Michael's Dispatches

Note from a Wise Man

07 January 2013

A note appeared on a private message board.  This private group includes many current and former generals, and just about anyone you see on television or in books as a national security specialist, ranging from CIA to all the top war correspondents, special operations types galore, and high-level policy makers.  There is significant education value in just reading their traffic.

A few days back, retired Marine and 3-star General Mick Trainor left this note.  I asked LTG (ret.) Trainor for permission to publish on my website, and he agreed.

Now for the show:

It’s Who You Know That Counts
By Mick Trainor

The TSA agent walked down the line of Christmas travelers awaiting screening at Dulles airport. He ran a swab over the palm of randomly selected individuals. I was one of them. As I hoisted my luggage onto the surveillance conveyor another agent asked me to step aside while a third agent abruptly commandeered my travel suitcase.

“Did you use hand cream this morning?”

“Yes,” I replied, “Why do you ask?”

“Because there is a trace of nitrate on your hands. That is not uncommon with some hand lotions. Nitrate is an element of explosives.”

“OK,”.I thought. “I have soft hands, but not a bomb.” Notwithstanding such logic, I was informed that I would have to have a full body search. With that two agents escorted me to a private room while other agents began to tear apart my luggage.

“Is this really necessary?” I enquired. “I’m an eighty four year old, native born American citizen who spent forty years in the Marines and fought in two wars and retired as a general.”

“Oh, you were a Marine.” said one agent. “My father-in-law is a retired Marine colonel of about your vintage. His name is Webster. Did you know him?”

“I knew a Charlie Webster, who went as ‘Chuck.’ We went through Quantico together as new lieutenants.”

“That’s him.” replied my interrogator ….. as he proceeded with the full body search.


+9 # sirScarface 2013-01-07 15:52
TSA sucks! nothing more to be said! They perform one function only, to subjugate citizens.
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-9 # RE: Note from a Wise ManMike Lacey 2013-01-07 16:02
Mr. Yon

To be fair to the Homeland Security guy Timothy McVeigh was a former US Serviceman, as was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Swift and Bold

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+7 # Seriously?Mike Walsh 2013-01-07 16:23
Quoting Mike Lacey:
Mr. Yon

To be fair to the Homeland Security guy Timothy McVeigh was a former US Serviceman, as was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Swift and Bold


That is not even remotely being fair. That you would equate a 3 star Marine General to the other two as also being a potential madman is rather insulting to the general, and to yourself.
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# RE: RE: Note from a Wise ManLittleBright Feather 2013-01-08 05:56
Both of which were patsy's. AS was Booth.
DC always has patsy's to take the fall for them.
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+15 # How many?Jim,MtnViewCa,USA 2013-01-07 16:05
And how many terrorists has TSA turned up so far? Zero?
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+4 # Dear Mr. Security AgentGreen Eyed Jinn 2013-01-07 16:13
Read Matt Bracken's latest offering at Western Rifle Shooters Association.
Sadly, LTG Trainor had to deal with somebody who hasn't gotten the memo.
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+12 # RE: Note from a Wise ManMore Liberty 2013-01-07 16:14
The TSA is a horrible organization. Their VIPR program is disgusting as well.
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-19 # RE: Note from a Wise ManMike Lacey 2013-01-07 16:23
Ref the TSA, seems like the're doing their job. Prevention really is better than cure...

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+17 # What prevention???leyla 2013-01-07 17:19
You have got to be kidding? There are so many more stories of how they humiliate wheel chair bound people, older citizens as proven in this article and children. I guess you are saying for all the people they humiliate, it's worth it..NOT!!
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+4 # RE: What prevention???annie 2013-01-07 21:18
I'm with you Leyla....when they start profiling and leave us regular, patriotic US citizens alone I'll have some respect for them. Another Government power over the people grab. Ours isn't the country it used to be.
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-3 # Can you assign a value to this?Qade 2013-01-10 22:57
How many lives do they need to save before it's worth the humiliation? 10,000? 50? 1?

Do you want to assign a value to the life of another American? Measured in inconveniences?

Yes, it's easy to poke fun at the TSA. But if it saves one bombing, one plane crash, one act of senseless violence, isn't it worth some amount of inconvenience?

They weren't rude to him. They didn't publicly humiliate him. They slowed him down and hurt his pride, something we all have a little too much of.

I hate being slowed down by TSA too. Just like I hate getting speeding tickets. But I don't consider either of them something I should be automatically excused from.
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+1 # RE: Can you assign a value to this?SomeGuy 2013-01-11 14:12
No. It is not.

All attempts have been thwarted by passengers.

The TSA is a wannabe gestapo. No emotional appeals will ever convince me otherwise.
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+1 # VNAFVNAF 2013-01-14 16:28
If it only saved the life of one person....there are so many fallacies involved in this sentiment it pains one to proceed.
Some years back Joe Foss was "molested" by some TSA morons and at one point they waved his Medal of Honor in front of his face demanding to know what it was. People are wondering what has happened to our country, it is simple, it is called LIBERALISM!
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+2 # RE: RE: Note from a Wise ManBill Carrothers 2013-01-08 03:17
I wouldn't refer to a random TSA inspection as "Prevention." C'mon man!
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+2 # RE: RE: Note from a Wise ManAustin 2013-01-08 05:15
Oh, so you're happy they are preventing Citizens from exercising their God Given Right to keep and bear arms? I don't call it a success when we trade our Liberty for so called Security.

The Founding Fathers intended the average Citizen to be the first deterrent to crime:

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
Thomas Jefferson

It's our right and our DUTY to be armed! How many hijackings or theater shootings or school shootings would there be if all the able and trained gun owners in the US were permitted to exercise that crucial right?

"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."
Thomas Jefferson

DC has gone too far for the last 40 years in curtailing our RIGHTS! The time is now! Take a stand NOW or explain to your grand children why they can't have the same Liberty our Grandparents gave us.
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-2 # rights?Qade 2013-01-10 23:00
What rights is the TSA taking away from you again? You have a right to fly without search and inspection?

I fully and completely agree with your perspective on the right to bear arms (more please!) but I don't see how it applies to the TSA.
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+1 # RE: rights?SomeGuy 2013-01-11 14:13
4th amendment. Feel free to peruse it at your leisure. But prefferably before you argue again.
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+17 # RE: Note from a Wise ManFrank 2013-01-07 16:41
What has TSA done for the honest working US citizen except may their life miserable. Now I will receive critism regarding how this type of search and screening is a must. How about limiting certain age groups and ethnic people from coming into this counntry? What the hell try stepping into Saudi. Israel knows how to deal with the problem. USA would rather put the burden on the US citizen and create long lines at the counter and spent Billions on technology. We are fools to put up with the way our freedom has been destroyed over the past decade.
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+14 # RE: Note from a Wise MangeekWithA.45 2013-01-07 16:45
All you need to know about the TSA: They've found more vibrators than terrorists.
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+13 # RE: Note from a Wise Mantarawa1943 2013-01-07 16:53
Israeli agents use far far better and more effective methods and normally do not go through this kind of foolishness.
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+28 # RE: RE: Note from a Wise ManExRat 2013-01-07 17:47
Yes, but the Israeli method requires intelligence, judgement, thought, training and above all, common sense. It'd never work here.
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+3 # MGMatthew Glencoe 2013-01-07 16:53
In my road warrior days, I often thought of how I would LOVE to be profiled: a guy who is middle-aged, happily married to the same woman 20+ years, father of 5, involved with community and church, a regular business traveler, and consumes nothing stronger than Diet Pepsi is really, really unlikely to cause any trouble. (Oh, and I hold CWPs in 3 states, so every 5 years I have to certify I'm well-behaved... )
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+2 # RE: MGtarawa1943 2013-01-07 17:26
hear hear
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+12 # U.S. Navy VeteranFrank Burt 2013-01-07 17:02
The big problem is that the "ROE" of the TSA are based on political correctness versus rational and scientific security screening. They are prohibitted from profiling the passengers they screen and are required to make a big show of it. As a result they are so busy making sure that they are seen being randomly even handed in their screening that they inconvenience and embarrass individuals that are obviously not a threat. Sometimes it even borders on harassment.

This was most infamously demonstrated on January 11, 2002 at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport (pre-TSA, but still typical) when former South Dakota Governor, WWII Marine Ace and Medal of Honor recipient Joe Foss was detained and searched. He happened to be carrying his Medal of Honor with him which had set off the metal detector. The security officer stated that because it was pointy and had sharp edges it would have to be confiscated and destroyed. Luckily, calmer and less clueless heads prevailed and General Foss was finally allowed to proceed to his gate WITH his Medal; but not without considerable delay and embarrassment, not to mention incredulous anger on the part of a lot of people.

This same state of affairs continues to exist today, more than ten years later. If anything it has gotten worse, and in my opinion even more arbitrary.

Israel unapologeticall y profiles its passengers. If a person fits the criteria for a potential threat they are thoroughly interrogated and searched. Those who obviously pose no threat are seldom molested. Furthermore, their security personnel are highly trained and motivated professionals; not virtual rent-a-cops just one step away from serving up french fries at McDonalds.
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+1 # RE: U.S. Navy Veterantarawa1943 2013-01-07 17:28
sounds again like PC puke politics, wrongheaded and irrational!
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+4 # RE: U.S. Navy VeteranDeidre 2013-01-07 20:46
"not virtual rent-a-cops just one step away from serving up french fries at McDonalds"

Let's not insult McDonalds workers by even remotely comparing them with the TSA (Terrorist Service Actionaries). I always get polite service by hard-working, polite and efficient people at McDonalds.
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+3 # TSAJIM BURKE 2013-01-08 15:44
We have a joke in the airline industry, what does TSA stand for?
Thousands Standing Around! I am a retired Marine pilot and current airline pilot! Having lived with TSA since 911 it is obvious they have no interest in common sense and logic!
This comes from the TOP! Former Secret Service agents have a lot of sway and no decision making is allowed. I feel sorry for them because they have a thankless job that unless they toe the line they are fired!
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-11 # RE: Note from a Wise ManThe Alchemist 2013-01-07 17:07
Especially after the Ford Hood incident and the prevalence of "militia" folks, I think we should checking everyone, including ex-service folks.

However, I don't think checking for nitrates on folks' hands should be a high priority for TSA.
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# RE: RE: Note from a Wise Mantarawa1943 2013-01-07 17:29
and all liberal anarchists as well....
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-3 # BrownshirtsJacob Theodore 2013-01-07 17:37
When it comes to fruition, remember when you first heard it. The TSA and the DHS are Obama's Brownshirts-in- training, and Gestapo-in-trai ning and are being armed like the military, and are not subject to the constraints of Posse Comitatus. Look for a ReichStag event.
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+5 # RE: BrownshirtsPete Flynn 2013-01-07 19:55
Quoting Jacob Theodore:
When it comes to fruition, remember when you first heard it. The TSA and the DHS are Obama's Brownshirts-in-training, and Gestapo-in-training and are being armed like the military, and are not subject to the constraints of Posse Comitatus. Look for a ReichStag event.

DHS and TSA were created in response to the 9/11 attacks by GEORGE W BUSH.
Get your facts straight!
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# RE: RE: BrownshirtsAustin 2013-01-07 20:36
And you really believe there is much difference from Bush to Obama?

They take their orders from the same place. From the Patriot Act, to Obamacare we are moving towards Socialism and the frogs sit merrily in the water as it gets one degree hotter each day!

The civilian force Obama wanted? Don't look for him to create it. Bush did that for him already! DHS is exactly that! KGB, Gestapo, Stassi, yeah it's all the same when you analyze the results!
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+1 # RE: RE: RE: Brownshirtstarawa1943 2013-01-07 21:28
Roger that! Both traitors of the Constitution.
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-1 # RE: RE: Brownshirtsannie 2013-01-07 21:28
George Bush also said "Islam is a good religion" after 9/11. That's two strikes against him. But Obama wears a muslim oath ring....so how about that. How about you get things straight.
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# RE: RE: RE: BrownshirtsAustin 2013-01-08 05:03
There are good people in islam, but that is only because they are blind to the true nature of the Koran. That book and the man that wrote it are nothing but oppressive and violent. I can't stand how some want to connect the good people in islam with the entire religion, when it's quite clear what the fruits of that "theo-political construct" are! Using Rep Allen West's description...

Of course we're branded islama-phobes for pointing that out. It's NOT a phobia when they ARE trying to kill you!
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# Straight FactsMatt Angelucci 2013-01-09 13:51
The Bush Administration wanted homeland security type positions to be merit-based and to have the ability to fire people from those positions, but the Democrats wouldn't have it that way. Now we have yet another legion of poor performers with job security.
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+4 # Concerned for the FutureFourstar 2013-01-07 18:07
As Doug Casey has predicted and I expect as well in the next couple years, just wait for the next incident to occur on a train/bus or in a crowded station and voila, we will expand TSA's mandate.

Brownshirts indeed.
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+14 # Israeli screenersjacob.theodore 2013-01-07 18:16
Just before Gulf War I, I had to go to Israel on business. I spent a month there one week. The screeners at JFK airport kept asking me question, after question. Questions that told me that they had really checked me out in advance, which was good. But, being a military retiree and having held a Top Secret clearance since 1967, I finally told the screener "You obviously know who I am and my background, and the people of yours
who I am going to see, so I am through being your training exercise for this other young man. I am on my way to your country at the behest of my boss, not because I really desire to go. So either pass me through or deny me boarding. The only people who will be unhappy if I don't get on the plane will be your people. The the ball is in your court, play it." There was some snickering from the other screeners and I went on board. Later, I found that the Israeli Prime Minister was up in the attic of the 747. Leaving the plane at TelAviv I stopped at the obvious security guy at the bottom of the stairs to the attic and said, "You know, your screeners at JFK did a really thorough job, they should be complimented. He replied, "I will tell them, thank you Sergeant T*******". I grinned back because the ID in my wallet was the only thing that said I was retired military, and they never saw that.
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# RE: Israeli screenersYanshuf 2013-02-05 07:11

I have lived in Israel for about 12 years in total.

Your story is going down in my storybook as one of the best. And I do have great stories.
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+2 # RE: Note from a Wise ManChris Higgins 2013-01-07 21:59
Ha...The department of shampoo and tooth paste strikes again! TSA has worked wonders for the sale of travel sized toiletries!!!! Plenty of Little old ladies lost their knitting needles as well. Ya never know when they might knit a 7 foot Afghan!!!
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+1 # PatriotRudy 2013-01-08 00:28
Yon - r u heading back to USA soon - our Republic is in peril - noone here gives a rats ass about Thailand...
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-2 # Honor, God, CountryOrion 2013-01-08 02:44
TSA/DHS not much difference between the German, Bronwshirts, What really concerns me is that as Americans we handed it over to the terrorist, by giving up liberties, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The General Deserved the upmost respect yet......... Honor, God, Country,....... .
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-1 # RE: Note from a Wise Mansharkey6601 2013-01-08 02:58
When are those of us whom are of the age of older warriors but still able going to take up the tools of our trade and as one say enough is enough. And in doing so lead the younger of our ilk to do the necessary deeds to stop these tryrsnts before they can further weaken our resolve and make less of our past deeds. In making less of our past they steal from the respect needed to draw patriots of the future to our side to use those tools of which we may soon loose use of. As a solitary force of one or a few the MSM can reports many untruths about our intentions and lies about our past but as many our voices can carry and be heard clearly by those who know very little of the realities suffered by us all. Tell me please any of you that are tired of complaining when is it time. When our enemies within have taken charge of our lifes is it time to bury your arms or is it time to dig them up?
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-3 # RE: RE: Note from a Wise ManAustin 2013-01-08 05:05
Excellent Question!

When do We The People stand up and say, "ENOUGH!" When do we take back our republic and enforce the US Constitution on DC?
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-2 # Beararcticbear 2013-01-08 18:35
If history tells us anything then it tells us TSA is as close to a Nazi Brown Shirt as we have ever seen in this country.
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+2 # RE: Note from a Wise ManPete McNesbitt 2013-01-08 21:49
Once again with feeling,every one and I mean everyone will get pulled out line with the TSA eventually. My wheelchaired father, was made to walk by the TSA the last time he flew. Most of my siblings have been nailed. You want rent a cops try the people working at the Senate and House in DC. You would swear that they are given different sets of standards everyday and depending in which direction they and you walk.
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# RE: Note from a Wise ManMerrell 2013-01-09 02:01
Welcome to life as a veteran. No one really cares, aside from putting that yellow sticker on their car.

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+1 # RE: Note from a Wise Mansharkey6601 2013-01-10 23:33
I guess Qade has not been paying attention to reality. If he will do a little research he will find that the number of TSA agents arrested in the past couple of years is way out of purportion to the populations average for any given group. There were over 500 arrested in 2010 and close to 700 In 2011. Charges range from all types but are higher in the violent crimes category. So I suggest the Qade skip a union meeting or two as the time would be better
Spent researching these facts surround his fellow workers.
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# No profiling=messJohnny 2013-01-11 21:50
The reason TSA has to treat 90 yr old grandma or 5 yr old Timmy as a potential terrorist is because if they were to hone in on potential targets like Mr. Muhammad, that would be considered profiling and that's a no-no in this PC country. Since they can't profile, they need to treat everyone as a threat, no matter how stupid it is. I'm in law enforcement and by the book, I'm not allowed to view some crum bum who's pants are falling down and has tattoos all over his body as a possible problem, even though any veteran cop will tell you that 95% of clean looking people, white or black, won't cause a problem and most who look like a rat, are indeed rats.

When you let liberals control law enforcement, military or any kind of security, common sense goes out the window in favor of "not hurting people's feelings".
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-1 # MSNon Compos Mentis 2013-01-12 03:51
If OJ had not had a gun, his wife would be alive today.
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