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TSA Security Theater


Investigation: Undercover agents snuck fake explosives, banned weapons past TSA

Undercover agents were able to sneak fake explosives and banned weapons through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, in an investigation that revealed a massive, system-wide security failure at America’s airports. 

To say that I am not at all surprised by this news would be an understatement. I’ve said for a number of years now, almost as long as I’ve had this blog, that the TSA and airport security in general were theater designed to reassure people that the government was protecting us when nothing of the sort was occurring.

In early 2002, before the TSA was up and running, while airports had extra police and in some cases National Guardsmen I noticed some odd things. At one airport there was an airport police officer accompanied by two National Guard soldiers. The officer had some flavor of polymer pistol. That’s what he carried every day, no doubt. The two Guardsmen had M16s. Very impressive looking except I happened to glance closely enough to notice that neither one had a magazine in their rifle. They might have had magazine pouches with spare magazines in them, I don’t recall. Not that it would matter, because if something happened there was a good chance that they, the cop, and a bunch of other people would be dead before they could assemble their rifles.

From that point on, I was more than a little skeptical of airport security efforts.

The findings were part of a DHS inspector general probe. The report is still classified, but Fox News has confirmed the investigation found security failures at dozens of airports. 

This would be the one kind of probe that the TSA doesn’t like. They seem to prefer probing teenage girls, attractive young women, and older people in wheelchairs. All clear cut terrorist threats. Along with Mrs. EMS Artifact, who was thoroughly interrogated by the sleuths at TSA because she tried to bring on 3.75 ounces of sterile saline rinse. Took about 15 minutes to make sure she wasn’t going to squirt the pilots in the eyes or something.

And of course the report is classified. Not to keep the terrorists from finding out how to sneak dangerous things through, but to keep the US public from finding out what a monumental waste of money is the TSA and DHS in general.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson issued a statement late Monday outlining a series of actions he had ordered in response to the findings, including more training for all transportation security officers, re-evaluation of airport screening equipment and continued covert testing.

“We take these findings very seriously,” he said.

No doubt the actions will entail more inconvenience for people who pose no threat to airlines, airplanes, or the flying public. The actions will be designed to continue the charade of airline security and protect the phoney baloney jobs of TSA workers and managers that couldn’t find their asses with both hands.

Jeh Johnson is an idiot, pure and simple. The only thing he takes seriously is keeping this debacle from reflecting back on President Feckless.

“Red Team testing of the aviation security network has been part of TSA’s mission advancement for 13 years,” the DHS spokesman told Fox News in a statement. “The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security.” 

I’m trying to imagine what kind of “context” one could have in which a 96% failure rate could look “good”. If I failed 96% of my tests in paramedic school or I treated 96% of my patient improperly, I don’t know that I could paint a picture where I’d be able to say that all those dead patients were “out of context”.

This would be a good time to consider disbanding the TSA, replacing it with private security, and allowing passengers who are legal gun owners to carry their firearms on board.

As I’ve said before, and I wasn’t kidding then or now, the function of airport security should be to ask, “What caliber and how many rounds do you need?’.


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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.