There’s never a shortage of TSA blunders, mishaps, and/or wrongdoing to write about. For example, last week it shut down Miami airport and had riot police storm an aircraft because of a bag of dental supplies, and the week before that, three TSA agents at SFO were arrested for conspiring to let drugs (and who knows what else) be smuggled through their checkpoint, which they did for at least a year. (Of course, the SFO TSA did detect Morrissey’s business, so they’re not always looking the other way.) There is, on the other hand, a rather severe shortage of incidents in which the TSA has actually foiled a terrorist during its 14-year, $70 billion existence.
Just to be clear, there are none of those.
Speaking of business detection, you may recall that the Portland gang managed to spot John Brennan’s as well, although he made it a lot easier for them by stripping. See “TSA: Wants to See You Naked, Complains When You Get That Way” (Apr. 18, 2012). Though “symbolic nudity” is not just legal but protected conduct under Oregon law—which is why Brennan was acquitted of indecent-exposure charges—the TSA is unbothered by such details and proceeded to fine him $500.
Brennan is appealing that civil fine to the Ninth Circuit, and while his attorneys are not charging him full price, he does need to raise several thousand dollars. He is running a fundraiser at Tilt.com (a Kickstarter-type arrangement) and just needs another $180 in the next couple of days to hit his first goal. The case is more important than it might seem, because judicial review of TSA administrative decisions is very limited, and so this may be a good vehicle for getting the constitutional issues reviewed by the Ninth Circuit.
If you’re reading this, Morrissey, you should chip in.
Update: Thanks to you (and some others), John made his initial goal of $8,000, which is an important step in the Tilt.com way of doing things. He told me the appeal is costing him $15,000, so he could use some additional support, but thanks for helping him get this far. Very cool.