TSA: Dumb as Ever

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

So in response to the attempted terror attack over Christmas, TSA will apparently adopt a new policy prohibiting passengers from moving during the last hour of a flight. Also, no pillows or blankets during that last hour.

In addition to keeping with its usually tradition of making policy on a reactionary basis, this one wouldn’t even have done anything to prevent the attempt over the weekend. The guy was in his seat when he tried to light the explosive device. And the passenger who confronted him got out of his seat to do it.

Also, if the goal was to bring the plane down from the air, why add restrictions for the last hour of the flight?

Seems to me that what this, Flight 93, and the Richard Reid incident have shown us is that the best line of defense against airplane-based terrorism is us. Alert, aware, informed passengers.

TSA, on the other hand, equates hassle with safety. For all the crap they put us through, this guy still got some sort of explosive material on the plane from Amsterdam. He was stopped by law-abiding passengers. So TSA responds to all of this by . . . announcing plans to hassle law-abiding U.S. passengers even more.

If you’re really cynical, you could make a good argument that they’re really only interested in the appearance of safety. They’ve simply concluded that the more difficult they make your flight, the safer you’ll feel. Never mind if any of the theatrics actually work.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

110 Responses to “TSA: Dumb as Ever”

  1. #1 |  Brent | 

    What we need to do is improve the system to reduce the likelyhood that someone like the shoe/underwear bomber doesn’t even show up to the airport, much less the airplane. This guy was on a terrorist watch list but yet still had a visa to enter the country. How hard is it to create a filter to automatically reject people who are on the terrorist watch list?

    I can’t think of a reason so important that we let the fact that someone is a suspected terrorist slide and let him come into the country. If they really do need to enter the country then I have no problem with them needing to jump through a few bureaucratic hoops to get a visa and agreeing to extra, extra security checks (the type where the nice lady puts on the latex gloves). 99.9999% of travelers are not on a terrorist watch list so why do we need to go through all this extra security when the governments of the world could be doing so much more to ensure that a terrorist doesn’t even make it to the airport?

  2. #2 |  Tut | 

    The only way for the TSA’s to do there job is to profile. It is not that difficult. There is a need to check and recheck all people of middle eastern decent and people that look like it. I have had it with political correctness.

  3. #3 |  Whim | 

    Radley is exactly correct. The TSA wants travelers to FEEL safer.

    Not BE safer.

    The passengers are the key, of course. Due to the extremely close quarters on a passenger airliner, a terrorist sitting next to even a semi-alert fellow passenger isn’t going to get away with ANYTHING.

    And, the terrorists are severely outnumbered, and in a several passengers vs. ONE terrorist fight, the terrorist is severely outmatched.

  4. #4 |  If the terrorists don’t kill off the airlines, the TSA will « Quotulatiousness | 

    […] Radley Balko joins the chorus of protests about the latest set of how-stupid-can-you-get “security” rules from the TSA: […]

  5. #5 |  sebastian | 

    I just got back from the airport. It was awful. I flew CVG-ORD-LGA yesterday and JFK-SFO today and I was searched and searched. I was treated like a criminal. I am latin american but I have a beard when I’m on vacation so it makes me look middle eastern. A passenger this morning said I looked suspicious so I got doubly searched and interviewed and they didn’t care that I was an airline pilot. I am not kidding. It was demeaning.

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    TSA Going After Bloggers Who Wrote About Directive to Increase Security After Terror Incident

    The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.

    Typical government strategy. It’s always easier to target the innocent. They’ll get back to chasing the terrorists as soon as they’re done harassing ordinary citizens. Of course, had they been doing their jobs to begin with, there would never have been a need for the new directive…

  7. #7 |  Kat | 

    “If you’re really cynical, you could make a good argument that they’re really only interested in the appearance of safety. They’ve simply concluded that the more difficult they make your flight, the safer you’ll feel. Never mind if any of the theatrics actually work.”

    It’s hardly cynical to think this. Given the reactionary and counter-intuitive nature of pretty much all of the TSA’s restrictions, it strikes me as the only logical conclusion!

  8. #8 |  Gordon | 

    Actually, if you are REALLY cynical, you might think that they don’t have a plan at all, other than knee-jerk reacting. Oh, wait, they’re civil servants, doesn’t that go without saying?

  9. #9 |  … and don’t make any sudden moves | 

    […] fly has increased steadily with each new regulation requiring the violation of personal space, but this one really takes the biscuit. “…during the final hour of flight passengers must remain […]

  10. #10 |  Mills | 

    The TSA are stupid thugs, nothing more. They must be beaten down as they deserve. Wake up America! Of course their new child molesting policies are just part of their huge power trip, nothing more. The government wants to show you sheep who is boss. That is exactly why we have the 2nd amendment. Perhaps soon we will use it! We need to copy the Israelis and do airport security with discrimination. Leave the innocent children alone, stop fondling the genitals and breasts of innocent American women, or face the wrath of true Americans. F**k the TSA and all who support them.