The Makings of a Police State-Part II

The Discretion Factor & TSA Black Hole

Around 1:00 p.m. on March 9, 2009 I stood in front of the US Air ticket counter in Ft Myers, Florida, and sighed with relief. I had just checked in two suitcases and had an hour and fifteen minutes before boarding my plane to Washington, DC. I was relieved because it is no simple task to make it this far with a teething seven month old baby, two suitcases, a carry on bag, and a diaper bag. However, I was counting my chickens too early.

I joined a fairly long line at the entrance of the TSA security screening station, and did a quick inventory of preparations needed to make it to the other side: My infant girl was securely nestled against my chest inside her baby carrier; I had no liquids in the diaper bag or elsewhere, and that included the bottled water I would need to fix her formula later while on the plane (I had enough time to purchase the water on the other side); I was wearing fairly easy to remove trainers, knowing the difficulty of removing shoes while carrying my infant and holding my boarding passes and drivers license…Basically, based on the Transportation Security Agency’s (TSA) posted rules, I was all set, or so I thought.

I bent over, removed my trainers and placed them on the screening belt. By this time I could sense my infant daughter’s tension from the way she was holding on to me. I couldn’t blame her; with the suffocating congestion of hassled and rushed people in the line closing in on her, the sound of screaming TSA officers reciting the rules at the security check point’s entrance ‘make sure you remove your shoes…’ ‘place all your liquid containers in clear plastic bags…,’ and with her mommy almost squashing her to bend over and remove my shoes, how could I blame her?!

As I approached the metal detector portal I looked ahead and sighed with relief one more time. A few more seconds, and I’d be there; among ‘the checked and let through’ on the other side; one of the lucky crowd who’d made it through.

My daughter and I went through the detector smoothly and silently - the darn thing didn’t blow it’s darn ear-scratching siren. However, waiting on the other side with hands on her plump hips was a badge wearing TSA officer. She pointed at me and sternly yelled, ‘Ma’am, go back again! Remove that baby carrier, put it on the belt, and come through the detector again.’

Confused, I looked at her and asked, ‘But why? I didn’t set off the detector! There are no metal pieces on this carrier, and as you see, it is fabric with no pockets or bags attached…’

The Badge-Woman yelled even louder, ‘Ma’am, you are holding up the line. Just go back and do as I say! We don’t allow wearable baby carriers through the detectors…’

I knew that was not true. I had traveled with my child several times and had gone through screening stations at several airports while carrying my child in the carrier attached in the front, same as here. But I didn’t want to hold up the lines and add hassle to the already hassled crowd waiting in line right behind me. Those of you who are parents and have traveled with infants don’t need me to tell you, but for those of you who have not experienced it let me put it this way, ‘it’s no easy task’! I tucked the boarding pass and my license under my chin. Next, I unbuckled the side-fasteners of the carrier, while watching carefully where I was stepping, because the tiled floor was smeared with some syrupy soda making it slippery. Then, I wiggled my daughter out if the carrier, tucked her under my left arm, while unfastening the rest of the carrier from my waist and shoulder…By this time my baby was wailing; from top of her lungs.

I passed through the detector again with the wailing baby tucked under my arm. Now I had to retrieve my shoes, my hand bag, my carryon, the baby carrier, the diaper bag, which were all piled up at the other end of the security screening belt. Have you ever done this while holding a baby? I don’t think I have to tell you what hell that is…

After I gathered my stuff, with sweat pouring from every pore, I turned around and made my way towards the badge-woman. I stopped right in front of her, looked her in the eye, and said,‘I would like to know why you put me through that when I was cleared first time through. I have gone through five airport security points with my child in a carrier, and no one ever asked me to remove the carrier. I believe TSA rules are supposed to be uniform.’

She snapped back ‘Move on. I don’t have to answer your question.’

I tried very hard to remain calm, and responded, ‘Yes you do. You need to provide me with a response; with an answer…’ She took out her hand-held radio and called her supervisor, ‘We have a big problem here. Someone is disrupting our procedure…’

In less than two minutes two female supervisors clad in suits showed up. The older one with hair glued in the air with two cans of hairspray and make-up two inches thick listened as I repeated my question, then she responded,

‘I am afraid we cannot provide you with an answer. We can’t share our security criteria with you. They are all classified.’

I almost gasped, ‘Why?’

She responded: ‘Because to announce our criteria, our rules, would tip off the terrorists.’

I countered that: ‘You have a list of rules at the check point entrance regarding liquid, shoes, lighters and matches…There is no section there referring to baby carriers. And, I have been through several airports, and none had any issue with the carriers. Are you saying there is a rule on carriers but it is considered secret and classified?’

She blinked several times with eyelashes bending downward from the weight of gunky mascara mud clumped on top of them. Next, with a voice raised about two notches higher she responded ‘Okay. It is not in the actual classified rules. We do things based on ‘Discretion.’ This is one of those. We have discretion.’

I asked again, ‘Okay. I would like to see the guidelines governing this discretion. That way I’ll know how to prepare for security in the future, as I did with your rules on shoes, water, liquid baby formula…’

She snapped back, ‘we have unlimited discretion. There are no rules. And we don’t have to answer your questions…’

I didn’t move, and I repeated my question, and added ‘Unlimited discretion? You mean you can also take us in and do a cavity search based on this discretion? This sounds like unlimited authority, and as a citizen, as a taxpayer, I have the right to know…’

At this point she took out her radio and called the airport police while I stood there looking and listening in disbelief. When two uniformed local airport police showed up, the TSA supervisor told them, ‘This lady insists on seeing our internal rules and classified procedures. I believe she poses a threat at this point and would like to have you either arrest her or keep her under observation until we decide to clear her for travel…’

That’s right. As a petite 5’4, 105 pound mother with an infant I was either being placed under arrest or observation as a security threat because I dared to question my rights and my government’s rules on security screening of its citizens.

The police officer, a gentlemanly young man, looked disgusted with the TSA supervisor. He turned to me and said,

‘Ma’am, why don’t you stop asking these questions and just proceed to your gate? We don’t want to be forced to act on this.’

I calmly responded, ‘Officer, I will proceed as soon as I am provided with an answer. If this is a cause for arrest now, and if you think you can back it up with probable cause, then please go ahead. You know and I know that this is not lawful.’

At the end of the security screening belt, as these events were unfolding, people were rushing past us towards their gates. Most of them were avoiding eye contact; maybe it was too much for them to actual see the reality and the state of their mobility on display before them. Some were shooting quick wondering glances. A very few brave ones actually slowed down or paused to whisper things like, ‘This is disgusting,’ or ‘they have no right to treat people like this,’ or, ‘this is a shame,’…

The TSA supervisor, seeing that her bluff did not have the desired effect and a bit nervously, changed her tune,

‘All we are doing is protecting you and everyone else from the terrorists. These procedures, these measures, are all for your own good; for your own safety.’

I repeated myself one more time, ‘And how do baby carriers pose a threat? How about the endangerment you caused my infant by having me walk across the slippery floor while holding her, handling my belongings…?’

She gave her best line of reasoning, ‘If I remember correctly some one, in some country, tried to hide explosives in a baby toy, or a baby stroller, or something like that…You know how the terrorists used airplanes and lack of airport security to blow up and kill thousands of our people…’

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this lame and irrational excuse, ‘Okay, in Bali and in India terrorists blew up resorts and hotels, and people got injured and killed. Does this mean we now have to stack up barriers in front of our hotels and resorts, and have government security agents march in front of them? The terrorists hit some fast food chain joint in Turkey; does this mean we now have to have metal detectors and guards in front of our restaurants? With this line of reasoning where will we stop? Will we ever stop?’

By this time I had already missed my plane. Disgustedly I walked towards the US Air counter to get my refund, go rent a car, and drive 20 hours back home. As I walked away with the two police officers accompanying me, the young male officer said sympathetically,‘Ma’am, I am so sorry for that. Even we can’t argue with these TSA guys. Now they are carrying badges and guns, and we see all sorts of abuses, dumb calls, but they are high with a sense of power…’

I don’t know how but I managed to smile, and said ‘I know. My organization has 50 or so DHS/TSA whistleblowers, and I’ve heard stories worse than this…They are able to assert these abusive powers and practices because most people, the majority, just like you, would rather back off and put up with their abuse of power…Does this sound American to you?’

Before I turned the corner I stopped, turned around, and looked at the line moving forward at the security check point. The imagery was almost symbolic. People stopping by the security belt; bending over humbly, as if before Roman Gods or Pharos, to remove their shoes. Then, like a herd of sheep, while holding up their IDs and boarding passes, they took little steps towards the detectors while looking at the other side, hoping soon they’d be ‘cleared’ and ‘allowed’ to join the others who’d ‘made’ it.

# # # #

The No Fly List, also called the terrorist watch list, is a secret list created and maintained by the US government of people who are not permitted to board a plane for travel in or out of the country. The list includes at least 1 million names as of now, up 32% since 2007 as reported by USA Today in March 2009. On September 11, 2001, the FBI’s ‘no transport’ list had the names of 16 people were considered to present a specific known or suspected threat to aviation.

Let’s look at TSA’s definition of No Fly and Selectee list from their own website:

    What are the watch lists?

    Historically, nine government agencies maintained watch lists with names of known or suspected terrorists and criminals. Two of these lists, the "No Fly" and "Selectee" lists were maintained by TSA. The "No Fly" list is a list of individuals who are prohibited from boarding an aircraft. The "Selectee" list is a list of individuals who must undergo additional security screening before being permitted to board an aircraft. After 9/11 the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was created through a Presidential Directive to be administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Treasury, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency. The purpose for the TSC is to consolidate terrorism based watch lists in one central database, the Terrorist Screening Center Database (TSDB), and make that data available for use in screening. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies nominate individuals to be put on the watch list based on established criteria, with the list maintained by the TSC. TSA's "No-Fly" and "Selectee" lists are subsets of the TSDB and are maintained by the TSC.

According to a report issued by the General Accounting Office, the "no fly" list is just one of 12 terrorist and criminal watch lists maintained by the federal government.

In the sub header of this piece I refer to this list and the entire system as a ‘black hole’ because the list is sort of a secret, how you end up there is sort of a secret, their criteria for the list is sort of a secret, and if or how an innocent citizen can get off this list also happens to be a secret. Pay attention to the vague, ambigious definition by the TSA cited above. Go to and comb through their entire site and you’ll still come up empty handed as to how or why you may end up on their list, or how you can find out about it, or how you can get yourself off of their list.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued a report after it obtained limited information on the No Fly and Selectee lists through FOIA:

“Since the TSA took over, the watch list "has expanded almost daily as Intelligence Community agencies and the Office of Homeland Security continue to request the addition of individuals to the No-Fly and Selectee lists." (TSA Watchlists memo) The names are approved for inclusion on the basis of a secret criteria. The Watchlists memo notes that "all individuals have been added or removed ... based on the request of and information provided, almost exclusively by [redacted].”

There are two primary principles that guide the placement on the lists, but these principles have been withheld. The documents do not show whether there is a formal approval process where an independent third party entity is charged with verifying that the names are selected appropriately and that the information is accurate.”

As one of our readers, Jean Carbonneau, brought to our attention, one of the main reasons people don’t react as they should to such a Kafkaesque police system is that they don’t consider themselves ‘affected.’ They may get a bit grumpy at those long lines in the airports, or the patting and probing, but many consider it just ‘necessary added security,’ move on, and get used to it. When these people, the majority, read about these lists they brush it off as tools directed towards real criminals and terrorists suspects; you know, a tool to protect us against those darn hairy dark-skin foreigners who spend their lives planning to blow us up… They need to see and hear and read about tens if not hundreds of thousands of good ole Americans with spotless records who for one reason or another have ended up in the DHS’ black hole, and most likely due to some ‘discretion.’ Sure, the mainstream media has covered it a tiny bit; certainly not enough; at least not as much as they’ve been covering and exagerating the threats of vague terrorists and boogiemen.

If you come across those, which I am sure you do every single day, have them read the story of a Former US Diplomat John Graham, who actually received an award by the first President Bush for his NGO work, and who somehow ended up in the black hole. Let them read Graham’s own words:

“I'm being accused of a serious--even treasonous--criminal intent by a faceless bureaucracy, with no chance (that I can find) to refute any errors or false charges. (...) Whether it's a mistake or whether somebody with the power to hassle me really thinks I am a threat, the stark absence of due process is unsettling. The worst of it is that being put on a list of America's enemies seems to be permanent. The TSA form states: "the TSA clearance process will not remove a name from the Watch Lists. Instead this process distinguishes passengers from persons who are in fact on the Watch Lists by placing their names and identifying information in a cleared portion of the Lists" (which may or may not, the form continues, reduce the airport hassles).

In protecting ourselves, we can't allow our leaders to continue to create a climate of fear and mistrust, to destroy our civil liberties and, in so doing, to change who we are as a nation. What a victory that would be for our enemies! And what a betrayal of real patriots, and to so many in the wider world who still remember this country as a source of inspiration and hope.”

…or have them check out many stories of US veterans, nuns, doctors, starred generals, librarians…who found themselves in this nightmare of being listed by their government, and learned that there isn’t much they can do to clear themselves:

Bill McDonald, 60, a retired Air Force colonel has a chest full of ribbons and enough frustration with the TSA to fill a bucket.

“With my two tours in Vietnam and active service in support of Desert Storm I find myself a terrorist suspect?,” McDonald says. “Seemingly not even my Top Secret, nuclear and satellite related clearances plus over 26 and half years of service mean much,” he says. “You can surely imagine my disgust at being identified on a terror watch list.”

Although McDonald has flown several times since 9/11, it wasn’t until just last year that he started having problems checking in. McDonald and his wife were fond of online check-in procedures but were rejected and told to report to the ticket counter. “That was our first clue something was wrong.”

When a ticket agent told McDonald he was on the watch list, he was stunned. He took out his military I.D. card that he always carries, but it was of little help. He missed that flight because of the added security.

“I was just kind of flabbergasted that I had to play this game, but decided that I wasn’t going to be reactive,” he said.

He has pulled together all the needed information to apply for clearance, but says he’s hesitating submitting the forms because of all the information they require.

“Somehow, hearing about the wrongful use of info by the TSA does not give me a comfort zone,” McDonald said. “I say this despite the fact that I know I am all over the data bases in the government.”

...or have them watch the following video of the TSA detention, harassment, and abuse of a Ron Paul organization official which was caught on tape at a St. Louis airport:

YouTube Clip:

…tell these people that they or their family members or their friends can easily end up on a secret list for secret reasons by secret persons working behind the walls of their government secret’s agencies. And, that there ain’t a darn thing they can do, or anywhere or any person to go to, even if there were, they wouldn’t know about it, since that too would be secret.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Boy did you hit a nerve on this one. Last Christmas, I too, was ready to fly home to be with my 86-year-old mother. I had booked my ticket online, prepared to get an online boarding pass, and encountered my first glitch. The shuttle gave me barely enough time to get to the airport and check in normally. At the airport I tried to do self service check in. Three different ways and it failed. I called the lead hostess for Delta over. She guided me to a customer counter. Too late, I had missed my flight. But the reason was even more astounding, I was on a 'watch list'. I just barely made a flight 3 hours later and at an extra $50 cost. After the experience was over, I applied to TSA and Homeland security for reimbursement of my $50 and long distance phone call to waiting parties. Request denied. Reason: it would be admission by the U.S. government of interference in citizen rights, the only way an effective lawsuit can be lodged against TSA. It did not matter that I had no intention of pursuing litigation. I have to speculate why I was placed on the watch list, since this was not revealed. As a Quaker, active in protesting war recruitment, and work with Native Americans – I have long been a person on interest. I have never knowingly violated the law. Recent trips to the Canadian border resulted in extreme harassment for no legal reason, but that is another story. Yes, I have first hand knowledge that we live in a police state. Since I no longer teach, I can be more open about this, just as retired admirals can be more open. The real question is what can we do, us frogs sitting here as the water slowly warms to boiling? I hope the next part is also appropriate to this webblog.

    Paramagnetism and electromagnetic field theory for MSM

    Daniel 11:24”… yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds even for a time.”
    Routers and key word algorithms are just the tip of an array of control mechanisms used by MSM. Split tone frequencies, known as 'beat frequencies' are used for brain wave entrainment. Psychoactive frequencies can be piggybacked on any carrier frequency. These were first developed by the U.S. Office of Naval Surface Weaponry and remained in the open literature until the early seventies.
    Of course, Tibetan and shamanic cultures have a long history of refined psychoactive use. 'Men Who Stare at Goats' documents the early history of remote viewing at Fort Meade. Two generations of remote viewers were trained before the operation went black, and was 'officially' closed down. Technical aspects for the
    interested reader can be referenced through the research of Johnjoe McFadden, Joseph Kirschvink, and Robert C. Beck.
    Simple defensive postures can be developed by a still mind and recognition that the iron in the blood in the brain forms a natural Faraday cage.

    Simon

  2. Anonymous says:

    I must admit that I have mixed feelings about airport security measures. In the first place, I hate to fly and avoid airports like the plague. Since 9/11, I have never found myself on a watchlist, but I have had to go through the special check-in, which I thought was random and somewhat amusing. Also, I have personally known an individual or two from the Middle East whom I would love to see on a no-fly list, I must admit. Instead these individuals seem to be treated like priviliged characters by certain government agencies for whatever reason.

    Certainly, absolutely, without question, people have a right to know why they are on such a list or why they are made to do whatever they are expected to do. But I think Sibel Edmonds confronting airport security is not the same thing as an average person confronting airport security. Most people definitely would prefer to avoid confrontation, which doesn't mean that they don't want to or wouldn't retaliate in some way at some time. I was advised as a young student, that when one finds oneself dealing with a petty tyrant, the first thing to do is get their name or their badge number and their supervisor's name. That is usually an effective way to deal with obnoxious, unreasonable individuals (in this country anyway) if one can do it without being obnoxious oneself. Dealing with a tyrannical government is another story that would take some organized effort to deal with, I am sure.

    All that being said, I think it takes an enormous amount of courage to be a whistleblower….although the real villains running around this country have got that routine down pretty good too. It's a complicated world.

  3. There are few things that I find as disturbing and upsetting as the insane level to which airport "safety" is now being taken. The fact that most of it is not only unnecessary (based on false suppositions) but totally ineffective at even the minimal goal of preventing known terrorists from flying.

    I'm lucky enough to be in a position where I don't have to fly frequently, but even so the idea of having to submit to that nonsense is a major aversion factor to even considering a trip involving a flight.

    It seems to me an obvious principle in a free society that if a regulation is secret, then you don't have to follow it. If they can't show it to you in writing (and give you a copy of it to take home for future reference, then it isn't a rule, but an arbitrary imposition. If such a rule is the sole justification for detaining someone or searching them, then that is "arbitrary search and seizure". My understanding is that the US Constitution is fairly specific about such matters.

    Is there any legal background for this? If "secret regulations" have been upheld as valid and binding upon those who are not party to them, then that is one clear indicator that we have in fact crossed the line into a police state.

    Personally, I'd rather take the minimal risk of being on a flight that was taken over by terrorists than put up with all the "security" which has been imposed since then. There's no evidence I'm aware of that these measures have decreased the relative risk of airplane-related terrorism as compared to other forms, and I don't know where to find reliable data on the general incidence of terrorism events worldwide. Even if it has increased dramatically, however, I'm very skeptical of the idea that we should barricade ourselves and allow ourselves to be herded like prisoners in the never-ending Holy War on Terror.

  4. P.S. Somewhere in there I left out a line or two about airport security in the 1970s, when metal detectors were just coming into common practice and you could walk out to the gate without a ticket.

    My use of the phrase "since then" refers to that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sibel- Will submit to Daily Paul. Thank you for the video clip.–Janet

  6. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Simon: Thank you for sharing your personal experience.Welcome to openness!

    Anon: "although the real villains running around this country have got that routine down pretty good too" Sadly true.

    Woozle: "but totally ineffective at even the minimal goal of preventing known terrorists from flying…" Absolutely. A new documentary on this will be out soon; my former FAA Red Team whistleblower members are aprt of this fantastic film. There is a part on 'removing shoes' and how it is simply a useless stupid procedure…

    Janet: Thank you. They may be among my twitter followers; I am not sure…

  7. Edit_Mommies says:

    The protocols discussed as airport policy sound more like biological controls rather than philosophical justice.

  8. Bill Bergman says:

    That baby must have been doing something suspicious.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Come on Sibel!

    "You know how the terrorists used airplanes and lack of airport security to blow up and kill thousands of our people…’

    If you give them their 9/11 scenario you have to accept that every single day they will use it to justify robbing the treasury, making wars and taking away your liberties.

  10. Ishmael says:

    Interesting stuff. I would love to know how to embed videos here. That said, here's my TSA story.

    I purposely renewed my driver's license for 8 years in 2006 because they were switching to RFID/RealID licenses in 2007. I have never applied for a passport for the same reason. In Aug. 2007, I took my wife on a belated second honeymoon cruise to Alaska from Seattle with a stop in Victoria, BC. The original DHS rule requiring passports for Canada and Mexico was scheduled to go into effect in July of that year but was delayed to September, so i figured, "No worries".

    What I had neglected to check was my wife's ID that had expired that Feb. Since she's been a semi-invalid, self-professed anchorite for years and had had a mini stroke in April, it kinda got lost in the shuffle. So the big day comes, I load her, me, our bags, her wheelchair, homemade wooden cane and medication along with our ID's and birth certificate copies and off we go on our great adventure. since I've had to deal with her semi-invalid status for some time I'm used to going through the "suspicious person" section for the wheelchair and her meds. Strangely enough, even though her ID had expired, the air trips to and from Seattle actually went smoothly. I think part of it is I always wear one of my US Navy ship's ball caps from the ships I served aboard, plus her ID DID have her picture on it even though it was expired.

    Our problem was coming back to Seattle from the ship. the US customs at the Seattle Piers kept us in the Third-World section for about an hour while they evaluated our status while each person in the chain of command told me her ID was expired. So I would politely explain that, while that WAS true, The fact that it WAS her picture on the ID and all it's information matched MY ID, we could assume with a great deal of confidence that it WAS,

    1.Her.

    2.My Wife

    3.An American Citizen

    Plus I don't think they really wanted to be seen overtly harassing a White Veteran and his invalid White wife in a wheelchair.

    We finally made it through the gauntlet and actually made our connecting flight home to New Mexico. But it was a lesson.

    So when I had to travel by air to Indiana last summer for a job interview alone, I decided to play with their heads. I bought one of those t-shirts with the Photo of Geronimo and his Warriors of the Apache resistance on it. Around it is written:

    Original Department of Homeland Security

    Keeping America Safe Since 1492.

    I wore that shirt and my ubiquitous Navy ball cap on both legs of the trip. Strangely, the TSA people actually LIKED the shirt and sort of identified with it instead of realizing it was a satire ON them.

    It was just another illustration of an adage told by a woman I knew 20 years ago and first confirmed when GW Bush was elected.

    The World Is Run By "C" Students.

  11. Ishmael says:

    Two points to add.

    1.The actual photo of Geronimo was taken at the time of his negotiations with Gen. Crook while they were still in a state of War with the United States. You know, stateless enemy combatants and all.

    2. The lady, Sylvia, who coined the phrase was 1/2 Chiracahua Apache.

    It seems that most of my life, I've had at least one friend who was Apache and was actually Trapped In Apache Country on my anniversary one year on the Jicarilla res. But THAT'S another story.

  12. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Ismael: Thank you for sharing your story. I am still chuckling ('the Photo of Geronimo and his Warriors of the Apache resistance on it. Around it is written:Original Department of Homeland Security
    Keeping America Safe Since 1492.')!!! We should offer the readers the link to purchase those shirts online for air travel!

  13. Deep Politics Forum says:

    Having been a mother I can totally understand how difficult travel with children can be at the best of times. Having to deal with the pretentious claptrap of the police state just to go from A to B would be too much for any sane person. Having said that I am amazed at how bloody compliant and docile people are. I will not even permit my bag to be searched upon entering or exiting a shop. "Arrest me if you have proof I have stolen or let me be on my way!" I say. I am in the fortunate position of not needing to travel for anything but pleasure and since it brings me no pleasure to travel in these conditions I don't. Me and my money stay home. I will not play that game. It would really have to be life and death situation before I would travel by plane anywhere these days. I also have the misfortune to have a middle eastern surname. Yes, I have considered changing it but personally I think it is the system which needs to change. On the other hand my husband is from overseas and has had to travel periodically for family reasons. We would never be able to travel to the US as for sure we are on some list. My husband is a former political prisoner from a country whose dictator was installed by the US. We both work for peace and freedom for all people everywhere so are regarded as a terrorist threat by our quasi-fascist overlords because we resist them. We are frequently under observation by our own secret service here in another part of the 'Free World'. When my husband and children travel we make sure to leave information with contacts in the local and destination Red Cross and Amnesty International offices. I live in dread that any flight they might be on will be diverted through US air space. Many of our friends have had problems dealing with the TSA and other police state encounters.
    Happy birthday your beautiful daughter and thank you for sharing this with us all. What I do I do for my children and for all children everywhere that they may grow up free from privation and fear and reach the full potential of their precious lives. I certainly do not give my children to the state so that they can kill other mother's children.

  14. Ask and you shall receive. Here's the link address:

    http://westwindworld.com/store/

    The company is Native American owned and has many other humerous items for sale like The Indian Border Patrol, Sitting Bull(What Part of "NO" Don't You Understand?), Please Do Not Feed The Pilgrims and the Leonard Peltier Prison Break Team. ALL shirts guaranteed to get you placed in the Third World section at DHS checkpoints and made by the REAL FBI, Full Blooded Indians.

    Anawashte, Kola.

    Yatta Hey!

  15. P.P.S. I read your story, Sibel, out loud to my hypertwin. She periodically interrupted to shout angry exclamations at the various idiocrats involved — and each time she did so, the very next thing in the story was you saying essentially what she had just said (but taking out the cuss words, and rephrased for improved credibility).

    Truly excellent.

  16. Edit_Mommies says:

    You are describing economic boundaries. Romantically involving the summit of sports medicine. Transients with attitudes? 20 hours you could of been valuing the homeless with administration purposes. Drenched in something.

  17. heisenberg says:

    Remember the jingle, "Fly the friendly skies …"?

    Now, they probably even have to go through TSA – HSA protocol when doing renditions.

  18. Anonymous says:
  19. Kingfisher says:

    @Ishmael,
    "I purposely renewed my driver's license for 8 years in 2006 because they were switching to RFID/RealID licenses in 2007. I have never applied for a passport for the same reason."

    Numerous products in the form of wallets, sleeves and cases are available to shield the RFID signal for until you need to take it out. They usually price under $20. Those who are thrift inclined and wish to roll their own should purchase a disposable foil roasting tray, then cut and fold it into the desired shape.

    Bruce Schneier is a security and security technology expert who’s blogged about the flaws in RFID passports extensively.

    Sibel, if you wish to do a podcast discussing the intersection of security and technology, I highly recommend Bruce Schneier. He can communicate to laymen well (as opposed to other tech types), and has been a vocal critic of ineffective security and encroachment on civil liberties.

  20. I think the airport security mess has achieved its purpose – that of creating fear in the hearts of Americans. It can serve no other sane purpose – for secure it is not and simply harasses us. I am fortunate to be in a situation where I can usually choose not to fly – but I have nothing but empathy for those who must.

    strangely as I read these posts I was wearing my T-Shirt "Homeland Security, Fighting Terrorism since 1492". Many people stop me to say that it gives them a whole new perspective upon seeing it. See – little things can help.

    Thanks Sibel!!!!!
    Dennis

  21. One more thing . . .Sibel,

    I consider what happened to you in the airport an atrocity.

    Atrocities come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders – defined as:

    the quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane
    an act of atrocious cruelty
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    An extremely cruel act; a horrid act of injustice
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/atrocity

    The worst atrocity – or maybe the only atrocity at the root of all cruelty – is lack of respect for another being.Think about it. With simple respect so much negativity is negated. We have a big job ahead. Keep it going!

    Dennis

  22. Edit_Mommies says:

    A very lucrative prospect Coaching travelers at conduct response and accurate travelogue. The play by play assessment would be a luxury few could afford. For that reason human speech would almost definitely have to be eliminated. The only remaining shred of human existence available to you would be your time honored copy of Frank Herbert's Dune. Just keep your head down and start squawking all the way into the endzone. In addition to your baby maverick pack, a codpiece would be worn. You may conduct appreciation gestures by affectionately pointing at ground in front of you. The remaining safety caste could maintain some kind of stereotypical forgiveness posture. Preparing for a tackle shield if starlight does not project your compliance with fellowship and mimicry. Yeah well I am going to salute you FBI deserter.

  23. Hannah K. O'Luthon says:

    Another post right on target. There is indeed terrorism at U.S. airports, and it's state terrorism aimed at maintaining the sheep-like public in fearful support of the national security state. Both political parties are aligned with the securocrats, and indeed anyone who raises an objection is classified as either a kook or a subversive. There are a few exceptions to the pro-security unanimity rule (Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, and others like Ms. Edmonds and her supporters), but one can not escape the overall impression of passive acceptance by the vast majority of those who call themselves "citizens" but are actually mere "subjects" or "consumers". I wonder at what point some incident will transform this passive acceptance of interference in private lives into a groundswell of public fury. Such a change is probably decades away. Meanwhile the American flying public gives proof of a patience and resignation fully comparable to that of Russian peasants under tsarism or French sans-coulottes under the ancien regime. The faith that undergirds such blind submission is now the American civic religion rather than Russian Orthodoxy or Gallic Catholicism.
    Who would have thought that those gazing at the denizens of the city upon a hill would be witnesses to the site of a shoeless crowd bowing and scraping as they pass through control points and metal detectors.

  24. Anonymous says:

    First, this shouldn't surprise you but the security checkpoints are modeled after the Israeli Mossad's IDF soldier checkpoints….

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

    Secondly, this also shouldn't surprise you….

    But just in case you didn't know…..Most of the people heading up "TSA" Airport security are Israeli trained informants, if not outright Zionists.

    Therefore it shouldn't surprise you that, anyone with a "muslim" sounding name…or "really long name" or anything like that…is often harrassed, detained, strip searched or worse at any one of these "fine" airport institutions..

    Such as Huntleigh Air in Alabama. Learn what that "fine" leader Pat Robertson did to take it over, along with the IDF, in one of Bamford's earlier books. It's out in the open.

    They flat don't like anyone who is arabic or a muslim & they make no attempt to hide this racism at TSA, or any of those NSA outfits…

  25. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Bill Bergman: She always does;-)

    DPF: 'how bloody compliant and docile people are.' Right on; this is exactly why we are where we are today. I wish we could multiply that courageous shoe-thrower Iraqi journalist by …let's say 10,000 or so; can you imagine the impact? People throwing their shoes at the check points to protest… Maybe I'll write a post titled 'I have dreams' and make this one of them;-) Also, thank you for sharing; as you know I can relate. I too won't "give my children to the state."

    Ishmael: Thanks for the link. I'll place my order. I have 12 days to leave for my trip, and I may get it in time!

    Woozle: Hope to have her over here! Usually I have 'those' words in my first draft; then I go and take out most on the second draft, and finally, I'll have someone to look over my shoulder and censor the leftover- That's how you get to read the PG 13 version;-)

    Heisenberg: Good one!

    Dennis: As always 'right on.' Just pick up any one of our major papers and highlight the words 'terror' and 'terrorists' 'n their first 2 or 3 pages; then count them. It certainly sustains TSA, DHS, NSA illegal wiretap, torture, rendition…Systematically wash brain, program fear, and exert control; the game played in every police state, by every dictator…

    Hannah: Bravo. Beautifully and so very effectively written! I concur with every sentence, every word. Do you have a website/blog? Have you been writing about this?

    Anon on Israeli Model Security: You bet. They've been trying to bring in the 'fear sniffing' dogs trained in Israel, but so far not successful. They need to turn up the MSM fear mongering a notch, have a few glorious examples of successful terrorist catch in Israel and a few other places, and maybe a couple of fear-inducing incidents written and coreographed by Hollywood…and we'll be there. Anyway, thank you for adding this important angle/point.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well, Mrs. Edmonds, you must respect my authoritie!! Don't you get it. You need protection from those evil baby carriage makers who might hail from some Middle Eastern country.

    I'm reminded of a brave soul named Aaron Zelmen, who is the founder and executive director of JPFO(Jews for the Preservation of Firearms http://www.jpfo.org They make the NRA look like the true wimps they are) I asked him to come and speak at a pro-gun rally, and explain to people why these guns laws are nothing more than victim disarmament laws. He wanted to come, but refuses to fly only because of this. I wonder how many refuse to fly just because of the ridiclous screening that goes on in airports.
    Why the airlines puts up with this crap, lord know why.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What ever happened to the civil disobedience of the 60's Where are all those vocal political activist now? Where are the Chicago sevens? Where are the Jerry Rubins, Abby Hoffmans, Gloria Steinems and Bella Abzugs? Where are the Bob Dylans and Alan Ginsbergs championing American freedom and anti-war sentiment? Why not stage a national no fly day? If no one showed up to fly for a day or two the whole system would be thrown into chaos. It all depends on you and your participation – or lack thereof. If you refuse to participate, then they are powerless.

  28. I have a couple of comments.

    1. Gore Vidal on the police state: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090728_america_the_great_police_state/

    2. What is portrayed in the video clip is more benign, I think, than what happened to me in Monterey, CA last year. I was out walking, saw a beautiful rainbow, and took a picture of it. Public street. Then from a distance across a lawn I see a military type person gesturing for me to approach him. Like an idiot, I did. They detained me for questioning because there was a military installation in the background of my picture. They wanted my ID and wanted to know why I was there. I advised them of their oath to uphold the US Constitution and refused to give them my ID (curiously, I was attending a conference and had a ID slung around my neck identifying not only me but my purpose for being there.) They made me delete the pictures from my camera and finally let me go without showing ID. But they harassed me pretty hard in the 40-minute process.

  29. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Anon. re: 60s: I've been asking the same questions. Some say 'not having draft…' Maybe 'they' learned a lesson or two, then worked systematically to reduce/eliminate the chance of 'vigilant' citizenry…You know dope them with 'entertainment news & TV,' …

    gope: you are right; incredible experience & very eye opening. Thank you for sharing it here.

  30. Kingfisher says:

    "What ever happened to the civil disobedience of the 60's Where are all those vocal political activist now? Where are the Chicago sevens? Where are the Jerry Rubins, Abby Hoffmans, Gloria Steinems and Bella Abzugs? Where are the Bob Dylans and Alan Ginsbergs championing American freedom and anti-war sentiment?"

    And what exactly did they achieve? Not what they did, I know who they are and what they did; but, what did they really achieve?

    I'm sorry, but I am not giving baby-boomers the benefit of the doubt after what they have done to our country. Specific examples please.

  31. So if some guy got caught sneaking explosives onto a plane in his rectum instead of his shoe, would we all have to drop trou, bend over, and spread 'em at the security check point?

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