TSA-uniform.jpg

Cutting the TSA Down to Size

By way of introducing H.R. 3608, the Stop TSA’s Reach in Policy Act (the STRIP Act), over at Forbes.com, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn issues scathing criticism of the TSA and its TSOs. 

One thing I learned from reading her op-ed is that despite the nomenclature, Transportation Security Officers are no such thing.  As Rep. Blackburn points out, these TSOs are not trained law enforcement personnel, and their training is less rigorous than the requirements to become a security guard in most states.  What’s more,

While TSO’s may have the appearance of a federal law enforcement officer they have neither the authority nor the power. If a passenger brings a loaded gun or an explosive device into an airport screening area there is nothing a TSO can do until the local police step in to save the day.

If TSO’s are truly our nation’s last line of defense in stopping an act of terrorism, then the TSA should immediately end the practice of placing hiring notices for available TSO positions on pizza boxes and at discount gas stations as they have done in our nation’s capital.

Rep. Blackburn also details the appearance of the DHS’s new Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team operation, which has set up 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and search operations on highways, and in train stations, subways, and ferry terminals.  “The very thought of federal employees with zero law enforcement training roaming across our nation’s transportation infrastructure with the hope of randomly thwarting a domestic terrorist attack,” Blackburn argues, “makes about as much sense as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Justice tour.”

At first blush, Rep. Blackburn’s proposed legislation seems pretty insubstantial, and essentially consists of rolling back the TSA to its pre-September, 2008 status.  Among the aims of the STRIP Act are prohibiting the use of the title “officer” for any TSA personnel who have not received law enforcement training, and a change to the standard TSA uniform — Rep. Blackburn argues that allowing TSOs to wear a police-like uniform and metal police badge amounts to false advertising and empowers TSA overreach.

It doesn’t seem like much, but any attempt to cut these glorified airport screeners down to size has my stamp of approval.

  1. genferei

    An interesting article by former FBI Special Agent etc. etc.: TSA: Fail.

  2. Grantman
    genferei: An interesting article by former FBI Special Agent etc. etc.: TSA: Fail. · 1 hour ago

    Quite the indictment in the article.  I knew it was bad, but not this bad.

    Thanks for posting.

  3. DocJay

    When I saw your title I was envisioning yet another good use for a Husqvarna chainsaw.

  4. Stuart Creque

    I have a suggestion: if they’re going to continue to palpate our parts, can we at least get them trained to feel for suspicious lumps?  I’d feel better about the invasive procedures if I thought they might help me detect early cancers.

  5. Aaron Miller

    So bold. So daring.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGPsBgkbdBU

    That ought to do it!

  6. flownover

    My personal parlor game is often measuring the ratio of bottompatters to shoeless pilgrims . The airport has always been one of our greatest exhibitions . Best people-watching , spoiled.

  7. Diego Sun Devil

    Anyone remember this?

    It certainly scared me at the time.  The left threw a fit when Bush ordered a brigade to be stationed on home soil, yet using the TSA to do what seems to be the exact same thing is fine.  OK, whatever. It must be good because it comes from the Left and they are all caring, unlike the evil Bushitler, who just wanted to create a new SS.  It makes complete sense, right?
  8. Larry3435

    Since the entire airport security apparatus is simply Kibuki theater, designed to give the impression of security while doing nothing to thwart actual terrorists (who will be using stinger missiles for their next attack, in case anyone outside the TSA was unaware of this), I suggest the uniform below would be appropriate.

    kibuki.png

  9. EJHill

    Trip through CLE security today. Two “officers” manning x-ray and a male and female manning the back scatter nudie machine. All while FIVE others stood around, told jokes and watched the other four.

    I would have snapped a picture but that would have made me miss my flight.

  10. Orion
    flownover: My personal parlor game is often measuring the ratio of bottompatters to shoeless pilgrims . The airport has always been one of our greatest exhibitions . Best people-watching , spoiled. · 12 minutes ago

    Indeed. I kind of miss the days when the Hare Krishna roamed free… 

  11. Skyler

    The problem with this is it doesn’t reduce the TSA’s powers, it just gives them more reason to spend more money to train their groping perverts.  There is no way the TSA will accept the downgraded status.  It will simply do a crash course for all their people and be back to square one.

    And I’m not sure which is worse, an ignorant TSA agent pawing through my belongings, or a more powerful TSO pawing through my belongings.  I kind of like limiting them to calling for the cops for help.

  12. Songwriter
    CoolHand

    Fake John Galt: For some reason the new scanners have issues with me and I usually get singled out for a pat down. I have been having fun with it. I find that during the pat down if you slowly increase your breathing to a pant, throw in an occasional shudder, maybe a moan, that things go rather quickly. It is interesting to see how red you can make the person patting you down. My goal is to make one run away. · 1 minute ago

    Heh.

    After they finish, you should ask if you can be screened again, only this time you’d like them to look into your eyes while they do it. · 8 hours ago

    Or perhaps see if you can get a phone number?

  13. Pilli
    Diego Sun Devil: Anyone remember this?

    That is exactly what I thought about.  You beat me to it.  All we need is for the TSA to change their uniform color to brown.

  14. Songwriter

    The now ex-husband of a friend of mine did nothing for some 15 years. Nothing.  He did not work inside or outside the home. Nothing – other than to eat the food his wife provided in the home she paid for, and go the movies almost every day. 

    Once my friend finally dumped the guy, he had to get a job to support himself. Guess where he landed? (Pardon the pun.)  That’s right – the TSA.

    And it gets worse.  This same guy, who literally loafed his life away for all those many years, now trains other TSA agents.

    Only in a government gig could this happen.

  15. wilber forge

    Be kind. All those TSA employees can be classified as filling the Shovel Ready Jobs promise.

  16. Starve the Beast

    While TSO’s may have the appearance of a federal law enforcement officer they have neither the authority nor the power.

    The only authority  that police or firemen have is what we give them.  When the feces hits the air distribution system, we all acknowledge that they’re in charge, and because they’re mostly  trained and professional, things work out OK, more or less, usually.

    The TSA is operating on exactly the same principal. They’re wearing uniforms, they speak in loud, authoritative voices, and they can call the real cops if y0u cross them, but that is the extent of their power. They’re only big shots because we let them act that way.

    Just sayin’.

  17. CandE
    CoolHand

    Fake John Galt: For some reason the new scanners have issues with me and I usually get singled out for a pat down. I have been having fun with it. I find that during the pat down if you slowly increase your breathing to a pant, throw in an occasional shudder, maybe a moan, that things go rather quickly. It is interesting to see how red you can make the person patting you down. My goal is to make one run away. · 1 minute ago

    Heh.

    After they finish, you should ask if you can be screened again, only this time you’d like them to look into your eyes while they do it. · 9 hours ago

    That works until you find one that responds with an little grin and offers to complete the screening in a private room…

    -E

  18. Charlotte
    Diane Ellis, Ed. By way of introducing H.R. 3608, the Stop TSA’s Reach in Policy Act (the STRIP Act), over at Forbes.com, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn issues scathing criticism of the TSA and its TSOs.

    Regardless of the merits of the policies being proposed, I cannot abide these contrived-acronym bill names.

  19. Fake John Galt

    For some reason the new scanners have issues with me and I usually get singled out for a pat down. I have been having fun with it. I find that during the pat down if you slowly increase your breathing to a pant, throw in an occasional shudder, maybe a moan, that things go rather quickly. It is interesting to see how red you can make the person patting you down. My goal is to make one run away.

  20. CoolHand
    Fake John Galt: For some reason the new scanners have issues with me and I usually get singled out for a pat down. I have been having fun with it. I find that during the pat down if you slowly increase your breathing to a pant, throw in an occasional shudder, maybe a moan, that things go rather quickly. It is interesting to see how red you can make the person patting you down. My goal is to make one run away. · 1 minute ago

    Heh.

    After they finish, you should ask if you can be screened again, only this time you’d like them to look into your eyes while they do it.