Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I am a retired TSA Screener ....(Transportation Security Officer) ....I was on "roll out" of TSA at Syracuse International Airport in 2002 and I served 2 1/2 years when I was disabled on the job. .I NEVER did or saw anything like what they did to this kid shown on the video recently! (strip serched) I was disabled in 2005 and it took to this year to get disability retirement from those creeps! I had to sue in Federal Court! (I was put on "leave without pay" for almost 5 years because THEY said my disability was not compensable!) It is not much of a pension but better than nothing....at least I retired with "dignity" and was not "forced out" like so many others who dared question TSA management! (Funny....because they wouldn't give me disability in 2005.... I got 2 1/2 years more service credit! (6 months for each year). When I won disability retirement in Federal Court.. ..the TSA was NOT very happy to say the least!!! I also won religious discrimination against them for not permitting me time off for Mass at MY Church. They claimed I could go to a church of their choice and make it to work on time. Thank God the judge disagreed...BUT guess what? MY AIRPORT WAS THE ONLY AIRPORT that was notified of my successful religious discrimination lawsuit. (BTW..muslim screeners are allowed time off 3 times a day to pray to allah) To this day...screeners at other airports are unaware of my precedent setting lawsuit! My AFGE lawyer won twice what I was awarded! UUUGH!

The problem with TSA is NOT the screeners...it is MANAGEMENT 100% ie; I was on gates and a guy was selected by the airlines for more security checks. Lucky me....I had to screen a VERY upset passenger. I asked him to remove his shoes. He kicked them off and threw them across the room. I retrieved them. I looked up at the guy and I said.."I don't blame you a bit sir..I'd be pissed off too getting pat down at the check point and then again boarding the flight because some idiot at the check point forgot to indicate they were already pat down" The passenger immediately calmed down and I had no problem screening him after that, in fact he shook my hand and thanked me for being considerate in doing my job. (BTW..it is the supervisors job to inform...THEY are mostly incompetent kids trying to DO a man's job so things like this happen ALL the time! TSA management likes the "kids"..... they follow orders without question)

WELL...a supervisor girl about 24 caught me being "considerate" to this irate passenger and I got written up and could have been fired. I was suppose to have notified TSA management to stop this passenger from flying. I think that was the day that ended my career because after that I was labeled a "rebel" screener. My experience is that most TSA managers are FBI "wannabees." That is the true security problem in the TSA!

The MO at the very beginning of TSA management at ALL airports was to "filter out" any screeners over 45 and professional people like retired educators like myself and worst...all retired police officers......they "know" too much! My best friend I made in the TSA (and we are still best of friends to this day) was a retired Syracuse Police Homicide Detective and a decorated Viet Nam War Vet. In the 2nd year we had a "supposed" reduction in force. According to the Aviation Security Act of 2001 that created the TSA, the LAST group to be laid off was suppose to be military and law enforcement.........HOWEVER..... THEY were the first to be let go...YES..TSA management broke the Law that created them! (BTW.....when the TSA Director announced this, we asked if the screeners who were laid off were coming back. He said in a VERY loud and angry voice..."NO WAY ARE THISE LOOSERS COMING BACK") My friend filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against TSA. I testified on his behalf in court what the TSA Director had said about those laid off. Trust me...that was SUICIDE! The government pleaded exemption from labor law because of National Security. I'm afraid Ben Franklin was right..."Those who surrender freedom for security deserve neither!"

BTW.....when I did "pat downs" we had to use the BACK of our hands in sensitive areas..ie; women screeners patting near the breast and male screeners patting near the groin. Why they switched to "open hands" is incomprehensible to me because if there was any object in these sensitive areas you can detect it...I KNOW because I passed a test detecting a knife on the inside of the testers leg with the BACK of my hand. When I patted people down this way...I NEVER GOT one complaint from any passenger and that included some very famous celebrities. In fact....I always got compliments on doing my job to make our airlines safe. I wished I could say the same about our TSA management.....they were rarely considerate and were very authoritarian in their raport with passengers. I guess I am a failure as a screener because my 33 year experience teaching high school teenagers trained me to be human instead of a "robot!"

BTW....after the lay offs of the undersirables like my friend the Homicide Detective, they hired more screeners. I made friends with one the new guys who was a retired Major from the New York State Police who taught at the New York State Police Academy. After about 6 months we were leaving together from work going out to our cars in the parking lot. When we got to the cars he shook my hand and said..".well David...it was a pleasure meeting you and working with you but this is good bye! I said what happened. He said..."THEY happened!" He told me there was no way he would risk working security with a management team that had no clue what security means let alone personal management. (most TSA management were political pay offs) What is happening today with the TSA scadels over pat downs and the new technology that exposes passengers to x-rays (no matter how low.....radiation is accumulative) IS NO SURPRISE TO ME.....I saw it coming! I considered it an honor to serve my country as a screener and still do (I had the FCC change my Amateur Radio call from WA2LOW that I had since I was 12 years old to my present call of W2TSA) but I am afraid TSA is just another example how government bureaucracy can not do anything right because of all the crony-ism and resulting incompetency that is present in it.

AND "THEY" are going to running our health care system?