Oregon Man Acquitted After Arrest For Stripping Before TSA . . . TSA Responds By Bringing Its Own Charge

images-1I have previously written about how the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) set out to create a crime never approved by Congress: the crime of making a joke in an airport about security issues. The TSA has long appeared to chafe at the notion of an agency dependent on Congress or the public for its authority. That appears the message being sent to John E. Brennan. You may recall Brennan from a story last year when he stripped in the Portland International Airport in protest of increasing invasive TSA security measures. He was cleared by a judge who found his stripping was a form of protest. However, the TSA was clearly miffed by decision of the judge, so Brennan was pulled into the administrative abyss by TSA with an agency charge. It appears that, if the law will not punish a citizen, TSA will.

imagesAgency fines and charges place citizens into a system that is heavily weighted in favor of the agency and denies basic due process protections found in courts. After the judge threw out the charge against Brennan, 50, the TSA got one of its administrative judges to fine him $1,000 for violating a federal rule stating passengers may not “interfere with, assault, threaten, or intimidate” TSA screeners. You may ask how stripping is an act of interference or assault or threat or intimidation. It does not matter. Once in the administrative process, the agency gets a huge degree of deference in determining violations with judges who are dependent on the agency for the very jurisdiction of their “court.”

What is equally troubling is the news blackout imposed by TSA over the case. Administrative judge George Jordan was asked to make an exception and allow cameras into the courtroom but he denied the request. The message seemed to be that Brennan’s move was in the hands of TSA and neither a court nor public opinion would save him now. TSA has refused to even answer questions on the case.

We can debate the ruling of the court in finding no criminal conduct, but the subsequent effort to fashion a new crime from the TSA regulations should be a matter of concern for all citizens. The TSA is taking an act found by a court to be an act of protest and re-defining it as an act of intimidation or threat to the TSA. The case should also focus attention at the ever-expanding system of administrative courts that are pulling citizens into a bureaucratic vortex where they face unfair procedures and treatment.

By the way, after the incident, Brennan was fired from his job as a web development manager at Seagate Technology.

Source: Oregon

75 thoughts on “Oregon Man Acquitted After Arrest For Stripping Before TSA . . . TSA Responds By Bringing Its Own Charge”

  1. Isn’t this the same TSA who thought they were protecting us by allowing pocket knives back on airplanes??

  2. I would agree the fear of profiling might be a factor, but that would be included in all the headache it must be to be an employee for that agency having to work for such an agency.

    Seriously, the below movie is a lesson in what to do when you have to go toe to toe with a bureaucrat, confront them with more bureaucracy:

  3. I showed Darren the medicine drum my son brought back from Alaska and told him the story. Seems younger son bought a medicine drum from a shaman. It has a row of feathers around the drum rim, and a handle. The goatskin drumhead has a native medicine mask painted on it.

    When he went through the TSA checkpoint, he was carrying the drum in an extra large pizza box because it was so fragile. It was wrapped in tissue, and when the woman TSA agent started to open it, he warned her to be careful because it was fragile. Naturally, she yanked the tissue off, and one of the feathers and its holder went flying. My son knew to keep his cool and not go off on her. He said she looked as if she were at least part Native, so he said, simply, “NOW look what you’ve done”

    He said he never saw anyone go from being arrogant to having a complete meltdown so fast in his life. Her eyes got wide and she started sobbing. She knew what she had done. She had broken a medicine man’s drum. As one goes through life, there are just a handful of things that one NEVER should do. Breaking a shaman’s drum is one of them. He said a supervisor came over and had to lead her away. No one bothered him after that. He picked the broken piece off the floor and went on his way. Really curious. None of the other TSA agents wanted anything to do with that box or the drum in it.

  4. I hope he fights this all the way and someone donates money to cover his legal expenses. He did what he was told, humiliate himself to the satisfaction of his captors. They should consider him to be a model passenger.

    When I was flying back from visiting Chuck, I went through the airport security and was putting on my shoes at the end of the security line when a passenger said to me in a joking manner “Well at least they didn’t find the bomb I was carrying.” I just smiled and agreed. But I was glad none of the TSA agents overheard it because the last thing I wanted was to be held over for hours for some nonesense they would drum up.

    I think one of the core reasons TSA is so trigger happy is they have never been real cops before and haven’t learned what is important and what is not. Then pair this up with a sense of power and bad influences from management that wants to regulate everything under the sun and often some real nazis will be created.

  5. https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/round_the_clock_surveillance_is_this_the_price_of_living_in_a_free_saf

    Round the Clock Surveillance: Is This the Price of Living in a ‘Free, Safe’ Society?

    By John W. Whitehead

    May 13, 2013

    “If you’re not a terrorist, if you’re not a threat, prove it. This is the price you pay to live in free society right now. It’s just the way it is.”—Sergeant Ed Mullins of the New York Police Department

    Immediately following the devastating 9/11 attacks, which destroyed the illusion of invulnerability which had defined American society since the end of the Cold War, many Americans willingly ceded their rights and liberties to government officials who promised them that the feeling of absolute safety could be restored.

    In the 12 years since, we have been subjected to a series of deceptions, subterfuges and scare tactics by the government, all largely aimed at amassing more power for the federal agencies and extending their control over the populace. Starting with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, continuing with the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and coming to a head with the assassination of American citizens abroad, the importing of drones and other weapons of compliance, and the rise in domestic surveillance, we have witnessed the onslaught of a full-blown crisis in government.

    Still Americans have gone along with these assaults on their freedoms unquestioningly.

    Even with our freedoms in shambles, our country in debt, our so-called “justice” system weighted in favor of corporations and the police state, our government officials dancing to the tune of corporate oligarchs, and a growing intolerance on the part of the government for anyone who challenges the status quo, Americans have yet to say “enough is enough.” continues…


    1. I keep telling people the free society slogan is a deceptive lie. A cruel lie at that. If what we know of with surveillance and police to arrest when called on is freedom heaven must be a torture chamber. All know that is not true. Therefore people are under a deep hypnotic trance thinking that jails and bondage with the treat of being arrested is freedom.

    1. The money spent was based on fear. Those that fear are not perfect in love. Be perfect in love have a soul that will never die. Have a soul that will never die free others of fear too.

  6. Gene H. 1, May 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm:

    The DHS and all its sub-units need to be dismantled.

    Repeal the Patriot Act now.

    Our freedoms demand it.



  7. Bron kinda beat me to the punch on this one. I was going to ask, “What do you expect from an organelle of the Department of Fatherland Homeland Security?”

    The DHS and all its sub-units need to be dismantled.

    Repeal the Patriot Act now.

    Our freedoms demand it.

  8. Striping should be natural. Devils protest everything. I don’t want people beholding devils in people protesting when they are nude. People should n be relaxed when they are nude not combative protesting when they are nude.

  9. wishbone, why call the cops? there is no need. pass him through since he obviously has nothing to hide. he’ll get dressed on the other side and board the plane.

  10. I think both sides and especially TSA need to lighten up a bit. I try to go through airport security checks with a smile, and a kind word for the agents. TSA is not going away but if they could learn to do their needed job with a little humor, and back the heck away from stupid over responses like this case we would all be better off. Every airport should have an “agent in charge of not doing stupid things to antagonize the public”. That agent would have laughed at the naked man, and called the cops and that would have been the end of TSA involvement.

  11. “When will the American people, at large, wake up to this degradation of their rights?” -Onlooker from Troy

    When “the comfortable are sufficiently afflicted”…, twisting Mother Mary Jones’ phrase;

    When it’s too late, I suspect.

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