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TSA screener charged with assault, harassment

TSA screener charged with assault, harassment

Old Feb 8, 13, 1:17 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
No, that's not my point.

As I understand it, the whole premise of the BDO program is that a passenger attempting to bring "contraband" through a checkpoint is going to give off subtle signals that they're engaged in an act of deception, and a well-trained BDO can detect the intent to deceive and flag the passenger for more detailed screening, in order to find the reason for the deception. (How well such detection works is, of course, another matter.)

A TSO who beats his mother and his therapist has nothing to conceal when he reports for work. The manner in which he treats his mother and therapist isn't a part of his everyday job description, and doesn't directly affect his duties. A BDO examining such a TSO isn't going to find any attempt to deceive on the part of the TSO, because there's nothing to detect.

Asking BDOs to detect TSOs who commit crimes outside of the workplace is like asking an engineer to become a world-class sprinter. The two skill sets are unrelated.
I believe that a person who beats his mother or anyone else would be working hard, but unsuccessfully, to conceal what they are dealing with internally. I reject the notion that this person would be able to fully conceal these issues. Any observant person who spent some time with the individual would pick up some clues that something was amiss.

Yet TSA employees never seem to pick up on the TSA thieves, drug runners, and other bad apples working side by side. If the TSA BDO program had any plausible benefit this is where TSA could point to proof positive that the program works.
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Old Feb 9, 13, 8:25 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Oh, I get your point. Problem is that it doesn't hold water. If a person is trained to detect micro-expressions then why would that skill stop working when dealing with people other than passengers.

I'll say it again, something doesn't add.
Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
No, that's not my point.

As I understand it, the whole premise of the BDO program is that a passenger attempting to bring "contraband" through a checkpoint is going to give off subtle signals that they're engaged in an act of deception, and a well-trained BDO can detect the intent to deceive and flag the passenger for more detailed screening, in order to find the reason for the deception. (How well such detection works is, of course, another matter.)

A TSO who beats his mother and his therapist has nothing to conceal when he reports for work. The manner in which he treats his mother and therapist isn't a part of his everyday job description, and doesn't directly affect his duties. A BDO examining such a TSO isn't going to find any attempt to deceive on the part of the TSO, because there's nothing to detect.

Asking BDOs to detect TSOs who commit crimes outside of the workplace is like asking an engineer to become a world-class sprinter. The two skill sets are unrelated.
I'm going to have to agree with JK on this one, but not because I agree with him.

The TSO who beats his mother probably did not exhibit any micro-expressions that the BDOs could pick up on, but not because he was at the airport. He probably had no remorse about said abuse. Few abusers do; they feel anger and outrage, because in their minds, they are the victims of whatever annoying behavior they blame their abuse on. Mom didn't buy his favorite apple sauce at the grocer, so he beat her. Wife didn't vacuum the carpet after she got home from work, so he beat her. Kid got a D in math, so he beat her. And at no time does the abuser feel that his abuse is wrong, out of line, or even excessive, because to him, it's what his victims deserve for their "transgressions."

Kinda like TSOs who send travelers for RPDs or write down their ID info for "reports" whenever the traveler doesn't show the proper level of obeisance to their authoritah!

On the other hand, I also completely agree with Boogie on one issue - a TSO who steals a traveler's iPad, or is engaged in drug smuggling or some other illegal activity on the job is, according to the whole premise of the BDO theory, absolutely going to show those same mircro-expressions indicating nervousness (about getting caught) and deception (they're hiding something), and yet no BDO has ever detected even a single instance of such deception.

This whole program, which I once thought was a good idea in theory, has proven to be the biggest bunch of voodoo poodoo that TSA has ever foisted upon us. There may indeed be such a thing as a human lie detector (as opposed to a person who simply has trust issues and automatically believes that everyone he meets is lying), but a few weeks of training in the BDO program cannot turn a pizza-box clerk into one.

IMHO, anyone who is trained as a BDO who does is not also a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist is a fraud. Human behavior is far too complex and variable to be interpreted with any degree of accuracy with a few weeks of training; it takes a lifetime of study and professional dedication.
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Old Feb 9, 13, 8:41 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
I'm going to have to agree with JK on this one, but not because I agree with him.

The TSO who beats his mother probably did not exhibit any micro-expressions that the BDOs could pick up on, but not because he was at the airport. He probably had no remorse about said abuse. Few abusers do; they feel anger and outrage, because in their minds, they are the victims of whatever annoying behavior they blame their abuse on. Mom didn't buy his favorite apple sauce at the grocer, so he beat her. Wife didn't vacuum the carpet after she got home from work, so he beat her. Kid got a D in math, so he beat her. And at no time does the abuser feel that his abuse is wrong, out of line, or even excessive, because to him, it's what his victims deserve for their "transgressions."

Kinda like TSOs who send travelers for RPDs or write down their ID info for "reports" whenever the traveler doesn't show the proper level of obeisance to their authoritah!

On the other hand, I also completely agree with Boogie on one issue - a TSO who steals a traveler's iPad, or is engaged in drug smuggling or some other illegal activity on the job is, according to the whole premise of the BDO theory, absolutely going to show those same mircro-expressions indicating nervousness (about getting caught) and deception (they're hiding something), and yet no BDO has ever detected even a single instance of such deception.

This whole program, which I once thought was a good idea in theory, has proven to be the biggest bunch of voodoo poodoo that TSA has ever foisted upon us. There may indeed be such a thing as a human lie detector (as opposed to a person who simply has trust issues and automatically believes that everyone he meets is lying), but a few weeks of training in the BDO program cannot turn a pizza-box clerk into one.

IMHO, anyone who is trained as a BDO who does is not also a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist is a fraud. Human behavior is far too complex and variable to be interpreted with any degree of accuracy with a few weeks of training; it takes a lifetime of study and professional dedication.
Your entire 2nd paragraph can easily be applied to all those terrorists who roam amongst us. (Said with sarcasm) They, too, believe they are taking the right path in life.

Last edited by petaluma1; Feb 9, 13 at 8:50 am
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Old Feb 9, 13, 10:39 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
I'm going to have to agree with JK on this one, but not because I agree with him.

The TSO who beats his mother probably did not exhibit any micro-expressions that the BDOs could pick up on, but not because he was at the airport. He probably had no remorse about said abuse. Few abusers do; they feel anger and outrage, because in their minds, they are the victims of whatever annoying behavior they blame their abuse on. Mom didn't buy his favorite apple sauce at the grocer, so he beat her. Wife didn't vacuum the carpet after she got home from work, so he beat her. Kid got a D in math, so he beat her. And at no time does the abuser feel that his abuse is wrong, out of line, or even excessive, because to him, it's what his victims deserve for their "transgressions."

Kinda like TSOs who send travelers for RPDs or write down their ID info for "reports" whenever the traveler doesn't show the proper level of obeisance to their authoritah!

On the other hand, I also completely agree with Boogie on one issue - a TSO who steals a traveler's iPad, or is engaged in drug smuggling or some other illegal activity on the job is, according to the whole premise of the BDO theory, absolutely going to show those same mircro-expressions indicating nervousness (about getting caught) and deception (they're hiding something), and yet no BDO has ever detected even a single instance of such deception.

This whole program, which I once thought was a good idea in theory, has proven to be the biggest bunch of voodoo poodoo that TSA has ever foisted upon us. There may indeed be such a thing as a human lie detector (as opposed to a person who simply has trust issues and automatically believes that everyone he meets is lying), but a few weeks of training in the BDO program cannot turn a pizza-box clerk into one.

IMHO, anyone who is trained as a BDO who does is not also a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist is a fraud. Human behavior is far too complex and variable to be interpreted with any degree of accuracy with a few weeks of training; it takes a lifetime of study and professional dedication.
Well, I will continue to not believe that people who have things to hide would not exhibit those micro-expressions when they enter a work place.

I would welcome TSA to demonstrate the validity of its BDO program but framing an experiment that would prove they can identify a terrorist, I admit, is next to impossible.

That takes us back to empirical evidence. TSA has not identified a terrorist in over 10 years. That tells me that either there are no terrorist that have tried to probe US airports or TSA can't find them.

Bottom line, a simple WTMD and xray/hand search of carry on items is all that is needed to have a reasonable security plan for commercial air. More effort needs to be directed to under wing security, screening of airport workers, and effective background checks with real time monitoring of TSA screeners.

ID checking, playing 20 questions nor any of the other things TSA does beyond the checkpoint adds value to airport screening.

The real threat is from inside an area that TSA is doing nothing to address.

If I could I would strip TSA of 25% of its budget and see what they really think is important. Right now TSA is pouring money down a rat hole and getting little value in return.

Last edited by Boggie Dog; Feb 9, 13 at 10:59 am
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Old Feb 9, 13, 12:46 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Well, I will continue to not believe that people who have things to hide would not exhibit those micro-expressions when they enter a work place.
I suspect neither of us will convince the other on this. Just because someone has something to hide in one sphere of one's life doesn't mean that the attempt to conceal has to affect other spheres.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
That takes us back to empirical evidence. TSA has not identified a terrorist in over 10 years. That tells me that either there are no terrorist that have tried to probe US airports or TSA can't find them.
TSA would argue that the mere existence of TSA serves as a deterrent to terrorists. Unfortunately, with the lack of data available, there's no way to confirm or refute any theory.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Bottom line, a simple WTMD and xray/hand search of carry on items is all that is needed to have a reasonable security plan for commercial air. More effort needs to be directed to under wing security, screening of airport workers, and effective background checks with real time monitoring of TSA screeners.

ID checking, playing 20 questions nor any of the other things TSA does beyond the checkpoint adds value to airport screening.

The real threat is from inside an area that TSA is doing nothing to address.

If I could I would strip TSA of 25% of its budget and see what they really think is important. Right now TSA is pouring money down a rat hole and getting little value in return.
Agreed.
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Old Feb 9, 13, 11:32 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
I suspect neither of us will convince the other on this. Just because someone has something to hide in one sphere of one's life doesn't mean that the attempt to conceal has to affect other spheres.
I agree that neither of us seems willing to change position.


TSA would argue that the mere existence of TSA serves as a deterrent to terrorists. Unfortunately, with the lack of data available, there's no way to confirm or refute any theory.
I would actually agree that TSA does serve as a deterrent, a minor deterrent. That said, a determined enemy would probe and attempt to defeat TSA. So far that hasn't happened. I believe due to no attempts.


Agreed.
We agree on one point.

"This journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"-
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Old Feb 10, 13, 3:59 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
I would actually agree that TSA does serve as a deterrent, a minor deterrent. That said, a determined enemy would probe and attempt to defeat TSA. So far that hasn't happened. I believe due to no attempts.
I think the opposite, from the point of view of having spent quite a few years in the sources & methods business. If I really wanted to penetrate the perimeter of U.S. airport security for various reasons, the existence of the TSA helps me on two very specific aspects:

1. The presence of the TSA at virtually all airports brings with it a sense of consistency. They all practice the same rules and go about their job with the same basic doctrine. This aspect actually makes airports an easier, rather than harder, target because I know what to expect.

2. Numerous theft and bribery cases involving TSA clerks points me to a huge vulnerability. If I work at it hard enough and long enough, I will find a clerk or two willing to augment their income.

From a sources & methods perspective, the TSA is such an easy target that it's not even funny.
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