View Full Version : another TSA debacle

06-16-07, 01:30 PM
TSA Video Counters Sippy Cup Allegation
Saturday, June 16, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Transportation Security Administration is denying allegations that an airport screener seized a toddler's sippy cup and mistreated his mother, taking the unusual step of posting security camera footage on its Web site.

The TSA said in a statement that the incident and the videotape demonstrate that its "officers display professionalism and concern for all passengers."

At issue is whether Monica Emmerson, a former Secret Service officer, was improperly detained June 11 after she spilled water out of her child's sippy cup at Washington's Reagan National Airport.

TSA has banned most fluids at airport security checkpoints for nearly a year because of concern about possible liquid explosives.

Emmerson confirmed a blogger's account of the incident to The Washington Post but would not elaborate. She has declined to comment to The Associated Press.

The story quickly spread on the Internet after blogger Bill Adler, a Washington author, saw a note Emmerson wrote on a Web site for city parents. Adler interviewed Emmerson and relayed her account.

He wrote that a TSA screener seized her 19-month-old's cup after asking if there was water in it, causing Emmerson's son to cry. Emmerson was told she would have to leave the security checkpoint and dump out the water if she wanted to keep the cup.

As she left the security line, Emmerson "accidentally spilled" the water from the sippy cup, she and Adler wrote.

TSA, however, said Emmerson dumped, not spilled, the water on the floor.

A TSA report said Emmerson told an officer that she was a Secret Service agent, flashed her credentials and said she was exempt from the "stupid" policy restricting liquids on planes.

The video that TSA posted on its Web site Friday shows Emmerson being escorted from the security checkpoint as she appears to take the top off the sippy cup and shake it upside down.

It shows that after she was confronted by several officers, she used paper towels fetched by the TSA to clean up the spot as other passengers stream by her.


On the Net:

TSA Video: http://www.tsa.gov/approach/mythbusters/index.shtm

Watch the second video, the first shows nothing.

An article on this from a couple days ago:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/06/14/tsa_detains_woman_ov.html (http://www.boingboing.net/2007/06/14/tsa_detains_woman_ov.html)

Several things occur to me here....not the least of which is the clear fact that this is nothing more than bullying on the part of the TSA. After all, whether spilled or dumped the water was no longer a security threat on the floor. The TSA just decided to bully this woman, who happened to be a secret service agent, and humiliate her by making her clean up a spill.

Does the TSA not make anybody sick? Sad thing is they brow beat a SS agent for this at one airport, when TSA at the next airport won't do shit about the same thing. Their application of "security" is not very even handed. http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/smiley_freak.gif This is an example of YOUR federal gov protecting you from threats.....or perhaps a fine example of the fed gov - vs - the fed gov.

I was bitching about this story to a fellow that remarked he was traveling with a US Federal Marshal officer not so long ago. The officer was flying armed with a pistol, extra magazines, and two knives because of his credentials. The TSA agents delayed him gave him hell about an open bottle of water he was carrying, and made him dump it out. :thepan:

Don't F with the TSA people. Nothing to see here, now move along and fall in line with the rest of the sheep.



06-16-07, 08:35 PM
Quasi-unrelatedly, your little "Soap" smiley reminds me of a quote I think you'll like: "There are four boxes to be used in defense of freedom: Soap, Ballot, Jury, and Ammo. Apply in that order."

06-16-07, 08:48 PM
"We" get to deal with the TSA almost every day. Like most goverment agencies (ours included) they are lead by people who don't understand the true nature of the responsibility they are tasked with and do not concentrate their efforts in the areas it's really needed. Remember their highest "leaders" are political appointies, not chosen for the true leadership or management skills.

06-16-07, 09:07 PM
Keep in mind that the TSA agents are the same minimum wage and education people that where there before 911. Now they have doubled their pay with unquestioned authority. 911 was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Sinister Angel
06-16-07, 10:33 PM
TSA ****ing up? Not a surprise - I work for Air Wisconsin and get to deal with those guys all the time. Seriously, some of their policies make no sense.

For example:

Despite the fact I go through a background check and have a SIDA badge which allows me to go onto the ramp via any number of doors. Despite this, I can not bypass the TSA checkpoint while it's open (a shorter way to get to the gate area). Wtf?
As mentioned above, I have unlimited access to the ramp and thus the aircraft. However, if I'm actually flying, I have to go through security. As if I wanted to bring a plane down, I couldn't do it if I wasn't flying. Derrrrrr.

I'm at AT right now (yeah, they have wireless interweb - badass), but before I took off, I went up to the aircraft that two of my coworkers were on to say goodbye before they shuttled off to Madison, WI for some temporary duty. Well, I was in my ACUs and I didn't really feel like wanting to dick around with my beret when going outside to bypass TSA, so I go up to the checkpoint and I was like "hey, if I go through, am I going to have to remove my boots?" "Yes" I'm thinking "****" "Alright, I'm just gonna go around then.

Well, I jump on the aircraft for a bit to say goodbye. Well, I get off and I was told TSA was all freaking out because they saw me get on the plane or something and thought I was flying out. See a) Point above and b) make sure I'm actually leaving on that plane before you blow your ****ing load freaking out. *sigh*

06-17-07, 01:53 AM
Watch Second Video And Read Women's Account Of What Happened, Video Does Not Substantiate What She Said.

The TSA agent is walking ahead of her stops and points which way she should go. He looks at her as he starts to walk away and sees her dump out the water. He looks at the water then at the other TSA agent near the window as to say "did you see what she did?" and back at the water on the floor. At this time a woman police officer walks up and takes over the contact, TSA is no longer envolved.
An older man, might be child's grandfather comes up and engages in the conversation and a second police officer comes up on a bicycle to assist the first officer. During their contact with the woman she is seen looking for something to wipe up the water with, she then wipes up the water the best she can, while "grandpa" takes care of the child.
A TSA agent brings a roll of paper so the woman can continue to clean up the remaining water. The agent even takes the wet paper from the woman to dispose of it. All the while "grandpa" has control of the child.
I see nothing wrong with what the TSA agents did in this video. Was the incident blown out of proportion, who knows. Many times people's attitude has a lot to do with the outcome.

Night Wolf
06-17-07, 02:29 AM
Ah yes, we too have to deal with TSA more then the average person.... and if it wasn't for us at the airport, they woudln't have a job!

06-17-07, 07:05 PM
Was the incident blown out of proportion, who knows.

The woman offered to drink the water to prove it wasn't a threat. That seems reasonable to me, but the TSA told her to leave the secure area to dump it (which means going back through security and risk missing her flight) or surrender the cup all together. That's just plain stupid IMO. Ever try taking a sipping cup from a 2 year old? :tisk: I'd rather you kick me in the balls. :kick:

THe only point of debate was whether or not the woman intentionally dumped the water on the floor. People spill water/drinks on airport floors all the time (I imagine). How often does the TSA threaten to arrest people for spilling a drink?

Was there attitude thrown around? You can bet there was...from both sides. This is an example of the secret service vs the TSA, and the TSA won the chest thumping contest.


06-17-07, 09:19 PM
This is an example of the secret service vs the TSA, and the TSA won the chest thumping contest.
Roger that. :thumbsup:

You should have seen what happened when I walked through with 4 empty (thank God) .45 magazines that I forgot where in my bag. :eek: