Thursday, December 15, 2011

Response Posted to White House We the People Petition

We the People banner. If you’re not familiar with We the People, it’s a new web platform created by the White House that gives all Americans a way to create and sign petitions on a range of different issues.

A petition was created asking for TSA to be abolished, and TSA Administrator John S. Pistole has just responded.

Take a look at the response and feel free to leave a comment here on the TSA Blog.  

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.

226 comments:

1 – 200 of 226   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Curious that at no point in the response was a single element of the petition addressed.

pridkett said...

While I respect that fact that Administrator Pistole took the time to respond to the petition, he didn't really address any of the points made by the petition.

The only point he almost addressed was the efficacy rate of screening. He made a hand wave claim saying that the 70% was performed "nearly eight years ago", but doesn't provide anything more up to date. If you want us to believe we're safer, back it up with facts and point us to a new independent report that shows that you've improved from 70% failure rate. This is the Internet, if he doesn't know how to create a hyperlink as Blogger Bob how to link to this report that shows we're safer.

He claims that the TSA should be kept around because of the attempted underwear bomber on Christmas Day 2009 and also because of the toner cartridge plot from last year. NEITHER OF THESE WAS STOPPED BY THE TSA.

Further, he never addresses the issues of theft, sexual harassment, or general thuggery claims by the petition. It should be easy to provide numbers to back these up if they've gotten better.

Finally, he closes talking about back-scatter and millimeter wave devices. However, he still has not provided numbers that the public verify about the safety of these devices. If they're safe and pose no long term risk, let us see independent numbers.

Unfortunately for Administrator Pistole, we live in a world of FACTS. Time and time again he has been unable or unwilling to provide them regarding the justification of the TSAs existence. I realize it's difficult to prove that you've prevented a terrorist attack, but there are facts you can provide to at least show that the TSA is doing its job.

Anonymous said...

No surprise at the response. It's exactly what I expected.

What was John Pistole going to say anyway? "Aw, yeah, I guess you folks are right, touching people's private parts at airports really is unreasonable. I guess I'll just abolish the TSA and look for a new job."

William Kuehne said...

I have traveled five times by air in the last two years, and I have not had any difficulty with the TSA whatsoever. The TSA agents I've encountered have been courteous and professional. I did have a small container of cheese dip taken once, it was over the three and a half ounce limit. But it is a small sacrifice. I would not want to be on a plane with any kind of dangerous substance or device. Yes, it is an intrusion, but in these times it is necessary, and the TSA strives to balance the competing concerns of privacy and safety. Happy 10th anniversary TSA, Thank You all for a job well done.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a very nice self-serving whitewash by Pistole.

He can hardly come out and support losing his own job.

Color me unimpressed.

Anonymous said...

I'd post something here, but I'm afraid my dissent will put me on a secret "No-Fly" list.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible response that doesn't address any of the people's concerns.

Anonymous said...

Great, another useless response that's little more than "We rock and this is why." These petitions are turning out to be a tremendous joke. :(

Anonymous said...

The White House doing a stellar job once again ignoring the petition entirely. What's the point of the online petitions if they're only going to regurgitate talking their established points?

Dan said...

Wow. Totally clueless, propaganda response.

Jessica Sideways said...

Ugh. It seems like this petition was just glossed over like the rest of the important petitions. Obama's staff won't restore the motto of this country, remove "In God We Trust" from the currency, work towards repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act or even abolishing this agency...

Sad.

Chris Grabenstein said...

It seems wildly inappropriate for the response to this petition to come from the TSA Administrator. We all know what these petitions are worth by now, but aren't you at least going to pretend to take them seriously?

Guilerme said...

Lots of BS in the answer... sorry the TSA cannot take responsibility for being nice to people. They destroyed a microwave oven that I was taking with me overseas and then would not own up to the responsibility of their damage. TSA and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) are not good agencies. I travel a lot, and even though I have a "trusted traveler" security clearance from CBP, I get treated like trash every time I re-enter the country. I say both agencies need a major overhall. People need to be hired that are empathetic to travelers. And, these agencies need to start profiling.

Anonymous said...

I did not ask the president to have the head of the TSA give me a written justification for why the TSA is going to keep doing what it is already doing.

I asked him to get rid of the TSA. Period.

I understand the fright and short-sighted panic which caused us (as a country) to want something like the TSA. But it's been ten years now, and I see little evidence that the TSA is keeping us safe, and lots of evidence that US citizens are losing more and more constitutional rights in a misguided effort "to be safe".

grey wolf said...

This response is inadequate.

Fear of terrorism is why the TSA exists and functions in this current way. That is undisputed.

The petition was a declaration that the mere existence of the TSA means that the terrorists have won. This is the issue that seems to have so many people confused.

The object of terrorism is to instill terror. Its aim is not to kill people, but to make them fear. it does not even aim to make people fear any particular thing. Fear, regardless of its target, is the goal of terrorism.

The TSA was formed out of fear. Because the TSA exists, then, the terrorists have won.

The reactionary responses of the TSA to purported threats only add to this baseless fear and strengthen the victory of terrorists.

The only way to defeat terrorists is to establish resolve and abolish fear. The TSA has outlived its usefulness and now only increases the fear of those who already fear and inconveniences those who do not fear. Therefore the TSA must be abolished, for it is not fixing the real problem.

I am proud to say I signed that petition. I do not fear those who cannot frighten me.

Anonymous said...

The X-ray machines you use have now been banned in europe due to cancer risk.

Anonymous said...

Really? Absolutely no answers from THE WHITE HOUSE. How can the head of the TSA answer a petition asking for the abolishion of such agency. You do not see a clear conflict of interest?
This petition platform is nothing more than a ruse for people like the head of the TSA to explain why his agency is important. EPIC FAIL ALL TOGETHER. I better not be added to the DO NOT FLY list because I expressed an opinion.

Anonymous said...

That response was just an explanation of what the TSA is supposed to do. It did not address any of the concerns people have about what the TSA is doing. They are supposed to protect us, while they *may* be doing that, they are also abusing us, and that was not addressed.

Kelson said...

Why did the white house allow a member of the TSA to comment on the petition for its abolition? Seems particularly disingenuous.

Shadow said...

There is a trade-off between protection and freedom. Perhaps we the people don't want to be "protected" in this fashion. But instead we get a pat on the head and are told that Father knows best.

Anonymous said...

I love how they did not address anything about budget or spending, as well as how they have never caught a "terrorist" because of the existence of the agency.

Anonymous said...

WeThePeople is a joke. The response did nothing to address the increasing concerns of privacy invasion that the TSA commits.

Will R. - Texas said...

Your response is to tell us how you are going to ignore the petition?

Inherently, petitions aren't a group of people asking for permission, it is a statement of what we desire the government, that we own, to do for us.

A correct response would have been:

Yes sir/mam, we work for you, therefore we will comply with the directives you have given us.

You have proved once again that these petitions are a whopping pile of horse manure.

Anonymous said...

What you posted was a joke. The statements made make it sound like TSA officers are an elite squad, when in reality they are anything but. I guess the call for the complete abolishment of an established program is a bit goofy or idealistic, but it's like you guys didn't even try to respond with a fair answer. Anyone who is fed up with the TSA and signed the petition will not be reassured by the posted response. The least you could have done is provided evidence that the TSA is actually keeping Americans safer, as is claimed (I don't believe this evidence exists, so is why I signed the petition).

I will continue to look at the program with disdain as I get pushed around, get my personal space invaded, and get yelled at when taking air travel as a means to get where I need to go.

Avery said...

I feel like this response should have replied to the individual criticisms made on the petition. I think the people who signed the petition already know what TSA's mission is, they just don't think that TSA is fulfilling that mission.

Anonymous said...

So, I think the idea is that the signatories believe that (A) the TSA is NOT doing anything vaguely close to a good job and (B) even if it was capable of doing a good job, the money would be better spent elsewhere.

When writing the non-response, you might at least have had the dignity to say, "We respectfully disagree with the petitioners" instead of just talking past them.

Anonymous said...

This is an absolute cop-out answer. Yeah, we understand why the TSA was created and what the organization is supposed to do. Thanks for the recent history 101 course.

The petition was asking for the TSA to be disbanded. It is NOT a reasonable use of federal resources. It is NOT making America any safer. It is NOT supported by the average US citizen.

It IS making America more paranoid. It IS a violation of civil liberties and privacy. It IS a waste of tax payers dollars. And most of all it IS exactly what the terrorists wanted us to do. To take away some of the freedoms that we enjoy. Take a little here, snip a little there, so that in the end we are less free than we were before.

I feel violated just knowing the TSA exists. It's sickening.

The TSA should be replaced by each individual airport paying for their own security measures which did need to be stepped up after 9/11. But not like this. Not to this degree. And certainly not be an organization with little to no oversight.

This is just disgusting and very un-American. Big brother is watching and he is shredding the bill of rights. We the people of the United States of America demand that these petitions be taken seriously and that the TSA and Department of Homeland Security be disbanded.

mrshoe.org said...

The statement starts out with the heading "Why the TSA Exists", yet it never answers the question: why does the TSA exist?

The statement explains when the TSA was created and lists the functions of the TSA, but it never presents a compelling argument for why the TSA is necessary. Here's a hypothetical argument that justifies the existence of the TSA: "Without the TSA, flying in airplanes is demonstrably 20% more hazardous and terrorist-related deaths would increase by 40% every year. This is why the TSA exists."

Unfortunately, one can't make such an argument, because the TSA hasn't made flying any safer at all. All they've introduced is delays, inconveniences, and breaches to our personal privacy. All of this funded by the taxpayer.

If the TSA packed up its equipment and left our airports tomorrow, I would not be the least bit afraid to fly on commercial airplanes. And I would enjoy the experience, for a change.

Anonymous said...

That response was virtually content-free. It didn't address any of the concerns raised in the original petition; it only described the history and function of the TSA. In fact, other than the first sentence ("we respect the right of the petitioners to be heard..."), it could just as well serve as the "About Us" page on the TSA web site.

Nyren Knapp said...

I find it deplorable that the petition by 32,000 American citizens to have the TSA discontinued was handed off to a TSA employee for a response. The response was clearly biased, as well it should, given the clear conflict of interest it represented. It would be ridiculous to expect the administrator of a group to give serious consideration to a petition to have that group replaced.

I do not fault Mr. Pistole for not giving our petition to abolish the TSA serious consideration. But we, the American people, did not petition the TSA to shut themselves down. We petitioned the White House and the Obama Administration. I am upset and aghast that the White House dodged this issue by handing it off to the TSA themselves to reply to it.

Thank you for allowing me to express my disapproval of the handling of our petition on this website.

Anonymous said...

Your response didn't adhere to the personal privacy issues that everyone is complaining about. Nor did it adhere to the full body scans and the radiation it gives off.

Your response was only trying to justify everything you do is in the name of security, yet there are numerous violation laws that have gone uncounted for.

Respond to that.

bendrumming said...

This is a disappointing response. Just FYI: Whitehouse, Christmas day 2009 was not last year. Was this a canned response that was created a year ago? If you haven't had the TSA put their hands down you underwear, you should try it... it's humiliating, demeaning and unconstitutional, but how long has it been since anyone in the Oval Office has upheld the Constitution? Or has the Constitution and Bill of Rights been overrulled by personal agenda, special interests (not our interests) and the United Nations? I am aware that this website is nothing more than a way to humor real concerns of American citizens, but at least our voices are being shared with the others who speak up on this site. God bless America as we are praying vigilantly for our country's better days to come!

Anonymous said...

So roughly 32K people petitioned to abolish the TSA on http://whitehouse.gov/ , and they responded by saying how great the TSA is. I believe a more appropriate response would be something along the lines of "Ok, we get it, we'll try to do better now." rather than what was essentially "Yeah, TSA rules man!" in commercial-like language. Acknowledge that people are upset, and be willing to do something about it. Something different.

Anonymous said...

We understand what you do, we do not believe that the work that is done is worth the monstrous budget and invasion of privacy and personal space.

Erik Granger said...

I think it's a very rare thing to find someone who actually supports the TSA. It's a regular offense to our 4th amendment rights to protection from unwarranted search and seizure. It's an absolute disgrace that it is authorized. The people hired by this administration are of poor quality and are not fit to be in any position of authority. The rules and regulations drafted by the TSA are completely asinine and do nothing to protect American citizens. It is a relic of post-9/11 fear-mongering and needs to be destroyed to allow for a more free America.

Anonymous said...

So how many would-be terrorists has the TSA apprehended?

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Ben Franklin: Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither.

Mike Schroll said...

Perhaps the more appropriate request would be to abolish the TSOs and their intrusive screening processes which as noted in the original petition have been ineffective.

Absolutely agree with leveraging intelligence screening (though the nofly list needs some pruning) - But the TSA should have a serious conversation and re-read of Bruce Schneier's numerous articles on the subject of 'Security Theatre': http://lx.tc/Schneier-TSA

Anonymous said...

So signing a petition doesn't actually lead to any real change or action. Just signs me up for the US Government TSA propaganda list?

This administration has lost touch with the people. We the People is nothing more than a placebo to make us feel like the government still cares what its citizens want.

Frank Zentura said...

Well... It's just better that you abolish them. This does no good for your administration. Their record is HORRIBLE!

Anonymous said...

How long should it take for a response to be reviewed and posted?

Jason Henriksen said...

The TSA is widely reviled because of it's intrusive and unnecessary policies. You're more interested in spending money on expensive tech than in doing a job similar to how the Isreali's do it with better success and much less invasion of privacy.

Don't give us platitudes and a self written "good job". Explain to us how you're going to make air travel into a positive experience instead of a negative one.

Kevin said...

Congratulations on proving that the voice of the people is meaningless.

Your entire response to the petition to have remove the TSA was to explain why TSA is here and what it does? Do you honestly thing people don't know those things? Do you honestly think that is even a response?

Its a dodge plain and simple.

DUI said...

This is complete B.S. Not one American voted to have this endorsed. I do not endorse all this funding to the TSA. They don't need it, nor has they're ever been a real RISK in air security. September 11 happened because our government is fueled by a world of propaganda, it had nothing to do with terrorism or flight security. Quit lieing to the public already.

James Koval said...

Has the TSA ever stopped a terrorist plan from being executed?

My answer? Never!

Anonymous said...

I think the response does not acknowledge the petition's main point. The response simply lists why the TSA exists and what it does in detail.

This response doesn't acknowledge cost nor does it give any data as to the number of successfully captured terrorists since its inception, which is clearly the main point of the petition.

But given the new information, i think the petition specifically targets the flight screening process and screening agents. Not necessarily the investigative portion.

Anonymous said...

Fail! Nearly 32,000 signatures and the response is nothing but a propaganda response that hardly acknowledges the central issue of the petition, much less the fact that post-911 the TSA has been forcing citizens to give up more of their constitutional rights in order to travel by airplane.

Anonymous said...

What a crock ... We're going to vote in Ron Paul so you can't continue this insanity.

Anonymous said...

Despite Mr Pistole's assurances, I will not fly again commercially domestic until I am not treated as a terrorist. Obviously there are serious threats out there but if you are unskilled enough to think I'm a terrorist as a retired Navy patriot then I won't fly!! If you have to respond this way at the Airports, then it is not safe to fly now at all. I recommend to everyone I can to just stop flying as it's not safe!

Pika said...

This response is not adequate: it does not address any of the concerns brought up in the petition, nor, with the exception of the comment about the age of the report where the TSA failed 70% of its undercover tests, does it substantiate any of the claims it makes with any research whatsoever. Americans understand that the TSA is taking many steps, but I have yet to see any proof that these actions actually make citizens any safer. This should be one of the core missions of the TSA: to prove that it is doing the best work possible with the resources it has, and to research more effective ways to use its resources. I am sorely disappointed to see yet another instance of that not happening.

Anonymous said...

"September 11, SEPTEMBER 11.... NINE-ELEVEN... 9/11"

That excuse is getting old.

Fact: TSA has stripped us of more dignity and freedom than terrorists ever did.

Anonymous said...

Administrator Pistole,

Thank you for taking the time to write your message in answer to the people's petition to Abolish the TSA.

Administrator, hundreds if not thousands of completely innocent, law-abiding citizens are improperly singled out as a result of the measures for "security" by the TSA. Many are publicly embarrassed, some might even lose their jobs due to the publicity.

Your watch-lists are frequently wrong and the intelligence used to build them flawed.

The "advanced technology" used is prone to false positives, can be fooled, and arguably can cause health problems in frequent travelers.

The "professional workforce" statistics you cite leave me wondering how accurate it truly is considering that air travel security in the U.S. before the TSA is not even remotely comparable to today vast security apparatus.

My nation is not even remotely as free as it is safe thanks to the efforts by your Administration and the efforts of Homeland Security (which I would happily abolish as well).

I believe there can be a balance between freedom and security, but so long as the TSA and Homeland Security exist; we will never have that balance.

I personally have not entered an airport since 9/11 and I have no intention to do so until the TSA has been defunded and abolished.

The TSA is the greatest active threat to the airline industry and travel freedom since the inception of commercial air travel.

Anonymous said...

I signed a petition to ELIMINATE the TSA.....do not send me propaganda as to what a wonderful job you are doing.....I am personally aware of all the touchy, feely activities of your 'handlers', most are intrusive to AMERICANS but allow a person in a burkha to pass, without a scan or grope, yet these are the people of the same philosophy of those you claim you are protecting us from YET, the only people you continue to 'probe, grope and scan' are AMERICANS. I do not expect that you will post this, but you have read it and know at least know some truth now.

Anonymous said...

Of course the TSA administrator won't talk about abolishing the TSA. If he did so, then he would be out of a job.

sucktackular said...

Your response was a long description of what you do, without addressing how much you suck. Thanks?

Anonymous said...

Could we have a response from someone who is slightly more impartial than the administrator of the organization that thousands of people are unsatisfied with?

Bruce said...

"Our Nation is safer and better prepared today because of these and other efforts..."

At the cost of our 4th amendment. That statement can't be supported by facts. Because an event like 9/11 hasn't happened since 9/11 doesn't mean the TSA has done its job. It is convincing a generation of Americans not to fly though.

The better approach would be to close down the TSA, get military forces out of the middle east, and concentrate on domestic affairs. However, that would save tax payers over $1 Trillion and would put a lot of lobbyists and congress people out of lucrative employment.

Items I have gotten past the TSA:
2007 - 1.5 liter water bottle, partially full.
2007 - 1 lighter and a book of matches
2008 - A 4.5" locking blade
2008 - A multi-tool
2009 - Sunblock larger than allowed
2009 - A hidden component in a laptop
2009 - 2 knives, one bottle of water, and tube of sunblock.

I felt no safer, but, I have stopped flying for 2 years. I hope I can continue the trend with the TSA's support.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. It's one thing to disagree on policy or principle; it's another to not even bother addressing the question. Everyone who signed the petition knows what the TSA is and many if not most know the history of its efforts to date. The response did not address the petition in any way. In my mind that shows a complete lack of respect for the petitioners. Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I don't have to fly anywhere anymore. I have not flown on us airlines since may 2000. With all the things I hear and read about TSA I will no longer fly at all. This is not the America I grew up in.

Anonymous said...

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...

Yes, the white house chose to respond to a petition to abolish the TSA with a missive from the head of the TSA explaining how valuable the TSA is. This "We The People" petition nonsense is worse than useless, and is being utilized by the administration as merely an opportunity to spout talking points that amount to "Thanks for taking the time to raise this issue, now we're going to tell you why we really don't care what you think"

Anonymous said...

The response to the petition paints a pretty picture of all the changes TSA has made to improve the safety of flying. However it completely neglects to address the issues that were referenced in the original petition.

The fact is TSA agents are rude, treat American citizens poorly and are constantly in the news for their lack of respect and professionalism. The lie, harass, steal from and assault innocent people.

You wanna make it safer to travel, don't take human rights away to do it.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

Aaron said...

This did not, unfortunately, answer any of the direct critiques of the TSA (efficacy, cost, privacy vs security, potential for abuse) that were presented in the petition - with possible exception of one tangentially related paragraph at the end about possible future efficiency.

People are hungry for democratic dialogue whereby people reach shared understanding. If both sides just talk past each other and do not address each other's views directly, will not occur.

Chris said...

That's nice. I don't think the survey questioned the effectiveness of the TSA. I think the point is that most of us don't think all this security is worth sacrificing our freedom. Thanks for the response though. I don't think anyone actaully expected any changes but it is nice to know there is someone on the other end of this thing willing to actively disregard our concerns. It's better than being ignored entirely.

Chuck LeDuc Díaz said...

Seriously, we petition the White House to abolish the TSA, and the response is written by the head of the TSA?

I'm totally unsurprised that no comments appear, as I doubt any have met your strict "moderation" policy. By the same logic, the only people who can comment on the TSA would be employees thereof.

Peter Citizen said...

You did not address any of the points raised by *your employers*, you simply copy-pasted some boilerplate please-fund-us propaganda.

Is there anyone there who can actually read the petition and address any of our concerns, or are the White House petition site and TSA blog a total sham?

Jose Mercado said...

If a private security company can protect a nuclear plant, why American Airlines an others are not responsible for there security, the federal goverment does not protect Kodak Park in Rochester N.Y. and that has quimicals all over the plant.

Anonymous said...

The petition reads: "Abolish the TSA, and use its monstrous budget to fund more sophisticated, less intrusive counter-terrorism intelligence."

The TSA response to the petition does not address the issue, but merely regurgitates the same old tired arguments of government bureaucracies everywhere, that their continued existence is essential to the country.

This response is the lowest form of fear-mongering, and only reinforces the case for abolishing the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the response was a re-wording of the mission statement, which by they way the TSA is clearly failing at.

kryvnus said...

Security checkpoints pose a massive risk to travelers. Members of the general public may be fine with invasive and illegal searches for now because TSA gives a false sense of security, but how will they react when someone targets a security checkpoint during a busy holiday travel day. How will you explain away the fact that your policies and procedures herd hundreds of potential victims into a small area that can be targeted without ever being scanned or searched. I don't want to be there when you have to attempt to explain that problem to the world, as you are putting international travelers at risk as well. I hope I never have to say I told you so, and the only way to guarantee that is to abolish TSA security "choke"-points.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for ignoring our petition and allowing the head of the TSA to respond indirectly.

Your Truly,
The Undersigned.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully would like to simply reflect to you that you failed to address any of the reasons people think you are doing a bad job. The point of a petition is to bring forward grievances. Your inability or refusal to address the grievances of US citizens that pay for your agency is one of the many reasons we think we would be better off in a pre-TSA world.

Micah Sittig said...

As is par for the course on "We The People" (*gag*) the response is a total whitewash by an author whose job depends on the disaster that is the TSA being kept alive. Completely meaningless, a total copy-and-paste job. It's like I'm back in grade 8 all over again.

Journeyman Programmer said...

Interesting response - not one word on why TSA needs to continue to exist.

Anonymous said...

Not only did he not answer the question, he also didn't offer any new information including, but not limited to, the current failure/success rate discovered via testing. We will have to continue using the only known statistics until the TSA releases updated ones.

Or what the TSA is doing to make sure that 100% of cargo is screened or when the public comment period for the strip search machines will start.

PR theater, just like the TSA's security theater.

Anonymous said...

Over 30,000 signatures, and you give us this pathetic excuse for keeping your job? We, the people, know that the TSA is, at best, security theater (as evidenced by the shoe bomber, by multiple cases of knives and banned objects being carried through security, and by a ridiculously easy way to bypass the no fly list). We know that the only two things that have made flying safer are hardened cockpit doors and a public that now knows better than to listen to terrorists. We don't want the TSA. We want flying the way it was.

Anonymous said...

We also don't want to be censored by "blog owner approval."

Anonymous said...

The response to the petition addresses none of the issues raised. It is very loose on the facts. It is at best a P.R. piece and just goes to show that this White House is not taking these citizen petitions seriously. AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

And the response is surprising how? It is the same old blanket statement issued every time.

yobaba said...

Speaking for myself only, thank you for the response. Also speaking for myself, I will venture to say that the great majority of the people who signed the original "White House We The People" petition to disband the TSA are quite aware of the government's "reasons" behind its establishment, so a recitation of these reasons - which made up the bulk of the response - was probably not entirely necessary, and [might I go so far as to say] demeaning to the people who signed the petition in the first place.

Lacking any positive Government response, I suppose it would be possible to 'get rid of' the TSA by a Constitutional Amendment, a long and very tedious process that, if accomplished, would satisfy the individuals who signed said petition. It is something to consider.

Helen Alexander said...

Hello--

I have always been treated well by TSA officials; however, I grew up when air travel was enjoyable. We could accompany our loved ones to the plane, and could wave to them as the plane left. We could pack what we wanted, without any hassles, and we all felt safe, except for those with a flying phobia.

First, I understand that a retired TSA official went through 5 separate airline locations with a concealed weapon, and was not caught.

If this is true, why do we need to be screened?

Second, I would be willing to take the risk of airline accidents, to experience the joy of flying, once more.

Americans take far worse risks in driving their cars, but don't think twice about it.

Why can we not be allowed to take airline risks for ourselves?

If people are afraid of air terrorists, they can travel by train, bus, boat, or car.

Helen Alexander
Sacramento, CA, USA

Anonymous said...

John Pistole, the "administrator" of the TSA responds to a petition made to the Obama Administration to shut down the TSA due to its monstrous budget and infringement of civil rights? What a joke.

"The next 10 years" section was depressing... that another 10 years of this garbage will continue should pain us all

Anonymous said...

Americans don't want a police state - it's time that this administration and the institutions of our democracy respond to the fact that the people of this country do not want this. Regurgitating your platform and arguing that you keep us safe is incredibly insulting.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Your comment field is broken. I feel you do this on purpose!

Anonymous said...

I like how they go on and on and on about the "good" stuff the TSA has done so far. But they fail to mention all of the corruption that has been going on. Example, strip searches, that they lie about, touching people inappropriately and just general misconduct. I haven't experienced this myself but I'm sure it happens.

Anonymous said...

This response is downright disgusting and disrespectful. How can you even call it a response when you didn't address any of the issues raised?

And honestly, ending a response to "Abolish the TSA" with "The TSA's Next Ten Years" made me want to vomit.

How does it feel to continue using the taxpayers' money to violate them against their will?

Anonymous said...

While I respectfully agree the agency has evolved greatly in the last 10 years, what your response doesn't address is the general perception that the majority of visible actions as well as the invisible actions, all of which push the boundaries of US citizens' civil liberties, performed by the TSA are merely responses to past security flaws and amount to security theater. These actions seem only to appease those who would be too scared to fly because of all the media coverage of terrorism. The people who signed this petition are the ones who look for real numbers, not the ones who will take your word for it that the skies are safe because of the TSA's actions. Even before 9/11 air travel was the safest way to move about the world. Since the enhancements to cockpit doors alone would have prevented 9/11, how are all these drastic countermeasures really justified? How far will the TSA go in this back and forth game with the terrorists? We've already lost the ability to greet our loved ones at the gate, the ability to have a drink of water with us when we go through security, the ability to move about our country without being stripped of our shoes and/or dignity. Forgive the rhetoric, but it's not a far reach to think we'll eventually have to be sedated and stripped naked just to enter a plane. The signers of this petition just want to see a different approach, and from this response we're hearing more of the same.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the TSA response to the petition.

Do we have specific statistical data comparing the reduction in monetary losses (pricing the loss of human life at 6 million in accordance with department of transportation standards) from terrorist activity since the founding of the TSA with the operational cost of the TSA?

Anonymous said...

The TSA is currently prosecuting
a policy that is in direct violation of the 4th amendment.

It is one of a thousand cuts that will eventually obliterate our god given rights.

I for one will no longer fly because of TSA's illegal searches.

Until TSA can hire people capable of learning the Israeli airport security profiling methodology flying is a no go for me.

I am urging anyone who must fly to request the personal patdown, it irritates the TSA folks. Go for the Grope!

I bet my comment will not be published, anyone notice there are no comments here? Hmmmmmmm wonder why?

Jeff said...

Dear Mr. Pistole,

A point-by-point comment on your tardy response (which may or may not be your fault, but the President should have responded directly anyway as this is where the grievance goes)

WHY THE TSA EXISTS
To prevent hostile threats. Ok, understood. I didn't see the mission statement about taking away liberties, which enables the goals of terrorism.

NEXT 6 BULLETS
This is lame recycled information that the petitioner and we already knew. The point was to get "less intrusive counterterrorism".

ESTABLISHING A PROFESSIONALIZED WORKFORCE
No one cares how nice the perpetrators of illegal and abusive acts are.

THE NEXT 10 YEARS
Irrelevant, the TSA needs to address the anti-constitutional violations today.

There is no justifiable risk (threat x probability) to stop something which has not happened in nearly HALF A CENTURY in the US on a domestic US flight. Specifically, the 'threat' of suicidal airline passengers with working non-metallic bombs. Hasn't happened since 1962.

Hasn't happened since scanners were deployed DESPITE only about 30% or so of airline passengers being subjected to illegal strip searches no matter how convenient.

In fact, of EVERY FLIGHT in the ENTIRE WORLD, there have only been 2 attempts by suicidal airline passengers since 1997 - and they FAILED MISERABLY, DESPITE the bombmakers having 5 and 8 years to plan, design, test, pilot, and refine a working non-metallic bomb.

Case closed - stay out of our pants and especially the pants of those invalids who are assaulted daily at airports.

Anonymous said...

We the people have spoken. We want the TSA gone!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the petition.

Shannon said...

And yet for all that money spent, I was still able to make three round-trips between Chicago and Denver without realizing that I had forgotten to remove a three inch, pointy, serrated knife from my backpack after a camping trip. I literally had a large knife on board an airplane, and nobody knew it.
In my experience, TSA doesn't seem very effective. Still had to get felt up by agents though.

Anonymous said...

This response is downright disgusting and disrespectful. How can you even call it a response when you didn't address any of the issues raised?
And honestly, ending a response to "Abolish the TSA" with "The TSA's Next Ten Years" made me want to vomit.
How does it feel to continue using the taxpayers' money to violate them against their will?

Anonymous said...

The response just proves that the TSA doesn't care at all about the civil liberties of citizens. It doesn't actually address our concerns. People aren't convinced by this lazy propaganda. We see the atrocity every time we go to the airport. The ends do not justify the means and you people need to learn that. Al Qaeda killed our people, but our own government has done FAR worse: it has stripped us of the liberties that made this country worth anything in the first place. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

They don't address how invasive the pat downs and the machines that see through your clothes are.

100% of bags and people are screened? That's no good if our bodies and minds are violated at the same time.

David said...

You never addressed the real issue. You're searching people with no reasonable suspicion and without a search warrant, and therefore your searches are unconstitutional and illegal. Every time you search someone without a warrant you are breaking the highest law of the land.

4th amendment to the Constitution.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Thomas said...

This made me think of a question. How many terrorists have been stopped as a result of the TSA's actions in luggage screening, that the Private industry could not also stop at a significant cost savings?

Paul said...

Oddly missing from the response to the Petition was a count of actual terrorist threats stopped by TSA.

You claim that your agents are well trained, but they can't tell the difference between a gun design sewn to a purse and an actual weapon.

Anonymous said...

So--I take it that your response is, "No." Great, so you are going to continue violating our human rights (and the Constitution) by conducting warrantless searches of everyone.

Unknown said...

This response hardly addresses my concerns with the TSA. My liberty and therefore safety is jeopardized by your organization. It cannot continue to operate. Additionally. It is an incredible waste of taxpayer money. Maybe, you have had a rather small part in preventing tragedies, but the changes in airline passenger behavior towards those with hostile intent and locked cockpits, which have happened independently from this agency, has produced an order of magnitude of improvement when compared to even the most generous calculations of the effectiveness your agency can possibly achieve.

SSSS for some reason said...

Wait.... what?

Mr. Pistole did not respond to the Petition. Or are you reading a different internet than I am?

Mr Pistole merely parroted the standard talking points about what the TSA is and does. It was almost an exact cut-and-paste from the TSA website.

How do I sign that petition? Can we make a new one? Can we word it a bit stronger?

Unknown said...

Although you mention that the statistic for covert testing is outdated (8 years), you do not provide a current statistic that indicates the TSA is actually any better these days. You instead provide all sorts of technological buzzwords.

Perhaps some real reassurance that the TSA is actually capable would be helpful to people who signed this petition.

RB said...

For Pistole to be selected to give a response to this petition is insulting to those people who signed the petition.

For Pistole to not address the growing concerns of the public is insulting to America.

We didn't need a rehash of the TSA Party Line. We have heard it and do not accept it!

TSA seems unable to understand that the public does not accept what TSA is doing and the outrage is growing daily.

Abusing the traveling public in the name of security violates everything the United States stands for and make no mistake, TSA screening practices are abusive.

Freedom from government abuse is far more important than a couple of hours of safety while flying. Freedom is a Right, safety isn't even on the same radar.

TSA was a bad idea and TSA is wrong for America.

TSA under Pistole's rule demonstrates a complete disregard of the American way of life.

Mr. Pistole this is not the East Germany of the Post WWII era!

Alan said...

It would be hard to come up with a more condescending response than this. It's just a giant middle finger for everyone who thought they had the ability to petition the government to enact change. Unbelievable. A null response would have been better than this.

Anonymous said...

you are defending TSA despite it failing 70% tests. What is your definition of government incompetency? What %age of tests it has to fail before you would abolish it? 80%? 90%? 100%? not even at 100%?

Anonymous said...

I demand that the TSA be abolished immediately. It is offensive to all liberty-loving Americans and is an affront to the U.S. Constitution.

Anonymous said...

What I think would be nice is for the TSA director to take off his rose colored glasses and see that the TSA in a short time has just become a bloated bureaucratic waste.

Going through most airports the staff of the TSA looks more like a dysfunctional state road crew than a so called "professional" staff or trained employees, bumbling and standing around. Often when going through so-called security lines, one person is doing the work while 4 or 5 others stand around chatting and laughing. Seeing groups of TSA employees walking around in an airport "inspecting" is a laughable, embarrassing sight that lends no more credence to the notion that I should feel more secure than if you just didn't waste the money employing these people and supplying them with uniforms. The TSA has served its original purpose and now does nothing more than waste my time and my tax dollars.

The response posted is nothing more than a statement of "too bad, we're here to stay and you can't do anything about it."

I respectfully do not agree with the existence of the TSA and will voice my opinion and hope of their demise as an agency until it just goes away.

Brandon Barbee said...

I don't know why I'd be surprised at the ridiculous response by Pistole. In sum, he said "we did the things Schneier said we should and the other things that you don't like are secret". What a stupid, empty response.

Andy said...

Except that the response didn't address the "monstrous budget" issue or the request (or at least acknowledge that it was pointed out as something that people consider an issue) for "less intrusive" tactics.

Sommer Gentry said...

Wow. John Pistole has written an insulting piece of propaganda in the time-honored liar's style of 'I shall now ignore your point and make my own.' Note how Pistole makes not the slightest attempt to refute the petition's claims that TSA "allowed multiple known instances of harassment, theft, extortion and sexual abuse by its employees". Pistole can't defend the indefensible:

ripping underwear off of elderly women

fondling the genitals of six-year-old girls

forcing women to drink their own breast milk or remove their nipple piercings with pliers or hand over their breast prostheses or crawl through metal detectors deprived of their leg braces

confiscating a pregnant woman's insulin

exposing a woman's breasts and then making sexually harassing comments about the exposure.

John Pistole prefers to pretend these things never have happened, because he ignores the point of the White House petition - that TSA should be abolished because it has abused the rights of the American people. In John Pistole's mind, it never happened.

Anonymous said...

So in short "We here at the TSA are doing the awesome job we are told to do. A response not by the WH but passed off to a guy we want out of a job.

Yep way to win us over by doing the same old thing.

Just a guy in Wisconsin said...

So basically, your response to the suggestion to abolish theTSA is, "Tough. We're ignoring you."

I'm betting the next response will be to remove all critical comments. So long, First Amendmentm you'll be joining the Fourth on TSA's heap of detritus ...

Anonymous said...

What's your response to 31 thousand people voting on the petition to abolish your agency?

Anonymous said...

Your response to the petition put in was one of the most disgraceful things I've ever seen. We don't want the TSA anymore, and all you have to offer are your plans for the next 10 years? You have yet to prevent ANY terrorist activities since your creation. The activities that have occurred have been prevented by utter failure on the part of the people involved.

I would love to see you respond to this, but most likely you'll just moderate it out.

Anonymous said...

Take some lessons from Israel. Passengers don't even know they are being screened. Screeners are discreet and ego-based exams by unqualified amateurs are avoided.

Anonymous said...

Generally, petitions are made in an effort to take action. Or in other-words: to see a change. Not a request for a mission statement that doesn't address anything useful pertaining to the petition.

+1 if this doesn't get censored.

Ben Friesen said...

That was a totally unsatisfactory response, and you know that. We do not need an education about what the TSA does. We actively hate that your organization exists. Do you not understand that? Provide some hard evidence for the infringement on civil liberties that you continue to perpetuate at enormous expense, and then we can talk about why the American people should continue to funding your existence.

Anonymous said...

So basically, instead of listening to the legitimate complaints of Americans who are having their rights systematically violated by a redundant waste of money, the Whitehouse simply got the TSA to try (again) to justify its own existence to the people it mistreats in the name of security threats manufactured by the Whitehouse.

How can anyone in the US criticize "undemocratic regimes" while the TSA and online censorship and indefinite detention of citizens without due process is basically turning the US into 1940s Germany? Please, feel free to explain.

Anonymous said...

So you guys think you will be around for the next 10 years?

This is all the confirmation that I need that the US is not at all interested in ever attempting to win the war on terror. It is far more profitable to be on 100% alert all the time and fighting multiple foreign wars all in the name of "keeping us safe"

The TSA does not keep us safe, and at the current expenditures and what you guys think you do. It would mean you would need to be stopping terror attacks every, single, day of your existence.

Oh wait, but I don't need to say anything about the TSA manufacturing data about the "threats" we as an uninformed public face. You guys are a joke.

The next time some kind of terrorist attack happens, the united states public will look to the TSA and ask how you failed to catch it, with all of your "real time intellegence"

What will your excuse be? What could you possibly justify your existence with then.

The TSA is a joke.

And you better start moderating some of these comments, because I know that thousands are being tossed because they don't pat you on the back.

And I'm 100% furious with the response on to the white house petition. You guys didn't even read it. Not one word.

tidux said...

Please disclose, on this blog, exactly how many terrorists that the TSA has intercepted, not counting the underwear bomber whose own father was calling the State department to warn us. Please disclose, in the same blog post, the number of times each of the following has happened: strip searches, possessions confiscated, "enhanced patdowns," and suitcases destroyed.

If the number of terrorists intercepted is not within two orders of magnitude of any of those other incident types, or if it is zero, the TSA is unnecessary and should be abolished. If the TSA does not have this data, then it is incompetent and should be abolished. If the TSA does have this data, and refuses to disclose it to the American public, then it is malevolent and should be abolished. If there is no response to this comment at all, the TSA does not answer to the American public and should be abolished.

EXPLAIN YOURSELVES.

Josh said...

No comments? Hmm...

Anonymous said...

leave a comment, but you have to agree with the response to allow it to be posted? tsk tsk one sidedness is secretly shady~ tsa, you are a horrible organization~ you have protected no one, you have degraded American citizens, and you are ushering in a horrible, horrible future~ I do not want my children to be okay with being pumped full of radiation with your naked body scanners, or felt up by strangers~ it does damage to young growing brains, it does damage to family security and demolishes every aspect of American freedom~

how would you like to be protected to death? smothered by false care? it's wrong, and deep down inside, past what someone else is telling you is right, somewhere in there, you know it's wrong~ this is your world just as it is mine~
I'd rather risk my chances with your false terrorism than sacrifice my freedom for my protection~

you can keep all of your "reasons"... they're all bullshit. and we, the American citizens, know it~ :)

Josh said...

So, the petition says, please abolish the TSA, and the response is basically, "no, we won't consider that"

But to make it worse, the response also details how the TSA budget will probably expand in the next 10 years to make flying even less convenient and more costly.

This is great stuff. If it wasn't happening, I'd assume it was a poorly written dystopian future.

Anonymous said...

1) Mr. Pistole dose not even address the concerns in the petition. What about the failed undercover tests? How many other measures of failure do we need and what is point of an agency that can't execute its mission? At what point does he believe that the bill of rights applies to TSA activities?

2) Why is Mr. Pistole writing the response to this petition? Of course he is going to say his own agency should not be abolished. This decision is above his pay grade.

3) He discusses a risk-based approach. How does TSA balance risk with budget and constitutional rights? At what point does freedom outweigh a risk? Shouldn't the public be informed about residual risk that TSA cannot manage?

Blogger Bob said...

A lot of comments are coming in and as I'm sure you've figured out by now, this is a moderated blog. We'll start clearing comments in the morning.

Thanks!

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Mark said...

What a nice, cute, safe little letter by John Postile. Too bad he didn't address the issue of the violation of a person's body. Feeling up small children, arresting people who complain about being scanned. You can sugar coat it all you want, but it's not going to change the fact that too many undertrained people are taking liberties with their jobs and enjoying the reactions they get from people who just want to travel.

Shadywack said...

Yeah, comments coming in, i.e. "nothing but absolutely negative comments except for the shills, so, it's gonna be quiet until I can further subdue free speech on a blog run in a fascist manner, because the USA is no longer about freedom but fascism." Whatever, Bob. Must be a rough job, being a public face for the most hated agency in the US.

Anonymous said...

This "response" doesn't even address the issue of abolishing the TSA. Restating the TSA "mission" is irrelevant to the discussion. This is just a smoke screen that ignores the desire of every American who signed this petition. What a joke. We know what the TSA does and that's why we want it abolished.

Anonymous said...

Over 30,000 signed the petition and the response is what TSA believes they have accomplished? I think these petitions are a farce and I'd like to know the steps we have to take to redress issues that are impactng us today.
I want to hear from those who gave power to TSA and Homeland Security thugs being given the power to treat everyone who enters the country as a potential terrorist who is guilty until proven innocent. What this says to me is that everything "supposedly aimed at terrorists" is in fact directed towards the inhabitants of America!

I have been a "victim" of TSA not once, or twice...but three times and frankly I'm sick of it. I'm an American...born and bred...and also an outgoing, peaceful inhabitant of the lands of America. I smile and greet everyone I come into contact with. Up until 2001, I was a frequent flyer with 3 airlines and I was averaging 4-5 flights a month. Most airline staff knew who I was because I befriended them and we'd share laughs. All this changed when TSA came on the scene.

My VERY 1st encounter with TSA, not only made me miss a flight but a TSA agent stole $100 from my purse. The inconvenience caused, the stolen property and time lost had me livid and I swore OFF flying.

Unfortunately, I was back 3 years later and the next flight, again, TSA made me miss, but this time I watched my personal belongings like a hawk. Again, I swore off flying.

6 months ago, I needed to take a flight, and once again TSA hung me up...but when I heard LAST call on my name from the airlines...I turned to the gal and said..."did you hear that...you either arrest and charge me with something or stop this nonsense so I can make my flight"! She did let me go, although I felt I had been sexually abused as she felt me up in places that would be illegal for any other stranger to do.

This HAS got to stop!

I am NOW refusing to do any flying and if someone needs me...they need to come to me. HOW many others are eliminating air flight for similar reasons as mine, or even hearing stories that now has created a climate of fear and frustration, that are refusing to go through the trouble?

What government HAS proved to me is that the CONSTITUTION is a "con job" for the living men and women of America. This non-constitutional agency has a right to search and seize without a warrant, a right to sexually assault without repercussion, the use of machines represent a virtual strip search as well as violating laws against child pornography. I don't understand how this agency and even CONgress can overlook the primary issues of gross violations on rights and privacy. AND please point out to me where in the constitution does the federal government have power over terrorism? Because from my perspective "common defense" seems to be encroaching on the MORE important Civil Liberties of the men and women who FUND this nations spending.

I wanted to SEE government’s answer to this epidemic of oppression being doled out by TSA, NOT TSA's response as they clearly "care less" and the above response is a demonstration that they have stopped listening to their own constituents, the American taxpayers who pay their salaries. I believe without a public review TSA has violated the Administrative Procedures Act.

Kat said...

"Safer" should NOT equal "less free".

TSA is creating a smarter breed of terrorist. The more insane and invasive methods they employ to "protect" airline passengers from potential threats, the more inventive and subversive methods the REAL terrorists devise... and they're winning.

"But there have been no successful attacks since 9/11... it must be working!" you say.

Ah, but consider this: every freedom that is taken away from "The Land of the Free" is a victory for totalitarianism.

Anonymous said...

What a joke of a response. The White House petition site is supposed to result in changes and improvements in our society based upon a petition by its citizens seeking change. Instead we are fed the usual TSA propaganda. And why did Pistole respond? Of course all is OK in his mind. Why didn't someone of authority from outside the agency respond?

The TSA should be working with citizens to form a cooperative relationship much like law enforcement agencies have done over the years. Yet your policies result in an arrogant disrespect for citizens as demonstrated nearly weekly by headlines of innocent citizens humiliated including children and seniors. Where is the common sense? When are we going to see real changes? The current TSA is a disgrace to the individual freedom and liberty this nation is founded on. We want change now!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding to our petition. Unfortunately, the response does not address any of my personal issues with your organization. I suspect the majority of the people who have petitioned for the end of the TSA feel similarly.

Your response seems oriented to the fearful segment of the population who is genuinely concerned for a terrorist attack. It is highly doubtful people who want to end airport screening feel that terrorism is a relevant or dangerous issue worth surrendering our liberties for. Furthermore, a large segment of the population including myself feel that the TSA targets people based on their race.

No matter how many times I hear recycled talking points about how screeners determine what 'suspicious' looks like; I will never forget the ten times I flew between Chicago and DC after the 'terrorist' attacks. At the time I had heard some statistic that screening was random and based on a 1 in 10 probability. During those ten flights I was taken aside for 'special screening' on every occasion without exception. Therefore the probability of this is 1 in 10,000,000,000. Had I known I was experiencing such a streak of rare probabilities I would have taken up gambling.

When you offer responses telling us how much safer we are because of your organization, we do not believe you. It only inspires cynicism and contempt within us. Who have you caught exactly? The shoe bomber with his absurd pack of matches? Common sense would have stopped that idiot. I signed the petition because I was tired of harassment. You can dress it up with your talking points but it is really this simple: Groping me does not make me safer, it makes me feel disappointed in our society. Its almost nonsensical when you look at it in those simple terms. Naturally your frame of reference is different, but this is the public's opinion.

Consider that there have been other spectacular terrorist acts in the United States. Yet after the Oklahoma City bombing, new federal security programs were not established. Nobody has touched my genitals in all of the years I have couriered documents through DC federal buildings.

Could it be that the TSA is simply an ineffective organization whose sole purpose is to give people the illusion of security while promoting fear by continuously reminding us of the attacks? If not what is the purpose of the TSA? Because you have not caught any 'terrorists' I would like an answer.

I am reminded of the anthrax attacks when people felt required to duct tape their homes with plastic tarps. These served as excellent bill board size advertisements for the fear campaign. Maybe you have no knowledge of marketing or psychology, but I encourage you to check for yourself - Fear sells; and fear sold us wars in this past decade.

The above speaks of the past, and I for one thought I would be leaving the past in the past when I elected Obama. Obama's slogan was hope, which is almost the exact inverse of fear. Unfortunately, I was a naive in believing in that political slogan. Obama has not changed anything in regards to the TSA.

I hope I have made it perfectly clear that the TSA does not protect anyone, but only assaults our liberties. Your response does not address any of my concerns. In fact, it is insulting double speak. When we ask for the end of the TSA, a response from someone who operates or is employed by the TSA is disingenuous. How can you possibly agree with our views without creating a conflict of interest? Your paycheck and position in this world depends on the Kafkaesque monstrosity that is the TSA. For reasons like this and the above, I must conclude that the Obama administration has no respect for the public.

Floodgates said...

US population in 2011: 312,782,000
People killed on 9/11: 2,996
People killed in car accients in 2010: 32,708 (and dropping the last 16 years). Guess where all the money should be going to?

Anonymous said...

I think someone should petition for four armed, trained air marshals on every flight that flies over US airspace. As I have said on here before this could be paid for with a $150 per round trip ($75 for a one-way ticket) surcharge on all commercial airline tickets -- this surcharge should cover both the TSA budget and the air marshals salaries/benefits. There is no reason that flights have to be priced as low as $19 per trip (Allegiant and Spirit Airlines have that deal currently) other than pure stupidity! Until this is done, commercial flights will not be as secure as they could be. Also, people using the commercial airline system should pay for airplane security not taxpayers in general.

Anonymous said...

Can we please create a petition to remove that response from my mind? It made me sick to the stomach.

Anonymous said...

Great. The White House not only does not listen to me, it now sends me propaganda attempting to brainwash me.

Anonymous said...

"A lot of comments are coming in and as I'm sure you've figured out by now, this is a moderated blog."

Sounds like you just clear out comments that criticize the TSA and point out that the TSA is a ridiculous organization. You yourself, and anyone who controls this blog has a clear vested interest and bias to try and appear as if your jobs are essential to the U.S. government. I hope you realize that you are one of many problems that have caused the erosion of freedom in the United States. This will probably be deleted too, which only proves my point.

Anonymous said...

Who are the known fliers that are expedited?

Anonymous said...

TSA = Unconstitutional Police State Tactics!

Dumb Gov. !

Don said...

How about some actual statistics? How many meaningful arrests or stops has the TSA made? This not including petty fireworks and meaningless drug paraphernalia. How many lives has the TSA directly saved through physical interception?

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
A lot of comments are coming in and as I'm sure you've figured out by now, this is a moderated blog. We'll start clearing comments in the morning.

Thanks!

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

December 16, 2011 12:44 AM
..................
Why is this taxpayer funded blog moderated? When did government obtain the right of censorship?

Sandra said...

32,000 individuals sign a petition to abolish the TSA and this is the drivel we get?

The "response" by Pistole was like sending the fox to guard the henhouse.

Does the White House think We, The People, are ignorant? I can assure you that we are not and that we have long memories.

On a daily basis, more and more individuals, members of Congress and the media are turning against the TSA.

The calls for the TSA to back off from its invasive screening methods are becoming a thunderous roar and are coming from organizations such as the Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point.

Yet the White House sends John Pistole to write nothing more than a defense of this disaster of an agency.

Yes, We, The People, have a long memory.

Anonymous said...

This entire response just says to me that no one is listening. Folks, those of you who read this, the time has come to take this to the ballot box, for what little good it will do.

We are not being represented. TSA, we don't want you.

Anonymous said...

I am not a US citizen and I understand I have no rights whatsoever to express my opinion neither on this blog nor on any petition, but I would like to express my frustration. I think that TSA oversoes its duty too often. I 've been stopped and body searched so many times in several airport on US soil just because I look like something or someone I have no idea. This makes travelling unpleasent and definitely I am trying to avoid as much as possible USA as my travelling destinantio. And it is not just me, I know so many people around the world living the same frustration. I cannot believe that after 15-16 hours flight I hjave to go EVERYTIME under at least additional 2 hours in line and be treated badly. Guys, change attitude!

Anonymous said...

While I respect that fact that Administrator Pistole took the time to respond to the petition, he didn't really address any of the points made by the petition.

The only point he almost addressed was the efficacy rate of screening. He made a hand wave claim saying that the 70% was performed "nearly eight years ago", but doesn't provide anything more up to date. If you want us to believe we're safer, back it up with facts and point us to a new independent report that shows that you've improved from 70% failure rate. This is the Internet, if he doesn't know how to create a hyperlink as Blogger Bob how to link to this report that shows we're safer.

He claims that the TSA should be kept around because of the attempted underwear bomber on Christmas Day 2009 and also because of the toner cartridge plot from last year. NEITHER OF THESE WAS STOPPED BY THE TSA.

Further, he never addresses the issues of theft, sexual harassment, or general thuggery claims by the petition. It should be easy to provide numbers to back these up if they've gotten better.

Finally, he closes talking about back-scatter and millimeter wave devices. However, he still has not provided numbers that the public verify about the safety of these devices. If they're safe and pose no long term risk, let us see independent numbers.

Unfortunately for Administrator Pistole, we live in a world of FACTS. Time and time again he has been unable or unwilling to provide them regarding the justification of the TSAs existence. I realize it's difficult to prove that you've prevented a terrorist attack, but there are facts you can provide to at least show that the TSA is doing its job.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that everyone who is unhappy about the response to this petition send feedback to the White House. Let them know the response was useless and you aren't happy.

Anonymous said...

The joke on The People continues, the petition was not addressed to TSA, it would be absurd, the petition was for the White House to dismantle this useless and actually dangerous organization (TSA), dangerous in the sense that it destroys the basic rights given by Constitution of US, spends piles of money from The People's pockets and achieves nothing in return. There is no other solution than getting rid of this TSA.

Anonymous said...

We in the U.S. live in a corporatocracy, it's a sad fact but its true. Petitions may help to raise public awareness about situations like this, but the fact is they will never change a single thing in and of themselves. Protest is a bit better only because it draws more media to the subject than a petition, but the truth is to effect change we're going to have to just stop flying. Vote with your wallets!

Anonymous said...

The same old public relations spew....why am I not surprised?
Just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

"I did have a small container of cheese dip taken once, it was over the three and a half ounce limit. But it is a small sacrifice."

No, it was a stupid and pointless sacrifice thanks to a stupid and pointless policy implemented by hysterics.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. I appreciate TSA's effort in responding to this petition.

I have two remaining questions:
1) What is the annual operating budget of the TSA?
2) Statistically speaking, what are the estimated savings since 2002 due to the TSA preventing terrorist activity (pricing the value of a human life at about six million dollars in accordance with Department of Transportation standards)?

Anonymous said...

Just take "We the People" down if this sort of response is all that's going to happen. If we wanted to know why some faceless bureaucrat thinks his or her administration was good, we'd read the administrations website. Also, I don't want more tax dollars going towards someone coordinating faux-concern to our petitions.

In fact, it would make my day if someone made a petition to end "We the People" on the grounds of the TSA response.

What a joke and what a waste of time for all of us on both ends.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could confidently give my name to stand behind my comment, but I'm afraid it would put me on a no-fly list. The response didn't address the concerns of the petition. It is inappropriate for the TSA chief to be the one responding to the petition. We the people are supposed to have a civil liberty against unreasonable search and seizure. The TSA violates this civil liberty in every airport every day.

Anonymous said...

The real petition comes in November 2012 when America votes.
It's clear Mr. Pistole and his supporters are tone deaf to average Americans.

Mr. Pistole's biggest failure is presiding over a US agency that has broken trust with taxpayers. If Mr. Pistole had any respect his country and its citizens he would resign.

Anonymous said...

a complete and utter non-response. Mr. Pistole is not an elected official. he does not have to guard himself in the absurd away that politicians do. i would have been been _happy_ to see him make a point-by-point rejection of the claims in the petition and tell the petitioners why we were wrong, in concrete terms. he did no such thing.

it looks like the White House's petition program exists to accomplish one goal: to remind the people that they have the right to petition their government for redress of grievances, and that their government has the "right" to tell them to sod off.

Sommer Gentry said...

Asking the TSA to respond to a petition requesting the abolishment of the TSA was a dramatic slap in the face to anyone who signed this petition.

Here's my new petition asking the White House to take action to stop the TSA from abusing travelers:
https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/answer-our-ignored-petition-abolishing-transportation-security-administration/pWCDRc0G?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

Anonymous said...

What about a response from the White House? After all, they are the ones we petitioned, and it makes no sense to send an answer from the organization we requested to eliminate.

Jim Huggins said...

I find it amusing that Mr. Pistole invites us to "continue the dialog" here at the TSA Blog. What happens here might be many things ... but I wouldn't characterize it as "dialog".

Anonymous said...

Well, it would have been nice if the TSA had answered the question. That is how you start productive discussions.

Anonymous said...

"I think someone should petition for four armed, trained air marshals on every flight that flies over US airspace."

Petition away. It will never happen.

"As I have said on here before this could be paid for with a $150 per round trip ($75 for a one-way ticket) surcharge on all commercial airline tickets -- this surcharge should cover both the TSA budget and the air marshals salaries/benefits. There is no reason that flights have to be priced as low as $19 per trip (Allegiant and Spirit Airlines have that deal currently) other than pure stupidity!"

The pure stupidity is your suggestion that the market shouldn't set prices. I suspect you don't realize that $19 fares do not include the surcharges for things like TSA security theater (playing at an airport near you!).

"Until this is done, commercial flights will not be as secure as they could be. Also, people using the commercial airline system should pay for airplane security not taxpayers in general."

Your plan isn't safe enough for me; one of the FAMs could be a terrorist. I think the only way to ensure safety is for EVERY SEAT IN THE AIRPLANE to be occupied by a FAM. This could be financed with a $100000/family increase in taxes. The increased taxes for those who don't fly is fair; an airplane that is blown up in flight could land on them. We can't have that, can we?!

I'm sorry to suggest this but I'm afraid we can no longer trust Americans to fly.

Anonymous said...

Pistole's response has caused others to create a new petition.

One calling for his resignation.

I look forward to hearing his response to this new petition.

Anonymous said...

I love that neither of the threats that Pistole cited as justification for the TSA were in any way stopped by any TSA agent or funding.

Guilerme said...

The only reason this blog needs to be moderated is to eliminate postings containing curse words. To add insult to injury... my prior comment to this blog seems to have been eliminated, even though I certainly did not use any curse words. It appears - yet again - the TSA is not interested in listening. By the way Mr or Ms Moderator... if you now have so many people posting that they are fed up with the way the original "We the People..." petition was answered... why hasn't someone at TSA jumped in to handle damage control. It seems pretty obvious by just comparing the number of supporters of the answer with those that do not support the answer that the TSA (and the Obama administration) are not listening to THE PEOPLE.

Sandra said...

Does the number of responses to this thread and the rate at which they are being received tell you and Pistole anything, Bob?

Ghost of Thomas Paine said...

This response was merely an overpaid government employee trying to justify why they have a job, and failed miserably at doing so. Not a single talking point that John Pistole brought up gave a single shred of evidence that our tax dollars should continue to go toward the continued harassment and exposure to dangerous and personally violating equipment and data mining of US citizens and those traveling from and to the US. Is security a priority? Yes. Do we need a giant, over-funded agency to protect us? No. Do we need them coming on to our buses and our trains spreading fear? No. As others have pointed out, the object of Terrorism is to strip liberties away from the citizens and have them living in perpetual fear. Al Qaeda and it's affiliates have not accomplished this by hijacking planes ten years ago. Our own government has and continues to strip away our rights in the name of "Safety". At this point, who are we afraid of? Terrorists? or our own Big Brother? Who is incarcerating our citizens, who is violently assaulting us, who is perpetuating this? The Federal Government. I guarantee if our Founding Fathers were alive today they would think the oppression they suffered enough to revolt to be nothing compared to the lack of liberty and perpetual injustice we are enduring today. Is the beast too big to be put down? It starts with every person making a choice about how they will live: By their own will, or being led by their collar to keep those in power on the top, and those without it silent and obedient. 32k Citizens signed this, that's 32k people who say enough is enough, I want my tax dollars to improve schools and roads, not hire agencies to violate me. Something has to change. Where does it start?

Unknown said...

I'd like to add my comments that I expected a response from the White House, not the TSA. We know what the TSA's position is.

Anonymous said...

"Petition away. It will never happen.

Of course not, which is why what I am about to explain is only written here for fellow passengers to read. Sending it to any TSA official will have the same results as Mr Pistole's response.

Think about this. Can a cop search a person for simply walking on the street past your house at 2am? Of course not. He needs probably cause. Now, if that person had a can of spray paint in his hand-carry bag, and his intention was to tag (graffiti) your wooden fence, how would the cop know? The cop doesn't know, and even if he did, he still has no probable cause and the person isn't committing any crime. It is only until that person actually spray paints the fence would the cop have a reason to arrest him.

Now, is that considered a reactive way to enforce the law? No, because although the cop cannot violate that person's constitutional right against unwarranted searches, (or confiscate his 12 ounce can of spray paint just because), the tactic he uses makes enforcing the law pro-active. Here's how:

As long as that uniformed cop maintains high visibility patrols with his marked cruiser, that person knows his chances of getting arrested are almost guaranteed. So, he keeps the can of spray paint in his bag, and behaves himself as he walks down the street. Some day he will get caught in a less patrolled neighborhood, but tonight, that neighborhood remains un-vandalized.

But what would happen if the cop patrolled the neighborhood in his private-owned car and dressed in undercover street clothes? The answer is he will successfully catch vandals, but he would not be able to arrest them until AFTER the damage has begun (probably cause). Yes, he would be removing vandals from the streets, but the cost comes to the neighbors' vandalized property.

So, think of your neighborhood as being the sky, the fence as an airplane, you and your neighbors are a passengers, the unknown person is an unknown terrorist, and his can of spray paint is an explosive underwear that was missed by the TSA screeners like many other potentially harmful items frequently do. Which cop would you rather have patrolling your skies? The uniformed cop who's high visibility will keep that unidentified terrorist from acting out until you can get off the plane safely? Or the undercover cop who will catch the terrorist in the act of blowing up your plane?

Money and technology will never 100% keep potentially dangerous items off of planes. Screeners find most, but they will ALWAYS miss a few, and once that item makes it onto a plane at 30,000 ft, it's too late to prevent it's presence. But it's use can be controlled. Air Marshals should be enforcing behavior of any unknown terrorists who might be aboard their flight by maintaining high visibility. They should not be not hiding undercover as if they are in a duck blind traveling at 30,000 ft, waiting for their chance to shoot a duck like covert heroes. When the plane lands, that terrorist might walk away free and undetected, but at least he wouldn't blow up the plane, and he would be right back to where he started before getting on that flight--being hunted down on the streets by the FBI.

Dismantle the TSA into a regulatory role, turn screening over to private companies, put the Air Marshals back under the FAA, and increase the number of Air Marshals to where EVERY flight will be able have them. Then once the Air Marshals reach those numbers, remove their undercover status and require them to wear uniforms. Let everyone see who they are. Let them interact with the passengers they are protecting, and maintain high visibility patrolling the cabin. This is pro-active towards keeping flights safe.

Instead, we have non-law enforcement, fast-food trained screeners wearing the uniform that the highly paid, law enforcement trained Air Marshals should be wearing. The TSA is a bureaucratic security fake.

~Anonymous citizen with 23 years LEO, military, and anti-terrorist experience.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Well, it would have been nice if the TSA had answered the question. That is how you start productive discussions.

December 16, 2011 11:32 AM

.........
If you have been a reader of this TSA Blog for any length of time you already know that TSA nevers answers questions.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the attempt to communicate with the people TSA serves, but this response is canned out of a number of previous press releases.

There are no new facts presented, only a few suggestions that things are better. It would be nice to get the actual facts, especially in light of Rep. Mica's comment that the results in penetration tests still are not acceptable.

There was no real discussion of the issues with the back scatter AIT in spite of the fact the Europe has banned it and several prominent scientists and medical professionals (my oncologist among them) will not be screened using that system.

I am very disheartened by the legalistic dance the Department of Homeland Security has done to avoid dealing with these issues in court. Having secret rules about who can challenge and in what court to avoid dealing with legal challenges is not what the founding fathers intended.

I also think the TSA is on shaky ground, ethically and perhaps legally, when dealing their current perceived search protocols. I suspect this will come back to haunt the agency before too long.

And finally, because of my profession, I travel 6 to 8 times a year. This is down approximately half and many others who travel make the same statement. The current screening process is stifling trade and the economy at a time when they should be encouraging it.

I had not planned to respond to this, but it occurred to me that there might be an attempt to use this in place of the "Comment Period" mandated by the courts that the TSA has not seen fit to abide by. I wanted to make sure I was heard.

Some will say that I should be offering suggestions as to how to do this better rather than criticizing negatively. To them I say that I have written half a dozen letters with thoughtful suggestions about how to do the job better. I have yet to receive a reply or even an acknowledgement.

I would hope that this would be the beginning of a dialog rather than an attempt to fill the square and tell those in power that you have responded.

Anonymous said...

Responding to the A. Nonymous that attempted to shred the air marshal plan I presented, I hope you were joking about only flying air marshals. Also, the chance of an air marshal being a terrorist is slim. Background checks are performed on anyone carrying a firearm in the passenger compartment of an airplane that most people would not believe existed. I would bet they even find out what a FAM has for breakfast every morning before going to work!

As it stands currently, if a terrorist gets through security (unlikely but possible) 11th September could happen all over again. Even the most sturdy reinforced doors can't take a linebacker slamming through it (although I support reinforced doors) and if someone flies through security with 3.4 ounces of liquid explosive a plane could still be blown out of the air ala Pan Am Lockerbie except that the explosive would be in the passenger compartment rather than the cargo hold. The minute someone starts messing with something in a suspicious manner I should be able to flag down a uniformed group of FAMs to take care of the situation. The way it is now passengers lives depend on someone like me (with defense training) happening to being aboard the plane to take down a terrorist -- highly unlikely.

I also think all commercial pilots should be armed and trained to use their firearms. Between the pilots and four FAMs on board it is highly unlikely that any terrorists would be able to take down a plane or worse. Of course this assumes that the TSA screens passengers appropriately for lighters, percussion caps and other ways of lighting off bombs/flammable materials. The liquid explosive may make it through (short of making everyone taste their 3.4 ounce bottles of "water" there isn't a way to predictably detect them -- although with explosive detection machines in use many could be caught) but any manner of lighting them should either be caught at the airport or on board by passengers and taken care of by the FAMs -- protecting the flight and causing a bullet to be lodged in the terrorist's head on board the airplane courtesy of Uncle Sam.

film seyret said...

I did not ask the president to have the head of the TSA give me a written justification for why the TSA is going to keep doing what it is already doing.

Anonymous said...

This response pretty much confirmed that Mr. Pistole is completely clueless and completely incompetent. It amounted to throwing gasoline on a fire. No half-way competent politician would have written something like this.

When a large group of people are very unhappy with the job you are doing, you don't respond by saying that you are doing a wonderful job and they are totally wrong.

I'm surprised the White House even allowed this to be published.

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
"By the way Mr or Ms Moderator... if you now have so many people posting that they are fed up with the way the original "We the People..." petition was answered... why hasn't someone at TSA jumped in to handle damage control. "
------------------------
Uh, maybe because the 172 responses (to this point) are really NOT a considerable amt of people posting. To put it in perspective, that's barely the amt of people a slow small to medium sized airport puts through a single checkpoint in about a half hr to 45 minutes on a single average day. Not a real significant amt in the overall picture.
As far as the 32K people that signed the petition, that's about 1 single days worth of passengers at one terminal at a fairly large airport. Again, seems like a large number but really isn't.

Anonymous said...

As Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Personally, I'd much rather suffer the tiny risk of terrorism than the 100% risk of the many inconveniences served up by the TSA.

Of the many comments that I read, only one expressed any support for the TSA. What are you going to do about it, issue more propaganda?

Anonymous said...

Wondering if anyone at TSA thinks this response was beneficial to TSA?

Guilerme said...

To Anonymous who said: "maybe because the 172 responses (to this point) are really NOT a considerable amt of people posting... ," I say... I was not point to sheer numbers... I was pointing to the ratio of negative vs. positive respondents. TSA should take a clue from this that the American people - in general - are not pleased with their system.

Anonymous said...

1. "Responding to the A. Nonymous that attempted to shred the air marshal plan I presented, I hope you were joking about only flying air marshals. Also, the chance of an air marshal being a terrorist is slim. Background checks are performed on anyone carrying a firearm in the passenger compartment of an airplane that most people would not believe existed. I would bet they even find out what a FAM has for breakfast every morning before going to work! "

A. In statistical terms, the chance of an air marshal being a terrorist is essentially the same as the chance of any given passenger being a terrorist-- virtually zero.

B. I will take you up on your bet that anyone is keeping tabs on what air marshals are eating for breakfast. The statement is absurd and inaccurate.

2. "Even the most sturdy reinforced doors can't take a linebacker slamming through it (although I support reinforced doors) and if someone flies through security with 3.4 ounces of liquid explosive a plane could still be blown out of the air ala Pan Am Lockerbie except that the explosive would be in the passenger compartment rather than the cargo hold. The minute someone starts messing with something in a suspicious manner I should be able to flag down a uniformed group of FAMs to take care of the situation."

A. Your claim that the most sturdy reinforced doors can be knocked down by a large man is completely inaccurate. That's just not true. And I would add that your brilliant plan ignores the possibility of a passenger detonating a device in the restroom.

3. "Of course this assumes that the TSA screens passengers appropriately for lighters, percussion caps and other ways of lighting off bombs/flammable materials. The liquid explosive may make it through (short of making everyone taste their 3.4 ounce bottles of "water" there isn't a way to predictably detect them -- although with explosive detection machines in use many could be caught) but any manner of lighting them should either be caught at the airport or on board by passengers and taken care of by the FAMs -- protecting the flight and causing a bullet to be lodged in the terrorist's head on board the airplane courtesy of Uncle Sam."

1. Even when lighters were banned I had no problem carrying several lighters onto multiple flights with no problem whatsoever.

2. Lighters are not currently banned. Why, in your opinion, has this not caused planes to fall out of the sky on a regular basis?

Finally, the real problem with your plan is cost. You seem to completely ignore the fact that people choose different modes of travel depending on the cost. By adding a $150 surcharge to every airline ticket, you will undoubtedly end up with more people driving who would have otherwise flown. One thing we can be absolutely certain of is that this will increase the number of traffic deaths. Do you acknowledge that or even care about the significant number of people who you are condemning to die in traffic accidents?

Anonymous said...

cut the agency by 50%...keep only the staff that has some degree of common sense and technical savy... give them proper training similar to what Customs and Border Protection gives its officers... If you had professional law enforcement officers with explosives expertise performing this job instead of people with minimum education and 3 weeks of training, youd be able to do alot more in terms of effectiveness with alot less people and money...

Not to mention if you had a professionally trained staff they wouldnt get anywhere near as many complaints. Probably 90% of the complaints TSA gets isnt because of how they do their job, but the attitude and unprofessionalism of the people doing it.

The organization doesnt need abolishment. it needs to be fixed... It needs professional officers that have the tools and SOP's to let them actually target high-risk groups while reducing the inconvinience to the 95% of travelers that are markedly low risk. Pre-check is a nice start... But full on profiling based on behavior and travel history would be much more effective at using resources more efficiently...

Rescreen your hires, give your people proper training, fire the ones that dont level up, and profile... If you did those simple things, respect for you agency would increase significantly... and you wouldnt need to have 50,000 "officers". 20,000 actual Officers with proper training could do a much better job.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
As long as that uniformed cop maintains high visibility patrols with his marked cruiser, that person knows his chances of getting arrested are almost guaranteed.

Faulty logic- that person can easily spot the cop, and can act innocent when he's around, and commit crimes when he knows he's gone.

But what would happen if the cop patrolled the neighborhood in his private-owned car and dressed in undercover street clothes? The answer is he will successfully catch vandals, but he would not be able to arrest them until AFTER the damage has begun (probably cause).

No- the answer is that criminals, not knowing who is a cop and who is not, would be too scared to commit any crimes at all.

Which cop would you rather have patrolling your skies? The uniformed cop who's high visibility will keep that unidentified terrorist from acting out until you can get off the plane safely? Or the undercover cop who will catch the terrorist in the act of blowing up your plane?

Sorry- the 'uniformed cop' will be the first one taken out by the terrorists.

Anonymous said...

"We're beginning to see pushback, where people are becoming adversaries of the security systems that are put in place to protect them.," said Brian Jenkins, an anti-terrorism expert.

"Now that's a good way to destroy a security system, and we have to address that as an issue," said Jenkins, co-editor of "The Long Shadow of 911: America's response to Terrorism," published by the Rand Corporation think tank.

Wimpie said...

I dont know why anyone is surprised,

Econ 101 Fact: Monopoly = Higher Cost
Econ 101 Fact: Government = Lower Efficiency
Econ 101 Fact: Government Monopoly = Screwed over taxpayers

This has never been about money, it is about control.

Anonymous said...

The road to a police state is paved with good intentions

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said....
"As far as the 32K people that signed the petition, that's about 1 single days worth of passengers at one terminal at a fairly large airport. Again, seems like a large number but really isn't."

So how many unhappy people would it take before you would consider it a real problem? 100,000? 1,000,000?

If 32K people said I was doing a bad job I would consider that a disaster and take it very seriously.

Anonymous said...

Okay Responding to this petition was just lip service. Okay, we Responded; Job Done; We did something, Check in the box, complete SAT! Next!

Anonymous said...

How many unhappy people would it take before you consider it a real problem? It doesn't matter. 32K is good enough for government work. PRIVATIZE!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Administrator John Pistole

We didn't ask for your opinion, nor do we want it. We are telling you what "WE THE PEOPLE" want. "WE THE PEOPLE" want you and the TSA to BEGONE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Im just curious but to all that signed the petition, what ACTUALLY did you think would be the result? Now remember it is the government. I wonder if there is a "get rid of the IRS" petition too. I wonder how many people would sign that one and really expect the govt to get rid of irs?
lets get a real perspective of things, you are expressing your right to give your opinion and you did it.

Anonymous said...

"Faulty logic- that person can easily spot the cop, and can act innocent when he's around, and commit crimes when he knows he's gone."


Remember that we are talking about the cabin of an airplane. Not a 15 square-mile neighborhood of 1000 homes. But either way, the key is to lessen by discouraging. Just like the high emphasis DUI patrols taking place across the country right now. Drivers will still drive drunk, but the numbers are lower than if the emphasis wasn't in place.



"No- the answer is that criminals, not knowing who is a cop and who is not, would be too scared to commit any crimes at all."


That is not true. In fact it is the same tactic used by the NYPD since 911 to deter terrorists. If you recall just recently, NYPD used overwhelmingly high visibilty in the city as part of thier tactic to deter terrorists attacks during the 10th anniversary of 911. Theit uniformed officers were out in full force. Light bars atop their vehicles were left turned on and flashing. The whole idea is to show their prescence and let any UNIDENTIFIED terrorists who may be in the city see that it is not a good time for the rat to play because the the cat is not away.
Undercover agents are used to hunt down terrorists who are in the stages of planning and organizing attacks. But once that un-caught terrorist makes it to the final stage of committing an attack, the uniformed officer on patrol becomes the last line of defense who prevents it. Air Marshals should not be covertly hunting down unknown terrorists on airplanes flying at altitude. They need to be preventing intended acts of terror from being carried out by any terrorists who may have breached the 20 or so layers of security that the TSA brags so much about. The hunt resumes after the plane safely lands with the lives of all passengers intact.



"Sorry- the 'uniformed cop' will be the first one taken out by the terrorists."


Remember that Air Marshals operate in a unique enviroment in that all passengers are screened before boarding and weapons carried by passngers are prohibited. It's not like an LAPD cop who walks the sidewalks where everyone else walks without having thier pockets pre-searched. Not even transit cops who work trains and subways have the luxury of policing pre-searched passengers that Air Marshals have. There will always be a chance of a terrorist making it all the way onto the plane with something dangerous, but in order to take out an individual Marshal (and there would not be just one Air Marshal) before blowing up the rest of the plane with the remaining people, the terroist would have to sneak aboard a weapon that is equal or greater than the firearm the Marshal is carrying in addition to the explosive he sneaked aboard to bring the plane down with. But nonetheless, if that terrorist chooses to take any individual out before taking out the entire plane altogether, it's that trained Air Marshal that you'd want him to square-off with. You wouldn't want him killing an un-armed passenger or flight attendant first so that the air marshal can come out of cover and shoot him reactively. He's there to serve and protect everyone---not serve and protect himself and his identity.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Administrator Pistole for responding just the way I've come to expect the government to respond to honest pleas by its citizens. Have the intern print out a form letter for them to read and hope they give up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Okay Responding to this petition was just lip service. Okay, we Responded; Job Done; We did something, Check in the box, complete SAT! Next!"

Well, that is pretty much the TSA's job description.

Their main job is to make people feel safer so that they keep buying airplane tickets. It doesn't make any difference if that are actually safer or not.

It's just a massive subsidy of the airlines. The government is providing free security services to a private business. All of us taxpayers are bailing-out the airlines.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic response. Let me paraphrase it for those who don't have time to read: "9/11, 9/11, 9/11". The response does not address any concerns raised by the petition whatsoever. It just perpetrates the fear-mongering, budget-generating agenda that the TSA has.

[screenshotted]

Charles Kerr, Hollywood Florida said...

Anonymous said....
"As far as the 32K people that signed the petition, that's about 1 single days worth of passengers at one terminal at a fairly large airport. Again, seems like a large number but really isn't."

Hmmm.... by that logic since there have only been, according to the Delete-O-Meter on this site, 46,000 approved comments, the TSA must be doing a great job since that is less than most airports handle in a day.

cum hoc ergo propter hoc

The fact is there are enough people upset with what the TSA is doing, and how they are doing it, to make their voice heard here, on the Petition, on the news, blogs, emails, and anything else they can find to make themselves heard.

It doesn't matter if the number of people is small, it matters that those people are the very ones fighting the Monopoly that is the TSA. We can't fight with our pocketbooks because you can't fly commercial without interacting wit the TSA. We can't directly fight with our votes because no one in the TSA is elected. That leaves those of us who are unhappy with the TSA few other options. I, and many here, protest verbally by calling out the TSA whenever they pull stunts like having Mr. Pistole 'answer' our questions.

And I am going to sign this one with my real name. Since I plan to do everything in my power to avoid commercial air-travel while the TSA is in existence I have no fear of winding up on their No-Fly list.

Anon_Charlie said...

It's been quite a while since I've dropped in to see what the TSA is up too - so sad to see that Americans are still so scared that they allow this reprehensible mistreatment to continue. I miss the old America, it was way more fun.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Administrator Pistole - have you ever been through a security check point where you were groped an abused? Or more simply, have you actually flown in the last year? If TSA had as their main mission to keep us safe, then we the people wouldn't need a petition to abolish an organizion that daily trounces on our civil rights.

Anonymous said...

i disagree that the TSA is a "massive subsidy of the airlines". exactly the opposite. the airlines are just as much hostage to the whimsical mandates of the TSA as we, the traveling public. they, too, have no choice. and they are suffering the financial hardship of the natural response of all of US who now limit their use of commercial air travel because of the TSA.

TSA == Theatre Security Administration. Look! See? See how (it appears) we Control all access to the airplanes? Don't you feel (not actually ARE) safer, now?

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that the TSA sickens me. Just sickens me. At a time when we are in such a tight spot financially, we're basically raking billions of dollars into a big pile and setting it on fire for this garbage. I hope you're ashamed of what you're apart of.

The TSA doesn't stop anything. The TSA reacts like a group of children. People on the plane stopped the underpants bomber-- not you. But thanks for opening my kids juice box to check for explosives. That was so totally useful.

Get out while you can, people. I hear New Zealand is accepting applications.

Stan said...

I would rather there were no security at the airport and just take my chances than deal with the indignity of having my genitals touched by TSA, as they have be several dozen times in the past two years. For the good of America, TSA must be abolished.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"i disagree that the TSA is a "massive subsidy of the airlines". exactly the opposite. the airlines are just as much hostage to the whimsical mandates of the TSA as we, the traveling public. they, too, have no choice. and they are suffering the financial hardship of the natural response of all of US who now limit their use of commercial air travel because of the TSA."

After 9/11 I think the extra security increased air travel because many people were afraid of flying.

However, I think this is changing as more people get abused by the TSA. At his point the TSA may well be reducing the total number of travelers.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
However, I think this is changing as more people get abused by the TSA. At his point the TSA may well be reducing the total number of travelers."

Not may well be. In my case it's a fact. I bought a large enough boat to scuba dive off of so not to have to deal with the abuses of the TSA.

Now it's just the Coast Guard and they are far more polite and don't perform pat-downs without just cause. Not to mention they will save your behind in case of a problem at sea.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 226   Newer› Newest»