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TSA Getting Yelled At By Just About Everyone Now

October 19, 2011 at 4:50 PM | by | ()

We're almost beginning to feel sorry for the TSA officials. They spend much of their time dealing with what appear to be the world's dumbest passengers, and then at the end of it all they get yelled at by angry politicians. This week is proving to be particularly bad.

Top agency officials spent most of today facing withering criticism from Senators, up to and including the accusation that they show "arrogant disregard for real Americans who have to put up with this baloney." We're not really sure what that means, and we tend to cringe when politicians start posturing on behalf of "real Americans," but certainly TSA workers have been a little grabby lately with diabetics' insulin and cancer survivors' body parts and other people's stuff in general.

These Senate hearings are almost kind of Congress's way of piling on, given that House members were outright calling for investigations of TSA over the summer.

But just because TSA agents are sometimes really bad at their jobs, let's not lose sight of the fact that—apparently—the flying public has also been infiltrated by reckless idiots. Two recent incidents illustrate the point fairly well, and we're duly filing both in Jaunted's bad ideas archive:

Incident one, from earlier this month: a JFK passenger tried to check through four sets of brass knuckles, two stun gun flashlights and a sword in his luggage. It turns out that all seven of those weapons are prohibited, and he was arrested. Oops.

Incident two, from yesterday: a Southwest Airlines passenger tried to break into the cockpit of the airplane. It turns out that TSA and the FBI frown on that kind of thing, and the airplane was diverted to Amarillo, Texas (yes, they have an airport in Amarillo, Texas). He was obviously arrested.

Obviously the antics of morons and lunatics don't justify TSA's incompetence. But weekly passenger insanity does kind of put what their agents are going through into perspective.

[Photo: Jacinta Quesada / Wiki Commons]

Archived Comments:

Hands off!

Hey, I've got an idea for how the TSA can improve its image... they can keep their filthy molesting hands off our genitals! Nah, that would make too much sense

I have a great idea

Let's just get rid of the TSA, they serve no purpose anyways (other than annoying the shit out of me every time I fly). No one ruins my good mood faster than the dumbass antics of the TSA.

I will add...

I feel no safer after going through a TSA security checkpoint

TSA Needs Reform

I was pleased to hear Senators Leahy and Hatch openly state what most Americans already knew, that the current TSA practices are abusive, arbitrary, unduly invasive and unwarranted by the realities. Both Senators deserve to be commended for having the political courage to state this obvious shortcoming and demand that TSA begin acting responsibly in its interaction with everyday citizens. We cannot allow any agency to dictate policy in defiance of the citizens and their elected officials. TSA has been plagued scores of sensational reports of theft, sex crimes, murder, drug trafficking, security failures and passenger abuse including one in Maryland last week for child pornography. In the last nine months fifty-six screeners have been arrested, an average of one every six days, Of these arrests, four screeners have been charged with smuggling drugs through security the last six months. These drugs could just as well have been weapons or explosives carried aboard by a terrorist or intentionally planted in passenger's baggage. The nine TSA screeners arrested for child sex crimes this year could also have been coerced by terrorists into cooperating in a smuggling effort. This is not only a national disgrace but also very dangerous, since these employees become vulnerable to extortion and bribery by terrorist groups, placing passengers at great risk. The level of criminal activity in TSA indicates a significant deficiency in their hiring practices and jeopardizes everyone who flies. Congress should investigate this agency and initiate the necessary reforms as soon as possible. The traveling public and airline industry can't afford to wait while TSA gains the needed skills through a series of mistakes and crimes by their personnel. TSA Crimes & Abuses http://www.travelunderground.org/index.php?threads/master-lists-of-tsa-abuses-crimes.317/

Checked in

It's important to note that in your Incident One, the items were in the checked baggage and posed exactly ZERO risk to airline safety. None. Nada. Zilch. This particular idiot flyer did not break any TSA rule or regulation. Instead, he violated New York City's weapons laws, which are technically not the responsibility of the TSA or the airlines. That he was arrested for such a violation shows that the Fourth Amendment is truly revoked when traveling by air.

Nothing - compared with the Heathrow bunch!

TSA is nothing to passengers, compared with the bunch at Heathrow. Where is the course they've attended? And who was responsible for it?


Nobody in here? Not one of you happened to experience the ill-will and the evil ways of the Heathrow bunch?

What perspective?

Here's your comment under the article about yelling: "Obviously the antics of morons and lunatics don't justify TSA's incompetence. But weekly passenger insanity does kind of put what their agents are going through into perspective". May I be so bold as to ask: What perspective? Could Heathrow travellers and others be valued for due respect, so that the uniformed personnel behaved themselves - finally, instead of treating people as if they were criminals? There woulde be less yelling.