TSA is Inefficient

December/08/2011 19:14PM
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No surprise, their is a new report commissioned by Congress telling us how bad the government is at running the TSA. This is particularly distressing when we were just told the same Congress could not find 5 cents on the dollar over the next ten years in expense cuts. 

Only three other countries in the world try to run their airport security by the government. The rest all hire it done.

When  you read this, be prepared to get ill. Everything we have always thought about the inefficiencies of government are present in the TSA. Bloated hierarchy, high turnover at  the top, buying expensive items and junking them, no priorities, poor employee morale, waste at all levels, and poor performance. Yet, it goes and grows. No one stops it despite reports like this commissioned by those who are paid to stop it.

We are governed by fools. Men and women who would rather be on TV making Eric Holder or Jon Corzine look like the fools they are than attacking a multi-billion problem called  the TSA. 

Term limits and no more attorneys in Washington are the only answers. 


Among the report’s findings:

  • Even though most of the serious terrorist attempts against the U.S. in the last decade have originated overseas, the number of TSA personnel that oversee key international departure points with direct flights into the United States is limited.
  • TSA‘s operations are outdated—the primary threat is no longer hijacking, but explosives designed to take down an aircraft. Today, aircraft have hardened cockpit doors, armed Federal Air Marshalls and armed pilots. Additionally, passengers and crew offer our first and most effective line of defense. These factors have drastically lowered the risk of a terrorist hijacking using a gun or knife. Consequently, TSA should prioritize its security measures to address the current threat of explosives.
  • TSA‘s passenger and checked baggage screening programs have been tested over the years, and while the test results are classified, their performance outcomes have changed very little since the creation of TSA.
  • TSA has failed to develop an effective, comprehensive plan to evolve from a one-size-fits-all operation—treating all passengers as if they pose the same risk—into a highly intelligent, risk-based operation that has the capacity to determine a traveler‘s level of risk and adjust the level of screening in response.
  • More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at U.S. airports in the last decade, despite a massive TSA presence.

“After countless expensive detours, it is time for TSA to refocus its mission based on risk and develop common sense security protocols,” John L. Mica, chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said in the report.

This is not the first report to criticize how the TSA does business, and we suspect it will not be the last. The TSA’s armed air marshal program has been singled out as a complete waste of money: It’s been widely reported that there are fewer than 4,000 of them employed, and with 28,000 commercial flights every day in the U.S., the odds of an air marshal being on your flight are “embarrassingly low” – at about 5 percent.

Former air marshal Robert MacLean said that “You  just pray the bomb doesn’t go off on your flight.”

There was much talk in the immediate wake of 9/11 about how Israel does the job with El Al, where trained interrogators grill would-be passengers on the hows, whats and whys of their travel, weeding out would-be terrorists (and their unwitting mules) before they can do harm. Critics complain that this is racial profiling.

After the Underwear Bomber tried to strike at this time last year, it seems that going more toward interrogation might be a wise use of resources. As would stationing TSA agents in ground crews overseas, where the bulk of terrorist attempts are expected to begin, rather than here in the U.S.

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