The Sticky-Fingered TSA in a Nutshell

Friday, February 18, 2011
By Paul Martin

Michael Arato for Congress!

by Becky Akers

One of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) deviants at Newark International Airport (yes, its full name is “Newark Liberty International Airport,” but I’m danged if I’ll call a passengers’ prison “Liberty”), has “pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars in cash and other valuables from unsuspecting travelers, … during security screenings [sic for ‘unconstitutional searches’].” Michael Arato “also admitted … to taking kickbacks from a subordinate officer, who stole between $10,000 and $30,000 over the course of a year while Arato agreed to look the other way.”

These two goons “allegedly targeted predominately non-English speaking victims, including women of Indian descent and nationality who were returning home after visiting the United States.” They were “blatant” – and brazen, and merciless – “in their thievery”: once they stole an envelope containing $5000; another time, Arato and his cohort split $1000 from a single theft; “on a given shift, Arato would pocket approximately $400 to $700 from passengers, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman”; he “even [split] up the cash in front of airport security cameras…”

As his name implies, Arato is a rat. Of course, we knew that before his trial and plea: only rodents agree to “work” for the TSA, rifling our bags and groping us. And far from being a sad aberration, as the TSA pretends, The Rat’s predations typify a bureaucracy where so many employees steal that its spokesliars trot out boilerplate to excuse them: “The unfortunate choices of a couple individuals should in no way serve as a reflection on the more than 1,050 security officers at Newark … who conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity and do an outstanding job every day keeping the traveling public safe,” the agency huffed this time – echoing its falsehoods from others: “the action of a few individuals in no way reflects on the outstanding job our workforce does every day to ensure the safety of the traveling public.”

The Rest…HERE

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