There’s a lot that’s frustrating about traveling. Getting seats by the bathroom. Crying children. Missed connections. But, by far, the most universally irritating is dealing with security. Waiting in line for 3 hours to get patted down is no one’s idea of a good time. So, with everyone having so much exposure to these fine folks, what do they actually do?
The Transportation Security Association (TSA) is a self-regulated agency under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security. It employs approximately 55,600 fine men and women. It was a fine idea, at first. The TSA was a fairly reasonable reaction to 9/11. Its vision states that it aims to, “provide the more effective transportation security in the most effective way as a high performing counterterrorism organization.” While that does sound great, the TSA has failed on all levels in the most extraordinary fashion.
According to ex-TSA agent in January 2014, “Officers discovered that the machines were good at detecting just about everything besides cleverly hidden explosives and guns.” This was further evidenced by a May 2012 Youtube video by Jonathan Corbett aptly titled “How to Get Anything Past the Full Body Scanners”. He filmed what every agent apparently knew. Body scanners don’t work. When you’re standing in line for an hour and a half, and about to miss your connection, and you’re trying to comfort yourself, “At least this is all to defeat the terrorists.” Just know that, Nope. It’s not.
What does self-regulating mean? It means that the TSA gets to make up their own rules. What other security agency gets to enjoy this privilege? CIA? FBI? Police forces? No. No way. Nope.
The head of security at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International approached them and offered their help. The TSA decided to turn down help from the safest airport in the world.
Former Senator and Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security Joe Lieberman pushed through an “opt out” program for American airports. All the TSA had to do was write a series of standards and regulations. How long has it taken the TSA to process all of the opt-out requests? Just around a dozen years.
At Ben Gurion, security agents are trained up to seven times a day. American agents do not have to pass the same kinds of rigorous standards. They train a whole 1-2 times a year. Just yesterday, CBS released a horrifying and unsurprising statistic. “Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General (IG) went undercover and were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials. The IG’s report found that TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests.”
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