764 - The TSA (and Homeland Security) at it again
Thursday, December 31, 2009

After failing to protect Americans yet again, with a team that consists of thousands of people who chose between a fast food job and running an X-Ray machine, the TSA simply takes away more and more basic dignity from travelers. Obviously I was exposed to this coming home today - for example the more swarthy men in line next to me were hand frisked... something that I did not even know was acceptable in the general screening procedure.

Perhaps in that instance it made sense, I would certainly argue for the benefits of profiling people (that is, don't waste your time on a 90 year old or a child.) But when the baby next to me could not have any milk, and was not allowed to be wrapped in a blanket during the last hour before landing, I found that a bit much. Let's make this clear: The TSA screeners allowed 9-11 to happen. They let a few dozen men with knives and one-way tickets paid for in cash to fly without asking any questions of them.

They have made up for lost time, however, and have spent the rest of the decade covering their asses but still not really improving the process at all. Most bags are not checked carefully, or tested for explosives. But as long as people can't bring liquids on the flight anymore (around the same time most flights stopped serving free drinks and food, oddly enough), and as long as we don't keep things on our laps, or use the restrooms, I think things will be OK. Until the next bombing, that is, which may likely come in the form of a hermetically sealed high explosive in a laptop battery. There is simply no ability to detect such a bomb at this point. The X-ray tech. spent less than 1 second per bag today, while her co-workers got pissed off that she wasn't moving fast enough. If you want to feel your confidence fade, just hang around security for a few minutes.

Just in time for 2010, there is a machine that scans your balls for you. Good times.
posted by High Power Rocketry @ Thursday, December 31, 2009  
  • At 12/31/09, 3:47 AM, Blogger Arjan said…

    that last hour thing makes no sense for the majority of the things they prohibit.
    They could just say: you are going to be forced to be bored to death for the last hour of the flight.

    Because of the powder bombing Nigerian on the flight from Amsterdam our politicians are tumbling over each other to be the first to scream out loud how necessary it is to have full-body scanners active.
    Maybe if they listened to the guys dad a bit better..they could have marked him as a person of interest or whatever. Not that the 'bomb' he carried could have actually worked in the way he brought it with him.

    These things somehow make it easy for the government to make rash decissions, even if they turn out to be justified later on..they're taking them without too much discussion.

  • At 12/31/09, 9:31 AM, Blogger R2K said…

    If a parent calls the embassy, that is a bad sign! It should be enough to stop a terrorist.

  • At 1/2/10, 3:11 PM, Blogger thimscool said…


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