Sunday, February 14, 2010

TSA follies

It has been a difficult season for the Transportation Security Agency.

December started with a leaked TSA screening manual, unredacted, appearing on Wikileaks. Following shortly after that was a particularly inept attempt at a home vasectomy which unfortunately took place on an airplane. The TSA tried to claim credit for the passengers stopping the bomber by saying that the fellow passengers are a "layer of security", even though these same passengers are the ones that the TSA considers to be terrorist suspects, guilty until proven innocent.

Even though the Whole Body Imaging would not have found these insufficient explosives, the move to install them at every airport was accelerated, along with additional proposed nonsensical rules such as having nothing on the lap and not leaving the seat for the entire last hour of the flight. Fast on the heels of the move to accelearate Whole Body Imaging, the news discovered two separate sexual improprieties involving the TSA.

First there was the TSO who was found to be a child molester, seeking a "sex slave" from a girl he had groped. Then there was the TSO who was arrested for posession of child pornography. While normally a persons criminal acts do not reflect on their employer, this is the employer who wants these deviants to perform virtual strip searches of travelers - including children.

So what of actually stopping actual threats? After all, one might actually forgive the TSA for these follies if they contributed to security, but that does not seem to be the case. It was discovered that yet another child was on the extra screening selectee list, a feeding tube was thrown away even though it was medically necessity, and someone who was so dangerous he studied his Arabic homework in an airport was subjected to extra screening. Not able to find actual criminals, they pretended to find one by planting drugs to find in the bag of an innocent traveler as part of a "training exercise." But they failed to stop a fake federal marshal who was allowed through security with his firearm in order to place an unwilling passenger on a plane to another country.

Perhaps it is time to replace the TSA with an actual security agency, before the move to unionize the screeners gains any momentum.

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