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Censorship Transportation

Booted From Airplane For Wearing Anti-TSA T-shirt 826

Cigarra writes "PhD student Arijit learned the hard way that in Brave New America you can't mock TSA's Security Theater and go on about your business. According to a recollection in 'After being vigorously screened and questioned multiple times, Arijit says he was finally given permission, once more, to board his plane. The pilot of the aircraft, however, had had enough of the whole ordeal and asked the Delta supervisor to relay the message that, due to the discomfort the shirt had caused, neither Arijit nor his wife would be allowed to board the aircraft.' Just how much humiliation is the general American public willing to tolerate in the name of 'security'?"
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Booted From Airplane For Wearing Anti-TSA T-shirt

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  • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:06AM (#41093687) Journal

    From the same site []:

    What would have likely been a routine flight out of a Florida airport this weekend ended with a woman being sent to the emergency room after TSA agents insisted on groping a traumatized rape victim in a security pat-down that put her in the hospital.

    Live free or die indeed.

  • TSA info chart (Score:5, Informative)

    by worf_mo ( 193770 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:10AM (#41093737)

    The TSA info chart [] is quite interesting.

  • The real story link (Score:5, Informative)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:14AM (#41093809)

    Arijit's actual blog Arijit Vs. Delta []

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:16AM (#41093855) Homepage

    RTFA perhaps? It's in there. I know it's easier to bitch and moan like a fucking moron then to actually RTFA, but lets give it a try:

    “He gave a stupid answer,” Arijit recalls hearing the officer say to a supervisor. “And he looks foreign.”

    “Certainly he wasn’t implying that dark-skinned people are not real Americans and that white people are the only true Americans,” Arijit writes in part of his snark-filled synopsis. “Fortunately, Mark’s request was denied. Apparently, someone at NFTA recognized this bigoted meathead for the bigoted meathead he was and that nationality is simply a concept that exists solely on paper and cannot be discerned from just looking at someone.”

  • Text of the shirt (Score:5, Informative)

    by martyros ( 588782 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:23AM (#41093945)

    First, its important to know exactly what the shirt said. Neither the summary nor the article quote it, but the image printed on the shirt [] seems to say:


    Now, it's always been pretty clear to me that just saying the word "bomb" in an airpot is a recipe for trouble. Lots of signs are posted everywhere saying that all statements must be taken seriously, even if they're said in a joking manner. In other words, you just don't joke about bombs in an airport.

    Secondly, the summary doesn't make it clear that it wasn't the TSA who took issue with things, and ultimately kicked him off the plane, but that it was a guy from Delta. It seems completely plausible to me that some of the other passengers saw his shirt and really were "very uncomfortable". Maybe they shouldn't have been, but nonetheless they were. Given that there were customers who were uncomfortable, and the fact that this guy really should have known better than wear a shirt with "bomb" on it in the airpot, I can see why the Delta rep kicked the guy off the flight.

  • by evilRhino ( 638506 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:31AM (#41094069)
    False equivalency. The TSA (government) let him through without incident, it was a private business (Delta) that blocked him from boarding the plane.
  • Re:TSA got bored (Score:5, Informative)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:38AM (#41094195)
    RTFA. TSA didn't do it. Delta did. The TSA passed him, and Delta pitched a fit.
  • Re:It's even worse (Score:4, Informative)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:41AM (#41094245) Journal

    Except that's not what happened. TSA cleared him without incident.

    Except that's not true. They cleared him eventually, but not "without incident."

  • by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:45AM (#41094327)

    And while private companies are excused from violating constitutional rights (free speech in this case) if they have "special" status like common carrier (which airlines do have) then perhaps their special status should be yanked...

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:47AM (#41094363) Homepage

    No, you're wrong. He cleared security without a problem the first time. Delta raised a fuss at the gate, and he had to deal with security again. That is when he had problems with them. Then Delta raised a fuss *again* after he'd cleared security twice.

  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by deanklear ( 2529024 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:56AM (#41094535)

    Here's something more pathetic:

    When Charles Swift, a Lieutenant Commander with JAG, went to meet his client and terrorist suspect Salim Hamdan, the jailers at Guantanamo asked him to take off his name tag, so the suspect wouldn't know who he was. Swift asked how he was expected to establish a relationship with his client if he isn't allowed to know his name, and eventually told them that he wasn't going to take it off.

    Hamdan was laying in his cell, with his hands shackled to his feet in a fetal position. Once Swift convinced them to let him out of his chains, he then tried to shake Hamdan's hand as they were introduced, and again, the officials there said they weren't allowed to have any physical contact for national security reasons.

    In the documentary Secrecy, he stated the following:

    If you're to the point that you can be the executioner without telling anyone about it, and not having anyone look at it, and being able to do all that in secret, what's left? What's left?

    If I can decide the reasons you will be held in jail for the rest of your life, and I alone get to know them, and I don't have to tell anyone, what's left?

    When laid bare, their argument is, there is no limit on Presidential power. The President ultimately decides his power, and no one else. Yet, fundamentally that was what they had claimed for the commissions. Fundamentally, that was what they had claimed for interrogations for wiretapping, all of these things, and done it in secrecy.

    But the Hamdan case had the opportunity to begin to pull back the blanket of that bare, raw assertion of power.

    Never mistake the actual purpose of the TSA and the security state: it's a raw assertion of power of the Executive to ignore due process. That erosion of the foundations of our legal system represents a continuing threat to our democracy, and at least in my opinion, far exceeds the dangers posed by terrorism. It's literally eliminating the difference between our society and the society that totalitarian extremists desire; the only difference is in who has the key to our chains.

    What happened to the Hamdan case? The Supreme Court ruled the commissions at Guantanamo lacked "the power to proceed because its structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions signed in 1949."

    In response, the US Congress proposed a new law, the Military Commissions Act, aimed trying to give the President the power to create a commission that could ignore the UCMJ and the Geneva Conventions. And it passed in 2006.

  • Re:KKK to TSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by mbone ( 558574 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:57AM (#41094555)

    If you read the article, TSA passed him just fine, it was a Delta employee who triggered the mess, and a Delta employee who wouldn't let him on the plane. Once Delta raises a flag, of course the TSA is going to have to do something, but they actually seem pretty reasonable from the report in TOA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:21AM (#41095035)

    His behavior might have something to do with the fact that he is being treated for stage IV colon cancer. He probably cares less than the average person what society's long-term opinion of him will be, and hopes that his behavior (and any reaction to it) could be a force for long-term improvement of the world.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:4, Informative)

    by PhillC ( 84728 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:32AM (#41095223) Homepage Journal

    How about if someone wore "I AM A FIRESTARTER" at a movie theater?

    They may just be a fan of The Prodigy. []

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:4, Informative)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:34AM (#41095259) Journal
    This has nothing to do with Law Enforcement. He was removed from the flight by the pilot, at the pilot's discretion, because his shirt was upsetting the passengers. The pilot has that right. The safety of the passengers are the pilot's responsibility.
  • Re:KKK to TSA (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:34AM (#41095261) Homepage

    "He looks foreign" in the latter part of the article, by the TSA agent asking for permission to put him through the wringer.

    Did you happen to miss that?

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by ProfBooty ( 172603 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:39AM (#41095355)

    True, yet as a common carrier they have specific rules they must follow to maintain common carrier status. The issue here is their common carrier obligations versus the captains discretion for removing a threat.

  • Re:KKK to TSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by PTBarnum ( 233319 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:43AM (#41095393)

    Did you happen to miss that "Mark" was an NFTA officer, not a TSA officer, or that his request to "put him through the wringer" was denied?

  • Re:KKK to TSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by sed quid in infernos ( 1167989 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:49AM (#41095513)

    "He looks foreign" in the latter part of the article, by the TSA agent asking for permission to put him through the wringer. Did you happen to miss that?

    He didn't miss that, because that's not what the article says:

    Not before being interrogated further, though, and this time by local law enforcement officers with the NFTA. Even after being booted, Arijit says that transit cops questioned him relentlessly, asking him about where he got his shirt and for details about his family.

    According to Arijits account, an NFTA [(Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority)] officer named Mark radioed in on his walkie-talkie for permission to further interrogate the dangerous potential terrorist.

    “He gave a stupid answer,” Arijit recalls hearing the officer say to a supervisor. “And he looks foreign.”

    The NFTA is not TSA. It's a local transit police department. No, that doesn't make what happened to this guy OK. It's very far from OK. But the principle villains are the pilot and one local police officer, who was overruled by his supervisor.

    It doesn't help to bring attention to problems like this inaccurately. Doing that simply gives the people in charge an easy way to ignore and marginalize the complaints.

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:2, Informative)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:59AM (#41095693)

    Let's separate guilt from a personal responsibility to keep yourself safe. A rapist, or a Delta Airlines supervisor, is going to do what they are going to do. If you aren't walking around with your tits hanging out, a rapist may well still rape you anyway. If you are not wearing a TSA-bashing t-shirt, you may still be given a hassle for some other reason. It is within the power of those individuals to molest you, or not. So yes, they are the ones guilty of their actions.

    However, with the understanding that rapists or jerkass Delta employees do exist, you can increase or decrease your own ability to be selected as a target by not standing out and attracting the attention of the sort of people you want to avoid. In this case, it was stupid. An attractive female would actually have to take action to make herself unattractive including wearing uncomfortable outfits, which is completely unfair, even if it might be considered prudent. A guy getting on a plane who is baiting the airport security with a t-shirt has increased his chances of being hassled significantly for no reason at all.

    Should he be hassled? No. On the other hand, the very subject of his t-shirt indicates that he knows that airport security does hassle people, so what did he think was going to happen? The irony is that he didn't consider that it wasn't the TSA who was going to hassle him. Airline workers work there every day. They are probably more in favor of the TSA being allowed to do its job than most. After all, they are the ones who will be blown up and/or hijacked if something happens. Did Arjit think they would find him amusing?

    If his plan was to protest, then presumably he would have been prepared for the hassle. If he was actually just trying to get through airport security without being hassled, then he was a fool because he took a risk that he didn't have to take. I'm not sure what I think about Delta after this, but I am pretty sure I haven't come away with a higher opinion of the person hassled.

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @11:03AM (#41095763) Journal
    If you're going to use "standing up for his rights" as an argument then you should realise that the pilot has some rights of his own, including "not letting a passenger on board because he feels like it". Pilots have absolute authority over the safety of their aircraft. Whether he was morally right to do so in this situation is debatable, but if you're going to invoke "rights" then the pilot is the one exercising them, the passenger only has the "right" to choose to fly with a different airline.
  • Re:It's even worse (Score:4, Informative)

    by jeremyp ( 130771 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @11:43AM (#41096511) Homepage Journal

    You have a six figure id and you still haven't realised that the summaries here are often misleading or even downright wrong.

    From the victim's own blog []:

    It is worth noting that once TSA was involved and had to question me about the meaning of my shirt, they did treat me with the utmost respect and without any malice. Indeed, the lead TSA agent recognized the absurdity of the situation and even apologized I had to go through all this, saying that he found the entire situation to be ridiculous and that he’d let me fly.

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:3, Informative)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:09PM (#41096901)

    >>>$65k salary -is- rich. Try raising a family on $22k a year, no benefits or welfare support because 'you make too much money'.

    $65000 is in the top one-third of all Americans. Being in the top 1/3 does not make you "rich" dumbass. That's still middle class you envious, jealous, desiring-to-take-other-people's money prick.

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:59PM (#41097637) Homepage

    You probably already know this, but perhaps it would be informative to the rest of slashdot:

    I have a close friend who used to be a commercial pilot. His statement on lap babies: "If anything bad happens during the flight, all the lap babies will die. The only reason the FAA allows it is that bringing a lap baby aboard a plane is still safer than driving." []

    You did the right thing.

  • Re:It's even worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karl Cocknozzle ( 514413 ) <.kcocknozzle. .at.> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @04:46PM (#41101159) Homepage

    I'm paying 10% more (roughly) in income taxes now than i was three years ago, with no rise in income. President's fault!

    There are a lot of Obama-hating Bullshit Artists on here today: Obama didn't raise taxes, so what did you change? Did you pay off a large mortgage that gave you a large tax deduction? Did you stop donating to charity? The rates are (literally) IDENTICAL to what they were when he took office, so you're either lying or omitting a crucial detail.

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