The TSA Sees Its Doom and Recoils

So now they’ve panicked and stopped approving private security contracts.

Washington (CNN) — A program that allows airports to replace government screeners with private screeners is being brought to a standstill, just a month after the Transportation Security Administration said it was “neutral” on the program.

TSA chief John Pistole said Friday he has decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports, saying he does not see any advantage to it.

And by “doesn’t see any advantage to it”, he means doesn’t see any advantage to expanding his own influence and budget, or the influence of his union buddies.

Those buddies, by the way, are piling on unmitigated bullshit:

“The nation is secure in the sense that the safety of our skies will not be left in the hands of the lowest-bidder contractor, as it was before 9/11,” said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

The problem with that?  It’s completely misleading, in that it is illegal to pay the private screeners less than TSA screeners.  This is from the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which formed the TSA and started the private screening exception:

“(c) Qualified Private Screening Company.–A private screening company is qualified to provide screening services at an airport under this section if the company will only employ individuals to provide such services who meet all the requirements of this chapter applicable to Federal Government personnel who perform screening services at airports under this chapter and will provide compensation and other benefits to such individuals that are not less than the level of compensation and other benefits provided to such Federal Government personnel in accordance with this chapter.

(My emphasis) Catch that?  You realize what that means?


Mica said tests show that private screeners perform “statistically significantly better” than government screeners in tests of airport checkpoints. But the Government Accountability Office says it “did not notice any difference” during covert checkpoint testing in 2007. Both groups failed to find concealed bomb components, the GAO said.

I’m cool with that.  See, here’s the thing.  None of them catch anyone.  It’s all bullshit.  If you can see it, it doesn’t work.  All the work being done to really catch terrorists happens outside the airport.  All the stuff done inside the airport is security theater.

If we’re going to have bullshit theater harassing us on the way to the plane, couldn’t we at least get a private contractor who will be polite?  Is that too much to ask?

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