Georgia Politics

Georgia Candidate ‘Would Rather See Another Terrorist Attack’ Than Deal With TSA

This idiot realized what he was saying was ridiculous when no one in the room applauded his comment.  He continued to stumble until he fell flat on his face.  Apparently he was looking for Tea Party folk in the room to co-sign his inane statement.

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Bob Johnson, a Savannah surgeon running in the First Congressional District GOP primary, was caught on tape taking his criticism of the Transportation Security Administration to a dramatic level:

“The TSA is doing something really profound. They’re indoctrinating generations of Americans to walk through a line and be prodded and probed by uniformed personnel, agents of the government, like sheep.

“Now this is going to sound outrageous: I’d rather see another terrorist attack — truly I would — than to give up my liberty as an American citizen. Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our Republican — or, republic.

“People are saying, ‘Now everyone wants security before anything else. I want a perfectly safe flight.’ You’re not going to have it. We’re going to have jack-boot uniformed people in our backyards.”

Politico broke the story on the video, and the AJC subsequently obtained a copy. It comes from a candidates forum in February in Waycross. All of the other Republican candidates were there, according to the person who sent the video to the AJC.

State Rep. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick and physician Earl Martin of Blackshear are visible in the video, and Martin seems to perk up a little bit at the mention of “jack-boot uniformed people,” but they do not react much to Johnson’s statement. The other Republican candidates are state Sen. Buddy Carter of Pooler, St. Simons Island businessman John McCallum and consultant and farmer Darwin Carter of Alma.

Buddy Carter is seen as the front-runner, with Johnson and McCallum his most likely runoff opponents.

Via his campaign manager, Johnson called his comparison “stupid” but did not back off his criticism of the TSA. Here’s his full statement:

“As a 26 year Army Ranger, head and neck surgeon and even a Christian medical missionary, I’ve sworn my life to defending this country and keeping people safe. And as a Constitutional conservative, it angers me that we are giving up our liberty to the bureaucratic TSA and spying on our own people in the name of false security and that has to stop.

“I’m very passionate about the ideals of liberty, freedom and maintaining a strong national defense, and these conservative ideals shouldn’t be at odds with each other. In the heat of the moment, while making the point that I would much rather fight the enemy than our federal government, I said something stupid and should have chosen my words more carefully.”

Update 5:35 p.m.: McCallum has jumped in the fray to condemn Johnson’s remarks. From a news release:

“There are no circumstances under which a terrorist attack on the United States is acceptable. These comments are embarrassing for the people of Georgia’s First District and unbecoming of someone who wants to serve in the United States Congress,” said McCallum. “He was right to apologize.”


TSA Agents Confiscate Pregnant Woman’s Insulin

If I say that our country’s  TSA agents are the most incompetent in the world, would that be too harsh?


TSA agents confiscated a pregnant woman’s insulin at Denver International Airport, prompting her and her husband to file a formal complaint with the agency, reports ABC 7 News.

The woman, who asked to remain nameless, was headed to Phoenix for her baby shower on Thursday when she was stopped by airport security.

“He’s like, ‘Well, you’re a risk.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me?’ And he’s like, ‘This is a risk … I can’t tell you why again.  But this is at risk for explosives,'” she told ABC 7 – this despite the fact she had a doctor’s note and had correctly labeled the medication.

“He’s like, ‘Well, you’re a risk.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me?’ And he’s like, ‘This is a risk … I can’t tell you why again. But this is at risk for explosives,'” she told ABC 7 – this despite the fact she had a doctor’s note and had correctly labeled the medication.

She was, however, able to get through security with a bottle of nail polish, hair spray bottles and syringes.

Her husband, Aaron Nieman, talked to ABC 7 and said, “It made me feel upset and made me feel somewhat helpless.”

The unnamed woman has since arranged for additional insulin to be delivered to her in Arizona.

The TSA would not comment on this specific case.

According to the TSA website, passengers “may bring all prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including petroleum jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes.”

There is no limit on the amount of these materials that may be carried on, but quantities over three ounces must be declared to a TSA official. Additionally, insulin is specifically listed on the website as being allowed through security.

The TSA has been in hot water lately for its handling of passengers with medical concerns. In July, TSA agents soaked a man in his own urine – for the second time. And, in June, screeners forced a 95-year-old woman to remove her adult diaper.

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Texas Airport Security Insults India After Wrongfully Demanding To Search UN Envoy’s Turban

Ooops!  Those paranoid and uninformed airport security folks in Texas may have commited a serious faux pas…

Think Progress

The paranoid environment created by the 9/11 attacks has allowed for a myriad of civil rights infringements under the guise of national security. Airport security especially ratcheted up racial profiling, marking any Middle Eastern sign or symbol a suspicious target, particularly the turban. Even turbaned individuals with no affiliation with Islam or the Middle East, such as Sikh men, have become “a superficial and accessible proxy for the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks” and a “target of discriminatory conduct,” including employment discrimimation, harrassment, and violence.

But now, this long-permitted prejudice is creating diplomatic tension between the U.S. and India. Today, the Indian press reported on an incident last month in which Houston, Texas airport security officials detained Indian’s UN envoy Hardeep Puri in a holding room for 30 minutes because he was wearing a turban. As a Sikh, Puri is obliged to keep all hair intact and his head covered in public at all times. The turban symbolizes self-respect and piety — “touching of the head dress in public is not allowed” and can only be removed “in the most intimate of circumstances.”

However, as officials present during the incident told Turtle Bay, airport security officials ignored Puri’s religious requirements and long-standing protocol exempting dignitaries from such treatment and demanded to physically check his Turban themselves until Puri informed them that TSA regulations allow him to check himself:

Airport security agents in Austin pulled Singh aside into an enclosed glass holding room for questioning after he refused a request to remove his turban or allow inspectors to touch it, an Indian official who witnessed the incident told Turtle Bay. “He said no, you cannot check my turban,” according to the Indian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I won’t allow you to touch my turban.”

The Indian official said Singh offered to touch the turban himself and to allow the security agents to run a check of his hands for traces of explosives, but he said that one security official refused. Singh insisted that the security official had no right to check his turban, citing TSA regulations for searches of foreign diplomats. “Obviously you don’t know your own rules. Please check your rules,” he told the security agent, according to the Indian official. “The person insisted that he had to do it. He said, ‘Don’t tell me the rules.’”

The Indian official said that the security officials finally checked the security regulations and issued an apology to the Indian ambassador. He said he was unaware of whether his government had filed an official complaint with the United States over the issue.

Continue reading here…


TSA sued over ‘pat downs’

It was just a matter of time…

America Blog

There are surely many more like this underway or about to be filed. Some people really can be funny when it comes to privacy.

A Colorado attorney has asked a federal judge to order the Transportation Security Administration to abandon its airport screening procedures for United States citizens.

Gary Fielder filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver last week, more than a month after he, his two daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a family friend underwent a TSA pat-down in San Diego.

Fielder’s lawsuit claimed the pat-downs were “disgusting, unconscionable, sexual in nature” and in violation of the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches.

Fear Mongering · Homeland Security · Michael Chertoff · Terrorism · TSA

Fear Pays: Chertoff, Ex-Security Officials Slammed For Cashing In On Government Experience

This comes as no surprise.  Yet, Chertoff claims that he made no profit from advocating for the current scanner systems now used by the TSA.

Huffington Post

After last month’s plot to send bombs from Yemen to the United States aboard a cargo plane, former U.S. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff’s whiskerless visage was ubiquitous on cable news. Solemnly warning that the nation needed stronger security procedures, Chertoff patiently repeated his talking points on ABC News’s “World News Tonight”, “Fox and Friends”, CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and Bloomberg TV.

Almost unmentioned in these appearances: Chertoff has a lot to gain financially if some of these measures are adopted. Between his private consulting firm, The Chertoff Group, and seats on the boards of giant defense and security firms, he sits at the heart of the giant security nexus created in the wake of 9/11, in effect creating a shadow homeland security agency. Chertoff launched his firm just days after President Barack Obama took office, eventually recruiting at least 11 top officials from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as former CIA director General Michael Hayden and other top military brass and security officials.

(Chertoff’s predecessor at DHS, Tom Ridge, has also parlayed his experience into a lucrative career. Since 2005, he has served on the board of Savi Technology, the primary technology provider for the Pentagon’s wireless cargo-monitoring network, and he has served as a senior advisor to TechRadium, Inc., a Texas-based security technology company.)

Chertoff’s clients have prospered in the last two years, largely through lucrative government contracts, and The Chertoff Group’s assistance in navigating the complex federal procurement bureaucracy is in high demand. One example involves the company at the heart of the recent uproar over intrusive airport security procedures — Rapiscan, which makes the so-called body scanners. Back in 2005, Chertoff was promoting the technology and Homeland Security placed the government’s first order, buying five Rapiscan scanners.

After the arrest of the underwear bomber last Christmas, Chertoff hit the airwaves and wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post advocating the full-body scanning systems without disclosing that Rapiscan Systems was a client of his firm. The aborted terror plot prompted the Transportation Security Agency to order 300 machines from Rapiscan. Yet last spring, the Government Accountability Office reported that, “It remains unclear whether [the scanners] would have been able to detect the weapon” used in the aborted bombing attempt. And according to a recent report by DHS’s Inspector General, the training of airport screeners is rushed and poorly supervised. 

Continue reading here…

Last week, two Republican congressmen took to the floor of the House to blast Chertoff and condemn the TSA’s security procedures. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced legislation against the scanning equipment.

“Michael Chertoff!” Paul exclaimed on the House floor, as shown in the video below. “I mean, here’s the guy who was the head of the TSA, selling the equipment. And the equipment’s questionable. We don’t even know if it works, and it may well be dangerous to our health.”

The pertinent segment starts around 4:30:

Last Wednesday, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) claimed that Chertoff gave interviews touting the scanners while “getting paid” to sell them. “There is no evidence these new body scanners make us more secure. But there is evidence that former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff made money hawking these full body scanners.”

Political Humor · TSA

Your Guide to Navigating Airport Security With Ease

In order to reach the comforts of the friendly skies, you must first pass through America’s famed airport security. Which can be quite an ordeal, at times! Below, ten tips to make your security experience as fun as possible.

 This is hilarious piece is from Gawker

1. Packing

Pack your own bags. Don’t pack your bags while drunk. Don’t let a stranger pack your bags. Don’t let a drunk stranger pack your bag, while you’re drunk.

2. Dressing for travel

Loose, comfortable clothing is best. Bring layers so you can be prepared for any environment. But none of your layers should be bulletproof, because that would be suspicious. On second thought, just one layer is fine. Not a Muslim-looking layer. J. Crew, a nice cardigan, something very WASPy.

3. Off to the airport

Do you have everything you need packed in your car? Except a bomb? Not that you need a bomb, because you don’t, but if you think you need one, don’t pack it in your car, regardless. Okay, off we go!

4. Parking

Don’t park on top of a TSA employee.

5. Entering the airport

Just play it cool. Don’t look around nervously. Just be calm. Don’t look now, but there are two cops right behind you… we said don’t look! Just act normal.

6. Checking in

GOOD: “Hi, I’m here to check into my flight to Atlanta. Here is my driver’s license. I’ll be checking one bag.” BAD: “Hola, I’m here to check into my flight to Kabul. Here is my smudged and dubious foreign passport. I won’t be checking any bags, because who needs luggage where I’m going, right?” Also, be sure to smile.

7. Going through the security line

Your big moment is here! Time to run down your mental check list: Did you remember to shower, shave, deodorize, and take your beta blockers? Did you remember to cover all visible tattoos and remove your piercings, visible and otherwise? Did you remember to bleach your skin and stuff your unruly hair into a sensible hat? Did you remember not to attach any unwieldy objects to your genitals, lest they arouse suspicion during groping? Great! Press on!

8. So you’ve been selected for a special search

Don’t get a boner. Don’t get a boner. Don’t get a boner. (Repeat).

9. Into the terminal

You’ve made it! Put on your shoes quickly, repack your rifled luggage, and walk, don’t run, to the nearest Cinnabon. They never suspect anyone at a Cinnabon.

10. Boarding the plane

Keep your mouth shut until you’re airborne. Then it’s party time.