Yep, they’ve gone too far. You could face an $11,000 fine for refusing the body scanner and the enhanced pat-down on the grounds of disrupting the security process. They’ve prompted complaints. Today, the day before Thanksgiving, is now National Opt-Out Day. Some are even questioning their safety. Or even further, some say that the TSA is killing people. Meanwhile, al Qaeda is laughing.
Now some airports are opting out of the screening. According to the TSA, currently there are 16 airports with private security screening, and I imagine an uptick in the number of private contract applications in the future. However, private screeners still must follow all the same standards that the TSA deems necessary, which likely include the implementation of the nudie body scanners and the junk-groping enhanced pat-downs.
As I’d mentioned in a previous post, not even the Israeli airport security is using these procedures. I think we could learn from them. They place a higher priority on behavior over the contents a person is carrying.
And this is another reason why we’re engaging in “security theatre” rather than actual increased safety:
…the agency was working under what Freeman calls “an unachievable mandate.” Congress demanded an agency that eliminated risk. But the risks are always changing, as terrorists devise new methods and government parries. That has led to an agency that is always in crisis mode, constantly adding new policies designed to respond to the last terror plot.
An internal TSA report reveals that screeners missed the fake bombs 60% of the time during their tests in 2006 at Los Angeles and Chicago airports.
Some people think it’s ok and maybe it’ll reduce airport congestion. Others are submitting their “break up” letters to their frequented airlines. If current procedures don’t change, I anticipate a major drop off in airline activity around the end of January and February, because people likely encountering the new security procedures now will find alternative modes of transportation for their next trips. Or they will sign up for a program that allows them to bypass the current procedures. Until then, we’ll probably see more interesting and creative exchanges between the public and the TSA.
Ah, the good old days.
Props to anyone who gets the picture reference without peeking at the link.