Communion Of Dreams


TSA news of the day.
September 14, 2011, 11:36 am
Filed under: Failure, Government, Travel

It’s probably a mistake for me to talk about the TSA a bit more than a month before I actually have to fly somewhere, but such are the risks we take.

Via BoingBoing, this wonderful (and telling) headline: TSA to stop groping children

The problem is, it isn’t exactly true. What’s actually going to happen is that the TSA is ‘adjusting’ some of their procedures for children under 12. From the actual article cited by BB:

In the next few months, the TSA will implement new security procedures for fliers under 12, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate. They can still get patted down, although it will be by a different method, and they no longer have to remove their shoes. Even if they have velcro straps and are super easy to take on and off anyway.

Until we see the actual details of the new procedures, it’s impossible to characterize exactly *what* the TSA will be doing with children. And if you’re over 12? Sorry, looks like you’ll still be subject to the usual “enhanced pat-down” we’ve all come to know and love. And if the complete benefit is that some children won’t have to remove their shoes, then sorry, this is little more than a sop tossed to mollify parents.

This is like the old joke of a food maker advertising that their product is now “3% less radioactive!” – it doesn’t really inspire confidence.

But that’s OK, because the TSA has our best interests at heart, and we can trust them not just to respect our civil liberties, but to protect us, right?

Sure:

Airport Security Officers And Cops Snared In Multistate Oxycodone Ring, U.S. Attorney Says

Federal agents have broken up a drug ring that paid police and airport security officers to protect the illegal shipment from Florida to Connecticut of enormous quantities of highly addictive pain medication, authorities said Tuesday.

Three federal Transportation Security Administration officers, two police officers and 13 drug dealers in Florida, New York and Connecticut were charged with working for the ring that, in some weeks, dumped tens of thousands of oxycodone pills in the Waterbury area, according to a variety of federal and local police agencies involved in the investigation.

No, really – they have only your best interests at heart.

Jim Downey

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