Former FBI Special Agent: the TSA is Useless

#Opinion

Mon, Mar 5th, 2012 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Looking at their ten-year track record of catching nothing, Steve Moore thinks the TSA is pretty much useless.

Steve has the authority to say so: he's worked for 25 years as an FBI special agent and counter-terrorist specialist. And if that wasn't enough to convince that he knows what he's talking about, he also ran the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Al Qaeda squad.

Frankly, the professional experience I have had with TSA has frightened me. Once, when approaching screening for a flight on official FBI business, I showed my badge as I had done for decades in order to bypass screening. (You can be envious, but remember, I was one less person in line.) I was asked for my form which showed that I was armed. I was unarmed on this flight because my ultimate destination was a foreign country. I was told, "Then you have to be screened." This logic startled me, so I asked, "If I tell you I have a high-powered weapon, you will let me bypass screening, but if I tell you I'm unarmed, then I have to be screened?" The answer? "Yes. Exactly." Another time, I was bypassing screening (again on official FBI business) with my .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a TSA officer noticed the clip of my pocket knife. "You can't bring a knife on board," he said. I looked at him incredulously and asked, "The semi-automatic pistol is okay, but you don't trust me with a knife?" His response was equal parts predictable and frightening, "But knives are not allowed on the planes."

And I thought this part was particularly disturbing:

[...] The report goes on to state that the virtual strip search screening machines are a failure in that they cannot detect the type of explosives used by the "underwear bomber" or even a pistol used as a TSA?s own real-world test of the machines. Yet TSA has spent approximately $60 billion since 2002 and now has over 65,000 employees, more than the Department of State, more than the Department of Energy, more than the Department of Labor, more than the Department of Education, more than the Department of Housing and Urban Development---combined. TSA has become, according to the report, "an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy more concerned with ... consolidating power."

Each time the TSA is publically called to account for their actions, they fight back with fear-based press releases which usually begin with "At a time like this..." Or "Al Qaeda is planning?at this moment ..." The tactic, of course, is to throw the spotlight off the fact that their policies are doing nothing to make America safer "at a time like this." Sometimes doing the wrong thing is just as bad as doing nothing.

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