President Obama, It’s Time To Fire the TSA

My favorite part of the new TSA regulations is that you can’t have anything in your lap during the last hour of the flight. There’s no way a terrorist would ever think about blowing up a plane at any point before descent.

From Gizmodo:

Today, DHS’s Napolitano’s response to the crotchbomber: “We’re looking to make sure that this sort of incident cannot recur.” But the TSA’s response to Abdulmutalib’s attempt makes one thing clear: We must stop pretending the TSA is making us safer.

Security expert Bruce Schneier nails the core incompetency: “For years I’ve been saying ‘Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.’”

So what has the TSA done in response to the attempted attack? They’ve told airlines to make passengers stay in their seats during the last hour of flight. They’ve made it verboten for passengers to hold anything in their laps, again only during the last hour of flight. Perhaps most hilariously telling, they’ve forbidden pilots from announcing when a plane is flying over certain cities and landmarks.

There is no other way to interpret it: The TSA is saying clearly that they can’t prevent terrorists from getting explosives on airplanes, but by god, they’ll make sure those planes only explode when the TSA says it’s okay.

Comments

18 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Clairedammit,

    I agree that all of this security theater is stupid, but, in the TSA’s defense, this applies to flights originating overseas, so presumably they’d only be over the U.S. in the last hour or less. Also, the TSA is a US agency, so, yeah, they can’t prevent a terrorist from getting on a plane with an explosive device in another country.

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  2. Dave,

    I agree Chris, these new TSA regs are stupid. The Bush Doctrine is starting to make sense now: Rid the world of the terrorist formenting countries. When you think about it, it’s the only long-term solution unless you think everybody should just submit to crotch inspections by the TSA.

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  3. Nathan,

    I would not shed a single bloody tear if the TSA were to be disbanded tomorrow morning. Of course, that won’t happen – there’s too much money to be spread around by people in power – but still, I would LOVE to interview someone for a position at my company with TSA in their resume. I’d ask them all stupid questions like those they ask the general public. Why do I need so much toothpaste for a two day trip? Because it’s easier to buy four bleedin’ ounces of toothpaste than it is to buy 2, you nitwit!

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  4. Sue Dunham,

    It’s all theater anyway. Any cop will tell you that if you’re not cupping balls and feeling under breasts, you haven’t done a thorough search.
    Besides, how easy is it to bribe an airport worker to bring something to the depature area?

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  5. Mike K,

    If I were a terrorist I’d just get a job at one of the shops or restaurants that are past the security checkpoint area and smuggle a bomb in that way. I wonder how closely the deliveries to those business are monitored. As many as they get per day, I’m guessing not very.

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  6. Erin,

    I used to work for an airline and had to deal with TSA on a daily basis. I can confirm that a vast majority of TSA agenst are completely incompetent. And most of them are on a crazy power trip. It was always amazing to see the way they hassled our pilots but let passengers through with no problem. As one of my first officers pointed out, if he really wanted to sabotage the plane, he’d crash it with his own two hands, not with anything in the bottom of his flight bag, which they constantly insisted on tearing apart.

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  7. CHip,

    How much longer before we just make everyone arrive at the airport nekkid? You show up eight hours early for your two hour flight, hand over ALL of your bags to the nice men with the tasers, strip butt-nekkid and go through the security checkpoint, and hope they don’t loose your clothes when you get to the other end so you can dress again.

    It would be just about as effective as what they are doing now, and it might encourage a few more people to fly.

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  8. I don’t fly well, haven’t for about 20 years now.

    TSA makes it easy for me. Now I just don’t fly.

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  9. CHip,

    Talking with a few people around the water cooler, we came up with two interesting ideas….

    The nude flying thing…. Militant Islamics have a thing against nudity so the flying nude thing really would make for an entertaining deterent.

    Or, plan B…. since the TSA is obviously very reactionary in their security planning, lets start putting all over the internets very random and very wacky methods of taking down planes. Things like filing balloons with rabid badgers so that the TSA will ban any balloon like devices. Or filling olives with explosives so they will ban all martini’s from airport lounges. The more random, but slightly believable, things we can come up the more entertaining we can make the puppet theater that is TSA.

    Didn’t I read somewhere that chocolate bunnies can be set on fire with a high-explosion possibility?

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  10. droth,

    > Rid the world of the terrorist formenting countries

    I agree. Until the root cause is addressed, that is, our government’s actions and policies in foreign lands, we will have to live with such threats.

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  11. Randy,

    About 5 years ago, Bob Dyer, a writer for my local paper, The Akron Beacon Journal had to fly cross country for a story he was working on. This flight was his first experience flying in First Class. Dyer pointed out on of the many absurdities of TSA regulations in the post 9/11 era. Mr. Dyer and his fellow first class passengers were served a very nice in flight meal. This meal was served on a heavy ceramic dinner plate, and his beverage was served in a long stemmed, glass wine goblet. The plastic cutlery he was given by the flight attendant was quite incongruent with the fancy cloth napkin it was wrapped in, as well as being incongruent with the way the rest of the meal was presented. When he asked the flight attendant for a real knife, so that he might better cut up his meat, the flight attendant informed him that metal cutlery was not allowed on board, due to safety reasons, namely that a passenger might use them as weapons. Dyer pointed out that a broken wine glass, or even a broken ceramic dinner plate would also make suitable make-shift weapons, but the anti-silverware regualtions (especially the anti-knife rules) made people feel better. Dyer insisted that most of these TSA regulations are illogical timewasters that have been put in place to placate people. I tend to agree.

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  12. lucy (formerly -l),

    Allow me to advertise quickly. I moved to Philadelphia not long ago, and I take the AMTRAK train home when I want to see my family. I have now taken 3 two-way AMTRAK trips, and I proselytize for the train.
    There are no shoe removals or x-rays to board the train, nor limit on liquids. I can take up to 3-5 carry-on bags, all of which are much larger than carry-ons allowed on airplanes. There is plenty of leg room in the coach seats, the tickets are cheaper, the train stops closer to my hometown than the nearest airport (there are many more stops on the train), and the scenery is often quite nice. The only draw back of course is that the AMTRAK takes much longer than an airplane to get to its destination. But there are outlets to charge your laptop, so I get plenty of work done during the ride.
    But really the best part is that I arrive at the train station 30 minutes before my train is to depart, no one searches me or my bags, and I carry as much toothpaste as I damn well please

    PS the name change from -l to lucy is because of several complaints from people responding to my post. I only mention it so you know I am not just a sock-puppet if I repeat a story by accident

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  13. Max,

    I’m hearing a lot of problems but no solutions, people.

    Either shit or get off the pot.

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    • Here is the solution – get rid of the TSAholes. They have proven they are incompetent. Make policy changes to address the reason WHY people attach us – stop the wars, get military out of Saudi Arabia, make Israel get out of occupied west bank, convene interfaith summit with muslim, jewish and christian leaders to show common cause, fund education and health.

      for a start.

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  14. What yragentman said. And close Gitmo and stop bombing civilians.

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  15. This 75 year old Pro Iraq War Agnostic Atheist Activist, former manager in top 500 corporations and a Vet sez:

    Man, do some really illogical and totally STUPID “A” holes post here.

    Look CHILDREN, the Moslem Fanatics were blowing us up and killing us FOR MANY YEARS before we Kicked Iraq out of Kuwait much less began to LIBERATE the Iraqi people during our FULLY JUSTIFIED and NECESSARY War in Iraq!

    We could pull every American out of every other country in the entire world and the Moslem Fanatics would still be trying to kill and injure as many of us as they can

    So try getting your heard out of your ass!

    And CLUELESS, while we do as much as we can to ELIMINATE non-combatant injuries and deaths, those we are fighting INTENTIONALLY injure and kill as many totally innocent people as they can!

    Idiots like you make me want to puke!

    I would love to be able to gather up all of you retards and deposit your clueless asses in the Taliban / Al Quada controlled areas of the world. You would be very soon BEGGING for those of us who put our lives on the line so the mentally challenged like you can spout your drivel in freedom to come save you sorry asses!

    Last Children, IF you have really great genes and you are REAL lucky, you may not only live as long as I have, you might be in shape to still be playing two person beach volleyball as I am.

    Neil C. Reinhardt

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    • Look, POPS, unless you can produce proof that we found the WMD’s that were such a threat to the United States (we didn’t), or that Saddam Hussein had any connection to Osama bin Laden and/or 9/11 (he didn’t, and most sources agree that they despised each other), then all the Iraq war managed to accomplish was to pull resources away from the ACTUAL hunt for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Good soldiers’ lives were thrown away in pursuit of the vindication of the petty egos of old men.

      Now fuck off and go back to watching your Bill O’Reilly, grandpa.

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  16. Max,

    As far as air travel security, I doubt we will ever be able to cover it sufficiently to assure there will never be a successful
    attack. That said, we should not only be putting in the full body scanners, we should also be doing all the things the Israeli’s do to protect their airline.

    And while there are others, I shall suggest ONE thing we should be doing NOW.

    It is to use every media resource we can to educate the Moslems as too who the true enemy is. The American, British and other Moslems who have gone to join the Taliban and/or Al Quada have done so to fight against those who are killing Moslems.

    They should be educated to know the facts those fighting the terrorists only kill, either intentionally or by accident, LESS than FIVE percent of all the Moslems killed! (It actually around 2%)

    It should be made abundantly clear to them those who are killing over 95% of all Moslems are the Taliban, Al Quada and others of their ilk! So if they really want to go fight against those killing innocent Moslem they should join their counties military and security forces.

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