TSA Blog: the Energizer Bunny of the Blabbosphere

by Lisa Simeone on June 10, 2014

EnergizerBunny
As regular readers here know, the TSA Blog, a.k.a. Propaganda Central, is the official on-line mouthpiece of the Transportation Security Administration. (There are, of course, lots of other, humanoid mouthpieces, as well.) 

The TSA Blog is a darkly hilarious repository of jargon, PR blather, false assertions, omissions, and lies. Our tax dollars pay for a team of busy bloggers to churn out the propaganda day after day. Many of you are already familiar with Bob Burns, better known as Blogger Bob. We’ve written about him many times. He’s partial to folksy locutions such as “things that go boom” and “a lot of sharp pointy things.” This, you see, establishes his bona fides with the common man.

But perhaps you haven’t met his more thoughtful, temperate, concerned-sounding counterpart, West.

As I wrote in a comment here yesterday“West” refers to West Cooper, who is a TSA agent in North Carolina. He writes at the TSA Blog under the moniker “GSOLTSO,” which indicates that he is a “Lead Transportation Security Officer” at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, NC.

He also posts at the travel chat forum FlyerTalk under the same handle. Here’s his FlyerTalk profile

Here’s his Facebook page, his Google Plus page, his MyLife page, and his Blogger profile.

Here’s what I wrote yesterday about him:

West, along with Blogger Bob and others, comes up with those mind-numbing posts week after week, listing every knife, knuckle purse, and inert grenade that the TSA confiscates around the country. He is challenged constantly on the facts of his statements by commenters, yet rarely, if ever, addresses said comments. Mostly he just repeats boilerplate PR talking points.

He has, for instance, been asked repeatedly about nitroglycerine medication. Obviously this is life-saving medication for heart patients. His idiot colleagues at the TSA have been known to confiscate such medicine at airports, on the inane assumption that they can blow up a plane. No matter how many times West has been asked about this — at FlyerTalk and at the TSA Blog — he refuses to address it.

West reads TSA News. Yesterday, he saw that we were discussing his intransigence. Suddenly — within minutes, in fact — he answered the questions about nitroglycerine that had been posed to him for days at the TSA Blog. Of course, the answers were the usual brew of disingenuousness and tap-dancing (apologies for the mixed metaphor), which you can read here.

Not only do we have a right to know the people whose salaries we pay, but we should call them out for every lie and half-assed statement they make. Such calling-out happens regularly in the comments section at the TSA Blog — that is, when the TSA blogger team allows comments to post. I stopped years ago trying to post comments under my own name, as I wrote about here, because my comments were invariably censored. Since then, I’ve taken to posting anonymously; those comments sometimes appear. This one, which I left yesterday at 6:57 AM, didn’t:

Love this blog! The whole thing is an exercise in Orwellian doublespeak and inanity. I get suck a kick out of coming here every day and seeing the pointless crowing and corresponding comments by TSA shills. Is the USA a great country or what?!

If you have the time and inclination, you might want to stroll on over to the TSA Blog now and then, and leave a comment. It’s an exercise in futility, of course, because you won’t get any real answers. You will, however, get to see the crème de la crème of bureaucracy in action. West Cooper is a master of concern trolling. His words are simple, measured, direct, and perfectly calculated to come across as reasonable. He feels your pain.

But underneath, he is the same sneering, authoritarian apparatchik, intent on defending the indefensible and putting the boot to your neck.

Oh, and best of all, the sheer, witless irony in his personal motto, a quote from a cheesy movie, as stated on his personal pages and sprinkled throughout his comments in the blabbosphere:

“Fear profits a man nothing.”

How delicious, considering that his entire agency was founded on fear and does everything in its power to keep that fear alive.

(Cross-posted at ABombazine)

  • RonBonner

    West is one of TSA’s BDO’s who apparently fool themselves into believing that random guessing is a skill.

  • Drontil

    West, the alleged prodigy, uses weasel words every time he can do so. He makes it appear that he is being helpful but in reality he’s just being coy and smug.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    For readers who are wondering what Drontil is referring to with the “prodigy” comment, the reference is to West’s Blogger profile. It says:

    “Short story, I was supposed to be a prodigy when I was young (at least that is what they kept telling me), got to school was bored and did terrible at it, went in the Army for 8 years to find myself and lost the tip of a finger, got shot, fell off a mountain, got ran over by a hummer, got drunk… a lot, went to Germany, loved it, went to VA, loved it, got to see several third world mudholes, didn’t love that a lot at all, got out, became a silversmith for a while, discovered I loved it a lot and still do it in my back yard for fun, now I am with the TSA and am actually happy with it.”

    https://www.blogger.com/profile/06624065473899991679

    • Daisiemae

      Wow! And this is what being a prodigy gets you….a job working for TSA. He’s right up there with Jackie Evancho, Mozart, William Rowan Hamilton, Pablo Picasso, William James Sidis, and Bobby Fisher.

      So glad I’m pedestrian and mediocre. I don’t think I could breathe in the rarified air at TSA.

  • Michael Landers

    They go on about the items they have found and that just makes me all the more concerned about the items they missed

  • Crusso

    See, that’s why I love THISblog! The whole thing is an exercise in Orwellian doublespeak and inanity. I get suck a kick out of coming here every day and seeing the pointless crowing and corresponding comments by anti-TSA shills. Is the USA a great country or what?!

    • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

      Crusso, our favorite TSA shill, you’re back!

      • Crusso

        Wow, resorting to name calling. What are you, six?
        Also, I’m honored that you took the time to look Into my profile. Threatened much? Or just can’t bear a dissenting opinion? Oh, that’s right, this isn’t an impartial forum. Hmmm, sounds just like what you are accusing the TSA site of.

        • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

          Unlike the TSA blog, we don’t censor comments. As you know. Fire away, Crusso — we love ya!

          • Crusso

            Well, I will give you points for the non-censoring! Oh, and for the record, there are TSA policies I don’t agree with.

  • 1amWendy

    Don’t know if Mr. Cooper reads his FB “other” folder, but this is what I sent:
    “So you’re a TSA blogger. I also see you have a keen interest (or, did) in “handicapped terrorists.” Well, Sir, I must admit it took me a good week to calm down enough to even contact you without streaming obscenities. So you are concerned about “handicapped.” So those citizens with any type of medical equipment need to get the “full monty” every time – EVERY TIME – they attempt air travel. That includes all of your IED-impaired pals from Service. What a great way to honor their sacrifice. Really?? Tell you what: your line of thinking is what spawned interring all Japanese Americans during WWII. Is what spawned the “driving while black” phenomenon. It is blatant, wide-swath, stupid discrimination based upon no statistical correlation. So, your IED-impaired buddies: what? They become disabled and all of a sudden they are terror suspects? Get a grip, guy. With that line of thinking you discredit your fellow veterans, you show an alarming lack of knowledge about equal protection, and you demonstrate to an alarming degree that you have succumbed to the “fear” you assert to loathe. Shame on you.”

  • 1amwendy

    Don’t know if Mr. Cooper reads his FB “other” folder, but this is what I sent:

    “So you’re a TSA blogger. I also see you have a keen interest (or, did) in “handicapped terrorists.” Well, Sir, I must admit it took me a good week to calm down enough to even contact you without streaming obscenities. So you are concerned about “handicapped.” So those citizens with any type of medical equipment need to get the “full monty” every time – EVERY TIME – they attempt air travel. That includes all of your IED-impaired pals from Service. What a great way to honor their sacrifice. Really?? Tell you what: your line of thinking is what spawned interning all Japanese Americans during WWII. Is what spawned the “driving while black” phenomenon. It is blatant, wide-swath, stupid discrimination based upon no statistical correlation. So, your IED-impaired buddies: what? They become disabled and all of a sudden they are terror suspects? Get a grip, guy. With that line of thinking you discredit your fellow veterans, you show an
    alarming lack of knowledge about equal protection, and you demonstrate to an alarming degree that you have succumbed to the “fear” you assert to loathe. Shame on you.”

    • RonBonner

      What is the “other” folder? I’m not FB literate.

      • 1amwendy

        There’s an obscure “other” folder that can be found fairly well hidden on the left hand sidebar. If you are not a FB “friend” and don’t pay FB $1 your message gets dumped in there. Extortion, if you ask me.

        • Susan Richart

          Extortion, yes.

          Click on Messages, and a new window will open. In the upper left corner, you should see this:

          Inbox Other(1)

          • RonBonner

            I haven’t found the “other” folder. I click on messages and it opens an email like window.

            Guess I have proven my FB illiteracy.

          • Susan Richart

            Oh, oh. I wouldn’t know what to tell you about that.

            Don’t worry, I’m FB illiterate also. I still can’t figure out why I see posts from some of my friends but not others………but it’s not worth worrying about. :-)

    • Susan Richart

      “So, your IED-impaired buddies: what? They become disabled and all of a sudden they are terror suspects?”

      Perhaps he was just following the thought line of the head honcho at the DHS at the time, 2009, who had declared returning veterans to be possible terrorist threats:

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/16/napolitano-stands-rightwing-extremism/?page=all

  • Jack Stinglash

    Oh, now I remember this Crusso character. He hasn’t been here for a while. He sounds like he works for the TSA. Does he?

    • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

      God only knows.

  • Susan Richart

    West Cooper is also a supreme narcissist/egotist.

  • RonBonner

    This comment was posted on the TSA Blog:

    “Anonymous said…Rules are rules. If nitroglycerin is banned in any form, so be it. The TSOs are just following the rules. Bend one rule and the whole system that keeps people safe collapses. If a person can’t travel with the safety restrictions, let them stay home.

    June 11, 2014 at 8:17 PM”

    I suspect this person is a TSA employee but it doesn’t really matter. It is this mindset typically found among TSA employees demonstrating that they have no capacity to think or reason.

    ” Rules are Rules” regardless of available information that clearly shows that as in this case medical nitroglycerin is not an explosive but only shares a common name.

    And if s/he wants to talk about bending one rule at the risk of bringing the whole system down then I refer this person back to DHS which has abdicated enforcing our immigration laws and protecting our borders.

    We have idiots in charge of our commercial aviation security programs, idiots that create more danger than they relieve.

    • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

      The “rules are rules” mindset is beloved of authoritarians everywhere — whether they’re on the giving or receiving end.

  • Shilpi Gaur

    West, the alleged prodigy, uses weasel words every time he can do so. He makes it appear that he is being helpful but in reality he’s just being coy and smug. Thanks For the awesome Post. Happy Fathers Day 2014 On this Event you may go through this article Happy Fathers Day Whatsapp Status 2014
    Thanks a lot for this article share.

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