Why I Can’t Respect the TSA

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) was created in the aftermath of 9/11. Its chief job is to protect us from another air plane hijacking, and it tries to do this by checking you and your luggage as you board a plane.

The TSA’s latest offense is this: a woman with her ears, bellybutton, and nipples1 pierced (not together. Although that would be kinda cool) does not set off the metal detectors but is pulled aside anyway for additional screening. A hand wand detects the nipple piercings and the TSA agents demand that she remove them (which can be painful). She does so (using pliers on one!) as, according to her, the predominately male TSA officers snicker.

Afterward, she offers to remove her bellybutton ring as well, but the TSA officer says it isn’t necessary.

The TSA said that their officers followed procedure, but the procedure needs to be changed. However, procedure already allows for a visual inspection, which is what the officer did for her bellybutton. Why wasn’t she offered this option for her other piercings as well?

The only upside is that the woman’s lawyer was able to give us this gem:

“Last time that I checked, a nipple was not a dangerous weapon.”

Getting to the point

My main problem with the TSA is that they only react—they don’t take any measures to protect us against things terrorists haven’t tried already. My other problem is that they don’t really believe their own B.S.; they realize they’re just there to make us think we’re safer, without actually protecting us.

  1. They suck at actually finding bombs, and are worse than the guys they replaced.
  2. The lack common sense.
  3. Their Website was vulnerable to identity theft, due to “major incompetence.” This led to a government investigation.
  4. Remember the shoe bomber? After he was caught, the TSA started checking shoes.
  5. Remember the liquids thing? (Prosecution didn’t go so well.) After that they disallowed liquids, including insulin (the stuff that keeps diabetics alive), on planes. Then they allowed you to have three ounces of liquids and some other stuff. So little bombs are okay? The best part is that when people would try to bring liquids onto planes, the TSA had them pour the liquids into a big trash can. So to protect us from terrorists combining liquids to make a bomb, the TSA combined all the bomb-making liquids. Genius!
  6. Can’t even protect themselves (although this is a problem with the entire Department of Homeland Security)
  7. They have lavish parties.
  8. They are ineffective.

The TSA needs serious reform and competent leadership.

You can read more (really? after this long-ass post?) at Wikipedia and BoingBoing.

1I’m going to bold the word “nipple” to increase audience interest.

76 Responses to “Why I Can’t Respect the TSA”

  1. Jenny Fur Says:

    Good thing I didn’t take that job!

    PS…I only read this blog because I noticed nipple was in bold. In fact, I would have called this blog, “Threatening Nips”…I’m just saying.

    xoxo, oh!

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