Monday, March 19, 2012

TSA agents are the Keystone cops of security

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is the most comically inept government agency in existence.
Under the guise of securing our airports, the TSA has instituted a laughable set of ever-changing rules and procedures and hired thousands of mouth-breathers to enforce them. The agency has inconvenienced millions of travelers with little to show for it, all while violating the Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. citizens against unreasonable search and seizure.
To make matters worse, this multibillion-dollar waste of federal resources has expanded its mission scope to include security at train stations, bus depots, tourist attractions, the nation’s highways and even the Super Bowl.
Here’s a rundown of recent TSA stories that make the Keystone cops look professional.

TSA agent forces nursing mom to use breast pump

A nursing mother says she was humiliated by a TSA worker who forced her to pump her breasts in a public restroom before she could board a plane in Hawaii with her ice packs and bottles. The TSA screener violated the agency’s own rules in the incident, which occurred earlier this month.
(See articles by ABC News, MSNBC and the Washington Post.)

TSA deputizes hot dog vendors at Super Bowl

Looking to expand its purview, the TSA took a role in security at this year’s Super Bowl.
Even though the TSA has never caught a terrorist in its more than 10 years of operation, it trained hot dog sellers and other vendors at the Super Bowl to spot terrorist threats. As the old saying goes, those who can’t do, teach.
(See articles by Info Wars, Fox News and the Daily Mail.)

TSA confiscates pipes, realizes hours later they might be bombs

In January, TSA agents at New York’s La Guardia Airport found two possible pipe bombs in a passenger’s luggage and left the materials in a public area for six hours before alerting police. 
Even though the pipes turned out to be part of some “homeopathic medicine” kit, the incident shows that TSA agents have no clue as to what is dangerous or not and how to handle items if they suspect they are hazardous.
TSA agents frequently confiscate liquids and gels (water bottles, toothpaste, perfume, etc.) and just throw them in the garbage. If these items are possible explosives and potentially dangerous, why throw them in a nearby garbage can? They know and we know those items are not dangerous.
(See articles by Fox News, CNN and the Atlantic.)

TSA seizes cupcakes, other non-threatening items

The TSA has a long history of confiscating innocuous items, but missing real potential threats.
TSA agents are either stupid, don’t use common sense or are blindly following ridiculous rules when confiscating items like cupcakes, homemade jam, a purse with a gun decoration, an antique cannonball, and camera dust cleaners.
Of course, these are in addition to the regular harmless stuff the TSA confiscates every day, such as snow globes, toothpaste, shampoo, perfume, cologne, and bottles of water and soda.

TSA can’t take a joke, bans U.K. couple from entering U.S.

In January, two British tourists were barred from entering the U.S. after joking on Twitter that they were going to “destroy America” and “dig up Marilyn Monroe.” They were arrested after landing at Los Angeles International Airport.
Despite telling officials the term “destroy” was British slang for “party,” the couple was held on suspicion of planning to “commit crimes” and had their passports confiscated. The tweet about digging up Marilyn Monroe was a quote from the TV show “Family Guy.” After lengthy questioning by U.S. authorities, the two were forced to fly home, the Daily Mail reports.

TSA continues to pat down elderly, disabled and children

Despite assurances to the contrary, the TSA continues to pat down the elderly, the disabled and children.
Senior citizens, the handicapped and youngsters are low security risks. Photos and videos of TSA agents feeling up these types of airline passengers have sparked repeated outrage. But those complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

Photos: Anti-TSA poster (top) and protest cookies made by Alaskans’ Freedom to Travel USA (see Alaska Dispatch article).

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