We wait in long lines, in crowded security checkpoints, shuffle along in our socks, remove our belts (what does the TSA have against belts anyway?) and ordered around like jailhouse perps.
Then there’s the physical contact with TSA agents that, under different circumstances, would justify a slap or a lawsuit.
In return, we long-suffering passengers merely ask that the TSA, and its staff of 50,000, do its job: keep people with weapons off airplanes.
Then a report leaked out earlier this month revealed investigators from the Department of Homeland Security could easily slip weapons and fake bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time.
U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Commission, pointed out the obvious: “After spending over $540 million on baggage screening equipment and millions more on training, the failure rate today is higher than it was in 2007. Something is not working.”
The Question Becomes, Who’s Protecting Us From TSA?
Investigators also found that TSA approved PreCheck expedited screening status to people on government watch lists, including the infamous “no-fly” list.
And that’s just the beginning: U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska said there’s even worse information yet to be made public, stating, “Millions of families will soon fly to summer vacations, but if moms knew what members of Congress have learned behind closed doors, they would march on Washington demanding an urgent, top-to-bottom reevaluation of airport security.”
But what’s already pubic is plenty worrisome.
It’s A Stroke Of Luck We Haven’t Had Another Hijacked Plane Since 9/11
The GAO also published a report showing that TSA failed to screen even its own employees against its own terrorism watch list.
The Guardian reportes that TSA failed to identify 73 people with terrorism-related category codes being employed by “major airlines, airport vendors, and other employers”.
Investagators warned that the Pre-Check program could be the weakest link in what seems to be a dangerously vulnerable network of security protecting U.S. airports and travelers.
“The TSA did not identify these individuals through its vetting operations because it is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watch-listing policy,” the GAO concluded.
One of the biggest findings of the commission on 9/11 was that there was no inter-agency communication. It seems that is still the case here. Why wouldn’t the TSA management have access to the latest information available for those on the terror-watch list? This shows another government breakdown.
“TSA is handing out PreCheck status like Halloween candy in an effort to expedite passengers as quickly as possible,” Rebecca Roering told a U.S. Senate Committee earlier this month.
Roering, who worked at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport as a TSA agent, said she was threatened with the loss of her job when she went to her supervisors with some of the problems she found in the Pre-Check program.
Perhaps TSA Should Be Branded As A Terrorist Organization?
These recent exposures show a federal agency that has clearly lost its focus – if it ever had one.