Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TSA Sued Over Desecration of Ohio Man's Mother's Cremated Remains

Ever since its inception the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) which serves as America’s airport Gestapo has come under fire for numerous transgressions. Whether it be feeling up children, shaking down old women in medical diapers, intimidating hapless travelers or stealing their belongings it is a big government abomination of the worst type. In a great example of not letting a good crisis go to waste, the TSA was launched in the tense aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and has turned into a permanent fixture in an increasingly fascist America. It represents the worst aspects of the Department of Homeland Security, a bloated monstrosity that has absolutely no place in a free society. Were there political leadership with integrity and a respect for American values it would be dismantled very rapidly and replaced with less onerous forms of security.

Now an Ohio man is suing the government goon squad for desecrating the ashes of his beloved mother who had been cremated. According to a story from the website of Cleveland TV station FOX 8 that is entitled “Lawsuit: Man claims mom’s cremated remains found dumped in suitcase after TSA inspection”:

A Cleveland man had carefully planned an emotional trip to take his mother’s cremated remains to a final resting place, but instead he says the journey turned horrific and upsetting.

Attorney Adeladi Williams says his client, Mr. Shannon Thomas, was flying from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico in early October 2012.

It was Mr. Thomas’ mother’s last wish to have her ashes spread in the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea.

But a lawsuit filed in Federal Court in Cleveland Thursday claims a disturbing incident destroyed that wish and violated his rights.

According to court documents, Mr. Thomas had followed all of the guidelines and properly packed his mother’s “heavy and sturdy” urn inside of his suitcase for check-in.

The urn was tightly screwed closed and he says it was packed with extra clothing for padding and protection.

But when he arrived in Puerto Rico, he found his mother ashes dumped inside of the suitcase, all over his clothing and with a TSA notice of inspection.

The lawsuit, seeking $750,000 in damages, names multiple defendants including “The United States of America, Transportation Security Administration, Attorney General of the United States, Department of Justice, 10 agents or employees with the TSA, and 10 other unnamed persons who had contact with his luggage.

It states that “The United States is liable for damage to the urn and his personal effects,” and says the actions of  the TSA agents and others “constitute intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress.”

A TSA spokesperson told FOX 8 that they cannot comment on pending litigation, and therefore cannot say what exactly happened to this urn.

The TSA is exactly the type of organization that would thrive in Nazi Germany or the old Soviet Union. It provides a place of gainful employment for those inclined to be bullies and the existence of such an agency in what was once a free country is yet another tragedy of our times. In a free country government thugs and goons do not conduct random searches and engage in the molestation of powerless travelers who face arrest if they do not submit. It is not going to stop at airports either.  Whenever there is another real terrorist attack on The Homeland - and there will be at some point - it will expand into sports stadiums, public venues and your local shopping malls as well. The defense think tank the RAND Corporation produced a study years ago that could serve as the blueprint.

There is however a glimmer of hope in that a number of the nation's airports are now just saying no to the TSA goon squads. According to a story from The Liberty Crier entitled “Dropping The TSA: 19th Airport Joins More Efficient Private Screening Program”:

Tired of long lines at TSA airport checkpoints? Today, the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) began a transition to private security screeners rather than Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners in a change that promises more efficient security measures.
SFB just joined the TSA’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP) that allows airports to replace TSA screeners with more flexible and cost-effective screening services provided by private companies and overseen by the TSA. While this may seem strange to many Americans who have grown accustomed to TSA-manned checkpoints, it really isn’t abnormal for airports to manage their own security with government regulation and oversight. After all, most European airports are run this way, and now 19 airports in the U.S. are as well.

While privatization does have any number of pitfalls it does offer one critical aspect that does not exist at the federal government level in the USA! USA! USA! anymore: accountability even though it is slight.