November 16, 2010

John Tyner, the young man who resisted the TSA's groin-grope, will now be probed.

"Michael J. Aguilar, chief of the TSA office in San Diego, called a news conference at the airport Monday afternoon to announce the probe. He said the investigation could lead to prosecution and civil penalties of up to $11,000."

Love the use of the word "probe."

There's some really deep feeling brewing out there about the TSA's newly intensified searches of airline passengers. I'm wondering what potential this very particular issue has for skewing politics more generally.

Think about why this issue has such a strong emotional impact: The government wants to see you naked or grope your genitals. It is conditioning an important aspect of personal freedom — flying in airplanes — on your resigning yourself — and your children — to sexual assault. I was chatting with someone the other day who seemed more angry about this than any other political issue.

Now, I think this TSA issue has the potential to affect the political orientation of many individuals. How might the political parties and other political participants seize this opportunity?

359 comments:

1 – 200 of 359   Newer›   Newest»
Larry J said...

Tyner dared to resist the federal intrusion so he must be punished. No one must be allowed to refuse the government's dictates without consequences.

chickelit said...

What if the TSA attracted a bunch of prevert employees?

Wouldn't that be a scandal.

Roman said...

TSA has to push this. This is just one of many in the administration who wants to tell you how to live. They are convinced that they can live your life better than you.

JAY said...

This is typical of liberal command and control government action.

I bet the guy gets an IRS audit too.

Larry J said...

I bet the guy gets an IRS audit too.

Maybe, but I'll bet he's on the No Fly List. Anyone who refuses to bend over and grab is ankles whenever a government official demands is as good as a terrorist.

Famous Original Mike said...

Look, let's not get carried away. This is not sexual assault.

I think the whole "screening" process is stupid, but let's not go overboard with this whole thing.

George said...

They'll never actually bill the guy; they can't, really, because he has a recording of TSA personnel giving him a choice to leave.

What they will do is drag this out so that he has to hire a lawyer and make it monumentally expensive for him in other ways.

The Crack Emcee said...

The government wants to see you naked or grope your genitals.

Like sex and nudity, during photo shoots in law libraries, isn't this what Boomers "expect"?

(No hostility - just making a point.)

JAY said...

I'm wondering what potential this very particular issue has for skewing politics more generally.


Well, if you owned an airline would you be happy about this given that it seems fewer people are flying because it is an enormous pain in the ass?

Robert Cook said...

On this morning's news they presented the results of a poll that purports 81% of Americans think the full-body scanners are necessary.

If this is accurate and true, I must conclude most Americans have no idea what the full-body scanners entail, haven't encountered them yet, or don't fly at all, or often enough to be concerned about it at this time.

Or they're idiots.

I wonder how many people will suddenly wake up when they see their even their little children must be viewed "nude" on monitors viewed by employees of TSA?

This can only sway political orientations if one of the major parties takes a significant and pronounced stand for or against the use of these scanners. If neither clearly announce their plans to block use of these scanners, why would anyone assume either the Republicans or Dems will advocate for them against these devices?

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAY said...

Looking for US stats:

GENEVA — World airlines suffered their biggest traffic decline since 1945 last year, making 2009 the "worst year the industry has ever seen," and can expect only a slow recovery in 2010, the International Air Transport Association said Wednesday.

MadisonMan said...

I love that TSA claims that saving the full-body scan images is impossible. They've never heard of a cell phone photo?

I give kudos to Mr. Tyner for standing up to the intrusiveness that is the Government. And good on American Airlines for refunding his ticket.

madAsHell said...

El-Al seems to do a good job of identifying potential hazards. Could we not learn something from them?? They don't use scanners. They use....profiling!!

Maybe now that the government is fondling everyone, profiling won't be considered so....RACIST!

The Crack Emcee said...

What they will do is drag this out so that he has to hire a lawyer and make it monumentally expensive for him in other ways.

But whatever we do, let's not do the same to Arianna Huffington, because she and her product are so damned swell.

Original Mike said...

How might the political parties and other political participants seize this opportunity?

As has been pointed out in the past, the Israelies are much more effective while putting the majority of the public through much less hassle. But that would require, horrors, actually looking at the individual rather than treat everybody like cattle. I hope this is the last straw and leads to a more rational, less PC approach to security. This has potential for the Repubs, if they have the balls to seize it.

Paddy O said...

Ann, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the possible Constitutional challenges to this. What's the best line of legal response? Seems both the options of search (scanner) and seizure (groping) is pretty unreasonable. Do we lose our constitutional rights as long as they don't make it personal?

I think this is getting society near a tipping point for longstanding overall frustrations against the TSA. Someone in power could certainly make a stand against it and be popular, but the problem is the real danger of something going wrong. It's easier to take blame for being too much of a bother than for some disaster.

Though, it seems we're willing to put up with irritation for only so long, but the TSA keeps trying more and more as if to say, "how about this." Maybe it's all a complex psychological study.

This also seems a situation ripe for nonviolent resistance. If a large group of people at only one major airport refuse the scan, airlines would either fly mostly empty or be delayed causing a mess in the overall system.

The TSA is banking on people not wanting to be groped. They certainly don't have the manpower to grope a majority of travelers. Making delays in the system would get airlines to balk at the scans.

Larry J said...

Interestingly enough, there is a legal alternative to having the TSA screen people at the airports.

Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. "As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law."


I'm hearing a lot of people who say they're not going to fly any more. If that happens, it wouldn't surprise me if airports opt out of using the TSA.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, obviously, the Tea Party types should latch onto this as yet one more example of government exceeding its Constitutional authority.

People are sick and tired of the intrusion into our personal liberties.

No one quibbles with the need to remain safe and that the Government does have a rightful and Constitutional role to play in national security.

However, allowing incompetent government hirees to grope you, grope your children, give you an anal probe and display your naked form in exchange for the freedom to travel from one location to another is abhorent and UN-Constitutional.

Tea Partiers, who are very Libertarian leaning, will take this issue and run with it, all the way to the bank.

Athanasius said...

FREE JOHN TYNER!!!

Original Mike said...

I love that TSA claims that saving the full-body scan images is impossible.

Really? Do they think we're stupid?

Unorthodox Modernity said...

There's something about this that just finally crosses the line.

I don't get all riled up if a city wants to ban salt, or soda, or other stupid controlling regulations.

But having my only choice be one between being groped or seen naked in order to fly is just insane. I can't allow that to become the new normal - people need to push back so that we don't just become conditioned to it.

And you know there's no way that this isn't going be abused.

Mike Smith said...

Ann,

As a law professor, I'd like to add my request that you provide us with your thoughts as to whether you believe these are constitutionally valid searches and, if not, what the best defense tactics are.

Chris said...

My guess is that political types will universally agree this TSA stuff is a terrible thing, but the justifications for why it's a bad thing will be horribly divergent. As a result, nothing will get done, because that might make the oppositions' arguments seem correct. In our political climate, it is not enough to do the right thing- the opposition must be wrong.

Original Mike said...

"When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes.

Yeah, like nobody could see this coming. {:rolleyes}

Milwaukee said...

Remember, you heard it here first!

The answer to "driving while black" is now "flying while white". This is payback for all you crackers messing with the brothers. You are going to be searched without probable cause. I claim copyright to "Flying While White".

Nothing in my background would indicate my being likely to destroy a plane: I have flown on a regular basis from Milwaukee or Chicago to Denver to see my parents, which I have done over the last 25 years. I practice a religion which values the sanctity of human life, opposing abortion, capital punishment and unjust wars. I buy my round-trip tickets in advance, with credit cards with my name, and I take luggage. I was an Eagle Boy Scout.

The underwear bomber bought his ticket the day of the flight, with cash, only bought a one-way ticket, and had no luggage. As far as I know, he had never made that trip before. And his name was on several lists as warranting scrutiny.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Really? Do they think we're stupid?

Yes. They do.

They also think we are sheep that can be herded around.

What gets me is the "supposed" people who support needlessly standing in full body X-Ray machines the airport are likely the very same people who think that irradiating our tomatoes is somehow dangerous.

Maybe they are right. People are sheep.

AllenS said...

Really? Do they think we're stupid?

Yes, yes they do.

Lockestep said...

If an airport opts out, will they still have to collect the TSA tax (AKA airport security fee)?

EDH said...

The government seems to have had absolutely no method in place to communicate or assess the the roll-out of changes in airline passenger screening.

So what eventually filled the void was a festering backlash.

This is the result of the government inserting itself in a intrinsically market function, yet still behaving like it is a above-the-market actor.

Pogo said...

"Tyner was told by a TSA supervisor on tape, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights."

The same can now be said for health care.

This is modern serfdom. The TSA now has droit de seigneur, the right to feel up the females at will. Enjoy being owned; there will be more to come like this.

shoutingthomas said...

I recognize the threat from the Jihadis. I was only 2 miles away from WTC when it went down.

But, I'm beginning to wonder if Fred Reed (of Fred on Everything fame) is right.

He thinks we've become hysterical.

The risk is overstated. And risk is part of life. Your chances of being the victim of a hijacking are miniscule. This is a huge governmental overreaction for only one reason... neither party wants to be the party in power when the next plane goes down.

Go back to the old scanners. Accept the reality that the Jihadis are going to win a few here and there.

Time to let go of the hysteria. The only way to make life perfectly safe is to sacrifice your freedom and sanity.

AllenS said...

For the TSA to do anything different and have it be more effective would be to start profiling and that won't happen.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the possible Constitutional challenges to this. What's the best line of legal response? Seems both the options of search (scanner) and seizure (groping) is pretty unreasonable. Do we lose our constitutional rights as long as they don't make it personal?"

I would want to study it in much greater depth, with much more information, but my first take on this is that it's rendered legal by consent. You don't have to fly. You can walk away. Now, I'm concerned that you forfeit the price you paid for the ticket, but if you knew you were going to face the search, I don't see the constitutional problem.

This is an issue that should be solved by democratic choice. We don't want to be protected from terrorism at that price... or do we? Personally, the democratic choice could go either way, because I am choosing not to fly.

Triangle Man said...

I haven't been keeping up with the deployment of the two technologies. I thought terahertz scanning was going to beat backscatter x-ray because of the perception that the x-rays were more harmful. Did backscatter win, or are both being used?

bagoh20 said...

This reaction to Tyner's refusal is double infuriating. If I refuse to allow my daughter to be groped, I will be prosecuted and fined? There are no limits if this stands. The TSA must go down in flames for even thinking it would be OK in America.

I was always in favor of our airline security as it was as a necessary evil. This I am against with a frenzied anger. Yes, this is gonna be a big problem, and that's a great thing.

Putting my family in my car is more dangerous, and I would not submit to such a search to get the added safely.

I understand how people who are given responsibility for our airline safety feel obligated to prevent things getting on board no matter what. They need to be let off the hook, with a legislated policy that respects the people as well as protects them within reason. Reason - that's what's missing here, and respect.

The first downed plane from a terrorist will change everything, but will it happen with or without this policy in place? We have no idea and that's the problem.

Life is risky, but we are Americans and we take risks for liberty. That's what we are about.

Original Mike said...

I love that TSA claims that saving the full-body scan images is impossible.

Are they saying there's too much data? Medical imagers routinely store these type of images. Hell, they're not even dynamic. This would be a piece of cake.

AllenS said...

Well, Althouse, since you're required to have a drivers license with your picture on it, maybe you should quit driving, also.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

We have to accept the possibility of a bad guy getting through if we reject the scanners, and I think we ought to take that chance. I also think profiling makes sense, and private individuals should be allowed to carry firearms. Most of us are good guys. We have them outnumbered, and we should act like it.

whytri said...

If we only had another option for traveling long distances across the country at a reasonably high speed where someone else took care of the driving. Maybe people should link the issue of killing high-speed rail to these intrusive policies at airports.

shoutingthomas said...

This is a huge governmental overreaction for only one reason... neither party wants to be the party in power when the next plane goes down.

Hate to quote myself, but I just did.

This hysteria has gone nuclear. Time to cool out.

Your chances of being hijacked by the Jihadis is thousands of times less than your chances of being hit by a train.

Robert Cook said...

Roman said:

TSA has to push this. This is just one of many in the administration who wants to tell you how to live. They are convinced that they can live your life better than you."

Jay said:

"This is typical of liberal command and control government action."

No...and no.

This has nothing to do with telling us how to live our lives, and it certainly is not "typical...liberal" blah de blah.

This is typical of a government that has over decades under both parties accrued too much power unto itself and can see no better way to "protect us" against potential threats (which are real) than to make us submit to demeaning searches of our persons. It is neither "conservative" nor "liberal."

One can choose to not fly, but once established, such devices may begin to appear at bus and rail stations, at national borders, at state borders, even perhaps at county or city borders. Soon, American citizens may have to carry "papers," which we must show to any police agent on demand. We may be required to accompany any police agent on demand to the nearest prescinct to be put through full-body scanners or even physically strip-searched...just to make sure we're okay.

We have so exaggerated the threat from terrorism over the last decade, made them into such fearsome, all-powerful boogey-men, that this is the inevitable result. As many were saying several years ago, quoting Ben Franklin, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

And the obvious unstated continuation of this thought is: "...and will have neither."

Paul Zrimsek said...

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide admitting that he's dumber than a pile of rocks. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes.

Fixed.

Milwaukee said...

The TSA relaxed the rules a while ago, and I understand they said people could go back to carrying box cutters on board. (The weapon used by the World Trade Center Terrorists.) Cigarette lighters are allowed. So, if people can take cigarette lighters, what are the screeners looking for, anyway? TSA is not making us safer. Do TSA screeners get screened when they come to work? How about somebody bribe one of them, get them to sneak something into the secure area, and then pass it to the terrorist once the terrorist is through security?

gus3 said...

It's time to call a spade a spade. The TSA's invasive scanning and groping is legally-sanctioned voyeurism and molestation. Any other name is just sugar-coating it.

Bruce Schneier is right. This is security theater, the only purpose of which is to make us kowtow before unelected bureaucrats. It doesn't protect us from anything except our own uppity attitudes.

wv: wignice(!)

bagoh20 said...

If Airlines were free to do their own security, and some were more rigorous than others, there would be different pricing, and the rigorous security would cost more.

But which airline would be higher priced? I suspect the low security airline with the faster and unobtrusive security would have lower cost, but may be able to charge more because demand would be higher there.

One thing is for sure: if the market could have choice, a better solution would be found, and probably multiple better solutions, and people would be free to decide what is important to them.

I'd prefer the airline that allowed the passengers to be armed, and had an "approved" registry that anyone could get on with a background check. The safest planes in the sky.

Original Mike said...

"Tyner was told by a TSA supervisor on tape, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights."

Pogo responded: "The same can now be said for health care."

EXACTLY.

The sites founders. said...

Ann, I am just wondering where the 4th Amendment comes into play. Is there no need for reasonable cause in these hands-on searches or the backscatter x-ray? The image posted on Drudge yesterday of the elderly nun being groped comes to mind. When, in the past 100 years, has a nun packed a bomb under her habit? The fact that the TSA employee doing the groping appears to be Muslim is simply added irony.


Does the TAS not owe those chosen a reason that they were physically groped? Is 9/11 now the only reason they need?

Perhaps a better alternative would be to refuse to be touched but to offer to show the TSA agent anything they wanted to see. Heck, I'd gladly drop my pants just to see the look on their face!

November 24th will be an interesting day. And Big Sis and her crew are only intensifying the anger with this investigation.

Michael said...

The fact that pilots are being required to have these scans tells you something. When Mineta was Bush's Transportation Secretary, he decreed that there could be no profiling, ie, elderly white grandmothers had to be screened as if they were young middle eastern men with no luggage. That is still the philosophy. The pilot, if he/she has amy inclination for suicide, only has to push the yoke forward and everybody dies. It is insane to screen pilots for bombs. They don't need one.

This is a huge conditioning process to make everyone sheep. They could screen frequent fliers and other unlikely jihadis and issue biometric ID. There are all sorts of alternate methods that would be more reliable. For example, airplanes are poorly secured when on the ground at night when not in service. All it would take is some airplane washer to stash a bomb or a gun aboard.

Tully said...

Word is that the "enhanced grope" will be used on kids as young as 13. In my state, that would be felonious indecent liberties with a child, and requires lifetime registration as a sex offender. But when the government does it, you either submit or be prosecuted and fined.

shoutingthomas said...

This is so crazy that Kookie and I agree.

Well, I'm not so sure I buy the slippery slope tangent he took...

But, I do agree that liberty and freedom require us to face some risk in life.

The only way to be perfectly safe at all times is to be a slave of the state. And, I'm not sure that works either.

garage mahal said...

If we only had another option for traveling long distances across the country at a reasonably high speed where someone else took care of the driving.

I know right?

bagoh20 said...

"It is insane to screen pilots for bombs. They don't need one."

Never even thought of that. Good point. Are there f'n robots in charge at TSA?

AJ Lynch said...

Perhaps Obama wants to decrease airline passengers and sales revenue to financially damage the privately owned airlines so he can nationalize it ala Govt Motors? Nah he would not do that would he?

Original Mike said...

Garage, trains would not be immune (and you know it).

bagoh20 said...

Is it against Islamic law to blow up a train moving at 120MPH through your town? Yea, trains traveling at 1/4 the speed is the solution. Why not covered wagons - even safer.

Charlie said...

It is tar and feathers time. Another agency with the right to investigate us and fine us?

Our mid-20s son, no prude, recently elected to drive 50 hours round-trip rather than fly to NYC after reading about the scans/gropes.

The wife and I are driving 12 hours round trip for Thanksgiving with the relatives rather than fly.

There is no way this family submits to such odious govt intrusion.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If we only had another option for traveling long distances across the country at a reasonably high speed where someone else took care of the driving. Maybe people should link the issue of killing high-speed rail to these intrusive policies at airports.

Oh just eff off.

Your stupid hobby horse is not relevant to this discussion.

High speed rail is NOT going to get me to Hawaii or Europe ....is it.

Bob_R said...

The political implications of this are very interesting. The Republicans have a big strong-defense, pro-military, be aggressive against terrorism faction. Their libertarian tendencies are mostly centered on free markets though extend to 2nd amendment rights. The Democrats have a big anti-military faction and their libertarian tendencies pretty much start and stop with gay rights and abortion. I see the Tea Party as a pure protest movement focused on federal spending. There is no natural winner or loser among our current politicos.

AllenS said...

IIRC the government had to help the airline industry out after 9/11. On Nov. 10, 2001, I flew out to DC and the plane was no more than one fifth full. Leaving DC a couple of days later, they had hastily put up some folding tables where they could inspect certain passengers luggage. The two that they chose were young blonde women. What a farce. It was a farce then, and continues to be a farce.

Lincolntf said...

I've had the misfortune to fly on Thanksgiving Eve as well as on a few other crazy-busy travel days. The "National Opt Out Day" on November 24th is the stupidest proposed protest I've ever seen (where I actually agreed w/the goals of the protesters).
Tying up airports and making 3-hour lines into 8-hour lines is an asshole move, no matter what your motive. I find it hard to believe that many people will choose the longer, slower line. Watching Departure times creep up on the big board will be quite a test of their convictions.

The Crack Emcee said...

UM,

I don't get all riled up if a city wants to ban salt, or soda, or other stupid controlling regulations.

But having my only choice be one between being groped or seen naked in order to fly is just insane.


One thing leads to another.

Tim said...

"I AM JOHN TYNER!"

wv: hersheli - TSA wants to see her sheli.

The Crack Emcee said...

This is an issue that should be solved by democratic choice.

Or common sense. We could demand it be done the Israeli way.

Squid said...

"Word is that the 'enhanced grope' will be used on kids as young as 13. In my state, that would be felonious indecent liberties with a child, and requires lifetime registration as a sex offender."

As Ann noted above, your 13-year-old consented to the molestation when she bought the ticket. Of course, 13-year-olds don't actually buy tickets, and can't provide consent, so in actuality it will be you who goes to jail, for willingly handing your children over to be molested.

Lovely country we've made for ourselves.

former law student said...

I got it! Body cavity searches for every Muslim and let the rest of us free. I mean there hasn't been a white, American terrorist since Bill Ayers enrolled in grad school. I mean there was that Tim McVeigh guy but he was too poor to be able to fly.

bagoh20 said...

"Watching Departure times creep up on the big board will be quite a test of their convictions."

I suspect that many will also opt to not fly that day and it may be a wash.

Original Mike said...

High speed rail is NOT going to get me to Hawaii or Europe ....is it.

There was an Extreme Engineering episode on one of the science channels (Discovery Channel?) on trans-Atlantic high speed rail. It would be a "tunnel" floating a few hundred feet below the surface. The entire thing would be evacuated (i.e. no air). NY to London in one hour, IIRC. That would be high speed rail I could get excited about.

JAY said...

This has nothing to do with telling us how to live our lives, and it certainly is not "typical...liberal" blah de blah.

This is typical of a government that has over decades under both parties accrued


Absurd.

The Democrats are the party of government.

You're trying to escape that fact.

aronamos said...

Just back from a 15-hour sojourn that included a canceled flight, an extra layover and now lost luggage that never even left Stop 1.

And while the system was failing to fix my airplane and losing my luggage, I got pulled aside for "gate screening" by a cadre of four TSA agents, three of whom mostly just stood around. Me: 52, white, female.

Pitiful.

shoutingthomas said...

Looked up some stats. Can't vouch for their accuracy, but I'll bet they are in the ballpark:

Odds of dying in a commercial airline flight: 1 in 5.4 million

Odds of dying in a hijacking: 1 in 18,228,009

You're significantly more likely to die on the way to the airport than to be hijacked once you're on the plane.

shoutingthomas said...

I mean there hasn't been a white, American terrorist since Bill Ayers enrolled in grad school. I mean there was that Tim McVeigh guy but he was too poor to be able to fly.

Your argument is destroyed by the very fact that you are able to name these two men by name.

Terrorists acts committed by white Americans are so rare that you can recite the terrorist's names.

You know this, too.

You're such a pissy snot, garage. What's the point of your postings?

bagoh20 said...

'As Ann noted above, your 13-year-old consented to the molestation when she bought the ticket. "

Eventually, the argument will be that you are consenting to the loss of your liberty and dignity by choosing to live in this country. You could simply take a plane..., oh wait.

Paul Zrimsek said...

On that train of graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
90 minutes from New York to Paris
Well, by '76 we'll be A-OK.

Stuart Dean said...

All this resonates in disturbing ways with much of what Giorgio Agamben has had to say regarding "bare life" and the sovereignty of the Modern State. The smell of fascism that he, more than most, detected in the direction we have been heading at least appears to be something people are now picking up on--even among those who would be shocked to find a kindred spirit in such an ostensibly left of left of center thinker.

Original Mike said...

I got it! Body cavity searches for every Muslim and let the rest of us free.

To quote DBQ, "Oh just eff off".

Big Mike said...

Now, I think this TSA issue has the potential to affect the political orientation of many individuals. How might the political parties and other political participants seize this opportunity?

I think this is a very good question. I've done a great deal of flying for business and I have a metal knee, so I expect to get a special pat-down whenever I fly. Last time I flew my groin area was felt with the back of a TSA agent's hand, and that's about as far as I'm comfortable going. I'll be happy to go through the scanners -- I'm not concerned about changing clothes in a health club locker room so why is being scanned by a male any different?

The investigation and prosecution of young Mr. Tyner is a game-changer. Apparently the Obama Administraton in general and Janet Napolitano in particular think that the American public can be intimidated by making an example of him. That demonstrates that they really, desperately, need someone in their administration who "gets" the American people. Obama's famous remarks about "bitter clingers" means that it isn't him, and Axelrod and the departed but unlamented Rahm Emanuel clearly think that Americans can be bullied and pushed around -- the results on November 2nd notwithstanding.

Put that together with clips on YouTube showing toddlers receiving full body pat-downs, and both Homeland Security and the Obama administration are faced with a public relations disaster that they should have foreseen but, as usual, didn't.

Getting back to the original question, Professor, I think this issue will favor conservatives as a political orientation. Whether it actually favors the Republicans depends on whether Republican leaders screw it up, which they certainly can.

Why? Because (1) Democrats take as a given that profiling is bad. There is no discussion of when and whether and how profiling works or doesn't work. Profiling is bad, according to Democrats (even "moderate" Democrats, not merely the usual liberal loonies), so there can be no discussion. But when American citizen see an elderly nun being patted down under her habit, they are going to start to push back. One of our Jewish friends was aghast that her daughter got a full pat-down, even though the girl was wearing jeans so tight that if she had put a dime in her pocket you could have told whether it was heads or tails.

Reason (2) is that the meme is floating out there that a full pat-down absolutely would not have caught the "underwear bomber." No one from the Obama administration is bothering to refute this. It's one thing for people to put up with taking off our shoes and belts, even shoes with soles and heels too thin to carry enough explosives to blow out a panel, much less take down an aircraft, but getting breasts and genitals patted down when it does nothing to improve safety, well, that's going too far.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It would be a "tunnel" floating a few hundred feet below the surface.

Yikes.

I'd rather be in a floating box on top of the surface.....aka a cruise ship.. instead of in a tube under the ocean. (And if you read my previous posts, you know what I think of cruise ships).

Next month I need to go to Seattle, a 12 to 14 hour drive. I will drive rather than go to the airport and fly. At least I can be sure my luggage will make it with me and no one (other than my husband) is going to be feeling me up.

The Crack Emcee said...

I repeat:

We could do it the Israeli way.

Why is common sense so hard with you people? Oh yea:

Biggest generation in history, obsessed with it's own voice.

Got it.

JAY said...

Apparently the Obama Administraton in general and Janet Napolitano in particular think that the American public can be intimidated by making an example of him.

Democrats did the same thing with Joe the Plumber.

They use the power of government to punish their enemies (Obama's word).

Fprawl said...

TSA blonde screamed at my 78 year old mother with a cane to rush through the scanner.
Time to take the train.

I don't do probes

http://www.trunkmonkey.com/2006/11/13/trunk-monkey-8-alien-abduction-suburban-auto-group/

Original Mike said...

I'd rather be in a floating box on top of the surface.....aka a cruise ship.. instead of in a tube under the ocean.

But, but, but, ... 90 minutes!!!!

JAY said...

We could do it the Israeli way.


And how long do you think it would take for a liberal judge to throw out the profiling of Muslim passengers?

1 day?

40 seconds?

The Crack Emcee said...

I can be sure my luggage will make it with me and no one (other than my husband) is going to be feeling me up.

Win-win!

Ain't marriage grand?

bagoh20 said...

It doesn't really bother me to be groped by some TSA agent, but asking a 13 year old girl to be groped by a stranger is unbelievable.

Anybody applying for a job as TSA screener is immediately suspect in my mind as a sicko now. I wouldn't want that stigma for that paycheck, but a sicko would. In fact, I bet we could get a lot of people to take the job for free.

Michael Haz said...

What happens next? After the next shooting at a high school, for example, will officials be allowed to scan and grope every student who seeks entrance into the school building?

Or after someone sets off a bomb in a shopping mall, will all shoppers be subject to a pat-down as a condition to entering a mall?

Carried further, what happens after a concealed bomb explodes in a law school? Will all the professors, staff and students then be subject to a groping and scan at the entrances?

The precedent being set by the TSA is troublesome.

The Crack Emcee said...

JAY,

And how long do you think it would take for a liberal judge to throw out the profiling of Muslim passengers?

In my world there will be no "liberal judges".

Lincolntf said...

The next time I'm flying (that I know of) is in March.
Here's hoping that by then I have better options than "groped by a shlub" or "scanned into a TSA geek's homemade porn collection".

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael Haz,

What happens after a concealed bomb explodes in a law school? Will all the professors, staff and students then be subject to a groping and scan at the entrances?

Nah - that's limited to photo shoots.

And to be "expected".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Win-win!

Ain't marriage grand?


Yes. It certainly is.

:-D

Marshal said...

I doubt either party has the guts to take a stand against the TSA. It will make them a target when the next airline disaster occurs, at which point no one will remember their qualms on offensive security measures.

traditionalguy said...

This is the equivalent of the shot heard round the world that came 2 years after Boston's Tea Party act of Rebellion. The TSA and the other Thugocracy Agencies created by the FEDS are simply out to overwhelm any non boot licking American citizens by using the crisis caused a few by airline travel terrorists. They are a shameful bunch of incompetent assholes. The enemy is sitting in Yemen right now arranging for two Nuclear bombs to be carried to NYC and DC. Until we get that enemy, and not just get US citizens, identified by trained screeners, we are helping the Bin Laden guys to destroy us.

Marshal said...

" Original Mike said...
I love that TSA claims that saving the full-body scan images is impossible.

Really? Do they think we're stupid?"

We've always been at war with EastAsia. Some people believe statements are truth rather than describing underlying fact. Adherence to this principle is a requirement to succeed in government at the policy level, and to opine on economics for the NYT.

Richard Dolan said...

Going after Tyner is remarkably dumb if the objective is to reduce the growing outrage at the TSA's intrusive, offensive and ineffective attempts at "security." As others have pointed out, the TSA's procedures have failed to keep would-be terrorists from flying even when the gov't is given direct notice of a terrorist's identity. Trying to screen passagers to keep forbidden materials (rather than bad people) off planes means that the TSA will always be one-step behind whatever device the bad guys come up with to work their mayhem. At the same time, the system is designed to generate huge numbers of false positives -- all the silliness about nail clippers, tooth paste, etc., that never served any sensible purpose. Generating false positives is about all the current system has succeeded in doing.

But what interests me about this story is how typically bureaucratic is the response by the TSA here. The first rule of any bureaucracy is to protect its turf, and to crush any opposition to its assertion of authority. TSA's threat of action against Tyner is similar to the inanities that are typical of educational bureaucrats trying to enforce 'zero tolerance' policies against a 6-year old who drew a picture of a gun in kindergarten. When the flaws of their 'safety' policies are exposed (screening for TSA and zero tolerance for educrats), the bureaucracy doubles down in ways that only succeed in showing those flaws in even starker light. Neither Tyner nor the 6-year old was ever a security or safety threat; nor is there any sensible reason to go after them other than TSA's or the educrats' own bureaucratic agenda. Going after Tyner, like going after the 6-year old gun-drawer, is an invitation to a PR disaster that is quite likely to lead to a political response.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. To quote another law prof, faster please.

PETER V. BELLA said...

El-Al seems to do a good job of identifying potential hazards. Could we not learn something from them?? They don't use scanners. They use....profiling!!

Israel also hunts down terrorists, potential terrorists, or anyone who even dreams of committing a terrorist act and kills them. Which is the main reason El AL is so safe.

Unlike the US, which apologizes to them, appeases them, coddles them, and caves in to their public relations scams.

Hagar said...

My position is that the only people who have done anything effective about aircraft terrorism - or is ever likely to - are the passengers on Flight 93.

I decided early on that I would not fly again until Congress gets off the airports, though I do not think that is going to happen in my lifetime. It is a somewhat empty threat, since I do not want to go anywhere, and probably could not afford to if I did, but that is my attitude. Flying was an unpleasant and painful experience before 9/11, and this TSA boondoggle is just over the top, and not something we should put up with.

Leland said...

I'm glad there is people like John Tyner that stand up to this. What amazes me is the fervor that was against the Patriot Act(allowed tapping of cellphone calls to known overseas terrorist) seemed greater than the new TSA policy (you forfeit 4th Amendment rights because you decided to fly).

And yes, this is assault. Sexual may be contextual, but there's a video making the rounds made by a dad taping his 3 yr old daughter being groped by a TSA agent. As you listen to the young girl cry for the person to quit touching her, ask yourself if that young girl understands that she technically isn't being assaulted.

I understand Ann's comments about the constitutionality. I agree that this may not be a constitutional crisis, since the forfeiture of rights first requires action on our part. However, our government has acted in a way that diminishes our freedom and ultimately will damage a major US industry. This can be rectified in a Democracy. Until it is, I suspect the anger will grow.

Unorthodox Modernity said...

Problem is, many of us don't have the choice not to fly - it's part of our jobs.

Travel is such an integral part of business.

Note that the day before Thanksgiving is national opt-out day - a nice protest on the busiest travel day of the year.

rdkraus said...

I find this whole discussion pretty funny. Day after day our various levels of gov't are stealing our freedoms and privacy with their laws, regulations, licensing restrictions, taxes etc.

You think you have privacy? LOL.
You can't handle privacy !!!
There is no privacy anymore, and I've given up on that.

Now, THIS is what has everyone up in arms? Some stranger might see them naked for 2 seconds? OMG, some stranger might see my junk.

Don't take this wrong, as soon as that idiot Bush (oh yeah, him) began with this idea, we knew this was coming. Where else would it go. Another enormous gov't agency with minimally educated/trained "professionals" granted daily power over others. Gee, that couldn't end badly.

But, it's still pretty funny that, with all the freedoms they steal from us daily, THIS, being seen naked for two seconds, is THE GALVANIZING ISSUE OF THE DAY.

Oy, we are doomed.

Jum said...

The John Tyner incident, coupled with the photo of a burqa'd and uniformed TSA officer sticking her hands under the nun's habit has enraged this country. This issue is enough to cause an explosion alright...of the people.

There's only one thing to do when our government doesn't listen to us: shut it down. Don't fly. We start by taking one day to stop submitting to the humiliations and bullying of an agency gone mad with power. If that doesn't get their attention, do a week and see what the airlines' attitude is.

But although I am furious about the tyranny of the TSA, I can't help but laugh when I realize that every time I read about more TSA arrogance, I now reflexively picture South Park's Eric Cartman saying "Respect my authoritah!".

Brian said...

As soon as a terrorist tries to set off a bomb on a plane that is inserted in his rectum, passengers will have to be anally probed before boarding.

But that's OK with FLS, because he'll be taking the train to Europe.

rhhardin said...

"Sick and tired" is hendiadys

Leland said...

Big Mike +1

Robert Cook said...

"Democrats did the same thing with Joe the Plumber."

And just what terrible injustices or oppression was Joe the (fake) Plumber subjected to by Democrats?

FAIL.

PatCA said...

I hope a good pro bono lawyer defends Tyner. Discovery will be an eye-opener. I would love to see all the subpoenaed documents detailing how they came up with the plan to molest people to force them into choosing the scanner. Why isn't a regular pat down an option? SUBMISSION.

Write to your congress critters and get them to stop, at least for Thanksgiving. I'm flying Wednesday. Maybe I'll be commenting from TSA jail!

AJ Lynch said...

"Really? Do they think we're stupid?"

Govt bureaucrats really do. Just this morning, Ray Lahood was saying we need to put equipment in our cars that disrupts using a cell phone in the car. Even though traffic fatalities have declined, LaHood claims there were 5,000 killed by "distracted drivers"! They just make shit up IMHO!

DC Zombie said...

The political question is fascinating. So is the economic question. What impact will TSA's pre-flight porn and grope-downs have on the economy? How many people will quit flying? How many people will fly less frequently? How many industries that cater to air travel will suffer and how greatly? How much more jammed up will the freeways be during holidays when people start driving for trips they previously would have flown for? How many people will lose their jobs as a result of TSA policies?

chuckR said...

Good grief. I agree with Robert Cook @9:18. In this instance, he's become like a 2D denizen of "Flatland" granted the ability to see in the third dimension, that dimension being the totalitarian oppressiveness with security to freedom with acceptable risk axis.

TSA depends on the stupidity of the terrorists who are actually deployed and on theater with expensive sets and props. The 19 who were so successful on 911 were led by Atta, a man neither stupid, disorganized or uneducated. TSA doesn't even have a (public) record of catching the ones who are all three.

SGT Ted said...

Let us all remember that the Democrats wanted to UNIONIZE the TSA workers when it was created.

And we need to do security the way Israelis do.

garage mahal said...

High speed rail is NOT going to get me to Hawaii or Europe ....is it.

Correct. You can't drive there either. What is your point?

donttread2010 said...

Command and control...coming to your health care center very soon. Isn't 'One size fits all' government great??????

DADvocate said...

And just what terrible injustices or oppression was Joe the (fake) Plumber subjected to by Democrats?

FAIL.


Read about it on Wikipedia.

Super FAIL.

Why is it liberals love fascism?
Because no rational person would follow that ideology without being forced.

AllenS said...

garage mahal said...
You can't drive there either. What is your point?

I dunno, maybe something about airplanes.

Brian said...

@Robert:
And just what terrible injustices or oppression was Joe the (fake) Plumber subjected to by Democrats?

Well there was the case of Helen Jones-Kelley, Democratic head of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, that tried to dig up dirt on him after he made the news:
link.

It's not exactly oppression, but it is a case of a Democratic operative trying to enact political payback, simply for asking a question on camera.

As to him being a fake plumber, he worked unlicensed, for a licensed plumbing firm. If you equate being a plumber with being a licensed union member, then yeah, he's not a plumber. That would also mean all those illegals that roofed the houses around here aren't licensed roofers either. So these houses that got new roofs after the hailstorm magically sprouted new shingles, I guess.

DADvocate said...

Who watches the watchers? Who protects us from the "protectors"? Our own government is a greater threat to our freedom and civil rights than terrorists.

Marshal said...

100 Body Scan Images Leak Out

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/11/100-body-scan-images-leak-out/66625/

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

shoutingthomas said...

High speed rail is NOT going to get me to Hawaii or Europe ....is it.

Correct. You can't drive there either. What is your point?

garage, your posts are monotonously stupid and empty. This one is particularly empty of any content, or even reason for existing.

I can't figure out why you bother to post. You've got a burr up your ass, that's clear. What's that about?

About all you are doing is pissing down your own leg.

You like liberals, hate conservatives. That's obvious. But, you posts are so devoid of any content or meaning that I can't figure out why you like liberals and hate conservatives.

You like to mock Palin. You write some of the most empty-headed garbage I've ever read.

bagoh20 said...

Can we expect kids in public schools to be taught why it's alright to be groped a stranger in uniform, but not by dad? Are you prepared to discuss it with them?

At birth, your kids are owned as slaves by the government to be labored to pay off debt and to be fondled to reinforce who's in charge. It all by choice, so it's cool.

Funny how choice justifies such crap, but the people are not free to choose to legislate discrimination or other things found unconstitutional. The constitution is funny like that, at least to lawyers.

traditionalguy said...

Tyner is the ultimate threat to the Feds' new Thugocracy Agencies. He thinks for himself and boldly speaks out the truth. If they cannot shut Tyner up hard, then their whole Lying Scam will fall apart on them. So whether he is right or whether he is wrong is not the issue to TSA. Yet that is their achiles heel. If they chose to honestly explain the truth and asked Americans for voluntary compliance, then 99% would go along with their methods. But by Lying all of the time about what they are doing, the TSA has lost most support forever. They chose war; now lets fight them at the ballot box in 2012.

Big Mike said...

Problem is, many of us don't have the choice not to fly - it's part of our jobs.

Travel is such an integral part of business
.

Yes and no. If you're meeting with customers, yes. If attending conferences or international committees, yes. For award ceremonies, yes. For internal corporate meetings, what's wrong with VTC?

Jonathan Silber said...

Someone remind me in twenty years to recover my repressed memories of passing through airport security.

cubanbob said...

If the republicans had any sense they would demand that the TSA be abolished tomorrow. The technology available on 9/11 was more than adequate to insure safety. What was missing and still is, is competence on the part of the government. The State Department is so busy kowtowing to the Saudi's and the other Gulf Arabs that they let anyone from there come in. Had those 19 guys been Ecuadorians or Angolans would they have issued visas? The other issue was the 'rules of engagement' given to the screeners at that time. No doubt they saw the box cutters but ignored them as they were not on the disallowed list.

The terrorist are already here. They were either let in legally by the State Department or got in to the country by sneaking across the border.If Mexicans can cross the border illegally why would anyone presume terrorist can't? Ask the Head Schmuck In Chief where are the troops and border guards necessary to secure the border? Might cause them too many votes so instead the sheeple must irradiated and probed so the illusion of 'secuity' can be maintained.

As mentioned by other commenters, they don't need to hijack a plane to cause an terrorist incident. All they have to do is bribe a baggage handler to get a bag in to the cargo hold.

Again abolish the TSA, fire the lot them in one fell swoop and ban those worthless aholes from collecting unemployment and frankly the republicans ought to abolish the DHS as well. The Clinton DoJ set the rules that kept the intelligence agencies from co-operating with each other and the FBI and the same aholes from the Clinton DoJ are currently running the DoJ as in Eric Holder. Had Gorelick's rules promulgated while she was at the Clinton DoJ not been implemented 9/11 might never have happened. Had the screeners been advised that anything that can be realistically used as a weapon not be allowed to be carried on but instead be taken onboard only in checked luggage then 9/11 might also have been avoided. Had the State Department not been so lax granting any Saudi an entrance visa 9/11 might have been avoided. If there is another terrorist attack in the US the aftermath investigation will no doubt point yet again incompetence and political correctness on the part of government, especially when democrats are in charge.

donttread2010 said...

DADvocate, indeed...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busy-bodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis.

Jonathan Silber said...

Someone remind me in twenty years to recover my repressed memories of passing through airport security,

DADvocate said...

For internal corporate meetings, what's wrong with VTC?

You can't see what people are doing with their hands under the table.

Pogo said...

""Tyner was told by a TSA supervisor on tape, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights."

By getting health care reform you gave up a lot of rights.

By having a driver's license you gave up a lot of rights.




By being an American citizen you gave up a lot of rights.

By citizen, I mean subject.

former law student said...

Tyner dared to resist the federal intrusion

Man planning to kill with a shotgun wants to get on plane, refuses screening and patdown -- how could there be a problem?

bagoh20 said...

"Correct. You can't drive there either. What is your point?"

The remedial reading class is at the end of the hall. It has a picture of a book on the door. Good luck.

Lincolntf said...

As to Joe the Plumber, it is MANDATORY to be a "fake" plumber if you want a license. Thousands of hours of "fake" plumbing are required before you even qualify to take the exam. In most States, the only real incentive to try to become fully licensed is if you intend to own the business.

DADvocate said...

Man planning to kill with a shotgun wants to get on plane, refuses screening and patdown -- how could there be a problem?

Ummm, the metal detector would sense it.

Have you ever seen a shotgun? Shotguns are rather large. A full size shotgun is 3 feet long or so with lots of metal.

Jonathan Silber said...

The new fear of flying: whether your TSA screener will respect you in the morning.

AllenS said...

Man with Army tank tries to get on plane. Then what?

bagoh20 said...

"Man planning to kill with a shotgun wants to get on plane, refuses screening and patdown -- how could there be a problem?"

Is that a shotgun in you pants, or are you just happy to see me?

I didn't read bout him having a shotgun. Maybe I was skimming too fast. But the point is: He could have had one, then what?

Penny said...

"This is a huge governmental overreaction for only one reason... neither party wants to be the party in power when the next plane goes down."

Amazing that so many believe those in charge will think FIRST about their political party when another terrorist is successful.

Careful, Americans. Losing our humanity is EVEN worse than losing our liberty.

former law student said...

Ummm, the metal detector would sense it.


Sure, his gun and ammo are safely in the baggage compartment, where chey couldn't possibly cause any harm to anyone.

But, now imagine a Libertarian planning to kill with a shotgun.

Now try a firearms rights activist.

Finally, imagine a member of the New Black Panther Party.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Man planning to kill with a shotgun wants to get on plane, refuses screening and patdown -- how could there be a problem?

I'm willing to bet that the shotgun isn't hidden in his crotch.

Roger J. said...

Mr Cook, I submit, has a good point about slippery slopes--at least as far back as Hoover's FBI and its surveillance activities; the use of the IRS to audit people; the Ohio DHS releasing information on Joe the Plumber; the baldfaced intimidation of Mr Tyner by some dipship administrator (who I am reasonably sure had a green light from DHS officials)

we are where we now because of every seemingly small intrusion into our private lives by governments and bureaucracies, both Republican and Democrat--all in the name of our security.

bagoh20 said...

Over the last year haven't the lefties here seemed to get dumber and dumber. I don't think they have actually changed, but as facts contrary to their world view emerge and they don't adjust, the foolishness that was always there becomes visible like a tranny doing a slow strip tease. NTTIAWWT

Original Mike said...

Man planning to kill with a shotgun wants to get on plane, refuses screening and patdown -- how could there be a problem?

Doesn't it ever bother you that your hypotheticals and analogies are so far removed from reality as to bring no light upon the subject?

Lance said...

With the advent of the Tea Party movement, we've had a bit of focus on the taxation issues that preceded the American Revolution. But, as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, colonists at the time were very unhappy with the Quartering Acts of 1767 and 1774.

The issue was intrusion and intimidation. I think we're looking at a similar issue with the TSA searches.

shoutingthomas said...

"This is a huge governmental overreaction for only one reason... neither party wants to be the party in power when the next plane goes down."

Amazing that so many believe those in charge will think FIRST about their political party when another terrorist is successful.

Careful, Americans. Losing our humanity is EVEN worse than losing our liberty.

Huh? Please explain.

We're losing our "humanity" by observing that no Republican or Democratic politician wants to be on watch when the next hijacked plan goes down?

No, losing our "humanity" is not worse than losing our liberty.

Suggesting that politicians are just normal people who don't want to shoulder the blame for a gruesome catastrophe doesn't deny anybody's "humanity."

Are you suggesting that thinking nice things about politicians is what gives us our "humanity?"

Brian said...

@FLS:
Was Tyner trying to bring a shotgun on the plane? Google doesn't say.

As to bringing guns in the checked bags: I know a guy who went on Safari in Africa and brought his rifle. He had to check it in, but there wasn't a problem.

When terrorists are trying to hijack planes with hunting rifles, by somehow getting into the baggage compartment undetected in-flight, I guess it will be a problem.

Also, when TSA agents doze off and miss a weapon in your carry-on on the scanner, how are they going to catch it by feeling your crotch?

MayBee said...

The problem as I see it is: the pat downs wouldn't have found the underwear bomber. The scan would.
So they are using sexual humiliation to try to force people through the scanner.
"Let us scan you or we'll touch your junk" That's disgusting.

But people with something to hide (like a bomb or drugs) will take the pat down. Because they have something to hide.

A government shouldn't be threatening a sexual act against you to get you to comply. If we were Gitmo prisoners, there'd be whole articles about how this is abuse.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Prof. Althouse is right about consent. By entering the "security check point" you consent to any "reasonable" search. At least per the 9th Circuit in Aukai.

The problem is if you decide the search has become reasonable, too bad. You cannot revoke your consent, say "never mind" and go home. The search will go on. (Aukai). The TSA intends to make this point very clear through its "probe" of Mr. Tyner.

So my question is this: suppose you're a guy recovering from prostate cancer surgery and you're wearing an adult diaper. In a full-body pat-down, the TSA can't feel your crotch. What then? Would a body cavity search be "reasonable" at that point?

Because if you don't think it is, you cannot leave, unless you want to pay $11k and get sued and probably arrested. Your lack of consent to the search is immaterial. (Aukai)

And what about maxipads? A NYT columnist writes today about his conversation with the TSA. "Do the imagers, for example, detect sanitary napkins? Yes. Does that then necessitate a pat-down? The T.S.A. couldn’t say. Screeners, the T.S.A. has said, are expected to exercise some discretion."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/business/16road.html

Ah, I feel so much better now with so much "discretion" in the hands of the TSA.

Re political implications, if enough people say "enough" to the TSA and it "adjusts" its procedures, as Incompetano said it might, even more people will feel empowered to say "enough" to federal salaries, public pensions, . . .

shoutingthomas said...

And, yes, this is all about politicians trying to cover their asses.

The potential threat is tiny.

This is a huge overreaction driven by terrified pols.

To put it in perspective: Dan automobile accident is much likely to take your life.

Would you agree to a sobriety check every time you sat down behind the wheel?

This would do much more for public safety than these airport security checks.

Brian said...

If flying on a plane means consent is given, then it occurs to me that driving implies consent. Driving is a privilege, requiring a license, and you can choose not to drive.

So the 4th amendment doesn't apply to your car? You can be pulled over and searched at any time?

Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Brian,

I tried to make that same exact point at 9:14 AM. I really didn't expect The Althouse Woman to respond.

former law student said...

Doesn't it ever bother you that your hypotheticals and analogies are so far removed from reality as to bring no light upon the subject?


Tyner was on his way to hunt pheasants with his wife's dad. Shooting with your own gun is much easier -- your fingers know where the safety is, for instance. If you're used to an autoloader or an over under you might forget to shuck the forearm of a borrowed pump gun. The sight picture will be different.

I'd take my own shotgun in this situation.

Darcy said...

I see this issue as possibly being very bi-partisan. I see plenty of liberals hating the newest measures. The problem the Democrats are going to have is that they're still in charge. And they love big government. How do they seize this issue?

(Hi garage.)

gromit82 said...

Triangle Man: At some airports they have backscatter X-rays, and at some they have millimeter wave machines. (At some, neither type has been installed yet.)

This is based on discussions in the forums at FlyerTalk.com; I haven't flown myself since these new machines and policies became common.

Brian said...

How long before a terrorist gets someone to surgically install a bomb in someone's chest? Make it look like a pacemaker?

So what would we do then? Require everyone to undergo open-heart surgery just to be safe? After all, you gave up your rights.

garage mahal said...

The problem the Democrats are going to have is that they're still in charge. And they love big government. How do they seize this issue?

The TSA was formed under George Bush in 2001.

And hi Darcy!

donttread2010 said...

Airports may have an 'out':

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Amid-airport-anger_-GOP-takes-aim-at-screening-1576602-108259869.html

Jonathan Silber said...

At the website of Cosmopolitan magazine today the lead articles advise on the challenges of dealing with TSA screeners: "10 Ways to Tell He's Not Into You";and "75 Crazy-Hot Sex Moves."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Now, I think this TSA issue has the potential to affect the political orientation of many individuals.

Yep. Right up to the point when a passenger laden plane detonates over LaGuardia and then we'll be outraged over how this could have happen and why more steps weren't taken to prevent such a tragedy.

PETER V. BELLA said...

We're from the government. We're here to probe you.

Darcy said...

Hi, garage!

Honey, I know that. :) My point still stands, I think.

RebeccaH said...

Going after Mr. Tyner is just another bullying attempt by a federal agency to intimidate and silence the rest of us while they chip away at our rights.

Original Mike said...

Tyner was on his way to hunt pheasants with his wife's dad.

And a shotgun would get past the metal detector how?

And the pat down would detect his shotgun in the checked baggage how?

And he would retreive his shotgun from the checked baggage how?



(Hi Darcy!)

ricpic said...

Our dhimmi government will do anything rather than engage in the dreaded profiling.

former law student said...

So the 4th amendment doesn't apply to your car? You can be pulled over and searched at any time?


As long as you are not being singled out. Rehnquist, CJ, ruled that DUI sobriety checkpoints are Constitutional, because the harm caused by drunk drivers on the highways outweighs the checkpoints' "minimal intrusion on individual liberties." Cops are allowed to stop everyone, every other one, every third one, whatever, as long as they have a system not based on the car or the driver, etc. Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990),

Darcy said...

That's another thing to consider, Hoosier Daddy. We've irrationally given up a ton of liberty over fear. And we'd do it again.

AllenS said...

Darcy,

Would you please go through the scanner again, I need another look.

Darcy said...

Hi Mike! And I'll just say hello to all my TY friends now, so I don't junk up this thread. :)

This is a fascinating topic. I loved the TSA originally. Well, I'd have preferred the security hadn't been federalized, but it did make me feel safe. We now have a massive bureaucracy that is abusive. Just no question about it, and are we safer because of it?
I don't know.

bagoh20 said...

There are far two few lefties here for my preference, but even if there are only a couple, the Blame Bush mantra always comes out. It's like their flag being picked up by their last soldier alive as he stumbles forward. Brave honorable souls fight to the end. Hurrah!

Pogo said...

I used to fly all the time, to go to conferences and such.

Not anymore. Because of this bullshit.

Turns out a lot of people have done the same. Lower discretionary travel, like for vacations. Tourism declines (see Las Vegas).

Reducing voluntary travel during the worst recession in 70 years.

Heckuva job, Barry.
I expect he's busy watching ESPN however.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Tyner was on his way to hunt pheasants with his wife's dad. Shooting with your own gun is much easier

Nevertheless.....he didn't have a shot gun concealed in his crotch. Did he?

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's another thing to consider, Hoosier Daddy. We've irrationally given up a ton of liberty over fear. And we'd do it again.

Irrationally? Well one guy had a C4laden shoe he tried to bring down a plane with, another had some stuffed in his undies and now we thwarted an attempt to bring down some planes with explosive toner cartridges. Is it really irrational fear or simply an acknowledgement that Islamic terrorists continue to target aircraft? I mean its not like there isn't a precedent.

And what liberty have I given up? Ever since Oklahoma City my ability to park around a public building has been severely restricted, I always had to walk through a metal detector in an airport so what's changed?

Hey maybe we should just say we're doing it for the children! I mean that worked when setting up Stasi checkpoints at midnight to check for drunk drivers right?

Look if we want to go back to a September 10, 2001 era of FREEDOM than fine. Lets just not act all shocked and OUTRAGED when another 3000 people get incinerated.

former law student said...

And a shotgun would get past the metal detector how?

And the pat down would detect his shotgun in the checked baggage how?

And he would retreive his shotgun from the checked baggage how?


You guys are not putting the pieces together. Based on what I believe most pheasant hunters would do, we now have "Man brings gun to airport, refuses security inspection."

Would you not be just a tad bit concerned?

If not, why not?

Or do you believe that modesty is common for 31 year old computer programmers?

I hope this dude never bought a suit. Because when I do it, a little man runs his hand up my leg stopping just short of my junk. He's holding a tape measure, though, so I've always figured it was all right.

AllenS said...

Years before (1993) the planes brought down the towers, there was an attempt to bring them down with explosives in vehicles. Let us not forget that fact.

Original Mike said...

Nevertheless.....he didn't have a shot gun concealed in his crotch. Did he?

Like I said. So far removed from reality as to be pointless. It's his specialty.

The Crack Emcee said...

DADvocate,

Who watches the watchers?

I swear, I feel like that woman in the movie South Pacific:

"Come to me, here am I, come to meeeee!"

All I've got to do is sit here and wait - you're all going to meet me as you come around the mountain again.

AllenS,

Darcy,

Would you please go through the scanner again, I need another look.

LOL!

wv: "cower" - what you'd better be prepared to do once you get to my world view.

Brian said...

Yeah, this is going to crimp my usual method of getting printer toner cartridges through security by hiding them in my underwear.

I don't deny the difficult task of detecting explosives hidden in common items, but it seems to me the point of origin is where you have to stop it. Anything going through Yemen gets the higher scrutiny. Sucks to be Yemeni right now, but oh well.

(hello Darcy! Glad you're back)

bagoh20 said...

As a conservative who supported the formation of the TSA, I've learned my lesson.

It was impossible for whoever was in charge after 9/11 to not take that step. People wanted it, and no leader was gonna say just hang on, it won't happen again.

But, Americans like me need to grow a spine, and hold on to liberty more tightly. It can be taken by outsiders or we can abandon it ourselves, but it's all the same. In this case, we colluded with the Jihadis to drag us down into the gutter - to abandon what we hold most precious.

former law student said...

Nevertheless.....he didn't have a shot gun concealed in his crotch. Did he?


Only "johnnyedge" knows what was in his crotch that day.

Roger J. said...

FLS--the question is did he check the shotgun in baggage compartment luggage--then go from there; if he did, then seems to me to be kosher.

Darcy said...

When I say "irrationally", Hoosier Daddy, I mean consenting to everything the TSA decides is needed. Why?

Feeling up a 3 year old is making us safer? It's insane. And harassing this guy who chose not to undergo the scanning or groping?
Abuse.

Yeah, I know that I can choose not to fly. I'm just voicing my outrage at it. This is bullshit.

jr565 said...

Roman wrote:
TSA has to push this. This is just one of many in the administration who wants to tell you how to live. They are convinced that they can live your life better than you.

No, not really. THey are simply telling you what you need to do to get on a plane. You can avoid all that by not getting on a plane. You have no rights to airline travel, and are not forced to fly. And seriously, how different is this than demanding that you take off your shoes or put your bags through the metal detectors? It's the same principle at play.
That being said, I don't want these either. Don't want my junk to be exposed and looked at, nor run the risk of getting my nads irradiated. But, it's not a matter of the telling you how to live. You don't like it don't fly airplanes.
If enough people stop flying they'll get the message.

Brian said...

I hope this dude never bought a suit. Because when I do it, a little man runs his hand up my leg stopping just short of my junk. He's holding a tape measure, though, so I've always figured it was all right.

Was he measuring your junk in inches, or centimeters? It sounds more impressive in centimeters.

Paddy O said...

FLS, so the standard is "minimal intrusion"? I suspect that could be challenged in this present case.

Do the police in random checkpoints have the right to pat you down or search your car without further suspicions? I've gone through those and it's usually a stop, brief question, then move on. I've had to show my license once, I believe. But, it really is "minimally intrusive". Well, except for having to "show my papers" which apparently is a national disaster, well at least under a Republican president.

I'd say that body scans that can essentially see specific body parts, as well as an alternative physical search, is getting pretty close to maximally intrusive.

On the other hand, if they could combine this with some kind of quick medical scan to check for tumors or such, that might make it better.

Robert Cook said...

DADvocate:

Regarding the Wikipedia entry about intrusive searches into Joe the Plumber's personal information: it appears they were a couple of isolated cases and the persons involved were disciplined for their improprieties, as they should have been.

This hardly shows a Democratic vendetta against him or that he suffered any damage.

bagoh20 said...

"Would you not be just a tad bit concerned?
If not, why not?"


Because it is not a threat to the airplane for him to have a gun in cargo. And of course the idea that he finds being groped against his will to be objectionable is the obvious reason for his refusal anyway. That's why it's a stupid policy - too many false positives via refusal.

The Crack Emcee said...

This hardly shows a Democratic vendetta against him or that he suffered any damage.

Shut up, Cookie.

Robert Cook said...

"And what liberty have I given up?"

Given that Mr. Tyner has been threatened with civil action and a government investigation because he chose to miss his flight and leave rather than submit to the search, and because this wasn't good enough for the TSA, I'd say we've all lost plenty of our liberties already.

You just won't know it until it hits you in the face.

Pogo said...

Hell, just combine the new Health Care with the TSA.

Have doctors do the groping, and charge you for it.

We do body cavity exams every day.
Win win.

The Crack Emcee said...

And fuck all this "you don't have to fly" shit:

This country has to come to terms with being at war, grow a couple, and do airport security the Israeli way.

Whiners will be shot.

[Kidding about that last part.]

The Crack Emcee said...

Welcome back, Darcy!

DADvocate said...

Finally, imagine a member of the New Black Panther Party.

I'm trying to imagine what the hell you're talking about and what point you think you're making. My efforts are unsuccessful.

that woman in the movie South Pacific:

Bloody Mary (the one I love). My parents made me watch all those musicals in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I did get to actually meet the real Baroness Von Trapp once.

bagoh20 said...

Cook is demonstrating why this bipartisan. If he gets it, it's a cake walk. Now get out there and gum up the gears. Let's teach them a lesson.

Lem said...

Hi Darcy..
Missed you sweetheart.

jr565 said...

If you look at the pictures they actually look like martians, so little detail is actually shown. I certainly can't identify people based on these pictures. Which does diminish the harm for me somewhat.
It's like if the MRI technician sees my MRI and can see my internal body parts if he's not my doctor?

Dewave said...

This is already setting the stage for 2012.

When the TSA is so obviously incompetent and pettily vindictive, people are not going to be yearning for even more stringently intrusive government as the solution to our problems.

This incident will raise awareness of two very important issues:

1) The government is more concerned with *appearing* to take decisive action than actually taking decisive action. The TSA mess doesn't make us safer, it's designed to make us feel safer.

Remember the quip about the British Military from the series Yes, Prime Minister? There you are.

2) Government entities are increasingly using their power to go after specific private citizens who embarrass them.

bgates said...

You have no rights to airline travel

Why not?

The Crack Emcee said...

Dad,

Bloody Mary (the one I love).

Is that a great song or what? Simply hypnotic.

DADvocate said...

This hardly shows a Democratic vendetta against him or that he suffered any damage.

Of course not, just because there were Democrats, such as this one, it charge of all departments that took those actions is no cause.


You're just another purveyor of liberal lies.

Andrea said...

Don't worry, no Muslims will be subjected to any of this degradation: http://t.co/CAgnZbp

There, don't you feel better?

BJM said...

@George

Tyner wasn't allowed to leave the airport after the pat-down kerfuffle and being refused boarding. The TSA and police escorted him to the airline counter to have his ticket refunded.

The manner in which the TSA handled the incident from that point on is where it really turned into Keystone cops.

The TSA demanded he remain in the airport until the flight left in case he had an incendiary device in his pants.

Why wouldn't they want Tyner out of the airport where he could do no harm as quickly as possible?

donttread2010 said...

Ahh yes, those at '(Un)intended Consequences' HQ are having a field day.

jr565 said...

Crack Emcee wrote:
This country has to come to terms with being at war, grow a couple, and do airport security the Israeli way.
Except a lot of people might not like the ways Israelis do it either.
I"saac Yeffet, the former head of security for El Al and now an aviation security consultant in New York, said El Al has prevented terrorism in the air by making sure every passenger is interviewed by a well-trained agent before check-in."

Having some guy give you a thorough interview is just as much an invasion of your privacy as getting scanned, only it probably takes longer. And do you want this guy to know your personal business? What right does he have to question your itinerary? Isn't such interrogations even more an asault on your personal freedom then them taking a picture of you that shows you in a white light? And if people are complaining about how it takes too long to make you take off your shoes, imagine if everyone had to also go through a 5 (?) minute interview.

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