1.07.2010

Can we all just agree to abolish the TSA?

In the wake of the attempted Christmas day bombing, there has been a rightful review of security protocol, both in our intelligence agencies and in our airport security practices.

Quite simply, it is tremendously clear that the TSA needs to go; nothing short will do. Even the hard-on-security right admits the agency is staffed by incompetents:
Your Transporation (In)security Administration hard at work…avoiding responsibility, deflecting blame, disrupting air travel, and endangering lives instead of protecting them.
Nor does the organization's proposed head look particularly appealing:
"We believe that Mr. Southers submitted erroneous, and possibly misleading information regarding ethical violations during his service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," the senators wrote in a letter to Nancy D. Hogan, special assistant to the president and director of presidential personnel.
Meanwhile, we're in too much of a rush to install body scanners to bother about legitimate privacy concerns, much less their effectiveness:
Full body scanners present serious threats to personal privacy and are of unclear effectiveness. Plastic explosives can be hidden from them as can explosives hidden in body cavities, which Al Qaeda has already used to launch attacks. [...] That degree of examination amounts to a significant – and for some people humiliating – assault on personal privacy to which travelers in a free country should not automatically be subjected.
In the end, this was an intelligence failure that reveals as much success as it does failure:
However, we could all do without the sky-is-falling hysteria. If anything, Abdulmutallab's failed atrocity attempt demonstrates, once again, how little America as a nation actually has to fear from al-Qaida. Everyone reading this column is far more likely to die in an automobile accident or an influenza epidemic than at a terrorist's hands. [...]

Maybe we should just strip-search everybody -- ex-Pentagon officials first.
An organization of incompetents, heedlessly rushing invasive technologies that guarantee no significantly greater degree of protection than previously to prevent an admittedly minimal threat? Welcome to the world of government efficiency.