This editorial from a Newark, NJ TSA official comes as no surprise:
A LOT of what we do is make-believe.
I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.
Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.
But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.
That’s not to say they should be doing more. Naturally, the idea here is they’re simply doing incorrectly for the wrong reasons. The screening process is much more about the illusion of safety than actually providing legitimate and efficient safety. And, seriously, your odds of dying in a hijacked airliner are astronomically minor.