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TSA and John Tyner -- usually, this sort of thing is preceded by dinner

By Alexandra Petri

"If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested!"

So said 31 year-old software engineer John Tyner to the TSA official attempting to pat him down at San Diego's airport. Tyner was flying out of San Diego airport to go on a hunting trip with his father-in-law when the TSA's new screening policies intervened. After refusing to go through the "backscatter x-ray machine," he was taken aside to be subjected to a pat-down, and he recorded the encounter on video, including the following exchange:

TSA official: Also, we are going to be doing a groin check. That means I am going to place my hand on your hip, my other hand on your inner thigh. Slowly go up and slide down.

Tyner: Okay.

TSA: We are going to do that two times in the front and two times in the back.

Tyner: All right.

TSA: And if you would like a private screening, we can make that available for you also.

Tyner: We can do that out here but if you touch my junk I am going to have you arrested.

TSA: Actually, we are going to have a supervisor here because of your statement.

Usually, when someone says to me, "I am going to place my hand on your hip, my other hand on your inner thigh. Slowly go up and slide down," this is an indication that the evening is going well. Then a few minutes pass, and the other party demands payment. Unless, of course, officers of the law show up and break things up.

This seems to be exactly what happened to Mr. Tyner. He's even facing a fine -- a possible $10,000! And this is after he refused services and was escorted out of the checkpoint area by officers of the law. That seems excessive -- but I guess it's okay if that's what you're into.

Still, I am shocked by this. Not because this seems excessively invasive for how much good it's apparently doing -- somewhat analogously, I could remove my kidney now, because they are known to turn on you without warning, but I'd rather not -- but because the government is apparently doing this for free now, at the airport! If I'd known this sooner, I could be saving a lot of money and getting to travel as well!

So I guess I'm going to spend more time in airport security checkpoints!

"Don't you have any luggage, ma'am?" they'll ask.

"No baggage here!" I'll say. "But would you mind if I hold your hand and talk about my feelings afterwards?"

Think of the places I'll go! No longer do I have to wander up and down dark streets looking for people who seem moderately clean! TSA employees make a good wage, always wear gloves, and they'll even have their supervisor watch!

But they don't like it when you videotape.

In light of this encounter, Twitter is already busily coining new slogans for the TSA under the hashtag #TSAslogans. Here are some of mine:

TSA: Glove. No love.
TSA: When dinner and a movie is too expensive.
TSA: When your creepy uncle is out of town on business.
TSA: Reach out and touch someone. In a private place.

By Alexandra Petri  | November 15, 2010; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  Epic Failures, Petri, That's awkward  | Tags:  John Tyner, TSA, airplanes  
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Comments

My understanding is that an arrest has been effected whenever somebody detains or impedes you from your journey.

If the TSA tells you that you cannot leave, you have been arrested.

If the probable cause for the arrest is simply refusal to submit to what is described as a voluntary search, the predicate for any other legal action is going to be whether or not adequate probable cause exists to effect an arrest.

This is a question ripe for litigation. The TSA screeners clearly do not understand that having effected an arrest, whether they call it that (most don't) or not, they will at some point be called to account for it.

If somebody wants to leave, and you refuse to let them and lack probable cause, there should be legal consequences.

Posted by: st_alphonse | November 15, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm of the opinion we should ALL take the pat down.

Let's see who cracks first.


x

Posted by: xexon | November 15, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

TSA: We check your trunk, AND your junk.

TSA: We feel your pain, and so much more.

TSA: Complain and we’ll check your prostate too.

TSA: We tie your panties in a knot.

TSA: We’re good for the goose… of the gander’s junk.

TSA: Give us love, or you have to say you’re sorry.

TSA: No touch zone? No fly zone.

TSA: We give you a HAND. It’s our JOB.

TSA: Write any more of these and I’m calling a supervisor.

Posted by: divtune | November 15, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Tyner is an ass.
What the hell is he afraid of?
He is a punk that dont want to expose his junk and just wants to make a statement and get publicity, why else would he have been taping the episisode?
We the majority of the people do not care if we get scanned or searched because we all want to go on a safe plane and Tyner can just keep driving if he dont like it and just get out of our way.

Posted by: wuzup | November 15, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Janet Nitwitano, congress and all the lamebrains who came up with this "regime" should be forced to endure the patdowns each and every time they travel.

One time per person and the "regime" would be gone.

However, apparently these rules are just for the little people.

A revolution against this invasion of our privacy is coming. And before the nuts get on their high horse and say, "but you don't HAVE to fly", bulls@@@@@t. This goes too far. Use sniffer machines or dogs to detect the few bombs that may or may not be there.

Posted by: bandmom22 | November 15, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

As a pilot, I am subject to the same searches on a regular basis. I don't have a choice, unless I decide to change employment which is not an option for me or my family. I support TSA's efforts to keep us safe. If you don't like it, take the bus or alternate form of transportation. Flying is not a "right" and the enhanced security is the price you pay for the privilege.

Posted by: SLOGal | November 15, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I fly. I would like the planes that I fly on to be safe. I have nothing to hide. I am happy and actually proud to show my fellow flyers and the TSA that. The whole body scanner is absolutely not a problem. I think: a) this fellow from San Diego is a publicity hound; and b) the media screwed up and started talking up this meaningless event.

This is a nothing incident. The vast majority of Americans are in agreement. Media, tell us the real story here: “Most of us are happy to do whatever it takes to be safe on planes.”

Don’t continue to make yourselves look silly by promoting this jerk’s line of BS. There is nothing in it that the typical American likes or identifies with.

Posted by: MedResearcher46 | November 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The Department of Homeland Security is the same thing as the KGB was in Russia, spying on American citizens. It is a disgrace, and I don't remember any one voting for it. We are breeding Nazis within our own government, with all of these new laws and organizations designed to eavesdrop on the citizenry, and throw us in jail if we don't like it. This government takes our money through taxation of every sort, and treats us like garbage. The more they tax us the weaker we become, and the stronger they become. We need to revolt and destroy this corrupt system before we become slaves to it, and its politically correct agenda. We don't have to live in a future with big brother breathing down our necks, taking our money, and forcing us to conform to their agenda and their system, but we need to act fast because it is getting out of hand.

Posted by: davideconnollyjr | November 16, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Leadership
The next photos of Madam Secretary Napolitano and TSA Director Pistole should be taken with the lastest security equipment.
The next news conference can be viewed thru the new scanners.
Post your scan pictures in each airport security line so we can feel that "you walk the talk"
Currently your just "Talk the talk".
That is leadership we can ALL believe in!

Posted by: Barnacle46 | November 16, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

y'know wazzup, the society that gives up liberty in favor of security, deserves neither---and very obviously has neither!

davidconnollyjr is right -- we are living in a period of time eerily similar to the 1930's when the nazis did very similar things. WWIII is not far away, folks. That is not a prediction. It is inevitable. History repeats itself with astounding accuracy.

All this is one side of the coin. Americans/Amuricans need to realize that they have been dragged into the war on terrorism, by their interference in the middle east, whether for oil or for Isreal. Abandon the middle east and embark on renewable energy and this stuff goes away. Naturally AIPAC will refudiate this because it is true.

Posted by: yard80197 | November 16, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The guy is absolutely right!

If I end up in this situation I will just drop my pants and my underwear and tell em':

HERE YOU GO, NOW YOU CAN SEE MY GENITALS AND MY TESTICLES AND THERE IS NOTHING STRAPPED TO IT. WOULD YOU LIKE TO STICK YOUR METAL DETECTOR IN MY ANUS??
YA' HAPPY NOW GOVERNMENT PERVERTS???

Posted by: BOBSTERII | November 16, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

John Tyner? More like John Whiner!

Posted by: blueduck1 | November 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

He didn't want the TSA to see that his ding dong is microscopic.

Posted by: blueduck1 | November 16, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Don't TSA me bro !!!"

Posted by: RainyDayIntern | November 17, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

The incredible, unbelievable outrage is NOT that he refused the body scan, wanted to place limits on the "voluntary" frisk, or understood that he wouldn't fly if he wouldn't comply.

The problem is that there were no signs saying -- If you pass this point, you must go through the invasive body scanner or you must allow us to touch you all over, or you will be fined $11,000. The TSA says they have to complete the frisking once started because potential terrorists might be turned away from one checkpoint and then try others until they get through. But the TSA is missing the point -- if they are prevented from getting through, then THE PLANE FLIGHT IS SAFE. They've done their jobs.

The real mistake here was detaining John Tyner after he refused to complete the frisking and was prevented from flying, and then arresting him for leaving the security checkpoint when he was escorted from the checkpoint by the same security agents. He was essentially arrested and charged for following their instructions. That's a no-win scenario, for sure.

Posted by: DigiMark | November 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The problem is TSA's professionalism.

Most TSA folks I have met have been RUDE BULLIES. They bark orders at people, have no courtesy, and seem pretty incompetent.

Those nude porno images they shoot of everyone, including children?? We can bet that the TSA clowns are snickering over them, ogling bodies, and then saving the photos for later, or posting to the internet.

Basically, they are UNTRUSTWORTHY and I have zero confidence that the TSA has any serious measures to protect our rights.

TSA is tonedeaf to our concerns. We don't want explicit images to be viewed by members of the opposite sex. We don't want malicious punative GROPES for people who don't want to be photographed naked. We don't want images stored so they can be abused -- which they will be if there is any way to save these images.

Posted by: info23 | November 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

TSA = bullies

TSA wants total submission, and anyone who complains is punished.

Posted by: info23 | November 17, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Congress and everyone else in a secured area in Washington DC should have to go through these screenings everyday when entering their building.

Posted by: Finndabar | November 17, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@SLOGal

You're absolutely right. Flying is definitely a privilege, not a right. However, our government coming in to do these kinds of invasive security checks is not a valid form of payment for attaining this privilege. Driving is also a privilege, but we don't go through this kind of treatment when we get a license. Owning a house is also a privilege, but we don't get this kind of treatment if we buy one. Buying a gun is also a privilege, but we don't get this kind of treatment if we buy one. There are many privileges we have and none of them should require this kind of treatment. It would be one thing if it were the airlines doing this their selves in which case we can chose not to fly this line or that line or you could chose to work at a different airline or another. But, that's not the case. The TSA is government run and therefore it's the government putting us under the microscope. With that said, I do not disagree with having an institution that performs security checks at airports. However, using invasive techniques such as what is talked about in the article removes all intelligence from our security. We need intelligent people asking intelligent questions and keeping intelligent eyes on us. We DON'T need some Joe Shmoe fondling us under the guise of "security." Any idiot can do that. I would rather be profiled and submitted to questioning, which is something I approve of, than go through the indignity the TSA and our government wants us to go through. We're being treated like prisoners in our own country. It's as if we're guilty until proven innocent. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

Posted by: XRavishX | November 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse


@SLOGal

You're absolutely right. Flying is definitely a privilege, not a right. However, our government coming in to do these kinds of invasive security checks is not a valid form of payment for attaining this privilege. Driving is also a privilege, but we don't go through this kind of treatment when we get a license. Owning a house is also a privilege, but we don't get this kind of treatment if we buy one. Buying a gun is also a privilege, but we don't get this kind of treatment if we buy one. There are many privileges we have and none of them should require this kind of treatment. It would be one thing if it were the airlines doing this their selves in which case we can chose not to fly this line or that line or you could chose to work at a different airline or another. But, that's not the case. The TSA is government run and therefore it's the government putting us under the microscope. With that said, I do not disagree with having an institution that performs security checks at airports. However, using invasive techniques such as what is talked about in the article removes all intelligence from our security. We need intelligent people asking intelligent questions and keeping intelligent eyes on us. We DON'T need some Joe Shmoe fondling us under the guise of "security." Any idiot can do that. I would rather be profiled and submitted to questioning, which is something I approve of, than go through the indignity the TSA and our government wants us to go through. We're being treated like prisoners in our own country. It's as if we're guilty until proven innocent. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

Posted by: XRavishX | November 17, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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