by Michael Tennant
A Transportation Security Administration officer
discovers unallowable liquids in a passenger's carry on luggage at the security checkpoint
at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on August 3, 2011 in Atlanta.
The Tennessee Republican’s report, based on news
accounts, details just 50 of the dozens of crimes for which TSA employees
have been arrested since 2005.
A screener at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport lifted over $50,000 worth of electronics from the people he was supposedly serving, often selling them on the Internet before his shift had even ended. Screeners at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport have stolen tens of thousands of dollars in cash; two who swiped $40,000 got a whopping six months’ jail time for their crimes.
As of a year ago 500 TSA officers had been,
And these are just the ones who got caught. Theft is followed closely by sex crimes and child pornography charges, with 14 such incidents listed in Blackburn’s report.
Six TSA employees were charged with possession of child pornography; one of them got caught because he,
Eight others were charged variously with child molestation, rape (including child rape), and even running a prostitution ring.
It’s not hard to figure out why persons
possessing such proclivities would seek jobs where they would be able to
ogle and grope other people’s private parts with impunity.
Still another threw a cup of hot coffee at an
American Airlines pilot who asked her and other TSA workers to refrain from
using profanity on duty - apparently an unreasonable request as far as she
One top TSA official in Mississippi was even
charged with stabbing to death another TSA employee with whom he had
allegedly been having an affair.
Yet as she points out,
Moreover, she observes, if the TSA were really serious about having the best workforce available, it would not recruit new employees by placing ads on pizza boxes and gas pumps (as it did in the D.C. area), and it would,
...something the House Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure has been repeatedly told is not done, TSA
assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.
The fact that TSA employees have assisted drug dealers in getting past TSA checkpoints should give anyone pause.
What is to say they wouldn’t do the same for terrorists, especially if those terrorists were to dupe them into thinking the terrorists were “just” drug smugglers?
Blackburn believes that the solution to the problem is to improve the TSA’s employee screening and training processes, and that certainly wouldn’t hurt.
A better solution, however, might be to abolish the TSA - whose methods security expert Bruce Schneier has dubbed “security theater” - and let the private sector, which seems to secure numerous locations and events with minimal inconvenience to the public, try its hand at protecting plane passengers.
Goodness knows we’ve felt the TSA’s hand long