Whistleblower Accidentally Demonstrates How Much Of The TSA's Security Efforts Is Pure Theater

from the Best-Actor-In-An-Inadvertently-Comedic-Disclosure dept

There's a whistleblower talking about TSA stuff, but it's not the sort of whistleblowing you're probably accustomed to. Frustrated by the internal routing of his complaints, the TSA's highest-ranking official in [checks notes] Kansas has brought his complaints to CNN.

We all know the TSA has done almost nothing to make traveling safer over the course of its existence, but what the TSA's Jay Brainard has observed shows the actors in our nationwide security theater are tiring of their roles.

A whistleblower with the Transportation Security Administration is sounding the alarm about loosened security at US airports, charging that top TSA officials have prioritized speed over security by reducing the sensitivity of metal detectors, disabling technology on some X-ray machines, issuing orders to keep the baggage conveyor belts moving in certain circumstances and ordering policy changes that result in fewer pat-downs.

It's true the TSA is somewhat concerned about long lines. This concern doesn't seem to be enough to rid the agency of extraneous steps or equipment that make traveling a hassle without providing a security boost in exchange for longer waits at checkpoints. Every so often the TSA will do weird things like waving no-Precheck passengers into Precheck lanes to speed up processing. This temporarily alleviates the problem while also providing a clear demonstration of just how theatrical the TSA's security theater actually is.

Jay Brainard, has a long list of complaints. Among them are accusations that walkthrough detectors have had their sensitivity lowered, X-ray belts aren't being stopped to examine questionable items in bags, and passengers with medical devices being allowed to self-frisk if they've tripped an alarm.

None of this is particularly surprising. This new laxness appears to date back to at least 2015 and may have something to do with TSA screeners repeatedly (and spectacularly) failing explosive device audits by government oversight agencies.

Here's what's motivating Brainard's disclosures:

"In the last two years, the focus of sacrificing security over wait times has increased tremendously," Brainard said. "That's the reason I have come forward. It is happening so fast that it's difficult to keep up with the notes."

But is the TSA really "sacrificing security?" Or is it just streamlining processes that have done more to increase the length of screening than generate any additional security?

Brainerd's right to complain the TSA isn't doing its job properly. But claiming these efforts have resulted in less travel security simply doesn't make sense. If this was resulting in less security, you'd think we'd be hearing more about attempted hijackings, explosives/weapons being discovered on board, or would-be terrorists successfully boarding planes. We've heard nothing like this over the past couple of years. Whatever the TSA is sacrificing for efficiency doesn't seem to be making fliers any less safe.

At some point, a report by the US Office of Special Counsel will release its report on Brainerd's accusations. Don't bother flagging the CNN article for future reference. The OSC has repeatedly delayed its release of this report. It's currently 500 days overdue.

But the lack of corroborating evidence in the "less secure" column makes Brainard's dire warnings seem a whole lot less dire.

He believes airports are less safe than they were five years ago due to the "diluted" security procedures -- a trend that he says has accelerated in the last two years.

Maybe some terrorist will be emboldened by the public release of the TSA's dwindling attentiveness. But that seems unlikely. The TSA has admitted terrorists aren't nearly as interested in planes as they used to be. Most terrorism carried out today involves vehicles not subject to a gauntlet of screening devices. And with cockpits being pretty much inaccessible, hijackings are all but impossible. Someone could still blow up a plane, but there have been no recent attempts made by passengers to take a plane down -- at least nothing during this time period of escalating laxness.

The whistleblowing is still valid. Americans should know when the agencies they fund are underperforming. But claiming the skies are less safe is a bit much. If Brainard's going to suffer any retaliation, it won't be because he exposed the TSA's adjustments to screening procedures. It will be because he exposed just how many of these screening procedures are absolutely useless.

Filed Under: jay brainard, security theater, tsa, whistleblower


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 9:56am

    Too funny. I remember working in Mississauga in the late 1980's. One of my colleagues was from Israel. I'd just sent a birthday present (a battery-powered wall clock) to a sibling by putting it on the bus to Ottawa, before putting myself on a bus back to Toronto.

    He thought this was nuts. They accept parcels on passenger coaches? A ticking package? On a bus going in some other direction?

    That would never be allowed in Israel!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      A ticking package?

      ... because terrorists still use mechanical timers in their black powder bombs? And have timers with easy-to-distinguish "off" switches next to the countdown display? Ticking? It might set people in a panic, but only because they've been watching too much TV.

      The other bits - a parcel on a bus going the other way, that might trigger more practical alarms.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re:

        ... because terrorists still use mechanical timers in their black powder bombs?

        I'll just leave this here...

        in the late 1980's

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CSMcDonald (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 9:58am

    Observation shows this happening

    Flying out of Orlando the weekend after Thanksgiving I could see relaxed screening in operation - there was a half hour wait to get through security (which is fairly high at that airport, it's generally one of the more fluid security lines for a busy airport) - in two lines we could hear the TSA officer telling people to keep their shoes on, belts on, all electronics / laptops in the bag, and just put it through the x-ray.

    I of course had chosen the line that required all the normal shoes off, electronics out, etc. Which led to confusion as the officer directing our line didn't say much of anything and people were confused because of the directions from the other line.

    And of course you just smile and try not to look like you require secondary screening and get through.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 10:09am

    You're mistakenly assuming that "less safe" results in "more attempts". It doesn't. It means that any attempts to hijack or get explosives or weapons on a commercial flight are more likely to succeed. The only way it would result in "more attempts" is if someone were to call attention to the fact that it's less secure, like you just did.

    I used to work for the TSA, back in the early days. I probably trained many of the supervisors and terminal managers who're out there today. Sure, most of it is mainly security theater, but security theater works. Think El Al has great security? I've observed their screeening. They don't. People just think they do, so they don't try and beat it. If you're a terrorist, you don't go for the hard targets, you go for the easy ones.

    The security theater has been getting less effective for years. Gate screenings used to provide a useful 2nd line of defense (because let's face it, not everything can possibly ever get caught at a checkpoint). Too costly and time consuming, so out it went, gradually at first, but went it did. Baggage started getting screened, and staffing levels didn't increase significantly, so screeners who worked checkpoints got re-assigned to baggage. This not only slowed down screening at checkpoints, but made it less reliable. Does Uncle Ed have metal in his knee, or a concealed weapon? Heck, now we might never know unless there's some sort of incident.

    And the people who run things are willing to take a risk on that. Let's face it, the number of people who're out there attempting some sort of terroristic incident, and who have the ways and means to do so number in the hundreds (or less), world-wide. More than 8 million people fly, every day. It's seriously like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You just don't want it to be your (or someone you know's) haystack when it goes up. So we can't just stop the theater, or someone will take advantage of that...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      Sure, most of it is mainly security theater, but security theater works.

      So do Tiger repelling rocks, so long as there are no tigers about.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:12am

      security theater works

      It works only so long as the illusion does. Pierce the illusion and everything goes to hell.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        urza9814 (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:47am

        Re:

        Very true, and I think it's also worth pointing out that the piercing that illusion is not a binary condition. Someone who seriously intends to hijack a plane is probably researching those scanners and screening policies more than the average citizen, and a large terrorist organization probably wouldn't mind if the TSA still caught 90% of their attempts -- they can just send twenty people. You think this whistleblower changes anything after they've been seeing people sneaking knives and hacksaws and loaded firearms and thermite and igniters through these kinds of screenings for YEARS already? By the time "everyone knows" it's useless, the few people who matter likely suspected they were sufficiently useless for quite a long time.

        The reason we haven't seen another successful hijacking recently is because nobody with any notable level of resources has tried. Or if they have, their plans did not reach the point of actually getting to an airport.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          MathFox, 24 Dec 2019 @ 12:58pm

          I see the security screening as a barrier against attacks on flight safety. It does not have to be perfect, it must be good enough to deter the underfunded wannabe terrorists and high enough for the well-funded terrorist groups to decide to spend their resources more effectively somewhere else.

          Theatre is not much of a barrier for a serious attacker.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Dec 2019 @ 4:27am

          Re: Re:

          "Very true, and I think it's also worth pointing out that the piercing that illusion is not a binary condition. Someone who seriously intends to hijack a plane is probably researching those scanners and screening policies more than the average citizen, and a large terrorist organization probably wouldn't mind if the TSA still caught 90% of their attempts -- they can just send twenty people."

          ..and the pot odds are that any organizations seriously dedicated to security theatre is also carrying a decided false sense of security as a result, if for no other reason than that they deal with too many false positives every day to even notice a bona fide alert.

          The real reason as to why there haven't been more successful terror attacks is because Al Quaeda was an aberration, with a leadership originally well trained by the CIA to target the soviet invasion in afghanistan.

          Today most terrorists are, putting it bluntly, dumber than bags of hammers, which is why the tactics we've seen employed in recent years relies on idiot-proof operations only really requiring the operative gets across the border or is capable of stealing a truck.

          If the goal was to blow up airplanes alone then all that was needed was for someone to put in a month's worth of plinking at a firearms range, then buy a .50 caliber Barrett at the nearest gun show and park their ass half a click from an airport landing or takeoff runway. McVeigh still illustrates just how easy it is to cart a truck full of homebrewed bomb material around - nothing's changed there to make it that much harder.

          The current hazard when it comes to terrorism isn't large organizations any more. It's single individuals going off the deep end who need travel no further than an hour's worth of driving to the first target of opportunity, and no further than a stateline to obtain whatever material they need for the munitions of choice.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2020 @ 7:06am

            Re: Re: Re:

            One thing...that tango better be a good shot and know where to shoot at. Randomly whacking an airliner with ammo, even .50 BMG, is going to do little besides annoying the pilots and FAs and maybe taking out a pax or two. It's been tried before.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MathFox, 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:21am

      I do think security checks make some sense, I remember the times when everyone could walk on a plane with a gun; which lasted until hijackings became almost weekly. The introduction of metal detectors stopped a lot of hijack attempts in the bud. Another measure I support is checking luggage and cargo for explosives and other contraband.

      There remains a slew of measures I think is more theatre than that it is effective, I mention the "liquid ban" and "shoe X-ray check" as none of those seem to have stopped and effective attack. Make security checking more efficient by skipping the theatre?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Dr evil, 24 Dec 2019 @ 10:13am

    Listen up sheep

    When you all had the chance to bypass ..opt out.. of the surrender machines (hands up) as they were phased in to replace the working, but already paid for magnetometers, you gave the feds tacit agreement to end your freedoms.. Stop bitching about it now unless you opt out ever single everloving time and FORCE them to grope every one of you. THAT would change it all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:13am

      Re: Listen up sheep

      No it wouldn't. All that does is convince the "powers-to-be" that people prefer more invasive searches. They don't care how John Q. Security Guard feels about it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        urza9814 (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: Listen up sheep

        It doesn't matter how they FEEL about it, it WILL slow them down. Then they have to either pay for more guards (and they never like paying for things) or slowly dismantle one part of the system to keep another part running (as described in this article) -- and that may include dismantling the scanners if they decide that the opt-outs are the least important thing to be dealing with.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 1:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Listen up sheep

          They would dismantle it to the bare minimum and tell people to arrive sooner or pay for services such as preCheck to ensure you get on your plane in time.

          Security theater is only part of it. The cash cow is the other. If you want this to completely go away, you will need to get rid of both.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2019 @ 7:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: Listen up sheep

          If "they" never like paying for things, how did we end up with this super expensive bit of theater in the first place? How do they keep spending more on projects which don't work or never see the light of day, they are so bad? How do we get attempts at going through people social media accounts, phones, and stealing underwear?

          They absolutely love paying for shit, as long as it makes them look good or there is some pork involved.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Listen up sheep

      ...you all had the chance...

      As did you. Unless you just arrived on Earth you're just as much to blame as everyone else. Now step down off your high horse and help find a way to fix all this bullshit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:46am

    I think the equation itself is incorrent

    TSA is pretty much worthless. It always has been.

    Ramping up its efforts will do nothing beyond delaying travel. Decreasing its efforts will hit a wall of incompetence that is their lower boundary.

    TSA = TSA Zero (+-Nothing)(Press)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 2:39pm

    Stories like this might play right into terrorists' hands. Nothing like the internet to megaphone security lapses to our enemies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2019 @ 3:15pm

    the reduction of attempted attacks is very likely directly related to the reduction of FBI sting operations where the FBI encourages someone to attack an airplane and then arrests them before they stop thinking about carrying out any such attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      R/O/G/S, 24 Dec 2019 @ 11:18pm

      Re:

      You are overestimating the FBIs blatant bungling of manufactured terrorist tactical operations (colloquially called organized gang stalking*) while underestimating CIA, British, AU, Israeli, and other intel agencies/NGOs unspecified, using the same overt methods.

      Foxes of a feather eat henhouses together.

      the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) calls this counter-terrorism tactic of 24-7 stalking of a target the “parallel colluding investigation,” while shitbags like the Florida governor recently called this extreme and constant harassment of a target extreme vetting* after the Pensacola shooter attacked those that he perceived had attacked him, both online, and off.

      With little irony, that guy was being cyberstalked by FBI-Mossadi jihadis online and off for months after he filed a sexual harrassment complaint against his flight trainer.

      Its a chicken/egg thing, cuz’ sky is falling

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 27 Dec 2019 @ 3:35am

        Re: Re:

        I can find no reference to these allegations online. You're not making stuff up, are you?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 27 Dec 2019 @ 10:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is that a rhetorical question?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          R/O/G/S, 28 Dec 2019 @ 2:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wendy, how was the church sermon for Christmas? Did the naked boy statue appear again, or not?

          A Miracle!

          But I can find ZERO historical or scientific evidence of the Jesus that you" people of faith”believe in.

          But sure, I will help you do your homework, AGAIN:

          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/12/07/pensacola-shooting-saudi-student-tweets-fbi-in vestigating-ter/4364451002/

          SITE Intelligence has been repeatedly linked to race baiting, cyberstalking, hacking and hoaxing.

          You can draw your own conclusions, but mine are based in empirical evidence.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2019 @ 8:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How do you get from what the article says to what you are saying, other than by misreading the article to support your conspiracy theory.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              R/O/G/S, 28 Dec 2019 @ 8:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I will presume that yours is a legitimate query, but first:

              1- I do not dabble in conspiracy theories

              2-ROGS Analysis of mass shooters is a proven tool of pre and post event analysis, citing empirical evidence, and applied social science, as we saw in my predictive link(pre-event) in the Virginia Beach shooting, and many others too

              That said, the article is about security theater, and the blatant and unapoligetic surveillance state.

              Manufactured terrorism, is a thing that hapens (mysteriously) and these manufactured terror events are what prop up the US/Western poluce states, which are secret police states by definition of the term.

              Does that answer your question, AC?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rita Kitty Katz crisis PR team, 1 Jan 2020 @ 9:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mossadi jihadis

            are overestimating the FBIs blatant bungling of manufactured terrorist tactical operations (colloquially called organized gang stalking*) while underestimating CIA, British, AU, Israeli, and other intel agencies/NGOs unspecified, using the same overt methods.

            Foxes of a feather eat henhouses together.

            the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) calls this counter-terrorism tactic of 24-7 stalking of a target the “parallel colluding investigation,” while shitbags like the Florida governor recently called this extreme and constant harassment of a target extreme vetting* after the Pensacola shooter attacked those that he perceived had attacked him, both online, and off.

            With little irony, that guy was being cyberstalked by FBI-Mossadi jihadis online and off for months after he filed a sexual harrassment complaint against his flight trainer.

            Its a chicken/egg thing, cuz’ sky is falling

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 3 Jan 2020 @ 7:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I can find no reference to these allegations online. You're not making stuff up, are you?

          Here's some info on what he's talking about if you're still curious - though not what he would like you to see.

          https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/11/health/gang-stalking-targeted-individuals.html

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Salvatore Mundi, 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:16am

            Re:stalking by police

            Yeah, nasch (a former cop ) quotes the most widely debunked NYT piece EVER on that topic. The journalist who wrote it quoted from a ponerologist who works in the prison industrial complex to boot.

            And, that journalist later went on to write about hidden and actual gangs in LAPD, so theres that.

            Read www.fightgangstalking.com instead, a blog that covers corruption in the intel and security industry and how the alphabet agencies utilize what the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP ) calls “colliding parallel investigations, ” of activists, dissidents and others, aka, the weaponized investigation that targets minorities, activists, and dissidents:

            From FGS:

            “*Gang stalking” (Cointelpro Version 2.0) is one of the extreme manifestations of America’s tendency toward militarism and police state governance – along with drone assassinations, warrantless surveillance of email....”

            Or, read about Stanley Cohen, Esq., targeted by many tribal -religious factions.

            Or, read about how Hamid Khan is making progress raising awareness about this brutal, illegal police stalking too:

            https://stoplapdspying.org/

            naschzi, whats your stake in gang stalking denialism anyways? Are you a #private contractor or other fascist now?

            Or are you just a shitbag?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:29pm

              Re: Re:stalking by police

              Where did you get the idea I'm a former cop? I have no vested interest in the gang stalking phenomenon. I'd never heard of it until you (I assume you're ROGS) brought it up. I looked into it and decided the most likely explanation is that it's a mental health issue. Others can reach their own conclusions.

              naschzi, whats your stake in gang stalking denialism anyways? Are you a #private contractor or other fascist now?

              Or are you just a shitbag?

              Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    R/O/G/S, 24 Dec 2019 @ 6:44pm

    the 4th wall

    the actors in our nationwide security theater

    The fourth wall is a convention of theater, when used correctly can be amazing, but most frequently fails in most theatrical productions.

    Hes just carrying the role into the audience, as actors are do to create audience engagement.

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall
    The convention of breaking the fourth wall is often seen on mockumentary sitcoms

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2019 @ 3:55am

      Re: the 4th wall

      I know you shit ass KKK double wide sister fuckers don’t have jobs, but could you maybe post on wnd.com with the rest of your peers bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        R/O/G/S bin Hotep, 28 Dec 2019 @ 8:33pm

        Re: Re: the 4th wall

        And you, my bitter True Israelite frene-bro, are better suited for Hotep Nation

        https://www.hotepnation.com/

        Its,a #safespace for angry black people, and others who hate our current white, Jewish, christian supremacist dominated culture.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jane D#53, 1 Jan 2020 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re: the 4th wall

        I would personally place a bullet between.your eyes, if it were legal to doo such things. You are just garbage -human waste; a true “useless eater. ”

        -signed,
        Henry K.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 25 Dec 2019 @ 1:59am

    If you now try to bring liquid onto a plane, such as a bottle of water, you're forced to get rid of it. What do they do with it if you don't want to drink it on the spot? They throw it in a trash can. A nearby trash can. They throw suspected explosives in a trash can right next to the line of people they're supposedly trying to keep safe.

    Personally, I think the TSA is lucky no terrorist group has yet thought to make them accomplices in an airport bombing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Dec 2019 @ 4:44am

      Re:

      "What do they do with it if you don't want to drink it on the spot? They throw it in a trash can. A nearby trash can. They throw suspected explosives in a trash can right next to the line of people they're supposedly trying to keep safe. "

      ...and this is one of those times where I really don't know whether the terrorists or the TSA are more unimaginative. It's not the only way the security theater fails.

      Checked luggage, for instance, only goes through the CT scanner if a suspicious flag is triggered for the ticket purchase. 9 times out of 10 you could probably bring a hefty fuel-air explosive on board set to blow at a predefined time.

      The most prevailing reason there are few successful terror attempts these days is because the last CIA-trained operatives in Al Quaeda have been killed off, leaving "terrorists" who are either dumber than bags of hammers or socially inept red flags like McVeigh or Ted Kaczynski.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2019 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Re:

        Hell it is worse than that, bringing a big bomb in a suitcase into the lines and detonating it would create more mayhem than any underwear or shoe bomber had they been successful.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Dec 2019 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "...bringing a big bomb in a suitcase into the lines and detonating it would create more mayhem than any underwear or shoe bomber had they been successful."

          And there we have the illustrated example of why both airport security and terrorists are failing these days. How many planeloads worth of people are in range for a decent-sized bomb within the entrance hall at any given time?

          No, the real reason why terrorism is on the back burner today is because first of all you don't make much of a point with a single bombing. It has to be spectacular. It has to scare people even if they're just sitting in offices. It HAS to bring the message that you can be gotten to no matter who you are or where you are.

          And frankly, the average school shooter does far more in that regard than anything the current crop of politically motivated fanatics could pull off even in theory. A few blown-up planes will sadly be just another statistic in a country used to reading about a few dozen dead children in a school, courtesy of the local wingnuts.

          The TSA are pulling off an expensive piece of security theater in a venue which isn't any longer a viable or desirable terror target. If another terrorist organization with actual brains comes along the targets will be stuff which causes serious mental damage for years. Deliberately spread pandemics. Blowing up hoover dam. putting nerve gas canisters in the NY public subway.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Dick, 1 Jan 2020 @ 9:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You know WAAAAaaaAAAYYYY too much about bombings and stuff.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Talmyr, 8 Jan 2020 @ 4:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              When I was a kid there was this movie about a terrorist who stole two nukes and blew up a dam. Seemed an obvious move to cause major mayhem. Then some guy in blue and red came along and turned the planet back. Never found out what happened to the nuke...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jane D#53, 1 Jan 2020 @ 9:58am

        Re: the 4th wall~and smoke and mirrors

        the actors in our nationwide security theater
        The CIA /JTRIG /Mossad /DIA /FBI /EtAlphabet deploy unconventional warfare on free speech. But its also.helpful to re -examine how men like Ted Kaszinski were actual MKULTRA era mind control victims too.

        https://www.counterpunch.org/1999/07/15/ted-k-the-cia-lsd/

        Then:

        The fourth wall is a convention of theater, when used correctly can be amazing, but most frequently fails in most theatrical productions.

        Hes just carrying the role into the audience, as actors are do to create audience engagement.

        en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall
        The convention of breaking the fourth wall is often seen on mockumentary sitcoms

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    whatsapp gold, 26 Dec 2019 @ 1:40pm

    this can help

    Thank you o much,you might be lovely to check it out also this whatsapp omar https://watcabplus.com/obwhatsapp-omar-download.html this one also gonna help you out more.
    have a nice day

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jane D#53, 1 Jan 2020 @ 9:52am

    Blahblahblah

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Jane D#53, 1 Jan 2020 @ 10:06am

    Yes, TD admin, I am pen testing your personal, non -government censorship policies in practice .

    You are banning via IPs, and of course we know that only the commies, dictators, and Middle Eastern monarchies suppress speech, right?

    And TDs moderator of course.(your moderator is making YOU look like total shit now, as they flag an entire set of VPN. IPs )

    Of course!

    Keep the subscriber /underwriter happy, right?

    I won, AGAIN!

    Play ROGS Bingo for the win!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2020 @ 7:24pm

      Re:

      Yeesh, mate. I know blue and Hamilton have more or less fucked off for a few months, but that's not a challenge to see who can be more unhinged.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JD, 2 Jan 2020 @ 9:13am

    Brainard is 100% accurate in his comments. The fact that there has been no attack is not proof of better security, rather it simply has not been tried yet. All he is saying is the leadership is reducing the criteria in order to allow for more passengers to be screened faster. That is 100% fact. To lessen the standard will eventually lead to failure and certainly increase opportunity. All of that is for the sake of speed and passenger through put. TSA leadership has known for over a year and ignored his information. Admiral Pekosky should know one thing for sure - Jay is not going away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 3 Jan 2020 @ 9:18pm

      Re:

      All he is saying is the leadership is reducing the criteria in order to allow for more passengers to be screened faster. That is 100% fact.

      No, he is also saying that has the effect of making air travel less safe, which is not a fact.

      To lessen the standard will eventually lead to failure and certainly increase opportunity.

      Only if the security measures are effective. If they do nothing or almost nothing (which several years ago they did, having a 95% failure rate) then it may not matter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    whatsapp, 5 Jan 2020 @ 7:01am

    But is the TSA really "sacrificing security?" Or is it just streamlining processes that have done more to increase the length of screening than generate any additional security?
    https://whatsapp.watsabplus.net/

    thank you too much

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    R/O/G/ish, 10 Jan 2020 @ 9:14am

    the fourth wall

    the 4th wall(see flagged post above )

    re: the actors in our nationwide security theater

    The fourth wall is a convention of theater, when used correctly can be amazing, but most frequently fails in most theatrical productions.

    Hes just carrying the role into the audience, as actors are do to create audience engagement.

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall
    The convention of breaking the fourth wall is often seen on mockumentary sitcoms

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.