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I Want These Hacks' Heads...

...but I'll settle for their jobs.

Your tax dollars at work, folks. Guaranteeing our nation's security by depriving a seven-month-old of his mother's milk and making a conscientious mother miss her flight.

Hat tip: neighbor Dan Collins, who owes me for what he did to my blood pressure.


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Comments (33)

Why should the TSA care at ... (Below threshold)

Why should the TSA care at all about what some irrational mother wants. The dose to the mother's milk while going through the x-ray machines is less thanone millirem.

What has the right now decided to jump on every stupid junk science claim about the TSA equipment. Is the left really that willing to abandon nuclear power, high-tension power lines, etc just to win a minor political point about TSA?

Superidiot, the point is th... (Below threshold)

Superidiot, the point is that the woman is following TSA regulations but the TSA is not. Don't you want the authorities to follow the law?

This issue was supposedly s... (Below threshold)
jim m:

This issue was supposedly solved months and months ago. This reg is nothing new and the TSA should be very familiar with it by now.

Unfortunately, they are ignorant bureaucrats unanswerable to the public and without fear of losing their job. Their bosses have told them that they are allowed to violate people's civil rights and that they will get the full protection of the government for doing so.

The left, like superidiot above, will cover for them as well and accuse anyone who complains of endangering he security of the nation and abetting terrorists. They claim this nonsense makes us safer despite not being able to point to one act of terrorism that the TSA has been successful in stopping.

It only gets worse from here folks. The TSA will start to ramp up their own offensive on the American public in the face of mounting criticism.

Jay...I'm shocked that you ... (Below threshold)

Jay...I'm shocked that you find this so disturbing. Isn't it obvious that this woman is a terrori--er, uh...a woman-caused disaster-causer...and clearly not an adherent of the Religion of Peace(TM)??

Note also that the police w... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Note also that the police were unwilling to intervene even though they acknowledged that the woman had done nothing wrong. Nobody in the government cares about our rights. Just shut up and take it is their advice.

Not only should the TSA be ... (Below threshold)

Not only should the TSA be familiar with the reg, but the freakin' manager had it on paper in front of him and still refused to do his job. That's a firing offense right there.

While looking at the federa... (Below threshold)

While looking at the federal guidance http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1059.shtm (they are not federal law as the video states but are at best TSA regulations)

One particular sentence states: Any medication and/or associated supplies that we can't clear visually will be X-rayed.

It definitely reads that the visual clearing of "medical liquids" is at the discretion of TSA personnel.

The question is why was the mother so adamant that the breast liquid not be screened. The mother was being irrational about something that was very unimportant.

Another question would be w... (Below threshold)

Another question would be why did the TSA give in to the public being irrational and allow people to not have the medical liquids or other medical supplies no not be sent through the x-ray machine.

I cannot think of any medical reason why those items would not be x-rayed.

superdestroyer, you're usua... (Below threshold)

superdestroyer, you're usually a bit more reasonable. (As in, "you agree with me.") The milk was her own, not treated in any way. It was for a seven-month-old baby. She had put it in approved-sized containers. She did NOT want to risk any harm to the milk and, consequently, the baby. She was legally on solid ground.

On the other hand, the TSA informed her that they "saw her coming" and were going to bend her to their will. No matter that she had the law and their own published rules on her side, they were going to get her compliance. That's not security, that's power tripping. And it needs to be beat down HARD.


Milk is non-clear liquid. ... (Below threshold)

Milk is non-clear liquid. How is the TSA screeners suppose to screen it?

Also, what harm could have come to is from it going through the x-ray machine. I am sure that pumped breast milk goes through the scanner every day.

Would it have been easier to just send it through the x-ray machine instead of the mother missing her flight.

Also, the video is made by an activist with a specific point of view. In viewing in once I caught two glaring misrepresentation (TSA regulations are not federal law and medical liquids can still be x-rayed). I wonder what other misrepresentations are in the video.

Conservatives more than others should be suspect of activist.

There are medical liquids t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

There are medical liquids that cannot be subjected to radiation. This includes bone marrow for transplant that frequently is flow across the country and even internationally. I would agree that breast milk is unlikely to be harmed in any way, but it's their rule they should adhere to it.

The issue here is the TSA had already said that they would not hassle mother's with milk for their babies. They wanted to make a point of f'ing with this person.

If there were any indication that they are well aware of their own guilt in this matter it is their refusal to come forward with the complete videos as they are legally required to do. They don't believe that the FIOA applies to them. Hell, they don't think the constitution applies to them so why should anything else?

Jim,If you look at... (Below threshold)


If you look at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm it states that the medical liquid exception for mother's milk applies:

When traveling with your infant or toddler, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of baby formula, breast milk, or juice are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary

So the woman did not have a child with her and was carrying the milk home for later use and was not needed for while she was traveling. Also, the rules for x-raying still apply at the discretion of the TSA.

So the next question is what exactly did the woman print out for the supervisor if the woman had missed the part about needing to have her child with her.

Also, while flying at commercial aircraft elevations, one receives a dose of between 0.25 and 0.5 mrem per hour. Flying for an hour gives you (or your medical liquid) the same radiation dose as any item doing through the checkpoint x-ray system.

That's all well and good su... (Below threshold)
jim m:

That's all well and good super. But the fact remains that the TSA refused to release the full tapes. That action implies that they themselves believe that there is something on those tapes that they did wrong or that makes them appear to be capricious or perhaps deliberate in screwing with this passenger.

I would suggest that they know they were doing wrong and they are embarrassed by the contents of the 30 minutes of video they continue to suppress.

Jim, In looking at... (Below threshold)


In looking at the reuglations more than the few word slides on the activist produced tape, it is hard to see that TSA was being arbitrary or capricious. Mother's formula without a child passenger does not get the medical liquid exception and the exception does not mean that it will be x-rayed.

So, why was the mother so adament about it not being x-rayed that she was willing to miss a flight.

I would be careful until the full background of the mother comes out. The victim card is a powerful tool in the activist playbook.

Then if they did nothing wr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Then if they did nothing wrong why redact the video tape? That took extra work to do. The fact that they would do so suggests that they were wrong. You won't speak to that. If there is an alternative explanation I'd like to hear it. Certainly they cannot claim that they were in a rush to produce the video.

They were wrong. They are embarrassed. Why bother? They could have forced her to be strip searched by a male agent who was a former sex offender and they still wouldn't be firing anyone.

superdestroyer is a good li... (Below threshold)

superdestroyer is a good little nazi.

Wrong Michael.Supe... (Below threshold)

Wrong Michael.

Superdestroyer is correct. There is nothing harmful about x-raying mother's milk other than to freaking out an unreasonable person. The dose of radiation from flying from LA to Denver is much higher than the scanner causes, and we don't stop people from flying who are lactating or pregnant.

epador, one thing: we're no... (Below threshold)

epador, one thing: we're not talking facts here, we're talking a mother's fears for her child's safety. I'll cut her some slack on that. Especially since she had the law and the regulations on her side. She wants to be a wee bit irrational and err on the side of caution where her child's safety is concerned? I'm cool with that.


Jay, The child was... (Below threshold)


The child was not with the mother. thus, theTSA regulations for mother's milk does not apply.

Also, ifyou want to get inside the White House, irrational behavior is not tolerated. If you want to get into the U.S. capital, they allow no liquid because they fear liquids. You are not allowed to be irrational. So why should TSA haveto tolerate irrational people who were misapplying the regulations?

Please, conservatives should be very skeptical of irrational activist.

You shouldn't be allowed in... (Below threshold)

You shouldn't be allowed in the White House if you believe in Keynesian economics. It's not rational. You can rationalize it, but that's not the same.

Couldn't they have asked he... (Below threshold)

Couldn't they have asked her to drink a portion of the milk to show that there wasn't any danger with it?

"So why should TSA haveto t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"So why should TSA haveto tolerate irrational people who were misapplying the regulations?"

Because like it or not they have to deal with the public. They made a rule. They need to abide by it. They deliberately jerked this lady around. They are not being forthcoming about the video. They have only released a redacted video because they know that they overstepped their bounds.

There is no excuse for delaying her other than to pull her chain. She need not have missed her flight, but they kept her prisoner long enough that they could make sure she did.

Ultimately, it comes down to the disturbing fact that the TSA can detain and delay anyone they don't like. You could wear a Packers jersey to O'Hare or a Jets jersey to Logan and some jerk could decide to give you a hard time.

They are ignorant and have absolute power. They have already taken the position that once you enter screening you must get through it no matter what they demand of you or you will be fined $10,000. Where is the due process? They don't believe in it. They don't believe that the constitution applies inside the airport screening area.

That is the problem here. This lady's issue aside. The problem is an agency which has been given the green light to assault citizens, detain them without reason or charge and to confiscate property without warrant.

My ex is full of irrational... (Below threshold)

My ex is full of irrational fears and warped perceptions, she is great at causing scenes, and an expert at recruiting others with her emotional pleas to back her abusive behavior. So I don't buy your "a mother with irrational fears about the safety of her kid so its OK" line of reasoning to excuse this situation. TSA is full of BS, and this example does show a horrible application of bureaucracy, but the brouh-ha-ha about getting the milk containers imaged is about as sensible as the vaccines cause autism pseudoscience that is killing babies from preventable communicable diseases. Superdestroyer's science claims are valid. I might not agree with ALL the arguments sd makes, but the science IS valid.

Its sad to see politics trumps science here. It wasn't always that way.

Jim,The activist w... (Below threshold)


The activist woman was not following the regulations. Mother's milk becomes a medical liquid" when there is an infant present. There was no infant with the woman and the woman refused to comply with the request to have the milk x-rayed. She was demanding to see a supervisor and thus had to wait.

There is no reason to excuse mother's milk from being x-ray and according to the regulations,it is at the discretion of the TSA screeners whether it will x-rayed and/or given an explosive trace test.

Before claiming that TSA screeners are bullies you should read up on them. CNN had a story where they actually talked to TSA screeners. http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/11/22/airports.holiday.travel/index.html?hpt=C2
The best quote was:

He pointed to a locked metal bin, one he said fills up weekly and holds the "hard stuff," not the liquids that are simply tossed in the trash. Bludgeons, bullets, brass knuckles -- all items the travelers usually say they simply "forgot" they had. But once a woman admitted the carving knife removed from her carry-on had purpose. She needed it to stab her husband in the eye.

BEfore you keep insulting TSA screeners maybe you should look at the members of the general public who believes that the rules do not apply to them.

First off, we have no idea ... (Below threshold)

First off, we have no idea what is actually being said because the video offers no audio. The woman could be saying she wants to carry jell-o through.

Second, we can't, from the video, identify what she is trying to get through. Again, could be jell-o)

Third, because the video has been edited, we have no idea what exactly happened.

Fourth, just because you get a dose of radiation while flying, does not mean I would want that radiation doubled either in me, or in milk for my child, due to going through x-ray machines.

All we really know: is that TSA agents seem to, generally speaking, have serious weight issues.

superdestroyer, Yo... (Below threshold)


You have not posted the TSA rules themselves, but TSA "guideline" articles about the rules. They are generalized overviews and may, or may not, 100% correctly what the actual rules themselves state.

I agree that the mother's fears are irrational, but if the rules themselves grant her the right to an alternative hand inspection, then that's her call to make.

One thing that does seem pretty clear (no audio needed) is that the TSA's compliance tactic was to put the mom in a time squeeze by holding her in the "special area" for an irrationally long period of time in the hopes that she would cease the protesting and do it "their way" or face missing the flight.

This year, a mothering rela... (Below threshold)

This year, a mothering related web site wrote the TSA about what was a "reasonable" (as stated by the TSA's on-line article about the breast milk rule changes) amount of breast milk to carry on a plane. In addition to answering that question, they provided more information and added that they admit that their web site articles are not full representations of their rules.

"Thank you for your e-mail regarding the permitted amounts of breast milk and other liquid items necessary during travel for infants and young children.

Passengers flying with or without an infant or young child may bring more than 3.4 ounces of breast milk (in a liquid or frozen state) into the security checkpoint. The breast milk must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) prior to entering the screening checkpoint and be separated from other liquids, gels, and aerosols.


TSA recognizes that the information on our website is not all inclusive and that many passengers have additional concerns regarding traveling with items intended for use by infants and young children. Many of these concerns include how the current screening procedures accommodate the handling of essential food items passengers must carry onboard the plane for their children, such as breast milk, milk products, formula (to include related mixing products), baby food, and juice.

Breast milk and other liquids and gels intended for infants or young children are in the same category as medical liquid exemptions and are normally x-rayed. However, as a customer service, allows a passenger the option of a visual inspection of these items. A passenger must request a visual inspection before screening begins; otherwise, all of the items must undergo x-ray inspection and might be subject to additional screening. It is important to note that if breast milk or other items cannot be cleared visually, they must be submitted for x-ray screening. In addition to a visual inspection of the items, TSOs will test these items for explosives, including breast milk. Passengers may be required to open the containers but will never be asked to test or taste any of these items. LinkAt one point in the video a TSO holds what appears to be the breast milk in a ziplock bag. The above note states that unless an agent cannot effectively visually inspect the milk in the given container, it does not have to be x-rayed. Unless the video is misleading, and the milk was in fact packaged in a way that obscured the milk from the eyes, then on what basis, other than "showing this lady who's boss", would they demand that it be x-rayed???

(Funny... it looked fine in... (Below threshold)

(Funny... it looked fine in Preview!)

What about the "other" brea... (Below threshold)

What about the "other" breast milk she was carrying?

Seriously, if she knew this was going to be a problem, why did she arrive an hour before her flight?

Howie, Because she naively ... (Below threshold)

Howie, Because she naively thought that she could circumvent another problem with TSA agents by bringing along a copy of TSA materials this time around that indicated that she didn't have to have the milk x-rayed and could instead request a hand check. She also assumed incorrectly that the agents, or their supervisor, or manager could be reasoned with when presented the information instead of seeing it as questioning their authority.

Here is a link to a blog po... (Below threshold)

Here is a link to a blog post purportedly written by the woman in the video: Link.

It's obviously only her side of it, but she states that in the conversation with the TSA manager towards the end of the video he said:
1) Despite the TSA guidelines in her hand, breast milk was NOT a medical liquid to him.
2) The milk couldn't be hand inspected because the liquid wasn't "clear". (A fact not found in TSA guidelines.)
3) Containers with liquids not x-rayed may not be more than 1/2 way full. (A fact not found in TSA guidelines.)

The whole thing about X-ray... (Below threshold)

The whole thing about X-rays is bogus. We have to make the assumption that the Xray machine is being calibrated in accordance with rules. Since TSA can be arbitrary in their interruption of rules what makes you so certain that these machine are calibrated?

There is always a risk and it seems stupid to expose a child to that risk if it can be avoided. Lex Rex not Rex Lex.

Gizmo, if the TSA were not ... (Below threshold)

Gizmo, if the TSA were not following their own instructions before, what makes her think that they would when she has a copy of them? She should have planned better (i.e. arriving more than 1 hour). Perhaps, doing some research on the causes of having breast milk x-rayed would have been another thing.






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