TSA orders wheel-chair bound double-amputee Marine to “walk”

Even by TSA standards, this one is pretty bad.  The TSA in Phoenix reportedly forced a wheel-chair bound double-amputee Marine vet, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, to take off his prosthetic legs for screening.

Oh but it gets worse.

TSA then ordered the Marine vet to put the prosthetics back on and “walk” through a full body scanner, when he can’t even stand.  The 22 year old is still trying to learn to walk in his new prosthetic legs.

Mission Accomplished. The same geniuses who brought us the never-ending War on Terror now have us running in fear even from those sacrificing their lives and limbs in the War on Terror.  The Bush culture of fear has permeated far too deep, and far too long, in America.

While the TSA is short on showing actual results of their excessive techniques, they have done a brilliant job of terrorizing Americans and humiliating every possible group.  A few examples of people and things to be afraid of include:

Before the TSA privatization freaks like Rep. Mica jump in, no, privatizing the TSA won’t solve any problems other than Rep. Mica’s campaign finance coffers.  If anything, it will make them even less accountable.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • attyrose

    First, I have the greatest admiration for our soldiers and cry every time I hear or read about even one death. That is why I was against going to war in Iraq from the beginning. I had once believed that it was Bush who really wanted this war, but I have done my research and by now, it is clear that Cheney was running the show on this issue. If you haven’t done so, please see the HBO documentary “The World According to Cheney”. Even so, no President should send our sons, fathers, brothers and daughter and mothers to war against another country that never attacked us first or by falsely claiming they had MWDs with the intent to strike us. I can disagree with a political party and have respect for our military at the same time. I meant no disrespect to you.

  • Iraqvet

    Attacking Bush over the invasion of Iraq and then saying you support us vets, is stupid. You never went there, you don’t understand the actual war there, you do not know. Thanks for the support, but try and look up the facts before you sound ridiculous.

  • Xanderban

    You actually believe fucks news?

  • bearsense

    They probably made him remove his shoes also.

  • Jane Hawes

    Apparently, yes.

  • Jane Hawes

    I’d say let’s REPLACE TSA with dogs. Much less humiliating, and probably more effective. But, hey – what does a little humiliation matter? It’s only the Fourth Amendment, after all.

  • LoupGarouTFTs

    What do any of those names have to do with TSA agents abusing passengers, especially after 2009? Those names have nothing to do with the links that were posted and nothing to do with the text of the article. Nice attempt at redirection and a couple of logical fallacies, though.

  • JackLinks

    You’re right, let’s not forget to add Cheney, Rice,Yoo, Rumsfield, Feith,Matlin, Scooter,Wolfilitz

  • Csm5

    I agree this is an appalling story. I have to say to Chris in Paris though, “wheelchair-bound” is inappropriate terminology. Wheelchairs provide independence and users are not restricted by them, and certainly not bound to them.

  • csm5

    I agree, this story is appalling. I have to say to Chris in Paris though, “wheelchair-bound” is not appropriate terminology. A wheelchair is a piece of Assistive Technology that provides independence. One is not restricted or “bound” to it

  • LoupGarouTFTs

    Funny how all of the shenanigans that the author talks about take place after 2009, even though the author blames everything on Bush (of course).

    Just sayin’

  • Rev Telkal

    The last time I flew, there were a group of guys coming back from a hunting trip. They were all in camo, with baggy cargo pants and combat boots. They went through security without a second glance. Then the absolutely gorgeous woman next to me with the skin-tight outfit, had to remove her belt (which was merely an acessory) and be patted down by at least three men.
    It was quite obvious as to what they considered a “possible threat”.

  • George Bruck Jr

    it didnt happen.

  • dalancroft

    Bruce Schneier had it right, terming it “security theater.” Makes us *feel* better but really doesn’t do much if anything to protect us.

  • http://www.wirthconsulting.org/ Theodore Wirth

    You can be sure that even sequester budget cuts won’t improve the performance of the minimum wage, contractor-based employees of the TSA because it suxs as it is. Yet another example of how US citizens have been scammed by the pretext of national insecurity, and again we pay the price on multiple fronts.

  • attyrose

    There is no excuse for this kind of treatment of our wounded soldiers. But, hopefully, changes will be implemented and the process will be easier and more respectful of the wounded veterans conditions. The war on terror was Bush’s stupid idea. When 9/11 occurred, he should have concentrated our military might on Bin Laden and that group of people responsible for this terrible tragedy. Instead, he was so intent in becoming a “war president” that he decided to go to war on the whole world against terrorism. Sure, like that plan was ever going to work. But he didn’t stop there, he invaded Iraq under false pretenses and when asked about Bin Laden about a year after the attack, Bush said that he barely even thought about him. Bin Laden, it appeared, was no longer his main concern. Than why were we fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq? I could go on, but let me say, that my thoughts and love go out to all the war veterans and those still serving four our country. They deserve much better from us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1436439006 Michael Whittaker

    Fake! Never happened. Just some cali creep trying to make hay.

  • woodroad34

    According to the TSA there’s security footage showing that there wasn’t a request to remove prosthetics and that the screening was undertaken with two military vets and it took less than eight minutes: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/21/gop-lawmaker-claims-tsa-humiliated-disabled-war-veteran-at-arizona-airport/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29

  • sane37

    There are sniffing machines that are more effective that are shaped like walkie talkies where the “antenna” is the sniffer. Been using those in Singapore for decades. Much more effective.

  • htfd

    It may have started under Bush, but it being continued and enhanced under Obama. Talk about fear factor politics; next it will be dentures.

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    I have a relative who is a TSA agent. It’s the only job in his entire life he’s been able to hold down.
    He’s the guy who almost killed my cousin (his wife) by making her forgo her diabetes medication and replace it with chiropractic. Shocker: she ended up in a coma.

    He is very proud of the TSA and insists they know what they are doing and are saving us from unimaginable horrors.

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    In the Buffalo NY airport, you can sit and put your shoes on while looking out the window at a truckload of UNSCREENED postal packages being loaded into the cargo hold of the very plane you’re about to board.

    Mail cargo is unscreened, because it would be “too costly,” but mostly because packages cannot be impressed or frightened or controlled by security theater.

    The TSA has NOTHING to do with security.

  • nicho

    You need to remember that the agents at the gate are at the bottom of the TSA food chain. They have no discretion to vary from the rules they’ve been given. If they do, they can get sacked. You need to look at the people above them who give them their orders.

    It’s like when you call “customer service.” If you have a common problem that can be solved from the loose leaf folder that “Cindy” in Bangalore has, you’re OK. Anything more than that, and you really need to be speaking to someone much further up the food chain. “Cindy” has no discretionary powers. She can only read off her script. She can’t help you.

    Now, with the TSA, you can get some agents who are assholes and some who aren’t, but the direction comes from above. If their immediate supervisor — or his immediate supervisor — is a world-class dick, then you’re going to have problems. If the agents deviate, Mr. Dick is going to come down on them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Jaeger/100000220168278 Steven Jaeger

    unfortunately, I’ve also heard that for consistency they are supposed to do the same thing to every one. Some airports I have to hand carry my boarding pass through the screening machine (old or new type) and the screener screens it again; despite it being done 10 feet away by the initial screener. Other airports don’t want it. So overall it seems they are of the don’t think it through, just follow the directives mindless robots. “You can’t get in trouble if you follow the regs exactly” attitude. This is obviously a case of that. One that was missed on the other idiotic TSA humiliating travelers was the woman who was forced to remove her nipple ring in public to prove it wasn’t a pull for a grenade. I think that is my ultimate horrendous story.

    I have to agree with the Barney Fife comparison also.

    My real feelings about the TSA are that the initial regs promulgated under the Shrub administration were intended to cow us into not traveling. If we hear the truth from other locations they can’t control our minds. (I’m reminded of my M-I-L listening to BBC on a hidden radio during Nazi occupation and propaganda to hear the real world news.)

    This has been going on for more than 10 years now, one would think the TSA would have a better handle on how to handle customer relations….. oh wait a minute, they don’t want us to like them, just fear them. …..they don’t care about customer relations. Too many seem to act like petty despots; doing what they want because they “own” this territory and it one tries to talk back, one is hauled off to jail (or just questioning) thus missing their flights,etc.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    This is getting beyond outrage. When McCarthy started to attack military Eisenhower kicked ass. It’s time for OCCUPY TSA .

  • grandpamike1

    Maybe some healthy Marines should wait till the TSA people get off duty and show them how to duck walk. Sorry ass fascist assholes.

  • Naja pallida

    If the TSA is spending so little time and effort training their human employees, I wouldn’t put much faith into their ability to train canine units effectively either. Simply put though, a detection dog is only as good as their handler. Studies have shown that dogs (at least with drug sniffing dogs, not sure on explosives) will often false report if the handler is treating someone differently. Even if that difference may not be perceptible to the handler at the time, the dog is simply trying to do what it thinks the handler is expecting.

    Not to mention, there are no federal standards on what actually qualifies a dog and handler team as capable of doing a detection job. Each training company/group uses their own standards. Some, like the Beagle Brigade have had reasonable success with agricultural products, but there’s not as much evidence to suggest it would be as effective with other forms of contraband.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be a much more sensible solution than what the TSA currently employs. I just don’t think the TSA, as an agency, is capable of implementing such a program effectively or efficiently, without a complete revamp of how they operate. From the top down.

  • UncleBucky

    It seems that there is silo-ization or silo-ing of TSA agents from best practices. Not only do they not seem to know about best practices, but they may be prevented from getting expert help by phone or by a best practices trainer ON-SITE. And so like 9-1-1 agents, security guards and other sadly “wannabee police” people, they act according to the letter of the law (Barney Fife) instead of with the spirit of the law (Andy Taylor) and everyone just gets angrier and angrier.

  • tsuki

    The more I hear of them, the more they remind me of the Stasi back in the 60′s & 70′s.

  • Drew2u

    But that was in a carry on, and those are already checked, correct? If canine units are great at sniffing out explosive materials, why isn’t a dog or two added to every checkpoint to give a once-over-sniff? Certainly a sniffing dog is much more effective than subjecting people to humiliation.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    They don’t have any sense to begin with, but are common enough.

  • Ford Prefect

    So a 30-year old incident, that was solved without TSA’s bogus–meaning: abusive– “security” measures, is reason to keep up with those bogus “security” measures. Here’s the thing: trained professionals violating the human rights of innocent people is not Security. It’s just violating people’s human rights. They pick on amputees because they are trained to pick on the “weak.” It’s policy-driven.

    A single, decades old incident justifies nothing.

  • jennann

    This is so disheartening. 4 years ago I took my dad through Sky Harbor on the way to the east coast. He was 85, going through chemo and an amputee. (He lost his left arm and right hand at age 14 in a train accident). He was in a wheelchair, wearing a prosthetic arm and I had a carry-on with additional prosthetic arms/hands. On that day, the TSA was as kind and considerate as I could have hoped for. What the heck has happened? I did check him in through the ‘special assistance’ ticket desk. Is a bit of respect and common sense too much to ask for?

  • Indigo

    Bin Laden wins another one!

  • Peter

    TSA agents are required to leave any common sense at home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.pittman.3367 Brian Pittman

    Agents should lose their jobs as well as all in their chain of command including secretary of fatherland security and all should be apologizing profusely and then not only kick them out of the country but off the planet. So much for respecting a veteran. All that is going on in this country is now starting to remind me of many classes I took in college for a BS in 20th Century world History. I am just waiting for TSA to get rid of the blue shirts and start wearing brown.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    The one thing that’s lost in these stories generally, is that there is a valid concern that terrorists will use the “innocent” passenger to hide a bomb – a grandma, someone in a wheelchair, a child’s toy. I get that. And there was a famous case where they did – though it’s old now, I think mid 80s – Syrian embassy guy in London gets his Irish girlfriend pregnant, puts her on a flight to Israel, he says he’ll be coming soon, and he puts plastic explosives in the bottom of her carry-on bag to blow up the flight, and she doesn’t know it. Fortunately El Al security found it. But it was a brilliant move using a pregnant woman to deflect attention. So I get the concern. But man they don’t handle any of these actual real-life incidents well at all.

  • http://twitter.com/mad_hiddy ΩMephistophelesΩ

    do you actually believe they’re conducting these acts as a form of “security”? pfft. you’re lost if you do.

  • Ninong

    What were they thinking? He was with a group of other wounded veterans who had cleared. Did they really think these veterans were hiding a terrorist in their midst?

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