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TSA Facing Death By a Thousand Cuts

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-bleed-more-than-3.5-ounces dept.

Crime 493

OverTheGeicoE writes "The Transportation Security Administration is getting a lot of negative attention, much of it from the U.S. government itself. A recent congressional report blasted the TSA for being incompetent and ineffective (PDF). A bill to force the TSA to reduce its screening of active duty U.S. military members and their families was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives. After a TSA employee was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman while in uniform, a bill has been introduced to prevent TSA agents from wearing police-style uniforms and badges or using the title 'officer.' The bill's sponsor calls these practices 'an insult to real cops.' The FBI is getting involved by changing its definition of rape in a way that might expose the TSA's 'enhanced pat-down' screeners to prosecution. Lastly, public support for the TSA's use of X-ray body scanners drops dramatically when people realize there is a cancer risk."

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Oh look, the pendulum. It swings back. (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319420)

Now if only America wasn't tied down in the pit underneath it.

Re:Oh look, the pendulum. It swings back. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319722)

The only way to stop the pendulum swing is for disparate America to start focusing on its commonalities and stop trying to control each others lives. The alternative is left- or right-fascism followed eventually and inevitably by bloody revolt.

Friggen finally (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319422)

Must be an election year coming up, because the government's actually doing shit about stuff we've been complaining about for the past... two, three years?

Re:Friggen finally (3, Informative)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319438)

More like nine years, son.

Re:Friggen finally (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319458)

Keep going...

Re:Friggen finally (0, Troll)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319624)

The TSA was formed in 2002, so unless you were pre-emtively complaining there's no need to keep going after nine years.

Re:Friggen finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319676)

I'm pretty sure he meant complaining about government activity in general, not specifically the TSA.

Re:Friggen finally (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319848)

The TSA was formed in 2002, so unless you were pre-emtively complaining there's no need to keep going after nine years.

Huh? It's almost 2012, so if TSA formed in 2002, it's certainly over nine years. I don't know what you count as formation, but the TSA counts it from the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001. As far as preemptive complaints, I have no idea how old you are, but I was complaining about airport screening being stupid for at least a decade before 9/11. Before TSA it was a bunch of low paid hoodlums taking revenge on well off travelers. Long lines and rude behavior were common. We were told TSA would be more professional. They are, but they're more professional at being jerks.

Re:Friggen finally (5, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319510)

Maybe they just realized that Santa Claus is watching [youtube.com]

Re:Friggen finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319876)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp19qiash2U

not for long.

Re:Friggen finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319518)

No, delaying budget decisions doesn't count as making decisions. The goal is just not to look bad before the elections, so trying to avoid any problematic decisions, like making postal workers go postal, or creating the US Internet blacklist.

Re:Friggen finally (5, Insightful)

Mike (1172) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319556)

Actually, they're really not doing anything. As usual, they're only giving the illusion of doing something.

Which is good, since when they actually do something, it's invariably a disaster.

Re:Friggen finally (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320118)

The Do Not Call list worked pretty well.

The fact that the Cuyahoga doesn't catch fire anymore is also another great indicator...

Re:Friggen finally (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319692)

More accurately:

Must be an election year coming up, because a bunch of Congressmen are introducing bills that would do shit about stuff we've been complaining about for the past several years. But, these bills will never make it out of committee or be passed.

Re:Friggen finally (1)

jinushaun (397145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319788)

Three years? More like 8 years. Don't forget which president started TSA.

Re:Friggen finally (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319890)

Wait wait, I know this one.

It was the one who never accomplished anything useful, spent most of his presidency fighting stupid political battles over inconsequential shit, and will be remembered by history books mainly for the magnitude of his failures. That's the one, right?

Re:Friggen finally (5, Funny)

chimerafun (1364591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320102)

You've gotta be more specific this describes every president since Teddy Roosevelt

Re:Friggen finally (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320130)

Must be an election year coming up, because the government's actually doing shit about stuff we've been complaining about for the past... two, three years?

Unfortunately this is about par for all government when there are problems. It takes a very long time to effect change. Even if directors want to change something, when there are too many layers of management between the person who wants the change and the person who actually is supposed to implement it, and if those at the bottom actively do not want to change then it's really hard to get to the reasons why something fails. Each level of management, as they write their reports and reviews will sugar-coat what they need to, which means a cumulative sugar-coating by the time the reviews are distilled to the top.

It doesn't matter who's in power either, this is normal. It's also normal at very large companies, where too many layers allow whole divisions to run messed up for a long time before it manifests fatally, though at least companies have to make money. Government doesn't have that trouble.

About Time! (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319468)

The TSA is the only agency hated more that the IRS. Considering the head start the IRS had, that is an impressive achievement!

Re:About Time! (5, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319596)

Yeah, but despite being created to pay for the Civil War, and then being found unconstitutional, they tossed in the 16th amendment to keep the IRS going. Wonder how long it will be before a TSA amendment is passed. "For the good of the Homeland and Security unto the people under its care..."

Re:About Time! (5, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319644)

The IRS brings Income in.

The TSA is spending it like a waterfall on stuff that even DARPA says doesn't work and shouldn't be funded.

The TSa will soon become another under funded agency.

Re:About Time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319832)

The IRS brings Income in.

The TSA is spending it like a waterfall on stuff that even DARPA says doesn't work and shouldn't be funded.

The TSa will soon become another under funded agency.

But terrorists and islam and mohammed, oh my!

All it will take is some ridiculous firecracker-smuggles-in-the-anus stunt to happen and hit the press to get the TSA's budget quintupled. Bonus points if it's an actual TSA-trained operative promised a happy retirement villa in Costa Rica to "disappear" to when caught, taken into custody, and sentenced to death in a trial and execution hidden from public eyes.

Re:About Time! (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320012)

The TSA is spending it like a waterfall on stuff that even DARPA says doesn't work

I actually laughed!

Yes, you know you're venturing into fantasy land when DARPA is calling you out for being too out there.

Re:About Time! (5, Insightful)

Osiris Ani (230116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319844)

"For the good of the Homeland and Security unto the people under its care..."

"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman, and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our Homeland."

And thus, the Gestapo was formed, and there was much rejoicing.

Re:About Time! (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320046)

Yeah, but despite being created to pay for the Civil War, and then being found unconstitutional, they tossed in the 16th amendment to keep the IRS going. Wonder how long it will be before a TSA amendment is passed. "For the good of the Homeland and Security unto the people under its care..."

You don't need amendments anymore. You'll never see another amendment to the Constitution again, because all you need are some judges that will rule your way. Changing the Constitution is hard, and it was supposed to be hard. It's much easier to get some judges to declare that up really means down. This is the danger of the whole "living Constitution" idea. If the Constitution is as pliable as putty, then it's really just a matter of whose hands the putty is in.

Re:About Time! (4, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319642)

Not true. Congress has an approval rating lower than the IRS.

http://gawker.com/5860272/the-irs-is-more-than-four-times-more-popular-than-congress [gawker.com]

(Yeah, yeah, the IRS rating is from 2009, just enjoy it you nitpicking bastards.)

Re:About Time! (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319854)

Not too surprising. The IRS just takes our money. I can respect that, to a degree. Congress not only takes it, they also spend it, and then tell us how we can and cannot spend whatever is left over. And then they form the TSA to molest us and take naked pictures of us in airports.

Solution: (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319470)

Hire Jerry Sandusky. He is highly motivated and known for his efficiency and thoroughness in body inspections....[ducks head]

Re:Solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319606)

Unfortunately, the terrorists could slip anyone by who wasn't a nubile, sweat-smelling young'n.

Hm... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319478)

'an insult to real cops.'

Perhaps, if they way cops keep handling these occupy movements are any indication, they don't need any help making themselves look bad.

Re:Hm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319600)

Because we all know that New York cops are the model from which every single police officer draws its conduct.

Re:Hm... (2)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319910)

Seattle and Oakland seem to indicate that they are!

And on a more serious note, I think Giuliani or Kelly made trips out west to show other police organizations some of their tactics (don't have the article link handy), so it seems that the NYPD is in fact a model to some.

Re:Hm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319940)

Occupy movements. Plural, jackass, meaning other than New York.

A thousand cuts? Is that all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319498)

That's about an order of magnitude too quick for my taste.

My Pet Rock Is Better (5, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319502)

How many terrorist have they caught? The same amount as my pet rock. Comparing the 'terrorist caught/money spent' ratio of pet rocks vs. the entirety of the TSA, if I were a venture capitalist I'd be looking for the next bright mind to bring these geological vanguards to market. They'd do at least a good job as the TSA, cost less, and as an added bonus airports might be more enjoyable. And they don't infringe on civil liberties. And they don't pretend to effect powers they do not really have. And they will not unionize.

Motherfucking pet rocks are more efficient than the TSA.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (1)

broginator (1955750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319608)

But does it keep away tigers?

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319612)

Motherfucking pet rocks are more efficient than the TSA.

With the added advantage pet rocks keep tigers away too.

Number of terrorists caught by the TSA - ZERO. Number of US Constitutional violations are literally countless and purposely obfuscated. Number of government agency charters which were illegally violated with the creation of Homeland Security, ALL of whom Homeland Security now oversees. Would Homeland Security been able to stop 9/11 today? Absolutely not! The SOLE purpose of Homeland Security is dirty tricks, dirty politics, funnel massive funds into the top 1%, and to "legally" violate the US Constitution.

If our Founding Fathers were alive and in power right now, most of the US government would literally be hanging from a tree or stand in front of a firing squad right now. And that's not hyperbole.

If you support Dems or Republican parties, you hate America and spit on our Founding Fathers.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319654)

FFS, the TSA isn't responsible for catching terrorists anymore than a deadbolt is responsible for catching thieves breaking into my house. TSA catches on average about 5 guns PER DAY at airport screenings, and that's not including knives, explosives, and other prohibited objects.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319696)

Two questions:

1. How many prohibited objects slip through?
2. Why, then, is the TSA not trumpeting these successes?

Oh, one more...
Are you including guns embroidered onto purses in that 'per day' count?

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319774)

This took about 2 minutes on google.

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/guns/tsa-weve-stopped-1000-guns-so-far-year

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319958)

Yes, and one of those was an embroidered gun that was part of a purse. Look me square in my comment and say with a straight face an embroidered gun constitutes a Terrorist Threat.

Notice how they don't distinguish between real guns, toy guns and blankets with a gun print as well?

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319966)

Not to mention, If the TSA (and other security agencies under the umbrella of homeland security) were doing their jobs, Passengers and crew would not have had to beat down and subdue the shoe-lighters and explosive underpants wearers.

I say roll the security back to pre-911 levels (to make it an even playing field) and hand each passenger a baseball bat. 911 can never happen again because we "They flying public" know better. Before 911 the rule was "just cooperate and you will probably get to see Cuba" Now it's "do not cooperate. There are more of us then there are of them"

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38320128)

Actually, it doesn't matter how many prohibited items slip through, even if they are guns, because no terrorist acts are being committed!

What's really interesting to me is what constitutes a "prohibited item" (like that bottle of shampoo). The scary admission here is that the TSA is incapable of determining the difference between dangerous items and totally innocuous ones.

and ... ? (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319700)

TSA catches on average about 5 guns PER DAY at airport screenings, and that's not including knives, explosives, and other prohibited objects.

Wow. Explosives.

Soooooo........ where are the trials for the people trying to take explosives onto the planes?

You'd think there'd be all kinds of news reports about that, wouldn't you?

Re:and ... ? (4, Insightful)

Coffee Warlord (266564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320088)

I'm curious to know the % of those guns, etc. that were found using baggage X-Rays and metal detectors. You know, the two things we already had and used before the TSA existed. Remember, back when air travel wasn't a total clusterfuck pain in the ass.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319828)

"TSA catches on average about 5 guns PER DAY at airport screenings, and that's not including knives, explosives, and other prohibited objects."

Yes, unfortunately 99% is Granny's shampoo.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (5, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320004)

and that's not including knives

What exactly is this obession with 'sharps' on board anway? What exactly could a 'terrorist' do if they managed to smuggle a hunting (or x-acto) knife on board? I can see the value of banning guns and bombs - They could take down an aircraft - But what exactly can someone do with a knife? I realize the 9/11 hijackers took the planes down with boxcutters, but the paradigm has changed... If someone stood up with a knife today, not only would they not get into the cockpit, the other passengers would beat them to death with the drinks trolley.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319672)

Motherfucking pet rocks are more efficient than the TSA.

Check your math sir.

0 terrorists/no dollars = 0 terrorists/billions

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (3, Informative)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319738)

Whoops. So the pet-rock ratio is indeterminate, whereas the TSA efficiency ratio is most definitely, conclusively, z e r o.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319776)

It's not a case of division, it's a comparison of costs for equal results. As such, the rock wins by a landslide.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (2)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319718)

They'd do at least a good job as the TSA, cost less, and as an added bonus airports might be more enjoyable. And they don't infringe on civil liberties. And they don't pretend to effect powers they do not really have. And they will not unionize.

You forgot to mention a pet rock will only sexually assault you if you want it to.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (4, Funny)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319898)

...a pet rock will only sexually assault you if you want it to.

Huh. I must be buying the wrong kind of pet rocks.

Re:My Pet Rock Is Better (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319982)

They'd do at least a good job as the TSA, cost less, and as an added bonus airports might be more enjoyable. And they don't infringe on civil liberties. And they don't pretend to effect powers they do not really have. And they will not unionize.

You forgot to mention a pet rock will only sexually assault you if you want it to.

Like pop-rocks BJs?

They'll use these "cuts' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319504)

To argue for more authority and a bigger budget next year.

So Sad (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319532)

<plays the worlds tiniest violin>

No room for optimism... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319536)

The headline might as well read "Agency universally reviled as useless, degrading, expensive, criminal, nobody has the nerve to do more than nibble around its edges."

If what they've done so far has earned them only these relatively feeble stabs at powers they mostly just took during their time anyway(they didn't used to dress up in cop costumes or grope people on the record), exactly what would they have to do to earn a reorganization, or even a replacement? Execute a randomly chosen passenger once a shift, just to show the terrorists our resolve?

Re:No room for optimism... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319640)

Man, don't joke about that. They might think it's a good idea.

Re:No room for optimism... (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319662)

Execute a randomly chosen passenger once a shift, just to show the terrorists our resolve?

One tenth of a flight. It worked for the Romans!

Re:No room for optimism... (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319726)

That would be decimating!

Re:No room for optimism... (1)

Roberticus (1237374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319800)

Are you kidding? That would decimate the flying public!

Re:No room for optimism... (2)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319830)

I can't imagine what kind of deliverable they can actually provide -- it's not credible to claim they've prevented all terrorism, and unfortunately where maybe they have, I'm sure the FBI/NSA/CIA wants it kept totally quiet so they can do whatever counter-terrorism investigation they do, keeping the TSA from taking any kind of credit.

What they need to do is have credible claims for effectiveness AND be as totally invisible as possible. You should "go through security" at the airport with less impact than going through the drivethru at a fast food restaurant.

Re:No room for optimism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319916)

Execute a randomly chosen passenger once a shift, just to show the terrorists our resolve?

They are working on it, a TSA agent took my father-in-law's insulin pump controller and broke it after taking it outside the screening room. Now it rattles (probably dropped?) When he got to his destination he had to quick buy some of the old style insulin syringes. Still trying to get the pump repaired or replaced a week later--hard to do when away from his normal Medtronic dealer.

Devil's Advocate Apparently... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319540)

I'll take a pat on the bottom or pinch on the tip if it means that someone can't get on a plane with a bomb / gun / knife / etc.

Re:Devil's Advocate Apparently... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319584)

Can you show that the TSA has actually prevented that rather than just creating ridiculous rules after an incident happened?

Re:Devil's Advocate Apparently... (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319636)

You sir (or madam) are the problem with our country. We *do not* trade our rights for the illusion of safety.

Re:Devil's Advocate Apparently... (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320010)

We *do not* trade our rights for the illusion of safety.

Homer Simpson: "I wouldn't have thought so either, but here we are."

My only thought when reading this (2)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319564)

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay

Undress code (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319566)

After a TSA employee was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman while in uniform

You see, this is why I take my uniform off first. But they make a fuss about that too.

NOT ENOUGH CUTS (3, Informative)

udachny (2454394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319630)

Not enough cuts. Thousand cuts won't cut it, it needs millions of cuts. It needs everybody to step up and cut it.

YOU THERE! Yes, YOU. You have to cut TSA as well (cut an agent, get some bonus points in your next life).

Re:NOT ENOUGH CUTS (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320006)

Don't worry, by lowering the standards for screening aircraft personnel, the military and now families of military personnel we're assured to get the most sexual assaults and humiliations without the risk of actually having an effective security screening process.

Re:NOT ENOUGH CUTS (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320072)

You hold them down. I'm getting the rusty butter knives, the line forms behind ME for the death by one million rusty butter knife cuts. Painful it will be...oh yes.

Heh (2)

Jethro (14165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319688)

I misread that as "Death By A Thousand Cats".

Which would be a lot more fun to watch.

Also thought it was a Babylon 5 reference

Re:Heh (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319816)

I misread that as "Death By A Thousand Cats".

Which would be a lot more fun to watch.

Also thought it was a Babylon 5 reference

Interesting you mention Babylon 5. Seems DHS and the TSA must have been avid fans of B5 and paid a great deal of attention to seasons 3-5 where similar government groups were discussed in the show. At least it feels like that to me :-)

Re:Heh (3, Interesting)

Jethro (14165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319936)

That actually is kinda funny. If you were following Usenet/CompuServe at the time those seasons aired, especially the Night Watch ones, people were actually complaining that it's "unreasonable" and that "Stuff like that would never happen in AMERICA".

And JMS' responses to them were that these things all happened fairly recently (at the time they were references to the Red Scare and McCarthyism-era politics).

He also said that he knows it's not likely that it'll ever happen again because we're so vigilant and attached to our freedom now.

The cruelest cut (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319716)

What they really need to do is cut them where it hurts--in their budget.

if only.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319772)

federal agencies are often inept, but they refuse to die.

Something has to take its place. (4, Interesting)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319780)

The TSA is a bureaucratic, money-sucking nightmare that entirely fails to live up to the promises of the politicians who created it. It is incompetently managed and its policies are inept, ineffective, capricious, opaque, invasive, disrespectful, and I would argue they are also fundamentally unconstitutional.

All that said, though, the question remains: if the TSA were to vanish overnight, what would take its place? What SHOULD take its place? These are not easy questions to answer--if they were, we'd be on that path by now, but instead the Kabuki dance that is this "security theater" gets more bizarre by the day. The reality is that certain fundamental questions of how best to address and ensure basic passenger safety without infringing on essential personal liberties remain unanswered, let alone the question of how to do it efficiently (both in terms of financial cost and human resources). Of course that is not to say no ideas have been proposed, but the point is that we've let the genie out of the bottle and we cannot go back to the way things were done before. The TSA may or may not have to be dismantled, but something must serve the function of providing basic safety. After all, our corporate overlords who pull the puppet strings of our politicians, can't seem to stop meddling with foreign countries, so it seems unlikely that the rest of the world will soon stop hating us.

How about just living with the fact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319950)

...that zooming about in a metal box miles above the ground is an inherently unsafe thing to do?

It is never going to be 100% safe... never ever ever.

Re:How about just living with the fact... (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320062)

We all accept that fact.

But the rest of us are in no hurry to die.

Re:Something has to take its place. (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320024)

It's not the TSA so much as it is the DHS. It's inherently problematic to give an agency responsible for both defining the problem and solving it. It's not surprising that the scope has been ever increasing when decreasing the scope would result in layoffs and budget cuts for itself.

rent-a-cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38320026)

They'd go back to hiring private security guards like before.

No improvement, but at least they wouldn't have the power of government, and it would be possible to re-bid the contracts every few years to clean out the cobwebs.

Re:Something has to take its place. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38320032)

I don't care. There are two things necessary to prevent another 9/11:

1) Strengthen the door to the cockpit.
2) Have the passengers beat the living shit out of hijackers rather than comply and wait for the authorities to negotiate.

Both changes were accomplished immediately right after 9/11.

Re:Something has to take its place. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320054)

All that said, though, the question remains: if the TSA were to vanish overnight, what would take its place? What SHOULD take its place? These are not easy questions to answer

The first question is not easy to answer. The second one is: "nothing". There was never a need for security theater, and there never will be a need for security theater, as it actually compromises security. The only reasons you would want to institute security theater are all contrary to the good of the nation.

y6ou FAIL it!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319808)

ALL PARTIES IT'S [goat.cx]

Ass backwards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319842)

I don't really understand why it takes an actual rape by someone employed by the TSA to make the judgement that they as an entire agency are out of line.

The guy didn't even rape the woman during company time, just with his uniform on. Why is that even relevant? Why don't we use what they are actually doing to people as the reason to take stabs at them, rather than what one sick guy did in his off time?

Re:Ass backwards. (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320042)

It's relevant because a lot of us think that TSA employees are pedo creeps and other types of perverts and something like that just reinforces the notion that perhaps we shouldn't let non LEOs engage in those sorts of screenings.

USA! USA! USA! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319856)

That is all

What cut? They're not being cut. (4, Insightful)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319882)

Federal Agencies never die, they just get re-spun with more responsibility so they can then complain for more funding when their current responsibilities are abandoned.

The examples given in this slashdot article are not cuts, they amount to normal civil-servant bashing and behavior. The only thing surprising is that the unionization of TSA workers isn't the most frightening thing imaginable.

Long overdue (3, Interesting)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319904)

The bastards burglarized my luggage the first time I flew after the agency went live.
Fedex has gotten a lot of business ever since.

Send them all back to Wal-Mart where they belong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319906)

Not one of them should remain.

Government too powerful anymore? (2)

Ramley (1168049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38319918)

The TSA was a generally "good" idea... To provide safety for transportation, I thought, but it turns out that it is a typical example of what happens when the government takes control of something it shouldn't.

I truly thought this administration would do exactly the opposite of what it has been doing the last 3 years, and I regret to say that it's as bad, or arguably worse, than the proceeding administration. Make no mistake, the administration is acutely aware of the details of what is happening — It has been behind the scanners, pat downs, and other infringements of its own citizens. A grand marketing campaign, with little substance.

I am not taking sides, but pointing out the obvious, I guess.

Congress calling some one ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38319974)

incompetent and ineffective, isnt that an oxymoron?

Re:Congress calling some one ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38320116)

No, it isn't. The word you want is "hypocrisy".

FBI changing definition? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320022)

The FBI is getting involved by changing its definition of rape in a way that might expose the TSA's 'enhanced pat-down' screeners to prosecution.

Stop the presses. When did enforcement agencies get to write laws? Are they just changing the in-house definition? So it'll be like "FBI internal policy says I have to arrest you, but you'll get off scott free because the law says something different"? This is not a good thing. It sets a precedent that things like "standing in a public area" could be made "illegal" per internal FBI mandate, allowing them to arrest you for literally anything over and over again, while never facing a jury. I'm all for ending the TSA feel-ups, but this is *not* the way to do it.

not death (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320056)

This is not death, which would increase unemployment and lose the only jobs program acceptable to you average conservative nut. Rather is will make it ineffective while keeping high paying jobs for useless bureaucrats.

How is it ineffective? If we do not screen everyone equally, then screening is useless. If we say that a baby here, or an old women there, or a military family is not to be screened based only on the fact that they are these people, we might as well blow up the planes ourselves. If I know babies are not searched, or old women, then that is where the explosives will be placed. And one cannot forget that an active military person has been known to be a terrorist, not to mention that such document can be forged. Security is zero.

If we are to have real security we have to train the TSA agents as police, not make them less authorize. They have to be able to profile based on actions, not race, age, or gender. As it is we are having the worst and most wasteful parts of the plan saved while reducing the practically nonexistent benefits to all but non existant.

Why do I get the feeling.. (1)

dthx1138 (833363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38320070)

...that if the TSA were replaced by private security contractors, as all these Republicans would love to see, that not a one of them would have a problem with "police-style uniforms" that "insult real cops" or any other complaints people have?

Did you ever notice how the vast majority of these people never said a negative word about the TSA in their life until Obama became president? They don't care about issues of personal liberty. They care about getting people mad at any cost so they'll vote the Democrat out of office.

stop crying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38320098)

I travel all the time I fly every week. I like TSA. I just wish they were more efficient. There is no more cancer risk with the new scanners as there is in using a cell phone. Its not an xray. Its not TSA that makes screening suck, its the idiots who cant understand the concept of how a line works and don't move to the end of the belt and hold up the line. Sometimes I wish TSA agents would be a bit more vocal but they are under so much scrutiny they can't

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