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Congressional cost-cutting should start with TSA

TSA scanner image

Whatever respect I might have had for the TSA, whatever leeway I might have accorded them in the interest of security, is gone. Long gone. While Washington wrangles over the debt ceiling, the budget, cost cutting, etc., they should consider abolishing the TSA.

Established by a terrified (literally) government in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the TSA was supposed to make the flying public feel safe. But that safety was and still is illusory. It’s been ten years and the TSA has yet to catch a terrorist. The police have caught terrorists. Alert citizens have caught terrorists. Federal investigators have caught terrorists. Foreign entities have caught terrorists. But the TSA? Zilch.

What they have done is infuriate U.S. citizens by violating their constitutional right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. They have patted down children over the objections of both the children and their parents and in direct violation of everything those children were taught about strangers; parents who objected too strenuously have been arrested. They have embarrassed and enraged adults with inappropriate touching/groping during pat-downs and with revealing scanner images. They have patted down children, nuns, and the elderly while allowing much more likely “suspects” to board without questioning. They have forced a wheelchair-ridden 95-year-old woman to remove her diaper. They rummage through luggage that must be left unsecured and subject to theft by anyone, including TSA employees themselves. They have delayed flights, inconvenienced passengers, and disrupted travel plans ad nauseam. They have been inept enough to let a man travel cross country with a stolen boarding pass and student ID. They allowed someone, somehow, to get a stun gun onto a recent JetBlue flight. They routinely fail their own security tests.

TSA pat down

And they still haven’t caught a single terrorist.

There hasn’t been a successful terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. That was ten years ago. Those perpetrators are dead or in prison. Also dead is their leader, Osama bin Laden. Their organization, al Qaeda, is scattered and on the run. So why is this inept, bloated agency still being funded? For how many more years will the TSA be allowed to violate our rights in the name of homeland security?

Come on, Congress. The TSA just isn’t worth it.

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