I have left no rock unturned in my derision of the Department of Homeland (In)security, and its security arm, the Transportation Security Administration. Today, the Los Angeles Times posted the following article:
By Mary Forgione Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger October 31, 2011, 12:32 p.m. "Get your freak on girl." That phrase written by a Transportation Security Administration baggage screener might get the worker fired. (L.A. Times)
The worker's offence? Writing a note on that form letter TSA put in your luggage when they riffle through it looking for your valuables...er...checking it for explosives. In this case, the agent discovered a vibrator. Way to jump right on that dangerous weapon there TSA, but why is it that you missed the loaded .38 not a week earlier?
TSA has argued that they are looking for explosives, not firearms, and clearly a pair of batteries placed end-to-end are more important to check out than a firearm with rounds in the chamber, because the super-sensitive detection equipment that cannot tell the difference between plastic explosives and peanut butter means you have to open the suit case, but clearly shows you that there are rounds in the chamber of a firearm! And let's face facts, if a gun discharges in the uncompressed baggage compartment, it will only make a hole in the aircraft. At least that is probably what the folks at TSA are hoping anyway. Never mind that they do not bother to actually check the airframe for explosives, which is a blessing for our friends in Columbia who continue to successfully smuggle drugs around the United States every day.
The bare facts are that the highly trained and background checked employees of the Transportation Security Agency are no better than the Keystone Kops they replaced in most airports. I say that with a certain degree of derision because I do remember going through airports where the security was much better under the private companies because the private companies hired people that actually cared about what they were doing, which is protecting the flying public. The TSA is only paying lip service. And if you do not believe me, just look up the number of them that have been disciplined for doing little to protect you versus the number of times they have stopped a real incident from happening.