The following is excerpted from an email exchange between Ann Poe, myself, and our attorneys regarding yesterday’s concession by the TSA to exempt flight crew members from some of the most egregious elements of the security screening process.
ANN: I am concerned about the reference to random screening and other layers of security pertaining to pilots and what that would entail. Our gate agents, rampers and others in FLL don’t go through security. In Oct. one of the gate agents told me that TSA met them at the security door and did a random check by running their hands up the female agents skirts.
Our flight attendants are our eyes and ears of security on the aircraft during flight and boarding.
Flight Attendants are a vital layer of security and once subjected to the same background checks as we are should be able to bypass security as well. Right after 911 the primary group of people being groped by TSA going through security were good looking flight attendants.
During the flight our passengers are another layer of security we depend on as well.
The money trail needs to be followed in regards to the body scanners and ex TSA officials as lobbyists and the information made more public. I don’t believe the 81% approval rate for body scanners. It is so important that the public be educated about them. TSA is trying to scare people into believing the body scanners are effective and the agressive pat downs are necessary. They are not effective and as you know are a violation of our civil liberties.
Private security should immediately replace TSA at airports and our passengers be treated like the customers they are.
I am grateful that it looks like I will be able to go back to work , but the fight is not over. TSA is out of control, ineffectual and violating every American who flys, civil liberties.
MICHAEL: I wholeheartedly concur with Ann on this. Also, something that needs to be made clear is that, by ‘privatizing security’, we’re not talking about using a local temp agency to staff the front lines with workers who will simply carry out TSA/DSA directives the same way the blue shirts do now. The decision making process itself needs to be transferred to the private sector and handled by industry professionals – not politicians and bureaucrats with myriad ulterior motives. That will ultimately require legislative changes beyond the scope of our case.
People will argue that there will be all sorts of corruption between the private firms and the airlines, airport authorities, etc. Well, unfortunately that’s just business as usual, and putting it in the hands of the state doesn’t stop it – in fact, it exacerbates it. But I’d rather have unscrupulous people conspiring to transfer our wealth into their own pockets than a tyrannical state doing the same thing AND transferring the power and authority of the American people over to the political elite in Washington.
What we’re really seeing take place here is the enemy organizing and getting its act together, bringing the unions on board (as if they weren’t already), and trying to institutionalize the message/movement/whatever this is so that they can control it and ultimately assimilate it into the collective. Resistance is NOT futile – it’s our duty!
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s important that we all help each other stay clear in our thinking about these things.
Attorney John Whitehead: Agreed. We are in it for the long run. Many battles ahead.