so, the terrorists win...

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A US airport security agent who found a vibrator in the baggage of a transatlantic traveler, and then advised her in writing what to do with it, is facing disciplinary action.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Wednesday that a handwritten note that lawyer and blogger Jill Filipovic found in her checked luggage was "highly inappropriate and unprofessional."

Filipovic tweeted a picture of the note, which read: "Get your freak on girl." Under the image, she added: "Just unpacked my suitcase and found this note from TSA. Guess they discovered a 'personal item' in my bag. Wow."

"TSA quickly launched an investigation and identified the employee responsible," the federal agency said on its blog.

"That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated."

Filipovic lives in New York. Her Twitter account indicated Wednesday that she had flown to Dublin to talk about feminism, sexual assault and abortion at Trinity College.

On her Feministe website, she recalled another airport experience, a few months ago, when "an agent in Cameroon pulled a tampon out of my bag and manhandled it for a while before smelling it and then asking me what it was."

Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican and son of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, was blocked at Nashville airport Monday after refusing a TSA pat-down, his spokeswoman said.

"Just got a call from @SenRandPaul," his spokeswoman, Moira Bagley, wrote on Twitter Monday. "He's currently being detained by TSA in Nashville."

In a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Paul said that the incident occurred after an alarm went off when he passed through a scanner at Nashville Airport Monday. Paul said the alarm had apparently been triggered by his knee, though "the senator said he has no screws or medical hardware around the joint," the AP said.

TSA agents refused his request to walk through the scanner again to reconcile the anomaly, and he refused their demand for a pat-down, Paul said.

The Kentucky Senator said that "he asked for another scan but refused to submit to a pat down by airport security," the AP reported. Paul "said he was 'detained' at a small cubicle and couldn't make his flight to Washington for a Senate vote scheduled later in the day."

TSA officials disputed however that Paul was "detained," but said rather the Senator was "escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement," ABC News reported.

"Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling," TSA said in a statement on the incident, according to ABC.

Paul was later "allowed to board another flight after a different screening," the AP report said, citing TSA sources.

At an impromptu news conference at the airport, "Paul told reporters....that he had no idea why his knee raised concerns with TSA," the AP reported.

"It was just a problem with their machine," Paul said. "But this is getting more frequent, and because everybody has to have a pat down it's a problem."

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul joined his son's Senate staffers alerting the news media to the incident, writing on his Facebook page Monday: "Senator Paul is being detained at the Nashville Airport by the TSA...We will update you as the situation develops."

Sen. Paul, a libertarian Republican, has been a vocal critic of TSA, charging that the agency has gone overboard with overly intrusive screening procedures.

"You've gone overboard and you're missing the boat on terrorism because you're doing these invasive searches on six-year-old girls," Sen. Paul said at a Senate hearing last summer, according to MSNBC. "I think you oughta get rid of the random pat-downs. The American public is unhappy with them. They're unhappy with the invasiveness of them."
glad to see they don't offer preferential treatment.

and honestly, don't act like this is obama's fault, guys. who started the ridiculous security checks and the tsa? oh, that's right. 10+ years on we're still using what was supposed to be a temporary solution. but yes, this will somehow become obama's fault even though a person refused to comply with a pat-down. not saying he should or shouldn't have but if i'd refuse and be denied access, so should old randy.
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy had a weapon of some sort.
These GOP guys that hate 'big government' would love to able to say

"the TSA does not work, I got a weapon on board!!!!
and grandma has to take her diaper off!!!"

he said it was his knee?? that made it go off??

If an Iranian American set off the alarm and refused to cooperate and left,
I don't think he would be able to come back later and take a later flight.
It was just a knee jerk reaction :D

They showed him on the news pulling his pant leg up to show his knee. Don't know how a normal human knee could set it off, maybe the scanner just malfunctioned. I doubt he would try to pull some weapon stunt when his father is running for President, and no weapon turned up.

Naked TSA protester at PDX found not guilty | Portland

what a terrible decision, that judge is not fit to be on the bench
That's good to know. Unbelievable.

(AP)NEW YORK — In an era when airline passengers can't get past a checkpoint with a bottle of shampoo, security experts were shocked today by the case of a man who swam ashore, scaled a fence and walked dripping wet into Kennedy Airport despite a $100 million system of surveillance cameras and motion detectors.

"Thank God it wasn't a terrorist, but we have to look at it as if we had another attack," said Isaac Yeffet, former chief of security for Israeli airline El Al. "That's the only way we'll improve the system."

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees JFK, quickly added police patrols to the airport perimeter and said it is investigating the security breach.

Authorities said the trouble began Friday evening when 31-year-old Daniel Casillo’s jet ski ran out of fuel in Jamaica Bay. Casillo swam toward the bright lights of Kennedy’s runway 4L, which juts out into the bay, then climbed an 8-foot fence that is part of the airport’s state-of-the-art Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, authorities said.

Soaking wet, wearing a bright yellow life jacket, Casillo made his way across two intersecting runways — an estimated distance of nearly two miles — before he was spotted on a terminal ramp by an airline employee, authorities said.

According to the police report, Casillo told an officer: "I needed help!"

The intrusion-detection system, manufactured by defense contractor Raytheon Co., should have set off a series of warnings, said Bobby Egbert, spokesman for the Port Authority police officers union.

"This system is made specifically for those types of threats — water-borne threats," Egbert said. "It did not detect him climbing over a fence. It did not detect him crossing two active runways."

Port Authority police interrogated Casillo and charged him with criminal trespassing. Authorities said the airport grounds were clearly marked with no-trespassing signs that indicate it is a "restricted area for authorized personnel only."

Casillo was released without bail for a court appearance Oct. 2. A man who answered the phone at the home of Casillo’s girlfriend said the couple’s lawyer had advised them to stop speaking to the media.

"We have called for an expedited review of the incident and a complete investigation to determine how Raytheon’s perimeter intrusion detection system — which exceeds federal requirements — could be improved," the Port Authority said in a statement.

The agency offered no explanation of what went wrong or whether it was human error or equipment failure.

A spokesman for Raytheon would not comment.

"The catastrophic failure was that nobody sounded the alarm to go to condition red intruder alert," said former New York City Detective Nicholas Casale, who was deputy director of security for counterterrorism at the New York metropolitan area’s transit agency.

"Immediately there should’ve been an armed response. Heavy weapons, armored cars to the area that the perimeter was breached. The airport should have been locked down."

The intrusion-detection system employs sensors, motion detectors and video surveillance, Egbert said. A security guard employed by a private contractor is supposed to keep an eye on the footage from a monitoring room, the union spokesman said. If the guard determines there is a threat, a private security officer is sent to investigate, Egbert said.

From there, it is up to the private security force to decide whether to notify Port Authority police, Egbert said.

The detection system, which was phased in several years ago, has been a source of tension between the Port Authority and the police union. The union contends that manpower — in the form of patrols in the air, on the water and on the ground — is the best way to protect the airport.

"This has all been structured to remove the police from the situation," Egbert said. "Technology doesn’t catch terrorists. Boots on the ground do."
The war authorization that Congress passed after 9/11 will be needed for at least 10 to 20 more years, and can be used to put the United States military on the ground anywhere, from Syria to the Congo to Boston, military officials argued Thursday.
The revelations came during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee and surprised even experts in America's use of force stemming from the terrorist attacks in 2001.
"This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I've been to since I've been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today," Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told four senior U.S. military officials who testified about the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force and what it allows the White House to do.
King and others were stunned by answers to specific questions about where President Barack Obama could use force under the key provision of the AUMF -- a 60-word paragraph that targeted those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

"Would you agree with me, the battlefield is anywhere the enemy chooses to make it?" asked Graham.
"Yes sir, from Boston to FATA [Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas]," answered Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense who oversees special operations.

Sheehan said yes, if defense officials determined the group was becoming a threat. The same criteria applied to other groups, even if they were locally focused and operating in other nations. Taylor confirmed that AUMF also would cover individuals, even those who had not been born by 9/11, if, as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) asked, they someday were to "become associated with a group that associates with Al Qaeda."

Obama War Powers Under 2001 Law 'Astoundingly Disturbing,' Senators Say

The reason why I am posting this here is because I don't see it as another example of how screwed up the polarization is between the two parties. It is, but I think there's a bigger picture.

This law was passed right after 9/11 in order to defend America from terrorists, specifically Al-Qaeda. It gave a lot of power to the president to basically commit acts of war anywhere in the world - which doesn't sound very promising. The result is our military being sent to Iraq, the DRC, and apparently Yemen. It also sounds like this measure allowed the shutdown of Boston to happen, and people's houses were raided.

Anyway, a lot of crap has happened in this country as a result of 9/11. Iraq, Afghanistan, the debt crisis related to the spending on the Iraq war, which led to the increasing polarization between the two parties and loads of fear mongering in the country. The result is America has lost its respect on the world scene, and we're being laughed at than being admired, which was something I remember being to told all through school - America was the greatest country in the world and everyone loves us. No longer the case, right?

I just can't help but think that the terrorists won in a way. Not through violence as we all feared, but they hit an Achilles' Heel in our political and national psyche. Its like our overconfidence got the worst of us, and now look at this mess.

Maybe I'm looking far too deep into this or I'm misinterpreting something, but I'm sure we're all aware that a lot of the national problems we have now are because of 9/11. We didn't get stronger as we told ourselves. We weakened. So the terrorists won in a sense?
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