Under the Large Aircraft Security Program, the US Government will have to search your plane before every flight. The TSA will know how often you fly, where you fly, and who goes with you. And yes you have to pay for it. $50 a flight.

Napolitano: ‘We Took Steps in 2010’–9 Yrs After 9/11–to Vet Foreign Flight-School Students

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Feel safer yet?

 

By Edwin Mora

 

July 19, 2012

 

(CNSNews.com) — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that the Obama administration finally “took steps” in 2010 to vet foreign students applying to U.S. flight schools.

 

Napolitano’s testimony came one day after CNSNews.com reported that in 2010 local police in Massachusetts made a traffic stop on a person who they determined to be an illegal alien. The illegal alien it turned out owned a flight school, which, it turned out, had been attended by another 25 illegal aliens, three of whom had been awarded pilots licenses.

 

This was all 9 years after the 9/11 hijackers–some of whom had also attended flight schools in the United States–flew commercial airliners into the World Trade towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

 

In her testimony on Thursday, Napolitano added that even to this day DHS has not issued a written directive confirming that it is doing the screening of foreign nationals learning to fly aircraft in the United States.

 

The 9/11 airline-terrorist attacks occurred nearly 11 years ago and the rule set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to have DHS screen foreign nationals who want flight training was authorized in 2004.

 

In questioning Napolitano about the issue, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) cited a July 18 news story by CNSNews.com, based on a Government Accountability Office report, which showed that the TSA had allowed 25 illegal aliens to attend a Boston-area flight school that was owned by an illegal alien.

 

For the 25 unauthorized aliens, 8 had entered the country illegally and 17 had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States. The GAO also found that a portion of the 25,599 who had applied for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot licenses from January 2006 through September 2011 had not been vetted properly before taking flight training or receiving an FAA certificate.

 

After outlining those facts,  Rep. Sensenbrenner asked Secretary Napolitano, “This sounds like a 9/11 déjà vu and I’m wondering what the Department of Homeland Security is going to do to make sure that everybody who is in a flight school is properly vetted if they’re a foreign national?”

 

Napolitano said, “Yes, I think that report referred to a several year old matter, which obviously is of concern. But we took steps in 2010 to make sure that all foreign students who are in this country applying to flight school are vetted — and that has been in place and we intend to confirm that we’ve been doing it for two years.”

 

“I think what the GAO said [was], well, you don’t have a written thing that says ‘we agreed we’ve been doing it,’ but you need a written MOA [memorandum of agreement],” said Napolitano.  “So we’re going to put that together.”

 

Sensenbrenner then asked, “And how long will that take?”

 

“Oh we’ll do it very quickly,” said Napolitano. “I think the flight schools we want to make sure we’re very tight there for obvious reasons.”

 

Rep. Sensenbrenner then asked, “Okay, the story also said that the GAO did not provide the full number of individuals who were not properly vetted. Do you have numbers on how many of these folks were not properly vetted?”

 

Napolitano did not provide those numbers but said, “Well, all I can say is that foreign students are vetted and they have been being vetted for several years. If they apply to the FAA for a license there is a re-vetting that goes on and then the FAA database is routinely pinned against our national security and criminal databases.”

 

Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, questioned the author of the GAO report, Stephen Lord, about vetting foreign nationals before they attend U.S. flight schools during a July 18 hearing. (Lord is director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at the GAO and his report is entitled, General Aviation Security: TSA’s Process for Ensuring Foreign Flight Students Do Not Pose a Security Risk Has Weaknesses.)

 

“We have cancer patients, Iraq War veterans and Nobel Prize winners all forced to undergo rigorous security checks before getting on an airplane,” said Rogers, “and at the same time, ten years after 9/11, there are foreign nationals in the United States trained to fly just like Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers did, and not all of them are necessarily getting a security background check.”

 

Rogers then asked Lord, “Isn’t it true that, based on your report, the Transportation Security Administration cannot assure the American people that foreign terrorists are not in this country learning how to fly airplanes, yes or no?”

 

“At this time, no,” said Lord.

 

According to the 911 Commission Report,  four of the Sept. 11 hijackers who entered the United States with legal visas had overstayed their authorized period of admission. The terrorists involved learned how to pilot the aircrafts that were used as weapons that day at U.S. flight schools.

 

Pay attention folks, it’s coming.  Call, fax, VOTE.

Posted: July 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

TSA Let 25 Illegal Aliens Attend Flight School Owned by Illegal Alien

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What is there to say.  Please read the whole article and watch the subtly of the government punt of responsibility.  Yet, when it comes to feeling up 4 year olds or grandma, the TSA is johnny-on-the-spot.  Same when it comes time to prevent your use of your property in LASP.  Keep calling and VOTE come November.

 

By Edwin Mora

 

July 18, 2012

 

(CNSNews.com) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved flight training for 25 illegal aliens at a Boston-area flight school that was owned by yet another illegal alien, according to the Government Accountability Office.

 

The illegal-alien flight-school attendees included eight who had entered the country illegally and 17 who had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the GAO.

 

Three of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot’s licenses.

 

Discovery of the trouble at the flight school began when local police–not federal authorities–pulled over the owner of the school on a traffic violation and were able to determine that he was an illegal alien.

 

Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said he found the GAO’s findings “amazing.”

 

“We have cancer patients, Iraq War veterans and Nobel Prize winners all forced to undergo rigorous security checks before getting on an airplane,” said Rogers, “and at the same time, ten years after 9/11, there are foreign nationals in the United States trained to fly just like Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers did, and not all of them are necessarily getting a security background check.”

 

Editor – not to mention flight crew

Stephen Lord, who is the GAO’s director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues, testified about the matter Wednesday in Rogers’ subcommittee. Rogers asked him: “Isn’t it true that, based on your report, the Transportation Security Administration cannot assure the American people that foreign terrorists are not in this country learning how to fly airplanes, yes or no?”

 

Lord responded: “At this time, no.”

 

Although the illegal alien who owned the Massachusetts flight school had not undergone a required TSA security threat assessment and had not been approved for flight training by the agency, he nonetheless held two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot licenses, also known as FAA certificates.

 

The GAO report, released today, is entitled General Aviation Security: TSA’s Process for Ensuring Foreign Flight Students Do Not Pose a Security Risk Has Weaknesses.

 

In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. homeland perpetrated by terrorists who learned how to pilot aircraft at flight schools in Florida, Arizona, and Minnesota, the TSA, a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), developed the “Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) to help determine whether foreign students enrolling at flight schools pose a security threat,” said the GAO’s Stephen Lord in written testimony prepared for Wednesday’s hearing in the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security.

 

According to the 911 Commission Report, four of the Sept. 11 hijackers who entered the United States with legal visas had overstayed their authorized period of admission.

 

Under the Alien Flight Student Program, foreign nationals are supposed to be subjected to a TSA security threat assessment prior to receiving flight training to determine whether they pose a security threat to the United States.

 

“According to TSA regulations, an individual poses a security threat when the individual is suspected of posing, or is known to pose, a threat to transportation or national security, a threat of air piracy or terrorism, a threat to airline or passenger security, or a threat to civil aviation security,” Lord said in his written testimony.

 

“According to TSA officials, when a foreign national applies to AFSP to obtain flight training, TSA uses information submitted by the foreign national–such as name, date of birth, and passport information–to conduct a criminal history records check, a review of the Terrorist Screening Database, and a review of the Department of Homeland Security’s TECS [anti-terrorism] system,” Lord testified.

 

However, a “weakness” in TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program, noted by GAO, is that it does not check for immigration status.

 

“AFSP is not designed to determine whether a foreign flight student entered the country legally; thus, a foreign national can be approved for training through AFSP after entering the country illegally,” stated the GAO in its report.  “In March 2010, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigated a Boston-area flight school after local police stopped the flight school owner for a traffic violation and discovered that he was in the country illegally. In response to this incident, ICE launched a broader investigation of the students enrolled at the flight school.”

 

“ICE found that 25 of the foreign nationals at this flight school had applied to AFSP and had been approved by TSA to begin flight training after their security threat assessment had been completed; however,” reads the GAO report, “the ICE investigation and our subsequent inquiries revealed the following issues, among other things:

 

–“Eight of the 25 foreign nationals who received approval by TSA to begin flight training were in ‘entry without inspection’ status, meaning they had entered the country illegally. Three of these had obtained FAA airman certificates [pilot’s license]: 2 held FAA private pilot certificates and 1 held an FAA commercial pilot certificate.

 

–“Seventeen of the 25 foreign nationals who received approval by the TSA to begin flight training were in ‘overstay’ status, meaning they had overstayed their authorized period of admission into the United States.

 

–“In addition, the flight school owner held two FAA airman certificates. Specifically, he was a certified Airline Transport Pilot (cargo pilot) and a Certified Flight Instructor. However, he had never received a TSA security threat assessment or been approved by TSA to obtain flight training. He had registered with TSA as a flight training provider under AFSP.”

 

A GAO official told CNSNews.com that, based on their names, none of the 25 illegal aliens who attended the flight school appeared to be from Muslim countries. Instead, they had Latin American names.

 

The GAO found that, “From January 2006 through September 2011, 25,599 foreign nationals had applied for FAA airman certificates, indicating they had completed flight training.” That information is placed on the FAA airmen registry.

 

The GAO provided information from the FAA’s airmen registry to TSA “so that the agency could conduct a matching process to determine whether the foreign nationals in the FAA airmen registry were in TSA’s AFSP database and the extent to which they had been successfully vetted through the AFSP database.”

 

The GAO found that not everyone in the FAA registry had been vetted properly.

 

“TSA’s analysis indicated that some of the 25,599 foreign nationals in the FAA airmen registry were not in the TSA AFSP database, indicating that these individuals had not applied to the AFSP or been vetted by TSA before taking flight training and receiving an FAA airman certificate,” stated the GAO.

 

The GAO continued, “TSA’s analysis indicated that an additional number of the 25,599 foreign nationals in the FAA airmen registry were also in the TSA AFSP database but had not been successfully vetted, meaning that they had received an FAA airman certificate but had not been successfully vetted or received permission from TSA to begin flight training.”

 

The GAO did not provide the full number of individuals who were not properly vetted.

 

The GAO’s Stephen Lord, in his prepared remarks, told lawmakers that the TSA does not screen new and existing FAA pilot license holders against the Terrorist Screening Database until after the foreign national has completed flight training.

 

Editor – but the 9/11 terrorist never got licenses, they only wanted to learn how to takeoff, not land.  So after thousands of hours of dual instruction, the Thousands Standing Around that claim to keep us safe while destroying our freedoms still wouldn’t know about them.

 

“Thus, foreign nationals obtaining flight training with the intent to do harm, such as three of the pilots and leaders of the September 11 terrorist attacks, could have already obtained the training needed to operate an aircraft before they received any type of vetting,” warned the GAO.

 

The TSA and ICE are working on a pilot program for vetting the names of foreign nationals against immigration databases.

 

However, the GAO noted that the two agencies “have not specified desired outcomes and time frames, or assigned individuals with responsibility for fully instituting the program.”

 

The GAO further stated, “We recommended that TSA and ICE develop a plan, with time frames, and assign individuals with responsibility and accountability for assessing the results of their pilot program to check TSA AFSP data against information DHS has on applicants’ admissibility status to help detect and identify violations, such as overstays and entries without inspection, by foreign flight students, and institute that pilot program if it is found to be effective.”

 

“DHS concurred with this recommendation and stated that TSA will prepare a plan by December 2012 to assess the results of the pilot program with ICE to determine the lawful status of the active AFSP population,” said the GAO.

Posted: July 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

Just when you thought it was safe to hang around the airport again….

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GA Groups Challenge Report on Industry Security

Aviation International News » June 2012

by Paul Lowe

June 3, 2012, 1:35 AM

The heads of six general aviation groups last month strongly rebuked a report by a Washington, D.C.-area radio station that alleged GA is the “Achilles Heel” of aviation security.

“We are concerned because the report treats issues that were raised and addressed 10 years ago as if they are new, and because it fails to make any mention of the myriad, multi-layered changes to general aviation security that have taken place since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,” they said.

AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association and NBAA took radio station WTOP to task for not attempting to contact any of them before airing its report on May 7, even though four are located within 10 miles of the station’s studio.

“Any or all of us would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss such an important issue with Mr. [J.J.] Green,” they wrote in a letter to the station. “Should WTOP have occasion to cover general aviation security in the future, we would welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge of the issue with your audience.”

They argued that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) itself recognizes that the many different missions and types of airports and landing facilities that general aviation operates from make a one-size-fits-all security solution impossible. Further, the TSA’s own “Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports” allows the flexibility to enhance security in differing situations.

“One must recall that on 9/11, there were no GA aviation security requirements. Now, any person seeking primary or certain advanced flight training must prove his or her nationality, and if a foreign national undergo additional background checks. The pilot registry is routinely checked against terrorist watch lists.

“Unlike airline pilots who fly hundreds of strangers every day, pilots operating flights under Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations–whether a light two-seat propeller airplane or a 19-passenger business jet–know their passengers,” the associations continued. “Part 135 air taxi/air charter pilots and operators have additional security requirements imposed by [the TSA]. Finally, contrary to the implication in Mr. Green’s story, general aviation airplanes arriving in the United States are subject to exactly the same ‘no-fly’ list requirements as the scheduled airlines,” the associations said.

 

Wonder where this came from, unsolicited, out of the blue…  No news off the Hill, even Senator Rockefeller hasn’t been yakking lately about the “unfairness” of GA.

Nevertheless, it’s out there on a slow news day, they had to have something to talk about and picked the evils of General Aviation.

Stay alert folks, it’s coming.

Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

Rep. Broun: Homeland Security, TSA Use ‘Gestapo-Type’ Tactics

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Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:35 PM

By Martin Gould and John Bachman

The top people at both the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration should quit for using “Gestapo-type” tactics which violate privacy rights and civil liberties, GOP Rep. Paul Broun tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.

And either the TSA should be privatized or the military should be brought in to the nation’s airports to conduct security screenings, the Georgia congressman added.

But the TSA will resist any attempts to bring private firms in, he added, “because they want to continue their Gestapo-type tactics of patting down grandma and grandpa and little children.”

Broun was talking after a series of recent incidents have brought further scrutiny to the TSA. They include allegations that:

* Agents labeled a 4-year-old girl a “terrorist threat” because she hugged her grandmother at a security checkpoint at the Wichita Airport in Kansas;

* Forced the family of a 7-year-old cerebral palsy victim to miss a flight from New York’s Kennedy Airport because they insisted on inspecting the girl’s crutches;

* Ordered a 95-year-old woman to remove her adult diaper during a search at North West Florida Airport;

* Threatened Rep. Quico Canseco of Texas with arrest after he complained he was being patted down so hard at San Antonio Airport that it hurt.

“This makes absolutely no sense but it’s indicative of the TSA as well as the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that has just run amok,” said Broun.

Broun said it is not only time for TSA head John Pistole to go, but that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano should step aside too. “The rot starts at the head. She is the one who is at the head of an organization that is totally broken,” he said.

“TSA needs to be totally changed, I would like them to be privatized,” added Broun, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. He said a pilot program at Kansas City’s airport involving a company called FirstLine has been a success.

“It had great responses from the public, but TSA seems to be trying to delay privatization and has done everything it could to prevent FirstLine from getting a contract. They don’t want to be privatized and they will do everything they can to prevent it,” he warned.

“We need to get rid of the whole thing altogether. In fact our national security should be upheld by the military and not by an organization such as the Department of Homeland Security. I would like to get rid of the whole department and start all over again and let the military do what it needs to do, and let the CIA and FBI do what they should do to focus on those who want to harm us and stop this inanity of political correctness that is going to get Americans killed.”

Broun said the problem is that policies force agents to “look for objects” rather than concentrate on the likely terrorists.

“We need to start focusing on those people who aren’t harmless, instead of patting down grandma and patting down kids. It’s just absolutely a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. It’s not going to keep us any safer than doing nothing in my opinion.”

Decent intelligence needs to play a bigger role, he said. “We need to focus upon terrorists. We need to focus on those wanting to harm us. We need to focus on them prior to them ever getting to the airport and interview them before they ever get there. We need a stronger intelligence community.

“Most of what the federal government does today is not authorized in the original intent of the Constitution but national security is; strong national defense is,” he added. “This administration is destroying our national security and our defense capability and we have got to build those things up.”

Broun cited a recent investigation by WSB-TV, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, that interviewed a whistleblower who claimed it was easy to get weapons on board planes by smuggling them in on the unsecured food carts.

“We know also from the investigation that was done by the WSB investigative reporter that people could get through the security without much challenge, so we’re not any safer today than before 9/11,” he claimed.

He also said that the TSA had admitted it had hired people at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport without proper background checks. “They said recently that they have gotten the backlog of background checks straightened out, but what other airports are they allowing people to go to work without background checks?” he asked.

Broun said one of the biggest problems is that Congress rushed through the Patriot Act within 10 weeks of 9/11. “The Patriot Act has been an abomination,” he said. “We had Congress push through all these things without thinking through them in the proper way.

“We have got to protect privacy rights. We have got to protect our God-given, constitutionally protected civil liberties and we are not doing that in the federal government. The Department of Homeland Security, as well as the TSA, is a great culprit in being a Gestapo-type organization.”

And they are chomping at the bit to come to your hangar.  Notice the latest from the White House — they will continue with the $100 USER FEE; why, because it’s class warfare.

This fits exactly with various statements made by Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) about how he gets patted down and believes I can just waltz out on the ramp at Dulles to my airplane (which would be incorrect but when did the facts stops a politician?).

We can pay the $100, we can get stripped searched — just like everybody else.  Unless you’re a Muslim.

Posted: May 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

TSA screeners allegedly let drug-filled luggage through LAX for cash

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April 25, 2012 |

 Four current and former Transportation Security Administration screeners have been arrested and face charges of taking bribes and looking the other way while suitcases filled with cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana passed through X-ray machines at Los Angeles International Airport, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

The TSA screeners, who were arrested Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, allegedly received up to $2,400 in cash bribes in exchange for allowing large drug shipments to pass through checkpoints in what the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles called a “significant breakdown” of security.

In addition to the two current and two former screeners, prosecutors also indicted two alleged drug couriers and a third who allegedly tried to smuggle 11 pounds of cocaine but was nabbed when he went through the wrong security checkpoint.

The TSA employees “placed greed above the nation’s security needs,” Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement.

The 40-page indictment outlines five alleged smuggling incidents over a six-month period last year. In one incident, screeners schemed to allow for about eight pounds of methamphetamine to pass through security, then went to an airport restroom where he was handed $600, the second half of the payment for that delivery, according to prosecutors.

Briane Grey, acting special agent in charge of the DEA in Los Angeles, said the scheme was particularly reprehensible because it took place at LAX.

“The defendants traded on their positions at one the world’s most crucial airport security checkpoints, used their special access for criminal ends, and compromised the safety and security of their fellow citizens for their own profit,” he said in a statement.

The indicted screeners are Naral Richardson, 30, and Joy White, 27, who were both fired by TSA last year; and John Whitfield, 23, and Capeline McKinney, 25, both currently employed as screeners. All four have been taken into custody, and face up to life in prison if convicted.

The accused drug couriers are Duane Eleby, 28, who is expected to surrender, and Terry Cunningham and Stephen Bayliss, both 28, who are both at large.

The TSA’s security director at LAX said the agency was assisting with the investigation. “While these arrests are a disappointment, TSA is committed to holding our employees to the highest standards,” Randy Parsons said in a statement.

 

So there is something worse than a crooked cop; remember that when they come to search your daughter before you take her for a ride in your airplane…

Posted: April 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

Weeping four-year-old girl accused of carrying a GUN by TSA officers after she hugged her grandmother while passing through security

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By Hugo Gye 24 April 2012

Of all the many complaints about airport security and the TSA, one of the most common is that they make little distinction between plausible security threats and passengers unlikely to be doing anything wrong.

And a recent incident in Wichita, Kansas has reinforced that argument, as a four-year-old girl was apparently subjected to a humiliating ordeal after she hugged her grandmother while she was waiting in line.

The girl was accused of having a gun and declared a ‘high security threat’, while agents threatened to shut down the whole airport if she could not be calmed down.

When asked about the overbearing treatment the girl received, a TSA spokesman did not apologise and insisted that correct procedures had been followed.

Four-year-old Isabella’s horrific experience in Wichita earlier this month was recounted on Facebook by her furious mother Michelle Brademeyer.

The family was in Kansas for a wedding, and was travelling home to Montana with Ms Brademeyer’s mother.

Ms Brademeyer and her two children had passed through security when the grandmother was detained after triggering an alarm on the scanners.

Isabella then, according to her mother, ‘excitedly ran over to give her a hug, as children often do. They made very brief contact, no longer than a few seconds.’

The young girl was immediately detained by security agents, who apparently shouted at her that she would have to be frisked too, and refused to let her mother explain what has happening.

Ms Brademeyer wrote: ‘It was implied, several times, that my mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter.’

In her terror, Isabella tried to run away rather than face a full body pat-down, which unsurprisingly enraged the TSA officers further.

One officer even told the girl’s mother that the airport would have to be shut down and every flight cancelled if the four-year-old did not co-operate. They also apparently described the little girl as a ‘high security threat’.

As Isabella was taken into a side room for a pat-down, accompanied by her mother, she could not stop crying and refused to let the agents touch her. An officer repeatedly said she had ‘seen a gun in a teddy bear’ in the past, in an apparent attempt to justify the situation.

Ms Brademeyer continued: ‘The TSO loomed over my daughter, with an angry grimace on her face, and ordered her to stop crying.

‘When my scared child could not do so, two TSOs called for backup saying, “The suspect is not cooperating.” The suspect, of course, being a frightened child. They treated my daughter no better than if she had been a terrorist.’

Isabella continued to cry, and officers said the family would have to leave the airport as the TSA was unable to frisk the four-year-old. When a manager was called, he decided that the distraught Isabella could be checked alongside her mother, and let the family pass through security at last.

But their nightmare was not yet over, as on a connecting flight in Denver, an airport employee demanded to know which of the family was Isabella – and ‘looked really confused’ when the girl was pointed out to her.

Ms Brademeyer concluded her Facebook post by drawing attention to TSA rules against separating children from their parents, and added: ‘I feel compelled to share this story in the hope that no other child will have to share in this experience.’

When The Consumerist approached the TSA for comment on the bizarre incident, a spokesman said: ‘TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper current screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child.’

 

Wait until this happens in your hangar or on the ramp.  Your tax dollars at work.

Posted: April 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

TSA defends confiscation of Mass. woman’s cupcake

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Associated PressAP – 12 hrs ago

 

 

PEABODY, Mass. (AP) — The federal Transportation Security Administration is defending its decision to confiscate a frosted cupcake from a Massachusetts woman flying from Las Vegas.

The TSA says in a blog comment posted Monday the cupcake was packed in a jar filled with icing, which is considered a gel under a policy designed to secure travelers from terrorists seeking to evade detection by using explosives made of plastics, liquids or gels.

Peabody (PEE’-buh-dee) resident Rebecca Hains was barred from taking her cupcake onto a plane last month when a TSA agent said icing in the jar exceeded amounts of gels allowed in carry-on luggage. Hains has called that “terrible logic.”

The TSA says travelers can take cakes, pies and cupcakes through security checkpoints but should expect they might get additional screening.

___

Online: TSA blog post about cupcake: http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/01/cupcakegate.html

 

These people have never done anything wrong; feeling up children, breaking open colostomy bags, squeezing my Flight Attendant’s breasts — all in the name of freedom.

So, after LASP gets out there, what will that do to catering on private flights?  What about the $100 hamburger?  Flying to wherever to get whatever and bring it home (lobster up north, onions in Vidalia, GA, barbeque from Pierce’s in Virginia, pick your favorite)?

Think about how much freedom you’ve already lost and how much you are about to loose….

Posted: January 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

‘Security Theater’? TSA Confiscates Woman’s Frosted Cupcake

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By Olivia Katrandjian | ABC News BlogsSat, Dec 24, 2011 11:10 AM EST 

A Massachusetts woman who flew home from Las Vegas this week says an airport security officer confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought its vanilla-bourbon icing could be a “security risk.”

Rebecca Hains told ABCNews.com today that a Transportation Security Administration agent at Las Vegas- McCarran International Airport seized her cupcake, saying the frosting sitting atop the red velvet cake was gel-like enough to violate regulations.

The incident took place Wednesday.

Hains, a teacher, said the cupcake was a gift from one of her students. She was traveling with her husband and toddler, and thought her young son might get hungry on the long trip home.

The cupcake was packaged in a glass container with a metal lid, which was why it attracted the attention of the scanner in the first place.

The TSA agent didn’t know what to do with the cupcake, so she called over her supervisor, Hains said.

“The TSA supervisor, Robert Epps, was using really bad logic – he said it counted as a gel-like substance because it was conforming to the shape of its container.”

“We also had a small pile of hummus sandwiches with creamy fillings, which made it through, but the cupcake with its frosting was apparently a terrorist threat…I just don’t know what world he was living in,” said Hains, speaking of the TSA officer.

Hains said she had flown from Boston to Las Vegas with two cupcakes without any problems.

“The TSA at Logan Airport said the cupcakes looked delicious and told us to have a great trip. But in Las Vegas, they were dangerous. They shouldn’t be delicious in one part of the country and a security threat in the other.”

Hains called the TSA “security theater.”

“You’d expect them to be consistent. If they’re doing what they claim to be doing and actually protecting travelers, they would be applying their rules using critical thinking. He gave no indication that really thought the cupcake was a threat.”

“This really isn’t about the cupcake, it’s about the bigger issue and it’s indicative of the fact that broader reforms need to be made to the TSA because they are not keeping us safe,” said Hains.

“In general, cakes and pies are allowed in carry-on luggage,” TSA spokesperson James Fotenos told ABC News affiliate WCVB. Fotenos added that they were looking into why this cupcake was confiscated.

Guess it was break time in Vegas… needed something to go with that cup of coffee.  Makes you wonder if sandwhiches (which you made) would be allowed on your airplane under LASP?  Or maybe not in your hangar, who knows what trouble extra mayo could cause.

Feel safer yet?  It’s coming, fax or call your Congressman TODAY!

Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

Do you feel safer yet?

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Vanessa Gibbs holds her infamous “purse gun”

 

It’s not unusual for 17-year-old to find themselves in hot water with the fashion police. But on a flight from Virginia to Florida, Vanessa Gibbs found herself detained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the appearance of her purse.

And just to be clear, it wasn’t the content inside the purse that the TSA objected to. No, agency officials took exception with the design of a gun on Gibbs’ handbag.

“It’s my style, it’s camouflage, it has an old western gun on it,” Gibbs told News4Jax.com. Gibbs didn’t run into any trouble while traveling north from Jacksonville International Airport. But on her way back home, TSA officials at Norfolk International Airport pulled her aside.

“She was like, ‘This is a federal offense because it’s in the shape of a gun,'” Gibbs said. “I’m like, ‘But it’s a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'”

 

After TSA agents figured out the gun was a fake, Gibbs said, they told her to check the bag or turn it over. By the time security wrapped up the inspection, the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead. The changed itinerary created no small amount of anxiety for Gibbs’ mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at the Jacksonville airport.

“Oh, it’s terrifying. I was so upset,” said Tami Gibbs, the teen’s mom. “I was on the phone all the way to Orlando trying to figure out what was going on with her. It was terrifying.”

Less terrifying is the actual design on the purse, which is only a few inches in size and hollow. “I carried this from Jacksonville to Norfolk, and I’ve carried it from Norfolk to Jacksonville,” Vanessa said. “Never once has anyone said anything about it until now.”

Nonetheless, the TSA says the design could be considered a “replica weapon,” something that the agency has banned since 2002. Just imagine what would have happened if Gibbs had also been wearing stiletto heels.

 

So, a couple of studs on the outside of a leather purse is a “replica weapon”?  You have to practice to get this stupid, and these are the people that AOPA, EAA, NBAA and the other alphabet soups compromised with over LASP II…

It’s coming soon, and it’s just a start.  When the bored moron can’t find a 30,000 pound takeoff weight aircraft to fondle, er inspect; what’s to prevent him from wandering into your hangar?  How many “weapons” do you keep there?  How much “HAZMAT”?

Call Congress, call the subcommittees, call Sam Graves (R-MO) and John Mica (R-FL), get behind this.  Call John Rockefeller (D-WV) and tell him he’s a moron.  And above all VOTE when able.

Posted: December 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized

Congressional Report Urges TSA Reform

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November 16, 2011By: George DooleyTravel Agent

   

 

A sure to be controversial report released by U.S. House Congressional leaders that alleges a decade of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) “mismanagement and failures” calls for “dramatic reform of the nation’s bloated transportation security agency.” The report, entitled “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform” addresses a host of tough issues impacting travelers and the traveling public. The TSA is marking its tenth year.

“Congress created TSA ten years ago to be a lean, risk-based, adaptive agency, responsible for analyzing intelligence, setting security standards, and overseeing the nation’s transportation security structure. Unfortunately, TSA has lost its way,” said U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“TSA has strayed from its security mission and mushroomed into a top-heavy bureaucracy that includes 3,986 headquarters staff, making $103,852 per year on average, and 9,656 administrators in the field. Currently, TSA has 65,000 employees. Unfortunately, over the past ten years, the agency has spent $57 billion on numerous operational and technology failures,” Mica said.

“While we are safer today than we were ten years ago, this is largely thanks to the vigilance of American citizens and passengers, the actions of flight crews and armed pilots, the addition of hardened cockpit doors, and the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies,” Mica continued. “After ten years, we cannot continue to rely on luck. It is time for reform. TSA must become the kind of agency it was intended to be – a thinking, risk-based, flexible agency that analyzes risks, sets security standards and audits security performance. “

The report is being provided to Congress and there are plans to introduce legislation to improve this critical security agency, the committee reports.

“TSA was envisioned and sold to the American people as a proactive agency that would strategically deploy the latest technology and cutting-edge tactics to protect travelers,” said U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Despite these high ambitions, the agency has become a backwards-looking dinosaur that seeks employees through pizza box advertising and struggles to detect actual terrorist threats. TSA needs a vision and purpose that goes beyond throwing expensive equipment and invasive searches at passengers who do not pose a security threat.”

“Despite TSA’s massive bureaucracy, reports indicate that more than 25,000 security breaches have occurred in U.S. airports since 2001,” said U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA), Chairman of the Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “The agency as a whole has been a colossal disappointment; the one thing it has been successful at is violating the rights of the American people (italics — STOPLASP.com). Instead of worrying about ‘political correctness’, TSA should be putting our resources into intelligence and technologies that could be more effective when it comes to catching highly elusive and dangerous terrorists. We should know about terrorist attacks before they materialize on U.S. soil, and I have yet to see that kind of progress come out of TSA.”

“Terrorism is a global problem and we should continue to consider and learn what other countries are doing to effectively safeguard the public and stop terrorism,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee. “We need to focus more on identifying and thwarting terrorists rather than spending vast resources on programs that simply inconvenience the traveling public who are not a threat.”

“This report highlights what we have known for years – that TSA is misguided, overly bureaucratic and mismanaged,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations of the House Oversight Committee. “It invests in tomorrow’s technology to fight yesterday’s threats and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars in the process. It’s time for President Obama and Secretary Napolitano to refocus the troubled agency and get serious about real solutions.”

From the top down, TSA is a troubled agency, the report says. TSA and its administrator are buried within the Department of Homeland Security along with 21 other agencies. Turnover in the position of TSA Administrator has been excessive, and too little priority has been placed on naming a new administrator when the position has become vacant, the committee says.

The list of TSA operational failures has grown over the last ten years, and the agency has expended a significant amount of taxpayer resources in too many efforts that have provided little or no security benefits, the report says.

Earlier this year the agency undermined a successful – and congressionally mandated – program to allow airports to opt out of the all-federal passenger screening model in favor of a model in which qualified private contractors conduct screening under TSA standards and oversight. TSA’s expenditure of a quarter of a billion in taxpayer dollars resulted in a poorly designed, poorly tested, and poorly performing behavior detection program, known as SPOT. The agency has also failed to successfully implement a long-delayed Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program at many of the nation’s ports, the report says.

TSA personnel failures include its inability to retain its workforce, high training costs for replacements and decisions to recruit employees with ads on pizza boxes and discount gas pumps, according to the report.

The agency has also failed to effectively deploy technology, the report charges. Since 2001, “TSA has obligated over $8 billion on screening technology, a significant portion of which has been useless, unused, discarded, poorly deployed, or sitting idle because of a lack of trained personnel,” the report says.

“Despite great expenditures, TSA’s record of stopping terrorist plots is dismal. Classified evaluations of security performance continue to reveal concerning results. For example, the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, and the toner cartridge bomb plot were not thwarted by TSA, but by flight crews and passengers, or by foreign intelligence agencies, ” the report says.

The report was prepared by the majority staff of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Posted: November 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized