November 30, 2010
Following their own guidelines will not get you anywhere because they make the rules up as they go along
The latest case of TSA tyranny to hit the headlines comes in the form of a young mother who was subjected to enhanced groping and then shut inside a screening box for almost an hour by agents after she refused to allow them to put her breast milk through an x-ray device, a legitimate request that is even written into the TSA’s own guidelines.
The ordeal, which took place at Phoenix airport earlier this year, was captured on security cameras, which Stacey Armato, who is also a lawyer, gained access to, but only after repeated requests and careful editing by the TSA had taken place.
After being told that her breast milk might have to be put through an x-ray scanner, Ms Armato attempted to show the TSA agents a print out of their own guidelines allowing non x-ray screening for breast milk. This act of serious disobedience resulted in the agent pushing Ms Armato into a glass cage, telling her “to be quiet if you know what’s good for you”, while calling for “back up”.
“Standing 50 ft away are the same manager and supervisor I had dealt with the previous week.” Ms Armato writes in her description of events, referring to a previous 30 minute delay at the security gate for the exact same reason.
After being shut in the box for some 20 minutes, in full public view of other passengers, Ms Armato began to cry and remonstrate with TSA agents. She was then approached by a police officer who told her that she had been singled out by TSA agents who recognized her because she had filed a complaint against them regarding the handling of her breast milk the previous week.
Ms Armato writes:
About 10 minutes into all this, a Phoenix PD comes to calm me down. I explain to him that there is no reason I should be treated this way and I have every right to be upset.
He then says “they” (aka TSA) saw me coming, have it out for me (from my complaint against TSA the week before when they didn’t know the breast milk rules then either), and I should travel out of a different gate in future weeks.
He said TSA wants me to play along with their horse and pony show and if I don’t then TSA can have the Phoenix PD arrest me! Well, I wanted to get home to my baby and my flight was 30 minutes from departure so I ‘played along.’ Three Phoenix PD watched in the background…I could tell they all knew this was a waste of their time but I was happy to have them standing by in case TSA continued to act out of line.
Eventually Ms Armato was released from the box, and subjected to a full groping from another TSA agent.
A TSA manager then approached her and told her that the milk had to go through the x-ray scanner because the containers it was in were “too full” and it was “not a clear liquid”. These are both made up rules that are not mentioned anywhere in TSA guidelines, proving that even the TSA manager had no regard for the official laws in this instance.
The guidelines allow “Mothers flying with, and now without, their child be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.”
According to TSA rules breast milk is to be treated as a medical liquid, which should not be subjected to x-ray radiation.
Ms Armato writes:
He read the first form which stated that medical liquids can have alternate screening (no x-ray). He was quick to say “well this isn’t a medical liquid!” So I had him read the second form which says breast milk is to be treated like a medical liquid. He then says, “well, not today.” I started balling all over again once he said that.
Again this is clear evidence of a TSA supervisor acting like a supreme authority and simply making up the rules as he goes along.
Ms Armato was then forced to pour out the milk into 8 different containers, only half filling each, as per the TSA’s new completely made up rule.
Because of all this, she missed her flight home to feed her hungry baby in Los Angeles.
The following video, which shows some of the lengthy screening process, was edited together by Ms Armato with the help of her family. The full unedited set of videos can be viewed at the foot of this article:
According to Ms Armato, the TSA edited out almost 30 minutes of footage, including a section where a TSA manager demanded and took down her personal information, took pictures of her breast milk and shouted at her for not watching closely as the agents tested it for explosive residue.
Ms Armato has vowed to fight the TSA on the issue.
“Southwest put me on the next flight home and, as luck would have it, I was standing in line right behind my Constitutional Law professor from my law school days. At that point I knew I needed to stand up for my rights and help myself and other mothers against the uninformed, retaliatory, and harassing TSA employees that help ‘keep us safe.’” she writes.
Last week we detailed reports of a woman being forced to remove her sanitary towel following TSA screening. These are the type of dangerous terrorists America must now be protected from.
Here is the full set of videos of the incident:
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor at Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and regular contributor to Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.
This article was posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 11:53 am