Shocker! The TSA is Mostly Superficial and Ineffectual

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.

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  • Christopher Foxx

    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.

    In other words, they do an improper screening so that they’re not seen to do an improper screening.

    Ye gods.

  • willpen

    They are more interested in confiscating items that they want for themselves. I once had a “typical” (insert classic image for comical effect) female TSA agent take a brand new $40 mascara out of my bag and confiscate it. But only after she opened it to see if it had been used yet. If I wasn’t rushed to make my flight I would have called that bitch on it and made her throw it out in front of me. But I couldn’t so I guess she went home with MY brand new mascara. That is the shit that pisses me off the most.

  • http://twitter.com/YQRosie Stephen LaRose

    As I see it, right now, you can’t bring water on an American-departing flight, but you can bring a knife.

    What if I brought an icicle? Would that be confiscated?

    /sarcasm off

    Seems to me much of the expensive hullabaloo about airline security post-9/11 has been done for show.

    • http://twitter.com/tlavely Tony Lavely

      “Seems to me ALL of the expensive hullabaloo about airline security post-9/11 has been done for show.”

      Fixed.

      • Christopher Foxx

        “ALL of the expensive hullabaloo about airline security post-9/11 has been done for show and profit.

        Fixed further.

  • MrDHalen

    Bob,

    I’m curious to know what recommendations you have for the TSA and airport security in general? I think a lot of the reasons the odds are so low on bad things happening on airplanes, is because of this “appearance” of security.