TSA chief seeks to make airport screening less onerous

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Monica47, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member


    John Pistole knows that most people like the Transportation Security Administration - which provides security at 450 of the nation's airports - about as much as the Internal Revenue Service or Department of Motor Vehicles.
    He's hoping to change that.
    Created after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the TSA has spent billions of dollars on security, hiring some 48,000 federal workers and overhauling checkpoints. But much of the traveling public grew to resent the agency as security lines got longer, pat-downs turned more invasive and full-body X-ray machines exposed travelers like never before.
    "If this was zero, where everyone hates TSA, and this is 100 percent, I think we've moved off zero and I think we are making progress," said Pistole, holding his hands apart to show the distance. "It's not a short term, not an overnight fix."
    He was in Charlotte on Thursday to meet with business leaders and media to discuss the agency's plans for making screening more efficient and less onerous.
    To do that, Pistole said the agency will expand its Pre-Check program this year. Currently available only to elite-level fliers by invitation, the program allows approved pre-screened passengers to keep their shoes and jackets on, and leave laptops in their luggage before passing through metal detectors.
    Pistole said the TSA doesn't disclose exactly how travelers can get into the Pre-Check program, to avoid helping terrorists game the system. He said the agency's goal is to allow people besides elite fliers to apply to join the Pre-Check program soon.
    It's part of the TSA's turn to more "risk-based" strategies, moving away from screening everyone exactly the same. The agency is using more behavior detection strategies, with officers scrutinizing passengers for signs they're planning something. That strategy has its own pitfalls, however: The TSA has been accused of racial profiling passengers at Boston's airport. Pistole said officers have been retrained and that standards are in place to prevent arbitrary profiling.
    Pistole said he has increased the agency's standards for agents since he took over in 2010, creating standardized punishments for agents and implementing a zero-tolerance policy for offenses such as theft.
    "There's uniformity and consistency across the country," said Pistole. "There was no standard set of penalties ... so it was pretty much ad hoc depending how the local head of the office thought it should be handled."
    He said the agency has started doing random "integrity testing," leaving money and valuables at checkpoints, to see if TSA employees turn them in to lost and found. Out of 10 airports tested so far, Pistole said all items have been returned. "If one person steals, it gives the entire agency a black eye," he said.
    Pistole said terrorists still are trying to bring down planes and that complacency is a concern. Although there hasn't been a successful attack on a U.S. airliner since 2001, he points to a range of near-misses: The "Shoe Bomber" in 2001, the "Underwear Bomber" on Christmas Day 2009, and bombs packed in toner cartridges shipped from Yemen. Those toner bombs were intercepted by the CIA before they made it onto U.S.-bound passenger flights.
    Maintaining public awareness of threats is a balancing act, however, Pistole said. He showed Charlotte Chamber officials a video of a powerful liquid bomb to demonstrate the danger of liquid explosives.
    "I can't really do that publicly, because that would scare people," Pistole said. "We don't want to keep people from flying."

    ©2013 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

    I especially like the part about the "integrity tests"....
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    More Pistole BS. TSA is corrupt. TSA policies are abusive. TSA is a failure.
  3. Wow, how far out of touch can a person get? That appears the absolute goal of Pistole's TSA. Most people didn't care one way or the other about the TSA before this man started putting his boot down on our throats.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  4. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    The TSA thrives on fear. Without fear they have no jobs. I'd like to know just which airports they ran those "integrity tests" - the airports with the highest level of thefts or the lowest? Try those tests at JFK and see what happens.
    phoebepontiac likes this.
  5. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Really Pervole, you don’t want to scare people?! Groping them and their kids is okay but we don’t want to scare them. This is so secret it’s on You Tube for safe keeping. No wonder this agency is the a**hole of America.

    TSA Myrtle Beach conducts explosives demonstration
    KrazyKat likes this.
  6. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    :DOne of the greatest lines ever!
    TUG should have a gathering in DC when Pervole explains to Committee how TSOs tossing liquid bombs into the trashcan beside them makes sense. I hope Pervole's performance is graded on TSA's popularity, barely off zero.
  7. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    what .... And just what was *your* contribution to the TSA becoming hated and despised, John? I recall you pushing for passengers to be looked at naked under their clothing, and you were all for, and still are, the obscene crotch, butt, and breast rubbing. "Submit or don't fly" were your exact words. ....

    [edited reluctantly but rightly to devituperatize]

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