Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disturbing Incident in Denver


By now I’m sure some of you have seen or heard reports in the media about a pair of Transportation Security Officers at Denver International Airport who were engaged in what can only be described as egregiously inappropriate behavior at the passenger screening checkpoint.

The two were caught because an alert employee noticed something was not right and reported it to TSA’s Office of Inspection Hotline. After a thorough investigation, including a review of closed-circuit television camera footage, the allegation was confirmed and the individuals were removed from duty and are no longer with the agency. They now potentially face local criminal charges as well.

This blatant violation of public trust by two individuals has significantly tarnished TSA’s reputation. Think about it – in an agency that employs more than 50,000 people, the irresponsible and potentially illegal behavior of just one or two reckless employees can severely and negatively impact the operational effectiveness of everyone else committed to carrying out our vital national security mission.

The vast majority of our employees act with the utmost integrity and professionalism every day, but unfortunately the conduct of a few can do significant damage to the entire workforce – and this damage is very difficult to overcome. We are committed to working very hard to prove ourselves to the public we serve in the months ahead to regain your trust.

Our mission requires that we initiate direct contact with the American people millions of times each day. In doing so we must learn from every incident and become better. The lone bright spot in this dark and disturbing behavior is that another employee saw what was going on and did not allow it to continue. Our workforce is strongly encouraged to report illegal or unethical behavior wherever and whenever they see it. Professionalism and integrity are at the core of who we are as counterterrorism professionals, and it is up to each and every one of us to demonstrate this with every passenger at every airport around the country. We must perform our work, for you the traveling public, with honor and pride. Anything less is a disservice and will not be tolerated.

Acting Administrator

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since I haven't the foggiest idea what "egregiously inappropriate behavior" you're talking about, your whole message is wasted on me. Either be more explicit or don't waste time (yours and mine) with messages like this.

christine buckley said...

I am so sadden by this, for Denver and our entire workforce. I hope like you said we can move forward and regain the public trust.

Landon Ascheman said...

How long between the offense and when the police were notified? Did supervisors get the names of the victims? Have the victims been notified?

Anonymous said...

Don't kid yourself, Melvin, screeners abuse travelers every single day and do it for gratification, not only sexual gratification but rather the satisfaction of teaching passengers a lesson:

At one of the airports where I worked, it was common for creeners to impose additional screening and/or try to make passengers miss their flights if the passenger made them feel disrespected or requested special treatment -- for instance, asking for hand inspection of medication or camera film. This was colloquially referred to as "passenger education" -- i.e., we'll teach them not to do that again.
Supervisors were complicit in this, although we were warned not to admit it if any of the higher-ups questioned our behavior. We were told to
simply say we were doing random screening, or had noticed something
suspicious that required investigation.


copy made of this comment

Laura Monteros said...

Thank you for your forthrightness and promptness in addressing this issue. I am sure most of the TSA agents are people of integrity. But this was not the only incident reported this week. Several baggage checkers were caught stealing.

It seems it is all to easy for employees to break the law and the trust of the people who have no choice but to deal with them every time we enter an airport--even to see off a relative.

TSA needs to be much more proactive, and hire agents to monitor the agents more closely.

Anonymous said...

Even though a minutely small fraction of travelers is looking to cause any harm to planes or fellow passengers, your employees treat each and every passenger as a potential threat to national security.

Therefore I see no problem whatsoever as treating every TSO I encounter as a potential pervert and criminal.

Trust is a two-way street.

Anonymous said...

Why did it take three months to fire them? Why does it take on average three to four months to fire "bad apple" TSOs?

skyking said...

I wonder how many passengers will file law suits in regard to being groped by these individuals. Also, this calls to mind the hundreds of reports concerning other TSA agents groping other passengers including many children. Calls into question hiring practices and ongoing supervisory skills lacking.

Anonymous said...

Does your concept of "the utmost integrity and professionalism" include censoring comments that discuss the PHL supervisor who committed perjury at taxpayer expense? How about refusing to allow his name to be posted here, despite his FELONY PERJURY being a matter of public record?

What am I saying? Of COURSE you think that protecting a perjurer is a good idea. I mean, you won't even name the scumbags in Denver who you ADMIT were sexually abusing passengers. You protect them, even after they've violated the rights of god-only-knows-how-many law-abiding Americans. You closed ranks around the worst of your agency.

Face it, Mel: when you hire amateurs to work security you're going to get amateur-level security.

You're also going to have scandals.

And the moment you and Bobby clumsily try to downplay the scandal and claim that TSA is comprised of patriotic professionals, there will be another scandal. And another. I can keep the list going all day-- in less than 14 years, the TSA's bumbling blue-suiters have run up QUITE the record of unethical behavior.

But each of the MANY scandals is just an "isolated incident"-- right, Mel? A person can't reasonably draw any inference from any single incident, so you beg us not to look at the big picture. Because the big picture is where the TSA's distinguished history of criminality, incompetence, pettiness, and lack of accountability becomes too clear to ignore.

Mel, you need to save the talk about professional security until you've actually HIRED a few security professionals. The blue-suiters definitely don't qualify.

Anonymous said...

Yet this only took 3 months to have anything done about it. How do plan on earning the public trust when you keep having the same problems with your personnel.Where were the BDO who should have seen this. Please answer this in a straightforward way and not make the passenger the guilty one.

Mike Toreno said...

"This blatant violation of public trust by two individuals has significantly tarnished TSA’s reputation. Think about it – in an agency that employs more than 50,000 people, the irresponsible and potentially illegal behavior of just one or two reckless employees can severely and negatively impact the operational effectiveness of everyone else committed to carrying out our vital national security mission."

Actually, no. The reputation has not been tarnished. Everybody thinks this is just business as usual. What you need to ask yourself is, why is the reputation of the TSA so low that this incident didn't damage it.

And no, you do not have a vital security mission.

"The vast majority of our employees act with the utmost integrity and professionalism every day,"

No they don't. See above.

but unfortunately the conduct of a few can do significant damage to the entire workforce – and this damage is very difficult to overcome. We are committed to working very hard to prove ourselves to the public we serve in the months ahead to regain your trust."

One thing you can do is show some integrity yourself. I notice you omitted the fact that it took 3 months to get rid of those guys.

Another thing is to start firing people who don't know their jobs or who abuse passengers. One way to start is to fire dishonest members of the blog team - that would be all of them.

Randall Scott King said...

I haven't seen the news reports -- what did the TSA officers in Denver actually do?

Concerned traveler said...

Well done mr carraway and the person that addressed this. Unfortunately I don't believe most travelers are aware of what the procedure is for a "pat down". I have not seen it posted in my travels. Maybe it should be posted near where all this takes place so travelers know what to expect. I know that I am now aware that this is improper and will be aware of what I think is inappropriate touching in the future.

Curtis said...

Actually, Administrator, it was allowed to continue for several months. And for the record, this is EXACTLY the abuse that we predicted when Pistol introduced the "enhanced patdown."
This is on you. Change your policy.

Anonymous said...

Your reputation was tarnished well before these employees were CAUGHT. Many of us - members of the traveling public - have been forced to submit to unnecessary pat-downs under your allegedly heightened security standards. Now that my family members have moved within driving distance, I don't fly to see them anymore, in part because of your ridiculous assertion that because I use hiking sticks instead of canes or crutches as mobility aids I am some sort of terrorist threat.

Anonymous said...

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documented service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense. now you're even allowing college kids (kaydets) to endure more reasonable screening, but those who served and sacrificed for 20+ have to take their bloody shoes and belts off!!

Albert Lopez said...

I subscribed to this blog back in 2013 when I applied for a GOES card. In all that time, with all the attendant happenings f=of the TSA, you chose this incident in Denver for the first message from the Acting Administrator? I find this curious...and lacking.

Chris Boyce said...

Two questions:

1. How could you possibly know that the machines were set for the female sex when you assured us that these machines do not save or transmit images? Read the procurement and operational specs sometime. You have more integrity issues than you have hours in the day.

2. Why wasn't the supervisor clerk who allowed this to happen not fired and charged as well?

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about this is that no victims came forward until this story broke. That leads me to believe that passengers have been conditioned to accept any form of inappropriate contact as a part of the normal screening process. Either that or they figured speaking out would lead to retaliatory screening and missing their flights. Plenty of people have been threatened with "Do you want to fly today?"

How is a passenger supposed to know what is appropriate and what isn't? When I am at the checkpoint, the screeners use euphamisms such as "meeting resistance" instead of the correct anatomical names for the body parts. I've received some invasive pat downs. I've felt that some of these crossed the line. Who was I supposed to complain to? I figured nobody would listen or I would be detained and miss my flight.

In the future I need to be ready to miss my flight. If I am travelling with someone, we will be ready to video our patdowns. I think that is the only way to protect ourselves from this assault by the TSA.



Anonymous said...

This exposes yet another flaw in the body scanners. TSA workers have been caught in drug smuggling stings. A female passenger could smuggle contraband down the front of her pants and the screener could hit the male button on the scanner. The scanner won't alarm because it is expecting to see something in that area.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of our employees act with the utmost integrity and professionalism every day,

The vast majority of travelers are not terrorists or criminals, but that doesn't change how we are treated by the TSA..

Anonymous said...

"...Transportation Security Agents at Denver International Airport who were engaged in what can only be described as egregiously inappropriate behavior at the passenger screening checkpoint."

No.

It can be described many, many ways.

I think the best description would be *Sexual Assault.*

Good luck controlling the narrative on this one.

Anonymous said...

Melvin, why is there still a supervisor on duty in PHL who committed perjury against an innocent passenger who asked for a complaint form?

Why did it take so long for anyone to stop the sexual assault conspiracy in Denver?

Why did you have a child pornographer on duty in Manchester?

Your agency is rotten to the core. I hope someday you get to experience the same sort of violation an unknown number of passengers suffered in Denver. It is what you, and everyone in your agency, deserved.

Anonymous said...

So why, exactly, should anyone ever trust anyone who works for your agency again?

If a TSA screener ever touches me, I'm going to assume they're planning to commit sexual assault, and I will ask them if that's their intent just like the screeners in Denver.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, buddy, but no amount of PR statements are going to make this right.

Many of us have been saying, since the very first time TSA started talking about body scanners, that they would open the door to exactly this sort of sexual abuse. And now that's happened, and no one, at ANY airport, should ever trust your agency again.

I've heard that a few airports have shut down the scanners today, and are instead directing all passengers to the metal detectors. That should not be a one-day change at a few airports. That should be the standard for each and every passenger. Keep the scanners on hand for people who request them (such as folks with metal implants) and end the nonsense of scanning every single passenger.

This is a gut check moment, Melvin. You can do the right thing or you can show that your entire agency is no better than Denver. Your choice.

Anonymous said...

Why do the words "sexual assault" appear nowhere in this statement?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for stopping this awful situation that no one deserves when they are traveling.
We absolutely need protection in our skies but violating any human being is horrible.

Anonymous said...

So you encourage employees to report it to the TSA higher ups but those selfsame leaders do not involve the local police? Even more troubling than the sex assaults is that the TSA policy is designed in such a way that criminal charges are actively avoided.

Your 'investigator' should have taken the time to identify the victim(s) and handed this information to the proper authorities for charges. Instead, he or she became an accessory to the act by allowing the perpetrators to get away.

M. de Marcos said...

After spending over 22 years in the airport environment and working VERY closely with all levels of TSA personnel, I found/find that everyone I came in contact with at TSA was professional, dedicated and beyond reproach. From time to time, in any organization, there is always someone that does not do the 'right thing'. That happens. However, I believe TSA continues to be a top-notch organization dedicated to the traveling public's safety and well-being. Don't let a few 'bad eggs' make you think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It is refreshing to read a TSA Administrator take responsibility for egregious and inappropriate behavior of his workforce, of which there are many examples over the years.

However, it is unfortunate that 5 years into this ineffective, inappropriate, and offensive screening procedure that Melvin still can't grasp how something like this incident can happen.

People are sexually assaulted at TSA screening chokepoints every day because the TSA leadership has made sexual assault possible. I know because this exact same thing happened to me at ATL. Reporting it to a supervisor was met with a nasty retort, and filing a complaint through official channels was met with a form letter and report to the FSD that was ignored. Simply put TSA leadership seems to want to sexually assault people for no good reason.

These procedures need to go. Yesterday. The incidents at DEN highlight this fact far better than any other example we can bring. The reason it happened is because it can.

It matters not that thousands of officers are professional. We know at least 2 of these people abuse innocent people sexually. There are more. There are a lot more.

Melvin oversees an environment where any one of these lurking predators has access to anyone's crotch at any time for any practical reason. And he has come to this blog to defend it. That is unacceptable.

Melvin, do the right thing and stop the current madness. There has to be a better way to screen for non-metallic threats.

DHS OIG screen shot

Anonymous said...

TSA was warned of this exact scenario in several comments during the delayed public comment period it was forced to undergo which it still ignores.

Why is Melvin ignoring that he created this situation and continues to encourage it happening again?

/OIG screenshot

Anonymous said...

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150415/15140330667/tsas-investigation-into-groping-agents-ensured-they-wouldnt-be-prosecuted.shtml

Not only did it take the TSA months from the time they were informed of what was going on until they did something about it, the "investigation" was done in such a way as to make sure that there wouldn't be any prosecution of the TSA screeners involved.

Anonymous said...

I had to go on line and read a news report to find out what had happened. If your going to try and be open about this then speak out clearly and concisely not some watered down, they were bad we fired them drivel. this blog is a way for the public to learn from. Where were the supervisors and why did this not get handled then, why the hot line,are your people afraid to speak out openly.

Anonymous said...

While passengers may appreciate your apparent swift response to this, one must wonder how may other similar situations aren't reported by employees who don't want to rock the boat.

Regardless, it's probably pretty hard to tell the difference between purposeful abuse and the extreme fallout from AIT screening units. You probably do know, at least approximately, the false positive rate from these units. I'm certain you won't release that number, even if you know what it is, because it would be laughably embarrassing.

Can you suggest how a passenger might tell the difference between employee misconduct and the now-usual "pat at least some personal body part of every passenger" after a false positive?

George Peck, Evergreen, CO

Andrew Mochulsky said...

"They now potentially face local criminal charges as well" is a very wise weasel-wording, as TSA's own inaction will severely hinder any prosecutorial efforts. Specifically, TSA's failure to properly stop or identify any of the offended parties—parties that were specifically reported as observed by TSA investigators—will make it exceptionally difficult for charges to be filed. Without a named complainant, charges related to specific sexual battery cannot go forward, as that's contrary to the right of the accused to face their accuser. In other words, TSA's intransigence and craven concern for its own image will allow these horrid people to escape essentially unscathed but for their jobs. The "lone bright spot" you mention is entirely overshadowed by the fact that TSA's inaction will, in the end, specifically prevent prosecution of these criminals—and make no mistake about it, what they did was a crime, and warrants criminal prosecution.

So, what's the excuse for not preserving some semblance of evidence in furtherance of prosecution? Assuming an excuse is forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Does ANYONE believe this is an isolated incident? And who determines what constitutes "groping"? I'll tell you, I've had some pretty damn invasive pat downs, and I resent it. Which is why I don't fly anymore. If I can't drive I just don't go. If that sort of scrutiny is the price I have to pay for my "safety", it's not worth it. The TSA is typical of what happens when the government becomes too involved in private sector business, and the kind of deviant, blatantly illegal behavior that occurred in Denver is just the tip of the iceberg.

Adrian said...

"what can only be described as egregiously inappropriate behavior"

Actually, there are lots of ways to describe it, such as conspiracy to commit sexual assault.

But let's face it, these aren't the only two bad apples out of the 50,000. While I'm sure there are many well-intentioned TSA officers, the TSA seems to have more than its fair share of people who abuse their authority. Drug traffickers, weapons traffickers, violent/suicidal BDO officers, and common thieves. The good ones are simply cogs in meaningless security theater.

It's time to return airport security to independent contractors to eliminate the inherent conflict of interest between the watchers and the watched.

Anonymous said...

The TSA's reputation was tarnished long ago. To act as if this incident is a big surprise is yet another insult to the taxpayers who fund your agency.

Susan Richart said...

"A former TSA screener at Denver International Airport says colleagues who conspired to grope male passengers viewed what they were doing as “just a game....

He said the agents involved in the fondling were part of a larger clique that communicated with each other via group text messages.

“They had a group chat at work. I definitely know that because of the group text and chat there was more people that knew it was going on. There could be numerous people who knew it was going on.”

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/04/16/tsa-screener-groping-dia/


Melvin your problems go far deeper than just the two screeners who were fired.

And BTW, as you going to fire the inspector also? The inspector who watched a man being sexually assaulted by one of your screeners and DID NOTHING?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

I've had some invasive pat downs in the past. I felt some of them definitely crossed the line. I've had some that felt retaliatory because I opted out due to medical reasons, not to mention the mocking I've received for opting out.

Who should I contact in these situations? I feel that saying something to the TSA employees will lead to retaliatory punishment or delaying me until I miss my flight.

I found this article and the situation is even worse at Denver. Lots of people were in on this and they thought of it as a "game".

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/04/16/tsa-screener-groping-dia/

It makes me wonder how many other airports particpate in this "game".

Anonymous said...

According to a former screener from DEN this incident was actually part of a larger game.

How pathetically sad.

Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

1) "The agency received an anonymous tip about the alleged gropings from an employee in November, according to KUSA-TV in Denver.

However, the agency reportedly did not look into the allegation until February..."

THREE MONTHS.

2) How many passenger complaints were there regarding this, before, and/or, after this supposed anonymous employee tip. (If it's anonymous, how do they know it was an employee?) Why weren't these passenger complaints (if any) not followed through on, which, for all we know, could have brought this situation to light long before??

Chris Bray said...

Weird that this post has generated no comments at all.

Villa Anderson said...

I am sorry I did not hear anything, but bad things happen in all walks of life, I wont let it reflect on other people,I will be taking my husband to Paris France on May 2nd and coming back home to Maine on the 10th of May, my husband has MS , the people at the airport are very nice to us.thank you Villa Anderson.

Anonymous said...

Why are you calling this an "incident" when it was in fact an ongoing conspiracy to commit sexual battery?

Anonymous said...

Randall Scott King said...

I haven't seen the news reports -- what did the TSA officers in Denver actually do?


One would signal the other when a guy came through that he wanted to grope. The other would switch the naked scanner to 'female' mode, causing it to alert on the male passenger's crotch. Thus giving the first agent a reason to 'search' the passenger.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it -- this is business as usual at your organization.

Anonymous said...

Could someone explain how touching the groin or breast areas of passengers using the palm of the hand is inappropriate but using the back of the hand is ok? They are both sexual assault in any other context.

Anonymous said...

Passengers face a far greater risk of being assaulted or robbed by a TSA worker than ever being harmed by a terrorist. Yet passengers are treated as if they are all criminals or terrorists.

If a passenger had complained about this treatment and didn't have the TSA investigator witness it or have a report break the story, would we have ever heard about it? I have a feeling the blog post would have said "We have reviewed the video and proper procedures were followed." That has happened in too many other cases.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "You're also going to have scandals."

The link you have here pertains to the US Marshals, not TSA.

Chris Bray sez - "Weird that this post has generated no comments at all"

It generated plenty, I just wasn't on duty yesterday.

M. De Marcos sez - "After spending over 22 years in the airport environment and working VERY closely with all levels of TSA personnel, I found/find that everyone I came in contact with at TSA was professional, dedicated and beyond reproach."

Thank you for the kind words.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Why are you calling a months-long conspiracy ti abuse your power in order to commit sexual assault an "incident"?

RB said...

 christine buckley said..

I am so sadden by this, for Denver and our entire workforce. I hope like you said we can move forward and regain the public trust.

April 16, 2015 at 7:42 PM
______________________________________________

TSA cannot move forward or regain the public trust for some very simple reasons.

For starters TSA's leader didn't have the backbone to address what actually happened instead he used words that said nothing.

Next, it's the same people running TSA that have shown time and time again to be ineffective leaders.

It is also the same old TSA policies and procedures that permit TSA Screeners to conduct searches well beyond the limits of an Administrative Search.

And lastly it is the TSA Screeners themselves. Do you think for a minute that no one else knew what was going on. We know that at least one other person knew. Where were the supervisors? Where were the managers? If they had been doing their jobs how could this have even been possible?

No, TSA has lost the publucs trust and rightfully so.

TSA and its employees should never, ever, be trusted again.

TSA, you are done!

Lisa Simeone said...

Anonymous said...
Thank you for stopping this awful situation that no one deserves when they are traveling.
We absolutely need protection in our skies but violating any human being is horrible.
April 17, 2015 at 10:34 AM


How, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, has anyone stopped anything? If you don't think this kind of abuse goes on at airports every day in this country, I have a bridge to sell you.

Anonymous said...

I think it will be impossible for the TSA to regain the public's trust. There have been far too many negative incidents.

Every time I get a pat down, I will now be wondering if I should press charges. I don't care what part of the hand the screener uses. He is still touching my genitals and that seems excessive to simply get on a plane.

Also, as long as the body scanner is set to male, it appears that something could be easily smuggled down the front of pants. That seems like a huge flaw in these machines.

Chris Boyce said...

Melvin,

Tell us again why we should trust you when you, yourself, are ethically-challenged?

http://tinyurl.com/lvq9pvv

"Indiana Panel Fines Sunport Security Chief

The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS— The state ethics commission issued $5,000 fines Thursday against both the former head of the state police and a former state highway commissioner after they admitted violations of ethics rules.
The unrelated cases involved former state police Superintendent Melvin Carraway and ex-Department of Transportation Commissioner J. Bryan Nicol, who held those positions under Democratic former Govs. Frank O'Bannon and Joe Kernan.
Carraway, now the federal security director at Albuquerque International Sunport, admitted removing and destroying three computer hard drives before leaving his state job after the 2004 election of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.
The ethics commission's report did not say why the hard drives were destroyed."

I'm making a screen shot that I will save for the DHS IG and the House Ethics Committee. I can't imagine that this post will see the light of day on the TSA blog.

tsaoutofourpants said...

I'm glad it's now in the open that the TSA standard pat-down, when done without authority, is sexual assault.

But when they do it for our safety, it's "totally ok."

Susan Richart said...

Using words like "resistance" when the TSA really meant "genital area" falls right in line with Melvin Carraway's refusal to name this event exactly what it was, a sexual assault, RB.

http://tinyurl.com/lvq9pvv

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

Why are you calling a series of sexual assaults an "incident"?

Why are you calling sexual assault "inappropriate behavior"?

Anonymous said...

TSA should be banned from doing pat downs.

If TSA thinks a person has a weapon on their person doesn't that make it a law enforcement matter?

Anonymous said...

1. How could you possibly know that the machines were set for the female sex when you assured us that these machines do not save or transmit images? Read the procurement and operational specs sometime. You have more integrity issues than you have hours in the day.

2. Why wasn't the supervisor officer who allowed this to happen not fired and charged as well?

the color of the screen indicates which sex the machine was set to sccreen.

Anonymous said...

"They now potentially face local criminal charges as well.

I guess all the experts here missed thjis line...

Anonymous said...

Dealing with the public is never easy, in the best of circumstances.

I have never felt anything but respect and friendliness from your agents. Thank you for your service.

Bob Hanssen said...

Mel,

If I say what I really believe, will you take away my PreCheck?

Anonymous said...

West, why did you cherry pick through all of the critical comments (almost 60 that were allowed through) to find the single one referring to the US Marshalls (part of TSA, right?) and one of the rare complimentary comments to answer?

It's really sick how you ignore and/or delete critical comments about the TSA. Looks like you're just following the lead of your boss, Melvin.

Anonymous said...

"I have never felt anything but respect and friendliness from your agents"

I guess you didn't get sexually assaulted by one of them, then.

Anonymous said...

What should a passenger do if they feel they have been improperly touched/sexually assaulted? Should they ask for a supervisor? Should we find a police officer? Can they ask for the checkpoint videotape and will the TSA give it to the passenger?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
West, why did you cherry pick through all of the critical comments (almost 60 that were allowed through) to find the single one referring to the US Marshalls (part of TSA, right?) and one of the rare complimentary comments to answer?

It's really sick how you ignore and/or delete critical comments about the TSA. Looks like you're just following the lead of your boss, Melvin.


April 22, 2015 at 3:17 AM
..........
What is even more troubling is how many comments were completely censored and not posted by West or any of the other blog team.

I know I submitted several that did not appear. Seems TSA has no respect for the United States Constitution.

Censorship by the government and its employees is a civil rights violation and West, Bob Burns, Lynn, and anyone else involved with the TSA Blog has violated their Oath to the United States.

Why are these people still on the peoples payroll? Their crimes are no less troubling than that of the two TSA screeners at Denver who were sexually assaulting travelers.

RB said...

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/04/20/tsa-screeners-fired-in-groping-scandal-both-in-20s-no-criminal-records/

Seems TSA's attempt to continue trying to cover up the criminal acts by two former Denver TSA screeners (so TSA claims) is slowly being exposed.

The public knows that TSA has delayed reporting the crimes to police, that a TSA investigator stood by and allowed at least one sexual assault to happen, and TSA has refused to release video and other information about the sexual assaults to investigative reporters.

Certainly seems to me that TSA has been complicit in this matter. TSA has bungled the investigation by not obtaining statements from the men who were assaulted, and clearly made prosecution unlikely due to the bungling, accidentally or on purpose.

As reported TSA multiple TSA screeners appear to have been involved in this crime by using Cell Phones and Texting each other while on duty. Information I have suggests that cell phones are not to be used while working the TSA checkpoints so how could TSA Managers and Supervisors been unaware of something going on?

The public deserves a full disclosure of just what is happening to the public at TSA Checkpoints. Based on the statement from Acting TSA Secretary Melvin Carraway who didn't even clearly acknowledge this issue the public cannot trust TSA to investigate and make a full disclosure to the taxpayer.

It is time for an independent investigation of every aspect of TSA screening operations starting at Denver and then spreading out and seeing if similar tactics are being used elsewhere to assault travelers.

Until the public is properly informed no one should trust any TSA employee.



RB said...

Anonymous said...
What should a passenger do if they feel they have been improperly touched/sexually assaulted? Should they ask for a supervisor? Should we find a police officer? Can they ask for the checkpoint videotape and will the TSA give it to the passenger?

April 22, 2015 at 9:07 AM
___________________

Call for police.

If you think you have been assaulted then that is a matter for the police.

TSA screeners are not law enforcement and as has been proven time and time again TSA will attempt to hide TSA wrong doing from the public.


Susan Richart said...

Regarding the former screener's claim that the sexual abuse in Denver was a "game" and that screeners routinely used their cell phones to communicate, this from an alleged screener in Denver:

"Cell phones are not authorized and are not to be used on the checkpoint, they are not supposed to be seen on the outside of the uniform or in their cases on the belt. It is not enforced.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/24700364-post142.html

Seems like lots of rules are not enforced in Denver.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Chris Bray said...

"I guess all the experts here missed thjis line..."

They now face possible charges because the TSA's failures to identify victims didn't work, and victims independently contacted the police. You have a persistent problem with calculated dishonesty and absurd self-pity.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"They now potentially face local criminal charges as well.

I guess all the experts here missed thjis line...


Except that line is a lie. The "investigator" failed to identify the victim(s), thus, there is no way to prosecute. So yes, they would be, if the TSA hadn't protected their own by not identifying anyone who suffered from this.

Anonymous said...

Chris Boyce--

Watch yourself! You're NAMING a TSA employee who was involved in possible criminal behavior (apparently a job requirement with the TSA, especially at the supervisor-and-above levels-- I'm sure they have their reasons).

Naming criminal TSA employees on a website specifically intended to reassure the public about the TSA's accountability and professionalism is against the rules, and Bobby and West don't usually tolerate that sort of chicanery!

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Chris Boyce--

Watch yourself! You're NAMING a TSA employee who was involved in possible criminal behavior (apparently a job requirement with the TSA, especially at the supervisor-and-above levels-- I'm sure they have their reasons).

Naming criminal TSA employees on a website specifically intended to reassure the public about the TSA's accountability and professionalism is against the rules, and Bobby and West don't usually tolerate that sort of chicanery!

April 23, 2015 at 5:36 AM
....................
Which raises some interesting questions.

Why would TSA protect the identity of a former employees who are suspected of being a sexual predators?

The names of these two former TSA employees are public record by being listed in the police report.

So what purpose could TSA have to continue to cloud the waters of the sexual assaults on passengers at Denver.

Who else is TSA trying to protect?



Anonymous said...

The only reason there are any potential criminal charges is because a reporter broke the story. After the story came out, then some victims contacted the police and the criminal charges may actually happen.

Had this story not come out, this "incident" would have been swept under the rug. The two workers would have still been fired, but the TSA wouldn't have issued a statement like this. I wonder how much this happens at other airports each day.

Anonymous said...

Awww, West, what's the matter?

You and Bobby won't post my comment calling you out on your double-standards about posting? I wonder why that would be? Lack of... courage? Integrity? Transparency?

How about all of the above?

Anonymous said...

RB said:

Which raises some interesting questions.

Why would TSA protect the identity of a former employees who are suspected of being a sexual predators?

The names of these two former TSA employees are public record by being listed in the police report.



Hey, do you know name of the PHL supervisor who filed a false police report, had a passenger falsely arrested, and committed perjury in open court because he got hacked off that the passenger asked for a complaint form? If so, you didn't read his name here-- West and Bobby are aggressive about censoring comments containing that particular criminal's name.

Of course, the perjuring TSA supervisor's name easy enough to find online-- he's named as a defendant in a lawsuit, and you can even link to stories about him. But don't you DARE utter that name in the sacred comments section of the TSA blog: Bobby and West are meticulous about "protecting the privacy" of their blue-suited brethren, no matter what crimes they commit.

Remember, kids: passengers have no right to privacy, but you had better not post the name of any figure of public interest on this blog if they ever wore the blue suit-- because criminals in TSA uniforms do have privacy rights. West and Bobby have standards, you know!

(Also: don't point out when West and Bobby are lying through their teeth. They seem to enjoy deleting those comments-- or, at the very least, "holding them" in moderation until the discussion has died down. It's not censorship-- it's moderation! Yay for doublespeak!)

Anonymous said...

Families should be permitted to go thru TSA check together. I was recently flying with my baby, we had precheck but my husband did not.

Unfortunately, my husband had all the baby formula in his bag, but since I had the baby in a separate line (some distance away from my husband) it caused a major problem b/c TSA would not and did not believe that my husband was bringing liquids thru security for a baby since the baby wasn't with him.

My husband tried to explain multiple times to the TSA agents who simply didn't care what his explanation was and threatened him with destruction of the formula (sure that would be a fun flight with a baby) and the ubiquitous "sir, do you want to fly today" threat.

TSA agents seem to get off on making things more difficult, enjoying the opportunity to boss people around and pretend they are "officers".

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "West, why did you cherry pick through all of the critical comments (almost 60 that were allowed through) to find the single one referring to the US Marshalls (part of TSA, right?) and one of the rare complimentary comments to answer?"

Because the US Marshals are actually in the Department of Justice, and their machines were the ones that were found to be retaining images - not TSA.

Anon sez - "If TSA thinks a person has a weapon on their person doesn't that make it a law enforcement matter?"

Not necessarily. Some prohibited items/weaapons require LEO response, but not all prohibited items/weapons.

Anon sez - "I have never felt anything but respect and friendliness from your agents. Thank you for your service."

Thank you! We appreciate the kind words and take care.

Anon sez - "Awww, West, what's the matter?"

The pollen count is high this week causing me to sneeze more often and be "red-eyed" a bit more, but other than that, I am actually pretty content.

West]
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Melvin,

Do not apologize for this behavior! This is just a few jealous people complaining. The TSA Officers in question were doing their job to protect the American people and I'm sure will be given their jobs back with a full apology as soon as people realize that they were patriots doing their jobs!

People need to suck it up and stop whining just because you're a little uncomfortable with something that needs to be done. Nobody likes going to get their teeth cleaned at the dentist but we do it anyway because it's the right thing to do!!

RB said...

Anonymous said...

Melvin,

Do not apologize for this behavior! This is just a few jealous people complaining. The TSA Officers in question were doing their job to protect the American people and I'm sure will be given their jobs back with a full apology as soon as people realize that they were patriots doing their jobs!People need to suck it up and stop whining just because you're a little uncomfortable with something that needs to be done. Nobody likes going to get their teeth cleaned at the dentist but we do it anyway because it's the right thing to do!!
April 29, 2015 at 2:50 PM
---------------------
You would really suggest that those two former TSA employees who conspired to and sexually assualted travelers should get their jobs back? Realy??

If you aren't already working for TSA your missing out hanging with the rest of the criminals that so well represent TSA.

Susan Richart said...

RB, I think the person addressing Melvin was just being sarcastic. At least I hope so.

RB said...

Susan Richart said...

RB, I think the person addressing Melvin was just being sarcastic. At least I hope so.

April 30, 2015 at 6:31 AM

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

I would like to think that but with TSA Apologists anything is possible.

RB said...

Melvin didn't get the President's nod for the top spot. Wonder why?

Daryl Davis said...

Mendacity piles upon mendacity here.

I remember then-Administrator John Pistole's testimony before a worshipful Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV) Commerce Committee (Rockefeller voted to suspend habeas corpus; to retraoctively immunize phone companies for illegal surveillance; and to retroactively immunize CIA torturers and allow admission of coerced confessions by their victims). Pistole told the tame committee that he couldn't demonstrate the patdown procedure in a public forum because it was, "secret." Of course, anyone who ever so much as attended police academy (Full disclosure: I have over 30 years experience in law enforcement) knows how a patdown is done; anyone who ever has been arrested knows how a patdown is done; and if you want to learn how a patdown is done, refuse the body scanner.

TSA exists to inculcate servility in the populace, no more. In DC, they're quite good at ginning up foreign bogeymen on pretext (USS Maine); manipulation (Pearl Harbor); or outright lies (Gulf of Tonkin; Iraq WMDs and nukes). Our rulers then offer to protect us if we'll just support their wars abroad, and surrender just a teeny bit more of our liberties at home. The guns always are pointed inward, though.

I just delivered my wife to the tender mercies of TSA this morning. These days, I give the Regime only as much as it can coerce from me: if I could figure a way to drive across the Pacific, I would.

Carmen said...

"This blatant violation of public trust by two individuals has significantly tarnished TSA’s reputation"

Hahahha really? Your reputation was tarnished way before this incident.

Get rid of molestation as a "standard procedure" and maybe your reputation can take a step forward.

Lance said...

As a frequent traveler, I wish I could say that this incident surprised me. It didn't. I wish I could say that this incident was atypical. But it probably isn't. This certainly wasn't the first abuse incident reported (we ALL remember TSA agents sexually profiling and grabbing attractive female passengers). The sad truth is - there is far too much leniency for individual screening agents and immediate supervisors. And far too little management oversight. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

RB said...

When TSA hires a likely pedophile to be a Manager at Philadelphia why should anyone be surprised that TSA hired more perverts at Denver?

The question that remains unanswered is just now many more TSA Perverts are out there?

Anonymous said...

What was the incident at Denver?

Anonymous said...

AnonymousMay 5, 2015 at 5:07 PM
What was the incident at Denver?

Two TSAgents gamed the nudoscopes to give them a a false positive, thus giving them pretext for the full grope of specific passengers.

Anonymous said...

Where is my reply to the May 5, 5:07pm comment? It met blotter rules.

Anonymous said...

Where are any of the three comments that I made which meet TSA blog guidelines??????

Why are you trying to hide the number of TSA clerks involved in this scandal???

Anonymous said...

Read the Time magazine article: http://time.com/3822487/tsa-sexual-assault-denver/

Anonymous said...

Read the CBS Denver article, which publicly names (and photos) the two fired screeners. You won't see their names or photos here because the TSA censors public comments. The article also talks about other things that are censored on this government website.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/04/20/tsa-screeners-fired-in-groping-scandal-both-in-20s-no-criminal-records/

Rubyinn said...

As of a couple of days ago Denver TSA agents are still doing "crotch seam inspections".May 24 2016 Seems a bunch of perverts working there.