The TSA, Revisited

There’s a new comment to this previous entry that really deserves to be quoted as an entry of it’s own. Now, I realize that anecdotes can be made up. All I can say is that based upon my own first-hand experience, I have no particular reason to doubt any of this.

I had a rude awakening only yesterday at the hands of the TSA. I have read your comments and could not agree more. I did not feel safe, I felt incredulous ,then I felt intimidated, then angry. Now I am afraid, those that question anything are searched more. They actually try to break things in their search. Any suggestion is met with escalation in intimidation. This is how government power and oppression starts and I am truly fearful, even in writing this. Wow, next time I fly I’ll be stuck 2 hours or more and purposely made to miss my plane. Or better, arrested on some made up charge. I am not sure if it is Bush alone, it is the rest of our elected officials too. I was guilty ,as they are, of mostly taking a private jet everywhere. They have no idea that standing in a security line at BWI just a few miles from the hallowed halls of freedom, they would think they had been transported to an alternate universe where Hitler was still in power and the TSA agents were made up of Hitler youth and the gestapo and TSA were synonymous agencies. I found people, as you said, calmly allowing the constitution to be tossed right out the window. As a doctor, I tried to explain that the line of people in socks standing on a moisture wicking, unsterilizable carpet is a terrific health hazard. I have a planter’s wart on my foot that I did not care to share with others thru my hose. There were several athletic gentlemen on line that I did not want, that their possible foot fungus, was easily transmitted to me thru my walking where they had, as we shuffled along. Then here come the "TSA gorillas", after taking, all be it gloved hands(for the TSA worker’s protection not mine), from some man’s dirty underwear, ready to put her hands thru my toothbrush holder and toiletries.Then to take my underwear and place it in a bin that seconds before had contained a man’s dirty boots and his razor. Even restaurants won’t allow folks in with out at least sandals on. The suggestion that folks could stand on paper towels got me a pat down and extra time, my stating so that other passenger’s could possibly hear, that diabetics’ lives and limbs(literally) could be in danger should they contract infections in their feet was met by an offer stating that if I did not "STOP talking immediately the police would be summoned and I would have my name run." I asked do you think I am a criminal because, as a doctor I am concerned for people’s health. That was too much for this bradyphrenic, power hungry,all American 5 letter word. She had 4 burly officers on the scene immediately. They demanded ID and I was told to not say any thing.

When I asked what the problem was-WOW you would think that they were dealing with a 3 year old. I was never disrespectful, I did not speak louder than a conversational tone,I spoke in what other civilians said was a calm way. I never made any fast moves and yet they got more and more agitated as if they were trying to find some way they could do something else. They went thru every nook and cranny in my bag taking 30min. to do so and having by then 6 officers and TSA folks standing there. I observed and then unfortunately stated that now I was scared and concerned because with all of them involved with this feigned concern over what horrible weapon I could have hidden among the contents of a clearly middle aged women’s personal belongings,there could be terrorists going thru on the other side.

The TSA women now tells the police that I told her "there were terrorists over there" She knew she was lying but had to justify this escalating encounter. The idea that someone had asked questions and others may continue with them ,was unacceptable and had to be squelched at all costs.

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