The TSA has failed to meaningfully detect dangerous items going through the checkpoint for years. Two years ago their disclosed 95% failure rate seemed shocking and surprising to many but is hardly new, ten years ago they had a 91% failure rate.
The TSA has never caught a terrorist. You can’t argue their mere presence stops terrorist attempts at that level of failure. How exactly are they deterring anything?
TSA Agents in Charlotte Watch News of the TSA’s Failure to Detect Weapons and Bombs, Instead of Searching for Weapons and Bombs (HT: Tocqueville)
TSA is actually harmful, not merely ineffective. TSA lines create easy terrorist targets. The lesson of the Brussels and Istanbul airport attacks is that terrorists attack large groups outside of security. Long – or uncertain – lines also push people to driving over flying which is more dangerous (a phenomenon known as ‘statistical murder’).
And despite a workforce run amok they were given a union making it even harder to hold “the few bad apples” accountable, thus encouraging even more bad apples. Indeed over 20,000 TSA employees have been accused of misconduct, over half multiple times.
We’re lighting billions of dollars on fire each year with a TSA that doesn’t protect us but that does infringe on our right to travel.
The only explanation for why we haven’t had any hijackings in the U.S. is that no one capable of pulling off an attack is actually trying. If they were, they would have succeeded. If they were deterred they would be regularly succeeding with other targets that aren’t guarded by TSA. To be sure there are terrorist threats in the world as there always have been. But in the U.S. they’re isolated and rare.
At the beginning of the week we learned about a TSA program, “Quiet Skies” that follows passengers and notes their habits even though these passengers are on no threat list.
People like you, me, and flights attendants get their own personal air marshals to watch us and report back to the government. (They “receive[..] a file containing a photo and basic information — such as date and place of birth” and they’ll be “taking notes on whether travelers use a phone, go to the bathroom, chat with others, or change clothes.”)
TSA acknowledges that this program hasn’t found a single actual threat. Not a single person being followed was determined to be worth any followup.
The officials said about 5,000 US citizens had been closely monitored since March and none of them were deemed suspicious or merited further scrutiny, according to people with direct knowledge of the Thursday meeting.
Liam Neeson Was an Air Marshal in the 2014 film “Non-Stop”
None of this should be surprising. Five years ago the TSA itself admitted in court documents that were accidentally leaked,
“As of mid-2011, terrorist threat groups present in the Homeland are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports; instead, their focus is on fundraising, recruiting, and propagandizing,” the TSA said.
In addition, the brief states that “the government concedes that it would be difficult to have a repeat of 9/11 due to hardened cockpit doors and the willingness of passengers to challenge hijackers rather than assume a hijacking merely means a diversion to Cuba…
[T]he government admits that there have been no attempted domestic hijackings of any kind in the 12 years since 9/11.”
Let that sink in for a moment. The true threat assessment came out and most people either didn’t notice or forgot. Will anyone pay attention now that we know thousands of people are getting their own armed agents watching them on flights for no reason whatsoever?