The PJ Tatler

Just Another Day in the Hands of the TSA

Bridget already covered the TSA’s behavior when frisking Rep. Quico Canseco of Texas — essentially, TSA agents are allowed to do unto you whatever they want, but if you so much as move their hand away they’ll threaten you with an assault charge.

TSA agents in Los Angeles, meanwhile, stand accused of a less handsy crime: Arrests have been made in a TSA drug running scheme.

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.

And in Wichita, KS, TSA would have you know that a four-year-old girl may well be the next al Qaeda regional chief.

The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who became hysterical during a security screening at a Kansas airport said Wednesday that the child was forced to undergo a pat-down after hugging her, with security agents yelling and calling the crying girl an uncooperative suspect.

“Uncooperative suspect.” Let that phrase roll around your mind as you see just what this suspect looks like:

Clearly, we’re looking at the next Osama bin Laden here. It’s only matter of time, or that seems to be what the TSA agents believe. If she’s a suspect, we’re all suspects, which is exactly how TSA treats us all.

Once you’ve passed sentence on our four-year-old princess, it’s time to take up the next TSA suspect:

Her name is Dina Frank. She’s seven years old, three years farther along in her journey to jihad if you’re with the TSA.

Traveling from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Florida, the Frank family was yanked out of line as it boarded the plane in a dispute over how 7-year-old Dina had been screened. The little girl, who has cerebral palsy, walks with crutches and leg braces.
“They make our lives completely difficult,” said her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, a Long Island pediatrician. “She’s not a threat to national security.”

Flying is always difficult for the family, but this week was particularly dreadful, Frank and his wife, Marcy, said.

With her crutches and orthotics, Dina cannot walk through metal detectors and instead is patted down by security agents. The girl, who is also developmentally disabled, is often frightened by the procedure, her father said.

Marcy Frank usually asks the agents to introduce themselves to her daughter, but those on duty on Monday were exceptionally aggressive, Joshua Frank said, and he began to videotape them with his iPhone.

“And the woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” he said.

Eventually, a supervisor decided it was sufficient to inspect Dina’s crutches and allowed the family to leave for the gate.

They were there for an hour before the agents reappeared with a manager to tell them that proper protocol had not been followed, and that Dina had to be screened after all, the Franks said. After initially offering to pat her down at the gate, they insisted she return to the security area, Joshua Frank said.

“So then I got aggravated,” he said.

With Dina now in her wheelchair, Frank raced her across the JetBlue terminal, but by then, the family had missed its plane. The Franks caught a subsequent flight.

It’s been said often that TSA combines some of the worst aspects of government in one agency: The efficiency of GSA with the courtesy of the DMV. But it’s worse than that. TSA has become the airport version of the EPA, an agency that by its own admission crucifies just to make examples, and to cow everyone else. Getting handsy with congressmen and little girls has nothing to do with keeping us safe from terrorists. It’s just conditioning us for ever more intrusive and oppressive government in every aspect of our lives.