Skip to comments.Attempted TSA frame-up: a warning to travelers
Posted on 05/02/2011 8:52:01 PM PDT by Jubal Harshaw
Today I was the victim of an attempted frame-up by the TSA. Here's my story; I present it as a warning. I suppose the only take-home message is that one should insist on an independent witness, such as a police officer in my case, during TSA searches. Thing is, I don't know how independent most police officers are likely to be.
This morning, I went through LAX, and refused to go through the radiation scanner. I went through a manual search instead. During this process, I was patted down. During the pat down process, the screener announced what he was doing: I'm putting my hand in your collar I'm going to move my hand side to side ... etc. After the pat down process, the screener who patted me down grabbed a test strip that had nothing to do with me, and was sitting on top of the test strip reader, apparently before I'd gotten to the pat down area. I will designate that as test strip A. He continued with his description of what he was doing, though by this time he was talking to his supervisor. I handled the test strip that was on the machine before I put his [referring to me] strip in the machine. The supervisor, who had apparently not expected this apparent rookie to continue his self-descriptive monologue during an obviously inappropriate part of the testing procedure told the screener to get on with the test. The screener then swabbed the same gloves with which he had:
(1) patted me down and (2) handled test strip A
with an apparently fresh test strip, which I will designate test strip B. The screener then put test strip B in the reader. The reader then reported explosives.
I pointed out to both the supervisor and the screener than this was invalid test, since the screener (knowingly, since he'd described to his supervisor what he'd done) had contaminated his gloves with test strip A before handling test strip B. Upon hearing me point this out, the screener then picked up test strip A, which he had previously placed on top of the reader after handling it (apparently to be ready for the next person) and threw it out.
By this time, the police had been called. I explained what had happened to the officer, and asked officer him to investigate. I pointed out that there were cameras everywhere in this area, including two camera emplacements almost immediately above the reader. The police officer apparently called whoever was monitoring those cameras, and told me that those cameras were not working, and had not captured any of these events. I asked for an investigation, and the Officer told me that I could take it up with the TSA.
I was then told by the TSA personnel that I would have to undergo further screening away from the public. I did not refuse, but pointed out that I did not want to go to some back room for some unknown purpose, especially based on a knowingly adulterated chemical test. The police officer offered to accompany me as a witness, and I eventually went to a closed room, where I was again patted down. This time, in the presence of the police officer, I was again patted down, with largely the same procedure. This time, however, with the police officer watching, the new test read negative for explosives. I shudder to think what the second screening, in an isolated area, would have found if the police officer had not been present.
I pointed out again that I wanted an investigation, and stated that the test strip A was sitting on top of the garbage container where the first screener had thrown it. Having apparently heard that the video cameras covering the first test area were nonfunctional, the first screener (the one who had rubbed his gloves with a test strip from the top of the test machine) piped up at this point, and stated that he had thrown away nothing except his gloves.
There was a TSA supervisor there at this point, and I advised that supervisor that the screener had lied about this process, and asked the supervisor point blank how to formally request an investigation into this event. The supervisor told me that I could call the TSA 800 number.
I then went on to my flight.
There's a warning here to everyone who flies. The TSA is apparently in the process of mastering throw down evidence, though they don't seem to be particularly good at it yet. Beware, and ask for a police officer or independent witness when you are searched by the TSA.
Then the supervisor asked me if I take medications and I told him yes. He told some medications will give false readings. Explosives? Yes. Anyway after, a few more minutes, I asked what they wanted me to do? They looked at each other and told me I could leave.
While waiting, another agent came over and whispered to me that if I had gone through the naked body scanner, then none of this would have happened. I took this to mean that this was all a ruse, to get me to play along in the future. I have not and I still refuse to give in to the tsa goons!
T.S.A.: Totally Standing Around
We drive everywhere, including from California to Texas.
TAS: Too Stupid for Arbys.
Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting.
As for me, I took my final plane flight in February 2001.
Fyi, some airports overseas require you to go through the naked body scanners, no choice to opt out. No patdowns instead.
My prediction if that happens:
Big Sis and the head of the FAA announce federal lawsuits to overturn the Texas law and get an injunction. If Texas wins in the courts, the FAA threatens to stop manning facilities in Texas and forbidding commercial airlines from operating from Texas to the rest of the US.
I'll wager a case of Bass Ale on it.
That just plain doesn't happen in TSA airport pat-downs. That wasn't what the poster described.
I am a frequent flyer who has a pacemaker, so I routinely get the full TSA pat-down. There just isn't EVER a "hands in your pants" protocol.
The agents painstaking describe every detail of the procedure and are very careful in carrying out the procedure. It's boring as hell.
OK, out of what airport do you fly? It is routine for me (wrong, but routine) for the TSA agents to put their hands in my pants. Last week, at SFO, the TSA agent pulled my pants down to just above my knees during a “search.” Boring as hell? You must have quite the interesting social life.
American ingenuity to the rescue. Fieldwipes are a new type of cleaning wipe designed specifically to remove traces of heavy metals, explosive (or fertilizer) residue, and other trace elements that occur from handing or shooting ammunition or explosives. These are nasty products that you don't want on your skin, anyway. The TSA "wipes" are simple tests that should only be used, when used properly, as a basis for determining if further lab-grade analysis is needed.
“Nonsense. The incident described by the poster does rise in any way, shape or form to the level of harm, molestation or frame up.
Then don’t take his advice. Treat it as totally useless information not worth your time to post about.
Yes it does happen.
They stick their hands in your waistband and rub them around. Then they take their hand and fondle your boobs and stick their hands in your crotch from the back and the front and then again as they feel up your legs top to bottom. And they are doing this to people they have NO professional reason to supspect of being muslim terrorist airplane bombers. It is just for abusive appearances. Disgusting and incompetent.
We can get private - real professionals- to do airport security in Texas as all airports should be doing in light of TSA’s incompetence and abuse of the public.
Very seriously doubt it was a ruse as much as incompetence or a plain old mistake. Test strip A was most likely a true “test strip” that is used to calibrate the machine on a regular basis. These strips are deliberately designed to cause a positive result so that screeners can ensure the machine is functioning properly. After using one of these to calibrate the machine at the beginning of shift, the screener performing the calibration simply forgot to throw it away and your screener picked it up and used it on you.
This is going to get interesting.
There may have been an element of incompetence involved.
Perhaps the screener simply was incapable of doing his job in a professional manner. Perhaps ALL the cameras watching these events really did fail at the same time.
Here’s the thing, however: once the screener flat out lied, and stated that he’d not touched another test strip, once his supervisor (whom the screener had TOLD he’d handled another test strip, and who probably saw him handle the test strip) backed him up, once the TSA decided to go forward with this process based on this obviously flawed test ... that eliminates any possibility of innocent mistake. It’s not just that they performed the test wrongly, it’s that they clearly and unequivocally lied about it.
The morning of the day my son flew home from a visit with his grandparents, his grandpa took him to the range.
Of course he got screened. Of course he was covered with GSR.
When they went to test him, my son started laughing and warned them that he’d come up “hot”. He told them what they’d done. The test came back positive and a supervisor was called as was protocol.
The agent explained to the supervisor what was going on. Horribly, everything he *touched* was contaminated with GSR so as they searched his shoes (which were worn to the range) and his bags, they were also positive.
Everyone was very nice and followed procedure. They searched the heck out of him (nicely) and he was very cooperative. The whole thing took about 20 minutes and they ended up sending him on his way.
T.S.A.: Thousands Sexually Assaulted
Their very EXISTENCE IS A HARM. How dare you?