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Posted on March 16, 2012 at 07:14 PM | Permalink
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Since you invited me to comment...
So assuming the TSA is a monumental failure, does what happens within the TSA carry broader implications for government as a whole? Does an exception prove the rule? Do we not have a tendency to ignore the stuff that’s working well because we don’t notice it… precisely because it IS working well? Airline crashes killing a couple hundred people make the news because they are rare. Conversely 40,000 people die a year in car accidents yet we aren’t outlawing cars as a dangerous health risk.
Is the TSA a horrible failure? Your article states how many weapons/threats have made it past current TSA security measures. The question to ask is how many more would have gotten through without the TSA? Though the article seems an indictment of the TSA, the fact remains is that we have not had a single successful hijacking or terrorist act since 9/11. This in view of the fact that there are roughly 1 million people world wide suspended in the air at any given moment of the day.
I would like to see a more scientific approach to air travel security. I posted a video http://www.skepticalmedia.com/files/Aviation_Feature_09-20-06a.mov about research that is being done toward that end. So far, much, but not all, of this research has been ignored.
I agree that the TSA has problems and there is large room for improvement. I don’t, however, think it is rational or correct to extrapolate that because the TSA may be mismanaged, that all of government is as well.
Robert the Skeptic |
March 17, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The TSA is an example of a government program that started with good intentions and then the cost of it zoomed Robert. I did not say abandon it, but make it economically viable. Obama talks about cutting waste - there are government programs that could be operated with efficiency both in what they do and in the amount of money we, as taxpayers, have to contribute. We intrust the government to use our has dollars wisely, but that is not the case in this instance.
March 18, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Robert - Point out a well managed department within the US Government that has not been cited for mismanagement by the OMB or other, outside body.
March 19, 2012 at 08:00 PM
At my little airport where the plane holds 25 people, we have 4 TSA agents screening luggage and then passengers for each flight. Before 9/11 the Airline employees that were already there to check you in and load your bags on the plane did the screening. The airline has a financial stake in seeing that the plane is not blown up and keeping you happy as a returning customer. I believe that the TSA was an over-reaction just like the government does when nearly any catastrophic event takes place. The airlines are completely capable of keeping us safe now that they know what the threat is. Before 9/11 people were told to cooperate with hijackers and you might spend the night in Cuba or something but very rarely did anybody actually die. The Al Qaida threat is completely different than what had been experienced here before.
My personal TSA and Federal government example that shows how the Feds operate was at the San Diego airport: A male TSA agent told my wife that she did not have to remove her light sweater to go through the scanner. A masculine looking, short haired female TSA agent came over and started arguing with the male TSA agent that my wife did have to remove her sweater.
This is typical of my experience with several Federal Agencies. They are so set on hiring protected groups that you get certain people that are determined to show everyone that they are "in charge". Try dealing with the US Forest Service or National Park Service.
March 20, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Good points Ing66 !! Some folks should not be put in positions where a little authority goes to their heads...
March 20, 2012 at 01:59 PM
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