Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TSA Violates Cancer Patient -- TSA Needs An Overhaul

Michelle Dunaj Was Publicly Stripped Searched at SEA-TAC Airport

At SEA-TAC Airport near Seattle (and Tacoma) Washington, Michelle Dunaj endured an invasive pat-down search. Many Americans face this same event on a daily basis. Making this even remarkable is the fact that Michelle is a terminal Lukemia patient who was taking what just may be the last vacation of her life, a trip to Hawaii, in an attempt to check it off of her "bucket list".

The screening agents did not do a proper "pat-down". Instead, they made the ill woman remove her shirt and pull off several bandages. (Before naysayers ask me how I know what a proper pat-down is, let me remind you all that I did thousands of these during my 24 year long career in the military. I also instructed other Soldiers on proper search techniques including varieties on non-invasive "pat-downs".) The real crime committed by the TSA was in ignoring Ms. Dunaj's request for a more private screening. By law, the TSA must bring travelers who require more invasive screenings to an area equipped with modesty screens, at the very least. Michelle was denied her request. Instead, she was strip-searched (which is not a "pat-down") in front of other travelers as they made their way through the check-point.

This is just further evidence that the TSA needs an overhaul, starting at the top. It needs to be restructured. Its Tactics, Techniques, and standard operating Procedures (TTPs) and operating policies need to be scrapped and rewritten by somebody competent. Its bureaucracy needs to be streamlined in order to establish a unity of command and unity of effort. Corruption needs to be weeded out and their employee screening procedures need to be revamped. That will take leadership at the top. Of course, the TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security which falls under the Executive Branch of the federal government. The blight within the TSA is symptomatic of the bloated bureaucracy the Obama Administration boasts as "effective" despite increasing evidence it is a failure.

The TSA does serve a purpose, or would if administrated properly and overhauled its policies. For example, at LAX, they assisted in apprehending a man from Boston who was traveling from Japan. He man was wearing body armor, his bags filled with smoke grenades, weapons, a respirator, and some inflamatory items. 

In late September, ABC conducted an investigation. A reporter's iPad somehow "disappeared" from his carry-on baggage as he went through a TSA checkpoint. The reporter used an iCloud application (program) to track his iPad to the home of the TSA screening agent who stole the iPad.

Radio Personality and author of two book on The Fair Tax, Neal Boortz, openly discusses some of his trips through TSA checkpoints. Neal is a pilot who flies his privately owned airplane much of the time instead of flying commercial air. However, on the occasions he flies commercial, he seems to have a new tale about inefficient or corrupt screenings. One of his more common tales revolves around the time he watched a TSA screening agent steal electronic items form his bags right in front of his eyes.

It's obvious that the standard security screening personnel lack any form of screening during the hiring process. The workers need a background check that, evidently, is lacking or is "pencil-whipped". Since they are federal level personnel, they should be required to undergo personnel security investigations and background checks at a level equivalent to those required to attain a SECRET security clearance, at a minimum. Their managers and leaders from the shift-leaders up should have a more in-depth screening closer to that required for a TS clearance.

The reasons for more in-depth background investigations do not stop at just a necessity to insure that criminals aren't hired. That should be the first concern, of course. However, those agents also need better access to real intelligence data and products in order to efficiently do their jobs. In a previous article, I discussed a dialogue I had with a team-leader while traveling. He admitted that your average TSA worker does not receive any intelligence updates. What that means is that these workers are not kept up-to-date for what indicators or for whom to attempt to detect. Of course, those briefings are at a SECRET clearance level at a minimum. Instead, they are kept in the dark.

The unions most likely would attempt to block such policy changes. They would mean a decrease in workers until the new staffing came into compliance. That would mean a reduction in union dues. it would also mean that many of the workers, such as the ones that steal electronics, would be unemployed. Since they belong in jail, that should not be an issue. But it means money the union administrators wouldn't be putting in their pockets. So, the overhaul should also require a disbanding or the union, or, at least, disallowing their collective bargaining ability. All government jobs should be "right to work". Failing to have them so is contrary to the natural rights upon which our great republic is founded.

The TSA workers at all levels also need better classes and more frequent reinforcement training on search procedures, threat tactics, and sexual harassment. The necessity should be self-evident. It is ridiculous to search a 95 year old lady in a wheelchair. It is a criminally invasive violation of the 4th Amendment (as well as a complete waste of  time, resources, and tax dollars) to publicly strip-search a terminally ill leukemia victim  on her bucket-list trip.