I went to EWR today to I thought were NoS-safe gates, but a new MMW ATD had been installed and was being used as primary for all passengers. I had specifically paid more and taken a less comfortable aircraft because I thought these gates were NoS-free.
When I arrived at the checkpoint, I noticed an abundance of 2- and 3-stripe TSA screeners, which to me signaled likely BDO usage. I wasn’t asked any questions other than how I was doing. The line was extra long, and multiple passengers were complaining that they were going to miss their flights. The reason, of course, was that NoS was being used as primary. One line, and nearly all passengers directed to it.
So, I braced myself for having to deal with Port Authority police, who aren’t generally known for being friendly. I was directed to the NoS and opted out. I walked through the metal detector without alarm (which I think was just because the WTMD was in the way, not because they wanted to screen me with it), and was brought over to the “yellow feet” mat by a friendly older guy. He proceeded to explain that he’d be rubbing his hands on my ass and also would be running his hands “pretty high up on [my] inner thigh.” I told him that I consent to being searched, but do not consent to having my genitals or buttocks touched. He tells me that won’t work, and then tells me it’s not “really” the genitals he’ll be touching. I explain that if he moves my hand up my inner thighs that he’ll reach my balls, and he goes to find a supervisor.
A supervisor (STSO) comes over and starts off with the classic, DYWTFT (“Do you want to fly today?”), to which I tell him, “No, not if it means my rights will be violated.” I could tell by the blank stare on his face that apparently “no” wasn’t a response he often received. After a few moments, he tells me he’ll have to call a cop, and I tell him that he should definitely “call a LEO, and the TSM as well.”
STSO: “A TSM?”
Jon: “Yes, a TSM.”
STSO: “What’s a TSM?”
Jon: “A TSM, a Transportation Security Manager.”
STSO: “I am the manager here.”
Jon: “No, you’re an STSO. The TSM is your boss. I want the TSM.”
STSO: *more blank stare* *goes to get the TSM*
While he’s fetching the TSM, a couple of other assorted-rank screeners ask me why I’m doing this, why I went to the checkpoint knowing the policy if I would just refuse, and why I should just go through the NoS. I give them basics about rights, safety, and efficacy. Nothing special, until STSO Melissa Laughery vomited up the following gem:
“After 9/11, you give up all your rights at the checkpoint!”
Surrounded by about 7 screeners at this point and shocked at the absurdity, I repeated her loudly:
“After 9/11, we have no rights at the checkpoint?! Did everyone else hear this? It’s nice to hear how the TSA thinks of our rights.”
I see a man in a suit approch behind Mel, and brush her aside to say hi to TSM Thomas Willoghby. We briefly clarify the situation, and he tells me if I don’t want to be screened, I can leave. I re-state that I’m willing to be screened, just not molested, but if that’s not possible, I’ll go. So, I go. No cop, no retaliatory search, nothing.
But, as I’m leaving, the other TSOs ask him why he’s just letting me go. He explains to me that the new policy is that if someone declines a pat down, they’re just sent on their way. Could it be that after a certain incident in FLL, the TSA has changed the way they deal with double opt-outs?
One more note: American Airlines would *NOT* re-accommodate my flight, despite having free space on another flight from a nearby airport. After the previous incident at FLL, USAir was happy to re-accommodate. I tried to explain to the AA supervisor the “flat tire rule,” but he claimed AA does not follow this long-standing air travel doctrine, and demanded over $500 to catch the other flight. I will be talking to AA customer relations tomorrow about this, and in the meantime re-booked on USAir.
Good job staying cool under the circumstances, especially after the line of crap spouted by the clerk. 🙄
Maybe TSA is finally realizing that we actually do have rights at the checkpoint? 🙄
Bravo! I really wish these policies would change back to the metal detectors and pat-downs that do not equate to sexual molestation. I would love to visit friends and family far away but I am boycotting air travel. If I had the time and patience and demeanor, I would do exactly as you are doing. However, I don’t have the right nature and I would become unreasonable against the unreasonable.
It is news to me that we are free to leave the airport if we choose not to continue through the screening process. Glad to hear of it.
Good work on your “double opt out!”
Because of you and a very few other people, we are now allowed to leave the checkpoint without being fined or arrested. THANK YOU.
I will write a letter to AA and express my profound disappointment in their refusal to accommodate.
AA and all the rest of the Airlines sold us out. They gambled they could stay in business, but now they are going to fail if this crap keeps up, so TSA has to back down. Boycott All of Them. They can all crash and burn.
AA may be facing bankruptcy….around Thanksgiving!
Jon, nice job as always. So, we are now down to:
– BAD NEWS: I won’t let you fly if I can’t touch your privates. GOOD NEWS: You can leave.
NOTE: The new HR3011 Appropriations Bill for the TSA has included that NO SCANNERS can be used without ATR (the generic image auto-detect body search) 90 days after passing. It also says all scanners must be disabled from saving images within 30 days of passage. It also outlaws purchase of new scanners without ATR. Finally, it says scanners must be tested by an independent 3rd party.
My point: The practical result is scanners will be here to stay barring a miracle, although nude pictures go away. You can still assume the “surrender position” when being scanned.
We need to get sexual assault outlawed somehow….you would think that wouldn’t be a problem….
I am so proud of the stand you took and your excellent knowledge of the heirarchy and rules that it would seem tsa does not know. Its heartening to hear that we are being allowed to leave without the bs threatened fine which I felt was NEVER enforceable.
Bravo! I hope many more travelers will read your story and emulate your actions.
WTF?? I don’t like TSA and won’t fly but the your article is not helpful. Please define your acronyms.
MMW = Millemeter Wave
NoS = Nude-O-Scope a.k.a Full Body Imager a.k.a. Body Scanner
ATD = Automated Threat Detection a.k.a. the Stick figure software
DYWTFT = Do You Want To Fly Today
BDO = TSA Junk Science Behavior Detection Efforts.. a.k.a. A b.s. program paid with our taxes
What he said. 🙂 Also:
BDO – Behavior Detection “Officer”
WTMD – Walk Through Metal Detector
EWR – Newark Int’l Airport
FLL – Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport
Nowhere in the Constitution does is say that its protections become void if we are attacked.
I agree, I am Exec Plat on AA and have been so for 7 years. I have re-arranged my job so i don’t need to fly very much. TSA policy is costing AA at least $100,000 in lost revenue from my lack of travel.
That’s huge. I’ll be sure to let them know that they’ve already lost a bunch of the anti-TSA crowd to boycotting, and they stand to lose much more if they alienate us by refusing to re-accommodate.
My wife flew out of EWR yesterday morning (11/1). She opted out of the full body scanner and was directed through the metal detector. Then they did a swab of her hands before letting her go. She was never even patted down.
I’m glad you stood up to them!! You rock!
Thanks all for your comments! 1,000 hits in one day, with over half of them referred by YOU from Facebook. I appreciate the support!
I should add that all this with (virtually) no traffic from the FlyerTalk forums. I stopped posting new threads there a couple months ago after they were constantly moderated. If anyone is looking for a forum, please see: http://travelunderground.org/
Thanks for standing up to their unconstitutional policies. If more Americans would do that this kind of crap would stop. I called my two senators a couple of weeks ago about the TSA and asked for a response from them. I haven’t had a reply. I haven’t flown since last November, and I have traveled more this year than ever before, it’s just been by car. The most recent trip was over 3700 miles round trip. Would I have rather flown? Yes! But I refuse to give up my freedoms and liberty. I am giving up my annual trip to Vegas to celebrate my anniversary because I can not ask my spouse to give up his rights!
You are my hero for the day!
holy shit there is a lpt of information i did not know about!Thanks honey!
Hey Jon, has the government filed their brief in your 11th Cir. appeal yet? Care to post a pdf to save us the PACER fees? Also, what’s that status of your NYPD case? I appreciate all you do.
Absolutely. I’m actually finishing my reply to their brief this weekend, at which point I’ll post both. The government didn’t say anything particularly interesting or new in their brief — just the same old, “blah blah, due process rights my ass…”
The NYPD case right now is waiting on the City to turn over the names of the officers. Apparently they’re having a hard time locating them. I think they’re not really trying that hard, but either way the case will proceed against them with or without the named officers.
Jon, once again THANK YOU for all you have done for the cause! You are an inspiration and I hope and pray that I can stay as cool as you have under the same circumstances should they arise.
I doubt very much that the tso would say that “he’d be rubbing his hands on my ass and also would be running his hands “pretty high up on [my] inner thigh.” It’s not the kind of terminology any of them would use. I think you are a trouble maker and you’re obsessed with your vendetta. The fact that you are so familiar with all the acronyms tells us you need to get a life and quit focusing on something that is really there to protect you (as inconvenient as it is) I really don’t think these tsa employees are out to get their hands on your ass.
TSA employees have been arrested and convicted on theft, fraud, and sexual deviance. That is not genuine airport security. I will not risk allowing airport security to molest me and my family, then steal my property before it gets loaded on the airplane. ABOLISH THE T.S.A. or BOYCOTT COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL !
“On my ass” was not an exact quote, and therefore not in quotation marks (although a rough approximation of what was said). “Pretty high up on your thigh” was indeed an exact quotation. I should add that I have this incident recorded, and I posted audio recording of a different incident in which a TSM threatened me with arrest and forcible search in a previous blog entry.
I do understand that some Americans still do not fully understand the intensity of the TSA’s searches over the last year. The fact of the matter is that there *is* genital contact required in the new TSA pat-down procedure. In order to do it according to their manual, they must traverse their hand from your ankles all the way up your leg until they “meet resistance.” I’m sure you can appreciate what “resistance” at the top of your thigh would constitute.
Call it “trouble making” if you’d like, but I will go through whatever trouble necessary to ensure that my rights are respected. Should we fail to take the time to demand our rights, they will cease to exist. “Protecting me” is not an excuse to take those rights away.
I refuse to ignore people’s blatant i g n o r a n c e of our right NOT to be treated as criminals in a commercial airport; or their apparent prejudice in the favor of quasi-security guard theater-for-the-masses. The Transportation Safety Adminstration is in the process of collapsing the commercial aviation industry in the United States. So, I will encourage anyone who can travel without using an airport to do so as often as possible, then ‘we, the people’ can collapse their own system for them. The TSA is rapidly becoming ‘gestapo-without-weapons’, so wait until they come to our public shopping malls.. What goes around, comes around!
esgatch…I agree with you about people’s blatant ignorance. It infuriates me to hear someone say “It’s no big deal.” Now we have the
task of educating the masses on how their rights are being trampled when they should already know this!
@travelsbycar: Educating the masses is going to come to them the hard way. The fedgov is currently in the process of implementing an incremental system of martial law in the United States. This has been the process with every President and every Congress since JFK. The masses, as it were, have been ‘dumbed-down’. The fear-mongering that came with the orchestrated events of 9/11 is wearing thin. But, have you noticed how quiet the state governors have been? And, only a few representatives have bucked the TSA system. Media and government are quite engaged in their roles in the security theater.
@esgatch:The governor of my state has been mum as well as my senators. I called the offices of my U.S. Senators and spoke with a staffer about the TSA, requesting a personal response about my concerns was to no avail. Their inactions with this issue, as well as others that came about over the last few years only validate my decision to cast my vote for their opponents in recent elections. When we elect or re-elect politicians such as these we continue on the same path of destruction. Chuck Donovan ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, but unfortunatly the people of this state are blind, and we got more of the same.
I would say their silence on this issue is deafening. They demonstrate that they are not genuinely elected by, or representative of, the people they purport to represent on issues of liberty and freedom. Simply put, when they take their oath of office, they immediately betray their oath of office. How many U.S. Citizens know that their Congress has already met in a joint, closed-door session (on March 13, 2008) planning for the eventual implementation of martial law? Or, that the TSA is budgeted for future deployment at bus stations, train terminals, and shopping centers? Today’s politics are a well-orchestrated c i r c u s of fear-mongering, and t e r r o r i s m is the ring-master.
Civil disobedience FTW. I literally LOL’d at that conversation with the STSO!
The TSA is farce. AA is a thief. WAKE UP, AMERICA.
I work at an international airport- at a restaurant inside the airport. Everyday I have to go through TSA. I have worked at the airport for many years and I am very well-liked by my restaurant, other restaurants there and by certain TSA agents who know me. Lately, TSA has incorporated “random searches”. When people walk through the scanner one is chosen “randomly” every so often… this includes people who work at the airport.
Today, I had a verbal altercation with TSA because they “chose” me to “randomly” search. I objected on the grounds they were violating my Constitutional Rights to travel freely unmolested, to provide a living for my family- life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and search and seizure. I carry a “Freeman’s Writ of Right to Travel” with me all the time. I also carry an “Affidavit of Reservation of Rights”, which clearly STATES anyone who violates my rights will be charged a violation fee of my liberty in the amount of $250,000 per incident. I showed that to them, and the TSA manager, Greg, said he didn’t have to read my “paper”. I also told them verbally I reserved all of my rights under UCC 1-308 and I did not enter into any verbal, imaginary, assumed, or silent contract with them, and that they could be sued under that law. It did not matter. The TSA refused to let me into the airport to work and are trying to have my badge revoked, which means I will be fired without reason.
I have been told I need to file a “Notice of Injury” and “Violation of Human Rights” on them and I plan to do so.
I have left a message for a Civil attorney today and hope to speak to him soon. I am also planning to send each individual involved (as I wrote down names and titles) a Commercial Affidavit and a Notice and Demand that they have violated my Constitutional Rights.
And, BTW, and ANYONE tell me exactly how many bombs the TSA has actually found and STOPPED from going into the airport??? ANYONE??? ANYONE????
Hi Angie, sorry to hear about your TSA trouble. It’s good to contact a lawyer, but I don’t think that 1) the documents you showed them have any bearing, and 2) you, unfortunately, have much of a case. That is, the idea that before you can enter the sterile area of an airport, you must go through some screening, is well-settled. I think you’ll have to argue something more specific than that. But, I’m not a lawyer, just my $0.02. 🙂
Thank you for your opinion. I would ask if you have studied UCC at all? In case you have not, UCC is the highest law on the planet- it is above any other law, which means no judge can change, over rule or throw out the charges and demands. My documents did not have any bearing on ignorant TSA agents who think they are above the law and perhaps may even believe they ARE the law, however, they will soon see… more and more people are standing up for their rights and BTW, under UCC law, the TSA has actually been deemed foreclosed, which means EVERY case filed against them can be on an individual one-on-one civil level. Please look that up.
People have a lot of misconceptions about what the UCC is. The Uniform Commercial Code is an effort to standardize some basic laws between all 50 states. It is *not* the “highest law on the planet,” and will be given zero regard by a federal judge in federal court (which is the only place you can sue the TSA) in a case that will hinge on federal law.
Respectfully, I do believe you have been given some bad advice as to your rights and remedies. I do hope you consult a licensed attorney.
I know very well what UCC is. I know it will notbe given regard in Federal court . It is above Federal court. Federal court would not have jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the most important thing in these situations. I will claim my rights under UCC 1-308… if you’re not familiar with this, please research it. This is my recourse for NOT giving up any of my rights and NOT consenting to any searches. And the TSA cannot threaten nor actually take my job away for no reason. Its not up to them. I do not work for them. Your opinions are just that. I feel as strongly about my opinions as you do about yours. The bottom line is I will file my paperwork and whatever happens in the end will be mine to deal with.
But what is your basis for saying that UCC is above federal court? If federal court isn’t going to help you, in which court do you plan on filing? Why do you feel that UCC is the “supreme law of the land” instead of the U.S. Constitution?
I’m not trying to be argumentative — just examining your beliefs. Please be specific rather than telling me to research — I can’t find what you’re talking about.
I have done an extensive amount of research on UCC. I’m not being argumentative either, but I just don’t have time to teach you things that you really need to do due diligence on yourself. It’s pretty simple to look up the subsection I have quoted 1-308. If you knew anything about UCC besides that it is Uniform Commercial Code, you would know that it is pre-judicial and non-judicial. I have used this in the past (with mortgage company, and others) in conjunction with Commercial Affidavit and then file a lein using a UCC-1 if the Affidavit is not rebutted.
You may also research the following documents verifying the TSA and all other federal agencies have been declared foreclosed via UCC: UCC Doc. File No.’s 2012127810, 2012127854, 2012127907, 2012127914.
What is YOUR reasoning for assuming the TSA DOES have jurisdiction to over rule and over power the Constitution or UCC law?
BTW, I said the UCC is the highest LAW. Next is Common Law. After that is your Federal Law, etc. The Constitution is our RIGHTS. They are God-given rights to all HUMAN BEINGS. They cannot be taken from us by TSA, either.
Uniform Commercial Code…. not ‘universal’
Ok, so let’s say you do your paperwork, they don’t respond, and you file a lien (please don’t do this without an attorney — there may be consequences to filing incorrect liens). How do you go about enforcing your lien and actually getting your cash? You’ll need a court to do that, and any court is going to tell you that your lien is invalid. The bottom line is that you will not get a cent from all of your work.
The Constitution *is* a source of law — the highest law in the land here in the United States. No other law may contradict the Constitution. If you want to place different law sources we’ve discussed in order (and this is an oversimplification since some areas of law are reserved only for the states, only for the feds, etc.), it would be Constitution -> Federal Law -> State Law (of which UCC is a part of) -> Common Law.
*Please* consult a licensed attorney; you cannot simply start sending affidavits and filing liens against the federal government. You will get yourself ignored (at best) or in trouble (at worst).
The Airlines have committed ‘constructive fraud’ on everyone who purchases a ticket, because the Airlines do not give the buyer legal-notice of their waiver of rights with their purchase of that ticket.
ABSOLUTELY, esgatch! If they consider purchasing a ticket a “contract”… and they do… they did not provide full disclosure, which makes that contract null and void! That is what I am telling them when they say that I signed a “contract” with the airport in order to get my airport badge in order to work inside the airport. 1. They did not provide full disclosure. 2. I claimed my rights under UCC 1-308, which states I explicitly claim ALL of my rights and will not contract with anyone that will remove any of my rights. 3. No contract that violates Constitutional Rights is above the Constitution of the US- again, null and void.
Corrupt government and industry always want to have it both ways, either by design or by ignorance. The TSA, DHS, and the Commercial Airlines are collapsing the commercial aviation industry exactly the same way… by design or by their ignorance.
They have p a r k e d over 900 aircraft, c a n c e l l e d HUNDREDS of flights, and are l o s i n g over 1 MILLION passengers every year. They will eventually merge all the small carriers into a few large carriers, causing ticket-prices to sky-rocket. Then the industry will collapse,
Which Court provides the Jurisdiction for a U.C.C. legal action?
UCC is pre-judicial and non-judicial, esgatch, so what happens is I will send a commercial affidavit to each individual who violated my rights. I make a list of violations they committed and number each one individually. I have the affidavit notarized. In the affidavit I explain that this is an affidavit of truth based on my individual personal experience and is sworn in truth. I also explain that if anyone who has individual first hand knowledge of the facts and disagrees with my affidavit, they must rebut each and everything point by point in an affidavit, which has been notarized and send a copy to me and to the notary via return receipt certified mail. It also states that if they cannot or choose not to rebut with in 10 days, this affidavit stands as truth and law. It acts as an “Agreed Mutual Contract” since they do not rebut the affidavit. No judge can refute an affidavit, as it is truth as only you and the opposite party knows it. I also send a Notice of Demand, in which I place a dollar penalty on each violation- this was already listed in my Affidavit of Reservation of Rights. They will be charged $250,000 per violation (or per 15 min of detainment, as stated in my Reservation of Rights, also)… I give them 10 calendar days to rebut those claims. After 10 days, it is determined a Default. I send a Notice of Default and a Final Demand and give them 3 days to respond. After that, I have complete legal authority to file a lein against the individual for the amount that we “AGREED” to per the Default.
With all due respect, tsaoutofourpants, please… please do some due diligence before telling me how this system works. I have done much research and consultation with many who use this system. UCC is definitely NOT part of the state law.
(I find it interesting how many oppose the UCC as not being law or having jurisdiction, yet they do not explain exactly what laws or jurisdictions they’re referring to, or why the UCC exists at all.)