Tonight On Security Theater: After Hours Airport Antics Expose Security Tunnel Vision

from the pay-no-attention-to-the-men-beyond-the-checkpoint dept

We've written quite a bit, recently, about the more controversial actions of the TSA and their airport screening practices. And now there's a somewhat amusing story that demonstrates why many people think that doing things like groping little children -- and claiming that it's not only proper, but necessary -- is really just security theater. Two travelers, stranded at Dallas-Fort Worth airport, made the local news after filming themselves goofing around in the terminal, after hours. A DFW airport board member was not amused and vows that this kind of thing is "not going to happen again." However, this isn't the first time something like this has happened (though it might be a first at DFW), so it kind of makes you wonder why the security folks hadn't already taken steps to prevent this. Of course, it looks like these guys were just having fun, but doesn't it seem like a couple of guys wandering unchecked in a nearly empty terminal might be a bit more of a security risk than a toddler's underwear? Apparently, the experts don't think so:
Aviation security experts who have seen the video say it doesn’t show any major security concerns because the two guys were ticketed passengers who had already been screened by the TSA.
Hmm, so, the fact that they were "ticketed" and "already screened" means that there's nothing that they could have gotten their hands on, as they made their way through the terminal (at one point, entering the kitchen of a restaurant), that might pose a threat to other travelers? While I don't think anyone should be freaking out about these incidents, they do seem to lend credence to the idea that many of the actions taken by the TSA are just for show, while obvious security holes are left wide open. They'll go out of their way to make sure a baby isn't the next underwear bomber, but can't even send someone to remind some marauding men to stick to the designated passenger areas and quit messing with airport property? Good show.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 6:46pm

    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/testimony/obesity07162003.htm

    300,000 Americans a year. Compared to how many deaths from terrorism?

    That kitchen's a killer alright, they could have deep-fried something!!

     

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      Andrew Norton (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

      Re:

      I crunched the figures 18 months ago. About 3600 from 1994 to 2008, in every terrorist attack targeting the US around the world.

      Between 1994-2008, over 8000 people died in weather-related incidents, and about 250,000 people were murdered. Oh, and over 500,000 killed on US roads over that time period as well.

      Death from Terrorism, it's not even statistically significant.
      Abuse of anti-terrorism 'power', VERY statistically significant.

       

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        darryl, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 11:42pm

        Re: Re: Forgot the rest of the planet did we ?

        The very definition of terrorism is that it is statistically insignificant, but but psycologically highly significant.

        Why does it have to be statistically significant before you consider doing something to mitigate that risk?

        So tornado's only kill a few people a year, so therefore you dont bother trying to detect and track tornado's ?

        Almost no one has been killed (statictically) from storm micro-bursts, but a massive amount of expense and time is spent on detecting micro-bursts, and in warning pilots of their existance.

        But according to you, as hardly anyone has been killed by it, we might as well ignore it!

        I also like that your "stats" are US ONLY, as if the rest of the world does not exist, and that other countries are also hit with terrorist attacks.

        Did you include japan ? or bali, or England ? or germany or afganistan or pakistan ? in your 'stats'?

        Oh, I see, you only counted Americans, not the people who died over Lockabie ? or in the london bombings or the japanese Om Surprime sect sarin attack ? or the bali bombing ? or the attack on the US embassy in Africa or the USS Cole attack ?

        what about the anthrax attack ? oh forgot that as well !!

        or the twin tower bombings in 1998 ? I could go on and on, but you get the idea. (we'll actually you appear not to have a clue that there is a world out there and things happen in it).

         

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          SomeGuy (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 5:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Forgot the rest of the planet did we ?

          Why does it have to be statistically significant before you consider doing something to mitigate that risk?

          It doesn't have to be statistically signifiant before we try to mitigate the risks, but the mitigations should be proportionate to the real danger involved, and effective in actually mitigating the risk. An over-reaction that doesn't mitigate the danger is never acceptible, and I submit that's exactly what we're getting with the TSA.

          So tornado's only kill a few people a year, so therefore you dont bother trying to detect and track tornado's ?

          Almost no one has been killed (statictically) from storm micro-bursts, but a massive amount of expense and time is spent on detecting micro-bursts, and in warning pilots of their existance.


          You're right, tracking known indicators and making sure people are aware of the threats and how to avoid them -- and doing this in an efficient and effective way -- is a good track to take. I'll note, however, that no civil liberties were impinged and no Constitutional questions brought up regarding any of those efforts; the same can not be said for what the TSA's doing. Also, there's hard evidence that things like tornado warnings and sirens have saved real, countable lives; since 9/11, every thwarted terrorist event has been halted by pre-9/11 tools and techniques, none of it is attributable to bady scanners, frisking passengers, or limiting how much liquid is brought in carry-on bags.

          But according to you, as hardly anyone has been killed by it, we might as well ignore it!

          ravo for the cheap shot, but he didn't say ignore it; he pointed out that the real danger is far lower than things we live with on a day-to-day basis, and which have preventative measures that don't compromise our Constitutional rights.

          I also like that your "stats" are US ONLY, as if the rest of the world does not exist, and that other countries are also hit with terrorist attacks.

          Did you include japan ? or bali, or England ? or germany or afganistan or pakistan ? in your 'stats'?


          Oh, sorry, I thought we were discussing the TSA, a US Government Agency that doesn't operate in foreighn countries. If we want to talk about world-wide terrorist risks we can, but then we start going off-topic.

          Oh, I see, you only counted Americans, not the people who died over Lockabie ? or in the london bombings or the japanese Om Surprime sect sarin attack ? or the bali bombing ? or the attack on the US embassy in Africa or the USS Cole attack ?

          what about the anthrax attack ? oh forgot that as well !!

          or the twin tower bombings in 1998 ? I could go on and on, but you get the idea. (we'll actually you appear not to have a clue that there is a world out there and things happen in it).


          For the purpose of discussing the TSA and how ineffective they are, no, none of those have any real relevance.

           

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          Niall (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 5:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Forgot the rest of the planet did we ?

          Tornadoes do massive damage to property as well as harm people. Moreover, they happen regularly and are not even that unpredictable - just in the exact location that they will occur. On the other hand, terrorism is very rare, and is mosly on a much smaller scale - look at Madrid for a fairly extreme example, or that American Embassy in Africa. Neither of those cases involved airlines.

          The Lockerbie bomb involved a suitcase - which TSA security theatre would not have found. Indeed, the Europeans (and I assume everyone else) tightened up security since 1988 (a long time ago) and make attacks like that much more unlikely.

          All these other events you mention involve non-airline/airport targets - indeed, events like Bali are incredibly 'soft' targets that are essentially impossible to secure. None of these justify useless, intrusive, potentially illegal and overly expensive searching by the TSA.

          Especially when all the process does is make security queues an incredibly attractive terrorist target. How many airports have centralised their security now, so that a single bomb would not only kill and injure hundreds of innocents, but utterly paralyse the airport to boot. Well thought-out indeed!

          Also, Europe, which has long had security issues on planes to deal with (as we've had domestic terrorism for decades) can manage fine without the ridiculous levels that the TSA descend to. Funnily enough, we've had nothing really bad happen. It's also highly unlikely TSA security theatre would have stopped the incidents that have happened.

          By all means spend money to save lives and property. But the cost should be proportionate. Look at how many people die in road traffic accidents, to drunk drivers, to not being able to afford proper medicine. Does that compare to wasting millions or billions to maybe save 200 lives, all the while trampling on hard-won liberties?

          It's also irrelevant the overall cost of the TSA to the rest of the airline industry - what matters is whether it is worth what is being wasted on it in this time when we can ill afford to waste money on anything.

           

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        darryl, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 12:21am

        Re: Re:

        I wonder if you understand or even want to think about what is involved in ensuring safe air travel?

        There is a massive ongoing effort, and a huge amount of work and amount of money that is being and has been spent on providing travel in a safe and secure manner.

        I guess you have not hear about 'the chain' and the weakest link being the link that will break.

        Then if you will, consider the expense, effort and hard work placed into aircraft design, air traffic control, weather forcasting, pilot training, crew training, procedures, safety checks, timed inspections, detailed crash investigations, and action taken and enforced when an issue is detected.

        In air weather radar, ground proximity radar, TECAS, all very expensive systems to operate and maintain that spend mostly their entire lives doing nothing !.

        But you are vastly safer with them than you are without them.

        Of course all these systems are links in the chain or even doubled up links.

        But by your logic, because you personally are a little 'put out' that you should allow the entire system to be rendered totally unsafe, because no matter what the government or air industry try to do to enable safe travel, you want to put a paper chain link in the chain by allowing certain people to ride on the plane without any for of checking, "just because".

        The dollar amount that the TSA would cost or is costing is insignificant compared to the total spent on overall air travel and air safety and security.

        The fact that NO ONE is picking up this story, and it is not in the main stream news means the majority of people DO understand that it is not beyond a terrorist group to employ children or babies, they have before, they do now!

        I think that you are all 'mostly' being a bit self centered, and unable to see beyond their own delicate sensibilities.

         

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          SomeGuy (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wonder if you understand or even want to think about what is involved in ensuring safe air travel?

          There is a massive ongoing effort, and a huge amount of work and amount of money that is being and has been spent on providing travel in a safe and secure manner.

          I guess you have not hear about 'the chain' and the weakest link being the link that will break.

          Then if you will, consider the expense, effort and hard work placed into aircraft design, air traffic control, weather forcasting, pilot training, crew training, procedures, safety checks, timed inspections, detailed crash investigations, and action taken and enforced when an issue is detected.

          In air weather radar, ground proximity radar, TECAS, all very expensive systems to operate and maintain that spend mostly their entire lives doing nothing !.

          But you are vastly safer with them than you are without them.


          The difference being that these are all effective measures. Nothing that the TSA has put in place has been effective, and the point of this article is that their attitude of "it's OK, they were screened" underscores that fact.

          Of course all these systems are links in the chain or even doubled up links.

          No, they're not. Some of them are linked, but they track different problems about different areas of safety. Aircraft design have little-if-anything to do with crew training or traffic control.

          But by your logic, because you personally are a little 'put out' that you should allow the entire system to be rendered totally unsafe, because no matter what the government or air industry try to do to enable safe travel, you want to put a paper chain link in the chain by allowing certain people to ride on the plane without any for of checking, "just because".

          If removing the TSA makes the system "totally unsafe," then I submit that the system is totally unsafe even WITH the TSA. Case in point: incoming International flights are not checked by the TSA. A plane leaving Amsterdam headed to the US isn't screened by the TSA. It's only flights that originate in the US that get scanned because, as mentioned before, the TSA is a US Government agency.

          The dollar amount that the TSA would cost or is costing is insignificant compared to the total spent on overall air travel and air safety and security.

          Every dollar spent on ineffective measures is a dollar wasted; and in this economy especially we should be sensitive to wasted dollars.

          The fact that NO ONE is picking up this story, and it is not in the main stream news means the majority of people DO understand that it is not beyond a terrorist group to employ children or babies, they have before, they do now!

          The fact that the main stream media isn't picking this up just shows that it doesn't generate ratings or drive ad revenue. If it says anything about the American people generally it's just that most of them don't travel much and so aren't directly affected by this. But just because only a few people are affected doesn't make this waste and abuse acceptible.

          And yes, children have carried bomb vests into crowded market places in the middle east, but we aren't strip-searching everone who goes to their local mall, are we? Even if you could show me a case where a child-carried bomb targetted a plane that sort of thing can be picked up by pre-9/11 techniques. We don't need expensive, invasive scanners or frisking procedures.

          I think that you are all 'mostly' being a bit self centered, and unable to see beyond their own delicate sensibilities.

          This is the land of the free; I'm not willing to surrender my rights to placate your fear.

           

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      Michael Costanza (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

      Re:

      Yeah, no one keeps anything potentially dangerous in a kitchen. But 4 ounces of shampoo? That's a threat!

       

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      Steve, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 5:40am

      Re: Anonymous Coward

      How does obesity play into a story about a dangerous lack of security at an airport after-hours and?

      They could have deep fried something. The could have tossed a glass full of ice and Bacardi 151 into the deep-fryer causing a fire. OR, they could have grabbed a few large kitchen knives and stuffed them into their carry-ons to use on their next flight.

       

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    Andrew Norton (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

    you know why

    Because that would require a factually based risk assessment. Unfortunately, a factually-based risk-assessment would show there is little-to-no risk at an airport, beyond the risks of the TSA itself. That would leak out, and so confidence in the fear-management that is the stock-in-trade of the TSA and DHS would erode, and another aspect of control would erode.

    Or, put another way, Doing that would be bad for the TSA, show the 'war of Terror' for what it is, and throw away a decade of fearmongering.

    I grew up with the IRA (and walked past one of the Warrington bombs in 93 moments before it went off) so I know ACTUAL terrorism of old. The only Terrorism in the US, is by the government.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 7:18pm

    Quite honestly, I would rate these guy's antics as about on the same danger level as toddlers. I mean, if the airport was busy, they could potentially have slightly injured someone, but overall, I'm not sure wheelchair races are a security threat. I think this is definitely a case of security reacting very appropriately. Though probably not for the right reasons. But hey... Beggars can't be choosers.

     

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      AW (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 8:04pm

      Re:

      This was my thought, aside from blatant stealing of a drink, there really isn't anything they've done wrong. Nothing was broken, no one was bothered. They should get in trouble for the drink but nothing else they did warrants any kind of trouble.

      Before you copyright people troll, a finite good is different than an infinitely copied product.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re:

        They infringed on beer. Therefore they are pirates. Government should extradite them to MPAA.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re:

        "This was my thought, aside from blatant stealing of a drink, there really isn't anything they've done wrong. "

        I think the issue is this: *this* time, nothing wrong was done. *This time*, nobody was harmed. Yeah, this particular group of people managed to do nothing other than grab a freebie they weren't entitled to.

        But, kitchens contain offensive weapons, may contain cleaning chemicals and possibly gas that can be leaked and used to blow up the immediate area if left unnoticed for long enough. I can't view the video to make sure at the moment, but they almost certainly had the opportunity to do real damage even if they were viewed on security cameras, and anything they took from the restaurant could be taken on board a plane.

        So, while this time no harm was done, there's far more realistic chances of something bad happening than if a baby's milk bottle isn't discarded or a pensioner's underwear left unsearched. Hence, further proof that the TSA is truly just security theatre rather than an effective defence against terrorism.

         

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      Michael Costanza (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:37pm

      Re:

      I agree that what these guys did posed no danger. Wasn't saying that it was a threat. The point is with how ridiculously overboard the TSA goes with screening at the security checkpoint, it seems kind of absurd that they don't seem to care about people doing whatever they want in the terminal.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:41am

      Re:

      I think the point here is what they logically "could" have done given the lack of supervision in the video.

      I can't think of any bar that would let someone sneak in to the kitchen and steal beer. The idea is what other items could the men had obtained that would have otherwise been banned by the TSA. Kitchen knives, cleaning chemicals, etc.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        > The idea is what other items could the men had obtained
        > that would have otherwise been banned by the TSA. Kitchen
        > knives, cleaning chemicals, etc.

        Then why is that stuff in the secure area in the first place? If they're going to jiggle my nuts and feel my girlfriend's crotch in the name of security, and then turn around and let half a dozen restaurants stock weapons and dangerous chemicals past the security checkpoint, IT'S ALL FOR NOTHING.

        How hard would it be for some Johnny Jihad to get a job at one of those restaurants, then pass off all sorts of stuff to his buddies on Attack Day after they've passed through the checkpoint?

        If we're gonna do this, do it right, and if that means no restaurants in the terminal, then that's what it means. Of course that would get in the way of making $$$, which is the one concern that overrides all else.

         

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          SomeGuy (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 7:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you're underestimating the kind of screening that goes in to clearing air port employees, including employees at the restraunts inside an airport.

          At least, I hope you're underestimating it. As you point out, they pose a bigger insider risk than any random passenger does. The correct response isn't banning restraunts, it's appropriately screening the risk factors.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 7:59pm

    The TSA at Techdirt: in trouble when they do stop people, in trouble when they don't.

     

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    aperson (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:41pm

    Anyone else notice the picture on that vid was simply LOVELY. 30k worth of camera equipment and a couple bored 20 somethings, gotta love it.

     

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    Michael Costanza (profile), Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:11pm

    Just to clarify

    Several of the comments seem to take issue with me for suggesting something should have been done to these guys. However, that was not what I was suggesting, at all. I was merely pointing out how silly it makes the TSA look. If it's necessary to basically feel up kids, check a baby's diaper, and harass elderly people, why wouldn't in also be "important" to have something in place to prevent people running wild inside the terminal after hours? These guys may not have been a threat, but the *potential* threat from an unguarded terminal (even if minimal) would seem to rate higher than that from letting kids pass through security, unmolested.

     

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    Some Random, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:29pm

    uptight America

    charge em for the beer and ask them nicely not to plank on an escalator. That and they made a mess in the bathroom which is going to inconvenience the cleaning crew. The video was amusing. They got stuck on one of those joyous overnight layovers. I'm thinking there was no hotel voucher so they really were trapped at the airport. What do you expect two guys in their twenties to do when you give them no choice but to sit quietly in an airport?

    How many times I've been trapped in a terminal with nothing to do. Internet costs an arm and a leg. not allowed in any of those swanky lounges and I have to go on an epic journey to find the one smoking lounge or head back outside. There is only so long I can sit in one of those un-ergonomic chairs before I go nuts.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:45am

      Re: uptight America

      Actually, they cleaned up the bathroom mess, and the rest of the messes they made. Not sure if they paid for the beer or not...

      I think the point that both sides (the moar TSA/less TSA camps) are missing is that security monitoring that night probably saw the cameras, and the antics, and figured that the kids had a permit or permissions from someone. What are you gonna do if you were them? Call 911? Make a big deal out of it like what happened with the dancing at the Jefferson Memorial?

      I personally don't agree with either camp trying to use this incident to bolster their argument.

       

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    Anonymous Chef, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    mayhem

    "Release all prisoners, or the Ceasar salad gets forked!!!!"

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 12:37am

    "at one point, entering the kitchen of a restaurant)" um oklahome city bombing was done with fertilizer and diesel if i remember correctly I am scared to think of what anyone with a basic understanding of chemistry or even just how to use google could make with the chemicals under the sink in a restaurant kitchen. this reminds me of the college kid a good while back who smuggle two brick of clay that looked exactly like a c4 explosive on the a plane (after 9-11 if i remeber correctly) then let the aitport security know they had problems only to be arrested and pretty much relegated to terrorist status that story really pissed me off and i am willing to bet theat guy is doing at least 20 years in high security if not a supermax prison

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:22am

      Re:

      Bleach and low-grade detergents aren't going to make a bomb, nor is just throwing fertilizer and gasoline together. You DO have to know what you're doing - you obviously haven't the vaguest idea of what that is.

      And, instead of "if i remember correctly" and "i am willing to bet" how about doing some of that "how to use google" and finding out some actual factual information perhaps once in your ignorant moronic life.

      It's idiots like yourself that have allowed over-regulation and invasive government action to ruin what little scraps of liberty remain. You said yourself "I am scared to think" and no matter how out of context that might be, I'm sure it can't be too far off.

       

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        Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re:

        Bleach and low-grade detergents aren't going to make a bomb
        Correct, but bleach and ammonia in a tin can at 40,000 feet is really going to put a damper on your flight.

         

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        anymouse (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        Who says you need a bomb? Bleach and Ammonia will make a nice toxic gas.... released in a small enclosed space with re-circulated air supply could cause some serious damage.

        Who said terrorists are only interested in 'blowing things up'?

         

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      abc gum, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      You have a valid point in that people pose a much larger threat to airport security than mere liquids - and therefore all people should be banned from all airports, this will eliminate the threat completely thus allowing those like yourself to peacefully sleep at night.

      Oh - also chemistry will no longer be taught and anyone with knowledge of chemistry will be imprisoned for life.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 1:40am

    ugh...i have to fly to chicago and vegas this month. any tips for how to beat the security theater? I really don't feel like having my genitals touched until I get to las vegas.

     

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      Kingster (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:46am

      Re:

      If you're flying United, upgrade to/fly first class. None of the "Premier Access" entry points appear to have holo-scanners and I haven't gotten groped at any of them either.

       

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    helpfuljones (profile), Jun 18th, 2011 @ 4:08am

    Theatrics, Sluggishness, Apathy

    The TSA comedians demonstrate their theatrics, sluggishness & apathy every week I fly. They do this with an eerie consistency at every airport where I have been "screened".

    A simple law that would hold-harmless any passenger who comes to the aid of any flight-crew member would quite likely better protect flights than the entire TSA bureacracy. I can not imagine a situation where some gomer tries something on a flight post 9/11 and not a single passenger would be willing to intervene.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Ignoring the location, it was actually a pretty well done video. Parts of it looked as if it was filmed professionally.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Yeah-eh-eh-eh...it's a party with the TSA!

     

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    darryl, Jun 18th, 2011 @ 10:39pm

    Theatre just like "The Theatre of war" no less real

    It is a theatre but so is everything else, just saying "it's a theatre" is stupid, they are NOT "acting out" searches, they are REALLY conducting searches, and the 'theatre' is the display from the TSA that no matter who you are you can be searched.

    It's an instructional theatre, to show anyone that might be thinking of taking something onto a plane that is illegal, that you cannot easily do it by using a baby or a child as your muel.

    Do you not think the SECOND the terrrorists hear that the TSA will NOT search 5 year old children that the next bomb attack will not be delivered by a 5 year old ?
    I mean, are you guys REALLY that stupid ???



    how stupid can you be ? of course it is "just for show" !!

    It is "just to show" to any possible terrorist that there is a very high chance of being searched when you fly in America.

    It's just to show them, that EVEN a child, should you bring one with you could be searched.

    Do you think it is beyond al qiada or some other group of fanatics to use children in there actions ?

    Are you that stupid ?

    If the TSA made an announcement that "we will not search children in nappies" then do you NOT think that someone might decide to take advantage of that fact and use a child for a murder. (something that has happened MANY TIMES in the past).

    I guess you would be happy with the ONLY people who are searched are middle eastern looking men !

    it is possible those two men who were 'not searched' were terrorists and seeing the baby being searched cancelled their plans to bomb a plane using a baby, or child.


    no one likes to hear about children being searched, and no one likes being searched.

    But equally no one likes to hear about fully loaded aircraft being flown into buildings and killing thousands of people either.

    Some things that you do not like, you are willing to put up with to enable you, (and everyone else) to live a better and safer overall life.

    So you have have that 5 year old NOT searched, but have him killed 2 hours later in a plane bombing, or you can search the child (and lots of others), hopefully find the bomb (or deter it from being planted in the first place), and that 5 year old ends up at home in bed that night.

    So searching a child is worse than being blown up !! I do not use the term stupid loosly, but it applies here for you guys... get over yourselves.. Why are you so damn self centered ? it's all about YOU isn't it ?

     

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      SomeGuy (profile), Jun 20th, 2011 @ 8:00am

      Re: Theatre just like "The Theatre of war" no less real

      Nothing that the TSA has instituted would catch any threats that wouldn't already be caught be pre-9/11 techniques. The 9/11 attacks themselves would have been twarted by the dors they installed on cockpits ten years ago. By all means search the child, but only if there's a reasonable expectation that the child is a threat. Just because some children in middle eastern market places are stapped with explosives doesn't mean that every child in America is strapped with explosives.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 12:19am

    Several orders of magnitude more cash is spent on TSA then Tornado, Micro-bursts, or earthquakes or anything else.

    In addition its been pointed out it does not work. A kid with a model rocket can still shut down an airport by shooting it into the air at the same time a plane is taking off / landing.

    Education, law enforcement, intel, those are the weapons we need. Not gruff dudes with wands. Hell push unemployment down and bump up safety nets and you will have less of an issue anyway from Terrorism.

     

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      darryl, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 1:11am

      Re: order or magnitude more !!!!!!

      "Several orders of magnitude more cash is spent on TSA then Tornado, Micro-bursts, or earthquakes or anything else."


      WHAT !!!!!
      in what universe ?

      when was the last time a kid took down a plane (or airport) with a model rocket ?

      You are right you do need education, (you get it) you need LAW ENFORCEMENT (you get that, it is against the law to take bombs onto planes, enforced by the TSA, and others).

      INTEL, you get that by gathering intel, and that intel would tell them that terrorists routinely use small children as weapons. You also get intel by conducting searches, and education by showing that even children will be searched therefore that is not a safe vector for a terrorist to carry a bomb.

      If you do not search a specific group, the terrorists will become that group, and you cannot see that ?

      So education yes, please get some, and if you think security measures and safety procedures do not work because there is always another vector for attack or accident then you ignore it ?

      You fail to also understand that they have taken into consideration a missile attack during takeoff (and no a kids model rocket WOULD NOT TAKE DOWN a large jet aircraft, you probably would be hardly able to detect a model rocket entering a jet engine.

      And if you think the amount spent on the TSA is orders of magnitude than that of air sefety in general and in aircraft design, air traffic control, dopplier radar, pilot training, airport security (in general).

      Pre-flight, post flight, and periodic checking and testing, and you think a few people at each airport with scanners and x-ray machines is orders of magnitudes higher cost than the total costs of ensuring safe and secure air travel.

      its just amazing how narrow some people can think !!! or dont think..

       

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      darryl, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 1:29am

      Re: you put a price on safety ??

      The airlines got into alot of trouble in the past by doing exactly that, "oh, it's too expensive to maintain safety and security".

      Putting a dollar value on the safety and security of the general public is not something you should be proud of, more I feel you should be ashamed of.

      How many aircraft have crashed from volcanic ash clouds ?

      NONE --

      Does that mean the airline industry should not bother spending millions upon millions in developing and deploying laser ranging of volcanic ash ?

      or because there is almost no mid air collisions that we should not have air traffic controllers maintaining clearances ?

      The fact that you 'do not find' bombers does not mean that continuing to look for them is pointless, even if you have NEVER FOUND a bomb, means that you are (so far) successful in keeping that vector or danger from occuring or REDUCING it from happening.

      So you have collision avoidance systems on planes, if two planes collide, do you scrap that system ?

      Of Course you do not, you find out why the system did not work and improve it.

      If you are doing searches and a bomb gets onboard a plane you do not scrap the system, or give up because it costs too much. you improve the system and learn from past incidents.

      Just like everything else, it does not matter what it cost it is an expense that has to be incurred, just like the expense you pay when you pay for a trained pilot, when you pay for the ground crew and engineers who maintain the aircraft, you pay for the air traffic controllers, you pay for the radars, the radio's, everything.

      So it does not matter what it cost, its a cost you have to bear due to how large groups of people feel about your country.

      They went to war against the US and they won, they achieved their goals and all you want to do is blame the TSA and the "government" for trying to stop the same thing happening again, ie, a small group of people kicking major US butt and getting away with it completely, 100% successfull operation with massive effects and damage to the US.

      and you're whinning about the TSA trying to stop that from occuring again, and putting your precious money over peoples lives... sicko's .

       

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      abc gum, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      At the same time US gov is spending millions on each porno scanner, they reduce funding for NOAA. Apparently, pix of your junk are more important than weather.

       

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        darryl, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Re:

        "Apparently, pix of your junk are more important than weather."

        AS important, more important by far if that pick shows you are carrying more than just your 'junk'.

        So what, now you are complaining that they are not doing enough ?

        So you would be happy if we had more spending on both NOAA and TSA ? of course you are.

        They are both there for a reason, and the money that needs to be spent on them IS spent on them.

        The fact you dont like it is irrelavent, who cares what you think.

        So if by your logic NOAA is not making flying any safer then they should just not bother.

        Or if there are no accidents or few people killed by weather related accidents then again, why bother to go to the expense ?

        You cant have it both ways, and it's pointless to have it only one way, there is no point having a strong security and safety chain if you then destroy that line of integrity by leaving a massive safety and security issue unaddressed.

        There are multiple laws against taking explosives onto aircraft, each country is duty bound to uphold those laws, especially if you are travelling too or from those countries.

        you're all whinning about a small child being searched, it upsets your delicate sensibilities, do you not ever see the news ? or notice world events?

        Have you NOT sees the child soldiers, the 5 year old boys packing AK's ?

        Or is it you just dont like "an American" child searched at an airport, because YOU dont like to see that kind of thing (apparently you DO like to watch such things !!!! yuk)..

        What about the abducted baby by a terrorist group that has explosives straped to it, and a lady (the 'mother') and that stolen child are sent "on a flight" somewhere.

        Because 'its a baby' they know because of you idiots that the child will not be searched, the bomb will get onboard, and the baby will be blown to peices.

        But that would be BETTER than having them searched at the airport !

        Anyone who uses the emotive term "like groping little children" as a description of what the TSA does has some major problems they need to deal with.

        So for you Mr Author, if anyone interacts with a child physically in any manner they are "groping little children"?

        Do you understand what you are accusing people of doing ?

        would you say the same thing for a Doctor performing a checkup on a small child ?

        Or the police when in the presence of their parents have to search a child.

        or school searches ?

        no you have to use "like groping little children" to add your trademark 'spin' to the equation.

        But it is a clear indication of what level's you are willing to stoop too to get your 'point' across.

         

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          abc gum, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow, typical Darryl rambling there. A quick glance reveals straw men and baseless accusations. Nothing of substance.

          Weather satellites are capable of, and have in the past identified weather patterns which pose a potential for disastrous consequences. This data was accumulated, analyzed and disseminated with accuracy and timeliness such that many lives were saved. One can not say this about the TSA scanners. I have not heard any good rational for the de-funding of the NOAA weather satellite programs, have you?

           

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    identicon
    RobShaver, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Did nobody notice ...

    These were not just two guys just fooling around ... these were filmmakers. That video was well shot, acted and edited. This little video was as good as many commercials I've seen. They had to work very hard to get something that looked that good. Somebody should hire them.

     

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