Tag Archives: TSA

December Doom! Walls and Wall Street Weasels

Cohen Cooperates

Disgraced ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen (above, caught with phone in class) picked up 36 months’ hard time in a (presumably) white collar facility for paying off Trump’s mistresses–amounting to campaign finance violations–as the 2016 presidential contest heated up. 

While the desirable deal also hit Cohen for nearly $2 million in restitution and fines, he apparently caught a break for singing to Robert Mueller regarding the Russia Investigation.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for [Cohen] to face between 51 and 63 months — four to five years — in prison for the tax fraud, false statements and campaign finance violations he pleaded guilty to in August.

Assuring his return to the “public villain with oversized head” section of the Halloween costume inventory for 2019, the high-rolling Cohen, according to NPR, observed, “Today I get my freedom back.” That’ll look great on a Starbucks cup!

*

New Beginnings

Rather than leave the Senate gracefully, deposed lawmaker Claire McCaskill (D-MO) accused her colleagues who actually won their re-elections campaigns of forgoing “tough votes.” Presumably these include her decisive decision to continue unconstitutional surveillance of Americans.

The 65-year-old bemoaned the office that will launch her lucrative lobbyist or consultant career for its preponderance of “embarrassing uncles,” blissfully unaware Joe Biden has now been gone for ten years.

Immigration Situation, CBP Improvisation, Park Defecation and TSA Implication

As detailed by Trump’s bluster of a “Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border,” the Federal Government is enjoying a partial shut down after the Senate refused to vote on a House funding bill that allocates $5.7 billion for Trump’s Border Wall. National focus is trained not on the fact our inept employees who failed to write their own budget now can’t begrudgingly provide mediocre services on which they hold a monopoly, but on the paychecks they cannot collect:


Some 800,000 federal workers across the country find themselves in financial uncertainty as the government shutdown crawls into its 12th day. Some 420,000 employees are considered “essential,” and are working without pay, while another 380,000 have been ordered to stay home.

Our muckraking the laughable TSA is old news. The bumbling seem to be on the “essential” list, as “88% of [parent agency] Department of Homeland Security” is working for IOUs. But according to Huffington Post, TSA agents first ducking their unpaid assignments by calling out sick are now just quitting.

CNN reported a 200-300 percent increase in agents calling out sick at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and also claimed that throughout the first week of January, as many as 170 agents called out at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport each day.

Via their union, the remaining TSA agents threatened a
“massive security risk for American travelers […] there are problems that will arise – least of which would be increased wait times for travelers.”

Also,


[TSA employee union American Federation of Government Employees] launched a lawsuit against the federal government for forcing federal employees to show up to work uncompensated, calling the demands “inhumane.” 

The logic here is that every day we don’t borrow more money to reopen the government, there are fewerprofessionals to cup our genitals before we’re allowed to fly. Aren’t you motivated to call the Congress and complain?

Big brass at TSA got defensive when news of the “people who root through innocent peoples’ dirty laundry all day without changing gloves are sick but more than usual” stats broke:

Trump joined the fight, and CNN promoted their “bananas are the devil” analogy in response:

This comes on the heels of a monumental shift in TSA air marshal policy: starting December 28, the undercover agents moved–to the back of the plane. Good luck picking them out now!

Not everyone was PUN ALERT on board with the change:


“The TSA wants to change the way operations are carried out, and the men and women of the Federal Air Marshal Service do not support these changes,” Brian Borek, representative of the air marshals to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. “The TSA, riddled with their own organizational issues, should allow the air marshals to do what they have continued to do best — fly operationally sound missions to protect the integrity of the aircraft, its crew, and passengers in the manner that they have been training and perfecting for the last 17 years.”

Borek also noted implementing the change amidst the madness of the tail end of Christmas travel was an idiotic move does not pass the common-sense [sic] test.”

John Cohen, a former acting undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said it appears that DHS and TSA are making important decisions arbitrarily.

“Changes to security routines on planes and at airports are serious and should not be enacted haphazardly […] And there is clearly a perception that is what is going on here.”

Interestingly, Boston Globe reported just last month the TSA had pulled the plug on Quiet Skies (see above link), following widespread criticism that federal air marshals were spying on thousands of unwitting fliers who are not suspected of any crime or on any terrorist watch list.

[…]
TSA administrator David Pekoske 
acknowledged in a congressional hearing in September that Quiet Skies has not foiled any terrorist threats or led to any arrests.

But back to the real domestic security crisis: starving homeless people.

First, ICE helped deal with undocumented children flooding into the country by arresting those who volunteered to shelter them. Apparently, Trump made a rule that every adult in a volunteer household must surrender “biometric data, including fingerprints” to the Federal Government.

Nearly two thirds of those arrested — 109 in total — had no criminal record, the agency said.

However,

Just under 80 percent of people screened by ICE during the sponsorship process showed results that they were not in the country legally.

[our emphasis]

It’s important to protect the immigrants from other immigrants. Our solution is to continue warehousing them in government facilities. So far only two (that we know of) have not survived.

On December 7, Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, of Guatemala, apparently went into septic shock just after boarding the bus with her father to get from her point of entry (Antelope Hills, NM) to the “processing” hub at Lordsburg, NM. She reportedly had a medical screening and “observation,” as well as access to food and water, in the 6ish hours before the bus came. However, after she started seizing, got airlifted and died, government records indicated she had gone “several days” without food or water.

Then Felipe Gómez Alonzo, 8, also of Guatemala, died on Christmas eve despite receiving Amoxicillin for his 103-degree fever, diagnosed as “common cold,” at an Alamogordo, NM hospital earlier in the day.

Felipe and his father were detained by CBP for about a week, an unusually long time that the agency did not fully explain[.]


Perhaps under scrutiny after burying news of
Maquin’s demise for a week, Custom and Border “Protection” promptly released the following sensitive Christmas day headline:
“An eight year-old Guatemalan national previously apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection was died [sic] shortly after midnight on December 25 at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico. “

According to Washington Post, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the agency’s holding cells are “incompatible” with the new reality of parents with children coming across the border to surrender to agents en masse, requesting asylum.

“Our Border Patrol stations were built decades ago to handle mostly male single adults in custody, not families and children[.]”

The shutdown will not curtail the border-crossers getting caged. Associated Press reports CBP officers and the Border Patrol remain on the job despite the shutdown.

*

The other government tentacle attracting attention is the parks, because we all prefer our government to take control of the Grand Canyon and charge $35 for parking.

CNN had to fill some space and noted on Monday:

In the 16 days since the government shutdown began and more than 21,000 National Park Service employees were furloughed, seven visitors to national parks have died.[…] [T]he tally of deaths is not out of the ordinary for the expansive National Park Service, which sees an average of six deaths per week[:] accidents like drownings, falls, and motor vehicle crashes, as well as medical incidents such as heart attacks.

[our emphasis]

Other self-evident observations from the rabid media:
[A]dmissions have […] surged because no one is collecting admission fees.

(Huffington Post)

Unlike shutdowns in some previous administrations, the Trump administration [has left] parks open to visitors despite the staff furloughs.

(USA Today)

“US military war veterans visit the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013. The US Park Service opened the area to the veterans who are brought to Washington to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top through the efforts of Honor Flight, a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. The US government shut down Tuesday for the first time in 17 years after a gridlocked Congress failed to reach a federal budget deal amid bitter brinkmanship. Some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed in a move reminiscent of two previous shutdowns — for six days in November 1995 and 21 days from December that year into early 1996. AFP Photo/Karen BLEIERKAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images (Newscom TagID: afplivefive358687.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]”

And if there’s one necessary government function exposed out of all this, it’s human waste disposal. Joshua Tree had to close its campground:

“The park is being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity,” the park service said. “In addition to human waste in public areas, driving off-road and other infractions that damage the resource are becoming a problem.” Signs at Joshua Tree informed campers this week that the grounds would close “for the safety of visitors and park resources” due to a “lapse in federal appropriations.” Handwritten signs urged visitors: “Pack out your trash. There are no trash services at this time.”

Human beings are incapable of picking up their own trash. Perhaps that’s why the Feds took control of the parks.

*

Even when the government reopens, don’t expect your travel difficulties to end with a soft molestation at the xray machine. Delta Airlines hopes to board passengers faster by rolling out eight boarding groups, color coded, starting later in January.

This is the actual (reportedly “more complicated“) new boarding order, according to CNN, which should send you running for an actual good airline:

  1. Preboarders
  2. Delta One
  3. Premium Select (or First Class “if applicable”)
  4. Comfort+ 
  5. Sky Priority (the poor souls who use frequent flier “perks” at Delta Airlines)
  6. Economy Main Cabin 1 and Delta credit card holders and Silver Medallion members 
  7. Economy Main Cabin 2
  8. Economy Main Cabin 3
  9. Basic Economy

CNN notes that the cheapest ticket holders get to make everyone else board and wait for them, so you can save money and spend less time in a cramped seat next to a stranger. Maybe they have to deplane last.

Delta wasn’t done. As of December 18, all animals in Delta cabins must be at least four months old. Also, “emotional support animals” (greatest country in the world, everyone) are banned from flights eight hours or longer. Because if you’re too fragile to fly without your platypus, Delta believes you can suck it up if only the flight is longer.

Notably,

Service and support animals fly free on Delta — unlike regular pets, which cost passengers $125 each way.Delta says the number of service animals on its flights has increased nearly 150% since 2015. 

So either travelers are replicating the “put all my shit in a carryon bag because Delta started charging to check suitcases” workaround with their animals, or we just need much more emotional support when flying with the dirty Delta.

Refresh the ‘Feed

Facebook closed the year on a high note by revealing that between 5 and 7 million users were over-exposed for nearly two weeks in September, courtesy of a “bug.”

The bug allowed apps users had approved to pull their timeline photos to also receive their Facebook Stories, Marketplace photos, and most worryingly, photos they’d uploaded to Facebook but never shared. 

In January, CNBC interviewed the diaspora of ex-Facebook employees to investigate the company’s performance evaluation system. Apparently, given the cap on highly graded employees, you have to suck ass starting on orientation day to survive semiannual reviews.

Is Zuckerberg’s camaraderie, like the advertised health benefits of his piss-colored Gatorade, dubious??

Many former employees blamed the cult-like atmosphere partly on […] [the] peer review system [, which] pressures employees to forge friendships with colleagues at every possible opportunity, whether it be going to lunch together each day or hanging out after work.

Also, when promotions come up in December,
employees[…] focus on short-term goals and push out features that drive user engagement and improve their own metrics without fully considering potential long-term negative impacts on user experience or privacy, multiple former employees said.

We’ve all realized you can’t delete a Facebook account, but are those who never enrolled in the public tantrum train safe? No.

UK Charity Privacy International found 34 Android apps upload user data to Zuckerberg’s machine upon launch. Known culprit apps include
Pregnancy+, MigraineBuddy, Bible+ and Muslim Pro.

Regardless of an unsuspecting Android owner’s PUN ALERT status with the social media giant, any app running Facebook’s Software Developer Kit (SDK) provides a window to your soul:

A Facebook spokesperson told Yahoo News, “Facebook’s SDK tool means that developers can choose to collect app events automatically, to not collect them at all, or to delay collecting them until consent is obtained, depending on their particular circumstances.”

[our emphasis]

*

Technology Tangle Continues for Manafort

God bless Paul Manafort. As we previously reported, the convicted tax cheat helped pen his own prosecution by virtue of inability to convert a Word document to PDF.

The Trump associate’s shenanigans were further exposed Tuesday when his defense team contested–with a sloppily-constructed document–Mueller’s charge that Manafort blew his plea deal by lying to the Feds last year.

[W]hile portions of the filing were supposed to be redacted and shielded from the public, court watchers were able to view the filing in its entirety by copying and pasting the redacted sections.

Oops. The dirty details, reportedly shielded on the court docket within an hour, showed additional accusations from Mueller that Manafort dealt 2016 US election polls to Konstantin Kilimnik, and met the suspected Russian intelligence operative (and fellow Mueller indictee) during the 2016 campaign.

Interesting tidbit, courtesy of The Hill: Mueller’s middle name is “Swan.”

Thanks to our sources:

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/421004-cohen-sentenced-to-three-years-in-prison?userid=115887

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/12/676040070/michael-cohen-sentenced-to-3-years-in-prison-following-plea-that-implicated-trum?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2042&fbclid=IwAR2MsX_fPHlwM7XIKuPcCxNAqvIHQz5AvmKUnnGcV549JtAG9wJ9SoBquUk

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-has-too-many-embarrassing-uncles-mccaskill-says-in-farewell-remarks-2018-12-13?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/trump-to-deliver-primetime-address-on-national-security-crisis-at-the-border

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown/trump-threatens-to-use-emergency-power-to-build-wall-end-shutdown-idUSKCN1P416X

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/21/679073393/trump-warns-of-very-long-shutdown-unless-senate-approves-border-wall-funds

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/09/shutdown-highlights-that-4-in-5-us-workers-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/heres-what-shuts-down-in-a-government-shutdown/

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/tsa-union-warns-apos-massive-130215466.html

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/homeland-security-denies-hundreds-tsa-225049079.html

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/exclusive-tsa-planning-major-shift-air-marshal-operations-212505199–abc-news-topstories.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/12/15/curtails-quiet-skies-passenger-surveillance/2lRAv2AwjGpUcgq08mHaPM/story.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/ice-arrested-170-immigrants-seeking-sponsor-migrant-children-n946621?cid=sm_npd_ms_tw_ma

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/7-year-old-migrant-girl-taken-into-border-patrol-custody-dies-of-dehydration-exhaustion/2018/12/13/8909e356-ff03-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d18bffbf4190

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/14/us/guatemalan-girl-death-ice/index.html

https://apnews.com/0a7e7ec16cd743e4840c321a99e005ef?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/12/25/guatemalan-national-passes-away-gerald-champion-regional-medical-center-alamogordo

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/07/us/national-parks-deaths-trnd/index.html

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/heartbreaking-government-shutdown-causing-garbage-162718272.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/01/01/free-all-national-parks-overrun-garbage-other-bad-behavior/2456757002/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/01/us/government-shutdown-national-parks-toilets-services/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/business/delta-new-boarding-process/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/12/us/delta-airlines-bans-support-animals-trnd/index.html


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/08/facebook-culture-cult-performance-review-process-blamed.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/android-apps-sending-data-facebook-even-dont-account-105540553.html

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/424380-redaction-error-in-court-filing-reveals-manafort-shared-polling-info?userid=115887

Your Insecurity is Showing

Correction: the previous version of this post noted Quiet Skies had been in operation for eleven years. In fact, the passenger stalking program is only in its ninth year, as reflected in the edited post below.

Update: We learned David Pecker (again, his actual name) (below) has quit a board position with Canadian media provider, Postmedia, in wake of allegations Pecker’s National Enquirer colluded with Michael Cohen to bury negative press on Trump prior to his election.

Pecker, like Cohen, has reportedly collected federal immunity for informing on Trump’s payoff of Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels.

*

We are jacking up airport security once again!

TSA’s hitherto secret program: “QUIET SKIES”

Last month, Boston Globe busted the notoriously ham-handed TSA for secretly siccing air marshals (“Special Mission Coverage” or SMC) on up to 50 passengers who may be “unknown or partially-known terrorists” daily. Since 2010.

Every American is automatically screened for the Quiet Skies program when he or she enters the country and, if included, can be tracked on domestic flights, the Globe reported.

The agency bulletin mandates the 17 “rules” of the program are [TRIGGER WARNING] “triggered when individuals enter the United States from foreign locations” to determine the 50 daily targets (35 of whom are followed and analyzed).

Although it presumes to target passengers with history flags like using known terrorist-associated emails to book tickets, the “Selectees” are by definition not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base [sic]. They receive “enhanced screening at security checkpoints,” and other Federal agencies are tipped off if any “derogatory” characteristics are noted by the marshals.

Who, by the way, are documenting such dangerous behaviors as sleeping, face touching, and visiting the bathroom; if the Selectee has gained or lost weight based on their profile; if they have body odor; and whether they leave the airport by bus, taxi, or private vehicle.

Every Selectee is monitored for the shorter of either 90 days or 3 “encounters.”

TSA declined to confirm the program’s existence (or any successful terrorist interceptions) to Globe.

Perhaps fortunately,

[D]ozens of air marshals have raised concerns about the Quiet Skies program with senior officials and colleagues, sought legal counsel, and expressed misgivings about the surveillance program, according to interviews and documents reviewed by the Globe.

[…]

In late May, an air marshal complained to colleagues about having just surveilled a working Southwest Airlines flight attendant as part of a Quiet Skies mission. “Cannot make this up,” the air marshal wrote in a message.

One colleague replied: “jeez we need to have an easy way to document this nonsense. Congress needs to know that it’s gone from bad to worse.”

*

Unfortunately, TSA’s malevolent government tentacles are also extending to further baggage scrutiny. Washington Post in June revealed new “screening supervisor discretion” to demand passengers empty their carryon* luggage of snacks.

Not to be confused with Detroit Lions running back, Kerryon Johnson (above).

“TSA asked me to take my snacks out of my bag and I feel personally victimized […] I had a whole bunch of crazy snacks in my bag that I was really excited to eat.”–snack surveillance victim Thea Neal. our emphasis

Essentially, based on the whim of the head TSA screamer screener, food must be xrayed separately with the 3-ounce toothpastes and iPads. A boon for the plastic bin manufacturers.

“There’s a very good reason for everything we do. Nothing is arbitrary.” ––(former?) TSA thug Mike England

A Twitter profile identifies Mike England (above) as “former TSA spokesman” and currently “Deputy Chief of Public Affairs” for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

(our emphasis)

England speculated travelers may be forced to display their food if the cattle line supervisor, faced with a long line of miscreants innocent civilians, believes the surprise inspection will process people through the full-body radiation humiliation station faster. The theory: food looks like explosives to the xray machine, and baring your corn nut fetish decreases manual bag searches.

It’s unclear if TSA ever detects any explosives ushered through the security line.

“The next thing they’re going to make us take out of our bags is medicine. And that would be a real invasion of privacy.” –snack surveillance victim Lauren Rosenberg

*

We might refocus security on the planes themselves! Unfortunate already to be flying with Delta, Delany Luh (below) was recently sexually assaulted on their Chicago-to-Los Angeles run. To placate her, the airline offered a $200 voucher.

Via Twitter.

Luh reported she notified flight attendants immediately, while Delta contends: [a]fter deplaning, Ms. Luh first informed a Delta agent that she had been improperly touched on the leg by another passenger during her flight. Immediately upon learning this information, Delta reported the incident to local and federal law enforcement for their handling.

The alleged perpetrator “Will” fled the airport before security could close with the trademark efficiency we’d have seen if it had been an L.A.-to-Chicago run:

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! April 9–United We Drag

*

A rival passenger molesting outfit is celebrating recent justification for eye-fucking unsuspecting travelers. Customs and Border Protection, known for safeguarding Constitutional rights, nabbed an unidentified 26-year-old male landing at Washington Dulles airport from Brazil earlier this week.

(He is unidentified because national security, but the incident is required propaganda to ease citizens into a new layer of government intrusion.)

When the man presented a French passport, the airport scanned his face for comparison (apparently now standard procedure for international arrivals) and them mugs didn’t match.

CBP were so desperate to document the criminal activity, they photographed a physical search maneuver that revealed the man’s valid Republic of Congo ID card, stashed in his shoe.

According to Digital Trends, CBP is already testing a facial-recognition exit in 13 airports and arrival at 10 airports, but Orlando International is the first in the country that has made the commitment to implementing both for international travel.

Everyone should emulate the obsequious citizens of Orlando in committing to national security!

Related:

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 10, 19 and 22–Genes, Tattoos and Faces

The gentleman is reportedly the “FIRST CAUGHT” by the biometric scanner, as further detailed in CBP’s laudatory statement, in just one week of deploying the new technology.

CBP was recently spotlighted for seizing a U.S. citizen’s phone upon her re-entry to the country in February, attempting to coerce her into unlocking it, and confiscating it to copy the data upon her refusal.

After 120 days, [Rejhane] Lazoja finally got her phone back but only after involving her attorneys, one of which told Ars Technica that federal authorities had “forensically cracked” her phone and copied what was on it before returning it. But as the court documents note, officials have never given any reasons for why the phone was seized in the first place.

[…]

Comments to this article have been closed due to multiple violations of our rules and guidelines including insults, swearing, name-calling, and off-topic conversation.

[our emphasis]

Uncle Sam’s Unsatisfying Anal

*

Meanwhile, The Intercept returned to Edward Snowden‘s classified document dump to spotlight eight major AT&T “peering sites” that have reportedly enabled Federal communications snooping since 1985.

Is your city on the list??

AT&T’s “extreme willingness to help,” per the agency, allows access to emails and phone calls from other domestic carriers like Sprint, as well as international giants using American AT&T networks for data pit stops.

According to the NSA’s documents, it was using AT&T’s networks as of March 2013 to gather some 60 million foreign-to-foreign emails every day, 1.8 billion per month.

*

The family of Justine Damond, allegedly murdered by ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, is suing Minneapolis, Noor, his partner Matthew Harrity, ex-police chief Janee Harteau and current chief Medaria Arradondo for $50 million, plus punitive damages, according to New York Post. Steep!

John Ruszczyk claims his daughter’s civil rights were disregarded when Noor and his partner rolled up to the alley where Damond “became deceased” , because their body cameras were not activated and they proceeded to conduct a cover up.

*

To no one’s surprise, alleged House Democrat hacker Imran Awan got “time served” and three months of “supervised release” to atone for his one count of bank fraud. (He has been under house arrest.) As we have reported extensively, Awan pleaded guilty to merely lying on a bank loan application, despite reported evidence he and several family members stole equipment and data while working lucrative contracts for Democratic congresspeople.

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: July 25: Debbie, Derelict of Any Responsibility

Prosecutors ultimately concluded there was no evidence of Awan’s guilt in the latter activities.

Perhaps factoring into his sentence was the president’s public railing against Awan’s alleged offenses: Trump has referred to Awan multiple times as “the Pakistani mystery man,” and mentioned him during his joint press conference this summer in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Fox News)

CNN noted Judge Tanya S. Chutkan handed down the lenient punishment along with condemnations for the “unbelievable onslaught of scurrilous media attacks” and “baseless accusations” that were “lobbed at [Awan] from the highest branches of government.”

*

Paul Manafort is likely slated for some serious jail time as his Virginia tax fraud trial ended.

The jury found Manafort guilty on five charges of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. 

His other ten charges–also of bank fraud and failing to report foreign accounts–are up in the air after the jury reached a mistrial.

Next up: a Washington, D.C. trial of Manafort’s charges related to unregistered foreign lobbying and money laundering.

It seems the only “career criminal” boxes he has yet to check are the five charges of manslaughter ABC News erroneously pinned on him in June.

*

While the disgraced ex-Trump campaign chair pleaded not guilty to everything–including the recent witness tampering charge that revoked his house arrest–disgraced ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen (below) pleaded guilty to eight charges, which include making false statements to a bank, tax fraud (evading over $1.4 million in income tax), and campaign finance violations. He’s threatened with up to 65 years of hard time in a cushy white-collar facility.

Style isn’t everything.

Cohen admitted that “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” he kept information that would have harmed Trump from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle.
[…] [Cohen] acted with Trump and his allies, including David Pecker [**YES, HIS ACTUAL NAME**], the CEO of the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media Inc., to suppress potentially damaging claims against the now-President.
[…] Correction: This story has been updated to correct the name of the alcohol that Cohen said he drank on Monday night.

The suppressed info, widely publicized, includes Trump’s alleged extramarital affairs with porn actress Stephanie Clifford and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

For her discretion, Cohen paid Clifford a cool $130,000, which was technically considered a Trump campaign contribution and therefore exceeded federal limits.

McDougal banked $150,000 from American Media.

More scandalous, of course, is the Christopher Steele “dossier” allegation that Cohen hobnobbed with Russians in Prague months before Trump’s election. Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation into reported Russian 2016 Trump collusion/election interference may yet give Cohen further appearances to try out the rest of his wardrobe.

Thanks to our sources:

https://apps.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/graphics/2018/07/tsa-quiet-skies/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/quiet-skies-air-marshals_us_5b5e8897e4b0fd5c73d09f15

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/traveling-via-air-expect-to-remove-your-snacks-and-place-them-in-a-bin/2018/06/29/ea0bede2-796c-11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html?utm_term=.62159216ae3f

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/biometric-entry-and-exit-at-orlando/

https://thenextweb.com/security/2018/08/24/new-facial-recognition-system-at-us-airport-nabs-an-impostor-for-the-first-time/

https://theintercept.com/2018/06/25/att-internet-nsa-spy-hubs/

https://nypost.com/2018/07/23/family-of-bride-to-be-killed-by-officer-sues-for-50m/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/21/ex-dem-it-aide-imran-awan-avoids-jail-time-after-attorneys-complain-about-trump.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/21/politics/imran-awan-sentencing/index.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/402125-manafort-guilty?userid=115887

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/21/politics/michael-cohen-plea-deal-talks/index.html

Scott Pruitt Loves Chik-fil-A and Lotion–UPDATED

UPDATED 6/12/18:

Chase Bishop has surrendered to the Denver Sheriff Office to face a charge of second-degree assault announced Tuesday, according to CBS.

180612-chase-bishop-mugshot.jpg

District Attorney Beth McCann notes the belated arrest is justified even without Bishop’s blood alcohol level, a lab result that takes minutes to run in any American health care facility but nonetheless “could take another week.”

We also learned Bishop (normally based in Washington, D.C.) was in Denver for vacation, not training.

Original post continues below:

Disgraced spendthrift Scott Pruitt, vital national security interest and Gestapo-minded head of the EPA, is causing more trouble for fellow Republicans who must actually get re-elected in November.

The shameless Oklahoman lost his lawyer, Sarah Greenwalt, and scheduler, Millan Hupp to resignations last week.

Sydney Hupp, Millan’s sister and another EPA scheduler, personally  emailed Chik-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy last year to throw the weight of Pruitt’s office behind a highly-selective franchise acquisition application for his wife Marlyn, according to Washington Post. Sydney is also no longer with EPA. Marlyn did not get her Chik-fil-A.

Millan (below) had other questionable duties, according to Politico, including help[ing] Pruitt find housing and inquir[ing] about purchasing a used mattress for him from the Trump International Hotel.

But Vox noted the most demeaning tasks that fell to Pruitt’s multi-million dollar security squad: driving him to multiple locations to look for a moisturizing lotion offered by Ritz-Carlton hotels, and picking up his dry cleaning.

A Little Forfeiture

Unlike Imran Awan‘s wife, Hina Alvi, who was confronted by FBI agents and subsequently allowed to board an international flight with over $10 g’s in cash despite charges of bank fraud, U.S. citizen Rustem Kazazi had his life savings confiscated while flying from Cleveland to New Jersey last October.

He was ultimately en route to his original home country of Albania, because no self-respecting person would set foot in New Jersey except for a layover. While Mr. Kazazi was not required to report carriage of his “life savings”–$58,100 earmarked for purchasing a retirement home and assisting less fortunate Albanian family members–on a domestic flight, he was reportedly prepared to declare the funds during his layover in –ughhh–Newark, NJ.

However, government wants their money. Cleveland TSA thugs saw the cash surreptitiously sequestered in a large envelope marked “$58,100” in the 64-year-old’s carry-on bag. You can probably guess what happened next.

At the time, presumably because there was no real suspicion of criminal activity, Kazazi (who speaks little English) was merely searched, interrogated without an interpreter, given a receipt that read “U.S. currency” (no amount specified), and allowed to continue to Albania without the money.

In December, TSA’s fellow agency under DHS, the Customs and Border Protection, informed Kazazi they had his money, which was suspected of being “involved in a smuggling/drug trafficking/money laundering operation.” The amount had dropped to $57,330. The extra $770 must have been a “finder’s fee” for the sharp-eyed agent at the x-ray machine.

Image result for tsa worker

(Which is interesting, because according to USA Today, TSA actually harasses people leaving the country–the setting in which Kazazi was shortchanged–while CBP harasses them coming in.)

Forfeiture usually targets small entrepreneurs on bullshit charges like “structuring” deposits to avoid extra paperwork, because the Feds know these people will not have the resources to sue the government and reclaim property. As we have reported, over 90% of these seizures recently studied by the IRS inspector general came from innocent people:

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 10: IRS Takes From Little People; Squander Millions on Unused Email, Faulty Fraud Detection

Because they got caught and publicly shamed by the press (and served by Institute for Justice, who is helping the family sue the government pro bono), the Feds announced earlier this week they would refund Kazazi’s $57,330 within 30 days.

Rustem Kazazi and his son, Erald, are pleased that the government is returning the money taken from them at the airport, but said their vision of America has been affected. (Michael Sangiacomo / Plain Dealer)

The disappearance of the $770 remains a mystery. Rustem’s son Erald (above, right), who helped prepare the money for the trip, notes it was all in $100 bills.

“I always thought the government was here to protect us.”

–Rustem Kazazi

*

A’wanna Have Awan’s Luck with Lucrative Employment and Soft Criminal Proceedings

Awan, unlike Kazazi, is actually facing criminal charges. But his case may have been boosted by the bumbling Capitol Police, who unloaded a glut of evidence to Awan’s defense attorney, Bill and Hillary Clinton associate Chris Gowen. After he copied everything, law enforcement reportedly angrily admitted they thought Gowen was with the prosecution. Oops.

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! Awan Updates

Interestingly, although Gowen told Daily Caller the erroneous evidence disclosure was useless to the defense, it reportedly consisted of a copy of a laptop Awan’s former tenant, Laurel Everly, turned in to the Capitol Police in hopes of seeing whether Awan had hacked her. Everly previously complained of her landlord’s allegedly suspicious behavior and called him an “extortionist.”

Daily Caller also notes Awan argued against a different, government laptop  potentially implicating his family and friends’ theft of Democratic House members’ server data Awan left in a [obsolete term alert] phone booth being entered into evidence because he put a note that said “attorney client privilege” near it.

Fox News reported Awan will likely enter a plea agreement in the next hearing on July 3.

FBI Agent Shoots Amazon Packer

It’s not quite the “imperiling disabled children by mishandling live ordinance” level of functioning displayed by the CIA,

CIA: Careless, Incompetent, and Arrogant

but the FBI is making a play for “most unaccountable Federal Agency of the month” (May 2018). The setting: Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Bar, Denver, CO.

Agent Chase Bishop, 29, visiting Denver for agency-funded training and intoxication, accidentally capped a bystander in the leg while retrieving the firearm that jostled out of his ass crack after he failed to properly land a backflip on the Mile High dance floor in the early morning of June 2. Such a white boy move.

The video from Good Morning America shows Bishop swaggering away with a smirk, raising his hands as he disappears into the crowd.

Chase Bishop: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

It’s unclear if he identified himself as law enforcement. Mile High put out a statement that loaded firearms are prohibited on the premises. Heavy, however, reports that the agent is probably above the law:

Bob Pence, a retired FBI agent who was the Agent-in-Charge of the Denver field office, told Denver 7 that FBI agents are “considered on-duty 24 hours a day,” and were therefore permitted to carry their weapons everywhere. Pence told the news network that agents “should not drink excessively.”

Charges have not yet been announced, pending toxicology results. It’s been eight days, so with typical Washington efficiency a blood sample must have been sent to an out-of-state lab via carrier pigeon.

The Liberty University graduate is a former Army intelligence officer.

PHOTO: Tom Reddington is interviewed at his home in Denver, June 6, 2018. He was accidentally shot by the back-flipping FBI agent. (GMA)

The victim, 24-year-old Tom Reddington (above), works for the much-maligned super-corporation Amazon loading trucks. He has since been offered lifetime complimentary beverages from Mile High.

The “National Security” Front

Facebook is back in the newsfeed, publicly broadcasting the posts of “as many as 14 million users” after a “bug” set the default setting to “public” on all those users’ posts between May 18 and May 27. The social media giant supposedly changed the setting back to preferred privacy parameters once the bug was discovered.

When confronted by the ACLU, Orlando, FL police were forced to admit Amazon’s dystopian face-and-movement tracking technology Rekognition (showcased in the self-congratulatory promotion for a revolutionary grocery store below) has been deployed for public surveillance downtown.

Although chief John Mina insisted the system is merely “testing” recognition by capturing footage of seven department officers (and lamented the State is “a long way” from–Engadget‘s words–“tracking persons of interest”), he reneged on a public promise to reveal the cameras’ locations. A spokeswoman helped cover Mina’s ass by proclaiming his ignorance of the test cameras, because why would a police chief be aware of his office’s ongoing efforts to usurp civil liberties?

 Mina also said that he doesn’t know whether those cameras’ footage are uploaded to any Amazon server.

Mina (below) is resigning this year to run for election as Orange County sheriff.

The ACLU also learned that Amazon provided Washington County [Oregon] a roadmap under a non-disclosure agreement, and offered to link the county to other government customers interested in Rekognition, such as a body camera manufacturer. That’s particularly problematic when facial recognition on body cameras is illegal in Oregon. Amazon deleted mentions of body cams from its site after the ACLU raised the issue.

Amazon has lauded the cameras’ usefulness for identifying guests at the recent royal wedding in the UK.

Some of our previous coverage of facial recognition and its propensity to finger innocent people–especially African-Americans and women–when searching databases for a suspect can be found here:

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 10, 19 and 22–Genes, Tattoos and Faces

Not to be outdone, Google helped fund some new research into algorithms that Futurism.com reports will allow Artificial Intelligence to create realistic footage of people from existing images or video. Perhaps those captured by police cameras.

[P]articipants in an experiment struggled to determine whether or not the resulting videos were real.

 

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/06/pruitt-epa-republicans-scandal-scarred-599048

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/7/17437628/scott-pruitt-ritz-carlton-trump-epa-white-house

https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/06/notes_do_not_publish.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/02/us/ohio-us-customs-cash-taken/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_latest+%28RSS%3A+CNN+-+Most+Recent%29

http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/24/washington-dc-capitol-police-evidence-house-hacking-suspect-attorney/

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/06/imran-awan-very-strongly-wants-to-block-review-of-hard-drive-was-using-alias/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/06/ex-dem-it-aide-imran-awan-poised-for-plea-deal-after-months-mysterious-delays.html

Chase Bishop: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/victim-shot-back-flipping-fbi-agent-says-initially-115504028–abc-news-topstories.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2018/06/07/A-software-bug-made-some-private-posts-public-for-up-to-14-million-Facebook-users/stories/201806070253

https://www.engadget.com/2018/05/22/amazon-selling-facial-recognition-tech-to-law-enforcement/

https://www.engadget.com/2018/05/25/orlando-amazon-facial-recognition-tech/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-john-mina-retirement-sheriff-race-20180607-story.html

Band-aids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes or Budgets

What a week in Washington and beyond.

Mohamed Noor was ultimately charged in his alleged slaying of Justine Damond last July. Besides third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges (and a maximum 35 years in prison), the 32-year-old finally earned a termination from the Minneapolis Police Department. Which is interesting, because police chief Janee Harteau was forced out within a month of the incident:

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: July 18: Crime and Punishment

Neither Noor [alliteration or repetition coming up? you decide] nor his partner Matthew Harrity had their body cameras running when Noor allegedly shot Damond across Harrity from the patrol car’s passenger seat.

Harrity (with whom Noor is now court-ordered not to associate) testified to a grand jury last month.

Although the Minnesota police union reported 35 to 40 Minneapolis police officers were initially subpoenaed, apparently no one talked, prompting a grand jury. Noor’s own first conversation with the law was reportedly Tuesday night when he surrendered. The prosecution noticed:

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman blamed stonewalling by the Minneapolis police for the eight-month delay in charging Noor.

“This would have been done a good deal quicker if we had gotten cooperation,” he said at a news conference Tuesday after Noor was charged.

Noor made $400,000 bail Wednesday after a night in jail.

[His attorney Thomas Plunkett is either the Mafia don on the left or the unkempt man on the right.]

Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage director Justin Terrell opined that the Somali-American Noor’s treatment for shooting a white Australian woman is disproportionately punitive and rooted in racism.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman described how Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor reached across his partner's body and shot Justine Ruszczy

Freeman (above, accusatory pointing) was reportedly reluctant to resort to a grand jury because the public detests secret proceedings and, well, police in Minnesota lately racked up multiple high-profile casualties:

Christmas Special: Mohamed Noor and Justine Damond Updates

Speaking of which, somewhat lost in the highly-publicized “March for our Lives” this weekend was the Sacramento police slaughter of 22-year-old Stephon Alonzo Clark, who was reportedly breaking windows. The law cornered the father of two in his grandparents’ backyard and delivered 20 rounds of ammunition when they mistook Clark’s cellphone for a gun.

Stephon Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento Police on Sunday night.

Police released video from their heat-seeking tactical chopper:

We can see Clark enter the yard (the cursor on the screen immerses the pilot in a video game hunting experience)…

…then get dropped by the officers:

There was some disagreement as to whether the officers announced their identities. Because that’s the biggest problem here.

Sacramento police guidelines posted on the department’s website do not specify that officers must identify themselves when encountering suspects. Sacramento police spokeswoman Linda Matthew said she did not believe such a policy existed.

Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said that policies for departments vary across the country, but it would be impractical under such circumstances to expect officers to identify themselves.

“If you’re in a chase and everybody’s running, there isn’t a lot of talking back and forth going on,” he said.

According to Capital Public Radio, who have the body cam footage:

The video also confirms that law enforcement and first responders waited more than 5 minutes to approach Clark after the shooting. When they did, they put him in handcuffs before performing medical treatment.

*

After several months on the back burner, Trump’s decision to bar transgender Americans from serving in the military has been resurrected, this time with the approval of Defense secretary James “Jim” Mattis.

*

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reluctantly provided his first public admission of wrongdoing since he attempted to drum up “empathy” for Hurricane Maria victims with a virtual reality tour of Puerto Rico’s utter destruction last October:

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 3.53.15 PM

The overpriced Q-tip (below) is prepared to testify to Congress on the evil workings of Cambridge Analytica.

The short version: a Facebook app offered users to sign away rights to their personal information (and that of online “friends”) to take a personality quiz. That data was used by Cambridge’s right-wing customers to assist in Trump’s election.

[reason notes the same privacy-usurping approach via third-party Facebook app–“Graph API“–successfully sealed Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Because Obama was a Democrat, the ploy was revolutionary, not fascist.]

However, the social media platform apparently pledged to pull the plug on Graph API and disallow further mass collection from millions of unwitting Americans in April 2015. Oops.

Facebook lost $50 billion over the past week.

Zucks admitted to selling out the ignorant masses–and finally offered an apology–via a medium long extinct to all but nostalgic elites and non-internet households: print journalism.

*

TSA‘s competence was on full display Friday night when Costa Rican customs found 58 grams of marijuana, edibles, pipes and cannabis oil the crack security squad at Fort Lauderdale International Airport apparently missed in New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon‘s luggage.

[Most of the weed was in a can of Arizona Iced Tea–peach flavor! Given the TSA’s notorious beverage ban at security, Harmon must have checked the suitcase.]

Harmon was shipped back to the states. According to the C’Rican Fiscal Control Police, who were on alert for “spring break” travelers,  “[w]e want to prevent undesirable people from entering the country.”

USP NFL: SUPER BOWL LII-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES VS NEW S FBN USA MN

TSA will reclaim its investigative dominance with a new regulation: forcing passengers to remove electronic tablets from carry-on luggage in addition to laptops. A spokeswoman boasted the new harassment, which was [PUN ALERT] pilot tested in 10 airports last year (and apparently met with little resistance!) is part of “the first broad-scale changes to TSA screening procedures in the security checkpoint in more than 11 years.”

Clearly she forgot the revolutionary “which line do I get to stand in” randomizer app:

Swipe Left for Overfunded Incompetence–UPDATED

*

And Congress plowed ahead with its latest spending blitz to meet an appropriations deadline. The damage: $1.3 trillion, which keeps the Feds afloat for six more months.

In the Senate, more Democrats than Republicans voted for Mitch McConnell‘s latest pork-stuffed financial condemnation of the country’s younger generations. Notably, McConnell’s fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul (a “no”) allowed the 65-32 vote without a procedural holdup similar to his protest just a few weeks prior (the last time a temporary, last-second spending patch was scraped together by the cancerous Federal installation that ran out of other people’s money over $21,000,000,000,000 ago).

FEMA Withdraws Aid Withdrawal Amid Backlash, Raises Stakes with Seedy Power Provider and Drops the Ball on Puerto Rican Food Delivery; Congress Shits on Taxpayers Again; Your Location and Face Broadcast to More Federal Agencies

Jim Risch (R-ID) (“no”) almost dinged McConnell’s dwindling pride by striking a provision renaming a wildlife refuge after a former political rival of Risch. Priorities.

Idaho GOP Sen. Jim Risch (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

(The rival is reportedly the recently deceased former Democratic Beehive State governor Cecil Andrus.)

But the House had already passed the bill 256-157 (more “no” votes came from the majority party, just like the Senate), and an unnamed member objected to the modification.

(Of note, Congress had a two-week vacation starting Friday evening.)

On Thursday night Paul live-tweeted his attempt to read the 2,200-page bill, which was provided to both houses of Congress about 48 hours before the funding deadline. He reportedly got through 600 pages.

View image on Twitter

McConnell heralded the measure as “the end of disproportionate and harmful cuts to Department of Defense funding […] the largest year-on-year increase in defense spending in fifteen years.”

Other reactions included no-voters John Kennedy (R-LA) (“a great dane-sized whiz down the leg of every taxpayer”) and Bob Corker (R-TN) (“one of the most grotesque pieces of legislation I can remember”).

Buried in the bill was a $48.8 million increase in the Senate budget. The House upped their budget by $10.9 million.

 

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-minneapolis-police-officer-charged-justine-damond-killing-makes-bail-n858876

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/16/police-partner-of-justine-damonds-killer-testifies-at-grand-jury

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-police-officer-mohamed-noor-turns-himself-in-on-charges-in-justine-damond-killing/477405923/#1

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-police-policy/california-police-shooting-of-unarmed-black-man-forcing-look-at-policies-idUSKBN1H003T

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-police-policy/california-police-shooting-of-unarmed-black-man-forcing-look-at-policies-idUSKBN1H003T

https://www.recode.net/2018/3/21/17149964/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-congress-data-privacy-cambridge-analytica

Zuck apologizes for Cambridge Analytica scandal with full-page print ad

https://www.necn.com/news/sports/New-England-Patriots-Duron-Harmon-Marijuana-Costa-Rica-477819263.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2018/03/24/duron-harmon-marijuana-costa-rica-arrest-detained/455944002/

https://news.co.cr/new-england-patriots-player-duron-harmon-attempts-to-enter-costa-rica-with-marijuana/71750/

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s63

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/379883-senate-approves-13-trillion-spending-bill-sending-to-trump?userid=115887&utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=14308

House OKs Spending Bill to Fund Government, but 90 Republicans Vote No

http://freebeacon.com/politics/congress-gives-bonus-omnibus/

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 26–TSA Festivities

Here we go.

The “enhanced pat down” technique we reported earlier this year is molesting innocent travelers just as the thuggish TSA of the Federal Government intended. Gotta stop the terrorists.

TSA’s New “Enhanced Pat-Down”

First public outcry: Dallas, TX. Dallas News:

A mother who asked TSA agents at DFW International Airport for alternative screening for her son with special needs said they were “treated like dogs” and forced to miss a flight during an extensive security check, according to her Facebook post that has since gone viral.

But the Transportation Security Administration said in a prepared statement that it followed approved procedures to “resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop.” 

[…]

TSA disputed Williamson’s account, noting in its statement that the passengers were at the checkpoint for about 35 minutes, including the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the teen’s mother and the inspection of three carry-on items.  The pat-down took about two minutes, according to the agency.

[Williamson continued:]

“I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying. We had two DFW police officers that were called and flanking him on each side. Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.”

TSA said two police officers were called to mitigate the mother’s concerns.

“The video shows a male TSA officer explaining the procedure to the passenger, who fully cooperates,” the agency’s statement reads. “Afterward, the TSA officer was instructed by his supervisor, who was observing, to complete the final step of the screening process.”

Williamson’s Facebook post, according to Dallas News:

We have been through hell this morning. They detained Aaron for well over an hour at DFW. (And deliberately kept us from our flight… we are now on an alternate) We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules. He has SPD [sensory processing disorder] and I didn’t want my child given a pat down like this. Let me make something else crystal clear. He set off NO alarms. He physically did not alarm at all during screening, he passed through the detector just fine. He is still several hours later saying “I don’t know what I did. What did I do?” I am livid. Please, share… make this viral like the other children’s videos with TSA… I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying. We had two DFW police officers that were called and flanking him on each side. Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.

 

 

 

This is reportedly an obscene departure from previous child pat-downs we have documented from the bumbling agency:

 

“Certain Circumstances” allow government agent to touch little girl

TSA Update

With the Trump administration’s “tough on crime” stance and hapless “public servants” stroking your child’s privates, expect the family flight to Disney to be that much more miserable.

Purely out of concern for the affected parties, and certainly not to protect their arduous career of semi-sexual assault under pretenses of national security, the TSA “blog” on March 28 posted a not-at-all-defensive, passenger-patronizing piece of pro-security propaganda, which follows in its entirety (yes, that is the actual headline).

To dispel any allegations of “fake news” that they seem to have anticipated, TSA slapped a “MYTH” heading on the top of the article. Don’t you feel safer already? That crazy woman and her dangerous-looking child were simply “fake news”!

TSA Mythbuster: The Rest of the DFW Pat-down Story

Myth Banner

As you may have heard, on Sunday at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), a 13-year-old passenger underwent enhanced security screening, which included a pat-down, after his laptop alarmed an explosives trace detection machine. In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to ease concerns of the mother. The passengers were at the checkpoint for approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection.

The mother filmed the pat-down and posted it to Facebook. It has since gone viral.

So is this standard procedure? TSA screening procedures allow for the pat-down of children under certain circumstances. In this instance, a laptop alarmed the explosives trace detection machine, which requires additional screening to resolve the alarm. 

We get it. Nobody likes to be patted down. And nobody likes to see their loved ones patted down, especially children. TSA screens thousands of families every day, and our officers are trained to communicate with parents, explain screening procedures before they begin, and find the best way to get everyone to their plane safely and efficiently. Many of our officers are parents too.  

All of our procedures are based on current intelligence and our adversaries are always looking for ways to inflict harm, including recruiting young children to carry out attacks. Bottom-line [sic] is that passengers, including children, and their property are screened prior to boarding a plane and any security alarms must be resolved.

So why does TSA conduct pat-downs? Pat-down procedures are used to determine whether prohibited and dangerous items are concealed. You may be required to undergo a pat-down procedure if the screening technology alarms, as part of random or unpredictable security measures, for enhanced screening, or as an alternative to other types of screening, such as advanced imaging technology screening. Even passengers who normally receive expedited screening, such as TSA Pre✓® passengers, may at times receive pat-down screening.

What should you know about pat-down screening?

  • Our officers will explain the procedures to you as they conduct the pat-down.
  • We use modified screening procedures for children 12 and under that reduce the likelihood of pat-down screening.
  • A pat-down may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, hand, back, torso, legs, and feet. This includes head coverings and sensitive areas such as breasts, groin, and the buttocks. You may be required to adjust clothing during the pat-down.
  • Pat-downs require sufficient pressure to ensure detection.
  • Our officers use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.  
  • You should advise the officer if you have difficulty raising your arms or remaining in the position required; an external medical device; or areas of the body that are painful when touched.
  • You may request a chair to sit if needed.
  • You will receive a pat-down by an officer of the same gender.
  • At any time during the process, you may request private screening accompanied by a companion of your choice.  

*

UPDATE: At the time of this posting, TSA had posted their own “update” to the blog to maintain the rationale of benevolent Big Government touching citizens with documented handicaps specifically:

***Update*** When a pat-down is required, TSA can offer reasonable accommodations for individuals with sensory processing disorders or other conditions that sometimes result in pain when touched. However, those individuals still need to undergo a pat-down to maintain security.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/2017/03/27/mom-says-tsa-agents-dfw-airport-traumatized-son-horrifying-security-check

http://blog.tsa.gov/2017/03/tsa-mythbuster-rest-of-dfw-pat-down.html

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! February 23–Court-Mandated Feeding Falls; Chicago Strikes; Podesta Peddles Influence and TSA Chokes

A woman who successfully kept state courts from force-feeding her succumbed to her anorexia-bulimia three months after establishing her right to enter palliative care.

Ashley G., 30, was a three-year inpatient at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, NJ according to Associated Press. She died at Morristown Medical Center.

New Jersey State Attorney General reportedly supported the NJ Department of Human Services request to have Ashley force-fed, arguing her anorexia was “not a terminal condition” and that her chronic depression precluded any mentally competent decision regarding her welfare.

Interestingly, Parsippany’s population is about 30% Asian, including 17% Indian American.

Ashley’s court-appointed lawyer was Edward D’Alessandro Jr.

Of note, Judge Paul Armstrong, who ruled for Ashley last November against the state attorney general, represented the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan as they fought successfully to have their 21-year-old daughter — who was in a persistent vegetative state after mixing alcohol with Valium at a party — removed from a ventilator so she could die with dignity. She lived nine more years but never came out of her coma.

Quinlan’s “right to die” case went to the New Jersey Supreme Court, who ruled her parents could remove the feeding tube. She also died in New Jersey, according to Wikipedia.

*

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Council 31), which represents 38,000 Illinois state employees, voted to strike.

“Instead of working toward compromise, Governor [Bruce] Rauner has been seeking the power to unilaterally impose his own extreme demands, including a 100 percent hike in employee costs for health care that would take $10,000 out of the pocket of the average state worker, a four-year wage freeze and an end to safeguards against irresponsible privatization.”

–Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch

Rauner responded to the results of the union’s strike vote, which they broadcast on “Twitter.”

The Republican governor, elected in 2014, characterized the vote as “an attack on our state’s hardworking taxpayers and all those who rely on critical services provided everyday.

[…]

“[STUPID PHRASE ALERT] Put simply, AFSCME leaders will do or say anything to avoid implementing a contract that is fair to both taxpayers and state employees alike.

“If AFSCME chooses to strike, we will use every resource to ensure services continue to be available to the people of Illinois. We continue to encourage AFSCME to work with us in implementing a contract that is similar to those ratified by 20 other unions.”

Rauner was reportedly opposed to the union’s demands for overtime pay after working 37.5 hours in one week and favoring employee pay increases tied to seniority instead of performance.

*

Career criminal and ex-Hillary campaign chair John Podesta was hired to write for Washington Post. Presumably this means he will not resume his unregistered lobbying for Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

Panama Papers

*

And the New York Post editorial board brought us new details on the 11 air travelers who were allowed to board planes at JFK Monday morning without going through the exhaustive security measures innocent Americans endure daily:

TSA staffers left a security lane open but unmanned. Three set off a metal-detector alarm and still walked on. And TSA didn’t tell Port Authority cops for two hours. 

Related:

 

TSA Protects

Judicial Watch on Somali Immigrants

Swipe Left for Overfunded Incompetence–UPDATED

New York Daily News had more damning details:

At least three of the passengers set off metal detectors, meaning that they could have been armed.

“They have clearly taken their eye off the ball. TSA management must refocus their people on screening passengers and cargo,” Marshall McClain of the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers observed.

What have they been focusing on??

Image result for tsa worker

Image result for tsa worker

Image result for tsa worker

But not to worry:

The TSA said it found most of the 11 passengers when they landed in California, and deemed them not to be threats.

[our emphasis]

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/anorexic-bulimic-woman-fought-force-feeding-dies-30-163035398.html

https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

Illinois public-employee union members vote to authorize strike

http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/02/john-podesta-joins-washington-post-as-contributing-columnist-235300

http://nypost.com/2017/02/23/if-the-tsa-cant-fire-these-screwups-we-should-fire-the-tsa/

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/workers-failed-screen-jfk-passengers-face-discipline-article-1.2979527?cache=snyfr%2525252525253fq%2525252525253dxs%2F

TSA’s New “Enhanced Pat-Down”

Justin Bachman at Bloomberg has sounded the alarm on the bumbling TSA‘s latest molestation of American travelers.

It is unclear if the new procedure is connected to several travelers who waltzed through the JFK checkpoint with no screening last month–and were not reported by the TSA for two hours despite setting off alarms:

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! February 23–Court-Mandated Feeding Falls; Chicago Strikes; Podesta Peddles Influence and TSA Chokes

Details from TSA are scarce, but Bachman speculates the TSA’s (uncharacteristic) foresight in alerting airport law enforcement that controversy is on the horizon prompts a great many questions as to what kind of cavity searches the government thugs plan to conduct:

[T]he agency does expect some passengers to consider the examination unusual. In fact, the TSA decided to inform local police in case anyone calls to report an “abnormal” federal frisking, according to a memo from an airport trade association obtained by Bloomberg News. The physical search, for those selected to have one, is what the agency described as a more “comprehensive” screening, replacing five separate kinds of pat-downs it previously used.

[…]

On its website, the TSA says employees “use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.”

[…]

The pat-down change, first reported Friday by Bloomberg News, is “intended to reduce the cognitive burden on [employees] who previously had to choose from various pat-down procedures depending on the type of screening lane,” the [Airports Council International-North America] wrote…

[…]

The TSA won’t reveal specific procedures on how its pat-downs are conducted beyond the general information on its website. “Knowing our specific procedures could aid those who wish to do travelers harm in evading our measures,” Anderson said.

NOT A CONCERN IN MINNESOTA!!! —>

Judicial Watch on Somali Immigrants

The TSA’s calls to police were an effort to provide local law enforcement “situational awareness” about the new pat-down method, Christopher Bidwell, ACI-NA’s vice president of security, said in an interview Saturday. U.S. airports have not expressed any reservations or concerns about the pat-down change, the association said.

Bloomberg notes that while 2 million travelers are harassed daily at U.S. airports, no one is keeping track of the number subjected to “pat-down.”

All emphasis is ours.

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-06/tsa-warns-local-police-about-its-new-airport-pat-downs

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-03/u-s-airport-pat-downs-are-about-to-get-more-invasive

Judicial Watch on Somali Immigrants

Judicial Watch: Somali Muslim Immigrants Given Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Security

In a lawsuit to obtain public records of TSA activities, conservative legal group Judicial Watch (known for bringing us regular installments of the Hillary Secret Server emails) has found that Somali refugees resettling in Minnesota (a known launch point for Americans who fly out to joint ISIS) were given a VIP tour of the “sterile, secure facilities” at the Twin Cities airport.

counterjihad.com notes the apparent circle of life in placating the terrorist-fleeing refugees resettling in Minnesota who allegedly face discrimination by TSA (because poor refugees got lots of flying to do) due to their Islamic jihad-torn country of origin…by having the incompetent Department of Homeland Security offer tours of airport security:

Minnesota has been impacted with tens of thousands of Somali Muslims refugees settling in Minneapolis from jihadi influenced Somalia, which has created a hotbed for terrorist recruitment. Numerous Somali Muslims in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area have left to join terrorist groups like Al Shabaab and ISIS or have been apprehended by government authorities.

Judicial Watch reported yesterday:

On at least two occasions—December 18, 2014 and February 18, 2015—federal authorities granted the unprecedented excursions of the facility’s sterile and secure areas, according to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) records obtained by Judicial Watch. The DHS agency that conducted the expeditions, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), provided the Muslim participants with “an in-depth, on-site tour and discussion of CBP’s airport, including both inbound and outbound passenger processing,” the TSA files state. Besides multiple roundtable meetings between CBP and Somali community leaders including imams, the records show that a luncheon and “cultural exchange and educational brief” also took place between December 2014 and February 2015 so that attendees could ask about the agency’s “specific practices” at the airport.

[So much red highlighting. It’s like the blood spilled by terrorists over here!]

The roundtable events and airport tours were organized by Abdirizak Farah, who is identified in the records as a policy advisor in the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). Farah joined DHS in 2010 with an annual salary of $89,033 and by 2015 his yearly pay increased to $130,453, according to a government database. The TSA’s “Somali liaison officer” in Minneapolis, Andrew Rhoades, told Judicial Watch that the special airport tours were organized for Somali Muslims after they complained to Johnson [DHS secretary] that they felt “harassed and profiled” by CBP at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The DHS secretary had “a sympathetic ear to that,” Rhoades said, adding that no other group has been granted such airport access by DHS…

Now we know why Mr. Jeh Johnson has stopped doing those infomercials urging female travelers not to get bit by mosquitoes when traveling to Zika regions. He was giving luncheons to the oppressed!

As we have reported, TSA employees that complain of workplace retaliation when pointing out incompetence, by contrast, are merely reassigned to other tasks. These are not rock science peoples. How are they supposed to handle task reassignment??

TSA Shakes Things Up

Thanks to our source:

Favoritism for Somali Immigrants from DHS

TSA Update

USA Today has obtained surveillance video of the Memphis TSA takedown of Hannah Cohen.

Video from YouTube because USA Today link will not copy.

View our original post here:

TSA Protects

 

Thanks to our source:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/08/11/video-memphis-airport-police-disabled-st-jude-patient-fight/88590390/

DHS Shakes Down Reporter

This post was updated to attempt to change our formatting and update Ms. Abi-Habib’s pictures.  We added spaces to her post to make paragraphs. The original Facebook post is still available by navigating to the green “232 Likes” at the bottom of our page. We have been forced to post our source at the top here for aesthetics. Original post continues below.

reason had a pretty revealing story last week. Wall Street Journal reporter Maria Abi-Habib, who holds American and Lebanese citizenship, was accosted when she refused to let the LAX airport security go through her cell phones.
It is unclear if the Federal Agents involved were Customs and Border Protection or TSA, whose agents represent another Federal Agency, the DHS.

 

Either way, Abi-Habib’s employees, Federal Government agents, detained and interrogated her until she requested her legal representation. While journalists tend to be savvy about protecting their sources, the average citizen might be easily manipulated by a Federal thug who escorts them to the front of the line if they just give up a little privacy to a complete stranger who represents the United States government.
WSJ gave a statement to reason. (DHS did not. Bill the taxpayers.)
“We are disturbed by the serious incident involving WSJ reporter Maria Abi-Habib, a citizen of the United States and Lebanon,” Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker said in a statement. “We have been working to learn more about these events, but the notion that Customs and Border Protection agents would stop and question one of our journalists in connection with her reporting and seek to search her cell phones is unacceptable.”
It is unclear if this was Federal Government intrusion on the level of then-Attorney General Eric Holder labeling James Rosen and other Fox News journalists “co-conspirators” under the Espionage Act of 1917, permitting the Justice Department to search their email records and phone logs without a warrant.
*
We have included the post in its entirety below. At least Abi-Habib was just physically violated by the Federal Government, and not assassinated at the order of Obama like American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman!
All bold emphasis is ours:
Maria Abi-Habib's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor
Maria Abi-Habib

 

Dear friends,
I wanted to share a troubling experience I had with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in the hopes it may help you protect your private information. I was born a US citizen and was traveling on my American passport.

I landed at LA airport last Thursday to attend a wedding. I was standing in line for immigration when a DHS officer said “oh, there you are.” I was puzzled. “I was trying to recognize you from your picture. I’m here to help you get through the line.”
I asked a few questions, and she said that DHS had decided to pick me up when my name came in on the flight manifest (this is not uncommon, for countries to share passenger names). She didn’t say whether the flight manifest was sent from Beirut, where I started my trip, or Frankfurt, where I hopped onto my connecting flight to LAX. The DHS agent went on to say she was there to help me navigate immigration because I am a journalist with The Wall Street Journal and have traveled to many dangerous places that are on the US’ [sic?] radar for terrorism. She independently knew who I worked for and my Twitter account, countries I’d reported from (like Iraq) and even recent articles I’d written — I told her nothing about myself.

This didn’t seem out of the ordinary at first — I’ve had US Immigration officials tell me my name is on a special list that allows me to circumvent the questioning most would receive if they had a similar travel profile or internet print (talking to members of known terrorist groups). I travel to the US about twice a year and have always remarked on how smooth my experiences at Customs/Immigration are.

But after pushing me to the front of a very long line at immigration, she then escorted me to the luggage belt, where I collected my suitcase, and then she took me to a special section of LAX airport. Another customs agent joined her at that point and they grilled me for an hour – asking me about the years I lived in the US, when I moved to Beirut and why, who lives at my in-laws’ house in LA and numbers for the groom and bride whose wedding I was attending. I answered jovially, because I’ve had enough high-level security experiences to know that being annoyed or hostile will work against you.

But then she asked me for my two cellphones. I asked her what she wanted from them.
“We want to collect information” she said, refusing to specify what kind.
And that is where I drew the line — I told her I had First Amendment rights as a journalist she couldn’t violate and I was protected under. I explained I had to protect my sources of information.
“Did you just admit you collect information for foreign governments?” she asked, her tone turning hostile.

“No, that’s exactly not what I just said,” I replied, explaining again why I would not hand over my phones.
She handed me a DHS document, a photo of which I’ve attached. It basically says the US government has the right to seize my phones and my rights as a US citizen (or citizen of the world) go out the window. This law applies at any point of entry into the US, whether naval, air or land and extends for 100 miles into the US from the border or formal points of entry. So, all of NY city for instance. If they forgot to ask you at JFK airport for your phones, but you’re having a drink in Manhattan the next day, you technically fall under this authority. And because they are acting under the pretense to protect the US from terrorism, you have to give it up.

So I called their bluff.

“You’ll have to call The Wall Street Journal’s lawyers, as those phones are the property of WSJ,” I told her, calmly.
She accused me of hindering the investigation – a dangerous accusation as at that point, they can use force. I put my hands up and said I’d done nothing but be cooperative, but when it comes to my phones, she would have to call WSJ’s lawyers.
She said she had to speak to her supervisor about my lack of cooperation and would return. I was left with the second DHS officer who’d been there since we left the baggage claim area.
The female officer returned 30 minutes later and said I was free to go. I have no idea why they wanted my phones — it could have been a way for them to download my contacts. Or maybe they expect me of terrorism or sympathizing with terrorists — although my profile wouldn’t fit, considering I am named Maria Teresa, and for a variety of other reasons including my small child.

I’ve since done some research and spoken to an encryption expert. This is the information I’ve gleaned which I hope may help those reading:

1) My rights as a journalist or US citizen do not apply at the border, as explained above, since legislation was quietly passed in 2013 giving DHS very broad powers (I researched this since the incident). This legislation also circumvents the Fourth Amendment that protects Americans’ privacy and prevents searches and seizures without a proper warrant.

2) Always use encryption, but even this cannot keep you 100% safe. If you are contacting someone about a sensitive matter, use an application like Signal. But if DHS seizes your phone, they can see you’ve been speaking to that person, although if you erase your chats, they won’t see what you spoke about.

3) Never download anything or even open a link from a friend or source that looks suspicious. This may be malware, meaning that they have downloaded software on your phone that will be able to circumvent the powers of encryption. Don’t leave your phone unattended for the same reasons – they can just open it up and download malware.

4) Travel “naked” as one encryption expert told me. If any government wants your information, they will get it no matter what. Remember the San Bernardino shooter? Apple refused to comply, so the US got the information by paying an Israeli company $1 million to unlock the shooter’s phone. So if you have something extra sensitive on your device – phone or laptop – do not travel with it and instead use your sim card in a clean phone. And for sensitive numbers, write them on a piece of paper you can somehow secure and then restore the factory settings on your phone – which seems to be the only way of wiping it clean 100%.
Sorry for the long post. I hope this helps.

 

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