WhiteHouse.gov Petition To Abolish The TSA … why?

One week ago a new petition appeared on the White House’s website, the petition is to Abolish the TSA, and use its monstrous budget to fund more sophisticated, less intrusive counter-terrorism intelligence.To date, this petition has received more than 24,000 supporters … which leads to the question of “Why?

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has grown at an alarming rate, seemingly answers to no one and appears to operate outside the law, but the agency need not be abolished, it needs to be overhauled. A transformed TSA that is effective, mission focused and accountable is what aviation security needs.

 

For those who believe the TSA needs to be abolished what do you propose replace the TSA?  At what cost do you propose your new agency replace the TSA?  Prior to the TSA, airport security in the United States, while privatized, was overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Air Marshals were part of the FAA.  Airport security and aviation security in the U.S. needs to be realistic and regulated within an agency that often has limitless power, as well transportation security needs to stay within a normalized and justified budget.

 

Wondering what aviation security costs in the United States? Read this detailed blog post from July 2010 – What Is The True Cost Of U.S. Airport Security?

 

So as you ponder the abolishment of the TSA start coming up with idea for what you envision replacing the TSA.   The answer to what would replace an abolished TSA is simple … the TSA would replaced with the TSA.

 

If you are considering signing a petition on the White Houses’ website to abolish the TSA, keep this in mind. If you want the TSA abolished you need to petition your Congressional Representative, not the President of the United States. If you want to change the TSA, which is what needs to happen, contact your representatives on The Hill, let your voice be heard.

 

Happy Flying!

 

 

Comments

  1. I would honestly prefer nothing to what we have… yeah I understand but I mean it. Obviously we have to get to something effective with FAR less cost and FAR better results but it’s the bigger issues that bother me most.

    IMO we have to address: The automatic assumption your a criminal, the lack of respect travelers are treated with and the effectiveness of this pantamine stuff we have now. They need enforced limits and they need to look at the right things – creating a gov entity was never going to be cost effective (besides why only airports… I thought they were supposed to look at everything else as well??) so they have to add some value over the private firms we used to have (and they don’t).

    Some talking points:

    * Bomb resistant cargo containers have been around in different forms since the 70’s that I know of but prob before that. They are heavy and expensive, so airlines will never move to use them by choice as it’s cheaper to lawyer up against the acts that happen (although maybe now days the weight can be helped with modern materials becoming mostly a $ issue given the billions of those things that must exist).
    * Why do we always fight the last battle – shoes and nail clippers… really?? A stupid plastic bag and no water bottles…. really?
    * Political correctness…. Why are kids and old ladies in wheel chairs targeted? The fact is most terrorists have in the past fitted a certain racial profile… that sux for the mostly innocent travelers that fit that profile but why not spend some more time looking where the fire is instead of pretending it has to be even across everything? If fat middle aged business men in dark blue suits start blowing stuff up then I expect to be put under more scrutiny 🙂
    * Why do we all get such different answers to what is good and bad…. each TSO grunt seems to have their own rules despite what is on the web-site or what was allowed last time.

    I know flying is the absolute last resort for me – both business and pleasure – and that is sad as I love air travel….. and that is costing the travel industry. I know I am not in the minority of avoiding air travel and the TSA is a big part of that decision, so the TSA has had a vast cost on the industry – along with the pathetic airlines policies and grumpy employees.

  2. You aren’t serious, right? This is just a joke to see if readers are awake.
    Yes, the FAA controlled aviation’s security before 9/11 — in fact, we can blame what happened that day on the FAA’s policies. And you actually favor keeping government, albeit another bureaucracy that’s arguably even MORE corrupt, inept and unaccountable than the FAA, groping passengers in offensive “security theater.”
    That’s so illogical it’s insane.

  3. “Airport security and aviation security in the U.S. needs to be realistic and regulated within an agency that often has limitless power.”

    And what kind of agency exactly is going to wield limitless power? Your post says you want the TSA and you’re basically giving off the vibe that they’re a necessity. So lets say you have another agency with limitless power ‘reguate’ the TSA. You’re basically letting government-entity A with limitless power govern government-entity B. What makes you think anything will change? Aside from a convoluted chain-of-command, you’ll basically end up with more of the same.

    Let the airlines and/or the airports deal with security. What we need is less government. Not more of it. Government often tries to solve problems or create solutions with the best of intentions. Most of the time, however, they typically end up with pretty bad results. The list of screw-ups is long, but you can add the TSA right on that list.

  4. Is the TSA perfect? No.
    Does it cost too much? Yes.
    Should it be abolished? Absolutely not.
    Should it be reformed? Probably.
    First off, the TSA is not theater, tell me the last time a bomb made its way on to a plane, or a gun. Even if it were theater, it is very effective. If we got rid of security altogether as Bob suggests, 1000s would be dead within days and you wouldn’t have to worry about security because nobody would fly any more.

  5. There is a cost to everything and Security is not any different. Whether the cost goes to support the TSA or a private company it is still the same. Just because the security function is privatised does not mean that the TSA or its successor will stop calling the shots or mandating requirements. We just added another layer. The notion that a private company is going to be more responsive is so flawed, just look at all the complaints about customer support issues across all industries. Private enterprise can sometimes be much worse than the government.
    The TSA should not be abolished, it should be reinvented in response to a fresh hard hard look and review of aviation security globally and locally. The TSA is a trend setter, whatever is mandated in the USA filters to and influences airport and aviation security in one form or another in the world.
    The evil you know is much much better than the one you don’t.

  6. I would take issue with Oussama on two points. First, the TSA is not a trend setter – it has its own peculiar requirements which are not adopted elsewhere and which appear to have little to do with security and more to do with theater. For example, removing shoes is a TSA peculiarity, as is having to take pieces of paper out of your pockets.
    Second, it has been proven time and again that private companies operate more efficiently than state-owned entities. Clearly, there needs to be state mandated supervision of the private companies – just as there needs to be state supervision of the TSA – in both cases to ensure that the correct job is done. But private companies have always been more customer-focused and faster to change their ways. There are bad private companies, particularly where they operate as a semi-monopoly, but even these are not nearly as horrible as state owned entities – the DMV is a superb example of this – or indeed any state entity with which the public interacts.

  7. Steven –

    I’m curious what is intended by your statement “regulated within an agency that often has limitless power”. Doesn’t the constitution effectively prohibit any agency from having limit less power. I’m simply missing your point here. Looking forward to your reply, thanks.

  8. TSA is a jobs program creating an illusion of airline security. After nearly a trillion dollars over eight years they can’t cite one success. Meanwhile 60% of the freight in the cargo hold remains unscreened, half of that from foreign shippers.

    Add to that the 52 TSA screeners arrested this year for serious crimes, including two last month, one for rape and the other for murder. Of these, nine have been for sex crimes involving children. They can’t prevent crime within their own ranks, but we’re supposed to trust this agency with airport security.

    There is no excuse to harass and humiliate people simply for the “crime” of flying. The guards at Treblinka were just doing their job too and sadly even had those who excused their atrocities.

    This is a clear failure in management and explains why so many abuses are occurring. Pistole and the senior staff of TSA have failed miserably in managing this agency and it must be abolished.

    TSA Crimes and Abuses
    http://www.travelunderground.org/index.php?threads/master-lists-of-tsa-abuses-crimes.317/

  9. This article is an absolute JOKE! “What would replace the TSA? The TSA would replace the TSA!” complete and utter crap! BEFORE the TSA, (which was conveniently put in place IMMEDIATELY after 911) each airport had a private security firm, which is infinitely better than a Government agency. First of all the TSA is run by the DHS and you put ALL the power into miss Janet Napolitano’s hands. With that power you have TSA agents putting passengers through cancer causing X ray scanners and/or touching their genitals (male and female) You also have the intention of expanding these “security protocols” to bus stations, train stations, malls, hotels, concerts, sports events ETC! You have government agents with NO accountability to anybody intruding on all aspects of your life. How is private airport security better? First of all you have TRUE profoessional security officials who’s companies BID on the contracts (it’s exponentitally cheaper to higher individual private firms COMPETING for business at each airport) Second, you have security professional accountable to their corproation and more importantly to the LAW! Lsastly, and most importantly you wouldn’t have these rediculous new “Security theater” measures harmful to your health and your personal freedom from being molested; and this would be limited to AIRPORTS not and ever encroaching and expanding government agency. since 1980 to present only 2000 of 11.5 billion passengers have died on an aircraft (crashes and terrorist attacks combined) That’s a 99.9999815% chance of living through your flight! Since the TSA has been implemented, not only has it cost the citizens hundreds of billions of THEIR TAX dollars, lost freedoms and longer wait times at the airport (with these security features set to be expanded to other areas of our lives!)…. but the TSA has not been responsible for stopping 1 terrorist attack, and fails over 75% of it’s own security tests. THAT is why the TSA should be ABOLISHED and NOT REFORMED. Once again, this article is pure propaganda and a complete bold faced lie.

    -Chris Saccoccia ckris_s@hotmail.com

  10. fisher, let me get this straight, you want the TSA to be abolished because .09% of their employees have been accused of serious crimes? That ridiculous. Nobody says it’s a crime to fly, but by the nature of flying, more security is needed than driving your car down the street. Anyone who is humiliated by TSA procedures is a baby, I’ve been though all of their precedes and I consider it a badge of honor. Theater or not, the TSA works, there haven’t been any attempts to blow up planes where the would be bomber went through the TSA since the TSA was established.

  11. @NB The idea that private is more efficient than public has not been proven to be try. I would love to see your studies. In fact, several recent studies (cited below) have demonstrated the contrary. The FAA had wanted airlines to install steel doors in the cockpit for years but the airlines resisted because of weight. It was also policy! (a residual effect of the hijackings of the seventies) to let ostensible hijackers into the cockpit and give them what they want since that was what seemed to work best in the seventies. Had the airlines done what the FAA wanted, and not let anyone in the cockpit regardless, 9/11 would not have happened. On the other hand, perhaps then the terrorists would have blown up a few McDonalds, and then where would we be.

    http://www.psiru.org/reports/2005-10-W-effic.doc

    http://gala.gre.ac.uk/3628/ Abstract:”A range of empirical evidence now shows that there is no systematic significant difference between public and private operators in terms of efficiency or other performance measures. Due to the unsupported assumption that private companies are more efficient, policies have become seriously imbalanced.” Study done at the University of Greenwich.

    All we have to do is look at banking and the financial sector performance recently to see how inefficient (from a long-term general benefit point-of-view) private industry can be. One might argue that inefficiency is a function of size, i.e. the larger one becomes the more bureaucratic and less efficient. That would be an argument for letting each airline be in charge of its own security. That would create some competition, but would also probably make passenger travel more inefficient since the rules might vary from one airline to another. Screening would be best accomplished outside the airport through ID cards and background checks vetting passengers. The huge lines of people at the TSA checkpoints now create a terrorist’s wet dream. They could bring any sized bomb up to the checkpoint with impunity.

  12. I agree with you the TSA just needs a overhaul security is important as we all know its just the costs of the TSA are far too high maybe it needs to changed to a private company . I am sure a private company would not waste money like the TSA does .

  13. Just because the TSA has not physically caught someone smuggling a bomb through security doesn’t mean it wouldn’t happen without them. If there were no security, people would waltz right through security with whatever they wanted without having to worry about being caught. Since there is the TSA between them and a plane, they have to worry about the TSA catching them, so they will not try to get a bomb through security.

  14. Aviation security prior to 9/11 was just fine. One incident and everyone goes off the rails. Sure, it was one BIG incident, but one nonetheless. And, it could happen again just as easily… except that terrorists have better, more effective ways, than hijacking airplanes.

  15. “First off, the TSA is not theater, tell me the last time a bomb made its way on to a plane, or a gun.”

    Not sure about the bomb… but several guns going through checkpoints have made it into the news very recently.

    Maybe the TSO was incompetent, maybe he was focused on looking for 3.5oz toothpaste tubes.. not sure. But it did happen… several times.

  16. “For example, removing shoes is a TSA peculiarity, as is having to take pieces of paper out of your pockets.”

    I can explain both of these. First, the shoes. You remove your shoes because the TSA is unable to get their metal detectors to accurately maintain the magnetic field that close to the ground, so it is raised up. Therefore, your shoes do not get scanned. Neither would anything in the bottom of your sock.

    In fact, if you opt out of the imaging machines, the pat down won’t even check the bottoms of your feet. I asked the TSO giving me the pat down and they assured me that if anything dangerous were on the bottom of my foot it would be impossible to walk. I assured him otherwise, but he didn’t care. I guess a flat knife is not dangerous.

    As far as the two pieces of paper… they are revenue protection for the airlines, plain and simple. When you check in at the counter, the airline will check your ID to make sure you didn’t cheat and give the ticket to someone else. But, when you check in online, they don’t, so the TSA handles that for them. Easily defeated if you create your own boarding pass.

  17. Kris, you see keen to defend the TSA, but their “theater” illusion has NOT made us any safer.

    In test after test they fail, alarmingly in over 70% of the tests weapons and materials have made it onto planes.

    Even normal every day citizens have gotten through security before noticing they had a weapon of some sort that the screeners did not find.

    The TSA is a complete waste of money, especially in the financial mess this country already.

  18. TSA = touch someones ass. To think there would be no security at an Airport because of the shutdown of the TSA is completely ludicrous. Airports themselves would take over the internal security that it needs, and would probably base slogans off of it. “Fly the safest airline” etc, etc. Not only that. I believe they would be way more effective, and less intrusive.

  19. All those who believe going back to pre- 9/11 screening practices would be ineffective think AGAIN. As a former TSA Screener, most of the procedures and equipment and PEOPLE were retained. All that happened is everyone received massive pay increases after testing and passing. All that happened is the government needed someone to blame for the 9/11 attach so they blamed the private screening industry. This way everyone would feel safe again and the government could expand their overreach. Please ask yourself before 9/11, how many attacks were there? My mentors were previous screeners and were very professional. They all said nothing really changed and all the equipment we were using was the same they used pre-TSA. I resigned my post because I could no longer take the feeling of doing nothing accept waste tax payer dollars. ABOLISH TSA and go back to pre 9/11 when the Government overseen the private screeners but at substantial savings to us!

  20. I’m a TSA officer, and ^Bob^ is spot on. Soon enough, I’ll be right behind ya Bob, and partly for the same reasons. Inefficient to no end. It’s a disgrace, the public only knows half of how horrible and incompetent the employees are there ( on all levels ). The only reason I’m still here is because it’s a (somewhat) secure job in a bad economy. I quote the movie Spaceballs on a regular. “I’m surrounded by a$$hole$!”

  21. How about we abolish the TSA and replace it with the security we had prior to the TSA? Remember that boxcutters were legal at the time the terrorists boarded airplanes with them and hijacked them. If boxcutters were illegal on September 11, 2001 the 9/11 terrorists would have been stopped by private security for attempting to bring illegal items aboard an airplane. Terrorist attacks are still a rare occurance especially on US soil. Ironically most hijackings and terrorist attacks against US interests happen on foreign soil including the two terrorists (the shoe bomber and underwear bomber) who boarded planes with explosives after 9/11 but the TSA is focusing on US based terrorist attacks. The security we had prior to 9/11 and the changes in regulations after the 9/11 attacks are more effective than the TSA and private security that preceeded the TSA could easily handle this job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *