I hate the TSA. Hate, hate, hate. Not just because they reached into my purse while I was waiting to board a plane. And not because they’ve lectured me about tooth paste on five, yes — five separate occasions. My hatred of TSA is not even a result of their oft pervy-handed ways. I hate the TSA because they’re painfully incompetent.
Last week, the acting head of the TSA stepped down after a, “news reports that undercover security agents had penetrated airport security on 67 occasions,” according to the Washington Post. That amounts to a 96% failure rate.
As if a 4% screening success rate wasn’t bad enough, a new audit found the TSA accidentally hired 73 workers who were listed on their own terror watch list.
“This is totally unacceptable… we need to revamp the TSA process,” said Texas Representative Michael McCaul in an interview with Fox News. “Most importantly, it puts Americans at risk.”
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The 73 individuals identified in the latest report “were employed by major airlines, airport vendors, and other employers,” but the TSA failed to identify any link to terrorism during vetting because of gaps in access to the interagency terrorism watchlist database.
The individuals represented “a potential transportation security threat,” according to the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general report.
Surely there has to be a good reason for missing 73 people with connections to terrorism, right? There is and it’s the tangled web of federal government bureaucracy. You see, the TSA doesn’t have access to some terrorism-related category codes when it comes to screening prospective employees:
“This occurred because TSA is not authorized under current interagency watchlisting policy to receive certain terrorism-related category codes” as part of their vetting process, the report explained. The redacted report did not disclose what category codes were excluded from TSA’s vetting process.
The TSA is now coordinating with DHS to ensure it has access to all necessary terrorism watchlist information.
When it came to the criminal vetting process, the TSA relied on airports and airlines to carry out criminal background checks, but did not sufficiently oversee or verify the process, according to the DHS Office of the Inspector General’s report.
“TSA did not have an adequate monitoring process in place to ensure that airport operators properly adjudicated credential applicants’ criminal histories,” the report reads.
Part of the problem is that current FBI policy prohibits the TSA from conducting recurrent criminal checks on aviation workers.
Incompetence aside, consider the billions we’ve pumped into TSA. The payoff? Sacrificing fourth amendment rights to blue-gloved “security” agents who couldn’t fail harder at the whole “security” part if they tried.
[Featured Image from Wikimedia Image Commons]
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