I have illustrated the lapses in the so called increased security at airports lately. But in case you have been living under a rock or actually think being strip searched, fondled, and irradiated are good for you and mean that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is there to keep you safe and ensure that the bad guys are not going to blow up or hijack your aircraft should think again.
This morning, this article was in our local news. Drinks Bought Inside Airports Tested (WTOP). Lest you think that is a typo and should read Drinks Brought Into Airports Tested, no, it is not. The TSA is testing drinks, purchased inside the secure area for explosives because:
Vendors and employees at airports are not screened every day
As George Carlin would say: “Let me say that again, because it sounds, vaguely important.” Vendors and employees at airports are not screened every day. I can understand that there is a certain level of expectation of, oh, call it goodness in those that run the airport. FAA air traffic controllers, airport management, and life safety officials (police, fire, rescue) are all subjected to numerous, one would hope, rigorous background checks. They have access to areas of the airport that the average person would never get to go (like the runways for example). But to extend this assumption to the vendors, many of whom are not US citizens – at least here in DC, and I am sure in other places – is ludicrous. Worse, to think that they are more trustworthy than the traveling public, which includes numerous people with higher clearances, and more intense background checks than those who are working at the airport is just absurd.
The TSA’s job is to protect the traveling public. Their focus, since their creation, has been on improving the perceived weaknesses in air safety. They have failed. Utterly. This is only the latest example of their short comings. How many more are we, their paymasters, going to allow?