They do not answer questions.
Actually, they do answer some of the questions posted in the comments. They answer the softball questions. They answer the easy questions. They do not answer any of the difficult questions people have been posing to them since the day the blog was introduced.
Here's a good list of questions to bother the TSA with. The blogger team seems intent to let statist commenters handle these questions on their behalf. The goal is to get one of the actual bloggers address these issues.
Dear Blog Team,
They finally posted front and rear male and female pictures, so people can individually judge if the process is too invasive.
They finally answered this one too. It's not a binary liquid, it's a liquid and a powder. The problem is that the concentration of hydrogen peroxide needed to make this work is so very strong that bomb sniffers would always detect it. The 3-1-1 rule is still an unnecessary encumberance.
3. It is TSA policy that TSOs do not have the authority to deny someone the right to fly. It is also TSA policy to not give additional screening to someone as a punishment for complaining. Note, the order of events in that statement is not extra screening leading to complaint, but complaint leading to extra screening. This question has nothing to do with avoiding extra screening by complaining about it - this question has everything to do with getting extra screening because one dared to complain about the TSA. Given that TSOs still hold complainers for extra screening, and given that holding someone for extra screening until after their plane is in the air is de facto denial of flight (although apparently not de jure), is there any plan in place to dicipline screeners to conduct retaliatory screening and de facto denial of flight?
4. Given that nipple rings are clearly not deadly weapons, clearly not disguised weapons, and that a visual inspection was actually offered as a means to solve the alarm situation, why was the traveler with the nipple rings forced to remove them?
5. In the near future, when REAL ID is implemented, the TSA has determined that the only valid IDs for flying are IDs that conform to REAL ID requirements. Several states have announced that they are either delaying or outright denying the REAL ID requirements for their drivers licenses.
Oh boy did the ever answer this one, in part.. The answer is that every single person from a state that doesn't conform will get the additional screening. They won't budge on the rest and don't care about the intrusiveness. The plan is to blame the state and get the voters angry at their state government instead of the TSA. That is unlikely to work.
6. The biggest security hole is after the TSA inspects baggage and before the baggage is put on the airplane. Since the luggage is all either unlocked or bearing a TSA approved lock that can be easily defeated, and the TSA specifically denies any responsiblity for the baggage after screening, what is to stop a baggage handler from either stealing from the bags or planting a dangerous item in the luggage?
7. What measures are being taken to ensure that terrorists themselves do not infiltrate the TSA with the objective of becoming TSOs and therefore bypass security to get deadly devices planted on airplanes? If you cannot answer that for security reasons, can you tell us if any measures are in place at all?
8. Given that this blog is about facilitating communication, why does nobody on the blog team ever answer comments in any but the most recent entry? Why are these very questions occasionally censored?
The common theme in these questions is that the TSA has an institutional impediment to admitting error. The closest you ever come is "we are reviewing policies." Even the TSA knows the 3-1-1 rule has no scientific backing, but to repeal that regulation is to admit they did something wrong. They cannot admit they did something wrong. Therefore the rule cannot be repealed. The more I question them about their obvious mistakes, the harder it is for them to avoid admitting you made a mistake. They can, and do, make mistakes. They erred on the 3-1-1 rule, they erred on the piercings, they are going to err on REAL ID.
The common theme in the answers previously given is that not even the TSA believes what the TSA tells the public. It would be insulting if you thought your official statement ware meant to be believed. If you actually thought that statements were serious you would be showing contempt for our intelligence. Instead you are simply showing contempt for us. That is beyond insult. It shows you do not care enough about us to even insult us.