Airport security is something we need. The TSA does have a number of flaws, (too many to rattle off here in a post) but I am glad to see they are at least trying to stop prohibited items (and for the most part are) from getting on planes. No one will ever agree on how to go about securing air travel but at least we have something. I do however believe that some of the "finds" are government or private agencies testing the system.
I know, and believe me, I worry too. However, I remember Bush 43 telling everyone to live their life and don't allow the bad guys to win….. I think those words were profound. Those, plus "trust, but verify", are words to live by. Clearly, those pics of things found at airports were not, by and large, terrorist weapons. At least that is what I want to believe, otherwise I could never get on all the flights I do…...
shoeman1000 I also agree with not letting the bad guys win. And probably many, if not most, of those weapons shown were not seized from people who really want to harm us. But I also am sure that many evil plans have been thwarted and the public will never know about them. I really respect those folks on our front line...it's a tough position to be in.
If TSA had ever stopped a real attack, a 9/11 style attack, we would have heard it trumpeted by them all over the news. They don't stop anything.
What they do accomplish is creating a concern on the part of the terrorists so that they no longer consider airplanes a soft target and will concentrate on something else. So the bottom line is that the annoyance TSA puts us through probably makes us safer.
I say TSA hasn't actually stopped anything because if they had stopped something they would have been trumpetting it to the heavens. Given the bad PR they always get, one major success would have changed their image dramatically. Since they haven't bragged about stopping one, I think that's good evidence that they haven't.
Article in USA Today from this morning:
From the article, "has TSA stopped an repeat of 9-11" or words to that effect...Fact is, there hasn't been a repeat regardless of who or what has been responsible for that.
"Pre check is essentially what we were doing before the terrorists attacked on 9-11" or words to that effect. Fact is, pre check makes no sense whatsoever.
I think that a form of pre-chack is the way to go. Eliminate those who do not pose a threat and concentrate on those who might be. The key is to be careful on who is eliminated. I know that I am not a threat so when I have precheck, it is not only better for me but everyone else.
You are so correct, that's why when they hooked Pre-Check with Global Entry or similar programs in other countries it made sense for those to get Pre-Check as they've gotten a background check so not sure why the TSA feels a need to have others in Pre-Check other than the $$.
In the FWIW category regarding both security and logic; I just finished a trip at IAD (Dulles) where I, who have never done anything with TSA PreCheck (I have priority access thru the credit card but nothing more), was redirected from my normal entry way, where I've never had any significant delays, down to the TSA PreCheck (quite enthusiastically by the agent who acted like I had won the lottery). As I arrived from my 100 yard walk, I saw two lines, one TSA which had easily 60 or more folks in it, the other, an essentially ignored line for apparently schlubs. I inquired about the schlub line and the agent said, "sure you can use it, but you have to take your shoes off" (which I of course had already planned on - thus the topsiders and no belt). I looked at the back of the TSA line (who did not have to remove clothing), went thru and easily beat 40 or 50 of those VIPs in the TSA line - go figure.
On that comment I'm going to get some of jerrycoin "medication" started. LOL
Last November, I made the decision to take up the practice of opting for the pat down in lieu of going through "the naked body machines" whenever pre-check is unavailable. I could care less what any scurrilous TSA agents might think or say about my scanned image, I just refuse to subject my cells to unknown quantities of unknown matter. So far, so good. The agents (all ladies) have been professional, courteous and - careful, and it hasn't taken too long.
I'll leave those questions for the experts, though I am not comfortable with the machines (plus when I'm not pre-check I always seem to get pulled aside for additional scrutiny anyway) since I get a ton of xrays and MRIs on a regular basis anyway. I do feel certain that like most contracts, someone had an 'in.' Plus some of the latest types of threat seem to involve surgically implanted explosives. What will we do about that?
I actually forgot to tell my best anti-Schiphol story of the last week, which happened yesterday. At security, through priority lines (the other lines were moving MUCH faster (about x5) even though they don't do reverse pre-check), they x-rayed my purse 4 or 5 times and my suitcase 2 or 3. This was getting a little much but you can't dare antagonize someone with such power. What annoyed me the most was the absolute nothing of interest they found in either but kept whole long lines of priority passengers waiting while non-FF were filling up most of the usable seats.
They could have simply done what they did at the end with my purse (if I told this story yesterday excuse me -- no sleep and sick and communications with others and airlines). They asked if they could look through it. I would have happily taken every single item out and let them turn the whole thing upside down, but no, it had to go through the xray machine 5 times before they asked to examine it, much to the glares of people behind me. And I've gotten so used to Schiphol that I even put all my cords in ziplocs since I know they will make me remove them, which used to mean virtual unpacking of my suitcase.
What we need is common sense, like in Tel Aviv. I'm not talking about ethnic or racial profiling, but behavioral. Look at how someone behaves, if they seem nervous or shifty, if they have a one-way ticket paid with cash, or by contrast if they're a decrepit 61-yr-old very FF like me.
What I don't understand is why there aren't metal detectors that you have to go through when you go through the doors. TSA has rejected letting TSA people arm themselves. Why weren't all of these weapons detected as they entered the airport terminals?
And I'll take freedom since TSA agents do not make me feel safer. Now in Tel Aviv, that was another story. I know many disagree with me and I respect your opinions, but I have always felt that TSA is mostly inconvenient window dressing. I think most of the real work that goes on in airports that may detect threats involves roaming behavioral types who look for suspicious behavior as well as trained dogs. And ultimately, in more than a few instances, it has been the people on a given plane that have done the best 'screening' of all.