Steampunk is now terrorism, according to the TSA

Editor’s Note: All over the country, news sources are printing and repeating irresponsible, misleading headlines. Examples: Man wearing ornate watch with bomb-making supplies arrested at Oakland airport, authorities sayGoeffrey McGann, ‘Artist’ carrying homemade ‘watch bomb’ with fuses and circuit board arrested in CaliforniaMan arrested after airport screeners see bomb-like watch; on and on. There were no “bomb-making supplies.” There were no bomb-making materials. There was no “watch bomb.” There was nothing “bomb-like.” The irresponsibility of the mainstream media is grotesque. -Lisa Simeone


Via David Burkhead, the TSA has now taken to arresting people with artsy homemade watches and shoes. The nitwits at the Oakland airport said a man’s artistic watch could be used to make a timing device for a bomb. 

Um . . . any watch could be used for that — especially digital ones. The watch in question here, as my friend suggests, was probably some form of steampunk — a sort of 19th century, Jules Verne style of fashion and design that the hamburger clerks hired as “security” surely have never heard of.

This is not grounds for taking a man’s freedom.

From the AP story:

Geoffrey McGann, 49, of Rancho Palos Verdes was taken into custody Thursday night after he tried to pass through airport security with an ornate watch that had switches, wires, and fuses, according to Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

A bomb squad arrived within five minutes and determined there were no explosive materials in the watch, Nelson said. The checkpoint was closed while officers secured the area.

McGann was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin where he was charged with possessing materials to make an explosive device, sheriff’s officials said. He was still in custody Friday night and could not be reached for comment.

McGann told Transportation Security Administration officers that he’s an artist and the watch is art, Nelson said.

While no actual explosives were found, McGann was carrying potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots, which were unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles, Nelson said.

A profile for a person named Geoffrey McGann on the website lists him as the owner and creative director of a media production company called Generator Content. He attended the Art College Center of Design in Pasadena from 1984 to 1987, according to the website.

These idiots, idiots at the TSA. This is a guy who makes commercials, not bombs. Here’s his profile from his website.

A question: Will this be enough? Creative dudes getting arrested for having creative watches and funny shoes? What will it take before people start to realize they could be next? And that the degradation of our rights and the sheeplike, blinking acceptance of that paves the way for more and more degradation of our rights?

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/london particulars)

UPDATE by Lisa Simeone: Of course, the Alameda County prosecutor came to his senses and declined to press charges. He waited till the eleventh hour, though. McGann, with his defense attorney, showed up at court as scheduled. It was only then that the clerk told them the charges had been dropped. So not only do the cops and the TSA owe McGann $150,000 — and more — for detaining him, making him miss his flight, arresting him, putting him in jail, and requiring him to post bond, but they also wasted yet more of his time by not notifying him that this farce of a case was dismissed. Oh, and for all the naysayers out there, McGann had already traveled with the Big Scary Terroristy Watch before and was, in fact, explicitly told by a TSA supervisor that it was perfectly okay. But then, it’s so much more fun to blame the passenger instead of the TSA. As McGann’s lawyer put it:

The attorney said if McGann had planned to use the watch to detonate a device on the plane, he would have hidden it instead of wearing it.

In other words: “Duh.”

I still hope he sues the hell out of them.

  • Phenom-Anon

    We should abolish airplanes. The internals and gasoline in the wings are bomb-making materials.

    • Phenom-Anon, give the know-nothing sheeple a chance — they’ll go for it!

      (On second thought, nah. They’d rather get cavity-searched.)

  • TSA Spokeshole Bob Burns has weighed in with a picture of the watch (

    Bob’s comments: “Is this watch dangerous? Not at all. However, we didn’t know that until the explosive detection team arrived and cleared the item.”

    Really? Your team of crack anti-terror agents couldn’t tell the difference between a random assortment of decidedly low-tech electrical components and a bomb? The mind reels. Take a look at the watch yourself and see if you can spot what the TSA could not.

    • Daisiemae

      Aren’t you expecting a little too much from John Pistole’s crack team of well-trained security professionals?

    • Yes, see update. Picture of watch also published there. TSA supervisor had told McGann the watch was perfectly fine.

  • Update posted. Charges dropped. See update in original post.

  • Tish

    This link has a picture of the watch:

    Looks like a “bomb” from a movie but noting that it looks fake from a movie. Not really a reason to arrest someone in my opinion since there are more important things to do. Someone below mentioned his shoes were 2 sizes too big and had insoles that had cavities where a bomb “could be” placed. My thoughts on the shoes however are that those cavities could be a place for travelers to store money that will not get pick pocketed. Least that would be the logical though process.

    You know I am pretty sure exotic dancers have shoes where the heel has a compartment that can store money. Guess the TSA would call them terrorists too… *sigh*

    • Daisiemae

      Thousands of people wear their shoes a size or two larger for comfort. I know. I used to sell shoes.

      Thousands of people place pads, cushions, and inserts of all kinds into their shoes for comfort.

      So now we have to squeeze our corns and bunions and endure aching feet to avoid being arrested in this country? Treating foot pain equals terrorism?

  • MWD

    This is horrible what happened Geoffrey McGann. But according to his
    website (linked in the article), Geoffrey McGann has made commercials
    for the Partnership for a Drug Free America, one of the most nanny,
    oppressive and statist organizations in America. So he does have some
    small part in the decline of liberties that are biting him in the ass.
    The War on Drugs fuels the War on everything else, including steampunk

  • This is horrible what happened Geoffrey McGann. But according to his
    website (linked in the article), Geoffrey McGann has made commercials
    for the Partnership for a Drug Free America, one of the most nanny,
    oppressive and statist organizations in America. So he does have some
    small part in the decline of liberties that are biting him in the ass.
    The War on Drugs fuels the War on everything else, including steampunk

  • Rippy van Winkle the Cat

    What’s next? All Anime Fans are carrying Child Porn on their person?
    This is like assuming anything can be turned into something it isn’t. Seriously? TSA need to train their people better…its like saying anyone who does art or even attempts to do clock-work is a terrorist…come on…my dad’s pocket watch is a bomb? This sounds almost stupid…

  • All this hubbub about a watch bomb and the boobs at the TSA completely ignored his Multifunctional Luminiferous Aether Particle Disruptor fashioned out of an old brass lamp and a pair of 2 litre Squirt bottles…! Madness, I tell you!

  • This is horrible what happened to him. But Geoffrey McGann has made commercials for the Partnership for a Drug Free America, one of the most nanny and oppressive and statist organizations in America. So he does have some small part in the decline of liberties that are biting him in the ass. The War on Drugs fuels the War on everything else, including steampunk jewelry.

  • Zak Robinson

    As much as I think the TSA is broken and enjoy bashing their ridiculous draconian procedures and horrendous mis-steps, your article is just as guilty as other media outlets of jumping to conclusions without sufficient evidence. Yes, based on what we know of the person’s online presence, it’s “probably some form of steampunk,” but we don’t *know* that yet, now do we? Yes, it’s *most likely* an over-reaction on the part of some overly officious or self-important blowhards to an artist’s small form of non-conformist rebellion, but we also don’t know exactly how he reacted and behaved. Blaming the incident on him and his behavior has just as much validity at this time with the information we have as your article’s assertions that the TSA officials involved were “idiots” who are labeling steampunk as terrorism. That just doesn’t seem like it embodies the “fairness, balance and accuracy” in reporting on the TSA that your website wants to pride itself on (particularly accuracy).

    • Zak, it’s because the TSA has a history of this behavior, a history of abusing passengers, a history we’ve been documenting for years. We aren’t just pulling this stuff out of our asses.

      • Zak Robinson

        Who said anything about cutting them any slack for their ridiculous actions? But I’m also not going to cut bloggers any slack for jumping to conclusions or making their own ridiculous statements without sufficient information. Before we saw any pictures of it, we couldn’t say that it was necessarily “steampunk,” and now that I have seen a picture, I’d classify it more as “retro-futuristic” (though that’s not an important detail). I love qualifiers like “probably,” but headlines speak to certainty, and until we had any kind of confirmation, those sorts of qualifiers should have been in the headline.
        Oh, and what is “it” to which you refer in the first sentence of your response? Outlandish speculation? Misleading (albeit minorly) headlines? Unfairness, imbalance, and inaccuracy in reporting on the TSA? I’m not actually accusing you of that, by the way, I’m trying to determine what you thought I was saying. But I do think speculating without information can be irresponsible.

    • I disagree that “we don’t know what events caused this to turn into an arrest and criminal charge”. We know everything that should be relevant to the case: the man had no explosives. He wasn’t carrying any weapons, explosives, or incendiaries, so he was no threat to an aircraft, hence he should have been allowed to board.

      I’d really love to know what you think could have happened at the checkpoint that would justify the man’s being charged with “possessing materials to make an explosive device”, given that everyone involved clearly stated that he did not actually possess materials to make an explosive device.

      • Daisiemae

        Sommer, don’t you know that wearing large shoes and a goofy shirt is an act of terrorism? That’s why he was arrested. Thank God TSA has saved us from this exploding fashionista!

        And he was wearing a weird watch! That’s totally a crime against fashion. Thank God the TSA stands between us and these freaks! I can sleep soundly tonight knowing that I will not be blown to pieces by big shoes, goofy shirts, and weird watches.

        Now if only TSA could do something about my terroristic bathtub, I know I would truly be safe. Maybe they could place a scanner at my bathroom door….maybe a pat down every time I step out of the tub.

        I think I’ll write a letter to John Pistole and suggest he send a VIPR team to my bathroom.

        • Daisiemae

          Oh, and Zak Robinson, we “know” that he was arrested for wearing a weird watch, large shoes, and a goofy shirt that could not cause any explosions because that’s what every report of the incident clearly stated.

          • Zak Robinson

            But we don’t know if this really was a declaration of war on Steampunk (as the article sensationally states), or a case of the usual kind of confrontations between authority and non-conformity/individuality that plagues the TSA’s operations. I’m not saying “don’t be outraged,” I’m trying to argue for “fairness, balance, and accuracy” in your outrage (particularly accuracy).

          • I agree that the title here is hyperbole. It’s an exaggeration to make a point. I do think you raise an important issue in asking whether that’s an effective strategy for our blog or not.

          • No one’s claiming it’s “a declaration of war on Steampunk.” Talk about hyperbole. In this instance, which is what we’re writing about, the TSA did, in fact, treat Steampunk as terrorism. They put a guy in jail, for god’s sake. They put him in jail. For his watch.

            You wanna talk about a declaration of war? Okay, how about this — the TSA has declared war on all of us. All of us are, in fact and in practice, treated as potential terrorists at the airport.

            As for hyperbole, it’s a rhetorical device. It has its place, just as any other rhetorical device has a place. Anyone looking at the hundreds of posts at this blog and the thousands of bits of factual evidence we present cannot claim that we use hyperbole as a matter of course. That claim would be bullshit.

      • Zak Robinson

        Yes, those are the only facts that *should* be relevant to the case, I agree. Unfortunately, in real life, people over-react. Sometimes they are the authorities, sometimes they are suspects making a scene. I’m not saying that would absolve an authority figure from any abuses of power, but it would let us make more sense of the situation and why it happened. If something like that happened, it would make the headline completely false, because instead of the TSA declaring Steampunk to be terrorism, it would have been an article about the more common kind of abuses that people in positions of authority perform when faced with confrontational non-conformists. I’m not saying that is what happened, but that it could have been what happened, and if so it would change the entire tenor and direction of the article. I’m not arguing in favor of the actions of the TSA or Sheriff’s department, only against the sensationalism of the article’s writer and editor, especially with insufficient information.

  • Almost ANY watch can be used as a bomb timer! I could take off my shirt and use it as a garrote. Leather-soled shoes can be taken off and wielded as a blunt-force weapon, not to mention shoelaces! How far down the rabbit-hole is the TSA going to go? Perhaps until we are only allowed to board planes naked and sedated!

  • Jay

    You had me up until “sheep-like.” While I agree with you guys on everything else in this post, please scrub this stupid rhetorical catchphrase from your vocabularies. It’s been thrown at me so much I’m pretty much allergic even if it’s not directed at me.

    • Jay, unfortunately, it’s accurate.

    • Sorry for the annoyingness of that phrase. I actually don’t like “sheep” either. I prefer “cowards” since that describes people who are fearful enough of a truly astronomically unlikely event that they would endorse counterproductive measures like TSA groping that kill more people than they save:

    • david

      Is this a better example of the use of “sheep” in this kind of context?

      “If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

      George Washington, Address to Officersof the Army, March 15, 1783

  • mijj

    my bet is the crime this person is being punished for is: Holding Up Security Theater for Ridicule.

    This is the crime that TSA and the Police take even more seriously than actual terrorism.

  • Sillama

    Another woman over 70 and I were searched at the Shenandoah Regional Airport. I had to take all my hairpins out and take off my hairnet, as well as the usual shoes-off and full-body pat-down. I’ve been through over 40 foreign airports and seaports in the last 11 years, and have never run into anything like this. Could it be because I travel with a backpack and tote bag? I’m old and don’t like dealing with big checkable bags.

    • Sillama, it has nothing to do with the bags you were traveling with. The TSA has absolute power. And you know Lord Action’s saying: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The TSA abuses people at whim. They do it because they can.

      (And because millions of Americans allow them to get away with it: “Anything for safety!”)

      Take a look at the Master List (click link at top of page) to see just how badly many people have been abused.

    • Susan Richart

      You were chosen because of your age. TSA assumed you would not fight back. Had a younger woman gone through with her hair done in a similar fashion, it would not have happened.

  • Oh, for the love of- You know what? I’m beyond angry.

    When I take my trip to Japan, I’m just going to show up strappy leather pumps and a clockwork belt buckle made from flimsy cogs glued onto metal with some decorative rhinestones. Ooooh, a gadgety belt. Watch out, TSA! I’m Batman!

    • TSAisTerrorism

      Be sure, also, to put these items in a bin UNDER YOUR COAT! That way you can show up on Windbag Bob’s Glorious Blog as someone secreting an “artfully concealed” “weapon”.

  • Everyone should just show up to the airport naked. Save you the trouble undressing for your cavity search 😛

  • I bet he’s a libtard who voted for Hussein Obama and his TSA goon squads of illegal aliens. Anybody who flies by ariline without carrying an official copy of Operation Northwoods is nuts.

    • Mr. Lee, it’s a good idea not to bad-mouth people you know nothing about.

      Furthermore, we here are TSA News come from all over the political spectrum — and I do mean all over. We don’t call each other names, we don’t insult each other, and we are united in our opposition to the TSA and all the abuses of the National Security State and in our support for civil liberties. Both parties, Democrat and Republican, have eviscerated those civil liberties.

      I am far left, so I guess I’m a “libtard,” as you so eloquently put it. I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

      Leave the tired old labels behind.

      • Dolt

        This is one of the best reasons this blog is so important. Everyone needs to understand that we are all affected the same, together. Both of the 2 major parties share equal blame and at any time anyone from either party can simply stand up and start to speak out against the abuses to our civil liberties. Until this happens with regularity, both parties are guilty. Not to mention, other political differences won’t matter if none of us are freely able to move about our own country.

    • Did I read you Right?

      Dear John lee: The’ TSA goon squads’ were installed during the BUSH administration,

      • David Scott

        That does not mean that Obama has not made some changes, he is the commander and chief and he is over the department that runs the TSA. Also how many instances of TSA stupidity took place under Bush, none that I can remember.

        • Did I read you Right?

          Many problems started at the beginning as this 2006 article clearly shows. If anyone were to disband the TSA and something were to happen you finger pointers would ..well point more fingers. Do I agree with some of the things TSA, is doing not at all, some of them seem to go out of their way to be jerks, but many are just trying to do a job.

        • David Scott, you’re right. John Pistole, who instituted the Reign of Molestation, was appointed under Obama (who also appointed Pistole’s boss, that incompetent Janet Napolitano). Obama joked about the gropes in a State of the Union speech. Obama and the Dems are just as culpable for this mess as Bush and the Repubs.

    • The TSA is a bipartisan disaster, FYI, John. We had 2 left wing Democratic challengers (1 for the House, 1 for the Senate) who publicly campaigned on getting rid of TSA abuses. There was a bipartisan bill by Rush Holt (D) and Chaffetz (R) who are both relatively partisan, so this is truly non-partisan. It really boils down to “use fear to sellout American values” or “have some guts, and stand up for what is right.”

      Romney fully supported Obama’s position on the TSA and other related civil liberty and Bill of Right problems.

    • Anyone who attributes responsibility for this useless and onerous tyranny to either wing of the false ‘left/right’ paradigm has been trapped into the type of thinking that perpetuates the police state! It’s not ‘left vs right’ or ‘liberal vs. conservative’- it’s right vs. wrong, and freedom vs. tyranny. I have friends of all political persuasions who have woken up to the economic, political and social tyranny that is being shoved down Americans’ throats. I also know of ‘D”s, ‘R”s, ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ who all think we must give up our rights and freedoms in order to protect them! There is no absolute safety except under absolute tyranny. Wake up your friends and neighbors before we ALL wake up in re-education centers or detention camps. ‘It can’t happen here’- most Germans said that during the 1920’s and early 1930’s…

  • Victor Wren

    Actually, the most commonly used triggering devices for IEDs are cell phones. So anybody who is foolish enough to carry a cell phone onto a plane deserves to be strip-searched, arrested and thrown in jail for possession of a bomb triggering device.

  • DaleHoel

    Almost everyone brings bomb making materials on an airplane. Who does not have a battery? Or wires?

    “Bomb making materials” is phraseology designed to monger fear. It is a ridiculous and asinine term because so much stuff is potentially bomb making material.

  • We must we must, we must conform!

  • I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check out the website link. This guy does awesome work in advertising…click on CONTENT and check out the Samsung/Best Buy or the Street Basketball links. He also has major professional experience in advertising.

    As I recall, there were no explosives, it is not illegal to have wires/fuses/watches or shoe inserts, so he is falsely arrested. If this is legal under some discretion afforded in a law, then it is a simple example of our gutless fears shredding American values with 3rd-world police state laws.

    • Everyone check him out maybe the tsa can make him a few million with their idiocy. Brainless asshats…..

  • Diane

    I just had rotator cuff surgery and my arm is in a sling. It’s possible to hide a gun in there. Will I be arrested because of the potential of hiding a gun or some other WMD in there?

    • No, they would check your sling (and between your legs while they were at it) as part of an enforced pat down. If you had a cast, they would force you to be x-rayed with the machines they purchased to x-ray people with casts.

    • Diane, who knows. The fact that you even have to worry about such a thing tells speaks volumes about this “free” country.

      More likely, you’ll have to worry about being injured by a TSA agent. The Master List (click at top of page) is full of accounts of people who’ve just had surgery or who are wearing casts, braces, etc. being physically abused and forced to endure pain by TSA screeners.

    • I have had a coupla those surgeries, isn’t physical therapy fun? Be careful, maybe hold your civil disobedience in check until your shoulder heals. Can you imagine those goons throwing you to the deck and twisting your arms up behind your back?

  • thajack

    TSA “Agents” are not law enforcement officers. When they call actual law enforcement officers, however, those actual law enforcement officers are under no obligation to do anything the TSA asks any more than if you and I asked the law enforcement officers to do something.

    If you walked up to a cop and said “arrest that person because I said so,” it means nothing to that officer. It should be the exact same circumstance when a TSO says it.

    • TSAisTerrorism

      Except that they are all too chummy, and more often than not, the cops do exactly what TSA tells them to.

      • Chummy heck! They are in the same club! We know that membership doesn’t depend on being a sworn officer, since police forces all across the land violate their solemn oath to protect the constitution when ever they are told. See the occupy movement. Instead, look for the Jack Boots. Real or virtual.

      • Yes. Because they both work for the same government. They’ll never contradict each other.

  • As predicted, the blabbosphere is full of craptastic comments by fearful, credulous Americans siding with the criminal TSA and the even more criminal cops. “Why did he wear that watch to the airport?! He should’ve known better. He had big shoes on! Doesn’t he remember the shoe bomber??! I’m glad he was arrested. Better safe than sorry!”

    Europeans and anyone with a brain are laughing at us. Laughing at the sad, pathetic spectacle this country has become.

    And the police are holding this man in jail for $150,000. $150,000. I would say it’s unbelievable, but alas, it’s only too believable.

    Bertrand de Jouvenel said it best: “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

  • Chris Bray

    Also see the story on the Los Anglees Times website:

    “McGann also had no checked bag — another warning flag — and was
    wearing shoes two sizes too big, according to authorities. In the shoes,
    there were homemade inserts with cavities that could be used to stash
    explosives, Nelson said.”

    A businessman took a day trip between Los Angeles and the Bay Area with no checked bag — a “warning flag” of terrorist intent, obvo. The cop told the reporter this stuff, and the reporter nodded grimly and wrote it all down.

    “McGann also was wearing a military-style shirt with a tourniquet band
    built into each sleeve. The shirts are available for purchase, but are
    not especially common, Nelson said.”

    He was wearing a shirt, people. A shirt that you can buy in a store! That looked kinda militaryish. DO YOU STILL BELIEVE HE IS NOT A THE TERRORIZERS!?!?!?

    • TSAisTerrorism

      Clearly, a terrorist sympathizer, if not a terrorist in the flesh!

      Shoes with insoles? Are you effing kidding me?!?!?!?! Insoles, and extra air, and cavities that could be used to stash explosives! Oh, my! Obviously if you have places to put explosives, like your own internal cavities, you are likely a terrorist, too.


      Thank Goodness he wasn’t also traveling with a cupcake. Can you imagine the Bedlam that would have broken out then?

      • Chris Bray

        I have had my ass sewn shut, to avoid giving the appearance of having a cavity I can carry explosives in. It’s time for all of us to do our part.

        • Bravo, Chris! Brilliant! Best comment of the year! 🙂

          • TSAisTerrorism

            A down vote? I see the TSA trolls are out and about.

      • Oh Goodness no! not the cupcakes, oh the horror. The multitude of shenanigans that can happen with a cupcake are just inhumane *grabs a mop to clean up the dripping sarcasm* TSA is a lousy agency that needs to be renovated..

  • And here’s another one, a HuffPo “Super User,” no less:

    31 Fans
    3 minutes ago ( 1:38 PM)
    I for one am glad they prevented him from access to the airplane. No one should enter a plane with switches, wires, and fuses., timing device, and stuffed potential “fuel” in his boots. Airplanes are so big these days that being vigilant may have saved hundreds of lives. The only thing really odd about this story is since when have “bombers” lived in places like RPV? An interesting demographic. If he hadn’t been prevented from embarcation, people would be outraged about that too. Better safe than sorry and I am glad when people who are hired to protect us do their jobs.

    • TSAisTerrorism

      A Super User is just another term for some hapless soul who has nothing better to do than sit around on the internet all day and post comments. They are the witless wonders who think a movie bomb plot is about to explode at an airport, and the morbidly obese cretins in blue are the only thing stopping it. That’s the intelligence level of your average Super User.

      I, for one, have better things to do with my time than be a Super User. You know, like living a real life: one free of fear.

    • thajack

      In addition to my wristwatch, my laptop, tablet computer and phone are all capable of telling time and functioning as timing devices. Pacemakers are also timing devices.

      • Your laptop and tablet have batteries that can be turned into the bomb they time.

  • What did I tell ya? Right on cue, the witless wonders of the USA are posting their brilliant comments. From the account at Huffington Post:

    14 minutes ago ( 1:19 PM)
    Has it occured to anyone that this may have been a test run? Perhaps to see if a timing device and/or a secret compartment in his boots could make it past security before the boots/watch went live?

    You simply can’t make this stuff up. People whose life experience is drawn from cheesy action movies are out there cowering in terror from artsy-fartsy watches and cheering for the death of civil liberties. And in the most cock-eyed way possible. Irony is indeed dead.

    • thajack

      Every person who wears a device on their arm that is capable of telling time is doing a “test run” for terrorists… hmm. I never thought of it that way.

    • TSAisTerrorism

      Also, StaceyAnne17 has 3, count them 3!, internal cavities capable of secreting explosives. Arrest that woman!

  • That’s ridiculous!

  • The TSA agents, predictably, behaved like morons. But even worse were the cops. The cops didn’t have to arrest this guy. And they sure as hell didn’t have to put him in jail. I hope he gets a lawyer and sues them from here to kingdom come.

    As for your question, Amy, no, it’s not enough. Because millions of credulous Americans, pathetic excuses for citizens, still think this kind of abuse is okay. And I guarantee you many of them are this minute defending the TSA and the cops in this case and blaming Geoffrey McGann.

    This idiocy, this stupendous, mind-blowing idiocy, is now par for the course in this country. Every person who defends the TSA, every person who excuses or denies this behavior, is responsible for what happened to Geoffrey McGann. And is responsible for every instance of abuse the TSA perpetrates. One can only hope that one day they get a taste of their own medicine.

    • davidgilmore

      Oh for goddsake. Clearly they are completely out of touch. I would have loved to have seen that watch. What a bunch of boobs.

    • sprale

      The TSA needs to be challenged on the grounds of policy, not simply sued for monetary damages. Any financial penalties laid on the TSA are simply passed onto taxpayers, so they still win even if they lose. If a court can restrict their jurisdiction, then they lose power.

      • sprale, I totally agree. That’s why I keep saying that privatizing is no solution. People keep insisting that the ability to sue would somehow rein them in. It wouldn’t. Most people can’t afford to sue. Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and soul-sucking. The courts are cold comfort.

        If we could get a decision from the Supreme Court on 4th Amendment grounds, and if it went our way, that would be a great victory. There are those lawsuits making their way to the SC as we speak. But again, the process is tediously long, and there’s no guarantee we’ll win.

        As many advocates, ranging from the ACLU to the Cato Institute to FBI agents to Bruce Schneier, have said, this requires first and foremost a political solution. They’ve all said don’t look to the courts for redress. People, ordinary people — and their representatives — have to stand up and say enough is enough. We have to demand change, and not crawl along acquiescing dumbly to everything that comes down the pike.

    • as a certified Law Enforcement Officer, I think this BS is excessive

      • Mr. Gentile, which BS? You mean the TSA? If so, I agree. So do thousands of law enforcement officers, who loathe the TSA even more than I do.