[rescue] Airport Security and Rescues...

Phil Stracchino alaric at metrocast.net
Thu Mar 27 06:50:21 CDT 2008

Geoffrey S. Mendelson wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 06:38:21AM -0400, Phil Stracchino wrote:
>> I have more than once speculated that the real purpose of the TSA is to 
>> make air travel so intolerable that nobody in the US flies any more. 
>> The one thing I can't figure out is what the win in this is for the 
>> government.
> If you have ever flown El-Al, you understand why the TSA does what it
> does. El-Al uses all sorts of politicaly incorrect methods of spotting
> the people who may be terrorists and questioning and inspecting them.
> The TSA does basicly the same thing, but since they can't use those
> methods they have to use a 10 pound hammer to accomplish what could be
> done with a pair of tweezers if left alone.

But El-Al security is *effective*.  TSA is 90% useless security theater. 
  If there's a ridiculous and intrusive "security measure" that doesn't 
actually make anyone any safer, TSA will find it and use it, but they 
won't use the effective methods Israel uses because of the risk that 
somebody might get offended, and because picking out people who are 
acting funny requires people with actual training and skills, not 
minimum-wage drones following a list of (frequently nonsensical and 
frequently useless) rules on a clipboard.

When the FFDO program (armed flight deck crews) was proposed, TSA fought 
tooth and nail against it.  When they couldn't stop it, they set out to 
sabotage it instead.  Among other things, they set up the regulations so 
that FFDOs couldn't carry their own sidearms to and from the cockpit, 
they had to be carried on and off the aircraft by TSA personnel in 
locked 22-lb vaults that the crew then had to open in the confined space 
of the cockpit.  During the period that regulation was in force, more 
than 300 FFDO sidearms were stolen en route to or from the cockpit *by 
TSA personnel*.  When Congress finally quashed that, TSA's new 
regulations require FFDOs to use locking holsters that their sidearm 
must be padlocked into every time they leave the cockpit, a policy which 
just caused an accidental discharge on a USAir flight.

TSA isn't security.  TSA is a Keystone Kops parody of security.

   Phil Stracchino, CDK#2         ICBM: 43.5607, -71.355
   Renaissance Man, Unix ronin, Perl hacker, Free Stater
   alaric at caerllewys.net            alaric at metrocast.net
           It's not the years, it's the mileage.

More information about the rescue mailing list