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     TSA and Security Theater wrecking air travel
    Opinion: Politics
    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a U.S. government agency that was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. The TSA provides security at airports in the United States. Many columnists are saying what amounts to this: what the TSA staff is doing is "security theater" or making a big show while appearing to accomplish very little except collecting huge bins of personal grooming products.

    The kinds of funds that the terrorist organizations have easily could be used to either "reach out" to median-wage security team members or actually put them on staff, much like athletes are paid to throw games. My prediction is that the next set of hijackers will board with impunity, and immobilize all aboard with judo.

    Here are some of the things that our Security Professionals are doing:
    • Failing to detect fake bombs brought through security by undercover TSA agents, with detection levels much lower than San Francisco's private security agents from the same tests.
    • Invading the privacy of passengers
    • Mistreating of passengers
    • Engaging in "security theater" countermeasures that appear to provide the feeling of security while doing little or nothing to actually improve security
    • Purloining airline passenger possessions
    • Selling items collected from passengers
    • Allowing other TSA employees to skip security checks
    • Wastefully spending in hiring practices
    • Sleeping on the job
    • Failing to use good judgment and common sense

    Having soldiers with loaded automatic weapons made me feel less secure in the airport because of the very real danger of some over-zealous enlisted man firing on bystanders while trying to stop a terror suspect.

    The airlines spend multi-millions of dollars on customer service to make the traveling experience better, yet the worst customer experience happens in the security line. They are doing the right thing by preventing passengers from boarding with toolboxes as I used to do on a regular basis. But fingernail clippers? Any clever person could make a weapon out of a number of items already found on board that would be far more effective than fingernail clippers and pen knives.

    I would propose that the economic loss in tourist travel is killing our economy more than the extremists ever could have hoped.
      
    Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 @ 08:25:53 UTC by BB
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