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TSA Groper Files Suit Against Blogger

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the watch-what-you-say dept.

Government 699

An anonymous reader writes "TSA employee Theldala Magee has filed a lawsuit against a blogger demanding $500k in damages for alleging a particularly invasive search involving multiple incursions of a finger into the passenger's vagina. The passenger, who likened the feeling to being raped, is being sued for defamation for supposedly sullying the otherwise good name of a checkpoint smurf."

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699 comments

Theldala gonna to be gettin' PAID! (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331306)

No more bullshit welfare-to-work program for her.

Re:Theldala gonna to be gettin' PAID! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331404)

If Theldala Magee didn't want to be known as a rapist, she shouldn't have raped that woman.

Re:Theldala gonna to be gettin' PAID! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331838)

In the end your choices are molestation or having your backscatter images posted on the internet from some animal's mobile phone. All at the hands of some otherwise unemployable, barely-trained, barely-literate placeholders with badges.

Bin Laden may be dead, but the terrorists won.

USA (1, Insightful)

otdyn (2456228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331312)

I have traveled to many seemingly "worse" places on earth (Russia, China, Cambodia and other south east asian countries, Africa) and NOWHERE I have experienced stuff like that. USA needs to stop playing the security theater. It doesn't work and it's only absolutely stupid towards normal people. Fingering your vagina and ass, seriously? Stuff like this is why I don't even want to travel to US.

That being said, there are many people who still travel. I guess it doesn't count much if I don't want to travel to US. Like for example here in Europe many students still want to spend an year in US university. I guess it's a little bit more relaxed there, as here government pays for the university classes and you actually have to study to stay there. In the US your parents pay it, so you can take it more relaxed, have fun and drink beer. A dream for many Europeans, who usually actually have to study, learn and work hard. And don't get me wrong - there's lots of innovation in the US, but generally (and in the internet) it feels like US people just don't know much. But innovation can be made more easy if you drink alcohol and take drugs - the ideas just come to your head. That's why I think US is the number one country in the world regarding innovation.

I actually wanted to travel there to see the country myself, but if the welcoming basket is like this, just forget about it.

Re:USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331356)

Wow, the ignorance you display makes me thankful you will not be visiting. Please, stay where you are, I'm sure they will appreciate your contributions!

Re:USA (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331534)

Wow, the ignorance you display makes me thankful you will not be visiting. Please, stay where you are, I'm sure they will appreciate your contributions!

Good advice. I have avoided travel to the US since 9/11. That place scares me silly.

Re:USA (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331402)

Agree, you couldn't pay me to go there!

Actually you could, but it would be a lot of $$$

Re:USA (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331586)

Agree, you couldn't pay me to go there! Actually you could, but it would be a lot of a$$$

'There' being Amy Alkon or the U.S.?

If I ever take my family overseas (4, Interesting)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331508)

I am driving to Canada and catching a flight from there. Within the country, I'm driving.

I have daughters, and I don't think I'll be able to sit by and watch while they're sexually assaulted. Daddy would be going to jail.

Re:If I ever take my family overseas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331764)

Your comment shows you don't understand the meaning of the words "sexual assault". Good luck getting across the border unscathed.

Re:USA (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331518)

That's correct. Everyone gets a finger in an orifice (or two, if you're female) when you enter the country. What's worse is when you get here, we're all slovenly, obese, beer-soaked and lazy morons. Oh, and that's the well-educated and wealthy ones! Believe everything you hear... you're not missing anything and should stay home.

Sig Heil TSA! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331340)

Nazis.

Rough Decisions (4, Funny)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331342)

It's hard tho, when you can't decide if you want to work for the TSA or for McDonalds. On the one hand you get to alienate people by doing whatever you want to them in the name of security and in the other you get to spit on their burgers. What to do? What to do?

Re:Rough Decisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331560)

Yea, it's a good thing that the GOP kept those evil unions from corrupting the process.

Re:Rough Decisions (1)

E.I.A (2303368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331742)

You've just crammed the entire TSA dilemma into a rancid nutshell. Bravo! However, even at McDonalds one must have some measure customer courtesy and respect. Although mental acuity may be a forbidding factor, a mortician may be a better career for prospective TSA employees.

Re:Rough Decisions (1)

psychokitten (819123) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331804)

Well, neither one of them pays shit - so the chances are if someone goes to work at one, they'll have to get a second job at the other just to pay their bills!

Cyber stalked too (3, Interesting)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331346)

If they knew what woman wrote in her blog, she was not only raped. She was stalked too.

Re:Cyber stalked too (0)

planimal (2454610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331398)

your use of the word rape has raped my eyes

Re:Cyber stalked too (2)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331682)

Perhaps, then you ought not look up the legal definition then, huh?
"The term 'rape' means a) the ... sexual assault with an object, or sexual fondling of a person, forcibly or against that person's will;"
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/42/147/15609 [findlaw.com]
That seems to be regarding prisons, but was a quick federal search result. You may have to refer to your state for "common" circumstances but I suspect you'll find the same. Basically, any non consensual penetration of anything with anything. I believe this was largely spearheaded as the much older definition was sexist (i.e. man->woman only) and didn't cover as many cases as they wanted. So in most jurisdictions this would legally be considered rape.

Gee no bias here. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331388)

"supposedly sullying the otherwise good name of a checkpoint smurf.""
Really? No wonder CmdTaco left.

Re:Gee no bias here. (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331452)

The point is that TSA workers don't have "good names". They're unknowns, no one knows them by name. In other words, checkpoint smurfs.

Re:Gee no bias here. (4, Funny)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331802)

The point is that TSA workers don't have "good names". They're unknowns, no one knows them by name. In other words, checkpoint smurfs.

That must be a bitch for the payroll department.

Re:Gee no bias here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331492)

The "guilty-until-proven-not-working-for-the-government" headline bias also sort of tweaked the parts of me that cause me to stop caring about the article. CmdrTaco, glad you disassociated yourself with this tripe.

Re:Gee no bias here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331552)

The "guilty-until-proven-not-working-for-the-government" headline bias also sort of tweaked the parts of me that cause me to stop caring about the article.

I hope for your sake that you're not actually that easily manipulated.

Re:Gee no bias here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331550)

Since when has Slashdot ever been unbiased?

Re:Gee no bias here. (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331634)

"supposedly sullying the otherwise good name of a checkpoint smurf."".

Really? You read that far? I suspected bias when I read "TSA groper". :P

Alternate Source of Info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331396)

I don't understand this. Is there a Wikipedia article about this that i can read that has VERIFIED FACTS? This blog post seems unreliable at best.

Checkpoint Smurf? (3, Funny)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331434)

I dunno... giving the TSA goons a name like "smurf" certainly doesn't give a hint as to their sinister side... Of course one is a little, invasive, annoyingly-voiced bastard that won't just go away, and the other is a smurf.

Perhaps we should call them "checkpoint trolls" or "checkpoint pervs"?

Thedala Magee is a rapist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331440)

Thedala Magee is a rapist!!!

Give me a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331444)

This is bullshit.

The TSA is garbage.

Is this suit actually filed? (5, Interesting)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331470)

Despite the Slashdot headline, from reading the article all I can tell is that nastygrams were sent by both parties and it hasn't entered the courts yet. I'd like to see a judge get involved, to be honest.

Re:Is this suit actually filed? (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331822)

Ultimately, if it reaches court, it's not going to go well for the TSA employee. There's just been too much publicity of coercive practices for her to claim that there was any meaningful consent. Beyond that, just having to give up the fee you paid for the tickets and accommodations is sufficient to question how consensual it really is when you don't get any of that money back if you refuse to be sexually assaulted.

I'm sure that the defendant will have little to no trouble finding witnesses to support the claim of sexual assault if not rape. And tons to attest to the coercion at the check points.

What's worse, is that the TSA agents aren't law enforcement and lack the legal authority to conduct the searches in the first place.

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331472)

I hate to say it, but with things like this happening, the Terrorists are winning. We're now exposing our people to horrors from within our own borders. No one should have to suffer this type of invasive screening.

This Article is Borderline Defamation (3, Insightful)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331474)

I'm going to be modded into hell for this, but oh well, my excellent karma can take it.

Wow, so this is it? This is the point where Slashdot isn't afraid to show its radical bias in blatant bold-faced type on the front page?

You pepper the TSA agent with derogatory remarks ("Checkpoint smurf", "Groper") based on allegations filed in a lawsuit? Do any of you ever look at a murder trial and immediately go "Oh, hey, look at that MURDERER on trial. They're on trial, so they must have killed someone." This crowd froths at the mouth when anyone in government is accused of doing something wrong, but they're the first to stand up and yell "innocent until proven guilty" when someone they can relate to is in the spotlight for something. You're all pathetic. Absolutely, 100%, without a doubt pathetic.

Now I understand why CmdrTaco left. I'd abandon my life's work, too, if this is what it turned in to.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331596)

Probably because enough of us have been patted down by the TSA to know it's all-too-plausible.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (1, Flamebait)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331818)

Agreed. I personally haven't flown for vacation in several years(I'd rather drive or take the train, depending on availability), but trips for business are often unavoidable, and I imagine many /.'ers are in the same boat.

It's likely many readers here are personally familiar with how likely this sort of situation is. Even a legitimate screening from a TSA worker who's just doing their job and doesn't even want to be groping you feels like sexual assault, and could probably be described that way without fear of a defamation lawsuit. Calling out personally a TSA agent who was on a power trip is very believable.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (1, Insightful)

kat_skan (5219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331608)

Nah. If you kill somebody you get the benefit of the doubt. Because really who here hasn't taken the passenger seat out of their car full of blood and homicide books?

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (2, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331612)

Pretty much my immediate thoughts. The claims by the blogger are pretty severe for this agent to just let slide if it's true. And if it's not - well hopefully we'll find out in the court of law. I get that we all don't like the TSA but at the end of the day they're all humans too. Eye for an eye isn't justice in my book - especially when you're just firing wildly into crowds of potentially innocent people.

TSA or not - why should this person allow someone to make such statements if they were blatantly false?

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331654)

It might be because a lot of us travel and have experienced something similar from the TSA ourselves, but are too scared to do anything about it. When somebody finally does stand up for themselves, it's hard not to cheer for them and vent a little at the TSA's expense.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331656)

Dude, chill... We hate software patent trolls, liars, bullies and grapists. Get on with the programme.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (2)

wbav (223901) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331658)

I'm going to be modded into hell for this, but oh well, my excellent karma can take it.

Wow, so this is it? This is the point where Slashdot isn't afraid to show its radical bias in blatant bold-faced type on the front page?

You pepper the TSA agent with derogatory remarks ("Checkpoint smurf", "Groper") based on allegations filed in a lawsuit? Do any of you ever look at a murder trial and immediately go "Oh, hey, look at that MURDERER on trial. They're on trial, so they must have killed someone." This crowd froths at the mouth when anyone in government is accused of doing something wrong, but they're the first to stand up and yell "innocent until proven guilty" when someone they can relate to is in the spotlight for something. You're all pathetic. Absolutely, 100%, without a doubt pathetic.

Now I understand why CmdrTaco left. I'd abandon my life's work, too, if this is what it turned in to.

The issue is as I see it, the agent doesn't deny what happened, they are suing because the rapist label was applied.

Maybe I read it wrong, but based on the accusation, that label appears to be fitting.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331706)

Depends. If the person on trial was an outright evil bastard that was prone to fits of blind rage, though they hadn't actually fully killed anyone... yet, well, yes, I probably would make an assumption that they DID murder the person in question. The person also happened to be doing it in the name of "security" that I didn't ask for and don't need put in place by a government I didn't support. Does this make me a pathetic, judgmental, opportunistic person? If so, then, frankly, I don't care. I'm human, I have faults. That's my right.

On the other hand, you're making generalizations about the way people's beliefs and motives. You're just a fucktard who condones rape. (See what I did there?) What's your excuse?

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331714)

Just to point out: The people *are* supposed to be inherently distrustful of the government. It's supposed to be a fundamental part of the system, as much as revisionist modern thinkers would love to believe otherwise. The founders fought a rebellion against their former government..they recognized you needed one, but were (rightfully so) paranoid of creating that which they escaped from.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331716)

Now now, you're not being fair. It is only people/organizations on the 'hate' list (government, businesses, anyone that works for either of the above) that are automatically guilty of anything they are accused of. People on the 'support' list (hackers, etc) are automatically innocent (even if they have been proven guilty in court. There are two or three other people on earth who may deserve a fair hearing.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331768)

who modded this troll up? Seriously, the phrase "radical bias" wasn't enough of a clue?

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0, Flamebait)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331786)

The TSA is the epitome of evil in modern society. If it's certain the accused does work for the TSA, presuming any other sort of evil is justifiable. The TSA searches innocent people for a living, without any hhint of probale cause, and you gett butthurt when the tables are turned?

Hell, if someone is a TSA agent already, whether they're also a rapist barely registers (except to the victims, of course).

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331788)

I'm going to be modded into hell for this, but oh well, my excellent karma can take it.

Hey, you can blame the guy in the mirror for your final destination. You're the one defending the indefensible here.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331796)

I agree. I would understand those remarks if they were in an over-the-top parody, but they are really out of place here.

Also, don't worry about your karma. It's proven that saying you'll be modded down actually causes people to mod you up.

Contrast with Assange (Wikileaks) accusation (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331836)

... but they're the first to stand up and yell "innocent until proven guilty" when someone they can relate to ...

It goes beyond the reasonable "innocent until proven guilty" comments. When a well known FOSS developer is actually charged with murder the sentiment around here seems to be "He's a well known and respected FOSS developer, I can't believe he did it".

Now consider the accusations against Assange(*). The accusers are of course CIA pawns, they couldn't possibly legitimately feel that they were abused.

(*) I wasn't there so I don't know what happened, neither do you.

Re:This Article is Borderline Defamation (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331870)

Honestly, are you really this blind? The TSA agent gets a less than kind treatment for for physically assaulting a woman and then having the temerity to sue her for complaining about the assault. The central issue appears to be that the agent doesn't want to be identified by name. It doesn't sound like there is a disagreement over what occurred but merely a disagreement over whether the victim has the right to name the woman who assaulted her.

And yes, it's still assault to forcibly shove your fingers into someone else's body, even if you're an agent of the government.

Hey TSA (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331478)

go fuck yourselves. You invasive, dim witted slugs. Nobody but you agrees with the way you treat people. You want $500k because someone called you out for being dicks? Suck it.

Pay the victim (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331488)

How bout $500k for the woman assaulted...and every other victim that has passed through a TSA line.

Change We Can Believe In (4, Insightful)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331498)

So suing the TSA over this is a "non-starter" and even writing about it gets you sued by the molesting thugs... Why do the people in the USA put up with something like this? I thought you were scared witless by terrorists, not authorities, but I guess I was wrong.

Re:Change We Can Believe In (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331710)

Terrorist, authorities, what's the difference in the end? Both operate under the "do what we say or bad things will happen to you" rule book.

Dear American people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331740)

Haha,

This is fucking hilarious watching you rip yourselves apart. Whilst your less well educated, and therefore more patriotic, citizens still trot out the land-of-the-free bit, your actual living conditions are descending to that of the former soviet union. Not that anyone can see this stuff from the inside because that's a universal human weakness. A blindspot for what you see daily.

Keep on going. I want to see you plough yourselves into the dirt. But don't kid yourselves. The world WILL keep turning.

Re:Change We Can Believe In (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331776)

We ARE scared witless of terrorists. I'm personally morbidly terrified of them. I think the problem is that, if you're not in the USA, the confusion is because our media would have you believe we think they're hiding in a desert cave somewhere and not in Washington.

Re:Change We Can Believe In (2)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331790)

We have no choice, it's forced on us by neocons and liberals alike. There are very few of us who believe in individual liberty, an important part of which is freedom of travel within our own country and not allowing arbitrary warrantless searches, much less arbitrary warrantless cavity searches. Personally I vote for those who oppose violation of my rights, and I refuse to fly anymore, driving is just fine.

UFIV == Rape? Yes! (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331510)

If an UFIA is rape, then an UFIV is rape as well. Plus, it's not like she only got UFIV'd once.

Is this summary necessary? (2, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331522)

We're all in agreement that the TSA security measures are stupid, inefficient, unlikely to actually stop any actual threats, and invasive to our privacy. TSA policy resembles a large scale version of the Milgram experiments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment [wikipedia.org]/

This doesn't mean that TSA employees are not people to. They have lives, they have names. They have friends and families. Sure, TSA employees are often incompetent and stupid. The TSA could try to hire retired police and retired MPs but they seem to out of their way not to. But, the low level employees are not deciding policy. They have the same rights as everyone else not be defamed and libeled if they didn't actually do something. So when one of them exercises their legal rights mocking and insulting them is uncalled for. They are just doing their jobs. In the current economy there aren't many jobs out there and the TSA employees want to get paid and not starve like everyone else. You might be smart and well-educated and have a steady job. Good for you. Now meet everyone else.

And since someone is going to probably twist "they are just doing their jobs" into some ridiculous example of Godwin's Law, let's be clear: this is not the same thing as the Nuremberg defense. "I was just doing my job and following orders" has a very different meaning when one is being told to murder people than when someone is being told to do something to someone who knew what they were getting into and elected to go flying anyways.

Instead of insulting and labeling individual TSA people, try to fix the actual issues, a general culture of fear and a succession of US Presidents who have minimal respect for the Constitution.

Of course if the TSA person did do what the blogger claimed (which wouldn't be that surprising) then the TSA person should be fired and does deserve to have their name plastered everywhere. But let's not rush to judgment ok?

Re:Is this summary necessary? (2)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331662)

Yes, it is necessary. The world decided some time ago that "I was only following orders" does not comprise a valid defense. Your attempt to derail by Godwinning this argument does not mean that the argument is not valid. People who support a corrupt government by doing bad things are bad because they did bad things, not because they supported a corrupt government. All TSA employees that have gate raped people should be charged with harassment and other crimes. They knew what they were doing was wrong and they chose to do it anyway.

Re:Is this summary necessary? (3, Insightful)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331756)

"I was just doing my job and following orders" has a very different meaning when one is being told to murder people than when someone is being told to do something to someone who knew what they were getting into and elected to go flying anyways.

Oh really? The woman who was groped knew a TSA agent would insert part of her hand into the woman's vagina multiple times? Somehow I doubt that.

Also, to totally Godwin this discussion: Should Jews have publicly renounced/defamed their faith because they "knew what they were getting into" by continuing to be Jewish in the face of the Nazi takeover of Germany?

Re:Is this summary necessary? (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331832)

Oh really? The woman who was groped knew a TSA agent would insert part of her hand into the woman's vagina multiple times? Somehow I doubt that.

Um. That allegation is precisely the main thing that the TSA agent is disputing. Please reread my comment.

Should Jews have publicly renounced/defamed their faith because they "knew what they were getting into" by continuing to be Jewish in the face of the Nazi takeover of Germany?

First, you've got the history all wrong. The Nazis killed people whether or not they denounced their religion. People with even ancestral descent from Jews were also killed. Second, let's assume that your counterfactual version of history was accurate. Do you not see a difference between "I have orders to do a patdown search of everyone who decides to use this method of transport as opposed to other methods" and "I have orders to kill everyone who professes a certain set of religious beliefs?" Really? No difference at all?

"checkpoint smurf?" (4, Interesting)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331530)

I hate the TSA, and body scanners, and taking my shoes off as much as the next guy. But if the blogger was lying, then that is some pretty serious defamation of character that took place.

Re:"checkpoint smurf?" (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331726)

From reading TFA (yeah, I know), it's not so much that she was lying so much as that she used some very loaded language to describe it. The woman was fully dressed, but the full-on crotch prod caught her "between the labia", several times.

It's hard to imagine that the finger got so far as to be "in the vagina", though clearly that's drawing some very fine distinctions. She certainly felt violated.

I don't know precisely how TSA agents prod women, but I could see it getting into the camel toe. That would be pretty unpleasant, and if you did it to somebody a sexual assault charge is likely, though not rape. There are legal definitions to those charges, but those weren't the senses in which it was used, and I have no idea how a judge will see that. It's not legally rape, and she didn't press rape charges, but colloquially it's not incorrect.

Sounds like a miserable day for everybody concerned: the TSA agent presumably just doing her job, and the woman who got subjected to that job.

Re:"checkpoint smurf?" (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331850)

Sounds like a miserable day for everybody concerned: the TSA agent presumably just doing her job, and the woman who got subjected to that job.

The problem, of course, is that this is the TSA agent's job. You can't get away with sexual assault and claim it's ok because it's in your job description.

Re:"checkpoint smurf?" (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331766)

The question isn't about whether she was lying. Nobody is contesting what the blogger has claimed to have happened. The question is about whether or not it's justifiable to call what happened "rape", and whether or not the right to call it that (even if it's hyperbole) is protected under the First Amendment.

Re:"checkpoint smurf?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331784)

The blogger wasn't lying, the TSA agent doesn't deny doing it. They just claim they did their job to their own utmost satisfaction

Re:"checkpoint smurf?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331856)

Even if defamation took place, the damages awarded should $1. We are talking about a TSA employee, you pretty much destroy whatever reputation you had when you go to work for them.

Re:"checkpoint smurf?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331878)

I dunno, it doesn't look like Thedala Magee is denying that she works as a TSA agent.

Sexually humiliating travelers is "TSA agent" job description.

The gropes I've gotten from TSA agents varied greatly from perp to perp, but the bloggers description of Thedala's attack doesn't vary significantly enough from personal experience to rise to a different level and besmirch Ms. Magee's character any further than her choice of occupation. It just seems like the blogger was unaware of the humiliations inherent in traveling on ticketed airlines.

Milgram's Experiment (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331558)

http://cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htm

That's what this whole TSA thing reminds me of only on a national level with invasive searches. The bonus in this article is the teacher is throwing in a bonus of legal action against the learner if they don't comply.

America is getting to be a frightening place to live these days. The sad part is it all most likely boils down to some jerk wanting to make a buck off everybody's fears.

Re:Milgram's Experiment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331806)

"The sad part is it all most likely boils down to some JEW wanting to make a buck off everybody's fears."

Fixed that for you.

Seems pretty blatant (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331570)

While rape is probably too strong a word to use here from an objective standpoint, someone describing it that way in a blog is fully justified. This lawsuit is ridiculous, and will only accomplish a Streisand effect against Thedala Magee and the TSA as a whole.

Rape requires intention (1, Informative)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331582)

I understand that what this woman experienced was, if described accurately, very unpleasant and physically similar to a moderately traumatic and invasive sexual assault.

Nevertheless, I wish people would stop demeaning the experiences of actual rape victims by throwing out the word for every possible unpleasant physical experience involving the groin or breasts. It only makes the kind of people who dismiss the seriousness of sexual assault in the first place that much more insulated from the gravity of real sex crimes. In my opinion rape requires an intent to invade, control, and discomfort for sexual reasons, and (also in my opinion) the fact that the crotch was involved doesn't automatically make something sexual. There's nothing inherently sexual about a security screening, no matter how roughly or ignorantly done and no matter the body parts checked, so please stop calling it rape based solely on the physical characteristics.

Re:Rape requires intention (3)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331814)

Sticking a finger inside a woman's vagina multiple times doesn't sound like simply an unpleasant search. It sounds like a sexual assault. If there was suspicion that she was carrying banned implements inside her vagina, then an appropriate cavity search should have been done.

Is it rape? No, I wouldn't say. But I would say it was a sexual assault and if the TSA officer did it, she should be fired. Nowhere have I heard that sticking fingers inside vaginas is permitted under security search rules, have you?

Re:Rape requires intention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331868)


In my opinion rape requires an intent to invade, control, and discomfort for sexual reasons

If one looks at the position under English law, for the offence of rape, there is no such requirement, with a person committing rape [legislation.gov.uk] if:

  • (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
  • (b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
  • (c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

Penetration must be penile, though - not digital - so your view that the action here is not rape in fact, as opposed to as a figure of speech, is supported in England, at least.

However, the offence of "assault by penetration" [legislation.gov.uk] would likely be committed - and, as you reason, that requires a sexual element.

Coincidence (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331588)

Is it any coincidence that the victim in this case happens to be a columnist and a blogger? I call BS on this, but she'll win no matter what because she'll get the ad revenue, book sales and speaking engagements.

rapists suing their captors! (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331600)

We need a new level of meta responses to this sort of post. Around 2007 the last person online became a cynic and mastered sarcasm. We need a third declension of retort that is new and beautiful. I've gotten so tired of our homotextual replies.

Exactly the Right Move (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331638)

By filing suit Theldala Magee made exactly the right move, for me to poop on.

Theldala Magee meet Barbara Streisand.

Here we go! (1)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331660)

All the Slashdot complainers who want to whine about people's "rights" being violated for REFUSING a body scan in 3...2...1....

Re:Here we go! (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331760)

Well, yeah. See the Government only gets to do things which demonstrably secure the aircraft from dangerous weapons.

This mandate is fulfilled by the magnetometers and x-raying of handheld luggage. The body scanners and strip-searches have not been shown to provide any more security than that, and therefore are unconstitutional.

Wait, that's not OK. (0)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331678)

This is a serious accusation on the part of the blogger. If she's exaggerating, which sure as hell sounds to be the case, this is an up-and-down defamation case. "So-and-so raped me" when that's not the case stands a fantastically good chance of ruining that individual's reputation and causing them problems in their future prospects, particularly if it's all over Google when you type in her name.

If the alleged event actually did take place, blogs are the wrong place to rant about it, particularly publicly. If it were true, it'd be a job for the police, lawyers, and the courts. The fact that this vitriol is all over a blog suggests to me that it was a search performed "properly" that this person didn't like.

I hate the TSA. I don't like their employees, who frequently are powertripping. But there's no convincing evidence that this actually happened as described - and if the employee was doing her job the way she had to do it, why ruin her life? The problem is the policy of her employer. Complain all you want about the search if you don't like it, call the police and a lawyer if you believe it crossed the line, but don't ruin an individual's life without cause.

The barista at Starbucks fucked up my coffee by using burnt beans (what do you mean that's what Starbucks coffee tastes like?). So I went and wrote a blog entry, using her name and blaming her personally, where I likened drinking that coffee to being poisoned. That's not OK.

I didn't RTFA (this is Slashdot, after all). It could be that this did happen as described, (which is definitely not OK), the DA wasn't interested in prosecuting it, and she couldn't afford a lawyer so she's fighting back the only way she could by naming the perpetrator publicly. That's certainly possible, but the style of language doesn't convince me.

Re:Wait, that's not OK. (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331812)

I likened drinking that coffee to being poisoned. That's not OK

Oh yes it is [california...awblog.com]. They actually post Prop 65 warnings in coffee shops now.

Re:Wait, that's not OK. (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331872)

This is a serious accusation on the part of the blogger. If she's exaggerating, which sure as hell sounds to be the case, this is an up-and-down defamation case.

Her lawyer addressed that point. Perhaps you should have read TFA.

Furthermore, even if your client did not actually sexually assault my client, Ms. Alkon's statements to and about Ms. Magee would still be protected by the First Amendment. The word "rape" itself has been the subject of defamation cases by far more sympathetic Plaintiffs than your client. In Gold v. Harrison, 962 P.2d 353 (Haw. 1998), cert denied, 526 U.S. 1018 (1999), the Hawai'i Supreme Court held that a defendant's characterization of his neighbors' seeking an easement in his backyard as "raping [the defendant]" was not defamatory. This speech was protected as rhetorical hyperbole. Of course, we need not seek out Hawai'i case law in order to debunk your unsupportable claims. Rhetorical hyperbole has a strong history of favorable treatment in defamation actions. See Greenbelt Cooperative Pub. Ass'n v. Bresler, 398 U.S. 6, 14 (1970). This doctrine acknowledges our First Amendment right to express ourselves, even when employing literary license. Accordingly, even if your client's actions were not "rape," Ms. Alkon had every right to characterize them as such.

if the employee was doing her job the way she had to do it, why ruin her life?

Are you trying to Godwin this article?

My experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37331752)

Coming from The Netherlands, I traveled to the US this week, and could compare both procedures. I heard a lot about the TSA, and generally think that their outer appearance appears to be not very good. But in The Netherlands I think we are even a bit further away from having good grades.
In Amsterdam I kindly requested for the pat down, as opposed to the scanner. The first reaction of the gentleman was "why do you want this?", and sent me over to the scanner : "just go through there" - apparently thinking I am naive. I waited in front of the metal detector and insisted he put me through there, which he finally did. On the other end, the security guys were still patting down someone else, when I kindly waited and announced that I opted for the pat down. The security guy that patted me down *again* began to ask "why do you want this" in a not too nice tone - added with remarks that this is much more invasive than the scanner etc etc, and I became a bit pissed and said that I did not want to have this discussion anymore. So far for the Amsterdam experience: F-.
The US experience was when leaving back for The Netherlands. At the security checkpoint a sign is posted that the scanner is optional, so I made use of this right (as many others btw). No questions asked, the TSA employee immediately opened the door and requested for a male pat down attendant. He quickly came over and introduced who he was, asked if I knew what he was about to do and whether I wanted to let him change gloves. Additionally, he asked if I had any painful areas that should be taken into consideration. The pat down took longer than in Amsterdam, and was much more thorough - but during the pat down he kept being nice and polite (as he had been from the start), and inquired a bit on what I had been doing in the States. While the pat down took twice as long as in The Netherlands, and still only is - imho - a bunch of security theater (ie. not everybody has the same treatment), I generally felt much more comfortable with this approach: B+. For me, this puts things into perspective: in The Netherlands we have a system where rights are not respected without doing some reasonably serious talking, and in the US the critical traveler changed it into quite a respectful (if superfluous at times) procedure where the individual is informed of their right to opt-out and treated like a human being. This is 1 experience, your mileage (pun intended) may vary. I guess I'll check the lame option, it's sad that some things cannot be expressed anymore.

streisand effect (1)

Zerowind (1757096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331762)

I had no clue who Thedala (correct spelling) Magee is. Now that Amy Alkon (who I have never heard of) has been threatened with a law suit, I will read her post about the TSA.

If it does not fit... (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331772)

FTA:...stuck the side of her gloved hand INTO my vagina

In the trial, will TSA smurf have to try "it" on for size like OJ?

irrelevancies (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331826)

A few observations:

The only animal life presented in the few photos returned from a Google image search [google.com] for TSA employee "Theldala Magee" is captioned "Slug on Cabbage [google.com]."

Is being a rapist a disability? Will the EEOC protect Ms. Magee's right to rape airline passengers as it protects the rights [eeoc.gov] of alcoholic commercial truck drivers to drive trucks?

Having been 'searched' recently... (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331828)

Traveling with family out of country I noticed 2 things.

1. families tend to be 'guided' towards the full body scanners...
2. twice going through I got 'no resolution' yelled out when I was scanned.

twice I had my balls lifted too and fro, they didn't find a bomb, in fact being modest, I doubt I could hide much down there.

even when it goes well its not pleasant, when it doesn't go well I can only imagine, without suspicion we have gone entirely too far
in the interest of 'safety' and though he is dead I can hear George Carlin laughing on this one.

video plz (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#37331880)

TSA employee Theldala Magee has filed a lawsuit against a blogger demanding $500k in damages for alleging a particularly invasive search involving multiple incursions of a finger into the passenger's vagina.

Video (if she's hot), or it didn't happen.

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