Communion Of Dreams

Do not embarrass the TSA, or . . .
December 24, 2010, 12:09 pm
Filed under: BoingBoing, Constitution, Failure, Government, Guns, Society, Travel, YouTube

. . . you will quickly find yourself punished, even if you are a deputized Air Marshal and airline pilot.

That’s about the only conclusion one can draw from this story:

Pilot in Hot Water for Exposing Security Flaws

An anonymous 50-year-old airline pilot is in hot water with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after posting on YouTube a behind-the-scenes tour of what he says are security flaws at San Francisco International Airport.

While airplane passengers go through security screening — such as with metal detectors, full body scanners and pat downs — the pilot shows in one of several video clips, recorded with his cell phone, that airport employees at SFO simply swipe a card to go through an unmanned door.

* * *

According to sister station ABC7 in San Francisco, the disclosure resulted in federal air marshals and sheriff’s deputies showing up at the pilot’s home — an event the pilot, a deputized federal air marshal, also recorded — to confiscate his federally issued handgun.

There’s a nice video clip there on the news site about the whole incident. Which contains this great quote from the TSA in a letter sent to the pilot after Federal Marshals showed up at his home to confiscate his handgun that says “A FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer) must not engage in … conduct that impairs the efficiency of TSA … or causes public loss of confidence in TSA.”

There’s also an interview with the TV station’s aviation consultant who worked at the airport in question for 47 years who confirms that the problems the pilot documented are as characterized.

So, while the traveling public has to deal with enhanced groping and potentially dangerous scanners, anyone with an access card gets to take whatever they want out onto the airfield and onto planes being serviced. But if you’re in a position to document that fact and publicize it, you should expect the TSA to come down hard on your ass.

Jim Downey

Via BB. Cross posted to dKos.

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