The TSA Follies: A Trifecta

You ever get the feeling that the TSA is trying to piss us off?

A few readers have pointed to a story on Facebook, posted by a Montana mom who was flying home from Kansas with her two young children and their grandmother.

According to the poster, she and her kids got through the checkpoint without trouble but grandma had triggered the alarm. She went through the scanner again, but the screener could not firmly ID what was setting off the alarm, and grandma was asked to have a seat and wait for a pat-down.

This is when the 4-year-old ran over to give grandma a hug:

Do I even need to tell you the rest of the story? I don’t, do I? They yelled at the child, forbad the mother from talking to her, patted her down. When the 4-year-old understandably resisted, the TSA threatened to shut down the airport, demanded the mother calm the child, etc., etc. All under the that grandma had passed the kid a gun, which she was storing in her little pants, apparently. Consumerist contacted the TSA who confirmed the basics of the incident but said that TSA agents followed “proper procedure”. For all of us familiar with TSA — hell, those of us familiar with many law enforcement agencies — we know what that means. It means what TSA inscribed on this complaint form.

TSANewBlog:

This isn’t about security. This is about power. Power and control. The TSA’s absolute power and control, and passengers’ lack of same.

Exactly. This agency is not really accountable. They have been given almost no restrictions on their budget or their authority. We were warned about this when the agency was created and we didn’t listen. Thank God they are at least restricted to … oh, crap:

A new program in Houston will place undercover TSA agents and police officers on buses whose job it will be to perform bag searches, watch for “suspicious activity” and interrogate passengers in order to ‘curb crime and terrorism’.

Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee unveiled the program, labeled Bus Safe, during a press conference on Friday.

Wait, a minute, you say. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee? Isn’t she a big liberal? Why, yes she is. She’s a big liberal who loves the Security State. She worships TSA and was furious when a law was passed that would allow airports to replace TSA with private contractors. Put a pin in that for a second.

Immediately after the program was launched, TSA began questioning passengers. This is an addition to the 9000 check points they put up last year to do random searches of vehicles. And do you want to place bets on how many terrorists they caught against how many people they caught with drugs or some other illegal item?

Now back to the pin: private agencies. Imagine how the situation with the 4-year-old; or the situation with Amy Alkon; or the situation with the video blogger; or a hundred other situations would have played out with a private security agency — a business. Instead of ignoring the problem, the liberals would gone nuts. Sheila Jackson Lee would have been on TV demanding the agency be fired. We would have non-stop press coverage uncovering donations the agency made to politicians. They would have been held accountable. And because of that constant unending threat of accountability — because the people providing the service could be fired — the abuses might not have happened in the first place. And if they were exposed by the media for letting guns and bombs through, they’d also be fired.

Neither party has an interest in this. Both are supporting TSA. The only way we will reclaim our liberty is to demand it, regardless of who is in power. We the citizens have to take care of this. Because no one else will.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    Seriously, at what point do we start taking these little airport tyrants with a 3rd grade education out back and shoot them?

    Thanks to Obama and “Big Sis”, the arm up your ass is only going deeper.

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  2. salinger

    TSA is just theater whose run should be up. Common sense doesn’t seem to come into play with these guys. I have to suffer these clowns more than most having logged just under a quarter million miles the last twelve months.

    Handing security over to private firms wouldn’t make things any better in my opinion. Think of any interaction you’ve had with a rent – a – cop. While a private firm may be at first blush seem to be more accountable to the public they “serve” the outfit is more accountable to a bottom line – and cutting corners in quality control and salaries is one of the first places savings are mined.

    Personally – I’d look to retired law enforcement professionals to be on staff as team leaders and mediators available for events as described in the OP to lend a bit of experience and empathy to the profession.

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  3. hist_ed

    Handing security over to private firms wouldn’t make things any better in my opinion. Think of any interaction you’ve had with a rent – a – cop. While a private firm may be at first blush seem to be more accountable to the public they “serve” the outfit is more accountable to a bottom line – and cutting corners in quality control and salaries is one of the first places savings are mined.

    But you can fire them. The rent a cops (as long as they are unionized) and the whole company. Read Hal’s penultimate paragraph again. Sure their primary interest would be profits, but do you really think a private company would survive even one or two of the scandals the TSA just gets to brush off? There ain’t no profits if you lose the contract because you search raped a four year old.

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  4. salinger

    but do you really think a private company would survive even one or two of the scandals the TSA just gets to brush off

    Maybe not – I just don’t believe the next one in line would be any better. I think the whole airport security institution needs to be re-thought.

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  5. Miguelito

    Maybe being privitized wouldn’t fix it, and I agree that the whole idea needs to be re thought anyway.. but, there would be one big difference: people could sue the company or person who did the groping or whatever. Right now, the TSA, under the gov’t is more or less untouchable it seems. They’ve got the backing of the gov’t to threaten anyone that actually does stand up to them with arrest or huge fines, which is probably a big reason so many people are unwilling to stand up to a clear violation of our rights.

    Make it some random rent-a-cop type that’s being paid by a corporation… hoo boy the lawsuits would start to fly and people would stand up to them.

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