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  • 107

The TSA Proves its Own Irrelevance

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Have you wondered what $1.2 billion in airport security gets you? The TSA has compiled its own "Top 10 Good Catches of 2011": ... That's right; not a single terrorist on the list. Mostly forgetful, and entirely innocent, people. Note that they fail to point out that the firearms and knives would have been just as easily caught by pre-9/11 screening procedures. And that the C4 -- their #1 "good catch" -- was on the return flight; they missed it the first time. So only 1… (www.schneier.com) 更多...

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VAmoose
TSA confiscated my cigar cutter, claiming it could be used as a weapon. I said, "Perhaps it could be used to circumcise the male passengers. But that would require a level of cooperation that far exceeds my abilities of persuasion." He took it anyway. No sense of humor!
jimrider
jim rider 1
Prior to 9/11 I walked thru security with a solid metal revolver tucked in the back of my belt. I alarmed, but they didn't find the gun and let me go ahead. Post 9/11, that would never happen.
iafrica
Rob Topham 1
ssssshhhhhhh....for safety sake.... you could have the decency to lie.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Loose lips sink ships. But I think they already know.
ajmg1
I am reminded of a joke.... I man is in the park shredding paper and throwing it on the ground. Another man walks up and asks why he is shredding paper and throwing it on the ground. The man repies " To keep the elephants away" Second man says " there are not elephants around here" First man " see? it is working!"
chazman3
chazman3 0
Well said Jim! Unfortunately.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
And doing it 7/24. They just never rest.
drdek
drdek 0
Hey: Lets bring back GAS and Argenbright to man the security posts at our airports. These companies not only let the terrorists on at Logan, Dulles, and Newark, they hired untrained security guards, including several dozen with criminal records, for Philadelphia International Airport! What a great idea!
RTerrell
& if you'll check you'll find the TSA does the same things. "Those who would trade Freedom for security deserve neither."
drdek
drdek 0
Which terrorists have they let on board? What percentage of their employees have criminal records? Anxious to know.
RTerrell
Well, they wouldn't know a terrorist if one walked by while they were strip searching granny and groping the 8-year old, but there are numerous reports of them hiring criminals. Groping 8-year olds and strip searching grannies are crimes in themselves. Regardless, I refer you to my quote above. Last transmission this issue.
drdek
drdek 0
Your surrender is accepted.
rick737
richard weiss 0
if RTerrell quits, I'll take up the fight. How much has been stolen from checked luggage by TSA agents. How many times have TSA agents overlooked drug shipments of their buddies? How many perverts working for the TSA have groped passengers for their personal pleasure? All these statements are proven facts. And you still contend we're safer because of this bunch. What a stretch.
drdek
drdek 0
Data is data. No terrorist attacks using commercial aircraft since 9/11. Moreover, Huntleigh USA, a subsidiary of ICTS International NV, provided security for United at Logan on 9/11. Although ICTS is an Israeli company, the Israelis will not use them for their own airports! They use the IDFs.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Israel has 2 international and a handful of domestic airports. All pax traveling are screened by a professional force that has never allowed a hijacking.That is a given. I don't care if the TSA had been formed in 1959. If they had been at the gates, using the acceptable proceedures of the day, the Islamist terrorist would have still gotten through. So, one could reason if the government mandated proceedures were used by a private company, they would be just as effective as a non government employee using same. In a more government better mindset we would asssume government can fix all problems. Could we also reason that since a non-goverment enterprise operated the aircraft on 9/11, we should put goverment pilots at the controls. Since a private bus company had an accident we should put the NTSB at the wheel to fix the problem.

If we want a TSA that would be effective we should model it after FAA. Mandate that they enforce regulation and training of civilian companies.Companies would be issued operating certificates. License screeners after they've passed test. Let's shrink the size and cost of government.
CTWhitenton
CTWhitenton 0
If terrorists are flying on our airplanes, it would be difficult to tell unless they carry out their mission. As RT pointed out, TSA is too busy with "other" targets to notice the real ones. Terrorist acts are meant as catalysts to political change. The most common goal is to turn a nation's citizens against the government in order to facilitate a political change. Terrorists don't hate the airlines or aviation in general, they just used it to get their point across. in other words, we are sitting ducks waiting for the next attack.
rick737
richard weiss 0
that's so much different than the TSA hiring the criminals on their staff, I suppose.
jenkins75043
Sorry, can't be done. All of the management and employees were folded into the TSA and since these are Federal Government jobs - even if we did away with the TSA these folks would not be available to resume their duties.
Marta2012
Marta Dantas 1
Hi,

Are you pilot by AA? I don't know if you are a person that I never forget.
drdek
drdek 0
What data/information do you have to support this claim?
flith
thor nibus 0
Are we not aware that the flight crew has a hatchet in the flight deck?
Arrest them all, ground all flights and close the airports. !
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
They forgot to mention the CupCake that they seized because of it containing too much like a GEL.
stol701
stol701 -2
Hey this is a socialist country......you dissenters better be careful!
sgabriel
S. G. 0
Come on guys. Let's not confuse socialism with fascism.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
LOL, you are exactly right.
airclaxon1
Paul Claxon 0
We are the big show !
JeffG731
Jeff Graser 0
You all miss the point!
The TSA is a federal jobs program for low skilled individuals disguised as a national security plan.
ScottPrime
Scott Prime 0
GET REAL...Ever been to a General Aviation Airport?? You can walk right on the premises and NO ONE says a thing! What a joke!!
willmc4
Reading all of these reminds me again how screwed we are in this country. DHS is here to stay and they are looking for you. This week it was acknowledged that they monitor social media sites like these.
ScottPrime
Scott Prime 0
GET REAL! Ever go to a General Aviation Airport?? You can walk right on the premises and NO ONE says a thing to you! What a joke!
flyboy1423G
flyboy1423G 0
And the problem is, what? Can you fly an airplane? Neither can 98 people out of 100, but 100 out of 100 can drive a vehicle to the airport. Ever hear of a car bomb? Ever hear of a light airplane being used effectively as a weapon?
ibock
Ian Bock 0
You are joking, right?
ITnavMan
Dave Purscell 0
It depends on the airport. Security for GA is different because the threat is different. One-size-fits-all is really one-size-fits-NONE.
ibock
Ian Bock 0
Sorry, some types of communication don't translate well... It sounds like he thinks the lack of (what he thinks) security at GA airports is a joke, ergo - we need more security at GA airports.

I am familiar with GA airport security, as I fly GA for a living.

Security for GA is different, because there is no threat. At least, not one big enough to warrant the intrusion.
ITnav
Dave Purscell 0
Well said. It isn't that there is no threat in GA, but it is very, very different. Me flying my PA-28 into the side of a building would do...pretty much nothing.

And just because you don't see the security at the GA airport doesn't mean that it isn't there.
ITnavMan
Dave Purscell 0
I really hate to admit it, but lately I have seen some improvement. Several of my most recent trips have actually included behaviorial profiling. If everyone is under stress, how do you identify the ones that are abnormally under stress? But if you do your best to serve people and put them at ease, the nefarious ones stick out like a sore thumb.
jjlesyk
Jack Lesyk 0
To play the devil's advocate. Maybe no terroristw were caught becaue the TSA has scared them off and they don't try to get onto airplanes any more.
jjlesyk
Jack Lesyk 0
To play the devil's advocate. Perhaps no terrorists were caught because they believe that the TSA would catch them so they no longer see airplanes as a viable target.
boughbw
Brian Bough 0
I think Jack hits it.
Do you lock the doors at your home/apartment? Do you realize that if a burglar really wanted to get in, they could?
How is aviation safety versus terrorism different? I think the entire system needs to be redone and the expenses reduced accordingly. But let's not pretend that the lack of major incidents is somehow an indicator of the lack of a threat. That is the very definition of pre-9/11 thinking.
gossend
gossend 0
I heard that the Obama administration announced last week (after hours/on Friday night) that 40,000 TSA workers will now be granted collective bargaining rights. How's that hope and change workin for ya?
boughbw
Brian Bough 0
Hope and change has worked-out great, especially considering that the last guy had a massive terrorist attack that killed 3,000 people, failed to nail the perpetrator of the attack, devastated the airline industry, launched two failed wars, deficit-spent $9 trillion, created the TSA you deride (and the more massive DHS), tripled fuel prices, and among other things perpetrated the policies that caused an economic implosion of the size not seen in seven decades, leaving millions out of work.

Care to either address the topic of the thread or say something sensible?
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Right on but how many Americans became millionaires and billionaires from this knee jerk (emphasis on jerk) reaction. Greed is a terrible thing.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Hey Brian time for a math lesson. When "w" became President we had a staggering 5 trillion dollar debt. When he left office, after eight years, we had an absurd 9 trillion dollar debt. That's 4 trillion Dollars in 8 years. Ghastly!!!! Senator Obama called it unpatriotic to raise the debt ceiling. In three years your president(certainly not mine) has ruled, the debt is up by more than 6 trillion with no end in sight. Bush may have given us the TSA, but the idiot in charge now has destroyed any chance we can recover from this crisis. Tripled fuel prices? They will triple again if that idiot doesn't get out of the way and let the market work. Supply---Demand----. It's really not that complicated

[This poster has been suspended.]

rick737
richard weiss 0
I will be happy to supply you with my home address. I'd like to see if you would make that comment directly to me. I've found guys like you have no courage unless they hide behind a keyboard.
rdbaldw
Thanks, Brian! Well said!
jaylink1971
Jay Link 0
And bravo again!
shebejammin
shebejammin 0
rdaggettpa
At our small regional airport (3 commuter flight per day) there are more employees of TSA and all other airport personnel combined. Why not train the lineman to do the work then they can do something productive between flights.
rick737
richard weiss 0
If we did that, the TSA guy would have to go back to flipping burgers at Micky DEEs
jdelmar
John Cook 0
My rule of thumb is that 10 get through for every 1 that gets caught. People do get weapons and drugs into prisons after all.
btweston
btweston 0
I think that I would also say that I "forgot it was there" is I were caught with an unauthorized firearm.
rick737
richard weiss 0
If a person is investigated properly, it's easy to determine if they are lying about a forgotten weapon.
DFlorian
It's ironic that everyone who wanted to board with intent to harm has been able to. Did any of ordinary citizens in the 10 good catches come to the airport with intent? TSA should ask a think group to demonstrate how many holes there really are in the process. TSA agents are like ranchers in my opinion, they heard cattle and hope for the best. The real problems don't seem to get any attention. Typical.
tomrofl
tom majewski 0
The purpose of the TSA is to teach the American people that the government can do whatever they want with impunity.
Jjtsmith
John Smith 0
While. I do feel at times that the extent of the checks could very well be achieved with less expensive methods, we only need one incident to have many persons pointing a finger saying that more should have been done. The cost of being proactive is often high and appears unnecessary but the alternative maybe more costly. I do agree that there is need to be more pragmatic in the approach. Too far East is West
Janpotter
jan potter 0
As we all know TSA stands for----Thousands Standing Around !!!!!! This is a socialistic program to give the dregs of society a so called job. Only 1.2 billion of our money down the drain! When will Americans wake up! I know the answer---when we are broke and that will not be much longer!
bifq4
bifq4 0
caught a Granny with a minature parasol in Puerto Plata. SICK
bifq4
bifq4 0
Caught me, an old Granny, with a minature umbrella in POP. Ah should have known better. The rod in it was made of very soft metal and they said it could be lethal. I will just let my hair get wet next time.
rdbaldw
Thanks, Brian... Extremely well said!
flith
thor nibus 0
"they're not going to use the same method as 9/11"

Ahh, now I understand why TSA delays and frisks children and old ladies in wheelchairs.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
@Airclaxon1

No, you guys are the big blow! Embarrassing - glad the US is just swimming in money these days!
nfbriggs
Nathan Briggs 0
I thought the point of TSA was deterence. You don't expect to catch any terrorists, because they know they will be caught if they try to sneak something on the plane.
innos
andrew tobin 0
Just shows you how useless most of them are.
GateHold
Patrick Smith 0
That's me Bruce is quoting in the story. Here are links to the specific articles of mine he's drawing from...


Cupcakes, lightsabers, and airport security
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/04/what_do_cupcakes_and_lightsabers_have_in_common/singleton/

Pilots and forks
http://www.salon.com/2011/12/22/hand_over_the_fork_sir/singleton/

Hysteria Hall of Shame
http://life.salon.com/2011/12/06/sometimes_a_purse_is_just_a_purse/singleton/
Freakyrat
Calen Chrzan 0
The TSA along with 4 police officers descended on this young girl at a midwest airport this weekend because she had a small pair of scissors and a Lacrosse stick in her cary-on Bag.
JohnRobertJohnson
John Johnson 0
Which clearly indicates that the terrorists achieved ALL of their objectives. They would have failed miserably if TSA had never been conceived. We gave them all of their objectives along with our freedom.
drdek
drdek 0
I thought their overarching objectives were to get the US out of the Middle East and Israelis out of Palestine? As far as I can tell, they have achieved neither and likely never will.
livfree
David Morgan 0
But Jesus was definitely not a Zionist. ;)
ofervardi
ofer vardi 0
Any one who comented here ever fly out of Tel-Aviv? try in once and see how real security screening is done with out a strip search or humiliating situations...talk to pilot who fly in and out, see what they have to do before during and after they fly in...if TSA is willing to take a leasson from the israelies who have many years of experiance in airport security TSA will save millions and put millions of passengers at eas ...
GateHold
Patrick Smith 0
I hear this all the time. It's a nice idea, but remember that Israel has ONE international airport, and it's not even a particularly busy one. Extrapolating what they do in a system that process two million passengers daily, across literally hundreds of airports, is virtually impossible.

Not that there aren't certain aspects of the Israeli approach that are useful. More here...

http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/06/09/askthepilot189/
briandotcom
briandotcom 0
Obama has done all that you mentioned and added more to it in just 3 years. Time to stop bickering over W an Obama and move on to the next one until we find one who will ACTUALLY turn the bus around.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Don't need tsa. Seal the cockpits properly. Let whatever happens in the rear. Most they can kill is a few hundred. They can do that at a high school football game. Flying is a risk, but so is going to a sporting event. I am convinced a good terrorist can blow up a plane any day they wish. Air planes are old news---they are on to bigger fish.
GateHold
Patrick Smith 0
I hear this all the time. It's a nice idea, but remember that Israel has ONE international airport, and it's not even a particularly busy one. Extrapolating what they do in a system that process two million passengers daily, across literally hundreds of airports, is virtually impossible.

Not that there aren't certain aspects of the Israeli approach that are useful. More here...

http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/06/09/askthepilot189/
bvbabin
Barry Babin 0
Irrelevance plus unchecked power yields a great threat to hard fought freedom. TSA parent, DHS, the overlord of an astounding number of federal agencies, is even more of a threat. And even more irrelevant!
GateHold
Patrick Smith 0
Hey, that's my line! You're paraphrasing from my column here...

http://www.salon.com/news/transportation_security_administration/index.html


"...This is what happens when, in the throes of fear, you bestow a bureaucracy with lots of power and little accountability..."
bvbabin
Barry Babin 0
I hadn't read your column, Patrick. It must be one of those instances of independent thinkers coming to the same conclusion. Hey, doesn't this PROVE we're not mind-numbed robots?? I glad you're expressing our outrage to the Salon readers. My circle of influence is not nearly so vast.

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