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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 21st 2010, 08:52 PM

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lo...rity_gate.html

In the tense new world of air travel, we're stripped of shoes, told not to take too much shampoo on board, frowned on if we crack a smile.
The last thing we expect is a joke from a Transportation Security Administration screener - particularly one this stupid.
Rebecca Solomon is 22 and a student at the University of Michigan, and on Jan. 5 she was flying back to school after holiday break. She made sure she arrived at Philadelphia International Airport 90 minutes before takeoff, given the new regulations.
She would be flying into Detroit on Northwest Airlines, the same city and carrier involved in the attempted bombing on Christmas, just 10 days before. She was tense.
What happened to her lasted only 20 seconds, but she says they were the longest 20 seconds of her life.
After pulling her laptop out of her carry-on bag, sliding the items through the scanning machines, and walking through a detector, she went to collect her things.
A TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him.
Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on - the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.
She remembers his words: "Where did you get it?"
Two thoughts came to her in a jumble: A terrorist was using her to sneak bomb-detonating materials on the plane. Or a drug dealer had made her an unwitting mule, planting coke or some other trouble in her bag while she wasn't looking.
She'd left her carry-on by her feet as she handed her license and boarding pass to a security agent at the beginning of the line.
Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK.
Solomon, 5-foot-3 and traveling alone, looked up at the man in the black shirt and fought back tears.
Put yourself in her place and count out 20 seconds. Her heart pounded. She started to sweat. She panicked at having to explain something she couldn't.
Now picture her expression as the TSA employee started to smile.
Just kidding, he said. He waved the baggie. It was his.
And so she collected her things, stunned, and the tears began to fall.
Another passenger, a woman traveling to Colorado, consoled her as others who had witnessed the confrontation went about their business. Solomon and the woman walked to their gates, where each called for security and reported what had happened.
A joke? You're not serious. Was he hitting on her? Was he flexing his muscle? Who at a time of heightened security and rattled nerves would play so cavalierly with a passenger's emotions?
When someone is trying to blow planes out of the sky, what is a TSA employee doing with his eyes off the ball?
When she complained to airport security, Solomon said, she was told the TSA worker had been training the staff to detect contraband. She was shocked that no one took him off the floor, she said.
"It was such a violation," the Wynnewood native told me by phone. "I'd come early. I'd done everything right. And they were kidding about it."
I ran her story past Ann Davis, regional TSA spokeswoman, who said she knew nothing to contradict the young traveler's account.
Davis said privacy law prevents her from identifying the TSA employee. The law prevents her from disclosing what sort of discipline he might have received.
"The TSA views this employee's behavior to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional," she wrote. "We can assure travelers this employee has been disciplined by TSA management at Philadelphia International Airport, and he has expressed remorse for his actions."
Maybe he's been punished enough. That Solomon's father, Jeffrey, is a Center City litigator might mean this story isn't over.
In the meantime, I think the TSA worker should spend time following passengers through the scanners, handing them their shoes. Maybe he could tie them, too.
Update: Ann Davis, the TSA spokeswoman, said this afternoon that the worker is no longer employed by the agency as of today. She said privacy laws prevented her from saying if he was fired or left on his own.


privacy laws for Tsa worker who almost caused a airport security issue?? wtf


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 12:06 AM

Am I the only one not horrified by this? Bad joke, sure, even awful; but a joke. People's reactions to things like this bother me more than the thing itself. This doesn't constitute "violation," any more than a second grade bully taking lunch money.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 12:22 AM

I agree that it was a joke, but TSA scanners aren't paid to make jokes. They are paid to make airplanes safer. If he's sitting around joking with her and causing a commotion, how is that appropriate or professional? He was on the job and made a stupid joke that I find to be entirely out of line. He deserved to be fired if he was, honestly. Security of airplanes is a pretty serious matter considering the attempts that have been made to hijack and blow up planes recently, there's no place for harassment/'jokes.'


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 01:17 AM

Agreed that it was a joke as well.
Totally not professional or anything close to it.





   
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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 01:19 AM

What else does Tsa throw in peoples bags..


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 01:44 AM

WHAT. THE. FFFFFFFUCK.

THIS IS MY FACE RIGHT NOW


WE PAY THESE PEOPLE TO KEEP US SAFE, AND WE CREATE A MASSIVE CLUSTER FUCK AT VERY AIRPORT IN AMERICA SO THESE PEOPLE CAN DO THEIR JOBS.

AND NOW, NOT ONLY HAVE THEY PROVEN THEY ARE COMPLETELY INCAPABLE OF ACTUALLY STOPPING A TERRORIST, THEY DECIDE TO PULL PRACTICAL JOKES ON PEOPLE INVOLVING FAKE ILLEGAL DRUGS?

I THINK IT'S TIME FOR A GOOD OLD PURGE AND REBUILD OF THE TSA.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 02:51 AM

I would agree it's a joke and everything but come on you just don't do that in an airport. Imagine what the poor girl was thinking, she probably thought she was going straight to jail it has happened before someone puts drugs in your bag without you knowing and you are the one that gets in trouble... I would of slap him across the face and then say it was just a joke, see how he likes it.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 03:26 AM

I can understand a TSA person maybe hiding someone's shoe and saying they lost it in the scanner thing and then giving it back or something, but making a joke like this which involves things that are allegedly illegal is just plain dumb. I would've had a horrible anxiety attack and been bawling in two seconds. Screwing around with people's emotions like that is a horrible thing to do, no matter what job it is. TSA people especially have no reason to be messing around like that when people are already so tense. Hardly anyone would find that funny. I think something needs to be done about TSA. This one incident doesn't make me believe that, but I've heard so many stories of people who had some form of small knife in their pocket that they forgot about who have still gotten through airport security. I feel like we're hearing more about failed terrorist attacks than foiled terrorist attacks, which is kind of disturbing, though I do realize that I suppose there's plenty going on behind the scenes.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 03:40 AM

I feel bad for the woman, but the situation is really not as horrible as people are making it out to be. Some people don´t know where to draw the line when it comes to jokes. The main thing is that it was just a joke and nobody was really harmed. If the guy had done it to someone with a better sense of humour, I bet this wouldn´t be in the news.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 04:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khadra View Post
I feel bad for the woman, but the situation is really not as horrible as people are making it out to be. Some people don´t know where to draw the line when it comes to jokes. The main thing is that it was just a joke and nobody was really harmed. If the guy had done it to someone with a better sense of humour, I bet this wouldn´t be in the news.

White powder could also be a bomb making ingredient= serious charges..


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 04:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khadra View Post
I feel bad for the woman, but the situation is really not as horrible as people are making it out to be. Some people don´t know where to draw the line when it comes to jokes. The main thing is that it was just a joke and nobody was really harmed. If the guy had done it to someone with a better sense of humour, I bet this wouldn´t be in the news.
I consider myself to be a pretty "over the top" jokester, but I really don't like the idea of the people who are supposed to be guarding us playing jokes like that.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 04:59 AM

Wow, that's ridiculous.
My mother actually works for TSA at security checkpoints and whatnot. I know that she actually does her job and takes it seriously and so do MOST of the people she works with, though I have heard some terrible stories about other airports from my mother and various other people.
What I do know is that all of the managers and people higher up the TSA ladder are a bunch of absolutely clueless clowns who are always screwing shit up, all over the country.

This is absolutely ridiculous, there is NO reasonable explanation for the employees actions. Trying to say he was training other staff is a load of BS, they have people they pay to go through checkpoints with illegal things on them and whatnot to make sure people are doing their jobs.
   
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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 05:01 AM

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Originally Posted by TigerTank77 View Post
WHAT. THE. FFFFFFFUCK.

THIS IS MY FACE RIGHT NOW


WE PAY THESE PEOPLE TO KEEP US SAFE, AND WE CREATE A MASSIVE CLUSTER FUCK AT VERY AIRPORT IN AMERICA SO THESE PEOPLE CAN DO THEIR JOBS.

AND NOW, NOT ONLY HAVE THEY PROVEN THEY ARE COMPLETELY INCAPABLE OF ACTUALLY STOPPING A TERRORIST, THEY DECIDE TO PULL PRACTICAL JOKES ON PEOPLE INVOLVING FAKE ILLEGAL DRUGS?

I THINK IT'S TIME FOR A GOOD OLD PURGE AND REBUILD OF THE TSA.
You know that the security guards aren't in the least bit responsible for the paranoid security at airports these days, right? You also know that this is one event and one guy out of thousands of guys and millions of events, who most definitely doesn't speak for the rest? Seriously, if you rage out this hard about something like this, you should be sprouting ulcers whenever anyone so much as mentions the words drunk driving. We'll all kill ourselves off much faster than the terrorists ever could.

Personally, I'd rather it have happened to me that this woman. It'd have saved everyone a lot of drama, and I'd have a hilarious story to recount for the rest of my life.


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Re: TSA Admits Placing Cocaine In Woman’s Luggage - January 22nd 2010, 10:58 AM

It was a joke, but it was not. So irresponsible.
   
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