More Sterling Performance From The TSA

From this week’s news:

(Oh, and why is it that I wouldn’t have noticed this stuff if I didn’t check out the furrin press every so often?)

Guns were missed, too-several times.

Undercover test this time but still. :rolleyes:

These articles are so depressing.

I gotta tell ya, if I get blown out of the sky by some bomb, I sure hope the TSA Agent took more than a $100 bribe to kill me!

I’m going to say anything under 5 G’s is an insult to both me and my family. However, if they get five figures to blow me up, well, how can I argue with that?

But I’ve seen these guys in action…it’ll be more like ten bucks and a #3 Value Meal.

Yeah, but the #3 Value Meal is a Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese. Salty beef, melty cheese, hot fries…who could resist that?

No bacon - No pass

But everyone ‘feels’ safer. Right?

Especially when TSA searches passengers debarking from a train.–24547-0302

Given the depressing frequency with which law-abiding Americans run their vehicles into trains at grade crossings, it’s pointless to search passengers. After all, why carry a bomb on a train when you can stop a truck bomb at a grade crossing and have the train plow into it? And to search people leaving the train. . . the stupid, it hurts!

Once, when flying out of my hometown (pre 9/11), either their security agents hadn’t reported to work, or the airport couldn’t afford to hire one. So after checking my baggage, I walked past the powered-down metal detector, through glass doors onto the tarmac, and boarded the plane to Denver.

Once on the ground in Denver, though, we had to walk through a metal detector before walking off the tarmac and into a ground-level door at DIA. Pointless for the fact that my fellow passengers and I were unscreened as we flew, but needed since we were now entering a secured area of an international airport.

Serious question: What level of TSA screening is “appropriate”?

There are a lot of critics of the TSA and their searching/scanning procedures on this board. I’m curious just how much searching would be proper. I would assume scanning passenger luggage for explosives and metal detection would be OK, but that a lot of the patdowns and such is unnecessary. But I’ll let you guys speak for yourselves.

Because you don’t pay serious attention to the domestic news media? I saw the first story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer four days ago.

ETA: On a quick search, I found the box cutter story with the same date as the Guardian story, on every major U.S. newspaper and internet outlet.

Because the screening system we have now is fucked up. Because i just went through the screening at two airports, where you can buy everything from M&Ms to laptops once you pass through the gate. I’m sure there are other travelers here with similar stories.

I took my shoes off in Chicago, and emptied my pockets of change, chapstick and an mp3 player in Sarasota. I had to take my sweater off both times, and for what i’m not sure. I had my luggage searched on the return flight and i’m not sure why they opened it just that i got the little tag that said they went through my luggage. I don’t want the plane I’m flying on to crash but there’s got to be a better way to do this…

I don’t know how they grade threats but I’d like to see how i score as a 32 year old, atheist in blue jeans who wears glasses, who seems to look like a librarian to some people.

We put all the passengers for a flight, with their luggage and carry-ons, into a closed room. They challenge each other-- “Hey, what you got in that box?” “I’ll let you paw through my bag if you show me what’s under that thick, lumpy jacket.” “I’m not flying anywhere with that guy until he strips down to his shorts!”

When everybody is comfortable with everybody else, they get on the airplane.


That’s a very good and fair question. I am one of those who hates the whole airport screening process, along with the crappiness of air travel these days, so much so that I avoid air travel as much as possible. I’m actually not sure how much of my dislike is for the TSA and how much is for the awfulness that is air travel.

I’d like to dial it back to the days of walk-through metal detectors with some random (truly random) more thorough checks; carry-on items very limited and thoroughly screened. Air marshals on planes, or maybe armed and trained stewards, steel doors limiting access to pilots, a policy that says pilots don’t respond to hostage takers.

Some of the checks they do are so obviously a response to the last threat found that it’s almost embarrassing for everyone involved. A guy tries to bring in a bomb in his shoe, everyone in America has to have his shoes checked. A guy tries to make a bomb on the plane, everyone in America is restricted to 3 oz bottles. All a bad guy has to do to screw with millions of American is to talk some idiot into walking into an airport with an explosive in his underpants. The knee-jerk reactions really need to stop - they help the bad guys win.

How YOU doin’ ?

If we used *my *system, you’d be able to find out!

Just sayin’…

And Bryan Ekers demonstrates exactly how the WBI/AIT program works. Person that the screener finds attractive? Step into the Nude-O-Scope.

Eh, maybe I just don’t fly enough to find it so “awful,” but this seems like an overstatement.

It isn’t glamourous or exciting, I’ll give you that, but my experience is usually something like: Stand in a couple of lines; put my stuff on a conveyer belt; walk through a metal detector; sit around bored at the gate for a while; and then sit in a somewhat cramped seat for a few hours.

And for that bit of inconvenience, I’m where I wanted to go, relatively quickly and easily. I’ll take that over 40-plus hours of driving to Florida and back every time. I guess you have a lower threshold of awfulness.

I agree with this post in its entirety. I’m not a security expert, so it’s hard for me to say what the TSA should be doing, but it seems to me that some of what they are doing is better at annoying people than at actually catching threats.

Protecting the cockpit is key. All planes should have (if they don’t already) bulletproof doors than can be securely locked from the inside. If hijacking the plane isn’t an option, the motivation to bring guns, knives, and other anti-personnel weapons is removed. That leaves us with explosives to worry about. Rather than scanners that work visually, we should focus on developing and implementing electronic sniffing machines that detect traces of explosives, as well as illegal drugs. These machines are less invasive than the scanners and can detect a wider range of materials with high accuracy. In addition, they sound an alert when they detect something, rather than relying on a TSA agent to notice something suspicious-looking on a screen.

Disembark, not debark.

The law should read that every employee of TSA and every Congresscritter have to go through intensive screening, including frisking, scanning and the occasional full cavity search every day before they report to work. Then we’ll see how long these stupid regulations last.