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Comic Artist Detained For Script Containing 9/11 Type Scenarios

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the free-from-free-speech dept.

Privacy 441

Comics writer Mark Sable was detained by security at Los Angeles International Airport because he was carrying a script for a new issue of his comic miniseries, Unthinkable. Unthinkable follows members of a government think tank that was tasked with coming up with 9/11-type "unthinkable" terrorist scenarios that now are coming true. Sable wrote about his experience saying, "...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." It's too bad that the TSA can't protect us from summer blockbuster movies and not just graphic novels.

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Proof please. (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515637)

Any proof that he was detained and that this happened? Otherwise I'm tempted to believe that it is a stunt to advertise his comic.

Re:Proof please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515691)

I second that. Sounds like a publicity stunt to me.

Re:Proof please. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515697)

Any proof that he was detained and that this happened?

Well, given TSA's paranoia level, his description of events certainly is thinkable ;)

We finally figured out step 2 (4, Funny)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515707)

Step 1) Make graphic novel mentioning 9/11
Step 2) Get detained by TSA, spread story over /.
Step 3) Profit!

Re:We finally figured out step 2 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516215)

Step 2) CLAIM to get detained by TSA, spread story over /.
 
 

Fixed that for you.

Re:We finally figured out step 2 (5, Funny)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516359)

Airport Security Officer: Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor, but every once in a while...

Airport Security Officer: it's a dildo. Of course it's company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo... always use the indefinite article a dildo, never your dildo

Re:Proof please. (4, Insightful)

tiananmen tank man (979067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515717)

Even if false, what does that say about society today if this is even believable.

Re:Proof please. (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515807)

That we have mob mentality? That isn't just today, that has been the case since we learned to use tools.

Re:Proof please. (-1, Troll)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516073)

No, no, no, no ,no. While it's true that there is a certain mob mentality in every society, American society is saturated with it. Indeed, I would almost say that American society is at this point defined by its mob mentality. I can't think of any other country where reactions and measures taken are so extreme, and so disproportionate and above all so quick to occur.

It's like there's a nation of 300 million people, wound up like steel springs, ready to snap at the most minor event. Things like Guantanamo Bay, the Iraq War, this TSA bullshit and countless others simply do not happen in other countries. The Brits has to fight an uphill battle when they tried to curtail freedoms. In America, the population was crying out for more oppression.

Re:Proof please. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516229)

You mean all riots that occurred when London installed cameras everywhere? Oh wait...

Re:Proof please. (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516255)

AWWWSNAP!

(Hello. I'm an American. I'm wound up like a steel spring, ready to snap and give away all my freedoms. Oh wait, no, no I'm not. God I hate generalizations)

Re:Proof please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516361)

Really? what about all the crown's surveillance camera system?

Re:Proof please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516381)

The Brits has to fight an uphill battle when they tried to curtail freedoms.

You mean England? A.K.A., Surveillance Society Central? That England?

Re:Proof please. (5, Insightful)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516415)

Hi. I'm not a historian, but I studied to be one.

Things like Guantanamo Bay, the Iraq War, this TSA bullshit and countless others simply do not happen in other countries.

You are wrong, mind-numbingly, disturbingly, incomprehensibly wrong. It's as though you just commented in all seriousness that the sun and the moon are the same thing. Not only are you wrong now, but you are wrong in the past and almost certainly the future. You are wrong on so throughly, so completely, that whenever I try to write a cohesive rebuttal my mind falls dizzyingly lurches into a dark chasm where the word "What?" echoes endlessly into the void.

The fact that you have been modded +5 insightful is a thought too painful to bear. I think I need to go lie down.

Re:Proof please. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516521)

Do you ever watch a world news program or read a newspaper's international news section?

Re:Proof please. (3, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516573)

The Brits has to fight an uphill battle when they tried to curtail freedoms. In America, the population was crying out for more oppression.

That's 100% true. However, those clever Home Ministry people then said: "Silly proles, these cameras are so you can all be on the telly!" and the fearsome fight against curtailing freedoms and privacy was overcome.

In the US, however, we have more and dumber reality shows, so our not-as-clever populace was inclined to look favorably on the cameras, until their agents told them not to be seen on them without a solid contract and a percentage. Currently, our desired oppression is now in bitterly contested compensation arbitration proceedings.

That the guy's an idiot? (-1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515923)

Hey, let's go and have a bunch of papers about blowing up airplanes and have them past people paid to guard them. The dude was retarded. I don't blame the guards for detaining him.

Re:That the guy's an idiot? (5, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516035)

Unless there's a way to blow up the aircraft with said papers their content shouldn't matter.

Now if you were packing C4 and detonators you should probably be checked out. But plain old information? Without acting on it, information is basically harmless.

Re:That the guy's an idiot? (5, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516507)

Unless there's a way to blow up the aircraft with said papers their content shouldn't matter.

Now if you were packing C4 and detonators you should probably be checked out. But plain old information? Without acting on it, information is basically harmless.

You're missing the train of thought the TSA employee went through.

1) The was information.
2) Information is Knowledge.
3) Knowledge is Power.
4) Power Corrupts.
5) Power is dangerous to a Plane in operation (it could blow up the fuel tank).
6) Corruption is dangerous to a Plane in operation (it could cause a wing to fall off or the fuselage to break apart).
7) Information is therefore dangerous to a Plane in operation since it is both Power and Corrupting.
QED This so called "Writer" was attempting to smuggle a WMD onto a plane and should be treated accordingly.

~

Re:Proof please. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516117)

It says that people will believe what they want to believe.

Re:Proof please. (1, Funny)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515761)

Any proof that he was detained and that this happened?

You, sir, are begging for a goatse reply.

Re:Proof please. (1)

Het Irv (1424087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515787)

Well, proof or not I am interested now... stupid PR stunts (or stupid TSA if the story is true).

Re:Proof please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515827)

Expressing a cynical perspective by default does not automatically make you sound any smarter (even if /. and the internet makes it seem that way).

Re:Proof please. (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516037)

Expressing a cynical perspective by default does not automatically make you sound any smarter (even if /. and the internet makes it seem that way).

I wasn't trying to sound smart, I was trying to draw attention to myself because I'm deprived of it. And I'm a karma whore too, a cheap one. That's why I pay Slashdot $5 for a subscription, so I can use my limited mental capacity that is the result of lack of interaction with others to think of something interesting to say and make sure I get the first comment on a story if I want to. Only then do I feel good about myself. Other people? Who cares about them.

Re:Proof please. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516157)

Is this tongue-in-cheek, or are you serious? I am pretty sure your post is 100% factual, regardless of whether or not you meant it to be.

Re:Proof please. (0, Troll)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515955)

Any proof that he was detained and that this happened? Otherwise I'm tempted to believe that it is a stunt to advertise his comic.

I'm tempted to believe that you believe that the President wasn't actually born in Hawaii.

Re:Proof please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516199)

I'm tempted to believe that you believe that the President wasn't actually born in Hawaii.

Everyone knows that he was born in the secret base on the dark side of the moon. Geez, where have you been.

Re:Proof please. (1)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516453)

Dark side of the moon? Racist!

Re:Proof please. (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516205)

Any proof that he was detained and that this happened? Otherwise I'm tempted to believe that it is a stunt to advertise his comic.

I'm tempted to believe that you believe that the President wasn't actually born in Hawaii.

Ok, I'll bite. The answer is no in the case of Obama's citizenship, because they presented reasonable evidence that they had looked into it and presented valid documents. If I wanted to be a conspiracy theorist I might start saying things like "But those documents might have been fake, false testimony" blah blah blah. But because I'm not willing to investigate the matter myself, I have to take what is presented at face value and its a waste of ones time to think about it any more if you're not going to look into it yourself.

This article however has no investigative journalism to it. No visible attempt was made to contact the TSA for their comment on the matter and it only appears that they listened to what Mark Sable had to say about it and wrote an article based on only that. This is why good journalism is important and why blogs can be bad at times. After reading the article Slashdot linked too, I did a search on news.google.com for Mark Sable and couldn't find much else about it other than the same story. This makes me skeptical about whether it actually happened and thus my initial inquiry.

And since things like this have happened many times before (PR stunts), proof needs to be asked for.

Re:Proof please. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516353)

if he was born in hawaii, it should be fairly easy to provide proof of it. He has not, yet proven anything.

Re:Proof please. (4, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516131)

This was not very insightful. I'm sure he can provide you with evidence if you really want it.

My experience as a foreign national living and working legally in the US and traveling across the Atlantic somewhat frequently, is that the TSA agents are high school dropouts at best and totally idiots. The level of intelligence is so low that they have problems grasping the most rudimentary issues ecplained to them.

This is exactly what you get when you have decided that the work they are doing is not worth more than minimum wage.

Re:Proof please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516387)

No. Pics or it didn't happen.

Re:Proof please. (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516433)

Why would they know he had said script on his person anyway? I suppose he could have been a random search candidate, but I've never been stopped at an airport because I had a notebook or whatever in my belongings. Perhaps if he was searched, it was for another reason, and the script was then found. Who knows... sounds made up to me.

Bad move (5, Informative)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515661)

Never try to explain an authority the "irony of the situation". Chances are they will lack the intellect to understand.

Re:Bad move (3, Funny)

demonbug (309515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515741)

We at the FBI do not have any sense of humor that we are aware of.

Re:Bad move (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515793)

Reminds me of the people that try to ban "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451"

Re:Bad move (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515901)

Reminds me of the people that try to ban "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451"

No one tried to bad either title. You should have named "We", a title that actually was banned due to its cynical dystopian view of those in power at the time.

Re:Bad move (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516079)

"We" is a decent book. More interesting to see a sample from the prototype stage of the dystopian genre than to read the story, but there are some really excellent passages and the plot is fairly compelling. Er, if anyone wants to know.

Re:Bad move (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515927)

Who tried to ban those novels? Was it notable, or some overzealous high school librarian?

Re:Bad move (2, Informative)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516097)

Who tried to ban those novels? Was it notable, or some overzealous high school librarian?

It's usually not the librarians.. it's the school board and administration.

Re:Bad move (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516571)

Usually it's groups with names like "Concerned Parents for a Moral Tomorrow" or something like that. They won't let their kids read those kind of books (the ones that might accidentally cause their kids to start thinking on their own), and want to make sure their kids can't accidentally run across them at the library. These kinds of groups are organized enough to stack PTA meetings and get their members elected to the school board if that's what it takes.

Re:Bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516167)

apathy is MUCH more effective than bans.

Re:Bad move (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516031)

On the other hand, if this harsh treatment is the standard then really it makes sense from the point of view of assuming you may be dealing with a terrorist, not to buy into the irony of the situation. Not that I think it's right, or that its right to view the situation from that point of view; just that it's more reasonable that they actively disregard the possible irony than they don't understand it.

Re:Bad move (3, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516095)

Whether they are smart enough or not, TSA and airport security are essentially required by law to not understand irony, humor, jest, satire, sarcasm, or the like. Now surely the TSA officers in question, reading a script about terrorist attacks (as if such could be the topic of fiction in today's world!) and getting suspicious indicates they fall squarely in the "lack the intellect" bucket... But in either case, trying to explain the irony would just mean they'd say "I'm sorry sir, but according to DHS regulation 372(d) paragraph 2, I'm not allowed to understand what that word means."

Why thats... (1)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515669)

Unthinkable!

it is sad.. (-1, Troll)

Hillview (1113491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515673)

While it is sad that he'd have been forced to go through the humiliation and embarassment of being questioned/searched/etc.. but honestly.. who in their right mind would carry something like a terror script through airport screening? Comic book, hell.. it could've been a movie script and he would've received the same response. In short: He was asking for it. No.. he was begging.

Re:it is sad.. (5, Insightful)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515729)

Submitting to authority does not protect you from them.

Re:it is sad.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515759)

That is bullshit. Why shouldn't he be allowed to carry his script with him into the airplane? Maybe he was going to a meeting about it or something. The TSA are nothing more than airport bullies, all part of the security theatre. They won't actually make you safer, they'll just make your lives a living hell, and worst of all, we let them. Your response is typical and just shows how passive the American people have become. We let these people take away our liberties, and we keep giving them more power, and eventually the USA will be a Police State. You're well on your way to helping make that happen.

Re:it is sad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516435)

RTFA,

He was allowed to carry it with him. He just needed to be ready to explain it and they just needed to be sufficiently sure that's all it was before letting his ass on a plane with 60 other people.

The sensationalism of slashdot never ceases to amaze me.

Re:it is sad.. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515783)

When doing something you have a perfect right to do is "asking for it" something is very wrong.

Describing something that somebody has a perfect right to do as "asking for it" makes you a sniveling authoritarian bootlicker and a complicit bystander to abuse of authority.

Re:it is sad.. (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515809)

Since Comic Writers are not paid as well Screen Writers, they have to take commercial travel and they have to have a way to transport their work. Should he have put it in a checked bag?

Re:it is sad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515855)

What about a Tom Clancy book, or one of the Die Hard movies? I'll grant you that a script is a bit outside the norm, but worthy of extra scrutiny? Give me a break.

Re:it is sad.. (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515875)

Who in their right mind should have to worry about that at all?

We aren't in our right minds at all if we're concerned at all about a comic book. He wasn't begging for it, we (the collective we) were begging for it to be done to him.

Re:it is sad.. (1, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515911)

Who in their right mind would assume that securing an airplane would require reading a passenger's private documents?

He was asking for it. No.. he was begging.

The only people begging for it are the submissive right-wingers who worship authority.

It's not sad. (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515937)

The guy was a moron. He paid a price of inconvenience. He wasn't harmed and he was on his way.

Christ all mighty. Americans have no idea what persecution really is... so they have to invent it.

What a bunch of pussies.

Re:It's not sad. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516313)

I don't think this a troll. I agree 100%.

Who at this point hasn't been detained and had their stuff rummaged through?

I had to unpack a carry on full of crystal glassware (wedding gifts) while all of my other belongings were held on to by security simply because when asked if I had packed the bag I stupidly said no my wife did.

All in all I was "detained" for 20 minutes. But I made my flight with little more than some inconvenience.

If anything I was more wronged than this guy was. But I don't have a comic to sell so chances of my story hitting the slashdot front page are close to nil.

Sounds like in this guys case the airport folks found something worth checking out and were just being thorough.

Had the guy actually been a terrorist and it became leaked to the public that the guy walked right on board with the plans tweaked to look like a "work in progress comic book" people would be flaming air port security for being so naive.

It's not persecution and you can't have it both ways guys.

The guy is being a cry baby and getting alot of publicity for his comic by doing it.

Re:it is sad.. (1)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515945)

No, the really sad part is that people like you except the notion that he got what he was asking for.

Freedom of expression (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515999)

Do you think it should be illegal to carry a manual detailing terrorist techniques? How the hell is anyone supposed to discuss and prevent these attack vectors if you can't talk about them or write them down?

Either everything is ok to say/write down or nothing is. You'll always find things people consider "objectionable" or "unsafe" whether they be objects, thought, or actions (such as speech). Unless you're actually trying to incite a riot or cause violence with your words (which would have to be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt), we should be free to express ourselves however we please...

This reminds me of South Park 10.4 (Cartoon Wars II):

President Bush: Look, the fact of the matter is, the Family Guy writing staff is protected by something called the First Amendment.
Reporter 1: And what exactly is this First Amendment, Mr. President?
George W. Bush: ...you know. Right to free speech.

Many of the reporters groan loudly and begin yelling

Reporter 2: Mr. President, when your administration came up with this First Amendment, did it not foresee a problem like this might happen?
George W. Bush: Well, we didn't come up with the First Amendment. It was already in place.
Reporter 3: What do you intend to do about this First Amendment, Mr. President?
Reporter 4: Forgive me, Mr. President, but this First Amendment sounds like a lot of bureaucratic jibbery-jroo.

Damn constitution, always getting in our way.

Re:it is sad.. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516049)

Let's say I'm a screenwriter and I'm working on a terrorist-based film that's filming in the Philippines. The script has all sorts of stuff about bombs in airplanes and airports, guys with boxcutters seizing planes and flying them into bridges and military bases and so on and so forth. You're saying if I hop on a plane with the script, I'm asking for trouble?

I wonder how many real bad guys slip through the cracks will moronic airport employees harass people that they know aren't a threat to anyone. I suppose it's a lot easier to pick on Joe Q. Public because they've got a comic book or the wrong skin color or last name than to actually secure airports.

Re:it is sad.. (3, Informative)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516109)

well yeah, because it's perfectly reasonable that a search for drugs, weapons, and explosives would include reading through business papers. seriously, did they think this guys journal pages were laced with ricin? just what would be the justification for needing to read through my notebook before letting me on a plane?

Re:it is sad.. (2, Funny)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516411)

Well, if I recall correctly, Explosive Runes is only a second level spell...

Re:it is sad.. (1)

RageBot (1213750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516567)

I have a lot of questions about this, but for starters here is one. What did the "script" look like? Was it simply a blue book or loose leaf note book written in crayon (not likely I know; or was it more like the formatted output from a printer? What did it say on the front (if anything); something like "Unthinkable" on the front and a if the first few pages described what a terrorist should do to commit an unthinkable act I can see how this might make a TSA guy think it was worth a second look. Next I want to know just how long this guy was "detained"? If he was able to make his flight it does not seem like such a big deal to me. I have been "detained" by TSA guys while I had to boot my laptop and they put their grubby paws on my DSLR. Not to say it was enjoyable and I certainly was not impressed when a female TSA agent looked through the view finder of my DSLR and said this is OK, it is a camera; because the lens cap was still on and she had no way of knowing if the camera was bogus or not. But the bottom line was I was able to get on my flight on time, even if there were finger prints on my camera and laptop. If this guy made his flight it looks more like a PR stunt than something we should gripe about. And I do find it strange no one seems to care if he made his flight or not.

Re:it is sad.. (1)

Hillview (1113491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516259)

Thanks for the flamebait -mod, whoever that was =p I was asking for it, y'know..

Seriously, it's a forum for opinions, and this one was mine. I do see (and agree) with the viewpoint of the responses my post generated. But, this is our current state of affairs, that was my point.

Re:it is sad.. (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516419)

While it is sad that he'd have been forced to go through the humiliation and embarassment of being questioned/searched/etc.. but honestly.. who in their right mind would carry something like a terror script through airport screening? Comic book, hell.. it could've been a movie script and he would've received the same response.

In short: He was asking for it. No.. he was begging.

So someone brings a DVD of Executive Decision through security. Are they 'asking for it?'

Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515679)

9/11 conspiracy theories are so 2001

Watch Closet Land (3, Insightful)

flatulus (260854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515699)

The 1991 movie "Closet Land", starring Madeleine Stowe and Alan Rickman paints a horrifying picture of just how far a government might go in tracking literary "subversives". Sounds like mr. comic book writer is a lot more "at risk" than the childrens' book author in this movie.

Re:Watch Closet Land (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515751)

One of my favorite movies of all time! Good comparison.

Re:Watch Closet Land (1)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515861)

Thanks for the movie tip! Will give it a look. Alan Rickman is a brilliant actor...he even died brilliantly in Die Hard. lol

Re:Watch Closet Land (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515985)

You're sweet. How's life after the lobotomy?

Re:Die Hard (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516263)

They tricked him (dropped him early or whatever).

Re:Watch Closet Land (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516211)

Tho I agree TFA sounds too much like Slashvertizement, the concept is all too real. If it could be applied to a bunch of storyboards, why not to a novel??

So... next time you fly with an espionage novel in your luggage -- could you be the courier for The Bad Guys' Secret Plans??

I Can See It... (3, Insightful)

S810 (168676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515711)

I can see the grossly under-paid TSA Employees thinking: "Yay! We got one! We got a terrorist!" Too bad they don't go to school to learn the difference between Art and Terror Plans!

Re:I Can See It... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515961)

Worse, said TSA employee might not think that there is a difference. Authoritarians of all stripes generally don't hold artists in high regard. The description is usually "decadent" "subversive" or "effete".

NO BLOOD FOR OIL (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515725)

This is just another chapter in the corrupt fascist Bushitler's regime to destroy freedom and democracy...

oh, right. Obama. What I mean is that this is perfectly acceptable, and is all part of The One's plan for when peace shall guide the planet and love will steer the stars. Yes we can! All hail Obama!

"Informative?" (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516495)

"Offtopic" or "troll" would have been more appropriate.

Slashvertisement (3, Insightful)

Kuj0317 (856656) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515763)

This is just insulting how thinly veiled it is.

ironic? (1)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516147)

...perhaps the TSA employees aren't the only ones incapable of detecting the irony...

He forgot the most important part (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515773)

Whether they let him go.

One presumes they did - otherwise it would have been mentioned. In which case it's just a sorry tale of someone, one of many every day, who gets stopped. Nothing much to see here. Let's have another story please.

Re:He forgot the most important part (4, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516113)

But he wasn't just stopped.
I get stopped all the time, it's annoying, but not a big deal.
They not only stopped him, but then read his personal papers, and held him while they questioned him about them.

Papers are not bombs, or weapons. You cannot hijack an airplane with a script, whether it's for a comic book or a movie, or just a pure fantasy scenario you wrote for yourself to pass the time.
As such, TSA has absolutely no business, no right, and no authority to read them.

The fact that their employees are so badly trained that they actually believe they have this authority, and the fact that the average citizen is so badly informed that they believe it also, is just scary.

The irony that the papers they were reading were a fictional account of a government agency grabbing more authority than they should have is just the funny part of it all.

Re:He forgot the most important part (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516351)

The irony that the papers they were reading were a fictional account of a government agency grabbing more authority than they should have is just the funny part of it all.

No, the irony is that the steps the author took to make sure he got one of the more close inspections of his gear so that he could have this anecdote to publish while getting dupes like you to believe that this is something other than a publicity stunt... the irony is that despite the sophomoric transparency of the whole thing, you fell for it.

Bay Splosions! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515785)

It's too bad that the TSA can't protect us from summer blockbuster movies and not just graphic novels.

Personally I think they should stop Michael Bay from boarding any plane after seeing how disturbingly obsessed the man is with explosions [youtube.com] .

TSA just guaranteed more sales (0)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515843)

This is absurd. Tom Clancy had a "9/11" scenario in one of his books...in the early 90s. Only, in the book, the bad guy flew the plane into the Capital...during a major event.

I don't even read comics but I'm damn sure gonna buy this series now.

Re:TSA just guaranteed more sales (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516519)

I thought that was Dale Brown? Fake Air Force 1 and the Cessna turned into a fuel air bomb?

The Lone Gunmen episode 1 (5, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515847)

From wikipedia:

Foreshadowing a number of conspiracy theories which would arise in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the plot of the March 4, 2001 pilot episode of the series depicts a secret faction within the US government plotting to hijack a Boeing 727 and fly it into the World Trade Center by remote control. The stated motive was to increase the military defense budget by blaming the attack on foreign "tin-pot dictators" who are "begging to be smart-bombed."[3][4] In the episode, the plot is eventually foiled by the protagonists who board the doomed plane and deactivate the malicious autopilot system just seconds before the plane would have reached the World Trade Center.

Re:The Lone Gunmen episode 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516239)

So that's where they got the idea...

Welcome to (4, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515871)

Welcome to the era of Thought Crime.

Thinking about it is a crime.
Writing about it is a crime.
Drawing about it is a crime.

Last I check wasn't DOING a crime... well.. a crime?

Next thing you know Jessica Lansbury and company will be held and charged for all those terroristic threats and murder plans called "Murder She Wrote". They were so detailed! Lets not forget the Matlock, Columbo, Perry Mason, CSI, etc... All those murder plans!!! GET EM!!

"When is a man damned? When he is oblivious to it."

Jessica Fletcher (2, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516275)

Jessica Fletcher was played by Angela Lansbury.

Re:Welcome to (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516447)

Welcome to the era of Thought Crime.

Thinking about it is a crime.
Writing about it is a crime.
Drawing about it is a crime.


Is prodding the TSA into making you be one of the thounsands of people that they pull aside each day (I've been one of them) for a closer look, so that your script (on paper? how blog-a-liciously convenient!) will pass temporarily through the hands of agents, so that you can pimp your products to a wider audience via outraged, sympathetic Useful Idiot anecdote-fueled foot-stomping on Slashfot... is that a crime? I guess we'll never know, since he was locked away. Oh, I guess not. He wasn't. Or charged. Or anything.

They're just bored (1)

snsh (968808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515933)

The TSA folks were probably just bored, and jumped at the chance to play terrorist make-believe. Now they feel foolish, but while it was happening it was probably quite a thrill.

ignorance of your own rights (4, Interesting)

aber (141743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516105)

"I cooperated politely and tried to explain to them the irony of the situation." Mr. Sable's ignorance or willful abdication of his 5th amendment rights caused him to perhaps waste a great opportunity to challenge TSA policies on search of personal belongings. Next time, maybe a better approach would be (disclaimer, IANAL): "Am I being detained?" followed by "I'd like you to tell me what laws you are accusing me of breaking," or "I won't make any statements until I have spoken to a lawyer," as the case may be. If Mr. Sable had actually been prosecuted simply for having exercised his 1st amendment rights, his case would have had a much more significant impact in our fear-prone society, causing perhaps some much needed "clarification" of what the federal government can/cannot do "for our own good" to "protect us from the evil terrorists." Perhaps even a re-evaluation of TSA policies, or at least application of punishment to over-zealous agents.

"The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble." You're not in trouble just because a government employee says so (or looks at you funny). We do have a bill of rights, you know.

From TFA: "In the end, I feel my privacy is a small price to pay for educating the government about the medium." No one of any importance was "educated." No policy is likely to be changed as a result of this incident; law-abiding citizens are still going to be stopped in airports for carrying 'strange' books, scripts, magazines, etc. All this shows is that TSA agents can act in an arbitrary manner with repercussions.

Re:ignorance of your own rights (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516369)

The legal situation is that if you want to fly on a commercial plane, you consent to the search.

Re:ignorance of your own rights (1)

aber (141743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516581)

The legal situation is that if you want to fly on a commercial plane, you consent to the search.

I believe you're right, which is why I didn't mention the 4th amendment, only the 5th (and 1st).

Wait a minute... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516139)

I have to ask: what led him to be flagged in the first place? Why did they search him twice and THEN find the script? Could this be "free publicity by TSA"? I think I'll patent it.
Step 1: write obscure work that might never see the light of day
Step 2: do something on purpose to draw suspicion of TSA and get handled in a way I can complain about
Step 3: complain to Slashdot
Step 4: profit! (and publicity)

Paging Ron Paul... (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516161)

There was a recent news item (can't recall if it was /. or FreeRepublic) noting that one of Ron Paul's people was detained by TSA for carrying $4700 cash (sales of T-shirts, stickers, etc. from a convention) and managed to record the whole incident. Sounds like Comic Book Guy needs to contact him and work on filing a joint suit.

Maybe, Maybe not... (4, Insightful)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516217)

So far, the larger part of the comments here have dealt with the fact that this might be a scam.

IMHO, it's probably not. If you've heard some of the stupid shit from cops and other government bureaus that I have, this is right up their alley. Remember - these guys by and large aren't really trying to do the job they say they're out to do. And they're nowhere near as competent and knowledgeable as they imagine they are. I've been told before that the fact that the devil chicks I have tattooed on my forearms have some meaning in these exact words : "Don't think we don't know what those horns mean! We're not stupid!". Uh, yes, you are. They're devil chicks. What, you expect them to be wearing garland wreaths on their heads? Get real. There is no hidden meaning behind that, and I know what most gang and prison-related tattoos in Texas mean.

If you're a chickenhawk bureaucrat on a power trip, who are you likely to pick out as a target? A comic book artist? Or someone who does have actual ties to known and dangerous terrorist organizations? Let me repeat that, just in case you missed it : known and dangerous. Despite all the spoon-fed drivel that gets funnelled straight into your living room, courtesy of your brand-new digital TV, these guys are bureaucrats. They don't want to break a sweat, let alone get their asses shot off or some other form of retaliation. They're not heroes, except the extremely rare exception (think about it - you hear ten times as many stories about cops shooting unarmed civilians as you do an armed civilian shooting a cop...yet the cop is always painted as the "hero who died in the line of duty"; generally through their own stupidity, like not searching someone they just antagonized and arrested...now if the supposedly unbiased news puts those figures forth, what do you think the real numbers are?). They don't go out of their way or risk their lives to protect citizens. They don't do anything other than collect their check, do as little as possible, and then go home to fuck their middle-class fat-arsed wives and scream at their subnormal children. If they can skip out on doing their "duty" for a few hours by harassing some artist whom they had to have known has no affiliation or even a tenuous connection within an hour, you bet your bottom dollar they will be doing just that for as long as they can.

And a cavity search? Oh, I'd love to see those fuckers try that one of me. You ain't getting my clothes off unless you've already arrested me and have me full restraints (which makes it pretty hard to get someone's clothes off without cutting them off). Because I can and will fight, and there's only so many people that can gang up on one man, and that is not enough to get my clothes off me without beating me unconscious, which is pretty hard to do. Oh, sure, I'll get some kind of charge slapped on me. But you know what - it's not resisting arrest or assault if there's nothing to arrest you for!

You, as a society, have become sheep. And you have chosen wolves to protect you. Is it any wonder that the herd gets culled by their so-called guardians quite often? Here's Tom with the weather...

Economist Steven Levitt almost got arrested too (5, Informative)

BurningTyger (626316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516363)

Economist Steven Levitt also had an interesting story of how he almost got arrested because he bought a last min one-way flight, and that he carried research paper on terrorist activities:

I almost got sent to Guantanamo
By Steven D. Levitt
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2005/07/14/i-almost-got-sent-to-guantanamo/

Idiots, absolute idiots! (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516461)

Even if this guy was setting up a publicity stunt, the TSA agents were absolute idiots for even giving a commercial publication a second notice as evidence against the carrier.

Meanwhile, the real terrorists carried full tactical nukes in the carry on luggage.

Seems unlikely (2, Funny)

stoat (125788) | more than 5 years ago | (#28516487)

Would require TSA agents to be literate.

Why were they reading the script? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28516535)

That's my first question. Of all the times I've been through security, they scan/x-ray/etc, but don't take the time to read notes...that'd take too much time, holding up others.

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