TSA’s Incompetence: Combining David Brooks’ Scandal-Free Fantasy With United’s Anti-Soda Can Policy For Muslem Passengers


Now we have this:

Washington (CNN)Airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly every test that an undercover Homeland Security team conducted at dozens of airports, according to an internal investigation.

The Transportation Security Administration found that “red teams” with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General were able to get banned items through the screening process in 67 out of 70 tests — 95% — it conducted across the nation.

In other words, since those deadly Islamic terrorists can easily smuggle explosives and weapons on board United flights (or any others), it’s really silly to rob them of the pleasure of sipping a Diet Coke from a freshly opened can as they wait to send everyone to Allah.

In more words, all of the hundreds of thousands of hours, pointless inconvenience and hassle, emptying of pockets, taking off of shoes and belts, moving laptops in and out of bags, showing IDs and boarding passes, as well as the occasional intrusive and unpleasant feel-up pat-downs by strangers wearing rubber gloves that have been inflicted on air passengers (like me) have been stupid, useless, and as effective at keeping airplanes safe as being checked by a blind marmoset with a divining rod.

Of course, David Brooks wouldn’t call the TSA’s gross failure an example of inexcusable incompetence, lack of oversight and breach of trust a scandal either, because it doesn’t involve sex (well, at least in most of the patdowns)  or criminal acts, and is the responsibility of Barack Obama, whose administration is amazingly scandal-free, so this can’t be a scandal by definition.

I beg to differ. The stunning incompetence and lack of competent management, accountability (watch: nobody will be fired for this) or oversight exemplified by this latest fiasco is an ongoing scandal of the worst kind, one of many, or, if you prefer, just the single, devastating, huge, two-term scandal that is the Barack Obama presidency, the most arrogant and incompetent administration in U.S. history.

8 thoughts on “TSA’s Incompetence: Combining David Brooks’ Scandal-Free Fantasy With United’s Anti-Soda Can Policy For Muslem Passengers

  1. Easy, only took a single Wikipedia search to confirm my suspicion: “The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act … signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001.”
    How could it possibly be an Obama Administration scandal when it’s all Bush’s fault?
    (I am joking, in case it’s not obvious. I assume that classic excuse is still around)

  2. (watch: nobody will be fired for this)

    That was my grim initial reaction. The head of the TSA, turns out, was quickly booted…

    This was certainly political show, rather than an act of integrity, because a truly accountable administration would have NEVER let an agency fail at such an incomprehensibly fundamental level. It is of limited credit that the Inspector General actually thought to test the system’s effectiveness, though far too little and far too late.

    What is frustrating is that blind reforms we be implemented, and/or calls for privatization will be made (I certainly do not remember security contractors EVER betraying public trust). Neither will be effective, because no accountability exists. The body scanners revealed corruption and incompetence, so administration officials will just put on lead vests, and hope the American public is paying as much attention as the agents watching the screens…

    • I saw that, and was surprised. But the Transportation Sec.and Homeland Security head should also be disciplined. And the President, of course, who has no clue what is going on, anywhere.

      • Indeed, when I heard the Homeland Secretary promise sweeping changes, I thought they should start with his office.

  3. They’re supposed to be trained to pick out certain shapes amidst the clutter on the scanners. On the other hand, there’s also a “speed” factor and the reality that these personnel are not exactly the cream of the labor pool. It seems that the TSA is largely based on image over substance.

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