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Flighty
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"Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:05 am

Nothing terribly surprising...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/c...we_re_bunch_OhxHeGd0RR9UVGzfypjnLO

Article has no attributed author. But still, those of you who have worked at airports... honestly, this article rings pretty true.

Basically it says the TSA agents mostly know they are part of a futile and meaningless charade. The few that don't are "delusional." Seems fair.

[Edited 2013-03-10 20:06:17]
 
blueflyer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:52 am

The problem is that, like or dislike the TSA, I don't see much of a way around it.

Even if we go back to private security contractors, we need a strong and large federal government agency to set and enforce standards through frequent testing so security doesn't become again what it was pre 9/11, an after-thought in a race to the bottom to be the lowest cost supplier.

We could create a new agency from scratch but what would become of the old TSA?

Government agencies and private foundations have one thing in common. They hate to admit they are no longer necessary. If the raison d'etre that led to their creation is no longer present, they find some other purpose to justify their existence, they do not disappear.

On the other hand, I think reforming the TSA to take over that role of setting and enforcing private sector standards would take far longer and be much less effective than setting up a new agency from scratch, so what to do?

Perhaps we could try what few other countries do for their civil servants, but the ones doing it find it very effective. Set up a new government agency tasked with setting and enforcing standards on other government agencies, with the power to sanction, up to termination, ineffective civil servants at all levels.

If TSA managers, front line and higher ups, knew their job is on the line, I think we'd have a more effective and yet more customer-friendly security apparatus.

The problem becomes money. Civil servants who know their continued employment depends on their job performance expect to be paid accordingly, especially if and when they turn in stellar performance.

After all, it is an indisputable fact that the countries with the highest satisfaction in their civil servants as a whole are the ones where said servants are among the highest paid... Money talks.

Although to be fair, we may not see that much of a difference. We would have better paid screeners, but less of them since we wouldn't need the overtime and extra staff to cover for absenteeism and high turnover.

[Edited 2013-03-10 22:12:52]
 
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shamrock604
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:04 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
After all, it is an indisputable fact that the countries with the highest satisfaction in their civil servants as a whole are the ones where said servants are the highest paid... Money talks.

Really? Ours are about the best paid in Europe and I cant say our opinion of them is really all that high!
 
blueflyer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:09 am

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 3):
Ours are about the best paid in Europe and I cant say our opinion of them is really all that high!

For clarity: Not all the highest paid civil servants are the best, but the best civil servants are among the highest paid.

[Edited 2013-03-10 22:11:28]
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:13 am

I have a cousin who worked for TSA. He quit because of the mismanagement issues we all knew were there. I like the part of the article where it states every TSA scandal you ever read about is because the screener was told to do their job that way. I believe that since in the private sector when I was younger I'd gotten a few beyond incompetent ex bosses in trouble for doing my job exactly the way they told me to do it. I found it was easier then to do my job by employing Siquorney Weaver's attitude in Galaxy Quest, "I've got one job to do on this ship. It's STUPID! but I'm going to do it." That's kind of what you have to do with someone in charge of you when they were promoted beyond their abilities until you quit. I'd pretty much have to quit if I was working for TSA. It would be to much like that episode of the Simpsons where Marge became a cop and the Chief chastised her for her performance on the gun range, "Didn't shoot the old man. Didn't shoot the woman. Didn't shoot the baby." I'm sure they lose a lot of good people because of the beyond stupid approach the agency employs. It's not a bad thing to want the job because you believe you are keeping people safe but like the article says if you feverently believe you are doing that by taking away snow globes and toothpaste something is wrong.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:50 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
Even if we go back to private security contractors, we need a strong and large federal government agency to set and enforce standards through frequent testing so security doesn't become again what it was pre 9/11, an after-thought in a race to the bottom to be the lowest cost supplier.

But 9/11 did not happen because of security holes. 9/11 was an intelligence failure. There were plenty of signs it was going to happen. Internal bureaucratic issues both technical and cultural kept it from being thwarted.

The hijackers brought NOTHING aboard those aircraft that wasn't permitted. In fact, in all of aviation history, I am not aware of a single incident in which security has thwarted a terrorist attempt. The security is a (low) stumbling block.
-Doc Lightning-

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Mir
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:12 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
In fact, in all of aviation history, I am not aware of a single incident in which security has thwarted a terrorist attempt.

That's a difficult thing to prove, since we obviously don't hear about the incidents that don't happen.

-Mir
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LH707330
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:44 am

We know though that in addition to the intelligence failures, the US knew about the idea of using hijacked airliners as weapons, but they avoided tightening the regulations because people didn't ant to pay for it. I highly recommend the book "Unsafe at any Altitude," It's highly informative.
 
flightsimer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:47 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):

If there was a terrorist attack in progress that was stopped by security at the airport, I would bet we would be hearing all about it, even prior to 9-11, not the opposite.
Commercial / Airline Pilot
 
winstonlegthigh
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:53 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):
That's a difficult thing to prove, since we obviously don't hear about the incidents that don't happen.

-Mir

It seems like every other week I read about someone trying to bring a gun aboard. Granted, most of the time it seems to be done without malicious intent, and the excuse is always "I forgot", but it does trickle it's way into the news.

Based on the public's perception of TSA, I would imagine that any success they have would be loudly trumpeted from the highest mountaintop in the land, purely to justify their existence, and to chip away at the aformentioned negative perception the agency has among anyone who uses airports.

But I do agree, there *are* probably *some* instances that we don't hear about.

[Edited 2013-03-10 23:54:58]
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AeroWesty
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:57 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):
That's a difficult thing to prove, since we obviously don't hear about the incidents that don't happen.

What's easy to prove, though, is that we no longer have the relentless hijackings to Cuba. It just isn't as easy these days to walk onboard an aircraft and take it over as it used to be.
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Eagleboy
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:29 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
But 9/11 did not happen because of security holes. 9/11 was an intelligence failure. There were plenty of signs it was going to happen. Internal bureaucratic issues both technical and cultural kept it from being thwarted.............The hijackers brought NOTHING aboard those aircraft that wasn't permitted..........The security is a (low) stumbling block.

Spot on this guy. Upping security wouldn't have stopped the 9/11 hijackers. Box-cutters were allowed, (we call them knives in Europe and they were not permitted onboard here) even if they didn't have then they would have found a weapon once airside.
 
0newair0
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:19 am

Quoting flightsimer (Reply 9):
If there was a terrorist attack in progress that was stopped by security at the airport, I would bet we would be hearing all about it, even prior to 9-11, not the opposite.

I doubt this. While it would be nice to hear about some "big stop" on the news it's probably not going to happen. A (suspected) terrorist is arrested prosecuted, and convicted almost every other day in the U.S. ...Don't hear about that on the nightly news, do you?
That's not how this works! That's not how any of this works!
 
crosswinds21
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:22 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
In fact, in all of aviation history, I am not aware of a single incident in which security has thwarted a terrorist attempt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nezar_Hindawi
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:49 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
an after-thought in a race to the bottom to be the lowest cost supplier.

I suddenly am reminded of the old XJ station at West Lafayette, Indiana (serving Purdue University and Caterpillar tractor). The same person was both ticket and gate agent; operated the x-ray machine, and did any wanding necessary. As far as I know, he also loaded luggage and fueled the Saab 340s serving the airport.
 
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compensateme
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:41 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
In fact, in all of aviation history, I am not aware of a single incident in which security has thwarted a terrorist attempt. The security is a (low) stumbling block.

People have long complained about worldwide security practices (with few exceptions, such as Israel) yet terrorist organizations have had to succumb toward shoe & underwear bombs. We all hate the TSA, and yes it has its flaws, but I'm always amused by people who believe that any terrorist organization could easily get past security to readily attack us. If this were true, I have no doubt it would've been attempted by now. Yes, the TSA will let things slip through the cracks ... but I'm confident that if terrorists were confident they could easily get beyond security, it would've happened again.
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xdlx
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:47 pm

The job should be transfered to the Armed Forces......
 
starrion
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:22 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 16):
People have long complained about worldwide security practices (with few exceptions, such as Israel) yet terrorist organizations have had to succumb toward shoe & underwear bombs. We all hate the TSA, and yes it has its flaws, but I'm always amused by people who believe that any terrorist organization could easily get past security to readily attack us. If this were true, I have no doubt it would've been attempted by now. Yes, the TSA will let things slip through the cracks ... but I'm confident that if terrorists were confident they could easily get beyond security, it would've happened again.

"slip through the cracks" should be replaced by "glide through the enormous chasm"

TSA regularly fails their Red Team exercises.

Google red team and TSA. It won't make for reassuring reading. Any TSA rep with two neurons to rub together knows that they are an actor playing a part for the traveling public. It's no different than the guy inside the Mickey costume, except one has federal benefits and one doesn't. Could be the same guy on different days.
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Bobloblaw
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:46 pm

Quoting xdlx (Reply 17):

That isn't the military's job. It should be private companies under federal oversight. And not the lowest bidders.
 
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compensateme
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Quoting starrion (Reply 18):
"slip through the cracks" should be replaced by "glide through the enormous chasm"

TSA regularly fails their Red Team exercises.

Google red team and TSA. It won't make for reassuring reading. Any TSA rep with two neurons to rub together knows that they are an actor playing a part for the traveling public. It's no different than the guy inside the Mickey costume, except one has federal benefits and one doesn't. Could be the same guy on different days.

Yet there's evidence of continued interest in terrorizing our skies, and the bad guys had to retort to creative shoe & underwear bombs. If things are as bad as you portray them, they would've walked through security with a less concealed bomb and repeated their attacks already. But they haven't, because they're worried about getting caught (although it's likely they're attempting to create additional ways to evade security).

Compare that to a driving infraction. If the penalty for speeding was high (e.g.- thousand dollars), people would be less likely to speed since they know there's a fair chance they'll get caught, even though odds may be in their favor (at times) that they won't be.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:28 pm

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 5):
I like the part of the article where it states every TSA scandal you ever read about is because the screener was told to do their job that way

The front line employees that people encounter every day at the airport are actually the brain trust compared to the higher ups behind the scenese. I had to work with them many times and their incompetence is beyond belief--at one point I had two different groups demanding I do the exact opposite thing, even when the rules of the moment were crystal clear how the situation had to be handled.
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slider
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:37 pm

Quoting xdlx (Reply 17):
The job should be transfered to the Armed Forces......

One could also argue this violates the Posse Comitatus Act....it would never happen.



***

SO, we have a former TSA agent saying essentially what we've all known for ages: that the TSA is a bunch of incompetent, ineffective assclowns. And now they're going to get new uniforms for $50M and a personal uniform allowance of $1000 (greater than that of US Marines). Insanity. It's the oligarchy run amok. I detest, despise and have sheer contempt for the TSA.
 
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compensateme
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:32 pm

Quoting slider (Reply 22):
SO, we have a former TSA agent saying essentially what we've all known for ages: that the TSA is a bunch of incompetent, ineffective assclowns.

Yea, because disgruntled employees are usually objective.

This quote summarizes my feelings toward the article: "Our first question to anyone in a wheelchair is to ask if they’re able to stand for a pat-down. If someone is in a wheelchair, he likely can’t stand."

Really? Biggest line of B.S. I've heard all year, but I needed a good laugh.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:34 pm

Quoting slider (Reply 22):
Insanity. It's the oligarchy run amok. I detest, despise and have sheer contempt for the TSA.

Okay, now tell us how you really feel.  

Back when the National Guard was stationed at Washington DC area airports, many have told me that guards in maroon berets normally stopped blacks and allowed whites to pass. I've been stopped myself, and at the time I was NWA platinum.

So, even as a frequent flyer, I assume I must have looked shady. What other explanation could there have been?   
 
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kanban
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:41 pm

Quoting 0NEWAIR0 (Reply 13):
A (suspected) terrorist is arrested prosecuted, and convicted almost every other day in the U.S. ...Don't hear about that on the nightly news, do you?

Have to call BS unless you have proof.. Right now Homeland security needs every story to retain budget.

Consider the Border Patrol caught a guy coming from Canada with a car load of explosives.. it was big press!.. On the other hand Homeland Security patrols our ferry waiting lines between 9 Am and 4PM for years now and has found nothing but 4th of July fireworks. And the dogs have been desensitized to ammo.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:07 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 23):
"Our first question to anyone in a wheelchair is to ask if they’re able to stand for a pat-down. If someone is in a wheelchair, he likely can’t stand."

You'd be surprised how many people are wheeled to/through security, and then get up on the other side and walk to their gate.

Quoting slider (Reply 22):
I detest, despise and have sheer contempt for the TSA.

Me too, but I try to be nice to the front line employees regardless; they're just cogs in a really dumb, screwed up machine.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
Italianflyer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:44 pm

Interesting but hardly enlightening. Also, consider the source.....this shares the same digital page as a story about a Maine Zumba studio used as a front for prostitution.  

What helps me sleep at night, and allows me to get on a plane 15-20 times a week for work...is that passenger screening is one component of a multilayered security apparatus. Just like an airline network system....the attitudes of your flight attendants or clenliness of the cabin have little bearing on the safety of a flight from A to B.; but they are the highest profile aspect of your travel experience and what we remember. There are factors,systems and people who are faceless to the public but critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. TSA is no different...I hope. Maybe I'm being a dellusional polyanna
but it gets me through the day.
 
Passedv1
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:09 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 2):
Even if we go back to private security contractors, we need a strong and large federal government agency to set and enforce standards through frequent testing so security doesn't become again what it was pre 9/11, an after-thought in a race to the bottom to be the lowest cost supplier.

Although I agree with you on a macro level. I disagree with you in the fact that security is somehow better today because of the screening the TSA does.

What are security checkpoints good for...they are good for thwarting random nut-jobs from hijacking planes. They do not do anything to protect the public from organized terrorist groups.

What has helped is the heightened awareness on the parts of the public and crews and the hardened flight decks.

The tactics of 9/11 were already made obsolete on UAL 93. All it took was for the other pax to be made aware of what was going on which has happened.

I believe that it would be very unlikely that the tactics used on 9/11 would work again today. I do not believe any of that has anything to do with the checkpoint screening the TSA does.
 
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falstaff
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:26 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):
That's a difficult thing to prove, since we obviously don't hear about the incidents that don't happen.
Quoting flightsimer (Reply 9):
If there was a terrorist attack in progress that was stopped by security at the airport, I would bet we would be hearing all about it, even prior to 9-11, not the opposite.

Anyone one of those guns/knives that the TSA picks up could have been a potential attack. There are lots of people on a.net that want to paint gun owners as evil, want to tax them, hold them responsible for everything the gun does, etc, but don't think the TSA finding guns in people's bags a possible terrible event avoided.

Quoting winstonlegthigh (Reply 10):
It seems like every other week I read about someone trying to bring a gun aboard. Granted, most of the time it seems to be done without malicious intent, and the excuse is always "I forgot", but it does trickle it's way into the news.

That is what they say. Just like prisons and jails are filled with self proclaimed innocents.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 19):
It should be private companies under federal oversight. And not the lowest bidders.

But lowest bidder is how just about every contract is awarded. If you only hire the most competent company people will complain that their was no bidding (remember Halliburton and Iraq's oil wells)

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 26):
Quoting compensateme (Reply 23): "Our first question to anyone in a wheelchair is to ask if they’re able to stand for a pat-down. If someone is in a wheelchair, he likely can’t stand."
You'd be surprised how many people are wheeled to/through security, and then get up on the other side and walk to their gate.

Or are just too fat to walk far. I have seen plenty of people in wheel chairs at the airport who can walk, but are super fat so they can't walk far.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
spacecadet
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:45 pm

Quoting flightsimer (Reply 9):
If there was a terrorist attack in progress that was stopped by security at the airport, I would bet we would be hearing all about it, even prior to 9-11, not the opposite.

You're assuming that the TSA's job is primarily to actually stop terrorists at the airport. It isn't.

To whit:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 11):
What's easy to prove, though, is that we no longer have the relentless hijackings to Cuba.

I still remember when hijackings were a near-weekly occurrence. It wasn't really that long ago. The difference was that most of them weren't fatal to anybody (although some were), and there wasn't this culture of fear that exists now, so despite this rash of hijackings, few people were talking about adding nudi-scan machines or making airport security a massive government bureaucracy in response.

Hijackings had already dropped off even before 9/11, but that wasn't for nothing either - security had been stepped up, just in less visible and less controversial ways. For example, even up to the 1980's you used to be able to walk, unticketed, through a simple metal detector and out to an airplane gate to meet an arriving passenger. That was no longer possible even before 9/11, and that was in direct response to the hijackings.

The TSA as it currently exists may be too large, too powerful and too corrupt for its own good, and some of its ideas border on the stupid (I still don't understand the rationale behind allowing pocket knives but not a bottle of eye drops), but I don't believe we should be thinking about decentralizing airport security anymore, or doing away with it altogether because it "doesn't work". It clearly does work, it just needs to be done right.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 28):
What are security checkpoints good for...they are good for thwarting random nut-jobs from hijacking planes. They do not do anything to protect the public from organized terrorist groups.

Nor are they supposed to - that's what we have actual law enforcement and intelligence agencies for.

It's like saying "what's a home security system good for... just for stopping random thieves from getting into your house. They don't do anything to protect you from organized crime syndicates." Well, duh! First, that's still a pretty useful function that they serve - probably actually *more* useful than protecting you from organized crime! If everybody had a home security system, the whole idea of random burglaries would probably completely go away (as the idea of random hijackings basically has). Second, security is all a matter of layers. No one layer is even intended to do everything; they all serve different functions and they all act as individual lines of defense. Airport security, in addition to being a deterrent, is also the last line of defense if all else fails.

I don't really want that last line of defense to be in the hands of some private contractor that was hired because they submitted the lowest bid. Honestly, prior to 9/11 I don't think most people even realized that airport security was contracted out. And they definitely did not realize there was not one agency responsible for it all.

[Edited 2013-03-11 11:49:41]
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soon7x7
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:53 pm

Quoting xdlx (Reply 17):
The job should be transfered to the Armed Forces......

Exactly...the very soldiers that interacted directly with insurgants and the like are better suited for the position of preventing terrorists access to transport aircraft here in the states. Unfortunately Diane Fienstein believes soldiers returning from the middle east should in no way have access to assault weapons as she states..."such individuals suffer from PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder).
I think when we put the first men on Mars, Diane and Nancy Pelosi should be the first women on Mars.
 
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intsim
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:12 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 31):
(Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder).

That is what I first thought of. Thinking a little more it would seem you could claim it would be a good place for our hero friends. We as a nation could interact directly with them showing our appreciation for their efforts which could be very healing. But it would require us passengers to change our attitude, even if only for the few minutes we pass through security. I would rather pay our troops for that service and have an open help system to them if they were having a bad day.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:22 pm

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 30):
For example, even up to the 1980's you used to be able to walk, unticketed, through a simple metal detector and out to an airplane gate to meet an arriving passenger. That was no longer possible even before 9/11, and that was in direct response to the hijackings.

Incorrect. Prior to 9/11/01, anybody was able to go through the security that was in place at the time and head out to the gates.

My final pre-9/11/01 flight was just 2 days prior, while waiting for my US TOL-PIT flight w/my father; both of us were able to walk through security to the gates and to the Marco's Pizza Restaurant that was on the secure side of the airport to grab a bite while waiting... my flight was delayed due to weather.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
blueflyer
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RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:57 pm

Quoting xdlx (Reply 17):
The job should be transfered to the Armed Forces.

I don't see why. Plenty of other countries make airport security the job of a police force, a private contractor under heavy government oversight, or both, and seem by all accounts to do it much better than TSA does. There is no reason that US airport security cannot rise to that level without involving the army.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
But 9/11 did not happen because of security holes. 9/11 was an intelligence failure.

I wouldn't dream to disagree, but 9/11 was the catalyst that focused our collective minds on air travel security like never before and exposed a lot of failure that few people were talking and most didn't know about until then.

Quoting flightsimer (Reply 9):
If there was a terrorist attack in progress that was stopped by security at the airport, I would bet we would be hearing all about it

The point is, we'll never know how many more terrorist attacks we would suffer if there was no TSA or security was even weaker than what it is today. I don't think anyone could seriously disagree that the mere existence of TSA and security check-points has deterred people who would otherwise have attempted to bring a gun on board for nefarious purposes, for example.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 29):
But lowest bidder is how just about every contract is awarded. If you only hire the most competent company people will complain that their was no bidding

I think it is doable, but I believe there are three major issues that need to be solved.

It is possible, but not always easy, to open a bidding process to qualified bidders only but that can bring on lawsuits by disqualified would-be bidders claiming that the criteria are too restrictive and they should have been included. That puts airport security into the hands of well-meaning but ill-prepared judges, or even worse juries, and it stops the entire process for the duration of the lawsuit and subsequent appeals.

The terms of compliance should be loose and vague enough to allow the government oversight agency to try and smuggle in any item on the banned list any time anywhere using any method they choose fit. However the day a contractor loses their contract because they failed one too many such inspection and they think that another contractor had much easier tests, the losing contractor will sue and legal uncertainty will hang over the entire auditing process for years to come.

Finally, our elected officials have a tradition of meddling into anything and everything at the molecular level, and I wouldn't be surprised if a contractor used their political influence to get members of Congress to put pressure on the oversight agency to ease up qualification or compliance criteria, or both even.
 
liquidoblivion
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:36 pm

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:20 pm

Quoting compensateme (Reply 16):
People have long complained about worldwide security practices (with few exceptions, such as Israel) yet terrorist organizations have had to succumb toward shoe & underwear bombs. We all hate the TSA, and yes it has its flaws, but I'm always amused by people who believe that any terrorist organization could easily get past security to readily attack us. If this were true, I have no doubt it would've been attempted by now. Yes, the TSA will let things slip through the cracks ... but I'm confident that if terrorists were confident they could easily get beyond security, it would've happened again.


With the number of people who have accidently found themselves on an ramp or in a "secure" zone without going through a checkpoint, you really don't think a trained group of terrorist operatives could do it too? TSA is laughable, I am confident that I could get me or whatever I needed where ever I needed it. Like what was already pointed out, TSA likely wouldn't have caught the supposed "box cutters" the 9/11 guys had. If you have the ability to put together a plan on the scale of 9/11, TSA isn't going to slow you down, hell they are only at the front door. So many ways into a terminal, why go were the TSA is. Your logic just fails. Nothing like 9/11 has happened because the terror networks have been busted way up and they don't have the ability to launch something on a scale like 9/11. The shoe and underwear bombs were jokes and have been shown that they would have only killed themselves, maybe some people right next to them, almost 0 chance of bringing a plane down. These are people that will blow themselves up for the cause, they have shown they will spend most of their lives to prepare for an attack, TSA can do little to stop them. The best thing we have done to stop another 9/11 type attack is lock the cockpit door. Simple solution that works, and is pretty much full proof especially since after 9/11 the rest of the plane is probably going to jump your ass if you try and gain access to the cockpit. There are a lot of places with masses of people with little to no security that you could terrorize if you wanted, but those places aren't getting attacked all the time. What makes you think the terrorist are so hard up for airplanes?

Quoting compensateme,reply=20:
Yet there's evidence of continued interest in terrorizing our skies, and the bad guys had to retort to creative shoe & underwear bombs. If things are as bad as you portray them, they would've walked through security with a less concealed bomb and repeated their attacks already. But they haven't, because they're worried about getting caught (although it's likely they're attempting to create additional ways to evade security).

1. These shoe and underwear bombs came from countries without TSA.

2. They are worried about the guy they just sent to blow himself up getting caught?? That is laughable.

If the TSA was making leaps and bounds catching terrorists then it would be on TV I promise.
 
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falstaff
Posts: 5743
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:17 am

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:42 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 30):
For example, even up to the 1980's you used to be able to walk, unticketed, through a simple metal detector and out to an airplane gate to meet an arriving passenger. That was no longer possible even before 9/11, and that was in direct response to the hijackings.

I went to the gate to meet family and friends right up to 2001. It did stop for a while in the 1980s, but the rules were relaxed.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
lat41
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 pm

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:21 am

How many TSA bashing threads is this now...? Well this one draws from the New York Post. Now that lends credibility.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 14907
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:58 am

As much as we bash the TSA, look at the 3 biggest terror attempts since 9/11 targeting the USA - the 'shoe bomber' and the 'liquid bomb' makers doing tryouts both flew out of LHR and the 'crotch bomber' out of AMS, both major international airports with supposedly with 'superior' security than our TSA.

No successful terror attack has occurred on a domestic flight within or a flight originating in the USA since 9/11

The TSA takes away 1000's of knives, dozens of guns and 100's of banned items a month from stupid people and potential terrorists. Yes, a lot stuff gets though but somehow nothing has happened...yet...so maybe the TSA works by keeping the potential terrorists scared off with a chance of getting caught and ending up in a Federal detention center.

Does the TSA need improvements, hell yes, but how do we do it ? Many would just target 'Middle Eastern looking men', but profiling means you miss those that don't fit the 'profile' like the shoe bomber. People don't want to be touched, but they don't want to be x-ray'd. They want some to be questioned thoroughly, but don't want Israeli style interrogations for themselves. They want a 'through' check of bags but no lines and don't want to pay $5 more for it. They want the workers to get little more than minimum wage and no benefits, yet want professionals. We need a real review of the TSA, chase off some of the dumbass managers and overpaid executives, rethink their methods and approaches as to security, realize that humans will make mistakes and in the end work to a better system.
 
soon7x7
Posts: 2267
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:15 am

Quoting intsim (Reply 32):


Not only that...many if not most lost their jobs and many are required to pay for their own follow up health care upon their return. What a slap in the face. The TSA as we, the general flying public know them, by their own accord are to be ineffectual, self indulgent buffoons. Not once has the TSA thwarted any Terrorist Plot here in the states. Recently $50,000,000 on new uniforms?!...Our soldiers already have their uniforms and firearms. What good is a TSA agent without a side arm?...Its like having a toothless pit bull to guard your jewelry store.

If you have travelled abroad you will have experienced much the same level of security by trained, courteous professionals that do it with a smile and would pull no punches if put into the position of having to react to an imminent threat. The TSA are the offspring of the Three Stooges. Proof positive...the recent acceptance of knives of any type now acceptable as a carry on device. When did the US stop manufacturing Common sense?

Quoting lat41 (Reply 37):
How many TSA bashing threads is this now...?


As many as it takes to rid air travel of this waste.
 
cschleic
Posts: 1784
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 10:47 pm

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:20 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
Maybe if they privatized security firms and set some ground rules, and gave these agents other jobs besides just security, maybe it will be more effective.

Pre-TSA they were privatized. . That was part of the whole point of the TSA. Once anything is privatized, cost becomes one of the most important factors, and everyone knows what happens there, and what happened with the previous screening scenario. One of the arguments for federalizing the process was, treat it as more professional as is done in other countries such as The Netherlands, better pay, consistent application of policies, get rid of the "lowest bidder" mentality, etc. Of course, few remember that.
 
winstonlegthigh
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:15 pm

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:30 am

Quoting falstaff (Reply 29):
That is what they say. Just like prisons and jails are filled with self proclaimed innocents.

Not disagreeing at all. Although I personally don't own a firearm, I have a difficult time imagining those who do lose track of theirs** to the point that it somehow turns up in their luggage at an airport where they intend on boarding a plane. The reason I say that there probably isn't any malicious intent is that so often, the culprits seem to be professional athletes that are boarding a team-chartered plane along with the rest of the team. I get the feeling that in those cases, it's a matter of either not taking the rule seriously enough, or simply thinking it doesn't apply to them. This is all just me speculating, of course.

** lose track of theirs, especially in more recent times post-Sandy Hook, and the national spotlight currently shining on gun control as a result of that event.
Never has gravity been so uplifting.
 
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antoniemey
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 5:38 pm

RE: "Confessions Of A TSA Agent"

Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:47 am

Quoting cschleic (Reply 39):
consistent application of policies

Well, that's one the TSA fails straight out...
Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.

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