Doing the Unthinkable: TSA Accused of Detaining Comic Script Due to Script

unthinkable-boom-186Boom! Studios is alleging that its comics writer Mark Sable was detaining by the TSA at Los Angeles International Airport because of his script for a new issue of his comic miniseries Unthinkable.

Unthinkable is a series about a group of smart guys who come up with 9/11-type “unthinkable” terrorist scenarios. Here is Sable’s account:

“Flying from Los Angeles to New York for a signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe Wednesday (May 13th), I was flagged at the gate for ‘extra screening’. I was subjected to not one, but two invasive searches of my person and belongings. TSA agents then ‘discovered’ the script for Unthinkable #3. They sat and read the script while I stood there, without any personal items, identification or ticket, which had all been confiscated.

“The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble. The first page of the Unthinkable script mentioned 9/11, terror plots, and the fact that the (fictional) world had become a police state. The TSA agents then proceeded to interrogate me, having a hard time understanding that a comic book could be about anything other than superheroes, let alone that anyone actually wrote scripts for comics.

“I cooperated politely and tried to explain to them the irony of the situation. While Unthinkable blurs the line between fiction and reality, the story is based on a real-life government think tank where a writer was tasked to design worst-case terror scenarios. The fictional story of Unthinkable unfolds when the writer’s scenarios come true, and he becomes a suspect in the terrorist attacks.

“In the end, I feel my privacy is a small price to pay for educating the government about the medium.”

This is a matter of concern when writers are detained based on the content of their writing. If true, it is also moronic. What is the likelihood that a terrorist would draw comic portrayals of his planned attack in carrying out his mission.

What makes me think that the next edition from Boom! will be a story of how knuckle-dragging TSA agents are turned into mindless zombies by a soul-crushing and freedom-crushing league of evil bureaucrats. The edition will show a courageous genius writer named Sable who overcomes the drones of doom with acts of unparalleled bravery and proper diction. Take that TSA evil doers.

For the full story, click here.

24 thoughts on “Doing the Unthinkable: TSA Accused of Detaining Comic Script Due to Script”

  1. Thanks for your response Mike and your timeline. I use to think wars were justified when in reality they are started over greed of territory and or $$$$$$$. War = Big time dollars and in order for you to go to war there has to be a reason. If there is not a legitimate one, make one up. I’m sick to my stomach to finally realize what it’s all about, $$$$$$ in some shape or fashion.

  2. bdaman,
    I read all the links you posted, but I assume this is about the one from your first post on this thread. I have no doubt that we were never told the true story of 9/11 and that none of us ever will know the truth. Mr. Sonnefield has suffered the fate of all good people who try to get the word out and as we go on in this direction, unless there is a radical change, it will get worse and worse. I find in life when there are too many coincidences in a given happening, there is reason for suspicion. Just regard this for instance.

    1. 1990 Ist Iraq war initiated after Iraq invades Kuwait. Six
    months prior Sadaam Hussein, a longtime US ally gets what he thinks is permission from the American Ambassador to invade.
    Simultaneously, the Saudi’s are alarmed by the secular Hussein’s rise in power and prestige in the ME. US military could be seen to playing the role of Hessians in this war.

    2. 1998 PNAC issues manifesto for US imperialism and posits that a national disaster, the equivalent of Pearl Harbor would be necessary to effectuate this plan.

    3. Mickey Hershkowitz, long time Bush family retainer/writer interviews GW Bush on a possible Presidency. GW responds that any President who wants to be remembered well needs a war.

    4. 9/11 As planes are driven into the WTC and Pentagon, NORAD has been given orders to “stand down” due to training. Consequently, no US Jets immediately available to shoot planes down. Almost immediately the US learns that 19 of 21 attackers were Saudi’s. George HW Bush spends the day watching TV with watching the carnage with Osama Bin Laden’s brother, a business partner. within 24 hours a plane carrying all Saudi’s who might be persons of interest is allowed to fly our of the country without anyone being interviewed.

    5. US attacks Iraq based on lies and falsehoods told to the UN and the American people, to the effect that they had a hand in 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction.

    8. Halliburton, where Dick Cheney was a former CEO and had at least $10 million in stock in “blind” trust, gets literally Billion$ in contracts in Iraq and keeps them despite innumerable instances of incompetence and harm done to the troops they were hired to serve.

    7. 2008 In order to get the US to agree to leave Iraq shortly the Iraqi government has to sign an agreement giving control of Iraqi oil over to a consortium of oil companies.

    One could go on and on with this and it could be forty points, instead of seven. I think this gives you a pretty good idea of what I think about all of this. In fact your second link from Judicial Watch backs up what I was stating in my own post.

  3. Mike S, was wondering if you read the article I posted above and your view. I find it quite interesting coming from a ex-government employee and someone with first responder knowledge.

  4. “would draw comic portrayals” –

    I think you misunderstood what the TSA agents were looking at.

    Comics are produced by several people. My understanding is that typically one person, a writer, writes a (narrative) scenario (or “script”), which another person, an artist, then illustrates. There may be a third person who then writes the dialogue that will appear in the “balloons.”

    From the article it seems that the guy was a writer who had on him only the narrative “script” or scenario, not the finished, illustrated comic. If so, and given the subject matter, such a script may very well have appeared suspicious to the TSA guys.

  5. All of us on this particular thread seem to see the same problem, with somewhat different, but not exclusionary takes.
    The upshot is I think that we all see this country heading towards a Police State. Worse than that (as if anything could be)I see this trend in country’s all over the world, some like GB that have had long traditions of personal freedom.

    I share bdaman’s skepticism about the 9/11 narrative and have never believed that the assassinations of the 60’s were isolated instances of random action by loners. Here’s the problem though, while we must remain skeptical of the narratives put forth by the powers that be and give voice to our skepticism, we must proceed as if there have been no widespread conspiracy’s. The why of this is that we as individuals will become overwhelmed by the enormity and power of the forces that are appearing to oppress us and stop believing in our ability to make things different. Depression does not breed social revolution, it breeds apathy. We must raise our voices as one against the oppressive forces of the world and continue to believe that we can influence them positively, that is really our only hope and chance.

  6. Obama is up against the biggest, most well armed protections racket in history. Cautiously though I note that a dash of Milton Friedman from the Chicago School of Economics can go a long way and end up putting a shine on the same operation Bush and Cheney ran.

    I’m afraid Mike Spindell is way too well informed for me to add a word. That sickening, sinking, 2001 feeling returns. Wordless exchanges and gray all around. The loss of country.

    “It’s just a god dammed piece of paper” – GW Bush

    Lots of work to do. Night all.

  7. We’re destroying ourselves, by systematically dismantling the rule of law and the Constitution. Those who want to destroy us will ultimately have the last laugh, I suspect, unless something changes.

    (What I’m seeing is consistent with the beginning of a police state and reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Naomi Wolf spells it out pretty well in her book, “The End of America.”)

  8. Gila, I too have had many, many, experiences at the airport and DOT weigh stations. For me it started after the Tim McViegh bombing. I use to drive a yellow Ryder truck like the one used in the bombing. It got to be so frequent that I turned to humor to stop the insanity. I was just reminded yesterday of the past when I received a letter from a law firm in El Paso Texas claiming I have not paid a ticket from 2000 (which I did) and has threatened me that unless I pay within five days a warrant will be issued for my arrest.

    I always knew when I would be hassled at the weigh stations because they would put on the red light and make me sit on the scale for longer than normal (typically in southern states) so when the officer would come out, I would hand him all of my documents and then tell him, don’t ask me for anything else. They would typically say, What you haulin today?” and to that I would say, “Ass, until you stopped me” then I would get, what you got in the back? my response would be, I don’t know, I’ve been in the front all day. Then thats when the search would begin. After becoming a regular thru some stations I actually became friends with a few officers. It was a dangerous game because a DOT official is a federal officer vs a state or local police officer.

    The ticket I mentioned above was one out of five stops, on I-10, on the same day, while traveling from El Paso to my scheduled stop in Kerrville Texas. Approximately 600 mile stretch. I’ve had the dogs on me on numerous occasions and it is all based on profiling. I used to agree with it and certainly understand it, however if there is any truth to 9-11 being facilitated by the U.S. Govt, which I believe there is, it is a crime and a shame.

  9. Another example of the farcical bordering on scary.

    I agree with AY on the TSA, “Too much control, too much power….thinking that they can make a decision and catch that terrorist.” I’ve had a couple unpleasant airport experiences myself since 9/11 & my desire to fly has greatly diminished.

    bdaman, An intense & interesting read. Thanks for the link.

    Jill (& FFLEO), thanks for the warm welcome!

  10. Remember a few weeks ago when they interrogated Ron Paul’s Treasurer in St. Louis because he had $4,700 on him? $4,700!

    Now, they don’t like this guy’s comic book!

    It is amazing what the federal government has turned into in the name of security.

    Now, if the airport security screeners had done their job on 9/11, maybe those box cutters would not have gotten aboard those airplanes. Heck, if George Bush has been as concerned about the Presidential Daily Briefing as he was about clearing brush that August, an American citizen might be able to still board a plane with a few bills and comic book on him or her without fear of interrogation and AGGRESSIVE screening.

    By the way, it is interrogation, not questioning. “Questioning,” makes it sound so civilized. The way these encounters are being conducted by TSA officials, it is very much with a presumption of guilt, not innocence.

    Oh, and are customs officials still allowed to seize your laptop for “screening” upon entering the country? Why don’t we just subject everyone who wants to board a commercial aircraft domestically to submit a quick screening of their laptops, Blackberry’s, iPhones, etc… for “key” words that might indicate someone’s ill intentions. After 9/11, you can’t be too careful. Plus, if they’re not hiding anything, why would they mind?

    Maybe in a few years, they’ll just keep a paddywagon plane outside the screening area to haul you off to Gitmo or Bagram should you not “fully cooperate” the governments AGGRESSIVE security screening process (it’s SO necessary you know, especially after 9/11).

    And no need for due process. The president can declare you an “enemy combatant” on the way. Even if it’s the weekend, or he’s on vacation, he can just do it when he gets back. It doesn’t really matter if all the i’s aren’t dotted and the t’s aren’t crossed. The American courts routinely provide a pass in the name of security. If the intention was “security,” why would we worry about specifics and procedure? That’s not important. Let’s worry about the intention — security. Everything else is just mere formality. What’s important is our safety, especially, you know, since 9/11.

  11. An aspect of this idiocy is that potential terrorists have shown themselves smart enough to no longer use airplanes for terrorist tactic, a la 9/11. Yet we closely monitor air travel, to the point of having people remove their shoes, because of an idiot shoe bomber, whose bomb couldn’t work. At the same time only 2 percent the shipping containers coming into the country are inspected. The conclusion can easily be drawn that “homeland security” is more about controlling us, than it is about controlling terrorism.

  12. Now seriously, this is scary (not just Klavan). There keep being blasting red warning signs of our govt. way out of control. It’s eerie because really, we should be in the streets like the Iranians, but it’s pretty much dead air in this country. Does Michael Jackson have to die on the steps of the Capital for people to care about something devised in Washington?

  13. Here is an excellent post by a real luminary on the right wing (malfunctioning) circut. I found this through a hilarious write up by Glenn Greenwald, which is not to be missed! What follows is the comparison of GWB to Batman. Perhaps the TSA could erect statues of Bush as Batman at every airport–a shining beacon of freedom and a warning to comic book writers everywhere to color in the lines.

    “Who Is That Masked Man?

    From the Wall Street Journal, 7/25/08

    A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .

    Oh, wait a minute. That’s not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a “W.”

    There seems to me no question that the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

    And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society — in which people sometimes make the wrong choices — and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.” (from Klavan’s blog-he’s a keeper ladies and gentlemen too!!!)

  14. I wanted to share this with everyone and decided to post it here.

    As official videographer for the U.S. government, Kurt Sonnenfeld was detailed to Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, where he spent one month filming 29 tapes: “What I saw at certain moments and in certain places … is very disturbing!” He never handed them over to the authorities and has been persecuted ever since. Kurt Sonnenfeld lives in exile in Argentina, where he wrote “El Perseguido” (the persecuted). His recently-published book tells the story of his unending nightmare and drives another nail into the coffin of the government’s account of the 9/11 events. Below is an exclusive interview by The Voltaire Network. full story here

  15. Too much control, too much power. Too many feeble minded people thinking that they can make a decision and catch that terrorist.

  16. One more young writer slid away in the night
    Over the border he will drown in light
    Hold it – wait a minute
    I can’t read my writing, my own writing!
    Like tiny insects in the palm of history
    A domino effect in a cloud of mystery
    My writing is an iron fist
    In a glove full of Vaseline
    Dip the fuse in the kerosene
    I too become a dissident
    Courting disaster we ran in the night
    Wings of an angel torn in flight
    Check it – verify it
    It’s all here in writing, down in writing!
    At the hands of the press
    And in the eyes of the government
    I fell from grace
    I too became a dissident
    Like tiny insects in the palm of history
    A domino effect and an early end to this story
    My writing is an iron fist in a glove full of Vaseline
    But dip the fuse in the kerosene
    I too become a dissident.

    “Dissidents” by Thomas Dolby

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