TSA investigates incident, officers receive “refresher training”

Ketch M’Canuwhile|MenWithFoilHats

On November 25th, 2010, we posted the story of one woman’s experience at the hands of TSA’s screening process. Since that day MWFH’s has received a vast array of opinions of America’s “security industrial complex.” Although the incident occurred  nearly a year ago, the controversy surrounding  TSA’s security measures and Stacey Armato’s detainment at Phoenix Sky Harbor had not received much attention, that is until the drive -by media began to finally report American’s distaste for the police state like pat-downs and enduring naked body scanners.

We have learned from Ms. Armato, through correspondence, that TSA has responded to the security video of  her detainment during the breast milk screening procedure. But what seemingly begins as an apology for TSA’s actions quickly descends to what appears to be an attempt to cover the bases for impending litigation.

Nearly a year ago, a passenger going through airport screening on two separate occasions requested that her breast milk be visually inspected and not screened by the X-ray machine.  She filed a complaint with TSA regarding her screening experience. TSA investigated the matter and sent a letter of apology to the passenger in March of this year. The passenger has flown since these events occurred and has provided TSA a written confirmation that she no longer experiences issues.

After the investigation, the officers received refresher training for the visual inspection of breast milk (an infrequently requested procedure). I’d like to reassure readers that while our top priority is to prevent a terrorist attack and to ensure that your family, friends and loved ones arrive safely at their destinations, we also strive to provide the highest level of customer service to all who pass through our security checkpoints. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. We go to great lengths to train our security officers in the proper way to inspect individuals and their personal items.

Interestingly TSA claims that because of one particular incident, they have after an investigation, are refreshing the memories of TSA agents on protocol. But what doesn’t add up is the time-line. The incident occurred in March 2010, and TSA’s response, publicly, came in December 2010.  This has a hint of damage control by TSA in an effort dissuade  the public’s opinion and outrage over being treated as criminals every time they try to board an airplane. So why is TSA’s response coming so late?  Stacey Armato had this to say:

Apparently, they updated their response late last night to add that “proper procedures were followed.”  I think that was in response to them receiving the claim we filed against them last week. You can tell from the comments that no one is happy with TSA’s response, and their ‘update’ didn’t make anyone more comfortable with the response.

Some say “Stop Your Whining”

Many commenting on this story have said if TSA wasn’t there for us, we’d all be dead, blown out of the skies by “terrorists.” However, TSA hasn’t stopped any terrorists from boarding a plane, but in fact have allowed them to board, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas day bomber is an example.

What is most interesting, and alarming is that while a majority view TSA’s measures as egregious in nature, still support the system as an necessary evil for the umbrella of protection. And as travelers willingly endure the groping, and the scanners, fail to realize they are being conditioned and desensitized for the ever growing police state.

Surely the founders of America never intended for American’s personal sovereignty to be stolen through propaganda and fear, but it is happening before our very eyes, and yet the general population has not raised the alarm, but rather complied willingly to Big Brother at every turn.

Whether you agree or disagree that Ms. Armato’s experience was needful for national security and protection from the evildoers, really doesn’t matter as a whole. What matters is that US citizens such as Ms. Armato should never be unlawfully detained, and the presumption of innocence should always be first and foremost.

So to those who criticize Ms. Armato for standing up for her rights as an American citizen, shame on you, and welcome to the police state, it’s your funeral. Sometimes the voices of the small do indeed create an ground swell for change.

To those who see the forest for the trees, awareness is the greatest weapon against oppression.