Tech Dirt: The TSA's True Focus Isn't 'Safety' - It's Self-Preservation from the give-'em-a-inch-and-they'll-take-a-mile-(and-your-plastic-sword) deptDespite its own worst efforts, the TSA doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Year after year, horror story after horror story surfaces, detailing abuse of American citizens at the hands (very often literally) of TSA agents. If they're not poking, prodding, fondling or carelessly tossing supposed explosives into a trash can five feet away, they're confiscating harmless plastic swords while allowing loaded handguns on board. If they're not digging around in someone's laptop searching for who knows what, they're "diverting" iPads into their personal collections. A report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) suggests that the TSA's main focus isn't safety, it's self-preservation. As yearly budget reviews loom, the TSA suddenly needs to "look busy" and justify its continued existence. Anything that might cut back its funding is briefly humored and then discarded.