Patterico's Pontifications

6/17/2007

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Filed under: Air Security,General — Patterico @ 1:49 pm

Listen to this tale of horror, told by citizen journalist Bill Adler, about overbearing TSA agents picking on a poor mom at a security checkpoint — all because she accidentally spilled some water:

If you travel enough, you’ve seen it all — and possibly some of the awful things that can happen while traveling will have actually happened to you. But nothing I’ve read about or experienced comes close to what Monica Emmerson experienced while at Reagan National Airport on June 11th while traveling with her 19-month-old toddler. This isn’t one of those Catch-22 bureaucratic snafus; this isn’t about rules being applied to the letter. This story is mostly about what can happen simply because the authorities in charge decide that they’re going to exercise their authority because they can, regardless of whether it’s legal or right or makes any sense at all.

And if this can happen to a former law enforcement officer with the United States Secret Service, it can happen to anyone.

Is your curiosity piqued? Read on to see what happened to the poor woman:

The incident started when Monica, who left the Secret Service to raise a family, was stopped while going through airport security because there was water in her son’s sippy cup. The sippy cup was seized by TSA. Monica wanted the cup back because the sippy cup was the only way her son would drink — and it was a long flight between Washington, DC and Reno, Nevada where she was going for a family reunion. If you’ve ever had a toddler you understand about sippy cups.

So she was willing to spill the water out. Drink the water. Anything — all that she wanted was to be able to have a cup that her 19-month-old toddler could drink from.

Here’s what happened in Monica’s words:

“I demanded to speak to a TSA [Transportation Security Administration] supervisor who asked me if the water in the sippy cup was ‘nursery water or other bottled water.’ I explained that the sippy cup water was filtered tap water. The sippy cup was seized as my son was pointing and crying for his cup. I asked if I could drink the water to get the cup back, and was advised that I would have to leave security and come back through with an empty cup in order to retain the cup. As I was escorted out of security by TSA and a police officer, I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.

. . . .

I apologized to the officer and she continued to detain me despite me telling her that I would miss my flight. The officer advised me that I should have thought about this before I ‘intentionally spilled the water!'”

It’s a fantastic story of overbearing behavior by government officials. The first commenter sums up the outrage:

I can’t believe this: a woman is accused of “deliberately spilling water.”

I know. It’s outrageous! The story was widely linked across the Internet as an example of our totalitarian TSA.

Oh — there’s just one more thing . . .

The woman deliberately spilled the water.

Yeah, apparently Monica Emmerson forgot about security cameras. But the TSA didn’t, and has posted the relevant video on its website, at this link.

The relevant portion of the video is at :58 on the linked video — but because I care about you, the reader, I have downloaded the video and edited it to include the relevant few seconds:

Although a TSA official is standing in the way, you can tell her action is deliberate. She even shakes off the final few drops.

You can read the TSA incident report here.

To his credit, Adler has done a new post informing readers about the video. To his shame, he does not clearly say in his update that the video flatly contradicts Emmerson’s story.

As I say in the title of the post: don’t believe everything you read.

P.S. The TSA should not have made her miss her flight over this. Had she related the story honestly, she would have my sympathy.

45 Responses to “Don’t Believe Everything You Read”

  1. Isn’t it sad when someone exaggerates (=lies) about something…and notice that liars almost always lie in ways that make the liar look more noble?

    It sounds to me like the Mom was angry and shook out the water in front of the TSA guy to “show him” (and create a slipping hazard, too, but she wasn’t thinking about other people, was she?).

    I am reminded of being in graduate school. This posdoc from Chicago was all full of himself, and talked “down” to the office staff. Strangely, his paychecks were always late. I was nice to the office staff, and my checks were on time.

    He said I was “buttkissing.” I said I was being polite to coworkers.

    Patterico is correct that the woman in the example should not have been run through the wringer, but the TSA people are…people, too.

    Maybe this will encourage people to be politer. But that doesn’t mean that all TSA people are great.

    It would have been nice if the Mom would have been…ah…a bit more truthful about her own childish actions.

    Mark Martin (57b266)

  2. I would have to say that I support the woman right up until the point where she lied. Unfortunately, we just don’t know where that point is.

    I understand the need for cut and dried rules, but once this got to the supervisor level, the water should have just been dumped in the office ficus and the woman sent on her way.

    Stephen Macklin (68591a)

  3. It’s still pretty totalitarian. Dumb of her to lie, though.

    Then again, she might have believed herself. She wouldn’t be the first Harried Mom I’d know who remembers her own actions in the nicest possible light. More the rule than the exception.

    Allz I can say is: Wahh, wahh, wahhhh.

    David N. Scott (71e316)

  4. The TSA should not have made her miss her flight over this.

    ¿Por qué? I missed a flight over a shampoo bottle I didn’t want to surrender. Lots of people make immature decisions. You have to get re-screened if you want to keep the container.

    steve (d38545)

  5. Hmmm
    She couldn’t have what she wanted, so She lied, changed her story…
    she was upset….
    sounds like another situation where a woman lied to get her way.
    She’s not from North Carolina is she? Duke faculty maybe?….

    paul from fl (ae01cb)

  6. There are two videos at the TSA site. The second one lasts about 10 minutes. The woman obviously dumped the water on the floor. She tried to proceed and was stopped and then spends several minutes digging through bags looking for something. She appears to show a couple of ID’s to the first employee.

    At one point she let the toddler out of the stroller and had to chase after him/her. Another employee joins the converstation and picks the kid up and holds it for the rest of the video. The employees all seemed bored with the situation. They barely moved at all. The woman on the other hand never stops moving and gesturing. She was obviously PO’d.

    She went back twice to wipe up the spill. Once using something she took off the stroller, and a second time after being brought a roll of paper towels. She used a lot of them.

    The tape is fairly humorous when you view it in the context of her being all bent out of shape. It was pretty obvious to me that they were not going to let her proceed without getting some kind of satisfaction. They made her wipe it up twice. So they showed her.

    She must be very embarrassed. But they did milk it. No pun intended.

    Lori (3f0b71)

  7. Lori,

    Maybe the TSA personnel did milk this situation … or maybe they wanted to take their time so they could observe her behavior. The more agitated this lady became, I think it was even more appropriate to make her wait. Do you really want the TSA to let people on planes when they are angry and can’t calm down?

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  8. The TSA people were actually more polite than the Southwest people when I missed a flight because a retarded woman refused to take off her shoes and they shut down the whole security checkpoint for 25 minutes. Still, the whole procedure is an exercise in futility. I wonder that the airlines continue to survive this. Most of the TSA activity is to convince americans that they are seriously protecting us. Most of it is useless. For example, good explosive detection equipment would make removing shoes unnecessary.

    Mike K (9b4b41)

  9. When you treat people as criminals, they’ll start to act like criminals. Thus are prejudices reinforced and the situation made worse. When we should be enlisting the people in the war on tyranny, we are forcing them to the sidelines, and that is going to make the job much harder

    Alan Kellogg (102580)

  10. If a Monica Emmerson or an Annie Jacobsen underwent the ordeals recounted in their picturesque accounts, they have every right to be upset, and so do we.

    Emmerson, as a former federal officer, should know going psycho over such little things might be witnessed. She should have apologized instead of lying about what happened.

    Throwing a tantrum, pouring water on a busy airport concourse, claiming privilege as a federal agent, and then going to the media as a “victim” seems clear evidence of bad judgment and dishonesty.

    steve (d38545)

  11. Yes, she lied, and she shouldn’t have. It casts doubt on everything she says, that can’t be verified from another source. But she shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place.

    1. If they TSA insist that there really is a good reason for the ban on liquids (and I’m not taking it on faith), they should have a bucket at the screening point, where people can spill out anything they might have brought. She should not have had to retrieve her stuff, go back out of the screening area, find a sink in which to dump the water, and rejoin the line. I’m sure that’s what she was trying to avoid by spilling the water on the floor. When you’re hurrying for a plane any delay is upsetting, and this delay was just unnecessary.

    2. Her credentials as a former Secret Service agent should have been taken into account. What they mean is that she passed a background check far more rigorous than the TSA people themselves did. Not so long ago she would probably have been allowed to carry a gun onto a plane; that reduces the probability that the water in her kids’ sippy cup were really some sort of explosive from vanishingly small to infinitesimal.

    3. Now this may also have been her own embellishment, but if she really was told “that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too”, that’s really disturbing. Disrespecting officers is almost the most fundamental civil liberty we have. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that the freedom to disrespect officers is what America is about. When officers get ideas above their station, when they are not only given the power to arrest people for disrespecting them, but are not ashamed to tell people that, this is cause to worry. TSA officers, by the nature of their job, require unusually broad discretion; it’s therefore even more important than usual that they remember that they’re public servants, and that neither their dignity nor their convenience is the most important thing in the world.

    There’s an old joke from the Soviet days: An American boasts to a Russian that “I can make an appointment to see the President, and after a week or two I’ll show up at the White House, go through a brief security screening and perhaps a pat-down, and walk into the oval office. Then I can tell the president to his face, ‘Richard Nixon, you’re a bastard, and ought to be thrown out of office’, and nothing will happen to me”. So the Russian says “I can do almost the same thing. I can make an appointment to see the Chairman, and after six months or so I’ll show up at the Kremlin, wait in line for a week, go through two strip searches, an X-ray, and an orifice check, and walk into Brezhnev’s office. Then I can tell him to his face, ‘Richard Nixon is a bastard, and ought to be thrown out of office’, and nothing will happen to me!”. So long as we’re still the country where people can call the president a chimp, a Nazi, a traitor, and a criminal, and go to sleep confident that nothing will happen to us, we’ll still be the Land of the Free; every step away from that state ought to concern all of us.

    Milhouse (668c42)

  12. I guess we see what we want to see.

    I can’t tell whether she spilled the water on purpose or accidentally.

    Anyone who has little kids know how slippery their stuff can get.

    alphie (015011)

  13. Alphie,

    I think the most appropriate response to your comment #12 is “You’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.”

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  14. Well, DRJ,

    In addition to being slippery, tippy cups have lids. Pull too hard to get the lid off and sploosh.

    I’ve dumped my share of liquids the exact same way.

    I watched the segment 10 times and…if I’m on a jury, I vote not guilty.

    alphie (015011)

  15. I could agree with you … up until the moment she shook the cup to empty the last drops.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  16. So she lied about something that made a**holes look like bigger a**holes. She was really ticked off, and had every right to be. The TSA guys seized on the water thing to make their actions seem reasonable, and she simply denied it to avoid giving them any points. I probably would have, too, rationalizing the lie away because they were lying about everything else.

    I suppose if one is a trial lawyer one would think this a big deal, something to impeach a witness with, but the rest of us say “ho hum” and TSA is still wrong.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  17. And she might actually believe that she didn’t dump the water as shown — people with children multi-task (and never more so than in airports), and she might not have been conscious of her act. You try dealing with a child, unreasonable morons-in-authority and the normal airport distractions and tell me that you remember your every last action.

    The point remains that TSA should never have been formed. Setting a $20/hour private security wage after 9-11 would have resulted in better security and less officiousness. And wouldn’t have the constitutionally questionable government searches in order to travel.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  18. So a person dumps an unknown liquid on the floor of a busy airport terminal and you think the response should be to hurry her along so she doesn’t miss her plane? Did no one see Twelve Monkeys?

    Of course they should hold her until the mess is cleaned up. That strikes me as the least punitive thing they could have done. Holding her IN JAIL until tests are done on the substance to determine if she was releasing a biological agent in a terrorist attack would probably not have gotten the TSA agent reprimanded.

    CAL (0a6e44)

  19. Sorry, Kevin, I have had my share of travels with a child and a sippy cup. I have never ‘accidentally’ dumped out the liquid on the carpet by unscrewing the lid, upending the cup, and shaking off the final few drops… And then forgotten.

    Because I don’t believe her about the ‘accidental’ spilling it makes me question her story of how it all happened. I have been asked to empty my son’s sippy cup before entering security multiple times. When I emptied it, it looked exactly like what she did but over trash can. You can also see the guy pointing her to where she needs to go, then she dumps the water, and tries to walk in the opposite direction.

    I know many of the people at airport security are unreasonable, but so are many of the passengers.

    Not My Problem (993176)

  20. If they TSA insist that there really is a good reason for the ban on liquids (and I’m not taking it on faith), they should have a bucket at the screening point

    Jeebus, peeple.

    The rationale behind the liquid ban is *actual* Islamic extremists in England were planning on using liquid explosives to blow up 8 or 10 jets in flight, and their plot had apparently gotten pretty far along before British law enforcement shut it down. Somehow, I don’t think having a bucket to dump liquids in would be really safe – what if a would-be bomber chickened out, and dumped liquid nitro in the amnesty bucket? You comfortable with that? Not to mention the problems attendant with mixing of various common household chemicals. (E.g. toxic fumes from mixing bleach with bases). Bad idea.

    Al Maviva (89d0b6)

  21. — “P.S. The TSA should not have made her miss her flight over this. Had she related the story honestly, she would have my sympathy.” —

    I’m sorry I must have missed something, when exactly did the TSA make Emmerson miss her flight…

    Since she brought it up: Emmerson worked for The Secret Service…

    You would think that someone employed by a law enforcement agency would be aware of the (most basic) rules and regulations at the security checkpoint.

    You would think that someone employed by a law enforcement agency would be a little more respectful toward security officers that who were simply doing their job.

    Emmerson “Demanded” to speak to a supervisor… I don’t know where she grew up (or what it is like in The Secret Service) but every time I ‘demanded’ something, especially when it came to someone bending the rules for me, the rule book usually came out and the process took a lot longer than was necessary. Ever try arguing with a cop giving you a speeding ticket… Yea, me neither. I applaud the TSA for standing by their rules, no liquids through the checkpoint, and for not allowing themselves to be bullied by Emmerson.

    So far if Emmerson had just played by the rules like everyone else she would not have had a problem at all.

    Emmerson made Emmerson miss her flight!

    Still don’t believe me, lets go to the video:

    Emmerson is escorted to the exit lane by a TSA screener… No sooner does he walk away she turns around and tries to walk back in. Of course the police officer on duty would stop her from reentering… What was she thinking? She could have been arrested on that count alone! Worked for the Secret Service? What exactly did she do? Work in their complaint division?

    Stopping to take a drink? ‘Accidentally’ spilling the liquid (from a spill proof sippy cup)? Waving her ‘Secret Service’ identification around? Taking her child out of the stroller? Arguing with the police? The TSA did not ‘make’ her do any of these things.

    To make a long story short, she would have saved herself at least 10 minutes if she had not wasted time throwing a childish tantrum. If she would have just walked out, as the TSA instructed her, disposed of the liquid, as the TSA instructed her, and gotten back in line, as the TSA instructed her she probably would have made her flight. If she really felt she had been wronged in the process she could have filed a complaint like everyone else does… Oh wait; most people follow the rules in the first place…

    Monica, sorry you missed your flight! But at least you got your 15 minutes of fame out of the deal!

    Bob (98ad8c)

  22. A good reason not to fly. The terrorist win.

    Charles Vairin (11eb24)

  23. You try dealing with a child, unreasonable morons-in-authority and the normal airport distractions and tell me that you remember your every last action.

    I recently traveled with my 3 kids, the oldest of whom is 6. I carefully had my liquids/gels in zip lock baggies, but at the last minute threw their toothpaste in a carry-on bag, in case we missed our connection and had to spend the night in Houston (and we did!).

    I got stopped for the toothpaste, which was too big and not in a bag. So I apologized and threw it away–in a garbage can, without attitude, without mentioning any former employers.

    If TSA bends the rules and lets people stand in the way to drink liquids they should have thrown out, it will take longer for those of us who follow the rules to get through security. Ah, no thanks.

    BTW, I HATE the no liquids rule! Our little tiny airport only has vending machines in the waiting area, so you have no chance to get anything to drink after going through security like you would in a big airport. Good thing the kids were too excited by walking out to the airplane (yes, THAT small an airport)to be thirsty.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  24. Why couldn’t she just drink the water and proceed? Where they afraid she had a detonator hidden in her tummy?

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  25. 1. If they TSA insist that there really is a good reason for the ban on liquids (and I’m not taking it on faith), they should have a bucket at the screening point, where people can spill out anything they might have brought. She should not have had to retrieve her stuff, go back out of the screening area, find a sink in which to dump the water, and rejoin the line. I’m sure that’s what she was trying to avoid by spilling the water on the floor. When you’re hurrying for a plane any delay is upsetting, and this delay was just unnecessary.

    While I fully believe that attempts were made to blow up planes using 2-stage volitile liquids, the way they deprive you of these liquids is the DUMBEST idea anyone ever had.

    No, seriously…

    Ok, here’s why…

    You have three guys carrying the makings of a multi-part liquid explosive device. Each is holding a generic water bottle filled with one of the three liquids needed for the explosion. Each unscrews the top so it’s barely on, they get to the screeners, and they chuck the bottles into the bin. The caps come off, the liquids spill, and as each tosses them in, they combine. Guy number four tosses in some sort of ingition device (modified pager, whatever they use) and boom.

    The TSA has provided – free of charge – a handy mixing spot that is sure to not only kill countless people (do it at a high-trafic time, and security is a natural choke-point filled with targets), it will shut down the airport until repairs are made (hey, the screening area is gone – equipment and people need to be replaced, and possible structural damage needs to be repaired), but they have ALSO just ruined the air-travel industry, because they hit a security checkpoint, obliterating what little faith we had in the security it provided…

    I’m frankly shocked it hasn’t happened yet…

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  26. It looks to me like the woman was already being escorted out of the security area to start over. So, I am not sure what she thought that spilling the water out on the floor would do. It had to be on purpose out of anger because she does that and then turns right around to go back to the checkpoint at which point she is stopped and turned BACK around. The thing that the TSA did wrong was to escort her back out of the line to start over. I guess I don’t understand why they didn’t just have her dump it and then go back through the screening, or put the bag bag through the x ray. I see that done all the time. Having her start all the way over seems a little excessive. Maybe she was being a problem and this was the way that TSA was dealing with her. However, it looked like once she was escorted out to start over, it was over for her. I don’t know why she needed to spend another 10 minutes in the hallway.

    Jim P (5ede47)

  27. I think she was actually a “covert agent” for the CIA only posing as an ex-Secret Service agent.

    Vatar (55055f)

  28. I don’t get why she couldn’t just drink the water and go on. IMO, telling her she had to go back out and through the inconvenience of screening again (which might have made her miss her flight) was idiotic. And, as ashamed as I am to say it, I might react the way she did, only I wouldn’t have said it was an “accident.”

    sharon (dfeb10)

  29. Since practically everything else she said was a lie, she has no credibility about how the incident started. Who knows how she tried to throw her weight around, flashing badges of a job that she doesn’t even have any more, frustrating the employees, scaring the other passengers, etc, until the only workable solution was to get her out of the terminal.

    Notice how her statement she says “I was ordered to clean the water, so I got on my hands and knees while my son sat in his stroller with no shoes on since they were also screened and I had no time to put them back on his feet.” The camera shows that the baby was out of the stroller almost the whole time.

    Vatar (55055f)

  30. This woman knew that her liquid was screned to protect against bombs. She threw it on the ground and also turned backtowards the checkpoint against the orders of TSA.

    Were those TSA guards being unreasonable? No. The policies are really stupid and pointless but they can’t let idiots who think they are above the law just drink the water and hold up the line. A big point in this airport deal is speed.

    this woman flashed an expired secret service badge. She also acted like an ass. While liquid bombs are pretty unusual, she had no right to throw that crap on the ground. This woman should have been arrested, charged with disorderly conduct and fined.

    Dustin (50889f)

  31. Alan K: “When you treat people as criminals, they’ll start to act like criminals.”
    How about ‘when you act like a child, expect to be treated like one.’

    Milhouse: “Disrespecting officers is almost the most fundamental civil liberty we have.”
    Sounds like you need to watch this educaitonal video by Dr Chris Rock: “How not to get your ass kicked by the police.” http://youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

    I think the TSA folks perfomed splendidly. I mean, it’s not like they subjected her to a body cavity search- they followed established procedure. Just because they didn’t do a whiney jerk a favor by letting her go while they cleaned up her mess does not make them the bad guys.

    Act like a child, get treated like one.

    rc (98cac4)

  32. The TSA people don’t detain her – once the police arrive, the TSA guy first prevents others from walking in the water and then goes back to his station. The police deal with her after that.

    This woman first intentionally spills water, and then when the police come, she crouches down to get in her bag. For all the cop knew, she could be going for a gun. It was not smart behavior. agent.

    I’m a mom of two and travel with sippy cups all the time. I take it through the checkpoint empty and fill it on the other side. Never been hassled. Follow the rules and it works. As an earlier poster said – act like a child and you’ll be treated like one.

    helenagal (326674)

  33. #25 –

    interesting thought, but it’s not that easy. can’t ignite a spill and the detonator wouldn’t be attached. might smell awful, but not feasible as an explosive.

    giddyup (326674)

  34. #14 – you don’t pull sippy cup lids off – you unscrew them. And if you’re trying to drink them, you don’t hold the cup out at arms’ length, far from your mouth. YOu might hold it out at arms’ length so that you don’t get water on yourself when you’re going to dump it out.

    giddyup (326674)

  35. P.S. The TSA should not have made her miss her flight over this. Had she related the story honestly, she would have my sympathy.

    Couldn’t disagree more. If she had walked another 20 feet outside she could have dumped it in some bushes or the pavement outside. Instead she dumped it out on the marble(ish?) floor inside the terminal. If I worked there I wouldn’t clean up after that woman and I wouldn’t ask any of my co-workers to either. I’d make her clean it up and I’d stand there and gawk and point out spots she missed just like they did. I also would have laughed in her face. Hard.

    Oh, and don’t take this for agreeing 100% with what happened before it got to the point she dumped her water on the floor. They didn’t provide the video of that and based on the TSA’s own report it seems like a stupid policy. However, it is the policy and therefore the employees actually did the right thing not allowing her through. In the end I think the security official who told her she deserved to miss her flight for intentionally spilling her drink on the floor was right.

    Also, am I the only person who gets the impression, based on the video and the TSA accounts of her flouting of her Secret Service credentials, that this lady may not be the most pleasant person in the world even when not confronted with frustrating airport security personnel?

    Big E (67b8b1)

  36. I feel sorry for her fiance. Don’t date single mothers. :)

    Vatar (085be7)

  37. She flashed her Secret Service ID? Ummm, isn’t she former Secret Service?
    So, the badge is invalid. Oh, but there’s more. When you leave a job like that (one with security accesses) you are required to turn in the badge. So, she was breaking the rules by even having it. Makes her even less sympathetic in my eyes.

    Gerald (5ec8fe)

  38. Oh, #28 – she shouldn’t be allowed to drink it. Haven’t you ever seen the Looney Tunes where Daffy drinks the stuff, then shakes himself, swallows a match, and blows himself to Kingdom Come? You need a better education on explosives, dontcha know.

    Gerald (5ec8fe)

  39. #34 – I don’t know what you’re talking about. When I used a sippy cup (1963), the lids just pulled off. When I prepared sippy cups for my stepson (1989), they were Tupperware and the lids acted just like Tupperware lids–in other words, they pulled off (peeled off, anyway). Even if you can only buy screw-top sippy cups nowadays, I doubt that all the Tupperware ones from the early nineties have worn out and stopped working. Most of us have a lot of experience with hand-me-downs throughout our lifetimes.

    Al in St. Lou (bfaa3a)

  40. I’m on the mom’s side, even if she deliberately dumped the water. Yes, people should follow rules, no matter how stupid, but there is also reasonable enforcement of rules, and this was not reasonable. I know the TSA folks have a stressful job, but I’ve also seen too many of them ready to escalate a situation at the slightest provocation. I’ve been in her position: waiting in a long security line with twins, having to take the kids out of the stroller, collapse the stroller, put it through the x-ray, put the other carry-ons through the x-ray, take out the laptop and put in the x-ray, take off our shoes, etc., and then put everything together on the other side. I would also be pretty irked if, after all that, I was told that the water in the sippy cups had to go, and no, I couldn’t just drink it on the spot, but had to leave the security area, dump it out, get back in line, and do it all again.

    I suspect that in most such cases, the TSA person lets the parent drink the water on the spot and move on. Probably one reason why this incident got so much attention.

    OSF (d08749)

  41. Milhouse: “Disrespecting officers is almost the most fundamental civil liberty we have.”
    Sounds like you need to watch this educaitonal video by Dr Chris Rock: “How not to get your ass kicked by the police.” http://youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

    Hey #31 RC,

    Point taken, still sometimes they go too far.

    You can’t say that in here

    In this case there is no way to know for sure without sound. The TSA and its agents have just as much reason to lie about the interaction as Emmerson. Especially given the negative publicity the TSA has been getting. But I agree with you that they did follow procedures the TSA wants to be consistant with. At least up to the point they detained her at the exit. Supposedly berating her and threatning to arrest her.

    For those of you taking swipes at her for showing her badge and supposedly pulling weight, that too is standard procedure in most other matters. Once was at airport checkpoints too. Something that TSA may be trying with some good reason, to break the habit of.

    They have a record of inconsistency in this matter and also in allowing items through checkpoints. I traveled recently with a retired State PO, who’s old unexpired police ID was still valid as he did contract work for the state. He flashed his badge and managed to get us waived through a security detention even though I was carrying test equipment that was way outside what is allowed as personal electronics.

    In regards to the verbal interaction she claimed to have had and not the pouring incident, everyone deserves to be treated with decency during a dispute. But we are all human and sometimes people speak or act poorly in stressfull situations. Which certainly applies for the officers too. Nevertheless, officers have a further proffessional responsibility to guard against abusing the power we invest in them.

    Because abuses and overreaching their mandate of authority do happen. And they sometimes happen at our notoriously inefficient TSA checkpoints.

    John D. Zoidberg (a8c499)

  42. #20, #25 and all others worried about binary liquid explosives.

    Jeebus, peeple.

    The rationale behind the liquid ban is *actual* Islamic extremists in England were planning on using liquid explosives to blow up 8 or 10 jets in flight, and their plot had apparently gotten pretty far along before British law enforcement shut it down.

    Whatever the rational is the reality is fundamentaly flawed.

    Mass murder in the skies: was the plot feasible?

    The explosive contemplated was acetone peroxide (TATP). A compound that could not be detected with then deployed equipment or dogs as it lacks nitro or metal groups in its chemistry. Long a favorite of terrorist kitchen chemists because it can be easy to make and detonate relative to other explosives. But it can not be safely made, particuarily in neccesary quantities in purity. It is highly unstable.

    But more to the circumstances of an ailine plot, it is not feasable to mix it up, control the exothermic reaction without it causing a small premature explosion in your face, and spend the time to evaporate the neccesary amount of explosive compound from the solvent to do the damage neccesary to bring down a plane.

    For our authorities to claim otherwise is security theater, not security.

    Just like the TSA’s claim that they need to xray shoes to find hidden explosives. Their own studies have shown that they can’t practically find explosives in shoes by xray machine.

    AP

    In its April 2005 report, “Systems Engineering Study of Civil Aviation Security — Phase I,” the Homeland Security Department concluded that images on X-ray machines don’t provide the information necessary to detect explosives. Machines used at most airports to scan hand-held luggage, purses, briefcases and shoes have not been upgraded to detect explosives since the report was issued.

    There may be other good reason to ban liguids or scan shoes, but terrosists cooking up and combining binary explosives is not one of them. And the other common liquid flammables or explosives with their required blasting cap detonators are quite detectable with sniffer technology.

    One reason for the liquid ban may be that they realize they are so inefficient that they can not screen everything effectively so want to reduce the amount of things to be looked at. Unfortunately there are so many loopholes to get in thing they try to ban to render this idea ineffective. Had Mrs Emerson just claimed the sippy cup was full of special formula water they likely would have waived her through.

    Heck, just check out this loophole in size of eyedrop containers.

    Eye drops – You are allowed to carry a 3 oz. or smaller container of eye drops in a clear, one-quart plastic bag. There is no restriction on the amount you may carry, but containers greater than 3 oz. must be declared to the Security Officer and cannot be carried in your clear, one-quart bag.

    I for one thank our lucky stars that they have finally repealed the ban on gel filled bras.

    Gel-filled bras and similar prosthetics – Gel-filled bras may be worn through security screening and aboard aircraft.

    John D. Zoidberg (a8c499)

  43. If you belives everything the liberal left-wing news media said or printed you would belive the world is still flat its balanced on the back of a turtle that walks slowly around the sun and that the stars are little lamps that are lit by the sky people at night and blew out in the morning and that the RMS TITANIC was unsinkible man would never fly they would never replace the horse they could never land on the moon that GLOBAL WARMING is real and that BILL CLINTON was the best president in the history of america

    krazy kagu (10add8)

  44. 43. If you belives everything the liberal left-wing news media said or printed you would belive the world is still flat its balanced on the back of a turtle that walks slowly around the sun and that the stars are little lamps that are lit by the sky people at night and blew out in the morning and that the RMS TITANIC was unsinkible…

    Whew, that was quite a mouthfull. Luckily we now have options to break the hold of the liberal MSM. God willing, they will no longer be able to sell their spin unchallenged to the folks.

    Throughout time those of us who can tell reality from liberal fiction have resisted this claptrap. Don’t let them fool you, get involved, vote, add your voice to the new media to break the liberal bias. Expose their science agenda to use dishonest crackpot theories like human caused global warming in support of policies putting us all in danger.

    Stand up to those who ridicule us for questioning their theories before the progressives and their agenda ruin the very land of our country.

    Sisyphus (a8c499)

  45. Oh, #28 – she shouldn’t be allowed to drink it. Haven’t you ever seen the Looney Tunes where Daffy drinks the stuff, then shakes himself, swallows a match, and blows himself to Kingdom Come? You need a better education on explosives, dontcha know.

    Heavens, I didn’t realize the woman would drink the liquid if it were explosives. There’s no indication she was interested in blowing anybody up, just getting on the airplane.

    sharon (dfeb10)


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