Thursday, January 5, 2012

TSA Top 10 Good Catches of 2011

Snake, bird, inert landmines, stun phone, C-4 explosives, guns, knives in book, tactical spike.
Our officers have had some good finds this year at our checkpoints and we wanted to share our top 10 good catches with you. Some are dangerous, some simply look dangerous and can cause major delays, and others are just plain weird. Click on the links to read more about each good catch.

Top 10:

10) Snakes, turtles, and birds were found at Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX). I’m just happy there weren’t any lions, tigers, and bears…
9) A science project shut down a checkpoint at Omaha (OMA). I wonder if mentioning the shutting down of the checkpoint added enough flare to his presentation to score him some bonus points?
8) An artfully concealed non-metallic martial arts weapon called a “Tactical Spike” was found in the sock of a passenger at Pensacola (PNS) after being screened by a body scanner. The only thing I keep in my sock is my foot.
7) Inert landmines were found at Salt Lake City (SLC). I always travel with mine, don’t you???
6) A stun gun disguised as a smart phone was found at Los Angeles (LAX). Not very smart to travel with this stunning device.
5) A flare gun with seven flares was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Norfolk (ORF). Hmmm… pressurized cabin + 7 live flares = no good can come from this.
4) Two throwing knives  concealed in hollowed out book were found at Washington National (DCA). Killer book…
3) Over 1,200 firearms were discovered at TSA checkpoints across the nation in 2011. Many guns are found loaded with rounds in the chamber. Most passengers simply state they forgot they had a gun in their bag.
2) A loaded .380 pistol  was found strapped to passenger’s ankle with the body scanner at Detroit (DTW). You guessed it, he forgot it was there…
1) Small chunks of C4 explosives were found in passenger’s checked luggage in Yuma (YUM). Believe it or not, he was brining it home to show his family.

If you’re interested in reading about more finds such as these, be sure to read our weekly “TSA Week In Review” blog posts, posted every Friday. 
Honorable mentions:
13) Invisible Space Aliens were detected at numerous checkpoints nationwide.
12) Five inert grenades  were found in passenger’s bag at Newark (EWR).
11) 240 live fish were found swimming in 4 checked bags at Los Angeles (LAX).
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.

154 comments:

TSM said...

And yet the majority of these people were allowed to fly. Bob, how about an accounting of total fines levied this year for prohibited items?

Anonymous said...

Where are the "bad" catches? Like the cupcake?

RB said...

So did TSA in North Carolina miss 2 pounds of C4 when they screened a person?

Anonymous said...

and the cupcake? Where did that rank?

Anonymous said...

Still waiting on an answer as to why a cupcake is a security threat.

Anonymous said...

Bob, Bob, Bob, you forgot a few:

The cupcake.

The gun a TSA screener brought to work.

The vibrator a screener found, and left a note for: "Get your freak on, girl"

The marijuana that a screener DIDN'T confiscate, but left a note for: "C'mon son".

Do I need to continue??

The Dave said...

So of the top 10, 3 aren't even weapons. Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Where is the Cupcake Incident of 2011 on this list? Surely that is the essential layer of the multi-layer scheme?

Anonymous said...

And just think, those Top 10 Finds only cost us, the lowly taxpayer, what $8.1B? Good God, think of the good that could have been done with that money compared to employing a bloated, undereducated work force whose Top 10 Finds don't amount to a hill of beans.

Add this pathetic look at the successes to the scorching information released by Congress and you see that we're paying a lot for little to nothing.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaannd.... wait for it.... a cupcake!

Anonymous said...

But Bob, seriously, what do ANY of these things have to do with terrorism? Did TSA manage to disrupt a single terrorist plot last year? Sure, you found some criminals, and some criminally dumb people, but nothing on your list says you had any sort of success in preventing terrorism. And that, good sir, is your purpose, no?

Anonymous said...

And yet, none of these items were carried by anyone who intended to harm any flight. How come you always refuse to mention that, Curtis, and why do you keep hyping items carried by stupid people who didn't mean to cause anyone any harm?

Anonymous said...

What about the cupcake?

And seriously, the science project? Touting TSA's ability to false alarm on harmless objects is just plain weird. Just like the custom battery packs and other custom electronics you have confiscated over the years, "out of an abundance of caution," in spite of clearing the item and passenger of any wrongdoing.

As an electrical engineer and ham radio operator, I find TSA's consistently inconsistent reactions to electronics that don't come from Walmart or Best Buy quite alarming.

In my opinion, if you want to deny an item passage through the checkpoint, your screeners had better be willing to swear out a criminal complain against the passenger, press charges, testify in court, and personally face charges of filing a false statement if they are shown to have overreacted. Unless the passenger is arrested/charged, the items should not be confiscated. If the passenger is not convicted, the screeners/supervisors involved should be charged. There has to be some semblance of accountability even in TSA's screwed up mindset.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

Why are these "good" catches?

Preventing small animals and science projects from traveling is somehow a good justification for the TSA boondoggle?

Maybe sensationalizing these non-threats is good PR in some security theater sense.

pankywitz said...

The republican candidates bring up cutting government spending frequently. TSA is a part of this government spending. Does anyone else fear that if a republican becomes president they will decrease the amount of money going to the TSA?

Anonymous said...

Cupcake.

Anonymous said...

Your list includes zero terrorists. Was it worth strip searching grandmothers for this?

Make Toreno said...

So a science project shut down the checkpoint because the TSA doesn't fire people who are too lazy and inattentive to pay attention to what they were looking at. And this is one of the top 10 good catches of 2011?

Anonymous said...

Unless you have some evidence that the TSA was responsible for actual terrorists being arrested locked up I'm not impressed. Anything less is just wasting money and annoying passengers.

HMA VPN said...

except the good catches , we also need the bad catches not just some turtles and birds

Anonymous said...

Y'all do realize that "INERT" means they don't work? INERT means deficient in active properties. INERT means: dead, inactive, inoperative...

INERT grenades & mines are less reactive than the cupcake...

MRFLIGHT said...

OK im not a TSA fan but some of the comments are stupid. "what do any of these things have to do with terrorism?"

Really? thats your argument? I'am pretty sure TSA "mandate" is to protect the aircraft and passengers.

TSA isnt just looking out for terrorist, there looking for stupidity too.

Im sure that Army fellow who brought explosive material in his bags meant no harm, STILL he is an idiot and brought explosive material(something TSA is suppose to find)

Anonymous said...

All of these items have NOTHING to do with threats to the aircraft or "terrorists"! What a stunning waste of time, energy and taxpayer dollars while violating our Rights and assaulting innocent citizens.

Anonymous said...

So this is what we violate all of our civil liberties for... did you stop ONE terrorist? Were any of these people incarcerated for terrorism?

Anonymous said...

Did you guys manage to find my dignity yet? I know I had it before entering TSA screening and then I couldn't find it afterwards.

Anonymous said...

What about the lightsaber? Master Yoda thanks you personally for that one. I heard he even sent you a cupcake.

RB said...

What was the TSA Security issue with Snakes, Turtles, and Birds?

This is really in the top ten of TSA's Good Catches?

Really?

Anonymous said...

I will have to admit the 2011 was a big year for the TSA. The reputation of your organization sank to new lows after routine reports of wrongdoing within the TSA workforce. Most depictions of your organization in the media are equated with some sort of illicit activity.

Congratulations on a job well done! The TSA became the poster child of government incompetence in 2011. Hopefully, things will go better in 2012; your organization's reputation can not sink much further.

tramky said...

The readers of this TSA blog should well know by now that the purpose & objectives of the TSA have very little to do with terrorism. The TSA has become the search-and-seizure agency representing EVERY law enforcement & regulatory agency of the Federal government--and nothing less than that. The TSA is also the search-and-interrogate arm of every state government and of every local government.

As has been pointed out, very little of the stuff reported here as 'good finds' by TSA have anything to do with terrorism, and everything to do with other issues, most of which have no impact on safety & security of airline travel.

Hidden cash? What does that have to do with the price of eggs? Inert or fake 'munitions'? Nothing to do with airline flight security & safety. Unloaded handguns? Nothing to do with safety & security. 'Gels'? Give us a break!

The TSA should be eliminated altogether. It is now unionized, which is a real clue as to its real purpose--and it has nothing to do with safety & security, and everything to do with increasing union membership so union dues can be collected in higher & higher amounts.

Anonymous said...

Really, Why hasn't TSA caught a terrorist?
Maybe because terrorists don't walk around everyday through airport security trying to get on planes.
Do you really believe TSA is going to catch someone everyday. If that is what you believe prepare to be dissapointed. Terrorists will wait years before they try something.
TSA is there for the next terrorist attack. Can anyone predict when that is going to be? Didn't think so!
Yes, TSA pats down children and grandparents and everyone else who comes through security. Can anyone tell me what a terrorist looks like? Didn't think so!

Headlines 2012 - TSA stops patting down senior citizens!
Headlines 2013 - 74 yr old carries explosives on airplane and kills 280 passengers.
Headlines 2014 - Victims families sue TSA for not doing enough.

Careful What You Ask For! You Might Just Get It.

Anonymous said...

"Did you guys manage to find my dignity yet? I know I had it before entering TSA screening and then I couldn't find it afterwards."

Oh, you must be one of those old people who actually expect that the TSA won't require you to remove your medical device. Don't you realize that we only tell people that as one of our "layers?"

Anonymous said...

"And yet the majority of these people were allowed to fly. Bob, how about an accounting of total fines levied this year for prohibited items?"

TSM - you should know that information is SSI. How better to disincentivize people from doing these things than to hide what happens when they do?

Also, the number is extremely small, as you well know.

Anonymous said...

so how about the cupcake.....

Anonymous said...

MRFLIGHT said...
"Really? thats your argument? I'am pretty sure TSA "mandate" is to protect the aircraft and passengers."

That's nice, but is the cost justified by the benefit?

I would guess that using the billions spent on the TSA to instead put more real police officers on the street would produce a much larger benefit to our safety. The TSA only protects you for a few hours, your local police are protecting you 24/7.

Anonymous said...

All these people "forgot" they had weapons in their carry-ons or on their bodies? If they are that stupid and irresponsible, they should automatically lose their right to own a weapon since they have proven they do not have the mental capacity to use one responsibly.

Anonymous said...

I am actually in support of TSA. With a world full of bad and crazy people, I don't trust that 74 year old man with a gun strapped to him. Or anyone else with a gun trying to board a plane. I'm fine with being patted down and searched if it means a safer flight. We can all complain about tax money funding TSA and be annoyed by their silly mistakes.. But had that cupcake actually had something hidden in it and had it made it past TSA and caused harm to people, you would all be complaining about how they didn't stop the cupcake. I think we should all be grateful for people out there trying to make a safer world and also for the thousands of jobs that TSA creates.

AlexM said...

My mother once packed three cans of hair mousse and hairspray bound together into a bundle with duct tape inside a ziplock. I had no idea that she did this and was totally surprised when they wanted to search the bag. It must have looked like a bunch of sticks of dynamite in the x-ray machine!

Anonymous said...

imagine what some people will take on an airplane if the tsa were not there, i do not mind a little humiliation if i am going to be safe at 30,000 feet in the air. Alan.

Anonymous said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I submit the following list (not at all comprehensive) as:

"The Peoples' Top 24 Good Catches of 2011" -- Part 1

1. Jan 27: A Transportation Security Administration agent has been charged with theft after attempting to steal a laptop at Memphis International Airport.
Ricky German, 48, was charged Wednesday with theft of property over $1,000 but less than $10,000. The incident occurred Dec. 20; it's uncertain why it took so long for charges to be filed.

2. Feb 16: Two employees with the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) have been arrested and are facing charges after allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from checked baggage at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. WNBC-TV reported that Coumar Persad, 36, and Davon Webb, 30, are expected to each face felony charges of grand larceny, conspiracy and possession of stolen property. They are also expected to face a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.

3. Feb 16: An Indianapolis Transportation Security Administration employee was arrested on a battery charge after scuffling with a gift shop employee at Indianapolis International Airport's parking garage on Tuesday. told officers that the TSA employee, later identified as Michael Merriman, 59, of Mooresville, approached the driver's side door of his car, shook an angry fist at him and said, "You'll never do that to me again."

4. Apr 19: TSA Agent in Londonderry, NH Arrested For Rape, Sexual Assault

5. Apr 23: Airport passenger Screener Charged in Distributing Child Pornography

6. May 10: 31-year-old TSA officer Ryan Driscoll was arrested at LAX for allegedly stealing from a traveler’s suitcase.

7. May 18: A Transportation Security Administration worker was jailed early Tuesday after he was arrested at Orlando International Airport. Rynel Delacruz, 25, faces a personal conduct and weapons charge. He was released later Tuesday after posting $250 bail.

8. May 20: A TSA screener jumped aboard a JetBlue flight to the Dominican Republic last weekend without a ticket, the New York Post reported Friday. Carlos Rodriguez, a TSA screener at JFK airport, got an employee pass from a JetBlue employee friend, to board the flight.
The screener, who insisted that he was allowed to sit in a jump seat in the main cabin, caught the pilot's eye 45 minutes into the flight. The pilot turned the flight around and headed back to Kennedy Airport to drop off the screener.

9. Jun 3: A DeWitt man today was denied a reduction in the bail holding him in jail on child molestation charges. David J. Blom, 49, of Radcliffe Road, is being held in jail with bail set at $10,000 cash or $40,000 bond. He is facing two felony counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child. Assistant District Attorney Andrew Tarkowski said Blom is accused of molesting two girls from 1997 through 2006. The victims are now 21 and 20, he said. Blom has been employed in airport security by the Transportation Security Administration for the past eight years and is active in St. David's Church.

10. Jun 3: A former security officer at Orlando International Airport has been accused of stealing computers from travelers' bags. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Elliot Iglesias was indicted on charges of taking four laptops from checked luggage in March.

11. Jun 7: A former Transportation Security Administration supervisor at Newark International Airport was sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday for accepting bribes and kickbacks from a coworker who allegedly stole money regularly from passengers during security screenings. Michael Arato, 42 years old, of Ewing, N.J., had previously pleaded guilty on the charges.


12. Jun 10: TSA released a statement announcing that it had identified 30 employees at the Honolulu International Airport for potential termination "following an extensive investigation into allegations of improper screening of checked baggage."

Anonymous said...

"The Peoples' Top 24 Good Catches of 2011" -- Part 2


13. Jun 18: A week before Yashou was collared, police arrested 49-year-old security agent Karla Morgan at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Morgan was caught in a sting operation in which an undercover officer gave her a wallet he said he had found with $1,000 inside. Morgan put the wallet in her backpack and walked out of the airport. Officers arrested her in a parking lot, according to local news stations.

14. Jun 25: Another Transportation Security Administration worker was arrested Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport on suspicion of stealing items from passengers’ bags, police said. Members of a task force investigating thefts at the airport arrested Paul Yashou, 37, said Officer Bruce Borihanh of the Los Angeles Police Department.

15. Sep 13: Three Transportation Security Administration officers and two police officers are among 20 people arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiring to distribute tens of thousands of oxycodone painkillers for illegal sale from Florida to Connecticut, according to U.S. Attorney of Connecticut David B. Fein.

16. Sep 18: A high-ranking TSA official has been arrested in connection with the death of 43-year-old Stacey Wright, who was found dead earlier this week inside her D'Iberville apartment.
Investigators said Benitez and Wright both worked for the Transportation Security Administration. Benitez is second in command at Jackson's TSA.

17. Sep 20: A federal judge in New Jersey has sentenced a lead transportation security officer at Newark Liberty Airport to six months of home confinement for stealing money from passengers' bags as they underwent security screenings. Transportation Security Administration officer Al Raimi pleaded guilty in February, admitting he and his supervisor regularly stole money from travelers. He was sentenced Tuesday.

18. Sep 28: A Transportation Security Administration agent was arrested this week on federal charges for her role in an alleged phony marriage scheme that sought to secure U.S. citizenship for her purported spouse, a Lebanon native.
The case against Krista Taha, 34, is, in part, based on information provided by two male TSA agents who told investigators that they dated her while she was reportedly married to Ali Taha

19. Oct 17: The son of a former L.A. city fire chief was under arrest Monday for allegedly bribing a Transportation Security Administration agent at LAX to help him smuggle marijuana onto a flight, authorities said. Millage Peaks, 23, the son of former Los Angeles Fire Chief Millage Peaks, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of bribing a public official. TSA employee Dianna Perez, 28, of Inglewood, also was arrested for allegedly accepting the bribe, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles.

Anonymous said...

"The Peoples' Top 24 Good Catches of 2011" -- Part 3


20. Nov 1: An Orange County man faces child porn charges, records show, stemming from images authorities say he possessed while working as a TSA employee at Orlando International Airport. A Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said that Paul David Rains, 62, no longer works for the agency, as of Monday. He was arrested at his home on Havasu Drive about 1:30 p.m.

21. Nov 20: A Transportation Security Administration employee is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Manassas. The suspect, Harold Glen Rodman, 52, allegedly was wearing his uniform and displayed a badge to the victim, a 37-year-old woman. He is charged with aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy and abduction with intent to defile.

22. Dec 1: A Minneapolis man who lost his job with the Transportation Security Administration for an off-duty assault of an elderly Somali man has been sentenced to six months in prison for the hate crime. George Thompson, 64, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Thompson's case was the first prosecuted under the act.

23. Dec 13: A former employee of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has pleaded guilty to having thousands of child pornography images and videos on his home computers. Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Andrew Cheever of Lowell entered his plea on Monday and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 22.

24. ...and, the highlight of 2011:

A former federal airport security screener was sentenced to two years in prison for helping drug suspects evade security and smuggle money through a New York airport.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara sentenced Minnetta Walker at the high end of federal guidelines, because of the seriousness of the crime and the importance of airport security.

Walker says she would take back her actions if she could.

Walker was a nine-year veteran of the Transportation Safety Administration, was working at Buffalo Niagara International Airport when she was arrested last March. Investigators say she helped alleged drug suspects get large sums of money past security and to alert suspects that undercover officers were in the building.

Walker pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to defraud the United States.

(Screen shot made & saved.)

Anonymous said...

"Hmmm… pressurized cabin + 7 live flares = no good can come from this."

Those Mk 79 flares are standard equipment on a Naval Aircrewman's life vest, which in turn spends most of its time aloft... in pressurized cabins.

Anonymous said...

A year's work, billions of dollars and this is the cream of the crop? How underwhelming.

My tax return just had a seizure.

Anonymous said...

Cupcake!

Anonymous said...

Simply amazing. THIS is the best they can report as their top Ten? These are all THINGS, not criminals or terrorists or others intending to do harm. I assume if they had stopped even ONE person subsequently arrested, charged, or convicted, that that would deserve a mention. But no, not one!!! It's all theatre (of the absurd); the French would love it. I can only assume that there were just as many guns, etc. going on board before TSA, as after it. And yet can anyone remember any UNINTENDED gunfire incidents onboard commercial aircraft? Stopping things rather than people is worse than pointless. Clearly the purpose of the TSA is to hassle and disrupt air travel, not protect it.

Anonymous said...

Re science project: "...added enough flare to his presentation..." Flare? Who wrote this? Probably the same person who thought a cupcake is a terrorist threat.

Anonymous said...

Your top find of 2011 was a small amount of C4 found in checked luggage, in the posession of a person employed by our armed services.

Congress passes a law requiring the TSA to expedite the screening of people employed by our armed services, because they have been vetted and do not represent the same threat that I apparently do.

The only other reported case of explosives being found at a checkpoint were also being carried by a person employed by our armed services. I am so glad that they will be given expedited screening.

Not Scared of Terrorists

Anonymous said...

Bob - Could the TSA please start reporting on the number of liquid explosive devices confiscated at checkpoints? Oh, sure, the rest of us call them water bottles but if you can call a hunk of metal a "grenade," we should be consistent.

KWT said...

I commend the TSA for their catches. Now how about reporting on their top ten screw ups (like the cupcake)?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I am actually in support of TSA. With a world full of bad and crazy people, I don't trust that 74 year old man with a gun strapped to him."

You are next to people like him all the time whenever you are out in public.

What makes being on an airplane so different that you expect perfect protection there but not anywhere else? This makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Do you really believe TSA is going to catch someone everyday. If that is what you believe prepare to be dissapointed. Terrorists will wait years before they try something."

Do you believe that terrorists will spend years planning then be so stupid that they will be easy to catch?

The TSA only catches careless or stupid people. Someone who is smart and plans carefully won't be stopped by the TSA security theater.

Anonymous said...

People... there was airport security at airports before TSA. TSA is not just for terrorrist. It is for security period. A man who brings a gun to a checkpoint is a crminal. You bring a gun inside of a bank you area criminal. You bring a gun inside a post office, you are a criminal. Some places, guns and other weapons are not allowed perid. Sometimes it feels like people are trying their best to turn positives into negative as far as TSA is concerned. What you mad they took your snow globe? Get over it

Anonymous said...

11. Cupcake.

kimm said...

Anonymous said...
Really, Why hasn't TSA caught a terrorist?
Maybe because terrorists don't walk around everyday through airport security trying to get on planes.

So, do you want to live in fear all of your life? Remember, when you go to the mall, cross the street, stop for gas, go to the grocery store, none of those people have been screened for potential terrorism.

Perhaps if you're that worried, you need to also think about all of the above, then just lock yourself in your home and live out your life looking out the window. That is unless someone breaks in.....

Personally, I don't want to live like that, and refuse to be that paranoid. (And I HAVE been the victim of a crime!)

Anonymous said...

"imagine what some people will take on an airplane if the tsa were not there, i do not mind a little humiliation if i am going to be safe at 30,000 feet in the air. Alan."

Security does not require humiliation. So you're really just being humiliated with no increase in security. If you're into that, great but keep your preferences away from my liberties.

Anonymous said...

"But had that cupcake actually had something hidden in it and had it made it past TSA and caused harm to people, you would all be complaining about how they didn't stop the cupcake."

Nope, not at all. The TSA does very little - particularly relative to its cost - to increase safety. You need to understand that you feeling safer has little to do with actually being safer. Leave security to the professionals. Everyone will be better off that way.

Anonymous said...

"I am actually in support of TSA. With a world full of bad and crazy people, I don't trust that 74 year old man with a gun strapped to him. Or anyone else with a gun trying to board a plane. I'm fine with being patted down and searched if it means a safer flight. We can all complain about tax money funding TSA and be annoyed by their silly mistakes.. But had that cupcake actually had something hidden in it and had it made it past TSA and caused harm to people, you would all be complaining about how they didn't stop the cupcake. "

Well, there's the problem. See, I don't trust you and need you to stay off airplanes. You're not a threat? Sorry, security is based on feelings and I'm still unwilling to allow you aboard. Sorry.

"I think we should all be grateful for people out there trying to make a safer world and also for the thousands of jobs that TSA creates."

Why don't we have them sweep up the streets and patch potholes? The traveling public will be every bit as safe, the traveling public will be as safe and at least I'll be getting something meaningful for my tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

"All these people "forgot" they had weapons in their carry-ons or on their bodies? If they are that stupid and irresponsible, they should automatically lose their right to own a weapon since they have proven they do not have the mental capacity to use one responsibly."

See? That's the problem. People do not lose rights in America "automatically." We are on the road to a police state when people believe tripe such as this.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so the TSA needs to "approve" my comment before posting.

I should have figured.

Anonymous said...

Why did you censor my three-part post about the 24 screening clerks arrested for various felonies and misdemeanors in 2011? Everything I posted came from public-domain newspaper articles.

I believe I called my post "The Peoples' Good Catches of 2011."

I'll check on Monday to see if you changes your mind. If not, my screen captures are on their way to the DHS IG.

TSM said...

Quoted:
"See? That's the problem. People do not lose rights in America "automatically." We are on the road to a police state when people believe tripe such as this.

January 6, 2012 8:09 PM"
---------------
Really, you mean like losing your driver's license for DUI? Or a mandatory year in jail for an unregistered handgun or any number of other laws with mandatory sentences...?
You bring a weapon through a checkpoint, you should lose your permit. How is that out of line with any other mandatory sentences?

Anonymous said...

mad you guys never hear about all the drugs that come through the airport from various cities everyday or the dry runs that terrorist are planning. People this is real. weapons are found on a daily basis. you would really be surprised. i wish there was a way you could experience on a day to day basis what our tsa personnel have to go through and yes there are some people that tsa should but for the most part tsa should be commended

Unknown said...

What is funny to me is the fact that the majority of you people posted anonymously. I often wonder what many of you do for a living that makes you so bitter. Do none of you actually take the time out of your busy low-life schedule to think of the big picture? I don't see any of you actually doing anything about all of your complaints. Does anyone here have half a brain to understand that you are flying on a plane and it should be secure? What, pray tell, can anyone here offer as a solution? Should we fly with no security and simply go on our hopes and beliefs in a monotheistic god? Should we go fly with the arrogant attitude that "nothing will happen this time". In my opinion, those who bash this system are very uneducated and lack the proper information to form an educated thought that makes sense. It saddens me that many people are so negative about something that helps protect them. Until I see anyone come up with a better idea on how to secure transportation, I suggest we take what we can get.

Anonymous said...

Make Toreno said...
So a science project shut down the checkpoint because the TSA doesn't fire people who are too lazy and inattentive to pay attention to what they were looking at. And this is one of the top 10 good catches of 2011?
------
I was there Mike. I saw the xray image, I know what it looked like, and what I was looking at. You don’t know what you are talking about. Like another poster said a little while back, “Get an education”.

Amy Alkon said...

The TSA has accomplished something -- getting us to politely and docilely hand over our civil liberties. I wrote about this, and how Americans need to stand up for our civil liberties, in an op-ed that Pravda ended up publishing when all the large mainstream American outlets I sent it to rejected it (the erosion of civil liberties in America seems of little interest to many):

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/21-12-2011/120035-civil_liberties-0/

I'm cross-posting this comment on my blog, along with the notion that it may not be approved here. Free speech is not something the TSA condones. In fact, as I mention in the piece, the TSA puts a chill on free speech with, for example, a sign, in Denver International Airport, offers the vague warning that "verbal abuse" of agents will "not be tolerated." Not surprisingly, few seem willing to speak out and risk arrest.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous person who kept referring a Cupcake.

I'm a CPL in the Marines. My sister works as a TSA at a Airport in Hawaii. I can come up with hundreds of scenarios to everything they listed on the TOP TEN findings. Maybe you should let the people do their Jobs and Protect the Flights and their passengers. Every time you should Fly on a Plane and land at your destination safely, maybe you should thank those who didn't allow someone with a knife sock, cell phone taser or gun strapped to their ankle.

Anonymous Marine Corporal

Anonymous said...

Any terrorists discovered? You forgot to mention the highly dangerous tube of toothpaste confiscated from me. Of course, after finding this "security threat" in my bag I was then allowed to fly. Surely if I was attempting to smuggle something dangerous onto the aircraft then I should have at least been given the pleasure of a full body search. Maybe you were afraid I would attempt to clean somebody's teeth?

Anonymous said...

And in these "Top 10" categories, how many did the TSA NOT catch?

This is a "Top 10" list of false positives (i.e. these were not terrorists). How many false negatives (i.e. terrorists) traveled unhindered? How many real terrorists did the TSA catch?

The answers to the last questions are "unknown" (they weren't caught, so they can't be quantified), and "unknown" (there is no list of Top 10 terrorists arrested).

Statistically speaking, how effective is the TSA? We have proof of the blunders. Where is the proof of true success?

#cupcake

Anonymous said...

So no terrorists yet? Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

So, the TSA caught zero criminals in 2011, but they're very proud of all the innocent people they've harassed.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the cupcake didn't make the top ten list.

jammit said...

...And not one terrorist was caught.

Facts said...

A loaded .380 pistol was found strapped to passenger’s ankle with the body scanner at Detroit (DTW).

Why was a body scanner needed to detect this? Shouldn't the walk-through metal detector pick up a holstered gun -- isn't this the classic scenario they were designed for?

If TSA's metal detectors aren't functioning, this is a huge problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Anonymous said...

8.1 billion dollars... what a waste. this blog pretty much sums up TSA's uselessness.

Anonymous said...

Is this blog meant to justify TSA unnessecary extra security or to make people look stupid?

Anonymous said...

I'm not seeing any terrorists on this list. Isn't the whole reason we have the TSA to find and stop terrorists at airports? This list just shows how utterly useless the TSA is.

Anonymous said...

imagine what some people will take on an airplane if the tsa were not there, i do not mind a little humiliation if i am going to be safe at 30,000 feet in the air. Alan.

January 5, 2012 3:34 PM


Hey, genius: a bomb is deadly in many places, not just in the air. I assume you shake with fear every time you get on a bus, go to a library, shop in a grocery store etc. etc. After all, no one has been humiliated to calm your paranoia, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm rather amazed that the top 10 is up and allowed to demonstrate the waste of our tax dollars, and even more amazed that these comments were allowed at all.
Probably part of that robotic like following of rules one usually find in the government.
I've found other means of travelling after the abuse was started, but I would be perfectly willing to have myself and my family at risk for being blown up mid air to save everyone the security theatre. Never mind investing the money into real security enhancements such as good old fashion police work. Which is what has caught all the terrorists to date.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of resources... So much wrong with this top 10 list I don't even know where to begin

Anonymous said...

Find any terrorists? Maybe they weren't exciting enough to stick on the list, what with all the science projects and turtles and such.

Anonymous said...

Unknown said...

"What is funny to me is the fact that the majority of you people posted anonymously."

Irony much?

Anonymous said...

Unknown said...
"Does anyone here have half a brain to understand that you are flying on a plane and it should be secure?"

Please explain why airplanes need to be much more secure than other public locations.

At most, I would spend less a day a year in airports/airplanes. How does being protected for that small amount of time make a significant difference in my over all safety?

On top of that, the record shows that the TSA's security isn't even that good. All they do is slightly reduce the risk, they don't' come anywhere close to eliminating it.

Anonymous said...

So far what I read was that the TSA found 10 items that had nothing to do with anyone actually planning to hijack the plane or do anything actually harmful to the other passengers. If this is your Top 10 for 2011 then your entire organization is uselss and I vote that we give up on the TSA and move your almost $1B/year budget back into education of our children.

Anonymous said...

It makes me sad that someone is paid to write these posts and they try to be funny but that person or those persons fail......Then again they work for the TSA, failure is expected.

Anonymous said...

TSA is a waste.

Anonymous said...

lol. it cost $8.1 billion dollars to stop a science project! haha. i'll take this list as the TSA admitting the operation is a joke.

Jim P. said...

The TSA was not needed one hour and one minute after Tower II was hit!

The paradigm, the norm, the expected, what everyone was taught to do was to sit down, shut up and wait for the plane to land and the negotiations happen. That was the model from Entebbe onward.

The passengers on board did not really know what was about to happen on September 11, 2001 at 8:46:30 when Flight 11 struck Tower I.

Even the passengers on Flight 175 probably didn't realize what was about to happen when they struck Tower II at 9:03:02.

The Pentagon crash of Flight 77 at 9:37:46 may have been still a matter of ignorance.

At 10:03:11 on September 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after the brave souls counter-attacked and caused the hijackers to crash the plane.

The time difference is 60 minutes and 9 seconds from Tower II being struck to the crash of Flight 93.

The shoe bomber and panty bomber were taken down by passengers as well. Additionally how many times have you heard of passengers' concerns, restrained passengers and diverted flights? This has all been done by the flight crews and fellow passengers. The Theater Security Agents were nowhere in sight.

I had a recent bunch of BS dumped on me for wanting a hand scan for a 10 ml container of liquid. Note that the typical shot glass is 44.4 ml.

The TSA is and has always been a joke, no make that a total stupidity, that has wasted our country's fortune going down a rabbit hole.

Anonymous said...

Billions of dollars wasted.
Erosion of civil rights.
Harassment of innocent civilians.


What a joke.

Anonymous said...

#1 on this list should be the liberty and freedom the TSA stole from us.

Anonymous said...

" Every time you should Fly on a Plane and land at your destination safely, maybe you should thank those who didn't allow someone with a knife sock, cell phone taser or gun strapped to their ankle. "

Well, Corporal, you should realize that none of those items resulted in prosecution so the chance of any of them being in a terror attack was zero.

Nope, I won't be thanking the TSA for keeping us safe until they start implementing security in a meaningful way.

Anonymous said...

"Until I see anyone come up with a better idea on how to secure transportation, I suggest we take what we can get."


This blog has been full of suggestions on how to improve security. Here's a start:

1. Hire a prefessional workforce. Non-HS grads don't cut it.

2. Realize that the threat is not water bottles, gun-shaped jewelry or cupcakes but explosives.

3. Profile, profile, profile. Yes, there's a chance that the 84 year-old grandmother is carrying a bomb in her back brace but the threat is not senior citizens. Pious spouting of "profiling is wrong and doesn't improve security" is wrong on both counts.

Mike Toreno said...

"I was there Mike. I saw the xray image, I know what it looked like, and what I was looking at."

So did you get fired for harassing a passenger when you knew his property was harmless. Because that's what you were looking at, a harmless piece of property.

Or are you just not telling the truth here - that you were too lazy and inattentive to know what you were looking at?

Anonymous said...

I think its funny that the blog doesn't mention how those handguns could have been caught just as easily pre-9/11, and even before the Christmas bombing attempt.

I also think its funny how they say "you don't have a right to fly". They are right, too. You can drive. Next, there is going to be an attack on a bridge or tunnel system, and when they start doing full searches of cars on the highway, they are going to say "you don't have a right to drive". Don't mind me though, I'll just be home, curled in the fetal posistion in a corner, scared.

Is this what America has come to these days? I was shocked to learn that TSA agents only go through 2 weeks of training...terroists go through months, if not years. Who do you think is going to win?

Tailhooker said...

I bet Samuel L Jackson is pretty darn happy that the snakes were confiscated.

Anonymous said...

Call me crazy, but am I the only person who does feel safer knowing that on my plane, there isn't someone with knives in their books, guns on their ankles and spikes in their shoes? You get me at a vulnerable 30,000 feet, and I don't want anything sharper than a q-tip in the hands of some of the crazies I see flying. And what if someone did conceal a gel-type explosive as a cupcake and the TSA missed it? Who would get the blame then? Surely not all the people who whined about them taking it in the first place. It's a lose-lose job to be in- you take something you get ridiculed, you miss something, you get that and much worse. I respect their job and while it is a 5 (maybe 10) minute hassle, I would rather spend that time in line than the alternative.

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous wrote:
Did you guys manage to find my dignity yet? I know I had it before entering TSA screening and then I couldn't find it afterwards.

According to the super secret policy, dignity is a very dangerous item that passengers must never be allowed to carry onto an airplane.

Anonymous said...

1.2 billion spent on airport screening, and this list is the best that they could do....

Anonymous said...

lol. not sure who is more incompetent the DMV or homeland security/TSA

Anonymous said...

Bob, you forgot to post the cupcake of terror!!!

lostalaska said...

Weird that no one seems to remember that airports before the TSA still had xray scanners for carry ons and metal detectors and they found people carrying guns and large knives all the time....

Why do people instantly jump to the conclusion that without the TSA we wouldn't have any security at the airport?

Anonymous said...

Not one of these items would have gotten through screening before the TSA was created, either.

And, each taxpayer in the country could have kept their $91 contribution to the TSA budget, since the old system wasn't funded by tax dollars...

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

wake me up when you catch an actual Terrorist.

Anonymous said...

I simply love the fact that the TSA blatently admits that it didn't stop a single terrorist threat on any aircraft in the entire united states.

Way to go, $1Billion dollars flushed straight down the toilet...

Who is going to find that the TSA is now in fact the terrorist?

Anonymous said...

"[T]he truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror."

Jim P. said...

Let's see -- say I am trusted to carry a concealed weapon in Utah.

The way the law is written I can also carry concealed in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

So a few states trust me to carry a concealed weapon.

Now I walk into the SLC bound for a direct flight to DFW (Dallas-Fort-Worth). My travel on an airplane makes me a level III felon and a terrorist? Or is it I'm unsafe in the air, but I'm safe on the ground?

What about if commonly carry a multi-tool in a sheath on my belt? I have no criminal record and have never pulled it in an offensive manner. What makes me more likely to pull it on an aircraft?

Why were the passengers of Flight 93 able to bring down the aircraft with the simple restrictions back then?

The answer is simple -- it is not the weapon -- it is the intent. Once Flight 93 realized the intent, they took down the hijackers.

September 11, 2001 was a one time deal. It will never be repeated. If the laws and regulations on flyers were taken off on that day, I would feel infinitely safer.

Rache said...

The TSA could be good, effective, efficient, and it could respect the passengers that keep them in business. It could be a good organization. I don't want it to disappear, and I don't want snakes or unloaded guns or inert mines on my plane. But I want to make it through security without the loss of time and, yes, dignity, that the TSA seems determined to confiscate.

Step 1 to being a well liked organization: let people eat their cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

Guess what else was seized at aiport checkpoints?
The 4th Amendment
&
The 5th Amendment
How do you people sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Call me crazy, but am I the only person who does feel safer knowing that on my plane, there isn't someone with knives in their books, guns on their ankles and spikes in their shoes?"

You are assuming that the TSA is actually catching all those items and preventing them from getting on the airplane - very bad assumption.

The TSA is nothing but a modern version of the Maginot Line.

You are also assuming that keeping weapons off the plane makes you safer - also a very bad assumption. The TSA has actually created a great terrorist target in the security line. Your over all safety isn't any better.

Anonymous said...

Unknown wrote:
"What is funny to me is the fact that the majority of you people posted anonymously."

Haha! This comment comes from someone by the name 'Unknown'.

"What, pray tell, can anyone here offer as a solution?"

OK, here is my solution: Since 9/11, all attempted terrorists have been stopped by passengers. Therefore, give passengers more power.

Add a locked paintball gun and alarm button to every seat on the plane. Add cameras so that the pilot can see the passengers. If a passenger sees a terrorist trying to blow up the plane, he presses the alarm button. The co-pilot checks the monitor to see if the alarm is valid, and if so, unlocks all paintball guns with a switch. The terrorist won't stand a chance.

Unknown said...

Jim P....

Too bad TSA didn't even exsisted at the 911 crisis.

I love how ignorant most of these comments are. TSA doesn't solely focus on terrorism.

And in response to "why should airplanes be the only thing secured"....does it occure to you that an airplane is one giant vulnerable explosive at 30,000 feet in the air. It can be manipulated to go anywhere the target desires. Where as a bus or train does less damage.

Robert F. said...

Uhmm, lets see, "Top Ten Finds" divided by 6.7 Billion Dollar annual budget. IS that's about $780,000,000 dollars per item. Great work DHS and TSA keep up the good work of spending us into oblivion. =)

Anonymous said...

"1.2 billion spent on airport screening, and this list is the best that they could do...."

I wish. Last year's budget was $8.1B.

Anonymous said...

"I also think its funny how they say "you don't have a right to fly". They are right, too. "

Once and for all - I think I finally silenced the TSO who was making things up as he/she went - but Americans ABSOLUTELY have a right to fly.

Anonymous said...

Unknown said...
"And in response to "why should airplanes be the only thing secured"....does it occure to you that an airplane is one giant vulnerable explosive at 30,000 feet in the air. It can be manipulated to go anywhere the target desires."

Locking the cockpit fixes that. Find a better excuse.

Sal said...

Speaking of things that look like IED's, lest we forget "The Day Boston Stood Still", going on five years ago (Jan 31, 2007)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Boston_bomb_scare

Anonymous said...

I'm not the TSA's hugest fan, but maybe commenting should be disabled if all it is going to be is a diatribarama. They are in the classic no-win position when it comes to the public.

I'm surprised to find the number of people who don't realize that there is a huge black market in smuggled exotic animals. Those snakes, fish and parrots are typically contraband and worth millions.

Talk to any prison or jail guard, Border Patrol Agent or Agriculture inspector about the amount of stuff concealed in food products. A creative criminal will find all kinds of places to conceal stuff. What's worse is that they will find a scheme to have a third party transport it, who doesn't have a clue as to what they actually have. A cupcake-sized chunk of Semtex or C4 detonated over the main spar of an aircraft wing is going to result in a huge smoking hole in the ground.

Anonymous said...

Just before Christmas, one of my presents -Play-Doh- was confiscated at Newark. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. The TSA lady was very nice and said it could be explosives, yet it's still incredibly ridiculous. I'm sure there could be another top 10 for this kind of find.

Anonymous said...

Great Catches!

Jim P. said...

Now here's a question -- with play-doh, the shampoo, the water bottles, the cupcakes, etc. where do they put them after they are confiscated?

Generally in a plastic trash can right in the security area. If they were dangerous wouldn't they at least need to be put in a reinforced steel can?

As far as the confiscation of animals, drugs, money -- what does that have to do with aircraft security?

Anonymous said...

How many of these ten items would have been found using pre-9/11 security screening methods? I'm going to take a guess: all of them.

Anonymous said...

And not one terrorist yet...

Anonymous said...

Your grade, F.

John Lesle said...

In fact all this carrying on by TSA is really one big win for the terrorists and dissidents. They have made the US spend billions that they would not have done pre 2001, and inconvenienced its citizens and visitors from all over the world, and eroded the civil rights that the US has long espoused and held up as a banner to the rest of the world. Even were they to never ever try another airline attack again, this has been a big victory for them.

Anonymous said...

"Too bad TSA didn't even exsisted at the 911 crisis."

It did but it was called the FAA. All screening was done under its auspices, much like the private screening is done under TSA "supervision."

"I love how ignorant most of these comments are. TSA doesn't solely focus on terrorism."

I'll bite. What does it focus on other than terrorism?

"And in response to "why should airplanes be the only thing secured"....does it occure to you that an airplane is one giant vulnerable explosive at 30,000 feet in the air."

Really? It is? I should be worried that it's going to spontaneously explode? To think, years of being an airline pilot, engineer and aircraft structural engineer, I had NO IDEA AT ALL!


"It can be manipulated to go anywhere the target desires."

The target of the explosion can manipulate the airplane? You mean the WTC towers manipulated the airplane? Wow! Fascinating!

"Where as a bus or train does less damage."

This is truly fascinating as well. During rush hour, a DC Metro station has tens of thousands of people inside.

Anonymous said...

"I don't want snakes or unloaded guns or inert mines on my plane. "

You care if there are inert mines on the airplane? If TSA screening was at all effective at finding explosive, when someone pulled out a mine and made a threat, passengers would laugh. It's precisely the poor performance of TSA screening that makes the strongest argument for prohibiting inert items on the airplane; everyone knows that TSA performance is horrible, missing 70% of contraband.

It's also funny the poster worries about snakes and unloaded guns on airplanes. The passenger with antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis is a MUCH larger risk yet the TSA provides no screening at all people with communicable diseases.

Anonymous said...

"Why do people instantly jump to the conclusion that without the TSA we wouldn't have any security at the airport?"

On this blog, most of the people who use this argument are employed by the TSA. It's going to be a huge blow to them when the screening force is privatized.

Anonymous said...

"Just before Christmas, one of my presents -Play-Doh- was confiscated at Newark. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. The TSA lady was very nice and said it could be explosives, yet it's still incredibly ridiculous. I'm sure there could be another top 10 for this kind of find."

I think I'll have bumper stickers made that say, "$100B spent on the TSA and it can't tell a cupcake from a bomb." The sequel will be "TSA: $100B spent and it can't tell Play-Doh from plastic explosive."

Anonymous said...

The cupcake was probably more of a threat than the C4. Without a detonator it is about impossible to detonate C4. You can heat it, hammer it, shoot it, microwave it and it will do less than the cupcake.....

Anonymous said...

We all want to fly on a plane that is safe. The fallacy that is being made is that only the federal government can accomplish this, and they can only do it by violating our rights and privacy.

Anonymous said...

These best catches of 2011... you can find that normal security could have just done as good as you.

And I like how my comment was not added previously(presumably it was deleted, more or less it was meant to ridicule the TSA).

From filtering posts with negative impact on their image, goes to show TSA can't stomach the truth. At all.

Whoever deleted my previous comment, you hate free speech. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

"From filtering posts with negative impact on their image, goes to show TSA can't stomach the truth. At all.

Whoever deleted my previous comment, you hate free speech. Seriously."

They have also gone back to deleting comments that note TSOs are not required to be high school graduates. I think the TSA (at least the blog masters) believe that a little free speech is a good thing but can't allow it to go too far.

Anonymous said...

TSA makes me sick. I mean you found some knifes and cutters and whatever else you get all proud of having found all along being completely oblivious to the fact that you are supposed to be catching TERRORISTS! Never mind the rest of this stuff which stuff was around for a hundred years before TSA ever entered the picture!

Anonymous said...

TSA - Terrorist Seeking Administration?

Nope. TRANSPORTATION Security Administration. They secure transportation.

Anonymous said...

Thank god all these terrorists were stopped. Oh wait. That would be a zero.

And I wonder how many of these things would have been caught by airline security pre-9/11? I would think all of them.

Anonymous said...

Terrorists are mainly stopped before they cross borders. Intelligence and law enforcement work achieves this. Several suspects have been arrested, though, upon entering the U.S.

Comparing to international standards, TSA measures go too far and mostly have a negative impact on the U.S. travel industry and law-abiding travelers. I hope TSA revisits some of them, which would not affect security at all.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone get the fact that a metal detector would have caught most, if not ALL of these? TSA is a waste

Anonymous said...

"Nope. TRANSPORTATION Security Administration. They secure transportation."

Nah, they pretend to secure some aspects of a very limited spectrum of transportation.

Anonymous said...

"And yet the majority of these people were allowed to fly. Bob, how about an accounting of total fines levied this year for prohibited items?"

Yeah, where is that list? At least in this area, demand a jury trial. Unless you're a terrorist, you'll be acquited in record time.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say this but when your government keeps yelling wolf like the boy in the tale then people stop to take them seriously. Your loosing the information war and moral values that once the free world respected and followed. They suffer from information overload which is just as bad as not enough information. Your out of balance. Without taking heed of your forefathers founding document you are bound to repeat the same mistakes as those that came and went before you. My 10 cents worth from NZ.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Why do people instantly jump to the conclusion that without the TSA we wouldn't have any security at the airport?"

On this blog, most of the people who use this argument are employed by the TSA. It's going to be a huge blow to them when the screening force is privatized.

************
Airports had private security on 9/11/01. That worked out well.

Jim P. said...

And on 9/11 we had never had planes used not so smart missiles. One hour and six minutes after Tower II was struck we had Flight 93 go down in Pennsylvania. Where was the TSA?

A lesson was learned, rapidly. The hijacking model had changed. There will never be another 9/11.

Anonymous said...

"Airports had private security on 9/11/01. That worked out well."

And everything the hijackers took on board was allowed by the predecessor of the TSA - FAA security. Private security was in no way implicated.

Bill W said...

Everybody who is complaining on here and advocating the dissolution of TSA (and I dislike it as much as anybody, flying 2-3 times per week), I assume that you would be OK with the occasional plane going down. If you can honestly say that, then you are at least consistent in your thoughts. Perfection is expensive, and unfortunately, the American people in general are not accepting of anything less than perfection. That last 1-2% is very expensive, but that's what we routinely demand. That's where Six Sigma came from.
This system was modeled in 2001 after the Israeli airport security system, so you probably should blame them while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that most of the people say the tsa has not found 1 terroist. How about looking at it from this standpoint... Has anything happened post 9/11 since tsa took over? No. They are there to deter the terroist from attempting a plot against our country. sad that no one can sit back and see that.

Jim P. said...

Bill W.,

Every single terrorist since Flight 93 (crashed on 9/11) has been taken down by the passengers.

There will never be another 9/11 from the simple fact -- the model has changed. The passengers prior to 9/11 had all been told to sit down, wait to land and let the negotiators deal with it.

On 9/11 the passengers of Flight 93 found out they were about to be used as Not-So-Smart Missiles. they took appropriate action. 9/11 was a one off event. The TSA was not needed.

Anonymous said...

OK... how many terrorists have you caught ? how many felons with warrants have you arrested ?
ans. NONE and mind you thats after al these years and all the airports in the USA. Why don't you use some common sense and search those ppl that fall under the description of terrorists and stop searching people that don't fit the terrorist profile..there is a profile USE IT .. and stop the searching of every 10th person you now use..there is no more room for political correctness..

Anonymous said...

with the exception of the non-metallic spike found in someone's sock, (not sure how that would be able to take down a plane - Bob?), all of these "good catches" were found (or could have been found) using less expensive & less invasive, and far healthier pre-9/11 technology - namely the baggage x-way & the metal detector. Tell me again why we need to be irradiated & get felt up to catch these?

Anonymous said...

TSA may not be perfect, but it consists of more than just screeners, such as air marshals. People criticize the body scanners, but metal detectors only pick up metal. If any of you critics searched on how to make a bomb, you would see how easy it is to do. Next time you complain about liquids or taking off shoes, do a search of the shoe bomber, underware bomber etc, (these people are being screened initially outside of America). I'm sure if any of you lost someone on 9-11, you would be grateful for the extra security, I know I am.

Jim P. said...

This may be a re-post of my earlier comment, but no one has challenged it yet.
==========================================
The TSA was not needed one hour and one minute after Tower II was hit!

The paradigm, the norm, the expected, what everyone was taught to do was to sit down, shut up and wait for the plane to land and the negotiations happen. That was the model from Entebbe onward.

The passengers on board did not really know what was about to happen on September 11, 2001 at 8:46:30 when Flight 11 struck Tower I.

Even the passengers on Flight 175 probably didn't realize what was about to happen when they struck Tower II at 9:03:02.

The Pentagon crash of Flight 77 at 9:37:46 may have been still a matter of ignorance.

At 10:03:11 on September 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after the brave souls counter-attacked and caused the hijackers to crash the plane.

The time difference is 60 minutes and 9 seconds from Tower II being struck to the crash of Flight 93. The shoe bomber and panty bomber were taken down by fellow passengers as well. Recently, JetBlue's Flight 191 pilot was taken down by the passengers once he was out of the cockpit. Additionally how many times have you heard of passengers' concerns and diverted flights?

The TSA is and has always been a joke, no make that a total stupidity, that has wasted our country's fortune going down a rabbit hole.

If you don't believe me look at the 9/11 timeline.

There will never be another 9/11 style attack unless the attackers can arrange planes full of geriatrics, and even then it would be doubtful.

Elliander said...

How many of these items would have been caught by a combination of metal detectors, un-enhanced pat downs, and infrared cameras?

Why don't you use infrared cameras? I can buy a good one for a hundred dollars that can detect temperature variations inside the body. If you used this at an airport you could see at a glance everyone. You could detect if an object is hidden even inside the body because of temperature variations and since it doesn't have to emit anything to function you don't need to slow lines down. You could in fact use this simple technology to speed up lines and decrease the number of people stopped at the airport.

From what I understand about the body scanners they cannot detect objects inside the body, or pressed into the contour of the body. I recall reading about a known terrorist who pretended to defect and then blew himself up right next to a prince after going through an identical scanner in another country. He would have been caught if they didn't rely on the body scanners too much. Care to provide direct evidence that these scanners are worth the high cost to both tax payers and civil rights?

HenryDre said...

So was the Denver TSA agent who stole $10 out of my wallet a good catch?

Anonymous said...

So basically, the TSA has stopped ZERO terrorists, just made it more difficult to travel and cost thousands of American's millions of $$$ having to throw away perfume, sun screen and pocket knives. I don't feel safer at the gate (I fly every week), only annoyed with the nasty attitude MOST TSA agents carry with them and the long lines created by this foolishness. If every passenger were armed, there would be no terrorist threat.

Anonymous said...

At the bottom of this blog it says that it is monitored and moderated. Yet another miserable TSA failure. That is one uniform I would be embarrassed to wear!

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog!!!