TSA disrespects paraplegic Marine — again

As we reported here the other day, a wounded Marine wrote to his Congressman after being humiliated by the TSA at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

According to the AZ Family report, Phoenix TSA Assistant Screening Director Jeff Perez showed video of the incident to a 3TV crew. Perez says no footage is available showing the area in which the Marine claims to have been forced to take his prosthetic legs off.

How convenient that there’s no video of the area where the incident took place.

Of course, no one who flies believes this denial because the TSA has done similar things to thousands of other people in the past and lied about it.

The proof that the TSA is lying comes from the same source: a photo of the incident clearly shows that although the Marine has two prosthetic legs, he only has one on while being searched by the TSA screener.

This comes on the same day as revelations that the TSA secretly tapped into passengers’ Bluetooth devices in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

The TSA forced a US Airways flight attendant, Cathy Bossi, to remove her breast prosthesis in full view of other passengers. They separated a young mother from her 4-year-old son and forced her to remove her prosthetic leg and the liner sock and expose her residual limb in front of other travelers.

This denial is from the same agency that forced an elderly woman to remove her adult diaper during TSA search and disputed a CNN report that screeners in Philadelphia forced a 4-year-old boy to remove his leg braces and attempt to walk through the checkpoint. Not only did the TSA not apologize to the boy’s family, they even lied about that and claimed they did, as the boy’s father, Bob Thomas, revealed on the TSA’s blog on February 22, 2010, at 2:52 pm.

In another truth-fail, the TSA denied strip-searching 84-year-old Dolores Zimmerman, along with two other women, then revised the statement to say that they thought Zimmerman’s back brace, which their own site says is not to be removed, was a money belt and “mistakenly” forced her out of it, along with her underwear and dignity. They later half-apologized and are now being sued in Federal court over the incident.

The TSA has also lied to Congress. They lied about the detail of the scanner images and their safety. They promised three times to allow testing of the scanners and still have not complied. They promised to hold a public comment period, as required by law, on implementation of the scanners, and did not comply. They have refused to testify before Congress. They have promised new rules for children, the elderly, and the handicapped for two years. Yet the abuses continue.

The only thing the TSA can be trusted to do reliably is lie to Congress and the American public.

There have been 106 TSA screeners arrested in the last 27 months including 15 arrested for child sex crimes, 30 for theft, 12 for smuggling, and one for murder.

Personally, I’ll take the word of the Marine over that of a corrupt agency staffed by corrupt bureaucrats who publicly label a wounded veteran a liar in an attempt to defend the irredeemable reputation of the agency.

(Photo: your tax dollars)

  • Susan Richart

    “Starting today, injured service members no longer will need to remove their shoes, jackets or hats at airport security checkpoints, but they must call ahead to qualify for the perk…

    TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said the change has been in the works for several months, predating a March 13 incident at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, in which service members accompanying a wheelchair-bound Marine complained of mistreatment by TSA screeners.”

    Sure, Nico, it’s been in the works for several months.

    NBC Nightly News said it was done in response to many complaints about poor treatment wounded servicemen receive at the hands of the TSA.

  • Susan Richart

    Here’s a PDF of the “proposed” rule:


    Please, all, read it and then let’s put our heads together to come up with comments.

    As you might expect, at lot of the above link is justification for using AIT, both kinds, as well as the usual insistence that backscatter and MMW are safe, yada, yada, yada. We’ve heard it all before.

  • @Bill: I saw the TSA announced they are opening up for Public Comment as of yesterday evening.

    It is still well over a year later and a few weeks later than last promised date (end of Feb, 2013) in their last submission to the Court on EPIC vs DHS.

  • Susan Richart

    The video has surfaced!!!!!


    “The video did show the Marine in the full-body scanner, struggling to stand, and eventually giving up. TSA officials say it was his own choice to attempt it.

    was given the option [of remaining in his wheelchair] and he opted to stand up because he wanted to expedite the process,” Perez said.”

    Option, my ass.

    • Well, that’s what Perez has said from the beginning: that the Marine wanted to do it to expedite the process. But as we know, that’s the standard bullshit we get from the TSA.

      Oh, and this is the same link Bill included in his post: “According to the AZ Family report . . . .”

      • Susan Richart

        You’re right – I already had 3 links opened and clicked on the wrong one.

        However, if he wasn’t made to remove his legs, then I still want to know why he was sitting in such an awkward position in the one picture. He right leg surely would not have ended up in such a position if he were just sitting down from a standing position.

        I gather that the Marines are still insisting it happened they way they said it did and I believe them, video or not.

        • Daisiemae

          So do I.

  • Susan Richart

    Actually, in the second photo Bill refers to the Marine does appear to have his device on.* However, look at the position in which he is sitting. His right leg is pulled up and seems to be resting on the arm of the wheelchair. The sole of his shoe can be seen behind the screener’s left leg, while the screener is reaching for the left prosthesis.

    One wonders why he was in this position. Is it because he has just put that prosthesis back on or is he preparing to remove it? Is he getting ready to lock his prostheses to stand?

    * I edited my comment to reflect this.