Theodore's World: 'If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested'

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November 16, 2010

'If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested'

'If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested'


"I don't understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying," said 31-year-old John Tyner to a pair of Transportation Security Administration officials insisting on giving him a "groin check" before boarding his plane.

Tyner was scheduled to fly this weekend out of San Diego International Airport when he was pulled from the security line at the metal detectors and told he would be either subjected to one of the TSA's full-body scanners – which reveal a virtually nude image of passengers – or a full-body "pat-down," including an inspection of his inner thigh.

Discomforted by the invasive procedures and the thought of a security officer touching his genitals, Tyner made a joke that has since made him an instant Internet folk hero:

"If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested."

Tyner's words have since resonated in dozens of online comments and thousands of views on YouTube, for the comment – and the controversial discussion that followed – was recorded by Tyner's cell phone.

Though the phone was with his belongings, and thus only caught audio of his confrontation with TSA officials, the camera's footage is posted on a blog Tyner created detailing the incident and viewable below, with his "touch my junk" comment and ensuing confrontation beginning at roughly the 3:45 mark:

For Tyner, however, his troubles had only begun when he threatened to have the TSA officer arrested.

A female supervisor was called over to handle "issue," and she promptly explained to Tyner that he had two choices: submit to the groin check or be escorted back out of the airport.

"I don't understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying," Tyner objected.

"This is not considered a sexual assault," the supervisor said.

Tyner replied, "It would be if you weren't the government."

According to Tyner's account, he was eventually confronted by more senior TSA administrators and one San Diego police officer before being escorted back out of the security area to the ticket counter. To his amazement, American Airlines then refunded the price of his non-refundable ticket.

Before he could leave the airport, however, Tyner says a TSA employee insisted that if he left the airport, he would be subject to a civil suit and a $10,000 fine.

Nonetheless, Tyner left and then made his story public.

His blog repeats the refrain, "I would not be groped."

Tyner also told his story to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"People generally are angry about what is going on," said Tyner, "but they don't know how to assert their rights. ... There is a general feeling that TSA is ineffective, out of control, over-reaching."

Though Tyner insists he's not trying to start a "movement," he nonetheless told the newspaper, "It's time to stop treating passengers like criminals and start treating them as assets."

Earlier this week WND reported as dozens of other airline passengers shared their real-life horror stories of close encounters of the TSA kind, including a 70-year-old whose fudge "contraband" was discovered, a Los Angeles passenger who was "groped" four times and a man who was the target of a TSA screaming fit when he chose to opt-out of the "porno scan."

Just a day earlier, WND reported on the growing movement by activists and citizens to push back against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's plans for "enhanced" screening at airport checkpoints.


How the Israelis do airport security

In the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253, authorities are ramping up air passenger screening, particularly for those flying from 14 nations that the U.S. describes as "state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest."

Hundreds more full body scanning machines are on order for U.S. airports. But some airline security experts say the real answer to greater security is to follow the approach used by Israel's airline, El Al.

Isaac Yeffet, the former head of security for El Al and now an aviation security consultant in New York, said El Al has prevented terrorism in the air by making sure every passenger is interviewed by a well-trained agent before check-in.

"Stop relying only on technology," Yeffet told CNN. "Technology can help the qualified, well-trained human being but cannot replace him."

Yeffet spoke to CNN Friday.

CNN: What do you think we've learned about airport security from the failed bombing in Detroit?

Isaac Yeffet: We learned one thing. We do not have a good security system to be able to prevent tragedies in this country.

After Lockerbie, everyone thought, now we've learned the lesson of how to be proactive instead of being reactive. Unfortunately, September 11 came and we know the result. Thousands of people lost their lives. Security totally failed, not at one airport, at three different airports around the country.

In 2002, we had Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. This man gave the security people all the suspicious signs that any passenger could show. The man got a British passport in Belgium, not in England. Number Two: he flew to Paris, he bought a one-way ticket from Paris to Florida. He paid cash. He came to the airport with no luggage. What else do I need to know that this passenger is suspicious?

What did we learn from this? Just to tell the passenger from now on, you take off your shoes when you come to the airport? This I call a patch on top of a patch.

Now we face the story with [Umar Farouk] AbdulMutallab. We had all the information that we could dream the security people could get. He was on the list of people connected to al Qaeda. I don't need more to understand that when he comes, I am not looking for more evidence. He is suspicious; I have to take care of him.

and other sources:


American Spectator

Israel, which prides itself on airport and airplane security, showed off robots and procedures to keep passengers safe. One method has been condemned in other countries — profiling.

Before approaching the ticket counter, passengers are thoroughly questioned by "selectors" who look for travelers who match a suspicious profile.

"In the U.S., profiling is a bad word," Liss said, but he defended the practice, saying it is done by "intelligent, motivated" university students who served in Israel's military and can identify passengers who could pose a potential risk.

Liss said that heightened screening of passengers and carry-on luggage in international airports has pushed terror organizations to look for other vulnerable areas to attack at airports. He said many of the world's airports do not properly secure their perimeters.

"We need to protect our back door as well," said Liss, offering a look at an advanced technique the Israelis are working on.

The visitors, including experts from the U.S. and Europe, watched as security officers staged a live simulation, stopping three armed "terrorists" who broke through a rear gate.

Then they observed an unmanned vehicle patrolling the airport perimeter by remote control — a technology soon to be introduced at the Israeli airport.

Routine security procedures start far away from the terminal.

Before even entering the airport, all cars are stopped for a security check by armed guards. Cameras scan license plates to match them with a database of suspicious vehicles. Security officials said it's one of the many security filters passengers pass before boarding flights, some of them unknown to the passengers and many others still kept secret.

The Israeli airport's spokesman's unit said the main terminal is equipped with 700 closed-circuit cameras and is fortified against explosions. The large glass wall at the front and even the trash cans inside are bombproof, they said.

Israeli strategy is built on multiple face-to-face contacts between passengers and airport personnel.

A mile or so away, on the road leading to the terminals you encounter a structure that resembles a classic American highway toll plaza. It's actually a checkpoint. A young soldier approaches your vehicle, bends close to the window, peers in, and asks a few questions, innocuous things like "How're you doing? Where are you going today?" The substance of the answers (i.e. "I'm going to Casablanca") is far less important than what psychologists call your "affect" -- your demeanor, whether your gaze is steady or if it ping-pongs around, whether you are sweating heavily, whether your clothes seem appropriate to the surroundings or just

The second screening occurs while you wait on line to check your baggage. You are then approached by a uniformed young person (they are usually Israeli reservists) and "chatted with" again, the same sort of "where are you going?" stuff

The Israelis would be crazy to rely solely on passenger twitchiness, so all kinds of other elements get thrown into the mix.

In 1986 the simple question, "Did you pack your bags yourself?" ended up saving hundreds of lives.

When Richard Reid climbed aboard a trans-Atlantic flight with a British passport issued in Belgium, no luggage, a one-way ticket and a bomb in his shoe, we made everybody take off their shoes. Now that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has gotten past security with no luggage, a one-way ticket and a bomb in his underpants, we're going to check everybody's underpants with body scanners. But no scanner ever invented can look into another person's mind. Only when we start talking to passengers will be able to get into their heads. And that is where the real danger lies.


Wild Thing's comment........

Before he could leave the airport, however, Tyner says a TSA employee insisted that if he left the airport, he would be subject to a civil suit and a $10,000 fine.

I had did not know about this rule or law whatever it is. I guess it means once you start the sceening process, you are their prisoner and you can't leave. So let's say you consent to go through the scanner and it doesn't show a good enough image, they may send you to be patted down and you can't refuse. You can't change you mind and leave the area.

I wish our country would drop the BS about not wanting to profile a person. I mean we all do it every day just walking around. Did that person smile, is she or he having a good day. How nice that person is dressed, or what a cute outfit etc. All kinds of ways we profile even lightly but for safety it should be allowed for sure. Especially since Muslims can be exempt from the scanners in our country.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at November 16, 2010 04:50 AM


I will never fly again. These junior Nazi's will never get a chance to reach into my pants. This government is out of control. If they can put their hands in your underwear, where does it stop? Fuck them! If I need to go somewhere I'll either drive or take a train.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at November 16, 2010 10:26 AM

There is one and only one main reason we are going through this bullshit. It is muslims. If there were no muslims the world would be multiples better off.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at November 16, 2010 10:30 AM

It doesn't matter how many people die as long as Muslims aren't offended.

Posted by: BobF at November 16, 2010 11:22 AM

"Hello. I'm from the government. Bend over and grab your ankles. This may take a minute."

Posted by: petesuj at November 16, 2010 12:05 PM

I have to fly every three weeks. I hate flying. This gives me a new reason to hate it. And the TSA is going union too. It won't get any better, that's for sure. The government is simply using terrorism to create another huge bureaucracy. When the airlines go under, the government will own that too.

Posted by: Jim at November 16, 2010 01:53 PM

And another thing. Just how far removed are these TSA people from carrying out the governments orders against their countrymen to a more lethal extent? Like concentration camp guards and the like. It seems that they are not far from that right now.

Posted by: Jim at November 16, 2010 02:08 PM

Awesome input thank you all so much.

Jim, you are in my thoughts and prayers with all the flying you have to do. I agree too about how far off will they carry this into camp guards for Homeland security.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 16, 2010 05:07 PM

Thank You, WT

Posted by: Jim at November 16, 2010 06:04 PM

A less offensive security procedure. Sex segragate the lines like a public water park's locker rooms. Everyone undresses, and naked walks down a line while the close get X-rayed and dresses again. Make it Completely illegal for anyone to take a photograph period. The fact that the nmachines record an image of anyone going through them that can be transmitted as a data file is the real objedtion cause we can not trust TSA.
Least objectionalble every law abiding American gets a biolinked ID card and no plane takes off unless at least some of the American passingers are carring guns.

Posted by: Avitar at November 16, 2010 11:58 PM

...if I recall correctly, a person can be fined or imprisoned for DISRESPECTING a T.S.A. official. For the "don't touch my junk" guy the officials want to levy a fine of $11,000. i listened to the audio of the incident on the Hannity show. Mr. Tyner behaved in a calm and civil manner but he refused the x-ray scan and "threatened' merely to sue if they "touch his junk". People ask me why I have stopped flying...

Posted by: Willy at November 17, 2010 11:26 PM