Why the TSA should not exist

Pictures from: http://matadornetwork.com/life/airport-security-then-now/

Then

Security screening at Columbia, SC airport, 1973. Photo by Hunter Desportes.

and Now

Security screening at Denver airport, 2009. Photo by Inha Leex Hale

My question to you:  Is the TSA effective and if not, what are you going to do about it? Comments welcome.

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5 Comments

Filed under Political

5 responses to “Why the TSA should not exist

  1. Chris Conley

    Charley,

    Yeah, TSA has some big issues, but I think they need to do a smarter job, rather than removing their job.

    The Israeli’s are the best in airport security with screening people as much as they screen material things. Whereas our political correctness phobia waters down our scanner’s analysis letting external factors severely impede the quality of their work, among other reasons.

    Basically, I think they need to work smarter and not stop working.

    Chris Conley

    • I am all for working smarter, but not using custom information based reasoning and decision making makes for “one size fits all” approach which is doomed to fail.

  2. Stephen Sandifer

    I’ve seen the TSA/Israeli comparison before. The difficulty in implementing the Israeli option is scalability. Doesn’t Israel process ~60,000 travellers/day? The USA does 2 orders of magnitude more per day. I don’t see how that would scale: getting the kind of intelligence operators in place is hard enough for the formal intelligence services, much less the TSA (and their pay rates!)

    The most effective security measure has been implemented already: securing the cockpit door. That, and the unwillingness of any group of Americans to be hijacked again removes that terrorist vector.

    I’m an economics guy. I’d much rather see something like:
    4 flights per day, OKC to San Francisco.
    2 of them don’t require you to go through the checkpoint, but you take responsibility for your safety. The other 2 require extensive scans and checks. Price accordingly and let people pick their security model.

    Glad to see you blogging. Welcome to the fray!

  3. http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/09/30/8043088-qa-guns-knives-and-grenades-at-the-airport#star6 Another Article with an even better response in the comments.

    Annapolis-2542327

    None of those weapons posed a threat to the aircraft, since none of the people carrying them intended to use them to take over the plane. How do I know this? Because if there were any terrorists at all, they would be acting against us in other ways: mall attacks, water supply poisoning, shoulder-fired missiles at planes, or bombing the long unprotected lines of people waiting in front of the TSA checkpoint. Face it, there aren’t any terrorists in the U.S. trying to attack civilians. Every “foiled plot” turns out to have been concocted by the FBI to entrap some mentally ill sad-sack loser. There are no more than a few dozen alQaeda members left in the world, and they live in caves ten thousand miles away. It’s time to stop cowering in fear like a bunch of thumb-sucking four-year-olds.

    However, the TSA’s incompetence and malice DO pose a threat to travelers. You are far less safe because the TSA exists. The TSA is exposing children and pregnant women to ionizing radiation in untested machines. The TSA forces you to leave your bags vulnerable to tampering, and hundreds of screeners have been arrested for stealing your valuables. The TSA takes braces, crutches, and wheelchairs away from people who are unstable on their feet, and forces them to stand in precarious poses where they’re liable to fall and injure themselves. The TSA confiscates life-saving medicine like insulin. The TSA re-traumatizes rape survivors, inflicting unwelcome sexual touching on innocent women and children. The TSA’s distasteful mistreatment of travelers causes people to choose less safe modes of travel like driving or buses, resulting in 1000 or more excess deaths per year. The TSA is a huge boondoggle, incompetent and inhumane, and its pathetic power-plays threaten our lives and our well-being every day.

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