46 Comments

  1. TSA Agent Thedala Magee, Through Vicki Roberts, Threatens Amy Alkon With Lawsuit For Complaining About Patdown | Popehat
    September 6, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    […] TechDirt Crime and Federalism Defending People […]

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    • Angela Castaneda
      September 14, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

      Sunlight is a wonderful corrective for governmental thuggery. The TSA thug Thedala Magee needs to be put under the public’s scrutiny and given an opportunity to give a justification for sexually assaulting a fellow citizen under color of “law.”

      How best to do this? Easy:

      Reply

      • Angela Castaneda
        September 14, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

        (Pushed the post button too soon.)

        Government thugs need to have their pictures posted, as well as well as their home addresses, home phones, and email addresses put up on the internet.

        After all, we know all about Amy Alkon now, but we don’t know anything about this TSA thug Thedala Magee. With her contact information available, people of good will can contact her and try to persuade her that what she is doing is simply not right.

        Mind you, I’m not suggesting that anyone harass the thug; that would only make her into a worse brownshirt. She just needs some person-to-person dialogue so she’ll understand she’s not advancing any public good by feeling up passengers in our airports.

        Am I wrong about this approach? Nothing else seems to be working.

      • Lisa Simeone
        September 15, 2011 @ 8:08 am

        I think Ms. Magee is finding out that tangling with someone like Amy Alkon or Marc Randazza, who aren’t going to take this kind of extortion sh*t lying down, was a monumental mistake.

      • Mark Bennett
        September 15, 2011 @ 8:23 am

        I suspect that other TSA screeners are paying attention as well.

        The first thing any traveler should do in an encounter with a screener is ask her name, then repeat it back to make sure the traveler has it right.

      • Lisa Simeone
        September 15, 2011 @ 8:29 am

        It’s a great suggestion. Just be aware, folks, that it could get you automatic retaliation. Just like asking them to put on clean gloves can.

      • Mark Bennett
        September 15, 2011 @ 8:32 am

        Retaliation? If you get retaliation, give me the name and narrative and we’ll show them some good old First Amendment escalation.

      • Lisa Simeone
        September 15, 2011 @ 8:35 am

        There’ve been so many, but, of course, hard to prove in court of law. Here’s one, though:

        Texas Public Utility Commission chairman Barry Smitherman: “You’re punishing me for opting out, aren’t you?”
        TSA agent: “Yes, we are.”

        Not So Private Parts
        by Kashmir Hill, Forbes, June 16, 2011, Tech
        http://blogs.forbes.com/kashmirhill/2011/06/16/quote-of-the-day-after-texas-state-official-left-sore-from-a-tsa-patdown/

      • Mark Bennett
        September 15, 2011 @ 8:42 am

        I was unclear in that comment. Of course screeners retaliate against people who opt out or otherwise don’t submit. I assume that anyone who takes the screener’s name is going to be retaliated against for something; cutting the screener out from the mob by getting her name may reduce the chances of retaliation. “Don’t ask their names because they might retaliate” would be like “don’t look them in the eye.” (Notice that the screener in the Smitherman case said, “Yes, we are,” not “Yes, I am.” If he had first ascertained the screener’s name, the screener might have been more reluctant to retaliate. Probably a good blog post.)

        When a screener retaliates, give me the name of the screener, and she’ll find herself running to Ms. Roberts for comfort.

  2. September 7 roundup
    September 7, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    […] Blogger (and frequent Overlawyered commenter) Amy Alkon criticizes intrusive TSA agent by name, agent threatens $500K libel suit [Mike Masnick/TechDirt, Mark Bennett] […]

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  3. Lisa Simeone
    September 7, 2011 @ 6:55 am

    So glad this is finally getting out there. The legal proceedings have been going on for some time — Amy told me about them months ago but asked me not to tell anyone, so I didn’t. I don’t know how Techdirt got wind of it, but however they did, I think it’ll be good for Amy in the long run.

    Thedala Magee made a monumental blunder. She’s obviously tangling with the wrong people — Alkon and Randazza. Trying to shake down a passenger for money — after you’ve abused her, no less — takes a special kind of person. And now Magee’s name is all over the web, worldwide. Poetic justice.

    Perhaps the many cowardly wankers in the media will now finally wake up, as well. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Reply

  4. Fighting TSA Manual Manipulation « THE TRIAL WARRIOR BLOG
    September 7, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    […] TSA Thug Thedala Magee Threatens Suit (Mark W. Bennett at Defending People) […]

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  5. Charles B. "Brad" Frye
    September 7, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    I agree Mr. Randazza’s response is wonderful. But he hasn’t gotten the message yet about one (not two) spaces after the period.

    Reply

    • Sara Gomez
      September 7, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

      Actually, in the legal world it is 2 spaces after the period.

      Reply

      • Mark Bennett
        September 7, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

        Actually, in the legal world it isn’t.

        That’s the typewriter rule, from before we all used proportionally-spaced fonts.

      • shg
        September 7, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

        And yet I plan to use two spaces regardless for as long as I live, even though Typography for Lawyers tells me I’m wrong. Long live the IBM Selectric III!!!

      • Michael Stuart
        September 9, 2011 @ 10:00 am

        I will throw in my two cents: as a highly experienced software engineer, I insist on two spaces post-period.

        There; a technical expert has spoken, the matter is settled.

        🙂

  6. Lisa Simeone
    September 7, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    P.S. Amy’s account of assault is but one of many thousands. Here are two Master Lists of TSA Abuses and Crimes:

    http://www.travelunderground.org/index.php?threads/master-lists-of-tsa-abuses-crimes.317/

    Reply

    • Mark Bennett
      September 7, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

      Amy’s account is different because she, unlike most, was willing to publicly name her abuser.

      Reply

  7. Geo. McCalip
    September 7, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    In a case like this it helps to actually look at the law regarding rape. Since this happened at LAX the governing law would be the California Penal Code:

    261. (a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following circumstances:

    (7) Where the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to use the authority of a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another, and the victim has a reasonable belief that the perpetrator is a public official. As used in this paragraph, “public official” means a person employed by a governmental agency who has the authority, as part of that position, to incarcerate, arrest, or deport another. The perpetrator does not actually have to be a public official.

    However, what is the definition of sexual intercourse? Did Agent Magee’s actions actually meet the standard? Once again, let us read the Penal Code:

    263. The essential guilt of rape consists in the outrage to the person and feelings of the victim of the rape. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime.

    Given that even part of Agent Magee’s hand was inside Ms Alkon’s vulva, the answer is obvious.

    Who is suing who for “severe emotional distress, fear, difficulty in performing her duties, and other problems”? If you were a juror on this wouldn’t you be begging Ms. Alkon to countersue?

    Reply

    • Mark Bennett
      September 7, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

      The law regarding rape is of limited use: if what Thedala Magee did was, legally, rape, then Ms. Alkon was justified in calling it “rape.” But if what Thedala Magee did was not, legally, rape, then Ms. Alkon was still justified in calling it “rape.”

      Reply

  8. Geo. McCalip
    September 7, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    I don’t see anything in the California Penal Code requiring sexual intent as part of a rape conviction.

    Reply

    • Mark Bennett
      September 7, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

      What makes penetration “sexual”?

      Reply

  9. Michael Stuart
    September 9, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    And yet: very few stand against TSA’s prisoner-training exercises*. If even ten percent, even ONE percent raised a fuss the system would collapse.

    What the hell happened to Americans, that they bow so readily to tyranny? How were they brainwashed so completely in one decade?

    * have no doubt, TSA’s purpose is not “safety”, it is a psy-op to train Americans in the new reality of living in a prison.

    Reply

    • Lisa Simeone
      September 9, 2011 @ 11:33 am

      Michael, I have been saying this till I’m blue in the face. I have written it so many times I can’t keep track. I wrote about it often at a group blog to which I used to belong, but which I abandoned because I got tired of being shouted down by the we-have-no-civil-liberties-problems-in-this-country-you-must-be-crazy naysayers.

      Yes, if even one percent of people stood up for themselves and refused to buckle under to these thugs, we’d see some change. But again, most people don’t have the courage of their purported convictions. Americans talk a good game about “democracy” and “freedom” and “values,” but when push comes to shove, they can’t be bothered.

      Reply

      • Michael Stuart
        September 9, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

        I remember–we’ve had this thread before.

        It will take a certain critical mass–much less than one percent–but enough to get more viral YouTubes and some MSM coverage of a few well-spoken, calm but forceful people refusing the searches. Some will be arrested, most will be denied boarding.

        But the sheeple have to see it to incorporate that possibility of resistance into their mental choice-space.

        This is true of all resistance; car searches, bag searches in subways, even trivial little things like refusing to give your social security number.

        Re-awaken that spirit of “no, I will not comply”. Start small. Frown at a mailman.

        Speaking of which–Marc Randazza’s blog has a brilliant strategy for ending the TSA that even wimps can employ:
        Time for a Revolt Against the TSA

      • Lisa Simeone
        September 9, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

        But I love my mailman . . . !

      • Lisa Simeone
        September 9, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

        P.S. But yes, I remember that entry of Mark Randazza’s well. I discovered him — I don’t know, ages ago — and have been howling ever since. Only black humor gets me through the security mania these days.

    • Geo. McCalip
      September 9, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

      Can you imagine Thomas Jefferson or George Washington taking their boots off to get through TSA security? I can imagine a TSA agent in the ER having said boot surgically removed from his backside.

      Reply

    • Geo. McCalip
      September 9, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

      I have written a protest song regarding TSA and sung it to very positive response at a few open mics. Lyrics and chords are posted at:
      http://ukeshirts.com/tabs/Airport_Security_Blues.pdf

      Reply

  10. Charles Hokanson
    September 9, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    When I read Randazza’s letter to Vicki Roberts, I had to know what kind of atty has an email address of “Vicki@RestMyCase.com” and would take the TSA person’s case, then demand $500k, instead of showing her the door. So, I ran a search and found out Vicki Roberts is a “Celebrity Lawyer” and a “Premier Legal Strategist and Consultant.” Here are some results of the web results:

    http://www.RestMyCase.com — seems to do everything under the sun — a real jack of all trades — check out the legal services tab at http://www.restmycase.com/legalservices.html

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/09/prweb553967.htm — a press release she issued about herself;

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2399449/ — one of her imdb pages; and

    http://www.metnews.com/lamc-open.html — an article about her apparently unsuccessful run for a muni court judgeship.

    There was a lot more, of course.

    Reply

  11. Geo. McCalip
    September 9, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    That should be “her.”

    Reply

  12. Michael Stuart
    September 15, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    It’s crucial that as many people as possible RECORD their TSA encounters.
    Hundreds upon hundreds of YouTubes, complete with the screener’s name, will blow a chilly draft of accountability on these thugs.

    I love Angela’s idea; getting the thug’s name, looking them in the eye, and forcing them out of their mob role and into a personal encounter is powerful stuff.

    I’m a big fan of Marc Randazza’s plan to shun them in their lives outside TSA, too.

    I wonder–is there a publicly available list of these thugs? They’re gov employees, FOIA request anyone?

    Reply

  13. Lisa Simeone
    September 15, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    We have lots of accounts on TUG (Travel Underground) of people who’ve successfully recorded their encounters, and of people who’ve been bullied, harassed, intimidated, and prevented from recording their encounters. It’s all a crapshoot.

    Reply

    • Mark Bennett
      September 15, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

      How many of them have published their harassers’ names?

      Reply

      • Lisa Simeone
        September 16, 2011 @ 7:23 am

        Good question. I don’t know. I didn’t join TUG until a few months ago, and it had already been up and running for a while with thousands of comments. I do know some members still have pending lawsuits and complaints against the TSA (the latter, of course, have all been ignored).

        The groper of Andrea Abbott’s daughter has been named publicly. I think at least one of Yukari Miyamae’s assailants has also been named, can’t remember now. There’s so much info to keep track of.

        By the way, I’ve updated my Master List of TSA Abuses and Crimes, but the TUGmeister hasn’t had a chance to upload it yet. He’s got a full-time job plus does activism on several fronts. So I don’t know when it’s going to show up on-line.

  14. Tanner Andrews
    October 15, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    It’s a real shame that the links go into scribd instead of reaching viewable instances of the documents. I find that scribd is sort of like a roach motel for documents: they check in OK, but they don’t check out.

    Reply

    • Mark Bennett
      October 15, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

      Didn’t we cover this elsewhere?

      Suggest another way for me to publish PDFs inline so that readers don’t have to download the whole thing, and I’ll try it.

      Reply

  15. TSA Agents DO have a choice « The Legal Satyricon
    March 5, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

    […] hatred for the TSA is well documented. Examples here, here, here, and especially […]

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