TSA Goes Full On ‘A Few Good Men’ at Airport ID Check Station

In A Few Good Men Lieutenant Sam Weinberg (played by Kevin Pollak) asks Demi Moore why she likes the marines they’re defending so much. She replies, ‘Cause they stand on a wall, and they say “Nothing’s gonna hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.”

In the film two marines were charged with the death of a fellow soldier after providing physical discipline, ultimately it comes out under the orders of superior officers. They were stationed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.

Now, the US has provided rather contentious security on new commercial flights to Cuba. And the TSA sees themselves as standing on that wall — although probably as the weasely Kiefer Sutherland character Second Lieutenant Jonathan Kendrick.

Yet they do seem to forget, because the TSA has a 95% failure rate detecting dangerous items through the checkpoint, it was a 91% rate a decade ago, over 20,000 TSA employees have been accused of misconduct (about half of them multiple times), screeners have manipulated the process to fondle attractive passengers and don’t have a very good track record when responding to a crisis.

But the next time you show up at the airport and hand over your drivers license to the document checker, they may just be working on their best Jack Nicholson impression.

(HT: Scott G.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Your TSA criticisms make some sense, Gary.

    But what do you think TSA and the U.S. Government should be doing instead?

  2. @steve what should TSA do, simply follow their policy and they do not. TSA has Pre-Check but not all airports have a pre-check line (in a major market airport.) why not be a little friendlier to the passengers, last time I went through Atlanta, the TSA agent was acting like a dictator. It’s known within the TSA that they have problems but they allow it to continue.

  3. Yes because that is just what people want to be reminded of right before they board a plane. 9/11. Idiots.

  4. Marines is always capitalized. It’s a title, not just a common noun. I know it’s not a travel-related comment, but just thought I’d play grammarian.

  5. @AdamR – I disagree. You won’t do the same for sailors, soldiers, or airmen. Marines don’t get to have a special upper-case name.

  6. Until the TSA stops employing cauliflours and cabbages to do human work requiring at least average intelligence, nothing will change.
    If the US over the years hadn’t made so many enemies all over the world the desired, but unachieved, levels of security wouldn’t be necessary. However, nothing will change in our lifetimes. The genie cannot be stuffed back in the bottle regrettably.

  7. Go to YouTube and search the 1-minute clip “Family Guy – Meg Works at the Airport” [as a TSA agent], it’s spot-on sad/funny.

  8. I worked a few months for TSA at MCO.
    They have one week training, very strict put on by an outside agency. After that it’s field training.
    Plenty of different people…. some were very mean and authoritative, some are lazy and most just go through the motions.
    They assign teams to lanes, you rotate from Xray, scanner and person at the walk through. Many on xray are paranoid and yell for a bag check. Others let the machine just roll everything through. Supervision is army like, management are butt kissers who think they are important.

    At MCO, during holidays hundreds of thousands go through this airport from all over the world. The incredible hassle from some people too dumb to fly or those passengers that are snide and nasty, the job sucked.

    However a lot of the chosen few employees basically do anything they want all shift. The person sitting there to prevent people going back to the airport gates is a boring job.

    They are paid reasonably well and benefits are excellent. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    What else sucked? Off site parking you had to PAY for and shuttle to and from wastes a lot of uncompensated time.

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