DHS Secretary Napolitano on TSA Screenings

“A lot of women are complaining about … the way they’re handled. Breast cancer survivors, specifically at Logan Airport, I should say repeatedly. People are writing to me, they’re Tweeting. There’s a whole social media concern about the way breast cancer survivors–those who have had replacement surgery–are handled by the TSA.” — MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell

“I’m a survivor myself. I’ve had that surgery. I know what they’re talking about. We’ve been working with the cancer groups and other groups of people.” — DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano Continue reading DHS Secretary Napolitano on TSA Screenings

TSA agents arrested at Dulles Airport


In November, I was barred from my flight at Dulles Airport for a double opt-out. I refused to go through a blue-box backscatter (x-ray) body scanner, and I refused to endure an intimate feel-up from a woman I didn’t know. The body scanners at Dulles have no privacy filter. Backscatter machines dose passengers with carcinogenic ionizing radiation to create images of their naked bodies for inspection by a screener working in a hidden viewing booth.

What I sensed was happening at that airport – targeting young women for special security attention out of sexual motivation – now seems even more difficult for the TSA to deny. Not one, but two of the men working for TSA at Dulles Airport on that day have now been arrested for sex crimes. Continue reading TSA agents arrested at Dulles Airport

Congressional hearing today on TSA

Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee will question TSA officials at a hearing today on Capitol Hill. The hearing is a joint effort of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

It starts at 1:30 in the Rayburn Office Building, Room 2154. The name of the hearing is “TSA Oversight Part III: Effective Security or Security Theater?”

Rep. Blackburn is the woman who introduced the STRIP Act last year, which we wrote about here.

(Photo: Flickr/cliff1066)

TSA — more harm than good?


The Economist magazine is holding one of its regular on-line debates. Here’s the motion:

“This house belives that changes made to airport security since 9/11 have done more harm than good.”

Do you agree? You can vote — early and often, no joke — on the motion, and you can read the arguments of the two contenders.

Supporting the motion is security expert Bruce Schneier; opposing it is former TSA head Kip Hawley (who, by the way, is also hawking a new book with the telling title, “Permanent Emergency”).

So far, the votes supporting the motion far outweigh those opposing it.

Read the arguments, leave comments, vote, join the fray!

“We answer to a higher god”


Former Presidential candidate Bob Barr (he ran for the Libertarian Party) has an advocacy group, Liberty Guard, that is suing the TSA for non-compliance with a FOIA request that Liberty Guard filed in 2010. Barr is trying to get TSA documentation about the November 2010 Opt-Out Day. It’s now 2012, and the documents are still not forthcoming. Continue reading “We answer to a higher god”