Amy Alkon: That Pesky Amendment #4 J.F. posts at The Economist about the TSA, the agency that fails at just about everything but power-grabs: It turns out that the kinds of behaviours that resulted in passengers getting additional screening were things such as walking while black, breathing while Latino and trying to board an aircraft while being Middle Eastern. These allegations came not from the outside (or, speaking as a swarthy man who often travels alone and is often selected for additional screening, not only from the outside) but from TSA officers themselves, who approached the ACLU to complain that rampant racial profiling was making their stated mission more difficult.And that mission, let's remember, is not finding drugs or contraband or warrants or immigration scofflaws, it is, or at least was supposed to be, preventing terrorism. The TSA was created two months after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 in order to bolster security on America's transport systems. With that in mind, it is not entirely accurate to complain of mission creep when TSA agents show up at train and bus stations. It is accurate, however, to complain when the TSA searches passengers after they have completed their train journeys. And it is accurate--necessary, even--to complain that the TSA has become simply another auxiliary police unit, some of whose officers undergo a scant nine hours of training, who appear relatively unencumbered by the fourth amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, and who, worst of all, are subject to the same pressure for increased arrests and referrals as other police forces....The standard response to search complaints is that you implicitly accept the TSA's terms by purchasing an airline ticket and entering an airport; if you don't like it, don't fly. But the TSA can also be found at train and bus stations, on roads and even at non-transport events such as football games. I suppose people who value their fourth amendment rights can just stay home.Bill Fisher comments on the post: The behavior detection program has been shown to be hocus-pocus used to conceal a drug interdiction scheme. Is anyone really stupid enough to believe that TSA can train a fast food worker to read minds in six weeks?This is the third major incident in this program in a year involving racial profiling and harassment, illegal interrogations and unlawful searches and there have been others that received less exposure. TSA investigated themselves in the incidents in Newark and Hawaii and found they were innocent. No one was fired or prosecuted for their illegal searches and harassment of innocent people. What a surprise.Where does this stupidity stop?In the past two months 35 TSA workers fired or arrested and 66 more disciplined for misconduct on the job. A known pedophile, Thomas Harkins, was exposed in May but remains employed as a TSA Supervisor in Philadelphia. There were a total of 97 TSA workers arrested in the last 20 months including 12 arrested for child sex crimes, over 26 for theft, 12 for smuggling contraband through security and one for murder.This is precisely the problem with TSA, no accountability when they exceed their authority and those in management are never fired. Even police are subject to prosecution by victims. Not so for TSA employees and this must change.