This Week in Security Theater
Saw this sign at the Long Beach airport on my way up to Seattle over the weekend:
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.