Mag: The TSA is a pathetic failure

 | Mathew Walther 11/10/2017 9:10 AM MST
Credit: Grant Wickes - Flickr

Other than wanting to grab a backpack and stuff it with ice, a glass, and two $18 bottles of Crémant d'Alsace and book an economy flight to somewhere warm, it's hard to know how to react to the not exactly astonishing news that the TSA continues to be really bad at its job.

How bad? According to ABC News, in a series of recent tests in which undercover agents attempted to smuggle guns, knives, bombs, and goodness knows what other contraband materials into the "secure" areas of various airports, the agency failed around 80 percent of the time. Probably bureaucratic flunkies will interpret this as a welcome sign of improvement, as it no doubt is better than the 95 percent rate reported a few years ago. The rest of us are just smiling blandly with our shoes off and our belts draped over our shoulders while our 2-year-olds run away with our half-open laptop cases in the direction of the body-scan machines. Please don't shoot!


It is worth recalling that, like the so-called Department of Homeland Security under which it operates, the TSA is a relic of the immediate post-9/11 era. By "immediate" I mean that this staggeringly incompetent body to which we have surrendered our freedom of movement and our dignity, physical and metaphysical, was willed into existence as a part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by Congress on Nov. 19, 2001, and signed into law by President Bush that same day.