I know that this statement will draw a lot of criticism, but I really believe that at the current point the TSA
is doing more to help terrorists in general to achieve their objectives than they do to prevent single attacks. Keep in mind that what terrorists want is to force Americans and others alike to live in fear, give up their freedom and never feel safe anywhere. And the TSA
certainly does a good job in taking people's freedom and also confidence.
There was an article in the New York Times today under
which tells me that I am not the only one who is worried about this issue. I won't even talk about CAPPS II
, the screening system that would allow the TSA
to access personal information such as credit reports and even medical records of future passengers in violation of privacy rights and to also deny boarding to anyone at any time without ever telling you the reason (could be something as little as a misspelled name or a mistyped birth date in any of your records). But even security procedures at airports alone have significantly reduced passenger rights. It is unacceptable that at so many airports passengers are forced to take off their shoes and walk through metal detectors on socks or barefooted, nicely spreading germs all over the place and catching who knows how many others. Also at most locations seating is not provided for people needing to sit down to take off their shoes.
Baggage screening is another point. Under property rights nobody can open your bags unless there is an imminent danger or you are present to supervise the inspection after you have agreed to it. Yet the TSA
simply violates these rights. Passengers aren't even allowed to lock their bags any more or the locks will be destroyed by the TSA
. Also in some locations inspections are performed and passengers are not allowed to be present.
Here's another violation of the United States Constitution: The TSA
, together with the DHS is planning to not only have US citizenship as a requirement for screeners, but also for everybody employed within the secure area. That includes stores like WHSmith or MCDonald's.
Also, why don't they allow non-passengers beyond security controls any more? Is somebody without a boarding pass more likely to get a gun beyond security than somebody with a boarding pass? Plus, if I were planning to hijack a plane, wouldn't I have a boarding pass anyway??? It couldn't be to reduce waiting at the checkpoints, because often enough there is no line there at all. If there are long lines then a passengers-only rule makes sense and has been in place in several airports before 2001. But if there is no waiting - what's the point?
These are just a few of the things that have very significantly reduced American's freedom at airports. There are several more. I just wish that somebody would stop those people, because while I am not at all afraid of terror attacks, I am "afraid" of the TSA
every time I fly. "What new nonsense may they have come up with now?" is what I always think before I fly. And their measures don't make any sense if I tell you what I recently came across in Minneapolis: Outside a store in the green concourse there was a cart with several magazines and on top there was a bunch of plastic-wrapped Readers Digests. On top of those somebody had left a large paper cutter, which was obviously needed to unpack the magazines. But there was nobody guarding the cart and the knife was there for anybody to help themselves. What a nice security this is. And there are sufficient other loopholes, which I don't want to expose here as I do not want to give any terrorists any ideas.
My plea to the TSA
and everybody else in the aviation security business is: PLEASE make flying fun again. Give freedom back to people. That would help the airline economy too.