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The TSA has now joined my "Enemy Downtown" list. Only In
this case, this enemy downtown is at the airport. It seems that
the TSA thinks every American over 65 or 70 years of age is a
potential terrorist. The idiots writing the "frisk rules" for the "TSA
gropers" seem to have forgotten in only 11 years who hijacked
four American and United jet airliners and flew them into the
World Trader Center, the Pentagon and were flying to the White
House when 39 brave souls gave up their lives to keep the Muslim
skyjackers from succeeding in their mission. And they forgot that it
was Muslims who filled their shoes or their underwear with explosives.
In their mind the "enemies of the state" are all double-dippers...those
on Social Security using Medicare. In June of last year TSA officials
forced 95-year old Florida woman who is confined to a wheel chair
to remove her adult diaper so they could complete a security search
of the elderly disabled woman. The woman, traveling with her
daughter, is terminally ill with cancer. Not your typical terrorist.

On Dec. 5, 2011 an 84-year old woman, Lenore Zimmerman was strip
searched by TSA officials in New York because she refused to go
through the X-ray scannners because she was afraid they would set
off her pacemaker.

On Nov. 19, 2010, the TSA strip searched a 10-year old boy in the Salt
Lake City airport. The TSA was trying to pat-down the boy who was
apparently shy and resisted having strangers place their hands around
his private parts. What does the TSA do? In public? Teach him a lesson.
They strip searched him. The TSA insisted they did so only because he
set off the alarms. But witnesses to the event said he did not. It was
strictly punitive. The TSA expects travelers to know they're in charge.

If you refuse to go through the X-ray scanners that do expose your
entire naked body (genitalia included) to scrutiny by TSA scareeners,
they will do a very invasive strip search to teach you a lesson. At that
point, you can't escape the TSA. Even deciding at that moment not to
fly will not get you out of their grasp because a decision to leave the
airport is construed by the TSA as an admission that you were up to
no good and are now trying to escape being caught.

Retired USAF Major Omer Petti, a 95-year old war veteran and long time Bloomfield Hills, Michigan resident knew long before he got to the San Diego airport on March 29, 2012 to return home from visiting family that he was going to set off the San Diego airport's metal detector because of his two metal artificial knees. He set them off coming out, but there was no problem. So did his companion on the trip, 85-year old Madge Woodward, who had a hip-replacement. Both seniors (who could walk with discomfort) were wheelchair bound. Not exactly the type of travelers the training of an intelligent TSA screener should suggest as a likely terrorist suspect.

But for some warped reason, the TSA always flags seniors as terrorist risks. Perhaps that's because the elderly offer the least resistance to bullies with badges who love to lord it over those who can't fight back. Seniors, particularly those in wheel chairs, offer the least resistance to bullies. And, of course, when they're in wheel chairs they are even more dangerous because, I guess, they are potential terrorists on wheels. Apparently someone in the government feels threatened by senior women with pink or blue hair and old duffers who are partially bald and perpetually cranky. And, under an even more maligned logic, TSA screeners appear to have been instructed to ignore obviously Islamic passengers because they never stop them and never subject them to strip searches or X-ray scanners. The TSA's Gestapo tactics seem to be reserved for Americans, or at least Anglo-Saxons.

Is that because the Council on Islamic-American Relations [CAIR] has threatened to sue the airlines over racial and ethnic profiling? Is it that easy to get a pass for potential terrorists? Whose side is the TSA on? Clearly, not on the side of American travelers who are treated more like potential criminals when they travel than burka-shrouded Muslims that no one even verifies are women under the shroud and not men wearing suicide bomb belts.

Or is it that the social progressives in the bureaucracy are preparing the next generation of Americans for the all-seeing eye of Big Brother's Utopia? A world in which man's movement is monitored 24-7? Are airport scannners and strip searches merely the first step in a new police state that serves to verify that man's "rights" are now gifts from the government which may be granted or retracted upon the whims of the State? Are our trips to the airport the first phase in being conditioned to take orders from any bureaucrat, anywhere at any time?

Are these security measures necessary not because the State fears foreign enemies, but because the upper echelon social progressives who know what the princes of industry are planning, and they fear us? Are they creating a security system to protect themselves from the rest of us?

But that's too complicated for simple retired folks like Omer Petti and Madge Woodward, or Lenore Zimmerman who thinks the TSA screeners are actually trying to protect travelers when what it appears they are really doing is "conditioning them" to recognize, and obey, authority. I can say that with a degree of confidence because, when you watch who the TSA screeners choose to harass, they never seem to single out the ethnic groups that declared war on the American people—and who might sue them for racial profiling. I expect they're afraid to. It would likely lead to their firing.

So Omer Petti followed orders. So did Madge Woodward. And, so does every air traveler. When the TSA screener told Petti to empty his pockets after the retired USAF major explained that his two metal knee sockets weren't in his pockets. But, he emptied his pockets. One of the metal items in his pocket was a money clip. He removed the $300 from the money clip and put the cash in his pocket, and the money clip into the rubber tray to bypass the metal detector. The screemer told him to take the money from his pocket and put it in the rubber tray. Petti hesitated, asking the security officer, "You really want me to put my money in there?" The TSA screener said he did. When Petti and Woodward set off the alarms, they were patted down. With a chemical wipe, the screener detected the trace of nitrates on Petti's pants. (That's not surprising since Petti takes nitroglycerin. In fact, in the tray where his other belongings were, was a small brown bottle of Nitrostat®.) But the chemical smear was enough "evidence" for the idiots in the TSA to take him into a back room to "pat" him down. And while they were searching him, they patted down his 85-year old traveling companion in another room. Both Petti and Woodward said the invasive pat-downs were "humiliating."

At that time, someone—either a TSA employee (most likely) or a quick-fingered traveler—took Petti's $300 out of the tray where the official had Petti put it. "When I was patted down," Woodward said, "I've never been touched in every part of my body before."

When Petti complained about his missing money, the TSA official said he didn't have any money when he put his money clip in the tray. When Petti insisted he did, the security official instructed both Petti and Woodward to empty their pockets again and take off their shoes so they could check to make sure they weren't hiding their money inside them. Now angry, Petti told the man they were going to miss their flight. "He asked me if I was objecting or refusing his request," Petti said. "I [told them], 'No, I'd do anything I was asked. I would just like to know where my $300 went.'" Here's the reality: regardless if a TSA screener or the next passenger through the parade stole the money, since the TSA ordered Petti to take his money back out of his pocket and put it in the tray, and then took Petti and Woodward away to complete their humiliation, leaving their property unattended, the TSA has both a moral and legal obligation to replace the money—without the need to point fingers at one of their own who either took the money or had a careless disregard for valuables for which they became responsible for when they separated Petti from his belongings.

The TSA official said he would check the security camera to see what happened to the tray which contained Petti's belongings; and he would advise the TSA Manager in Detroit so he could be briefed when he arrived there. The way the TSA official phrased his statement suggested the man was certain he wouldn't be reporting that they found Petti's money. "I think I was scammed," Petti told the Detroit News. "I would like my money back, but money doesn't pay for all the stress and humiliation."

When he didn't hear from the TSA, Petti filed a theft police report with the San Diego Harbor Police and wrote a lengthy letter to TSA Director in San Diego that he copied to several Congressmen and Senators—including Barack Obama. Petti told the Detroit News that nobody's giving him a straight answer. The San Diego police said they examined the TSA videotapes, but they were too blurry to see anything. (Since when are TSA tapes blurry unless someone deliberately distorted them before printing off a copy for the local police?) Omer Petti's son, Bill, said: "The bottom line is, my dad's money went missing. Someone in the TSA or the next passenger took it. You can bet if my father was a terrorist, those video tapes would not be too blurry...Either way, treating a 95-year old like that is inexcusable."

WXYZ Action News 7 in Detroit talked to the TSA, too. Their standard statement was sent to Channel 7 New by Jim Folenos of the TSA Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs: "TSA takes all passenger claims seriously and each one is thoroughly reviewed. TSA San Diego has been in contact with the passenger and will communicate the findings directly to the individual."

In other words, the TSA told ABC News in Detroit to keep their nose out of government business. The scariest thing in the world is a bureaucrat with a badge, an ounce of power, a flashlight and mace. Omer Petti needs to forget his $300 and start doing radio talk shows and tell the American people that if God wanted people to fly the friendly skies, He would never have allowed the idiots in Congress to create anything as dangerous to US liberty as the TSA. The safest airlines in the world are El-Al. And I expect most of the federal rent-a-cops who bully US travelers would have trouble qualifying for a job as a baggage handler for El-Al. Mr. Petti, if you email me I think I can arrange for a few radio talk show hosts to let you tell your story to a lot of Americans who have come not to trust their government.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved