A TSA Christmas Special

Dionne Anglin reporting for a FOX affiliate in Dallas, TX on a seventh grade girl with brittle bone disease who was detained by the TSA:

“I said, ‘What do you mean? What did you test her for?’ ‘Oh she tested positive for explosive residue.’ Okay… at that point you would think they would test her wheelchair, but they did nothing. Everything just seemed to spiral out,” Daniels said.

That’s just special isn’t it? TSA, though, loves us:

TSA’s mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly two million passengers each day at airports nationwide. We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels.

Bullshit. Every word of that statement is bullshit. And if that statement is truly the TSA’s mission, then they have flat out failed. Let’s look at the claims:

  • Safely screen: Except the health risks of the porno-scanners has yet to be certified by medical professionals because the TSA is refusing to allow that testing to happen. So, no, TSA your screening isn’t safe until you prove it is.
  • Efficiently: Yeah fucking right.
  • Respectfully: If being respectful now means groping children and detaining ill children then, yeah, way to go.
  • Sensitive to concerns: They are, they prove that by issuing generic press releases when they fuck up, without ever apologizing — and further doing their “job” as robotically and illogically as possible.
  • We invite complaints: “We will ignore complaints, we are never wrong — we are the Borg.”

Merry Christmas TSA, I hope you all get shit-canned in January.

Updated (December 17, 2012): The TSA has issued an “apology” for this incident:

We regret that the experience of this young lady was not a positive one as we always strive to screen passengers with dignity and respect while ensuring the safety of all travelers. Everything TSA does is designed to protect against another terrorist attack. In all likelihood, this traveler would have presented no risk, yet we could take no chances. She alarmed for explosive residue and TSA took the necessary steps to resolve the alarm.

You may be prone to thinking: CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! You, sir, would be wrong. This is what we call a non-apology apology.

Allow me to translate:

We feel bad that this young lady had a bad experience because we certainly try hard. In fact, everything we do is to stop terrorism — including detaining a very ill young lady. We just can’t take a fucking chance when it comes to terrorism — common sense be damned. Listen, the alarm went off, and when it goes off the book says we detain — pretty simple. No, you can’t see our “book” because you may be a terrorist.

Note that no where in the actual TSA statement, or my translation, is the word: “sorry” present. The TSA could have gained much respect had they issued the following, very logical, statement:

We are very sorry to have learned about the troubling experience that Shelbi Walser had trying to pass through a screening check point at DFW Airport. While our agents were following TSA policy in response to a, likely, false alarm — we believe that we could have handled the situation better. We are reviewing our policies at this time.

The difference is saying sorry, owning the mistake, personalizing the situation so that we know that a robot didn’t write this, and explaining why this happened. This isn’t hard people.

Originally posted for members on: December 14, 2012
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