The TSA is a pathetic failure, by Matthew Walther

The TSA is incompetent and wastes millions of hours of travellers’ time each year while making us no safer. By all means, abolish it, and then the entire Department of Homeland Security. From Matthew Walther at

REUTERS/Jason Reed

How bad? According to ABC News, in a series of recent tests in which undercover agents attempted to smuggle guns, knives, bombs, and goodness knows what other contraband materials into the “secure” areas of various airports, the agency failed around 80 percent of the time. Probably bureaucratic flunkies will interpret this as a welcome sign of improvement, as it no doubt is better than the 95 percent rate reported a few years ago. The rest of us are just smiling blandly with our shoes off and our belts draped over our shoulders while our 2-year-olds run away with our half-open laptop cases in the direction of the body-scan machines. Please don’t shoot!

It is worth recalling that, like the so-called Department of Homeland Security under which it operates, the TSA is a relic of the immediate post-9/11 era. By “immediate” I mean that this staggeringly incompetent body to which we have surrendered our freedom of movement and our dignity, physical and metaphysical, was willed into existence as a part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by Congress on Nov. 19, 2001, and signed into law by President Bush that same day.

It is easy to understand why in the aftermath of that tragedy the American people were eager to see something — anything — done. It doesn’t mean that years later the first draft that they scribbled on a piece of loose-leaf note paper with a golf pencil is what we should be going on a decade and a half later. There are lots of things we did during the Bush administration that we don’t do anymore, most of them for the good. For years a prominent feature of network and cable news broadcasts was any statement made by the Homeland Security Advisory System, with its painfully moronic color code. When is the last time you took note of whether your chances of being blown to pieces by a stranger were “blue” or “orange” or, heaven help us, “red”? Banning water bottles and forcing women to put their cosmetic supplies in sandwich bags makes about as much sense in 2017 as listening to the deep cuts on American Idiot or pretending that Jon Stewart is funny.

To continue reading: The TSA is a pathetic failure


4 responses to “The TSA is a pathetic failure, by Matthew Walther

  1. Robert, hope you are well!
    The link to continue reading is broken.


  2. The TSA is a pathetic failure . . .

    Not at all. It is, in fact, a brilliant success – at its true purpose, which has nothing to do with “security” and everything to do with acclimatizing Americans to their status as rightless cattle.

    PS: To continue reading link is broken.


  3. Lisa and ikdr,
    Thanks for the notice on the link. It’s been fixed.


  4. “No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed by the tsa in any capacity whatsoever.”

    RIP, WeaponsMan

    Liked by 1 person

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