The TSA as we know it is dead — here’s why

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed

    dhs-logo.jpg

    If you don’t believe the TSA is doomed after watching yesterday’s House Aviation Subcommittee hearing, then you’ll have to at least agree that the agency as we know can’t continue to exist as it does.

    For starters, TSA Administrator John Pistole refused to testify before the committee on the innocuous subject of “common sense” improvements to America’s airport security, reportedly because the committee has no jurisdiction over his agency. (That’s odd — I always thought Congress funded the federal government, but maybe I wasn’t paying attention during government class.)
    One by one, panelists took turns excoriating the agency charged with protecting America’s transportation systems. It was plainly clear why Pistole was a no-show, and it had nothing to do with jurisdiction; it would have been an openly hostile crowd.
    Charles Edwards, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting inspector general, described the TSA as bureaucratic and dysfunctional. Stephen Lord of the Government Accountability Office, suggested the agency was ignoring the thousands of complaints from air travelers. And Kenneth Dunlap, who represented the International Air Transport Association, criticized the current TSA as expensive, inconsistent, and reactive.
    “As this mushrooming agency has spun out of control,” the committee chairman, John Mica, concluded, “passengers have not been well served.”
    The congressmen present in the hearing agreed with many of the criticisms, but it’s the solutions that would have sent Pistole running for the exits. On the conservative end, critics recommended aggressively reforming the TSA to create a smaller, more responsive agency that fulfills its mission of protecting and serving air travelers.
    But some went much further. Charlie Leocha of the Consumer Travel Alliance, who represented the interests of air travelers on the committee, said the TSA should not just be downsized, but also limited to protecting only air travel (something it currently isn’t).
    In his testimony, he described a future TSA that more closely resembled the pre-9/11 security system, which used magnetometers (metal detectors) as its primary screening method, had employees that dressed in non-threatening uniforms, and banned only the most dangerous weapons, such as guns and explosives, from aircraft.
    The real security work would take place behind the scenes, prescreening every passenger with the help of technology and through coordination between intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and airlines.
    “The mass screening of passengers would be replaced for the great majority of passengers
    with a Trusted Traveler program that seamlessly checks passengers before they fly, while at the same time being respectful of their privacy,” says Leocha. “Every passenger is already prescreened for every flight.”
    Such an agency would be called the TSA in name only. In fact, it would be better named the Airport Security Administration, although that acronym might be problematic.
    With a powerful congressional committee like this lining up behind sweeping TSA reform, it is not a question of if, but when Congress — which by the way, does sign the TSA’s checks — acts to dismantle this $8-billion-a-year security boondoggle.
    I’m not just saying that because I’m CTA’s ombudsman and helped devise some of these solutions. Anyone who doesn’t believe the current TSA is a federal disaster area with an impossibly sprawling mandate isn’t in touch with reality.
    The TSA as it exists can’t die soon enough.
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Will be great news when/if it can be made to happen!
     
  3. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    We can all hope that no matter what other cuts occur to the TSA, the stupid blog and any TSA employee associated with publishing the dreck they've become infamous for will be among them.

    It'd also be nice to hear that the warehouse staff has been terminated, the overstock of MMW and BKSX machines returned for refund.
     
  4. His confidence in the last two posts makes me confident, even though I don't exactly see where his confidence is coming from.
     
  5. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    #1, Pistole goes, for his TSA's incompetence and waste alone.
     
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I volunteer to drive a wooden stake through its heart, hang a band of garlic around its neck, fire the silver bullet, and open the curtains so the bright light of the sun can shine on the carcass.
     
    KrazyKat likes this.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I vote for slow death by sunlight. Why waste a good stake & slug of silver?
     
    KrazyKat likes this.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I want to be sure the damn thing is dead and stays that way. Where's the coal oil?
     
  9. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. :D
     
    DeafBlonde likes this.
  10. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Use a drone! :D
     
  11. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Well, there IS one other way to be sure.

    ...Mount Doom.
     
  12. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    That's what I called the TSA employee who groped me in Austin. You could house a sizable family in a tent made from his uniform.

    The biggest problem with the TSA, top-to-bottom, is that the entire agency is based on the idea that people will get paid for violating others - whether it's Pistole, the people selling body scanners for money, or the front-line barely-literate-GED-carrying-unemployable-elsewhere dolts. Cuts would be nice, but better would be simply abolishing the entire mess and returning to some semblance of sanity at the checkpoint - WTMD, X-ray the bags, hand-wand for resolution.

    Color me skeptical, but I don't see that happening any time soon. There's too much money to be made in keeping Americans paranoid, and too many blue-shirted thugs entirely dependent on "just following orders" so they can take home a paycheck, salted liberally with the ones who actually enjoy their "work" for the TSA.
     
    KrazyKat likes this.
  13. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Preach it, Dr!
    And what to do with transitioning the unionized? How about (comparably paid) haz waste clean-up? They're already used to wearing gloves.:D
     
  14. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Hmmm, let's assume the TSA is reformed into something smaller and limited only to air travel. There are a couple of things in this article that don't give me warm, fuzzy feelings.

    The real security work would take place behind the scenes, prescreening every passenger with the help of technology and through coordination between intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and airlines.

    What does that look like? Some super Secure Flight program? And what kind of information is feeding into this prescreening procedure?

    “The mass screening of passengers would be replaced for the great majority of passengers
    with a Trusted Traveler program that seamlessly checks passengers before they fly, while at the same time being respectful of their privacy..."

    I don't think such a program that 'seamlessly' checks passengers before they fly can be respectful of their privacy. Either we're talking about mass amounts of information about a person, a biometrics check, or some combination of both. And all of this information would be held by the government in a database or databases, and who knows what other governmental agencies would have access to that information (hint: it's going to be shared broadly).

    This:

    In his testimony, he described a future TSA that more closely resembled the pre-9/11 security system, which used magnetometers (metal detectors) as its primary screening method, had employees that dressed in non-threatening uniforms, and banned only the most dangerous weapons, such as guns and explosives, from aircraft.

    That would be the best solution.
     
  15. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    But they're far from used to real work that requires real thought and has real hazards.
     
    Fisher1949 likes this.
  16. Frank

    Frank Original Member


    And it's going to be abused much more than the NFL is abused today. Those with the "wrong" political affiliations, or those who express the "wrong" political opinions are going to be held for inspection/interrogation, or banned from flying.
     
    KrazyKat likes this.
  17. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    No doubt. Plus your credit score, the credit background information you never get to see or refute (from landlords etc), even medical info-- all with zero connection to the purpose it's gathered for.
    You know, if they'd just RFID us with their SuperSecureIntel, they could just sort us at the chute.:eek:
     
  18. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Before or after we're loaded into the boxcars?
     
  19. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    From a statistical standpoint it is more efficient to identify the outliers, in this case those with background anomalies, than to sort through the proverbial haystack which is what they are doing now.
     
  20. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    "Efficiency" is not a concept the TSA or any of its employees are familiar with.
     

Share This Page