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Mother Found Guilty After Protesting TSA Pat-down of Daughter 652

Penurious Penguin writes "In 2011, en route to Baltimore, Tennessee mother Andrea Abbott was arrested after squabbling with the TSA over their pat-down and "naked" body-scan process. Initially Abbott had protested a pat-down of her 14 year-old daughter, though eventually backed off. When her own turn came, she refused both a pat-down and body-scan. This week, despite having no criminal record, Abbott was found guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced to one year of probation. A surveillance video of the affair shows what appears an agitated Abbott surrounded by various TSA agents, but seemingly contradicts the premise by which she was convicted. In the case against Abbott it was claimed that her behavior impeded the flow security-lines and lawful activity. Beyond Abbott's confession of issuing some verbal abuse, the video does not appear to display a significant blockage of traffic nor anything noticeably criminal."
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Mother Found Guilty After Protesting TSA Pat-down of Daughter

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  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @05:23AM (#41775291) Journal

    Let this be a test case for the tweedledee and tweedledum, who wants the job at the White House so badly --- do they support a public fondl... [ahem] a pat down of a 14 year old American girl, in an American air port?

  • Re:What is sad here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @05:40AM (#41775391)

    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
    - Samuel Adams

    (Captcha - unneeded)

  • Re:What is sad here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:04AM (#41775501)

    Actually, despite the massively unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is because the US chose to fight jihadis on foreign soil. Both Iraq and (especially) Afghanistan are fights out of the way of the general US populace and suck up jihadis from all over the World into a meat grinder where NATO has the complete upper hand. Despite the "if you kill on you'll just anger more" bullshit the fighting overseas has actually worked and killed many of the enemies of civilization.

    As long as you keep killing jihadis overseas and have moderate security checks you'll be reasonably safe (nothing is perfectly safe). There is no need to accept the humiliation of the TSA security theatre. It is not the TSA that has kept you safe, it is the killing of the violent extremists overseas that has - they are drawn like moths to a flame - this was a very smart move of the US to do this (even if most people don't grok it and the wars remain deeply unpopular due to superficial 'reasons'). The West is at war at the moment not against terror, but against the revival of a Caliphate that will not accept the progress of the Enlightenment. That is what is at stake (and has nothing to do with meekly accepting the fascism of the TSA).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:54AM (#41775753)

    And seriously, trying to prevent there goons- I mean upstanding respectable employees, from copping a feel- I mean patting down an underaged girl- I mean a potential terrorist...

    What is this world coming to?

    Actually, what I found sad, is she spent more effort on preventing it herself than for her daughter.

  • Re:What is sad here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @06:58AM (#41775763)
    The jet-skier also showed the folly of the security theater at airports:

    Jet Skier Breaches JFK Airport Perimeter, Wanders to Terminal 3 Undetected [nycaviation.com]

    Questions now are raised as to why the Port Authority's $100 million Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS), loaded up with closed-circuit cameras and motion sensors, failed completely, and how a man can walk such a distance unnoticed. This is not JFK Airport's first perimeter breach, however. In early 2009, a trio of boaters ran ashore at the airport, wandered across a runway and showed up at the Port Authority Police rescue station themselves. They had become lost in their inflatable fishing raft during a storm.

    Former NYPD veteran and former MTA deputy security director told ABC News âoeI think he should be given dinner and a bottle of champagne for showing us our faults,â but after a 3-mile swim, breaching an airport perimeter and a 2-mile walk in heavy, wet clothes, perhaps he should be given a trophy and a Navy SEAL Trident as well.

  • Re:Not criminal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epSos-de ( 2741969 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:22AM (#41775867) Homepage Journal
    Vacationing in US is kind of stressful. You have to register yourself before going to US and then you are required to perform face and fingerprint scans at the airport. You can not have normal food in there and their public transport is not nice at all. They might also put you in detention for no reason, if your name is similar to the name on the screen. Seriously, people. Go visit Europe, we have lesser rules for paying tourists as long as they do not intend immigration, which also sucks in Europe.
  • I wish (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Weezul ( 52464 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:28AM (#41775923)

    Did Obama order DHS to comply with the court order requiring the TSA to publish various statistics that'd make the nuddy scanners look bad? No

    Anyways, you should always refuse the nuddy scanner and accept the pat down instead, if only for the radiation hazard.

  • Re:Not criminal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:30AM (#41775943) Homepage

    The people did get together and organized themselves. The responded to 9/11 with a longterm deep boycott of the airlines until security improved and constant demands for more security. I think they were wrong. But don't kid yourself about which side had democratic support.

    In terms of now there are regular hearings on this and the security side wins the debate whenever you poll.

  • Re:Not criminal? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:51AM (#41776043)

    But how much mileage did Obama get out of Romney's "wouldn't move heaven and earth to get Osama" comment? Romney was right, Osama was just one man of deteriorating health. But, Obama pretended Osama was the only real enemy we faced. So much so, that he couldn't bring himself to call the next planned attack against us an act of terror.

  • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:56AM (#41776061)
    John Gilmore [wikipedia.org]
  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:56AM (#41776065) Journal

    The problem was questioning authority. I'm a bit of an expert on this. I find when I start questioning authority, mainly in a loud, commanding voice, 1 of 2 things happens. Either they cave in because they are sheep. Or they get really butthurt and need to make an example of me. Authority does not like being questioned, mainly when they are doing fucked up shit that needs to be questioned.

    Did she get out of line? Probably. Emotions get flaring, it's easy to get a bit overboard. But watching the video, it seems to me there was a point, when she could of just walked away, and instead she came back to argue, bitch, or whatever. It's possible she got edged on by something being said, it's possible she didn't. But there was a point there when she could of just left, like they were letting her do, and she didn't. I'm guessing that is why she didn't win her court case, because of that action there.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:58AM (#41776073) Journal

    damn it, I should be in bed right now. I messed up here.

    Questioning authority is good, it's a must. It's just when you do, they might want to make an example out of you, so you have to be ready for that.


  • Re:Not criminal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ckedge ( 192996 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:58AM (#41776547) Journal

    > Can anybody honestly say there's anything in the US that is so uniquely spectacular

    Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delicate_Arch [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.uilleann.org/Piperlink-Moab/Delicate-Arch-Trio.jpg [uilleann.org]

    I'm Canadian and so I totally understand and sympathize with the desire to not go to the US, the world is a big place. (Although I think I'm excluded still from a lot of the shit the rest of you have to put up with)

    But I've been a *lot* of spectacular places in the world, and Delicate Arch blew me away. The shape, the SIZE, the shaped ground-smooth rock and formations framing it, the bowl below it, it's isolated surrounded by canyons and hills.

    Everyone in the world should see Delicate Arch.

    ( And while you're there, hit Canyonlands, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, etc. Here's my trip plan in google maps (note two pages of itinerary to show the entire loop). http://goo.gl/maps/V6VfY [goo.gl] Took us 6 days to do the full circle and we skipped San Juan National Forest. You could easily spend 12 days doing the same route. )

  • Re:What is sad here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alomex ( 148003 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:16AM (#41776783) Homepage

    The only reason this isn't happening is that there are no terrorists.

    This. There was essentially no security flying from Mexico to the USA between 9/11 and somewhere around. 2009. Minimal perfunctory checking, no "take your shoes off" or "let me see you naked" crap. And guess what? not a single terrorist attack took place.

    Americans complained about this around 2007 so the Mexican authorities created a special "security theater" line for Americans only, which seemed to make the 'tards happy.

    Eventually the 'merkins clued into this, and forced a real pat down for everyone. There was no gain in security, but it makes them feel good, so we all have to go through it, even though it's useless security theater as already admitted to by the former head of the TSA.

  • Re:No crime? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:50AM (#41777195)

    Sigh. She went to the airport. What did she think would happen if she refused to use the scanners she knew were there?

    Allow me to introduce you to the highest law of the United States, the law that governs the government itself:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org]

    I know, it is not something we really care about in this day and age, but at one time the restrictions on the government that the constitution imposes were considered to be important. People had this notion that we could protect ourselves from tyranny, that the US was somehow going to be a better country than its predecessors, and so forth.

    Oh well, enough of that, we need to decide which right-wing candidate to put into office (because voting for the left wing is a waste).

  • Re:Not criminal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#41777541)

    Sure, but remember that whiskey kills more people than terrorism. We rejected prohibition, for the same reason that we should reject the so-called "War on Terrorism". In the hands of our government, the cure turns out to be worse than the disease.

  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:35AM (#41778801)

    This nonsense is why I have not flown since they started this. If enough did the same, the airlines would have to make changes to get customers again. Simply traveling and not putting up with this should not be a reason to have a criminal record.

    I can deal with this as a "Requirement" to fly. I don't fly. Take a car, bus, or train. Don't go through any checkpoints. If you don't go to your destination because of TSA blocks, ask the venu to be changed.

    This made a visit to a courthouse much easier recently when I had to drop off some records for the court. I did not go through security, but simply announced I was there just to drop off paperwork. I announced I had keys and a pocketknife and could not proceed past security, and had securiity call the person from their office to receive the paperwork. The paperwork cleared screening, I didn't need to.

    More people should do this.

  • Re:I wish (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @01:07PM (#41780027)

    but it is the cumulative effect of radiation that is the problem.

    If you think that, they have won. The problem is NOT the radiation. Even f they would have a 100$ safe way of doing things (like a pat down) then it would STILL be a problem.

    The problem is that they HAVE these scanners and laws in the first place.

    You have nothing to fear, but fear itself. And that is what is happening : 'let people live in fear'. What you are talking about should be a pure theoretical one. Like fantasy football. Or the discussion that if the mob tells you they are going to cut off your leg, you decide which one you would miss less.

  • by alexo ( 9335 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:30PM (#41782515) Journal

    And is the warm feeling of standing up for your principles when you know, at the current moment, it's a doomed effort worth increasing the chance the 'greater evil' will win?

    Consider a purely hypothetical situation.

    Imagine that there are no "greater" evil nor "lesser" evils. Instead, there are two factions which are *equally* evil, differing only in details. Say, for example, one boils kittens while the other fries puppies. What if those factions discovered a sweet setup, wherein they can get the people to consider any of them to be a "lesser" evil based on personal preferences and ensure their support by playing on fears of a "greater" evil winning? If a Knight in Shiny Armour would arise, promising to deliver the poor pets from their fate, he will get no traction. The dog-loving people would be afraid to support him, lest it leads to a victory of the puppy fryers; and, similarly, the cat-loving people's concern would be that the kitten boilers may prevail. All it would take is talking loudly about "splitting your vote", "throwing your vote away", etc. in the media, to doom all present and future KiShAs to irrelevancy.

    Now let us add some "special interest" groups to the equation. E.g., the Kill All Baby Pets corporation, that can secure some benefits (legal or otherwise) when either "evil" faction is in power, Such groups will also strive to perpetuate the notion that your only options is to support the "lesser evil" -- for their own benefit, of course.

    After concluding our little thought experiment, let me ask you this:
    Should, entropy forbid, the people in power get wind of this idea and put it into practice, what will you do?
    Come to think of it, what if the game is already on? Politics is a tough game and most top-level players are pretty smart and devious.

    Still want to vote for the "lesser evil"?

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents