TSA Shutdown? Yes, please

Regular readers of this blog know that I absolutely loathe the Transportation Security Administration. It’s a monstrous, unconstitutional abomination that should not exist in any society that considers itself “free.” What’s more, it is demonstratively unable to meet its primary purpose: detecting and intercepting potential threats to travelers.  Perhaps the ongoing “shutdown” of the Feral Government will give Americans — and the TSA Employees themselves — a chance to rethink how ‘essential’ this function really is:.

Nobody wants to work for an employer who holds off on cutting paychecks until a more convenient moment, and that’s just what the federal government is doing during its “shutdown”—a spectacle that almost seems crafted to demonstrate how easy it is to live without the leviathan in Washington, D.C.

Understandably, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees are no more enthusiastic about working when their paychecks are delayed than is anybody else on the planet. That’s why they’ve been calling-in sick in increased numbers—some to seek temporary work elsewhere in order to pay their bills—as the more-theater-than-reality “government shutdown” drags on.

Not that there’s any point to all of that [TSA] groping beyond the purely recreational aspect. Undercover investigators were able to smuggle weapons and explosives past TSA agents 95 percent of the time, according to a 2015 Homeland Security Investigator General report. Maybe that’s because agents are relying on dowsing rods or Spidey sense—they’re certainly not depending on the expensive equipment they make travelers and baggage file through.

“Because TSA does not adequately oversee equipment maintenance, it cannot be assured that routine preventive maintenance is performed or that equipment is repaired and ready for operational use,” The Inspector General office also noted.

“Security theater” is what security expert Bruce Schneier, a lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of government, calls most of what the TSA does. They’re “measures that make us feel safer without improving security… I’ve repeatedly said that the two things that have made flying safer since 9/11 are reinforcing the cockpit doors and persuading passengers that they need to fight back. Everything beyond that isn’t worth it.”

But, isn’t this an opportunity for us all? Given that the world is a better place when TSA employees and other government minions don’t do their jobs, and some are already seeking alternative employment, what a great opportunity to shut down their agencies, shrink the government, and make everybody’s lives a little better!

If it isn’t worth it, why pay for it?

Especially when the cost is measured in civil liberty as much as it is in dollars. It’s long past time we reevaluate just how “essential” large parts of the Feral Government really are. We pay for more government than we should want, and yet get less return on those payments than we need.  As for the “shutdown,” let’s keep a little perspective:

shutddown

On fakery, official and non

Apparently, traditional Americans are so evil that their enemies have to do some of the dirty work for them:

Mississippi authorities have made an arrest in the burning of an African-American church spray-painted with the words, “Vote Trump.”

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, who is African-American, is charged with first-degree arson of a place of worship.

Meanwhile:

(Adam) Saleh’s video of the incident went viral Wednesday, along with his claim that he was kicked (off a Delta flight) “because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone.” Shortly afterwards, however, others pointed out that Saleh had a history of making videos about fake anti-Muslim racial profiling incidents and prank videos about planes in particular…

There sure seem to be a lot of these self-inflicted incidents.  One could conclude these people suffer from serious mental derangement in their efforts to paint certain other people as allegedly dangerous.  When you have to burn your own church or spray paint threatening messages on your own buildings, or inflict injuries on yourself in order to accuse others of misconduct, it’s time to reassess your view of the world.  That would require rational behavior, though.

Speaking of rational behavior, it seems it also is sorely lacking in some of the various Western governments’ security departments:

A string of security blunders left a failed Tunisian asylum seeker free to carry out the Berlin Christmas market massacre, it is feared.

German security services face difficult questions after it emerged that Amris, a lifelong criminal, should have been deported months ago

He had been arrested three times this year and his asylum application was rejected, but deportation papers were never served and he disappeared.

The Tunisian radical was known to be a supporter of Islamic State and to have received weapons training.

If you read the full article, you’ll find a tale of massive bureaucratic inertia that resulted in more deaths from jihad.  Hint to the German authorities: when people begin comparing your competence to the fakery and security theater that is the U.S. Transportation Security Agency or ‘border control,’ you’re not being complimented!

So our enemies pretend we’re more hateful than we actually are, and we keep pretending we’re doing something effective to meet their threat.   Sounds like everyone needs a reality check.  These are not the right times for security agencies to be acting like Keystone Cops.

Where was TSA?

For over a dozen years, Americans have allowed themselves to be poked, prodded, embarrassed, X-rayed, and robbed by what is perhaps one of the most obnoxious agencies in the history of the United States: the Transportation Security Administration.  Not content with ‘manning the barricades’ at airports, TSA, like every organization, has followed the bureaucratic mandate of growth, deploying “VIPR” teams inside the country to harass those Americans willing to forego air travel to avoid the cretins.

Yet despite all this seemingly impressive security theater, TSA never has really solved the issue it was intended to address (…but what else is new with government, where actually fixing something puts you out of work!).  As I’ve said on this site before, the front line security is pointless (other than for conditioning a servile attitude in the public) when there are so many other points of entry not nearly so well attended.  The TSA treats the average paying passenger as the most likely threat…

…instead of 16-year-olds sneaking onto runways and climbing into wheel wells right before takeoff:

“It appears that this teenager scaled a section of our perimeter,” Mineta San Jose International Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes told CNN. The boy “was able to proceed onto our ramp under cover of darkness and enter the wheel well of an aircraft.” …

Surveillance camera footage shows the boy hopping the fence at the San Jose airport, the FBI said. There’s also camera footage of him walking across the ramp in San Jose toward the Hawaiian aircraft, the airport said.

Video “is under review by federal and local law enforcement officials here,” Barnes said. “And we’ll continue to review that to determine where, in fact, the teenager was able to scale the fence line.”

That’s not the most important thing to determine.  Nor should the focus be on the fact the boy survived a trip that should have killed him, interesting as that is.

No, the most important thing to ask is that why, if there is footage of his entry to the aircraft, nobody in security noticed the action at the time or prevented the aircraft from taking off!  What if, instead of a 16-year old runaway, this had been a would-be suicide bomber?  We would now be asking what happened to a Hawaiian Airlines flight over the Pacific, and would be having a devil of a time trying to figure it out.

Isn’t this the exact type of scenario TSA is supposed to prevent?  What is the point of shaking down every wheelchair-bound grandmother at the public entrances to the airport, if your ‘secure areas’ are anything but?  Seems to me the resources are weighted toward the wrong threat vectors!

Some say the current administration is ‘the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people.’  Personally, I think TSA gives it a good run for the title.  I seriously doubt there will be any accountability for this.  Whomever was supposed to be paying attention to the camera feeds that night will continue to draw a paycheck from Uncle Sam.  At most, they might be ‘reassigned’ to give the appearance of propriety, but that will be the extent of it.

And who knows, maybe it’s considered a good career move (and more fun) to be taken off camera feeds and placed at the gate, where you can exercise your au-thor-ah-TIE on the American sheeple.  It’s long past time those sheeple ask why, if the uber-presence of surveillance and ‘security’ can’t prevent a teenager from climbing onto a jumbo jet, just WHAT is it really there for?  Caution: the answers to that question may require confronting reality.