Thursday, February 16, 2012

We All Know How Stupid It Is, But It Persists

A former FBI special agent, who spent most of his career in the counterterrorism field, talks about how ineffably stupid and useless the TSA is, accomplishing little to nothing while degrading ordinary people and wasting our time. Worth reading the whole thing.

The TSA is high on my list of things that make me weak with anger and frustration. My mother flew home from a visit with her granddaughter, recently, and was singled out for an aggressive full-body patdown because the body scanner detected the presence of six small, round objects spaced at regular intervals down the front of her shirt. (You'll never imagine what those were.) We all know that TSA officers are useless, expensive irritants, but we can't get rid of them. Meanwhile, they can do shit like this with impunity. That's the state of American democracy.


  1. Bruce Schneier had the last word on this -- the only security enhancement since 9/11 that made any difference was the securing of cockpit doors inflight, so that forced entry is impossible in practical terms, lacking a lot of firepower or explosives. I'm also inclined to endorse profiling, if done intelligently as the Israelis seem to do. I had personal experience of El Al way back in 1990, & was impressed by their relatively soft but persistent questioning.

  2. Ralph,

    Bruce Schneier is a smart guy, and yeah. The other post-9/11 security enhancement that works well is that passengers will fight back, and don't miss the passenger interviews in this video.