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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  1. icon
    SomeGuy (profile), 20 Jun 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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