J. D. Heyes
May 11, 2012
The phrase, “bloated, broken bureaucracy” could apply to a number of federal government agencies, but without question there is no more apt description of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In fact, one could add a few more adjectives, such as inept, arrogant, self-serving and – did I say inept?
So bad is the agency’s performance and reputation that more and more lawmakers are calling for this sad experiment in government-run airport security to come to an end. The latest call comes from Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., who says that, for starters, TSA chief John Pistole should step down immediately.
Citing thousands of complaints about the agency in recent months, along with a litany of outrageous “searches” and behavior – all in the name of “just doing our job” (the same excuse the Nazi guards used in the Nuremberg trials) – Broun has basically pointed at the hulking 800-pound gorilla in the room in stating the obvious.
“It is clear that the TSA has become nothing more than a bloated, broken bureaucracy which uses its extensive power to violate traveling Americans’ civil liberties while doing little to ensure their safety,” Broun said in a letter to Pistole.
Can’t even deploy its equipment on time
It should be noted that in November 2010alone, theAmerican Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) received900 complaintsfrom travelers, surprisingly not long after new invasive screening procedures were implemented.
In addition to Broun’s letter, theHouse Government Reform and Oversight Committeehas released a new report detailing the agency’s abuses and accusing the TSA of “wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by inefficiently deploying screening equipment” at the nation’s 463 airports. The report mentioned that a good portion of the TSA’s newest, state-of-the-art screening equipment remains in storage, though that’s probably good news to millions of Americans who travel, since much of that gear is comprised of high-tech x-ray machines that are far too revealing, if you follow.
“Americans can no longer tolerate the flagrant violations of their civil rights which are occurring at airports nationwide in the name of ‘security,’” Broun said.
“More importantly, the corruption and continued lack of security among TSA’s own personnel puts our country at extreme risk of another terrorist attack. The time has come for serious action to be taken,” Broun continued.
“As such, I request your immediate resignation from the position of TSA Administrator. The safety of our country’s travelers requires drastic change, and the time for that change is now.”
In late April, Broun said in an interview withPoliticothat theDepartment of Homeland Security(DHS) chief Janet Napolitano should step down as well; TSA falls under DHS. And he has called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal.
Others have called for TSA’s demise
Broun is not the first lawmaker seeking to end the travel tyranny of the TSA.
Long-shot GOP presidential contender and current Texas Rep. Ron Paul has labeled the agency a “bureaucratic monster” that needs to go.
Criticizing the agency for detaining his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, during a recent trip, the elder Paul says the agency reminds him of a walking, talking Fourth Amendment violation.
“It totally voids the concept of the Fourth Amendment, searches and prodding and poking, you know, with no permission,” Paul toldCNNa week after the January incident.
“They trap us into it,” he said. “There’s no way you can travel if you don’t do it. So I’ve said, you know, when you look at some of these pictures of probing groin areas and breast areas and all this, and old women having to take their clothes off, if we as a people are so complacent that we can look at that and say, oh, that’s OK, they’re making us safe.”
“It doesn’t make us safe. It undermines our liberties and there’s a much better way of giving us security at the airports than accepting the bureaucrats and the politicians in Washington. That is totally unacceptable from my viewpoint,” he said, adding that the agency should be abolished and airport security privatized.
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This article was posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 at 3:13 am