Security theatre at its finest:

The TSA spent about $1.3 million of our money to have a few gripe sessions and find out why people no longer like to fly. Not suprisingly, their room-temperature-IQ, power-tripping employees were high on the list of gripes.

Personally, I’ve only had a couple of bad experiences with the TSA. Once, I was wanded for several minutes until the guy finally found what had set off the metal detector – there was a dime in my pocket. On another occaision, a very obese and smelly male screener took a particularly intense interest in the undergarments my wife had packed into her carryon bag. I was lucky that calling him out to his supervisor didn’t get me the special rubber-glove-no-lube treatment.

The TSA and PATRIOT Act (thrown in for good measure) are nothing but expensive security theatre designed to make us all think we’re safe, when in reality the people in charge of protecting us have no idea what they’re doing. Obama could score some huge points with civil libertarians and people with common sense alike by dissolving the TSA and getting the PATRIOT Act repealed. This country would be better for it.

7 thoughts on “The TSA has a PR department?”
  1. I’ve been pretty lucky as well, but an ex-girlfriend always got the extra check at security. Apparently TSA doesn’t like people of Pakistani descent. I remember overhearing one TSA agent say to another something about only checking her b/c of the way she looked.

  2. I recall one incident with TSA that I found a little perturbing. Well two actually if you count the time they banged around my laptop. I was in the Oklahoma City airport. Being as close as they are to an Air Force and Army base, you’d think they would have a clue. But, at least this one time, they did not. A young girl, maybe 20, was in front of me getting ready to be screened. Her mother and father were with her, not as passengers, just going thru with her as she was headed for Iraq. Her parents apparently got permission to go to the gate with her somehow. This young lady, in desert fatigues, and orders in her hand, was told to step aside because she was setting off the metal detector. As I was across from her putting on my shoes she still was setting off the hand wand. I decided to sit and watch this fiasco. The young lady was nearly in tears before the TSA let her through. Her parents were infuriated. Can you blame them?

    And one other time. Last year when my wife entrusted me to pack my own carry-on for our vacation I had a 5 oz. tube of toothpaste pulled out of my quart size liquids bag. They said if I wanted I could rush back down to checkin and try to get it in my checked luggage. I thought, this is good enough for my checked luggage, but not my carry-on? Go figure. I said, keep it. I’ve heard they changes this liquids thing from three ounces to something else. Anybody know?

  3. I actually had a TSA screener cover for me once. When we were travelling back from Mexico, I had forgotten the pack of smokes in my shorts pocket. My parents and kid had no idea that I still smoked on occasion(I know, real mature), but they were about to find out because the tin foil in the pack was setting off the wand. The boy was all concerned that I was being pulled over for the frisking, and I whispered to the TSA guy that I didn’t want him to see the cigs. So when he reached in my pocket, he just palmed the pack and said it must have been a false alert, and I was free to go. Other than that I’ve never had any incidents.

    One of my favorite travel moments ever was going through customs into Mexico at the Cancun airport. You queue into a big line with your group, carrying all of your luggage. Right before you exit to the free world, there is a big red button that only one person in your group pushes, and if the light goes red, your entire group gets their luggage hand searched. It is completely random and a little nerve racking. Especially since there are guys with machine guns everywhere watching the process.

  4. WP – I’ve been wanded twice at the OKC airport. The machines there seem to be ultra sensitive. The guy in front of me had a gum wrapper in his pocket and it set off the machine.
    TSA= Tards Standing Around. They serve no purpose except to make idiots feel safer. Hypothetically, if one was a terrorist who wanted to kill or injure the greatest amount of people possible, wouldn’t one opt to blow up the security line instead of tring to board a plane? People are all lined up like cattle and nobody’s been checked yet.

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