Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I flew out of Orlando over the weekend. The airport was empty, the security line enormous. I waited over an hour. I watched a TSA officer screen one woman’s bag eleven times. Surely, it was that eleventh pass that made me safer.
No surprise, I counted over 500 people in line with me and was probably no more than halfway through the line when I got bored and gave up.
But to what end?
For starters, there have been numerous studies questioning TSA ability to make us safer. The data here is endless. Check out these transcripts from a recent Jonathon Corbett interview with a former TSA screener named “Jennifer.”
Jon: What would you test it with when you were testing the machines?
Jennifer: There were different props: guns, knives, bags of powder that were supposed to resemble explosive material.
Jon: Sometimes these would just go through completely undetected?
Jon: So they didn’t care if you were certified or not?
Jennifer: No, I actually went to my supervisor — or a supervisor — the first day. I and another officer had this concern, that, you know, ‘Look, we’ve never worked on this particular machine, we don’t know what to do’ and his answer was, ‘Sorry, we don’t have enough staffing, you’re going to have to work on it.’ ’
Jon: You wrote to Congress about the problems you saw in the TSA.
Jennifer: I did.
Jon: What happened?
Jennifer: I sent my letter on Jan. 1, and I came back from sick leave about a week later, and I was immediately removed from screening duties.
This article was posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8:52 am