The TSA in Action in California


Spreadfire Arms
October 6, 2005, 10:23 PM
i was at an airport in the bay area today and captured this photo of a TSA airport screener performing a "secondary" screening on a uniformed enlisted man from the U.S. Army. he was in full BDU uniform. i figured they'd be exempt from the secondary screening?

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October 6, 2005, 10:34 PM
Well I could go pick up BDUs and some tapes and look just like an Army soldier so it's probably a good idea to apply the rules equally to everyone.

Spreadfire Arms
October 6, 2005, 10:41 PM
true, but he probably would have had a military I.D.

October 6, 2005, 10:50 PM
He probably got issued one of those checkered boarding passes. I was told they're "random", however they determine that.

October 6, 2005, 11:15 PM
The TSA does not care who you are if you get a special ticket you will get a special inspection.
I worked on their explosive detection scanners and I flew into Anchorage to work on one of their systems.
When I left I was singled out and searched. After I got to the gate the head of the TSA came and got me to look at another problem. He then escorted me back to the check point and explained I had been searched and he had never let me out of his sight so I could just go through normal screening.
One of his people said ok and then proceeded to put me back through the full secondary search. NO ONE is exempt NO ONE.
Oh and I personally think the searches at check in are just like gun control.
It doesn't do anything to stop the bad guys but it sure make life miserable for us honest people.
Just my opinion.

October 6, 2005, 11:43 PM
Since when do they get to travel in BDUs? When I was in we had to wear Class A's to travel in uniform (or dress khakis in summer).

Car Knocker
October 6, 2005, 11:51 PM
I seem to recall several active-duty military personnel being arrested and charged with aiding Al-Quida in the last year or so.

October 7, 2005, 01:40 AM
I'm wondering - did they let you take that photo? I was in Minneapolis earlier this year and a friend was getting the second (take everyout out of your bag) search. I asked if I could photograph it and was told "No, we don't allow photographs of our searching procedures." I wandered off to Starbucks and got a cup of java.

Spreadfire Arms
October 7, 2005, 08:30 AM
i wasnt aware i had to ask permission to take a photo. nowhere was there a sign stating i could not? im sure if you asked them they'd say "no," just like if some random person came up to you and asked if he could take a photo of you, you'd probably not give them permission.

i am not aware of any national security or confidentiality issues with this specific photo, it does not show anything involving secret techniques or layout. it merely shows a TSA employee engaged in his work duties.

if someone could point out a specific section of the law that prohibits photography of a TSA checkpoint then please point it out and we will have the photo removed immediately.


October 7, 2005, 09:00 AM
I work at an airport and have an unrestricted security ID which means I can go anywhere anytime on the airport and bypass the screening checkpoint. All of the TSA and Airline employees know me plus part of my job requires that I use a shotgun to eliminate wildlife hazards on the airfield. Yet the last time I flew, I got the extra screening, which just means it is totally random regardless of who you are.

October 7, 2005, 09:00 AM
i figured they'd be exempt from the secondary screening?


The entire point of the system is that it makes no assumptions. Flawed as it already is, it would be significantly worse if they started drafting a whole slew of "special" people.

Spreadfire Arms
October 7, 2005, 09:08 AM
well i hear, and i dont know if its true, that certain people are exempt from screening, like certain politicians.

US Capitol Police officers i've talked to have stated that at the US Capitol grounds in Washington DC, the representatives don't like to go to through metal detectors. i don't remember if they are exempt there, but i have heard that certain politicians and foreign diplomats are in fact exempt from airport screening.

that does NOT mean the guys riding their own private jets. that means the guys that are flying on commercial aircraft that both you and i sit on.

October 7, 2005, 10:11 AM
According to the ATF, military members are the #1 offenders of bringing explosives on board aircraft. Souviniers(sp) from Iraq. We pulled 2 flash-bangs out of a passengers bag a few months ago, but I don't think he was military, LE I think.

October 7, 2005, 10:24 AM
Doesn't surprise me. I was searched about three years ago while flying in uniform (Class A's), and the screener mentioned that I was being searched because of what I was wearing. She didn't think it made much sense either (this was pre-TSA I believe). Then again, in Christmas of 2001, all of three months after 9/11, I was flying home for Christmas while in uniform and ended up being walked onto the plane without even having my ID checked. :eek: The airline upgraded my ticket to first class because they had an extra seat, and the attendent at the door just waved me through. It was kind of nice, but also scary to think that all a terrorist needed was a military uniform and a short haircut to help deflect suspicion.

October 7, 2005, 01:38 PM
FYI, if you are military traveling on orders, you are exempt from selectee screening. Have your orders and mil id and present them to the ticket agent. Of course if you set off the metal detector or they find something on the X-ray or whatever they are fair game.

It is not illegal to take photos at the check-point as long as it does not appear that you are casing the place such as photographing equipment, screeners, procedures, etc. I didn't get to see the photo taken.

Most of the military (except the Navy and maybe the CG)travel in BDU's, or civvies nowadays.

When she said that she was screening you because of what she was wearing maybe she meant it was because your uniform had a lot of metal, brass buttons, metals, ribbons, badges, shanks in your shoes etc. I don't know. That would be bad press to single out military.

Hope this helps,

Del the evil screener.

October 10, 2005, 12:08 AM
So what happens with the groups coming back from the sandbox that get off the plane in their cammies? When you have a whole plane-load of them...

October 10, 2005, 01:04 AM
The entire point of the system is that it makes no assumptions. Flawed as it already is, it would be significantly worse if they started drafting a whole slew of "special" people.

Like... oh, say, young Middle Eastern men? Yeah, that would be crazy.

October 10, 2005, 01:27 AM
Not sure if this is just my paranoia or not...

I flew in to Dulles from Austin on Northwest airlines for a business trip a few weeks ago. I checked a .38 J-frame as per TSA regulations. No problems, smooth as silk. Well, while I'm up in VA hurricane Rita turns category 5 and starts heading for Texas. My company thought it urgent that I head back in order to make preparations in case our offices were hit. Changing my existing flight back would have been too expensive, so I flew out of BWI instead on a different air carrier. Apparently, people don't check firearms with the ticket counter very often at BWI but the attendant was courteous and consulted with her manager for the procedure. It was checked, locked, and handed to the baggage personel. All fine.

When I get to the security line the TSA agent looks at me, looks at my ID, then tells me to step over to the corner and wait. I watched as they damn near dismantled my laptop and swabbed every square inch of my bag. I was given the full treatment too - had to remove my belt and get padded down head to toe, then wanded. Luckily I was at the airport VERY early. This doesn't seem like coincidence to me. Maybe they thought I may have forgotten a stray round or two in my carry-on? :cuss:

Never had a problem at AUS, IAD, IAH, DCA, etc...

October 10, 2005, 09:42 PM
Before everyone jumps on the blame TSA bandwagon, try blaming the airlines for this one. I work for the the evil evil TSA and work with the airline GSC's often. All the airlines have codes to exempt certin people from being sent to secondary screening. Active duty military on order, LEO's, Dimplomatic personell, and several other people. All to many times the Airlines do not properly train their agents on when to expemt these folks from additional screening. We have to follow what is on the tag, if it say they need special screening, then they go.

October 10, 2005, 10:57 PM
I was told they're "random", however they determine that.
It is not random.

October 10, 2005, 11:40 PM
i was at an airport in the bay area today and captured this photo

Oh,that must be Claude Raines,the invisible man! :D

Did I miss something?What photo?


October 11, 2005, 01:19 AM
I don't know about the rest of you guys but I'm getting the

October 11, 2005, 02:30 AM
Heck, I've seen TSA jackboots pull a tiny Yupik woman aside for a secondary search. There's no logic or reason involved here--which is just how our federal gobment loves to operate. They're worthless, mindless drones at best.

October 11, 2005, 02:45 AM
At one time I was "randomly selected".....problem is that I was at the time, a Fed LEO flying armed, thereby exempt. I get to security and show my creds, ticket (with selectee marking) and flying armed paperwork....the poor TSA guy was slightly dumbfounded...that the air carrier had made the biggie.

I was a selectee on my return home from Iraq in 2003 (I was dressed in civies and not my DCUs at the time).

October 11, 2005, 03:15 AM
I am in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, VA. I have a secret clearance and and in the process of TS screening. Yet EVERY time I have flown anywhere since 9/11 (in or out of uniform, even though I do show my active duty ID as my picture ID) I have gotten the secondary screening. I realize they are paranoid about appearing to profile, but this is rediculous. I am a big blonde guy w/blue eyes and the worst southern accent you've ever heard. Picture Mr Incredible (nickname my junior petty officers are trying hard to give me)with a southern accent.

One of the TSA guys in Raleigh told me they do a secondary screening on all declared military folks so they can keep up their number of screenings conducted. And that if there was a complaint they could always say"sorry your bag set it off" since seabags packed tightly can't be checked all that well by machine. This was after I got pulled out of line at the gate for a second personal inspection (followed by a another secondary screening) of my bag w/ declared 1911. When I do fly now, I even keep extra locks in thetop of my bag in case they decide to cut the one on the bag.

OK-rant mode off.

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