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Dear America, I Saw You Naked. And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.
politico ^ | january 30, 2014 | JASON EDWARD HARRINGTON

Posted on 01/31/2014 1:24:59 PM PST by lowbridge

Edited on 01/31/2014 1:32:22 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

snip

I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying.

Once, in 2008, I had to confiscate a bottle of alcohol from a group of Marines coming home from Afghanistan. It was celebration champagne intended for one of the men in the group—a young, decorated soldier. He was in a wheelchair, both legs lost to an I.E.D., and it fell to me to tell this kid who would never walk again that his homecoming champagne had to be taken away in the name of national security.

There I was, an aspiring satire writer, earnestly acting on orders straight out of Catch-22.

I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.

Charges of racial profiling by the TSA made headlines every few months, and working from behind the scenes we knew what was prompting those claims.

snip


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: tsa; tsapervs

1 posted on 01/31/2014 1:24:59 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: lowbridge
There I was, an aspiring satire writer, earnestly acting on orders straight out of Catch-22. I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.

Imagine the government's description of the "ideal candidate" to fill such a position.

2 posted on 01/31/2014 1:28:32 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: lowbridge

Hey! As long as muzzies can get through without hassles, it’s all good.


3 posted on 01/31/2014 1:32:29 PM PST by Old Yeller
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To: lowbridge
In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.

But like good little whores, they showed up every day and shat on the Constitution anyway.


             


Fly for any non-essential reason, and YOU are part of the problem !

4 posted on 01/31/2014 1:35:37 PM PST by tomkat ( -1 -2 -3 = #4)
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To: lowbridge

This was a very interesting article.


5 posted on 01/31/2014 1:41:29 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("Income Inequality?" Let's start with Washington DC vs. the rest of the nation!)
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To: lowbridge

Old news.


6 posted on 01/31/2014 1:42:33 PM PST by 2harddrive
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To: lowbridge
Seems like a quarter of TSA slang is used to check out (and probably grope) hot females. Yet not a single word for an actual threat.

Welcome to the USSA. Give me your papers and bend over ma'am. Fer da children

7 posted on 01/31/2014 1:51:12 PM PST by varyouga
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To: lowbridge
I hated it from the beginning.

But you did it anyway, didn't you?

8 posted on 01/31/2014 1:53:03 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: lowbridge

As long as no muslims were offended or humiliated...


9 posted on 01/31/2014 1:53:43 PM PST by jughandle
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To: jughandle

That is a standing order.
NO muslims shall be inconvienced or hassled.

Seen it too many times for it to be coincidence.


10 posted on 01/31/2014 1:55:06 PM PST by Texas resident
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To: lowbridge

He was braver than anyone in congress, saving us millions of dollars.

Where are any other brave Americans?


11 posted on 01/31/2014 1:56:26 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

And by other, I am not including the military - that is a given. But where are other federal employees willing to break rank and risk things to share some truths with the American people?


12 posted on 01/31/2014 1:57:34 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: lowbridge

Like I care what some TSA loser thinks?


13 posted on 01/31/2014 2:05:17 PM PST by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: lowbridge
” I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying.”

In another life when I was in training at the TSA during their initial start they had us confiscating scissors from pilots. I questioned the rational of that because the pilots were in the cockpit and in control of the plane anyway.

The reason to confiscate from pilots was “Someone might break into the cockpit during flight and go straight to the pilots personal gear, take the scissors and try to take over the plane”.

I just sat there in amazement at the Barney Fife mall Ninja wannabe’s answer. I needed a job at the time so I bit my tongue. Some of the the people I worked with initially were actually fairly well educated and motivated just post 9/11 and needed a job as well. The rest of the TSA screeners were doing good just to get dressed and actually find their way to work.

The organization slowly changed into a giant welfare to work make-work project for the chronically unemployable.

14 posted on 01/31/2014 2:11:12 PM PST by Polynikes (What would Walt Kowalski do. In the meantime "GET OFF MY LAWN")
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To: Polynikes

“The organization slowly changed into a giant welfare to work make-work project for the chronically unemployable.”

I had friends who tried to become TSA screeners shortly after the agency was formed. The screeners test was very difficult and you had to be pretty sharp to pass it.

I don’t know about what the test is like now but if you look at what the job pays (entry level) and the working hours (usually part time), I doubt that they attract the best and brightest into government service.


15 posted on 01/31/2014 2:16:34 PM PST by XRdsRev (New Jersey - Crossroads of the American Revolution)
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To: XRdsRev

The TSA, only one step below the DMV.


16 posted on 01/31/2014 2:29:36 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz ("The GOP fights its own base with far more vigor than it employs in fighting the Dims.")
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To: XRdsRev
” The screeners test was very difficult and you had to be pretty sharp to pass it.”

I don't know what your friends were like but I found the test not that hard. It was basic common sense, but then I was educated when a education actually meant something.

One of the traits that did show up to a surprising degree among co-workers was back stabbing and using sexual and affirmative action complaints to further advancement.

You not only had to watch for "security threats" but had to be extremely careful in word or deed lest you run afoul of the "chronically offended." The management was no better and displayed some amazing gross incompetence. I eventually resigned in disgust.

17 posted on 01/31/2014 2:41:10 PM PST by Polynikes (What would Walt Kowalski do. In the meantime "GET OFF MY LAWN")
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To: lowbridge
But we would also sometimes pull a passenger’s bag or give a pat down because he or she was rude. We always deployed the same explanation: “It’s just a random search.”

One of my brothers-in-law is a TSA agent; he's an a**hole and I hate his guts. When we were on talking terms, her corroborated the above. Someone gives them attitude, and they purposely do a random pat down and slow it way down to inconvenience the passenger. And unlike this writer of the article, he enjoys doing it. His previous job was being a car salesman; a loser.

18 posted on 01/31/2014 3:04:14 PM PST by roadcat
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To: lowbridge

how about mandatory rad badges for emplyees? In all locations, public buildings, courthouses etc. even for regulars like workers to pass near xray machines.


19 posted on 01/31/2014 4:25:57 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Polynikes

“I don’t know what your friends were like but I found the test not that hard. It was basic common sense, but then I was educated when a education actually meant something.’

I don’t know when you were tested but the original threat identification screening exercises were quite difficult according to many sources. Common sense had nothing to do with those tests, they relied on visual acuity and quick threat assessment.

Based on the caliber of agent I have seen, I can’t imagine they still perform the same battery of tests for qualification.


20 posted on 01/31/2014 6:20:40 PM PST by XRdsRev (New Jersey - Crossroads of the American Revolution)
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To: XRdsRev
I was tested as part of the original deployment ie: the first wave. I went through the original threat identification exercises. I found them not that difficult, but I guess I must have good visual acuity and quick threat assessment. It seemed rather straight forward to me. I did qualify as a lead screener, sort of like a NCO in the TSA world.
21 posted on 01/31/2014 8:17:39 PM PST by Polynikes (What would Walt Kowalski do. In the meantime "GET OFF MY LAWN")
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