful. Amount doesn't enter into it.

Pointing out the fallacy of their policy, the shortcomings of their methods, and the inherent and dishonest fear-mongering and paranoia that it's all based on is not "opinion".

[[people are elected by the people to make decisions for the whole country]]

TSA wasn't elected; the rules they are operating under were not created by elected officials.

Do you not understand how "regulation" works? Career and appointed bureacrats decide what they want to do, they write it up in pretentious legalese, and then they do it. And technically, because "regulation" is not "law", the burden of proof for improperly following their own rules rests on the citizen.

Regulation is the means of sidestepping rule of law as we defined it.

[[as crazy as it sounds there is info out there that isnt presented on cnn or foxnews]]

Right. And since I've been in or with the military for over thirty years [with a clearance, by the way], I have access to a great deal of it. It's one of the reasons why I KNOW what I know, and don't simply "believe" my "opinion" that it doesn't work. It doesn't work because it doesn't work; there is no reliable security system in the world that is built with or around the policies and operations currently being used by TSA.

None.

The cynical impression left in knowledgeable minds is that TSA procedures were created for no other reason than to satisfy the unthinking masses who **believe** that being pestered and annoyed is the same as being made "secure".

Anonymous said...

[[Another real security expert heard from]]

Yes, nice of you to acknowledge it.

[[you are obviously more intelligent than the ones that the Government hires]]

Yes, I am.

[[it's easy being a armchair quarterback than actually being in the game]]

But see, bub, I'm NOT an "armchair quarterback" as you so sneeringly describe. While I'm not the actual quarterback in this cutesy put-down analogy of yours, I AM a running back ... for a different team. And a different team which has, sorry to say, a helluva lot better record that the TSA Titans do.

[[The people who make these rules and procedures have a lot more information than you do when they have to make the determination on what would be a more effective way to mitigate the real threats they receive]]

No.

They don't. And you're deluding yourself by continuing to maintain that farcical position.

That is the biggest problem with your losing record, in fact. You have convinced yourselves that facile policies and vacuous knee-jerk overreactions which merely harass and annoy the general public is the better solution ... FOR POLITICAL REASONS ONLY. The unknowledgeable masses tend to view being inconvenienced and annoyed by the government as the government "doing something"; the unknowledgeable masses view NOT being inconvenienced and annoyed as the government doing nothing. The government cannot be seen to be doing nothing, and so inconvenience and annoyance are the policy.

Seriously, do you know NOTHING about how the government works?

[[show them how to do it the right way]]

I keep trying, but you don't listen. You hardly even post the recommendations because they serve to point out your fallacies, hypocrisies and errors, and do so honestly and accurately. You don't mind people saying "nuh-uh!!!" because mindless gainsaying is the standard of internet discourse. But you really HATE people being right -- and on your own turf, too.

Anonymous said...

this time an attempted test in arizona. no blog on it though.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44085365/ns/travel-news/

Anonymous said...

Great Job TSA!
Thank you for keeping us safe. To all the people who wine and complain about security why don't you just drive. If you hate airport security so much don't fly.

Thanks again guys and girls for keeping our family and friends safe!

Anonymous said...

Great Job TSA!
Thank you for keeping us safe. To all the people who wine and complain about security why don't you just drive. If you hate airport security so much don't fly.

Thanks again guys and girls for keeping our family and friends safe!

Anonymous said...

You guys really missed it on the first flight?