Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not Even Ninjas Can Evade Airport Security

A book concealing two throwing knives.












They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but in this case, it’s a book titled: Ninja:The Shadow Warrior. This is exactly what I’d expect to find in a book with that title. I couldn’t resist with the title of this blog post, but we didn’t catch an actual Ninja of course. What we did catch was a passenger who claimed they forgot this stealthy Ninja book was in their bag. Hmmm....

The good old days of hollowing out books to conceal items such as knives, guns and explosives are long gone. Well, at least at airports… While this concealment method might work in other venues, we screen all accessible property and we routinely find everyday items that have been altered to conceal weapons. That’s why we take a closer look at everything.

The passenger, who was ticketed to fly to Chicago, voluntarily surrendered the knives and book. TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty against passengers who bring deadly weapons into the airport checkpoint.  So be sure to leave all of your Ninja tools at home when you travel.

You couldn’t pull this off with an e-reader… 

Blogger Bob Burns

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.


75 comments:

Anonymous said...

And just to be clear, Curtis, the passenger in question was not a terrorist, and was not charged with terrorism, and was not planning any harm to his or any other flight, correct?

Anonymous said...

Why the fascination with knives? They are available in airport restaurants, so who cares?

We get it that the TSA is capable of detecting most knives. Why doesn't the blog team spend its time addressing the problems the agency has?

Anonymous said...

And again, what technology found the knives? AIT? Baggage x-ray? Metal detector?

Why was the passenger not arrested? When is a passenger arrested for bringing contraband into the checkpoint? If the passenger instead had a bomb inside the book, would he be asked to voluntarily surrender it, be levied a fine, and be sent on his way?

[Screenshot captured. Post falls with ToS.]

Anonymous said...

I don't know how anonymous defines a terrorist, or even if someone screening luggage could rightfully find out... but for all the valid, good arguments about all the wrong, invalid things TSA does... chastising them for stopping people from bringing weapons such as knives or guns onto planes really isn't one of them. I don't know (or care) if someone is a terrorist with a knife, a criminal with a knife, or someone who collects knives and forgot they can't come... I just don't think we need to debate knives on planes - the answer is no!

No Human Trafficking said...

Bob, thank you for your sense of humor in an overwhelmingly hostile environment. We all know the limitations in attempting to deter all danger in travel, no one can accomplish that that.

As a frequent traveler and a pilot's wife, I appreciate the work. In any employment service rendered, there are faulty links and bad employees. Anyone who expects otherwise is looking for a reason to pick a fight.

Stay safe, keep a thick skin, your humor and thanks for watching our backs.

P.S. If aweight challenged little guy with 8 pet carriers, one with a reddish glow emanating from it gets a body imaging scan, I'd like to know what's in the package with my name on it.

RB said...

Good, TSA is demostrating that xray does find weapons and Strip Search Machines are not needed.

Also, since the avenue for passengers to bring weapons into the secure area seems closed why doesn't TSA address the wide open door of airport workers who are allowed entry with little or no screening?

Anonymous said...

No one is chastising anyone for keeping knives off of airplanes; doing so is one of the few things TSA does that actually addresses safety. I am, however, chastising Curtis for his endless hyping of knives that were simply being carried by stupid people who intended no harm to anyone as if they were preventing some sort of massacre in the skies. The fact that none of the people in Curtis' back-patting posts are ever charged with anything resembling terrorism is all the proof one needs that these posts are simply intended to make people think there are evil terrorists trying to get on every flight everywhere, when this is in fact patently untrue.

Anonymous said...

"Not Even the TSA can See that Knives are NOT a Threat to Airplanes."

Oh noes... Now the terrorists are employing ninjas. We are doomed. Everybody had better just submit to warentless searches so that the well trained TSA employees can keep us safe from colectibles like these knives and
the ever terifying Zippo brand lighter.

Adrian said...

I understand surrendering the knives. Why wasn't the passenger allowed to keep the book? The book is not a weapon.

Eclectic Breakfast said...

In November of this year John Pistole touted stops like this, and the inert grenades, and the thousand pistols in 2011 alone, to defend the TSA's mission and its value to America. How many cases resulted in criminal prosecution at the federal, state, or local level? How many were forgetful cops and other lawfully armed citizens? How many of these offenders were terrorists or wanted criminals? If those who violate these rules are not hijackers or terrorists who precisely are you defending us against?

Anonymous said...

Someone forgot they had something? Get outta town!

Anonymous said...

I just don't think we need to debate knives on planes - the answer is no!

The answer is "yes" if the passenger visits a restaurant in the 'secure' area of the airport, and pockets one of their knives.

Oops.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize that restaurants located inside the secure area of an airport have knives? And I'm not just talking about the serving knives that come with your plate. I'm talking about kitchen knives that are the same size or bigger than these ninja knives. Once a passenger or restaurant employee passes through the screening checkpoint, there is no further x-ray screening taking place between the restaurant and the airplane.

I'm not writing on here to try bashing the TSA for finding these ninja knives. I was tempted to write this because as an open-minded person, I see the other angles. Not just the angle the TSA is showing you. The ownwer of these ninja knives said it was a mistake, and that's easy to belive because if any malicious person wanted to bring a knife on board an airplane, he would have done it by now.

When you consider everything (like those kitchen knives), you really start to wonder if TSA highly publicizing the "oops, I forgot" catches at the screening checkpoints are really just a part of the security theater show that critics keep talking about.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I just don't think we need to debate knives on planes - the answer is no!"

Why? How is a person with a knife on an airplane more dangerous than the same person with the same knife standing next to you on the street?

I really don't understand where all this airplane paranoia comes from. Terrorists aren't required to attack on airplanes.

Anonymous said...

Caught any terrorists yet, Bob?

Taj Mahal tours said...

Very Nice and informative post.I am, however, chastising Curtis for his endless hyping of knives that were simply being carried by stupid people who intended no harm to anyone as if they were preventing some sort of massacre in the skies.
Thanks for sharing..............

Anonymous said...

I am not afraid of knives on airplanes.

Shane said...

I'm really digging watching this whole airport security come to fruition. For years we were the only country around where you could board a plane in minutes. Not anymore. The checkpoints are kind of a pain. But they do more good than harm.

Eclectic Breakfast said...

Shane,

"The checkpoints are kind of a pain. But they do more good than harm."

By what measure? If none of the detected and confiscated items were in the hands of criminals or terrorists precisely what harm has been averted?

Again, I ask the TSA personnel administerting this blog, has there ever been an arrest, indictment, prosecution, conviction, or imprisonment arising from the detection of a prohibited weapon at a TSA checkpoint? Certainly there must be some you can point us to.

TSM said...

QuoWhy was the passenger not arrested? When is a passenger arrested for bringing contraband into the checkpoint? If the passenger instead had a bomb inside the book, would he be asked to voluntarily surrender it, be levied a fine, and be sent on his way?"
----------------
Bob, It's not often I agree with the bloggers on here.... But Come On! Why was this guy allowed to fly?!?!? Even if the PD declined to arrest him, why did the TSM not speak to the airline and get him bounced? Barring the fact that the FSD should have manned up and made the decision (since he's the only one at the TSA at an airport level that can) and deny him flight???

Eclectic Breakfast said...

I found the answer to some of my questions http://www.northjersey.com/news/111711_TSA_brings_out_big_guns_to_remind_travelers_of_prohibited_items.html?c=y&page=1 1080 firearms, 689 firearms arrests. Much better.

Perhaps the TSA should emphasize the arrests arising from their stops rather than parading the grenades and the artfully concealed knives while explaining why the passengers were allowed on the aircraft anyway.

Anonymous said...

Excellant post:

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/12/tsa-insanity-201112

I'm sure you'll edit it out.

Jared said...

@Shane: Maybe you should read the vanity fair article that was posted recently online where the reporter printed off a fake boarding pass and skated through security with no issues.

This is a fraud being perpetrated on the American people. It is unbelievable that we're paying so much money for this total theater that does no good whatsoever.

Bob: Maybe you should take a hint from everyone on this blog. I haven't ever seen a single positive comment about you, your ridiculous organization, or the work it does. Maybe there are a few buried, who knows? What I do know is that the TSA is 100% useless.

Anonymous said...

I must say I am getting sick and tired of TSA being questioned about how many bad guys have they caught. The very fact that there are people trying to take stuff on a plane that could harm others should be of concern. I seriously doubt that anyone caught with a gun or a knife is going to admit that yes they knew they had the “thing” and yes they were planning on hurting people during the flight. Just because they claim innocence about having it does not mean they are telling the truth. There are many many many people out there that never did anything wrong until that day when they did something wrong. How many times have we heard the neighbor say about the guy that just wiped out his family “He seemed like such a pleasant man. I would never have imagined him doing such a horrible thing.” Please people, of all the things you can criticize TSA for, finding people with guns, knives and other prohibited items and keeping them from getting on a plane should not be what you focus on.

Secondly, stop with the “the thing was found by a walk through metal detector (wtmd) so therefore the body scanner machines are unnecessary” comments. Come on people use your brain. There are a whole host of things out there that can’t be detected by a WTMD.

Furthermore, TSA is not a law enforcement organization and therefore has no ability to arrest anyone. The best they can do is contact the LEO (local law enforcement officer) who then determines what happens to the passenger.

Lastly, for those of you that have nothing better to do with your time than to read this blog hours a day and criticize TSA for doing their part in making sure your sorry butt is as safe as possible when you get on an airplane, get a life.

Anonymous said...

TSA, you are no longer necessary. Please stop being a drain on the American taxpayer and cease to exist immediately. Thank you for complying.

Anonymous said...

"I must say I am getting sick and tired of TSA being questioned about how many bad guys have they caught."

That's funny. I am sick and tired of Curtis pretending stupid or forgetful people were "bad guys" who intended harm to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Is the red velvet cupcake confiscated at Las Vegas going to make next week's list?

Thank you TSA for keeping us safe from "gel-like" frosting.

Anonymous said...

"How many times have we heard the neighbor say about the guy that just wiped out his family “He seemed like such a pleasant man. I would never have imagined him doing such a horrible thing.” Please people, of all the things you can criticize TSA for, finding people with guns, knives and other prohibited items and keeping them from getting on a plane should not be what you focus on."

Oh my goodness, you are absolutely correct. I will be calling my congressman to pressure him to expand the TSA so that they can search my neighbor's house for weapons and explosives. I mean my neighbor apears to be a good guy, but I can not be absolutely sure. They will also have to search my house, but since I have nothing to hide why should I care?

That is the argument you were making, right?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Excellant post:
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/12/tsa-insanity-201112
I'm sure you'll edit it out."

I wish there was some way to get everyone in the country to read this. If more people understood how their tax dollars are being wasted maybe something would change.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said....

Lastly, for those of you that have nothing better to do with your time than to read this blog hours a day and criticize TSA for doing their part in making sure your sorry butt is as safe as possible when you get on an airplane, get a life."

That's just funny, feel free to follow your own advice.

rwilymz said...

[[For years we were the only country around where you could board a plane in minutes.]]

Which years? Is Canada, e.g., not a country?

[[The checkpoints are kind of a pain. But they do more good than harm]]

This sounds like an assertion of fact, Shane, so rather than getting into the typical "Nuh-uh!" "Yuh-huh!"

childishness, how about you support that assertion with something plausible.

How many - roughly - of the knives, guns, and tubes of toothpaste stolen by TSA over the past 10 years were

reasonably determined to be for the purpose of commiting air piracy or air sabotage? ...roughly?

Please note: I did not ask how many could theoretically have been used for nefarious purposes. We

do not live in a theory; we live in a reality. If you're going to discuss reality it needs to be done

realistically, otherwise you may as well just conclude right now that up is down and black is white in your

world and be done with it.

When you've given up trying to count to zero to answer the first question, cogitate upon this one: How many

times has the x-raying of shoes identified a substance that was more danger to the aircraft than grinding

stepped-on chewing gum into the carpet?

And after you're done counting to zero a second time, muse upon this: how many times have the porno-scans

revealed anything which:
a] could not have been detected by a magnetometer, AND
b] was a reasonable danger to the aircraft?

You should be well-versed in counting to zero after this exercise. If there are other avenues of TSA's

goodness that I've left out, please feel free to explain them.

http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

rwilymz said...

[[I must say I am getting sick and tired of TSA being questioned about how many bad guys have they caught.]]

So what? Many of us are sick and tired of what TSA does, and "so what" seems to be the official response to us as well.

[[The very fact that there are people trying to take stuff on a plane that could harm others should be of concern]]

If you kept everything off a plane that "COULD" cause harm, then nothing would be let on a plane, including the pilots and aircrew. Clearly you don't mean what you think you mean.

[[Just because they claim innocence about having it does not mean they are telling the truth]]

That much is true. But again, so what?

[[There are many many many people out there that never did anything wrong until that day when they did something wrong]]

Right. And that's the cost of living in a free society with rights belonging to We The People. You cannot stop someone from doing bad things; you can only punish them after they do it.

Do you know what kind of society you have when the government is allowed to stop people from doing bad things before they do them? Yes, that's right: totalitarianism.

Don't you find it just the teensiest ironic that you're arguing for allowing our government to become totalitarian in the name of preventing others from doing it to us first?

[[get a life]]

Get an education.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
".....That is the argument you were making, right?"

Absolutely NOT. My point was that when someone comes through the SECURITY checkpoint with a prohibited item TSA cannot assume it was an honest mistake and let them through with the prohibited item just because they say it was a mistake. To do so would be stupid and reckless on their part. Although 99/100, 999/1000, 9999/10000 times the person may not present a danger, I certainly do not want to be on the plane where the 1 person that actually did intend to do harm got through. Do you?

The fact that TSA has never CAUGHT someone at the checkpoint admitting they intended to do harm does NOT mean that TSA hasn't prevented someone (a terrorist) that intended to do harm from going through the check point.

TSORon said...

Adrian asked…
[[I understand surrendering the knives. Why wasn't the passenger allowed to keep the book? The book is not a weapon.]]

TSA would not have made that decision. LEO’s or the passenger himself would have, so I’d suggest asking either of them.

RB said...
[[Good, TSA is demostrating that xray does find weapons and Strip Search Machines are not needed.

Also, since the avenue for passengers to bring weapons into the secure area seems closed why doesn't TSA address the wide open door of airport workers who are allowed entry with little or no screening?]]

You must have missed the one about the ceramic knife under the shirt at the AIT a few weeks ago RB. AIT or a pat-down are the only ways of detecting such an item. The passenger stated that he was intentionally trying to get it past us. Of course he was arrested. As for the rest, no one enters the sterile area without screening RB, you know that. Yes, employee’s and TSO’s do not undergo the level of screening that passengers do, but that is all a part of “Intelligent Screening”, something you and others have been advocating for here and elsewhere for a long time. I believe another poster got it right in that TSA can never win with many of those who post here.

An Anonymous poster said…
[[The answer is "yes" if the passenger visits a restaurant in the 'secure' area of the airport, and pockets one of their knives.]]

Are you of the belief that the restaurants do not know how many knives go out the kitchen door and then back in? Or that they not will notify security (LEO’s, contract security, or TSA) if one comes up missing? Do you think that we cannot track that passenger once notified, to their flight and intervene? (sigh)

Another Anonymous poster asked…
[[Why? How is a person with a knife on an airplane more dangerous than the same person with the same knife standing next to you on the street?]]

No place to run, no cops to call, no ambulance to transport the injured… I could go on.

Taj Mahal tours said...
[[Very Nice and informative post.I am, however, chastising Curtis for his endless hyping of knives that were simply being carried by stupid people who intended no harm to anyone as if they were preventing some sort of massacre in the skies.]]

Intent is very hard to determine, especially since reading minds still has a long way to go before it proves itself. Personally, I can’t do it, can you?

Anonymous said...

"TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty against passengers who bring deadly weapons into the airport checkpoint."

Well, not really. The TSA can suggest that a fine be levied but it, like all Executive Branch operations, is only levied with the concurrence of a court.

Seriously, is there anyone within the TSA that has *any* idea of what the law is?

Anonymous said...

"Why was this guy allowed to fly?!?!?"

Because he has a civil right to fly and posed no threat to security.

"Even if the PD declined to arrest him, why did the TSM not speak to the airline and get him bounced?"

Because the TSM has no such authority. Any attempt to keep the passenger off his flight would have opened the TSA and the TSM to civil penalties.

Questions? Ask away.

Anonymous said...

"I must say I am getting sick and tired of TSA being questioned about how many bad guys have they caught."

And I'm getting sick and tired of paying money for nothing and being harrassed at TSA checkpoints. The next time I'm groped, it will likely be videod and posted on the web. I will have great fun with the imcompetence of the TSA.

Anonymous said...

"I seriously doubt that anyone caught with a gun or a knife is going to admit that yes they knew they had the “thing” and yes they were planning on hurting people during the flight."

Let's not stop with knives. Lets assume that anyone who is found with a bottle of water is UBL, Jr. And for God's sake, assume that anyone who forgets to remove a laptop or the vapid quart bag (a fiction foisted by a counselor to Pres Bush) is a likely terrorist.

The TSA's ability to scare the pubic has come to an end. Time to move to real security.

Anonymous said...

"Intent is very hard to determine, especially since reading minds still has a long way to go before it proves itself. Personally, I can’t do it, can you?"

No, that's why I rely on the fact that none of the people involved with Curtis' overhyped chest-thumping discoveries are ever chargex with anything, and the vast majority of them make their flights. But you already know that, Ron, and thanks for acknowledging that the BDO program is laughable pseudoscience that does not work.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
Are you of the belief that the restaurants do not know how many knives go out the kitchen door and then back in?

Yes. Oh, maybe they count everything at the end of the night, but any reasonably busy resteraunt cannot keep an up-to-the-minute account of it's silverware.

Or that they not will notify security (LEO’s, contract security, or TSA) if one comes up missing?

So, I can cause a lockdown by throwing a knife in the trash? They'll miss it, contact the TSA, who'll dump the terminal?

Do you think that we cannot track that passenger once notified, to their flight and intervene? (sigh)

You don't let bottles of water onto the plane, obstensably because they might be explosives, yet you dispose of them in a common trash can next to a line of passengers.

You confiscate nailclippers because of a tiny attached 'blade', yet allow 10 inch steel knitting needles onto the plane.

You can't tell the difference between a back brace and a money belt.

And you think cupcakes are a threat to aviation.

..so , NO, I don't think you could track a passenger with obvious ill intent. Judging from the stories I see here, you (the TSA, not personally you) couldn't find your [SSI] with a both hands, a map, and an AIT machine.

Anonymous said...

TSO Ron,

Correctional Officers are constantly stripsearching and patting down prisoners, yet they still can't all keep drugs and knives from making it into prisons.

And I'm suppossed to believe you when you tell me TSA can and will prevent airport resturaunt kitchen knives from making it onto planes?

C'mon Ron. You've been spending too much time in make believe land.

Anonymous said...

wehn I grow up I want to bee a BDO offisir. YAY!

Anonymous said...

"Are you of the belief that the restaurants do not know how many knives go out the kitchen door and then back in?"

If you are referring to minute-by-minute tracking of knives that go out, then yes, I am of the belief that restaurants are not tracking this. Why? Because it would be difficult, expensive, and insane to do so. And because I have absolutely no indication that they are doing so. If you know otherwise, please share, but until then I will stick to my "belief."

"Or that they not will notify security (LEO’s, contract security, or TSA) if one comes up missing?"

Again, yes: I am "of the belief" that a restaurant "not will" contact security if they came up one short on a knife count. I even think that they "will not" if you want to phrase it anything resembling grammatical English. Again, if you have any real evidence to indicate otherwise, I'm all ears.

"Do you think that we cannot track that passenger once notified, to their flight and intervene? (sigh)"

Again, yes: I think that you cannot track that passenger. Do you really expect us to believe that people who have the very stressful job of preparing food quickly and competently and getting it out to travelers in a rush have some kind of dedicated system to know precisely which customers have been given knives and which customers return them? If this was the case then I would certainly have heard of restaurants shutting down to assemble their crack security team to review footage in order to identify the particular passenger responsible for swiping the particular knife that has gone missing.

If anyone deserves a "(sigh)," it is surely you, Ron.

But tell us-- why do all of the justifications you have presented not apply to 10 inch knitting needles?

Anonymous said...

"Why was this guy allowed to fly?!?!?"

Because he has a civil right to fly and posed no threat to security
-----------------------------------

Actually you have the right to free travel. this does nto state how you travel. so baseline you have the right to walk anywhere you wanna go in this country. but the private organizations such as the airline can say " No" to you with out any penalty. also yes some TSA Reps have the power to say "No" to you as well.

Just cause you think that your right means one thing does not make it right. free travel consitutes basic trasportation.

Anonymous said...

"I must say I am getting sick and tired of TSA being questioned about how many bad guys have they caught."

And I'm getting sick and tired of my tax money going to a useless organization that impairs the civil rights of the travelling public.

You're sick and tired? Stop reading the blog. Unfortunately, I have no similar option regarding my tax money being wasted.

Anonymous said...

"Absolutely NOT. My point was that when someone comes through the SECURITY checkpoint with a prohibited item TSA cannot assume it was an honest mistake and let them through with the prohibited item just because they say it was a mistake. To do so would be stupid and reckless on their part. Although 99/100, 999/1000, 9999/10000 times the person may not present a danger, I certainly do not want to be on the plane where the 1 person that actually did intend to do harm got through. Do you? "

Given that TSA screening misses 70% of prohibited items, there is little doubt that a small group of people intending to do harm could get an item through security, is there?

Anonymous said...

"Lastly, for those of you that have nothing better to do with your time than to read this blog hours a day and criticize TSA for doing their part in making sure your sorry butt is as safe as possible when you get on an airplane, get a life."


Not surprisingly, I apparently read much faster than you do; if it takes me 15 minutes to read the new postings, it has been a big day.

Why do I even spend that much time? I believe in the Constitution. I believe the USA was founded as a free nation. I am not willing to give up freedom for the illusion of security.

If this is hard to understand, I pity you.

Anonymous said...

"Actually you have the right to free travel. this does nto state how you travel. so baseline you have the right to walk anywhere you wanna go in this country. but the private organizations such as the airline can say " No" to you with out any penalty."

For the last time, I hope, this is completely and utterly incorrect. The airlines are a public accommodation.

Please do not post this misinformation again until you inform yourself as to the nature of the law.

Anonymous said...

"Just cause you think that your right means one thing does not make it right. free travel consitutes basic trasportation."

You're correct: Just "cause" I think something doesn't make it right. Decades of law both opinion and statute have established that public accommodations are just that.

Again, you really need to inform yourself as to the reality of the law. As you are a TSA employee, this is doubly true.

Anonymous said...

"also yes some TSA Reps have the power to say "No" to you as well. "

They can say "no" to me all day. They are extremely limited in what they can do to keep me off an airplane. Unless, of course, that rep wants to defend him/herself civilly.

Anonymous said...

"Actually you have the right to free travel. this does nto state how you travel. so baseline you have the right to walk anywhere you wanna go in this country. but the private organizations such as the airline can say " No" to you with out any penalty."

So you're saying an airline could simply refuse to carry any passenger it believed to be of, say, a certain religion that the airline believed constituted a threat?

Do you realize how wrong you are and how damaging the tripe you're spewing is?

Anonymous said...

.......quickly flows the speed the stealth assassin has, able to evade security with the stealth technique of not being seen with the naked eye!

rwilymz said...

Ron doesn't show his math:
[[So, is the cost justified? Yes, obviously.]]

How is it "obvious"?

Have you got any clue how cost-benefit ratios are determined? [The apparent answer is "no" - and I

say "apparent" because you may very well be aware, but you're dispensing crapola on the assumption that no

one else can spot you being disingenuous.]

First of all, big guy, you're attempting to assign the cost of an incident that your procedures do not

address as the necessary consequence of abandoning your procedures. Football players must wear helmets

because the cost of knee damage is through the roof. Wrong measurement; wrong consequence.

Second of all, you're imputing the non-monetary "costs" to be infinite rather than null. A family, or a

hundred families, lost a child/brother/parent, and no amount of money can make up for that, therefore all

the money in the world is worth spending. "If just one life can be saved ...". Sorry, but when you attach

emotional claptrap to the subject then you cannot claim "reason". Emotionalism is inherently irrational.

Either stick with the emotionally subjective and pit the deaths against the gate-rapes, or confine yourself

to the OBjective and measure the immediate costs for and against. Mix the two ... and be called dishonest.

[[9/11 cost this country hundreds of billions]]

Mostly in proximate cost. Immediate cost was a fraction of that.

[[Yes, the scanners are very cost effective.]]

The immediate cost of the scanners is:
1] the cost of the scanners to purchase/maintain/operate
2] the cost of training you folks to use them
3] the cost of the increased lease-space to house/operate them
4] the cost of passenger productivity lost to undergo their use
...all on a daily-recurring basis.

The immediate cost of an "incident" is:
1] the cost of the aircraft lost/damaged
2] the cost of the ground structures damaged
...as a one-time cost. All other costs are proximate. This immediate-cost value is then multiplied by the

success rate of the scanner to actually identify the cause of the "incident" before it occurs, including

the likelihood of using the scanner and the operator finding the item, as well as the use-rate of the

scanner.

If the operator can find a pancaked wad of C4 in the armpit of a terrorist 50% of the time, but only 20% of

the passengers get scanned, then the $40M aircraft and the $460M ground damage is multiplied by 0.5 and

then by 0.2 for a grand total of $50 million. I would dare say that this value is easily exceeded on a

weekly basis by the actual cost incurred by the public. Which means that if terrorists were bombing a

plane weekly ... yes, it's cost-effective. Less frequent attempts make it NON-cost-effective.


http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

TSORon said...

An Anonymous poster commented…
[[TSO Ron,

Correctional Officers are constantly stripsearching and patting down prisoners, yet they still can't all keep drugs and knives from making it into prisons.

And I'm suppossed to believe you when you tell me TSA can and will prevent airport resturaunt kitchen knives from making it onto planes?

C'mon Ron. You've been spending too much time in make believe land.]]

Anon, I have never said that TSA or any other government enterprise / agency was perfect. We make mistakes, so do you. The case here in point was not a mistake, TSA caught intentionally hidden prohibited items. It’s what we are trained to do. Bob mentioning it in the blog is one way of validating what the members of the TSA do, to the public. You, among others.

The TSA is not going to prevent “airport resturaunt kitchen knives” (sic) from making it onto an aircraft, but the layers of security beyond the checkpoint occasionally do just that. The layers are not perfect either, because they involve humans, but they are the best that we can come up with. Sure, mistakes are made, but as long as they do not cost a life in the making then those mistakes can be corrected. How much do you want to bet that any of the TSO’s in the cupcake episode will not make that mistake again?

Another Anonymous poster claimed…
[[The fact that TSA has never CAUGHT someone at the checkpoint admitting they intended to do harm does NOT mean that TSA hasn't prevented someone (a terrorist) that intended to do harm from going through the check point.]]

Actually Anon, we don’t have to catch them, they occasionally yell it at the top of their lungs of their own free will. There are far too many people out there who willingly tell us that they are carrying a bomb, to the TSO’s face. So, should we take them at their word? Or should we call the LEO’s, clear the checkpoint, verify their claim, or should we just write them off as some kind of nutcase and let them through to get to an aircraft?

We don’t read minds. Sorry, but that’s a layer that just has not proven reliable. So we do what we can.

Another Anonymous poster said…
[[No, that's why I rely on the fact that none of the people involved with Curtis' overhyped chest-thumping discoveries are ever chargex with anything, and the vast majority of them make their flights. But you already know that, Ron, and thanks for acknowledging that the BDO program is laughable pseudoscience that does not work.]]

First, TSA has no authority to arrest anyone for anything. That’s why we partner with LEO agencies. Nor can we “charge” them with anything. Not our place. The nations legal system just does not work that way. Nor do we have the authority to direct a LEO agency to detain or arrest someone.

The decision to detain or arrest someone for a violation of either state or federal law is entirely up to the LEO agencies responding. Many are cited and released, some are arrested and charged by the appropriate government agency, and some are indeed allowed to proceed to their flight with no more effect than causing many people’s time to be wasted by their lack of forethought.

TSORon said...

Another Anonymous poster stated…
[[If you are referring to minute-by-minute tracking of knives that go out, then yes, I am of the belief that restaurants are not tracking this. Why? Because it would be difficult, expensive, and insane to do so. And because I have absolutely no indication that they are doing so. If you know otherwise, please share, but until then I will stick to my "belief."]]

The type of restaurants that use metal cutlery usually have wait-staff. They know what they have put out, and they know what is missing. They are a “layer”. There was an incident last week where someone took a knife out of the restaurant at an airport here in the USA. The authorities were notified, the individual tracked, and pulled off of his plane in order to get the knife back. It’s rare that this kind of thing happens, citizens are usually more responsible than that, but there are those few out there that just “feel the need”.

Another Anonymous poster stated…
[[They can say "no" to me all day. They are extremely limited in what they can do to keep me off an airplane. Unless, of course, that rep wants to defend him/herself civilly.]]

TSA cannot do anything to “keep (you) off an airplane”. We can however, refuse you access to the sterile area. Not without reason of course, but those we deny access to always give us more than enough reason. If you can figure out how to get to that airplane without breaking any laws and by not going through the sterile area, that is something I’d be interested in knowing about.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said.....
""I have never said that TSA or any other government enterprise / agency was perfect. We make mistakes, so do you. The case here in point was not a mistake, TSA caught intentionally hidden prohibited items. It’s what we are trained to do. Bob mentioning it in the blog is one way of validating what the members of the TSA do, to the public. You, among others.

The TSA is not going to prevent “airport resturaunt kitchen knives” (sic) from making it onto an aircraft, but the layers of security beyond the checkpoint occasionally do just that. The layers are not perfect either, because they involve humans, but they are the best that we can come up with. Sure, mistakes are made, but as long as they do not cost a life in the making then those mistakes can be corrected. How much do you want to bet that any of the TSO’s in the cupcake episode will not make that mistake again?""



So just to be clear, you're admitting that a determined person who executes a well thought-out plan to aquire a kitchen knife enroute to his plane after he clears the checkpoint DOES have a chance of suceeding despite TSA's "layers" and training to catch intentionally hidden items? And that is acceptable because the TSA is "not perfect" and as long as it doesn't cost lives?" What if lives do get lost? Only then will the TSA correct it? You imply that it takes loss of life to make a correction like that. Sounds pretty re-active to me---a signature of TSA rules. You are exactly right, TSORon. The TSA and other government agencies aren't perfect.........but that's good enough for government work.

Do not forget that Bob also mentions UN-intentionally hidden prohibited items as well in order to validate what TSOs are doing. But those are the ones I'm least concerned about for my safety, including the weekly mentioning of every single UN-intentionally hidden/concealed firearm that Bob and the TSA publicizes.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said, "The type of restaurants that use metal cutlery usually have wait-staff. They know what they have put out, and they know what is missing. They are a “layer”."

They are??? When can you let me take my 18 oz liquid drinks through? I know if anyone emptied out my drink and replaced it with explosives. I'm a layer!!!!

Anonymous said...

"The type of restaurants that use metal cutlery usually have wait-staff. They know what they have put out, and they know what is missing. They are a “layer”. "

More meaningless drivel. During a recent trip - within the day, as a matter of fact - I asked several servers if they were aware of the fact that they were a layer and/or were expected to track silverware. Of course, the answer to both questions was "no."

"There was an incident last week where someone took a knife out of the restaurant at an airport here in the USA. The authorities were notified, the individual tracked, and pulled off of his plane in order to get the knife back."

Doubtful. You're telling me that the server not only noticed the silverware was missing but that the server had information regarding what flight the passenger boarded. I'm sorry, I believe this is a TSA myth.

"It’s rare that this kind of thing happens, citizens are usually more responsible than that, but there are those few out there that just “feel the need”."

I couldn't care less about this. If you truly believe any more than a small fraction of these items are receovered, you're once again showing those of us who truly understand security that you're living in security theater-land.

Anonymous said...

"TSA cannot do anything to “keep (you) off an airplane”. We can however, refuse you access to the sterile area. Not without reason of course, but those we deny access to always give us more than enough reason."

Actually, you can't even do that. The TSA can request that LE bar entry but you can not, on your own, deny entry. Give it a good shot and you could easily find yourself facing unlawful detention charges.

The original comments regarding denial of civil rights involved why the TSM didn't bar entry. As you know, the TSM is the supervisor of TSOs and is little more than the head screener.

If you're unaware of the procedures used to deny access, you should inform yourself.

FYI, the recent Congressional report showed that the TSA allowed access to (I think) 17 known individuals one of the integrated no-fly lists. Those individuals most definitely should have been referred to security LE for denial of entry. Once again, note that this denial does not stem from TSO or TSM authority.

Anonymous said...

"If you can figure out how to get to that airplane without breaking any laws and by not going through the sterile area, that is something I’d be interested in knowing about."

No problem. There is a class of individuals who do not undergo screening. Also, refer to the "patriot pilot" posts.

TSM said...

Quoted
"Actually, you can't even do that. The TSA can request that LE bar entry but you can not, on your own, deny entry. Give it a good shot and you could easily find yourself facing unlawful detention charges. "
----------
Wow! You really don't know what you are talking about, do you? The TSA absolutely has authority to bar you from access to the sterile area. While an individual TSO does not have the authority, an FSD does. While rarely excersized, it does occur. This authority has been granted by congress. Barring someone from entering a Federal checkpoint is a far cry from unlawful detainment. No one is being detained, they are free to leave the airport, they just won't do it by going through he checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
"The type of restaurants that use metal cutlery usually have wait-staff. They know what they have put out, and they know what is missing. They are a “layer”."

Do you seriously expect us to believe such nonsense?

The wait-staff is busy trying to earn a living and doesn't have time to keep a watch on every knife in the restaurant.

If a knife goes missing how on earth could you possibly track down who took it? It could be anyone who was in the restaurant including someone who didn't even eat there but just walked through.

Anonymous said...

"If a knife goes missing how on earth could you possibly track down who took it? It could be anyone who was in the restaurant including someone who didn't even eat there but just walked through."

Not to mention that flatware which is thrown out.

Another TSA fable - waitstaff as a layer of security.

Anonymous said...

"Barring someone from entering a Federal checkpoint is a far cry from unlawful detainment. No one is being detained, they are free to leave the airport, they just won't do it by going through he checkpoint."

Well, one of us doesn't know what he's talking about.

Go ahead, try to stop me from going somewhere, TSM. We'll have fun in court. Hint - you should have an umbrella policy.

Anonymous said...

"I am not afraid of knives on airplanes".

tell that to the passengers on flight 93, 77 and 175

Anonymous said...

By the way. If you bring a gun to a checkpoint, you are now a criminal.

Anonymous said...

"Barring someone from entering a Federal checkpoint is a far cry from unlawful detainment. No one is being detained, they are free to leave the airport, they just won't do it by going through he checkpoint."

Well, one of us doesn't know what he's talking about.

Go ahead, try to stop me from going somewhere, TSM. We'll have fun in court. Hint - you should have an umbrella policy.

------------------------------------
Please try to enter through a checkpoint without being cleared first. Oh... you will be in court alright but not for the reason you think. I love to see lawyers and wanna be lawyers who think that they know the law better than the department of justice. Remember the airline industry is considered a protected industry just like a nuclear power plant. The same thing you get for trying to get through the entrance of a nuclear power plant will be potentailly be the same prosecution you get for not stopping at the checkpoint. Also not stopping at the request of a public servant in a federal controlled facility ie the checkpoint will be another charge. So.... good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

"I love to see lawyers and wanna be lawyers who think that they know the law better than the department of justice."

Ah, you're a lawyer with the DoJ? I doubt it but with some of the recent work product I've seen, it wouldn't surprise me.

"Remember the airline industry is considered a protected industry just like a nuclear power plant."

OK, please cite the appropriate statute that defines with the "airline industry" - not a physical entity, btw, you probably mean airports - as "protected" industries.

"The same thing you get for trying to get through the entrance of a nuclear power plant will be potentailly be the same prosecution you get for not stopping at the checkpoint. "

Interesting. The standards for accessing a nuclear powerplant are promulgated by the DoE. Are you suggesting that the DoE has a role in protecting the "airline industry?"

"Also not stopping at the request of a public servant in a federal controlled facility ie the checkpoint will be another charge. So.... good luck with that."

Citation, please.

Thanks for wishing me good luck. I wish you luck in informing yourself on the law. Stream of consciousness blogging doesn't quite cut it.

Anonymous said...

"tell that to the passengers on flight 93, 77 and 175"

The passengers on flight 93 decided they wouldn't be afraid, didn't they?

The reality is that the 9/11 hijackers could use such trivial weapons largely due to FAA-mandated training that highly encouraged airline crews to cooperate with hijackers. Needless to say, that training is no longer required and airline crews realize that handing over control of the aircraft is a death sentence.

Bear in mind that in restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and any number of other public venues that millions of Americans frequent every day, you're surrounded by people with any number of weapons, legal and, likely, illicit. Problems are extremely rare. That low-level of threat is duplicated on aircraft; given that an estimated 70% of contraband is missed, weapons on aircraft result in very few problems.

Anonymous said...

And what was the length of the blades? Cause in the picture it looks like they fall with in guidelines for an acceptable length blade.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[And what was the length of the blades? Cause in the picture it looks like they fall with in guidelines for an acceptable length blade.]]

Anon, there is no acceptable length. Don’t bring one to the checkpoint, it won’t be allowed through, no matter how large or small.

Anonymous said...

I am reading this and shaking my head. I guess things do need to be clarified.....
For the blogger who posted they needed justification for entering a screened area, please read 49 CFR Part 1540.107(a) of the Code of Federal Regulations. You may read any of the legalities. It is accessible to the public. TSA does has a legal team that works for them, in conjunction with Law Enforcement, DOJ, and with local courts. They maintain relationships. But under any circumstance, what agency does not have a legal team? .... Ask any one of those who have been found with a loaded weapon at the checkpoint. They are not the ones running to the media with their stories to stir chaos. There is a reason for that.. (and unfortunately, that usually is because they are being prosecuted criminally.)

I believe lack of frustration comes from being uneducated, or demanding "proof of existance." There are many many agencies that are under extreme scrutany from anyone who does not agree with their purpose. I understand the 10-15 minutes of your time is valuable. It is difficult and stressful to fly. But checking everyone is necessary. You cannot enter a court room, cruise ship, etc, without entering a screening facility. We have grown to accept this "entitlement" feeling in our country, when we really should be greatful we are a fairly peaceful country within our borders. Security, whatever it may be called now or in the future, will always be scrutinized. The public wants "proof" the TSA has caught "terrorists". But the TSA isn't hunting terrorists. Where did this idea come from? Its just making sure you can fly to your vacation destination, or see your family safely. Not everyone with poor intentions is a defined terrorists, but when you work in my profession, you understand there are bad people in the world, and you do not know what they will want to do or where they will do it. Aviation has been used since its creation.

I do not want "proof", because I do not need to lose my family to something that, may, have been preventable. In Law Enforcement, you understand, that you will never know what you prevented or detered. Only what you witnessed or found. Please, next time you fly, try to change your mentality for at least one trip and see these are people doing the best they can with what they have been given.

ohio getaways said...

Thanks a lot for your protection during our vacation.. It's really important to have x-ray or metal detector in every airport in the US to make sure that there is no "ninja" entering the plane.

Customer safety is really important. We're ready for the strict rules about the security because we know that our safety is the first commitment of TSA.. Thanks TSA..

Anonymous said...

Not Even Ninjas Can Evade Airport Security...

lol with a 80 percent fail rate, it is more like "no little girls hymens untouched at airport security."

Anonymous said...

Which anon asked if I would like to be on the plane where the one person out of a thousand, or whichever statistically unlikely number, turned out to have ill-intent as well as got a weapon through?

I would. I am not afraid. At least if it happened in my presence I know how to fight. wouldn't be easy, with innocents in the line of fire, but better to try. The problem is people are more afraid of fighting than dying.

I've been told I'm vicious minded at self defense - a knife is not going to scare me. Unless it's about a foot long blade, any carryon will serve as a sheild (and one with a laptop will probably stop a bullet...). people are vicious, people are vulnerable - there are so many possible weapons never looked at by the checkpoints.

Best fix - put a weapon in every capable flyer's hand. Like to see a terrorist suceed when every pulled weapon's met by one in the hands of their intended victim. then they can't win.