What costs as much as four World Trade Centres every single year?
What is the epitome of gross and grotesque incompetence; ridiculous overreach (yes, literally, in some cases; let me grope for an example); a thing that does entirely more harm than good; and is generally no good at all for anyone and just-plain useless?
It’s the Transportation Security Administration. After the Infernal Revenue Service, probably there’s no organization in American history more unnecessary and ineffective.
As libertarian writer Robby Soave recently wrote in Reason magazine, it was 20 years ago last month that, under the dubious aegis of the hapless Georgie Bush, Jr, the TSA was created in response to the burning of the Reichstag––er, I mean the Mohammedan terrorist (but then, I repeat myself) attacks of Sept 11, 2001, which of course included the destruction of the World Trade Centres in New York City. At the time, the TSA was a much-ballyhooed tool: a weapon thought necessary for combatting future attacks by said terrorists.
Twenty years later, the TSA is a bloated bull that the creatures of the Washington Swamp, in their infinite stupidity, don’t want to gore. Soave writes that it has north of 54,000 employees, a budget of some $8 billion dollars “and a long track record of harassing passengers for no good reason. Far from contributing to actual safety, the TSA is a stunning example of government failure. Its absurd travel restrictions make air travel no safer, deprive passengers of their civil liberties and make the process of flying much costlier and more time-consuming, inconvenient and unenjoyable. The agency should never have been created, and its 20th birthday is as good a time as any to abolish it.
“For starters,” he continues, “the TSA routinely fails at its main purpose: preventing passengers from carrying deadly weapons on to airplanes. TSA agents constantly miss weapons, drugs and other illicit items when government agents try to smuggle them in as part of testing.”
And as the Heritage Foundation reported four years ago, “TSA screeners failed to detect weapons, drugs and explosives almost 80 per cent of the time. While the exact failure rate is classified (quelle surprise), multiple sources indicate it is greater than 70 per cent.”
During one such test at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, the TSA’s failure rate was a whopping embarrassment: 95 per cent. Nice going, geniuses.
In the wake of Sept 11, the American government promised greater vigilance. As Soave notes:
“But the truth of the matter is that preventing hijackings is now trivially easy: Pilots can lock the cockpit doors, which are almost impossible for intruders to breach. Prior to 9/11, most airplane hijackings involved detours to different locations; hijackers did not intend to crash the ’planes, and thus neither crews nor passengers had much reason to fight back. This calculus is forever changed: would-be ’plane hijackers will (now) face insurmountable difficulties, whether or not they’ve received aggressive pat-downs from the TSA.
“Meanwhile,” he adds, “the TSA’s security theatre has made air travel a much more gruelling process. It’s not just the ritualistic humiliation of having to remove belts and shoes, empty out backpacks and suitcases and submit to full-body scanners. TSA agents are also frequently caught stealing from passengers, groping them and delaying them for no reason. Again, there is no point to any of this. It does not make people safer. If anything, it makes us less safe. It is likely that some people choose to drive to their destinations, rather than deal with the hassles. Car travel, though, is far more dangerous than air travel. Many more people die in car crashes than in ’plane crashes each year.”
And according to The Washington Post, not even the needless state-sponsored restrictions, only ostensibly tied to the Wuhan ’flu, could tip the scales in the favour of airplanes.
The joys of private flight
Know a millionaire? Maybe you could catch a flight with him out of a private airport. There are many more than you might have thought, all over America, and in fact, surprisingly, they actually far outnumber the country’s 400 or so commercial airports.
But they ain’t cheap. Flying privately out of Teterboro, N.J. (just out of the Big Apple, right over the New York/Joisey state line) could run you as much as a whopping $70,000. A private flight out of Fort Lauderdale in the Sunshine State is much less: only $4,000. International flights, of course, are more expensive than domestic flights.
And the private airports have no TSA presence and related headaches. Élites don’t want to be hassled, and they don’t have to be. That’s why they don’t care much about the Chinese virus’s fictitiously-rooted restrictions, as they’re only tangential to their comfortable lives at best. As Tucker Carlson has said, if the élites were bothered by it, this crap––co-sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party and the Democrat Party––would come to a screeching halt. Paying four and five-digit prices for ’plane tickets is nothing for the rich. And no TSA idiots to bother them, thus meaning getting out of their private airports in a jiffy––two to three hours faster than hoi polloi at their commercial counterparts? Priceless.
In Switzerland, the greatest nation on earth, airports are a breeze. You get in; you get out. Easy-peasy. But Swiss airports don’t have the squash-a-fly-with-a-sledgehammer hyper-security of American airports, because the Swiss don’t go round needlessly invading Mohammedan craphole countries that are prone to childish conflicts and cowardly, retaliatory terrorism.
Sen. Rand Paul, known for his libertarian views, is a longtime foe of the TSA, as Reuters reported in 2012.
Speaking then, Paul said that the TSA “gropes and grabs our kids and our seniors and does nothing to keep us safe.”
Small children are searched by TSA agents in something tantamount to paedophilic molestation. Elderly passengers urinate on themselves when the agents prod too hard. Catholic priests in cassocks are stopped and searched, because––y’know, “religious extremists.” And on and on.
As writer Julie Borowski notes, the TSA violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause...”
This means that, in order to be searched, government officials must have probable cause that someone has committed a crime, as Borowski adds.
“The TSA routinely violates the Fourth Amendment by subjecting airline passengers to X-Ray scanners and invasive pat-downs without probable cause or a warrant,” she says. “A person boarding an airplane does not justify probable cause.”
These pat-downs are likened by many to sexual assaults. And nobody in his right mind wants some bloody high-tech machine to reveal his naked body to a bunch of moronic strangers.
In the 20 years of its miserable, completely unjustified existence, how many terrorists have TSA agents stopped? Zero. None. Nada. Soave and many other observers do indeed rightly call it “security theatre,” a thing designed to create the illusion that the government is doing something when really it is doing nothing. Pure Orwell.
The irony here? Billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved by abolishing the TSA, and we’d all actually be safer without it. The time is now to put down this dangerous, rabid beast of Beelzebub’s boneheaded bureaucracy. Indeed, this blasted Frankenstein’s monster should never have been brought to undeserved life in the first place.
Thanks a lot, li’l Georgie. Go back to your crayons.
---The views and opinions expressed in “A Conservative Point of View” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Lincoln Herald.