Monday, November 22, 2010

The TSA Isn't Doing Its Job

The TSA Isn't Doing Its Job

I don't mean the TSA isn't protecting us from the next terrorist threat.  I fly a lot and, like everyone else, I'm inconvienced by the gauntlet of procedures we have to go through, but the alternative is much worse.  I don't know enough to know whether the TSA is effective or not in stopping terrorist threats.

The TSA is charged with conducting security screenings at America's airports.  Recently they instituted a full body pat down program.  As I understand it you get a full body pat down if you refuse the full body imaging test or you continue to set off the metal detector even after a few tries.

The full body pat down has raised a lot of concern and generated several U-Tube videos because they seem invasive and unnecessary.  I saw a young guy's phone video of him telling the agent "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested" and another video of a 7-10 year old boy with his shirt off and a TSA agent patting him down. 

I don't believe the TSA is overstepping their authority, I think they aren't adequately addressing these situations.

I would feel my privacy was compromised with these tests, but that is the price we pay for the world we live in.   If the TSA could do it another way they would.  We know the terrorists will take advantage of our conventions and will go to all lengths to find our weaknesses and exploit them.  Airplane travel is annoying, this isn't the TSA's fault.

What the TSA should do is 1) train their people to handle irate passengers better.  This would probably mean paying them more which isn't going to happen with teachers so why would I expect it to happen here.  The TSA should also 2) remind the public that these incidences are isolated and are sometimes the fault of the passenger. 

In the case of the guy with the touchy junk he had refused a body scan.  Maybe he didn't want certain anatomical revelations.  In the case of the kid, it was his dad behind him that yanked off the kid's shirt because he was irate. 

Travel by air is not as fun and exciting as it used to be.  If you are the type that gets irate easily maybe you should consider driving or taking the train.  Both can be relaxing and don't require security checks.  For those of us who have to travel by air, if you don't have anything to hide, the best thing we can do is be cooperative, come to the airport prepared and expect these sort of delays until we competely stop terrorist threats.

1 comment:

Max said...

It just amazes me how the American public wants something for nothing. Security on the airlines? Damn right, unless it's me you're inconveniencing. Educated kids? Damn straight, as long as someone else pays for it. Federal Money? Hell yes, um, as long as the State Nannylature gets to decided how it's spent.
"Rome burned while Nero fiddled" We're at the apex of our cultural curve, it's all downhill from here.