Friday, May 27, 2011
Abolish the TSA?
We're hearing more suggestions, from people who have given this matter some thought, that the Transportation Security Administration has been a mess, a financial sinkhole and an object of public scorn almost since the day it was founded nearly a decade ago.
Is it time for serious consideration of finding a new way to achieve airport security and shutting down this $8 billion a year spectacle in security theater?
A piece suggesting just that in Forbes is getting some traction, based on the most recent egregious incidents involving groping of women and children at airport checkpoints, along with moves in some state legislatures to try to impose criminal laws against perceived TSA abuses in physical patdowns.
Of course, there's little new in the opposition to the way the TSA has operated in terms of what security experts deride as security theater. Patdowns of babies, for example. Or, as in the photo above, a passenger can site religious reasons for not showing her face at security -- and the TSA complies, though obviously the person has not been identified by the photo ID procedures required of those of us who dont claim religious exemptions to be able to hide our faces.
Here's the link to the full Forbes piece on the notion of abolishing the agency.
Here's an excerpt: "The evidence against the TSA's competence is overwhelming, to put it mildly. For starters, no employee of the TSA has ever caught a single terrorist anywhere, at any time. In fact, just the opposite: screeners overlooked 16 passengers suspected of ties to terrorism at least 23 times from 2004 to 2008. .."