$57 Billion Security Failure

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Airline passengers, not federal airport security personnel or equipment, have kept the millions of daily flyers safe from terrorist plots.

That’s one of the central conclusions of a Congressional report charging that the nearly $57 billion spent for transportation security has failed to make passengers and baggage more secure.

The failures of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are detailed in a combined report by two committees of the House of Representatives.

“TSA staff has grown from approximately 16,500 in 2001, to over 65,000 today, a near-400 percent increase….In the same amount of time, total passenger enplanements in the U.S. have increased less than 12 percent. TSA‘s massive Washington headquarters supports 3,986 administrative personnel earning on average $103,852 per year. In addition, the agency continues to support an army of 9,656 administrative field staff, on top of the security officers who actually conduct the physical screening.

“TSA must get out of the human resources business and direct its energy and resources towards securing the American public,” the report said firmly.

With 65,000 employees, the report said, TSA is larger in personnel than the Departments of Labor, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and the State Department combined.

For the 457 airports where TSA operates, an average of 60 administrative people are at each airport.

Although we are safer now than ten years ago, this is largely because of “the vigilance of American citizens and passengers, the actions of flight crews, and armed pilots, the addition of hardened cockpit doors, and the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies,” stated Rep. John Mica (R-FL) chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“TSA was envisioned and sold to the American people as a proactive agency that would strategically deploy the latest technology and cutting-edge tactics to protect travelers,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Despite these high ambitions, the agency has become a backwards-looking dinosaur that seeks employees through pizza box advertising and struggles to detect actual terrorist threats. TSA needs a vision and purpose that goes beyond throwing expensive equipment and invasive searches at passengers who do not pose a security threat.”

TSA’s focus on guns and knives is misplaced, the report pointed out. “The primary threat is no longer hijacking, but explosives designed to take down an aircraft, said the report released Nov. 16. “Fewer that half of the largest 35 airports have explosive detection equipment.”

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  • mlcblog

    Reform it? abolish it.

    I felt strongly from the beginning that this function would be best handled by the private sector, but no! Congress just had to create another inefficient bureaucracy. Are we stuck with it?

  • Asher

    Total collapse of our system and companies is happening. Another concern is the Legislation that was drafted behind closed doors, an amendment to a bill appropriating money for the Pentagon. The New national Defense Authorization Act would allow the US government to lock up US citizens for life at Gitmo or imprison them without charge or trial. An Anti-Congress protest, anti-TSA rant, or twitter post could land you in indefinite detention.

  • jacob

    My soon to be 85 years old wife has a metal knee-replacement and I'm admired
    at the third-degree examination she has to go through every time we board a plane.

    In fact, seems like the TSA women take her as a training model for checking
    people, the way they do it, all because of the metallic knee replacement.

    Interesting, isn't it ???

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Actually, the excessively intrusive TSA, the invasive Patriot Act, the humongous Department of Homeland Security, and the gargantuan and completely incompetent National Intelligence Directorate, all created or expanded in response to 9/11, are together the biggest federal boondoggles ever created in the history of mankind.

    Not only that but other than creating a false sense of security, the truth is the homeland today is even more vulnerable to jihad attacks than it was before the 9/11 jihad attack simply due to the fact that mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage has actually increased since then. Indeed, every Muslim our political elites allow to immigrate to the USA incrementally increases the probability of violent jihad attacks in the homeland.

    Thus, today the USA is teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy and even contemplating gutting its own military at the same time, which will inevitably open the door wide open for the forces of totalitarianism to become dominant in the world, and the biggest cause for our current financial predicament and woes today, is so we can continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage. Now, if someone actually said that in public today like I just did, they would be marginalized as xenophobic bigots and an unhinged Islamophobes.

    Nevertheless, if we simply outlawed Islam and banned and reversed mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP, which would virtually overnight eliminate the possibility of violent jihad attacks on the homeland, we could easily roll back the extremely intrusive TSA, the very invasive Patriot Act, the humongous Department of Homeland Security, and the gargantuan and severely incompetent National Intelligence Directorate and at the same time get our financial house back in order.

    Not only that but non-violent jihad that relative to violent jihad takes place astronomically far more prevalently, would too also be eliminated inside the homeland virtually overnight.

    Indeed, how many politicians are today proposing a logical solution like the one above to cure our current financial woes? Isn't it funny how once the size, scope, and power of government gets expanded that it becomes absolutely impossible to ever undo, even when it is completely unnecessary? Especially in this day and age when both major political parties in this country sadly are almost virtually identical and leftwing.

    In any event, outlawing Islam and banning and reversing mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage is something that nevertheless will have to be done eventually sooner or later, whether people realize it right now or not.

  • Ellman

    What a monumental and disgraceful waste of our money! When the government is assigned a job that one person should be able to do, it hires 100 people to do so, and another 30 administrative types to supervise the 100. When will the taxpayers be outraged? When will they stop believing lies? Probably not until the next 911 strikes!