This Week in Security Theater

Saw this sign at the Long Beach airport on my way up to Seattle over the weekend:

tsa_weekly_accomplishments

First off, I’m glad that the TSA is finally getting around to their most important assignment: self-preservation through public relations. Otherwise known as scaring people into thinking that they’re still relevant.

I love these accomplishments, though. System wide, an entire week of travel, and *these* are the Great Results that the TSA has wrought. They found TWO “artfully concealed” prohibited items? I’m guessing someone figured out how to turn a laptop into a water bottle. Arrests for “suspicious behavior”? I’m guessing bloggin about how stupid the TSA is would be considered “suspicious” by the TSA, no? 32 incidents that involved a checkpoint closure — and they’re trying to make out like that’s a good thing.

Seriously. Hire a new PR agency, one that’s willing to go the full monty and give you something worth reporting on by trying to smuggle timed explosives through. None of the things on the list above necessarily had anything to do with a terrorist activity. It’s very possible to have a gun in your possession without trying to take over an airplane (I’m not necessarily advocating allowing people to bring guns on planes, but if someone were to get away with it — that’s not in itself dangerous.)

How about putting another line item on there for productivity minutes lost nationwide as a result of the “enhanced screening process”? Maybe that’s what they were getting at with the closure count.

Remember that Simpsons episode with the bear patrol? Lisa tells Homer that the rock she has in her hand is keeping bears tigers away because, well, she’s holding it and neither of them see any bears tigers around.

Homer buys the rock.

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TSA: Where Nanny State and Police State Meet

Or maybe those are synonyms — whatever.

Just saw this on Cato-at-Liberty:

(The recording and interview with the guy are the good part, the rest of the clip is usual FoxNews grandstanding and chest-thumping.)

Seriously, though, how can anyone *not* have a problem with a quasi-police force at the airport that’s not responsible enough to inform people of their rights, but feels empowered to harass and detain (and arrest) people that, in one officer’s opinion, are “suspicious”. TSA is a cost without a real benefit. It’s a system set up by the state to make a system less efficient and deprive individuals of privacy and that can provide no actual evidence of preventing any sort of terrorism whatsoever. The only “benefit” of the current TSA is that it makes the soft-brained feel better about traveling on airplanes.

Willingness to exchange privacy and liberty for perceived safety was a great hallmark of the Hitler regime. If what people want is fascism, they should at least have the self awareness to say so rather than misappropriating words like “freedom” and “equality”.

Man. I can’t stand that anyone still thinks that “heightened airport security” is a good thing. Man, but I wish these guys would get on with it and succeed already.

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Great Accomplishments in TSA History

The great thing about quick business trips is that you get to go through airport security twice in one day. Makes it all worthwhile. So in honor of our government’s brilliant new mechanisms put in place in order to ensure every passenger feels sufficiently hassled prior to being allowed to enter the boarding area, I’ve assembled this comprehensive list of the TSA’s greatest accomplishments to date.

1.

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