TSA: Protecting You from Terrorists Five Percent of the Time

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) was established shortly after the 9/11 attacks to provide better airplane security. At least that’s the official story. So far the TSA has proven to be incredibly incompetent at its job. Wannabe terrorists have managed to get explosives on board airplanes by hiding them in underwear and shoes. Fortunately the bombs failed to go off but not because of anything the TSA did. However even I never expected a failure rate this absurdly high:

A recent internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security has found security failures at dozens of the nations’ busiest airports—breaches that allowed undercover investigators to smuggle weapons, fake explosives and other contraband through numerous checkpoints.

In one case, an alarm sounded, but even during a pat down, the screening officer failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to an undercover agent’s back. In all, so-called “Red Teams” of Homeland Security agents posing as passengers were able get weapons past Transportation Security Administration agents in 67 out of 70 tests — a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials.

A 95 percent failure rage? From a glass is half full perspective I guess the TSA will protect us from an average of five percent of terrorist attacks though!

Only a government agency could demonstrate this level of incompetence and still exist. Failing to fulfill your mandate 95 percent of the time requires shielding from liability that only the state can offer. Imagine hiring a private security guard who only stopped five percent of shoplifters. You’d toss his ass out in a second and maybe hire an investigator to see whether that guard was colluding with the shoplifters since that level of failure almost necessitates him being in on the scam.

The big question is what will come of this. My prediction is a whole lot of nothing. A few senators will use the investigation’s findings to do a big of grandstanding, the higher echelons of the TSA will get shuffled around a bit, and nothing noteworthy will change. I’m sure there will be several congressional grillings of high level TSA officials where we’ll hear excuses about lack of funding, inability to force people to go through body scanners (I’m sure the TSA would love to eliminate opt-outs), and agents not having full enforcement powers (TSA agents can’t arrest you and this really pisses many of them off). The congress critters doing the grillings will likely yell loudly, make some snide remarks, and little else. Air travelers will likely find themselves subjected to more draconian police state nonsense in the name of safety.

On the upside if you want to carry a firearm on board to protect yourself there’s a 95 percent chance you won’t get caught. Every storm cloud has its silver lining, I guess.

One thought on “TSA: Protecting You from Terrorists Five Percent of the Time”

  1. Look on the bright side: this proves that 5% of our money isn’t wasted. Not bad for government work.

Comments are closed.