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Woman says TSA forced piercings removal

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posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 01:56 PM
Having been a former member of the TSA, I know the rule about piercings. I have had to experience all kinds of piercings in my 5 year hell as a part of that agency. If someone can put a ring in it or a rod through it, they will do it. I can tell you from having done that job, that I don't want to see what people pierce let alone touch that area. We also screened people with varying forms of wonderful odors coming off of them
I have been up close and personal with depends undergarments, colostomy bags, and the funk of I just don't like to get it on with a bar of soap and some water. And let us not forget the horrible horrible smell that comes from having to make everyone take their shoes off. I have had a screener leave our area to go throw up from the foot smell. It is very true that they don't get paid enough to put up with stuff like that. I certainly won't defend the TSA for this womans pain and suffering. I believe there is a better way to handle body piercings and still let them make their flight. Now I can also tell you that I hated having to put people who obviously appeared to be harmless through extra screening. Having to go through extra screening with a catholic bishop is no fun or the Russian Orthodox Bishop. Oh and let's not forget the short lived liquids ban. I had lots of monks, priests, and nuns flying out of our airport daily. Tell them they can't take their holy water and see what happens. Or tell them they can't perform the proper way of disposing of the holy water either. (drinking it or using it for its intended purpose). Or the differing consecrated and holy items that I had to search without defiling them. Oh and the world war two veterans that flew out of our airport to Washington and had to endure the screening process. For the service to their country I had to treat them like they were possibly the enemy. Or the Marine who made it back from Iraq but left his legs and an arm there. Extra screening for war heroes how nice. As for soiling my pants and waddling in the other direction....... I have served my Country with distinction and honor both in the military and TSA. I was certainly not a fast food worker at all and have never run from the enemy. I am the dumb ass that is running towards the sound of fighting. I did this type of work for the Air Force, for private companies all over the US, and finally for the TSA. My training is extensive. Explosive Recognition, Security Consulting, Lock Smithing, Personal Protection, Counter Terrorism, Strike interdiction, Riot Control, Small Arms, Heavy weapons, Searching property and persons, protection of high value cargo, security of classified areas. Lots of money has been shelled out for my training. I have never said would you like fries with that or would you like to biggie size. Not in my 23 years in the security industry have I said that. It is indeed interesting that someone would say a nintendo wii could become a weapon. Give me access to a military armory 30 minutes, a wii, and immunity from prosecution, and I will show you how. But that is not what I would use. I have left the security industry and am now a professional truck driver. I can't say that I would never go back, I can say that I will never return to government service.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 02:30 PM
Wheres William Wallace when you need him?
This country is isn't the land of the free.
Freedom of speech you say?
I think not! You don't even have to speak to have a gun pulled on you by a cop who pulled you over for not signaling a turn.

Yes thats right. Yesterday I was pulled over 3 times. The first time I was pulled over I received a 154 dollar speeding ticket for going 41 in a 35. I also gave him my old insurance card by mistake and he wrote me an extra 550 dollar fine for not showing proof of insurance. When in fact when he came back from his car, I had my new insurance card in hand and told him that this was the correct one. He said, "Well I already wrote the ticket so you'll just have to go to court and fix it."

I don't have time to go to court! I work full-time. By the time I get home our local court is closed. He couldn't take an extra 5 minutes out of his day to re-write me a ticket.

The 2nd time I was pulled over was for not yielding on a right turn. No ticket, the cop was elderly and understandable. I was still a little pissed from being pulled over twice though.

The 3rd time I was pulled over was for not signaling a turn. Which I actually did signal. There is no way that cop could have seen my turn signal with the glaring sun. And even if the sun wasn't in his way, he wasn't able to see my right side blinker. I was turning right and he was in the waterfront parking lot about 50 yards to the left of me. I looked straight at him before I turned.

Sure enough, 3 seconds later he's doing about 80 behind me while I'm going 30. This pisses me off like no other, and to rid myself of my frustration I usually bang on something. So I beat the # out of my steering wheel. He comes running up from his car as I'm rolling down my window, gun drawn in my face. He was screaming for me to calm down, and I looked at him like he was F***ing insane! I was calm and waiting for my ticket. He asked me what my problem was, and that he almost shot me. I said I was pissed because I can't afford the 700 dollar ticket I just got 15 minutes ago for going 6 over. He told me I needed be more responsible otherwise a different cop may have shot me. I said for what? He said for looking like a possible threat. I said I can look like whatever the F*** I want, it's not up to you. Then he lowered his gun, and told me to start signaling my turns. I told him I did signal my turn. He said that lying to a police officer was a federal offense and that he could arrest me right there. I told him he'll have to kill me to arrest me. Then he said, you have a nice day.

To get back on topic. If I was told to remove my nipple rings before I could board the flight that I payed for. I would do it without hesitation. Though I'm a guy, and I don't have breasts. I'm not embarrassed to take my shirt off. Ordering a woman to take her shirt off in public to remove her nipple rings is an abuse of power and a disgusting act of pathetic perversion. In no way should she of had to do that. She should sue.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 03:10 PM

Originally posted by Leviatano
I kind of have the same question as you palehorse23. Who exactly are these places hiring that would allow such things to happen? Are they really giving us closure to the fact that someone had to remove something such as a ring or a piercing that sounded an alarm? I mean what is going on in this world....

Just wait. It won't be long until passengers are asked to remove their teeth and nails with pliars for security reasons.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 03:32 PM

Originally posted by dizziedame
What is going on with all this holier than thou attitude against people that work for minimum wage? Check your attitudes people. How many of you do not work at all? How many of you did or still do work for minimum or just barely over minimum wage? Are all workers at fast food joints stupid and ignorant?

I'm over 40 years of age, live in Europe and travel almost daily in business. Although security is tight at airports in the UK, where I currently live, the security personnel is friendly and treat people as ordinary people until proved otherwise.

Not so in the US, which is why I as much as possible try to avoid travelling to or via the US. As a foreigner mostly dressed in suit & tie, I am constantly taken to the side and questioned for between a half an hour to two hours about silly things that I can't possibly know the answer to, such as why my Macbook Pro doesn't have a floppy drive or why my EU passport is reddish in colour, or even why I carry a UK driver's license despite not being a UK citizen.

Their wage is none of my business, nor is it interesting to me, however a low wage is not a reason for harassing passengers unnecessarily.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by QueenofWeird

Originally posted by QueenofWeird
What a bunch of idiots! As if the piercings were any kind of threat. When screening personnel start to confuse piercings with weapons....

Maybe they were atempting to eliminate the rings as the source of the alarm going off?

Maybe someone might tape a shiv underneath one of those bad boys and blame the nipring for the alarm?

I agree - TSA was doing their job.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 04:06 PM
The last time I flew, it was summer. I was wearing flip-flops DELIBERATELY so I wouldn't have to take off shoes and walk bare footed on the filthy terminal floor. (The other time I had to do that, I caught athlete's foot and it took forever to get rid of it!) I had my purse, my cell phone, a small over-night bag on the conveyor belt. When TSA asked me to "step out of my flip-slops and place them in the tub" I politely explained I didn't want to get a foot disease again... They pulled me out of the line, forced me to leave my PURSE, my PHONE, and my one piece of LUGGAGE on the conveyor belt with many more people walking through the x-ray machine behind me ... and when I protested leaving my belongings unattended while they took me around a partition where my things were out of my line of sight, the fat broad threatened to detain me and make me miss my flight if I didn't do exactly what she said without hesitation. I said, "I have cash in my purse!" She told me to calm my attitude or I'd never see the damn purse again.

Luckily, nothing was taken. But ALL of my belongings could have been picked up and carried off during that 10 minutes the fat broad kept me behind the partition where I couldn't see what was going on, and she made me half undress (I was wearing a sweater, a bra, and a pair of leggings along with the flip-flops) just so she could run the wand up and down all over me, and check my flip-flops for wires and other ridiculous things.

I know that not all TSA people are Power Grabbers. But I not only felt battered, I felt discriminated against because I was petite, cute, blond, blue-eyed, and WHITE. "Now you have a good day..." she sneered when she was done with me, and it was obvious that she was quite proud of being able to exert her power on someone 1/3 her size and the descendent of probably a slave-owner. It's people like THAT--with chips on their shoulders and a hunger for abuse of power of authority--who give all TSA people a bad reputation.

I have never flown since, and if some place I want to go isn't close enough to drive in one day, I don't go. So much for FREEDOM.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 04:42 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

I do hope you were being sarcastic. It is hard to tell in text.

As far as this goes, I hope she ends up with tens of millions of dollars. I would end up owning the airport if this happened to me. Every worker that was involved and around when this happened should swiftly be fired.

You can't remove piercings willy-nilly for hours and expect the tissue not to heal up and need to go through a re-piercing. The re-pierce can hurt more, since now you are also dealing with scar tissue.

If someone was hiding a 'shiv' in their breast, there would be a wound. Once the bra is off and checked under the breast, just like a male could be forced to bend over, cough and lift his scrotum if he had a jacob's ladder or prince albert.

In all seriousness (just as above), discrimination is discrimination, it doesn't matter if it is against age, heritage, wealth, or choices like dyed hair, piercings, or tattoos. If you don't judge people based on who they are inside, but on the outside, there is no other word for it but a bigot.

So whoever you are, think twice before you judge someone else, for your judgment makes you the lesser person in and of itself.

Remember what country this is. The right to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness. That does not mean as long as their choices agree with yours, but for each person to seek this in their own way without prejudice, as long as they cause no harm to others (that is unless they wish for that harm - BDSM).

I believe in the ideals of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. I will not tolerate those who wish to trample on what this country stands for. If you don't believe in freedom, then there are other options in the world. We are all equal, and have the same rights. We all can choose how we look and what we do. That is the (U.S.)American way and what the founders and today's soldiers risk their lives and shed blood for.

I am mostly proud of this thread, because it shows many people do understand this, and even if piercings don't agree with their own lifestyle, they defend this woman. It shows there is still a reason to have hope in humanity. Just as I myself don't have piercings, tattoos, or dyed hair, I despise discrimination against it, and it is a form that is rampant in a lot of places.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:55 PM
I've got 2 nipple piercings with one that needs a pliars to take out. I'm flying out this summer to visit my mother and I've been worrying about this the past couple months. My roommates told me there is nothing to worry about, but after seeing this, I'm outraged. The terrorists have won in the respect that we are psychotic at airport security.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:59 PM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

So tell me. How do you recognize a "real" terrorist? In Florida they have found a teddy bear being carried by a three year old that had a knife stuck inside it. In Hawaii we found a cane that had a sword in it being carried by an 80 year old man. But you're right. They are obviously not terrorists so we should just let them go and not bother screening them.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 09:31 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Just because someone carries a weapon, does not make them a terrorist.

An 80 year old man with a cane sword, if he only had it for protection or novelty, is doing no one harm.

A terrorist wishes to cause fear into someone's heart and/or hurt others.

If I carried a katana or wakazashi, I would not do it to terrorize people, it would be because I personally despise using a gun and want to protect myself against an assailant; unless absolutely necessary, even though I am a decent shot, I would prefer to not use a gun.

It is scary to see the term terrorist used so lightly these days. People with piercings aren't terrorists. People with disagreeable shirts are not terrorists. Women with bats walking tracks are not terrorists. Old men with sword canes are not terrorists.

This labeling is getting ridiculous imho.

But, I will say, that comment about the girl with the teddy bear reminds me of the MiB scene where he caps the kid with the college level books instead of the aliens in the test.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 12:36 AM

Hamlin said she heard male TSA agents snickering as she took out the ring. She was scanned again and was allowed to board even though she still was wearing a belly button ring.

If you are selected for additional screening

This sounds an awful lot like half life 2 dosent it?
A terrorists's goal is not to kill people but to spread fear and paranoia.
By doing things like this the government is actually letting them win.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 02:22 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Originally posted by Zaphod58
So tell me. How do you recognize a "real" terrorist? In Florida they have found a teddy bear being carried by a three year old that had a knife stuck inside it. In Hawaii we found a cane that had a sword in it being carried by an 80 year old man. But you're right. They are obviously not terrorists so we should just let them go and not bother screening them.

But, we must not rush to judgement here! The 80 year old man could not possibly have a 22 year old cohort traveling on the same flight! /sarcasm

reply to post by FreeThinkerIdealist

originally posted by FreeThinkerIdealist

If someone was hiding a 'shiv' in their breast, there would be a wound.

I said under, not in. And depending upon the size of the nipring, a careless screener could be convinced that there was no problem here.

originally posted by FreeThinkerIdealist
If you don't judge people based on who they are inside, but on the outside, there is no other word for it but a bigot.

Oh yeah, that works in this context.
Now you want a $7.50/hr TSA worker to be able to judge people on the inside based upon a 25 second interaction.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 04:56 AM
Well i learned a few things from this topic...

First, there are alot of people with Nipple Rings...

Second... Don't (blank) with the TSA

I seem to remeber when flying, when at the MEtal scanners, the people say, Please remove your Shoes, and items from you pockets, as well as ALL METALIC items...

I think any peirceings would fall under 'all metalic items'...

Plus, couldn't a peircing be used as a weapon if needed? Sharp Metal Point?

My only run in with the TSA was once, i worn pants that had like 6 metal buckels on them... and i set off the alarm, and with the wand they found the 6 buckels or so... i said... 'see, its the buckels'... didn't matter, i had to take off my pants in the airport... im just happy i worn the boxer that didnt have a hole in that area...

I am going to go against the Majority here and NOT condem this. I think, acrding to what i understand of the scanners and thir job, that they did thier job...

Think about it, why should you be able to carry a weapon on board, just because it is partialy inside thier body...

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 05:12 AM
reply to post by FreeThinkerIdealist

And nowhere did I actually SAY they were terrorists. However, whatever the reason they carried them, they were attempting to carry hidden weapons on the plane. The point I was trying to make is that those were people that everyone KNOWS are safe and there's no reason to screen. You can't tell who is carrying something they aren't supposed to, and who is. You HAVE to screen everyone, and everything has to be determined to be safe or not.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 09:48 AM
There’s no particular style or type of clothing that you should wear from a security point of view. You are permitted to wear head coverings and religious garments during the screening process. You may be directed to additional screening if your clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items. For more information, click here.

In addition, certain clothing and accessories can set off an alarm on the metal detector and slow you down. Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry or other accessories that contain metal when traveling through the security checkpoints:

Heavy jewelry (including pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyards or bolo ties)
Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
Metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration
Belt buckles
Under-wire bras
* Hidden items such as body piercings may result in your being directed to additional screening for a pat-down inspection. If selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.
* Take metal items such as keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs) out of your pockets.
* Place heavy jewelry and other metal items in your carry-on baggage or in plastic bags if they are offered, until you clear security.
* Pack all your coats and jackets in your baggage when possible. All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. These include, but are not limited to, trench coats, heavy winter coats, suit jackets, sport coats and blazers. If you choose to wear an outer coat or jacket to the checkpoint, you will need to either place it in your carry-on or put it in the bin that is provided for you.

Disposable booties or slippers may be worn through the checkpoint to help protect your feet, but they must be disposed of prior to leaving the screening area.

Gel-filled bras are permitted through security screening and aboard aircraft.

TSA Security Officers have to identify any metal that is detected at the checkpoint. If you set off the alarm, you will undergo additional screening. This includes a hand-wand and pat-down inspection.

You can remove metal items at the security checkpoint and place them in the plastic bags offered at several airports or in the bins provided. The bins will be sent through the X-ray machine. You can save time by not wearing metal items or by placing them in your carry-on baggage before getting in line.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 10:35 AM
Well, it seems the TSA has reviewed the situation and while not exactly apologizing, they are going to change their policy so that a private visual inspection (which the woman in this case offered to do) WILL suffice. Removal will no longer be a necessity:

TSA to change piercing rules

Of course, whether the agents doing the job actually get proper training in the new rules has yet to be seen.

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