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TSA Security Theater Exposed

TSA (courtesy

The Transport Security Administration spends some $7.3 billion a year ostensibly to protect Americans from terrorists. So, you may ask, how’s it going? Well you could say there haven’t been any terrorist attacks at TSA-guarded facilities so … great! OK, sure, there was that active shooter incident at LAX where the cops were off doing something else and unarmed TSA agents could do sweet FA to stop the bad guy. But aside from that … everything is awesome! On the other hand you might want to consider the Department of Homeland Security “Red Team’s” attempts to smuggle faux guns and fake explosives aboard airplanes. Yeah, well . . .

A recent internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security has found security failures at dozens of the nations’ busiest airports—breaches that allowed undercover investigators to smuggle weapons, fake explosives and other contraband through numerous checkpoints.

In one case, an alarm sounded, but even during a pat down, the screening officer failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to an undercover agent’s back. In all, so-called “Red Teams” of Homeland Security agents posing as passengers were able get weapons past Transportation Security Administration agents in 67 out of 70 tests — a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials.

Well that ought to be a wake-up call!

Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General’s report, Secretary Jeh Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised, agency officials said.

“The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security,” Homeland Security officials said in a statement.

So Jeh says. But can we please know what those “series of actions” are? ‘Cause I’m thinking firing a third of the TSA workforce — focusing on the legions of dopey, overweight blue-shirted goons gathering empty plastic bins — would be an excellent place to start.

I said it before, I’ll say it again. The TSA is nothing more than security theater. We should aim for an Israeli-style bad guy spotting team of experts and … wait for it … allow Americans to carry guns on planes.

Meanwhile, terrorism experts stress that the threat levels remain high.

“There’s a continuing drumbeat of interests by terrorist groups whether Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda affiliates to try to bring down a western, especially a U.S. bound aircraft,” Pistole said.

I know! Maybe we should try and intercept terrorists before they get on the plane, just like we did on 9/11! Oh wait . . .  [h/t mister3d]


  1. avatar Removed_californian says:

    Whenever I feel down about myself I always remember: I’ve caught just as many terrorists as the TSA has.

  2. avatar mike oregon says:

    Wait, are you telling me that a large bureaucracy run by the government can’t find it’s ascot with both hands? I’m shocked.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Nothing has changed since FAA security had oversight prior to 9/11. I used to do decoy runs with fake guns and bombs for FAA security to check airport screeners in the 90s. Even with tired cheap machines and contract screeners the failure rate was the same.

    Congress sold the public on a smoke screen that cost billions to start and will bankrupt America with the government retirement and benefits costs that won’t catch one terrorist. I hope everyone feels better having to remove their belts, empty their pockets, and take off their shoes. The joke is on you when the only terrorism going on is the stripping of your wallets paying TSA’s budget thru taxes and increased travel fees.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      With or without the TSA’s ridiculous expense, the USA is already bankrupt. We just haven’t told the chumps who are still loaning us money yet.

      1. avatar Fuque says:

        Loaning??.. I thought they were printing the stuff.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          There’s enough spending to require multiple sources of income. Creating money out of thin air and borrowing it with no intention of repaying it are just two of the many revenue streams our government uses to kick the inevitable collapse down the road for a few more years.

      2. avatar 2Asux says:

        Here’s the deal: before 9/11, the airport screeners were either airline employees, or contracted to individual airlines. the result was some airlines had better security than others; totally unfair. In order to make sure every airline achieved the same standard, the federal govt annexed airport security. providing government employees at all the airports guaranteed every airline had the same poor level of security.

  4. avatar Richard Cox says:

    It’s a jobs program for reliable Democrat voters (perverts, thieves, pedophiles, wankers, losers, half-wits, fools and lazy douche-bags). I’m shocked by these results!

    1. avatar tmm says:

      I’m sure that there will be a laser like focus on this…

    2. avatar BDub says:

      Wait, are we talking about the post office now?

  5. avatar george from fort worth says:

    applied once for a TSA security screener (part time), because i had time on my hands. application rejected; unqualified for the position (“Applicant does not meet minimum requirements.”)

    MA (two of them)
    Software Designer
    Logistics Consultant
    Held significant and serious security clearances
    Military Instructor – Nuclear Weapons

    really wanted to wear that uniform.

    1. avatar Joseph says:

      LOL, no worries, I applied for tsa after I left the Navy in 08′. I was rejected for no experience. I kicked rocks and dodged metal down range from the early 90’s till I was just a little to slow, then got a nice trip to Germany. Then worked on plains till I retired out of the Navy. I think I was to fit and knew what to look for. Guess I would have made the burea cry babies work had I gotten the job. Dems and libs really give commies and libs a bad name… Ops I ment socialists and libs. Errr who cares, they won’t be going anywhere, freaking bureaucrats!!!!

      1. avatar george from fort worth says:

        never figured-out where all those uneducated, unskilled, people from the unemployment line got their experience and training for TSA….before they were hired?

        1. avatar Joseph says:

          I will have to agree with something someone else said, “tsa started with hiring thugs” I am still at a complete loss as to who was incharge and where they gained thier anti-terrorist training so the even had an idea on how to set it up and what was needed to find bick lighters and shampoo… Err bad guys I ment…

    2. avatar Pieslapper says:

      Your nails probably weren’t long enough, you didn’t smack your gum enough, and didn’t project enough “oh no you di-int” attitude, just saying.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        You seem to be implying I was under-qualified because I was over-qualified.

    3. avatar Wiregrass says:

      It would have been too big a risk that someone with your background would have exposed the charade.

      TSA = Too Stupid for Arby’s

      They hired a couple of people that the company I worked for had laid off before 9/11. They were worthless, one had the nickname “Zero”, he looked like the Beetle Bailey character.

      1. avatar george from fort worth says:

        now, that is funny.

    4. avatar FedUp says:

      “Minimum requirements” = darker skin or larger breasts than yours?

      1. avatar george from fort worth says:

        over the years, have concluded that with govt agencies, “does not meet minimum requirements” includes exceeding those requirements. if the “minimum requirement” was not good enough, it wouldn’t be the minimum. no one likes an over-achiever.

  6. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    So I paid good money for my pre-check thing;?

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Best $85 I ever spent. ut lets my bypass almost all of the security Kabuki theater.

      Except at DFW. Screw you, DFW.

    2. avatar John L. says:

      Well, money anyway.

      I did, too. I don’t fly as much for work as I used to, but still like the reduced hassle.

  7. avatar Korvis says:

    I’m getting a sinking feeling that air travel is about to become infinitely more annoying…

  8. avatar Paul53 says:

    Just when you thought air travel couldn’t be any more demeaning, leave it to The TSA to start taking their jobs seriously. BTW, requirements include being deaf. Going through HOU, told them I had a titanium knee and rod in my leg and muscular dystrophy. 3 times. So after standing, with other lucky souls help, for 20 minutes in a plexiglas cube trying to hold my arms over my head, they wanded me and asked why I didn’t tell them about the implants. If I wasn’t on the verge of passing out I would have gone full trunk monkey on them. F***ing idiots.

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      The solution to all the security screening crap is to prohibit any carry-on items, and make everyone fly naked.

      1. avatar Paul says:

        Naked and Afraid

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          If there is such a thing as ‘Buck Naked’ why is there no ‘Doe Naked’?

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          Great question !! It is one of those conundrums that keep me awake at night. Like, is it really coincidental that there are 24-hrs in a day, and 24 beers in a case?

        3. avatar Joseph says:

          Easy to fix, issue a pistol and ammo to everyone on the airplane and recover them when they land. Let a bad guy deal with that.

  9. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    I’ve flown out of Madrid and Frankfurt am Main in the past decade and security was a breeze. Unlike the TSA, which seeks out thugs to form its employment base, equivalent European positions require a university education, with some ranks accepting nothing less than a master’s degree. The TSA has never been about preventing anything, only about desensitizing and bullying people into accepting subservience to the state. This should surprise nobody, as one of the chief architects of the DHS was one Markus Wolfe, a former East German Stasi agent.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “… one of the chief architects of the DHS was one Markus Wolfe, a former East German Stasi agent.”

      Citations please … that is a whopper!

      1. avatar Al says:

        I think the alleged DHS connection is improbable.

        1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

          I knew I should have done a bit more research after hearing his name the first time, but let’s be honest about the current state of affairs, would anyone be surprised if it turned out to be 100% true? Operation Paperclip didn’t take much to accomplish.

  10. avatar Tet says:

    TSA pretty good at catching water bottles I’ll tell you that.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Who cares? You can just tell them it’s your medicine, and they’ll let it through.

  11. avatar Jjimmyjonga says:

    Israel air screeners have it right…they get in your face and ask questions…of everybody, even old women and kiss, with one speaking to your face, and the quiet one staring into your eyes with dark ray bans. Your Eyes tell them if you are nervous in the least.

  12. avatar Nedd Ludd says:

    Below is an email that was forwarded to me tonight.
    If you think the TSA is staffed by numbskulls,
    check out this video of the head of the Federal Prison System.

    “Here is the person Obama put in charge of the Federal Prison System!
    What you are about to see and hear is the Obama-appointed “Director of Federal Prisons” of the United States ($210,000 per annum) appearing before the Senate about Federal Prisons. He is questioned by Sen. Al Franken, a friend and strong supporter of President Obama. This short video will, if nothing else, demonstrate why this administration is in near chaos.
    Are all Obama appointees this ignorant ?”

    1. avatar Adub says:

      Wait, are you saying Obama appointed an unqualified person to run a federal department simply because the guy was black? Say it ain’t so!

      They say there are more black men in prison than college. Why didn’t Obama appoint a guy with some street cred to run the prisons? I bet Garner could have told him the size of the cell…

      1. avatar lionsfan54 says:

        TSA was a joke under Bush too. This isn’t an Obama thing

    2. avatar L,John says:

      Who was the guy bush appointed to take care of disaster relief? You know. The guy who took care of Katrina.

      1. avatar Nedd Ludd says:

        That would be “Brownie.”
        As in: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

        1. avatar george from fort worth says:

          are you talking about that “brownie” guy who….

          – was rejected four times by both the governor of louseyanna and the mayor of narlens?
          – the guy who finally forced his way into the “katrina command center only to find the
          mayor with a blank stare on his face, and no clue what to do?
          – the guy who was told by the president to “monitor”, but let the locals run their own show?
          – they guy who allowed US senator mary landrew (sp on purpose) on board a federal helicoptor charged
          with overhead analysis of the situation…the same mary landrew who insisted in flying over her family compound to see if it was safe?
          – the guy who was hung out to dry when the senator and mayor screamed there was not enough federal help

          that guy?
          in order to determine the needs of the people, the

  13. avatar GuyFromV says:

    Another aspect of this story is that there has to be close to zero actual attempts to do anything that this worthless agency (the TSA, that is, not the other worthless agency involved: the US government) was formed to combat. If 95% of really bad attempts to test it were successful one has to conclude that somewhat moderately OK attempts (actual “terrorists”) would have a higher success rate than 95%. Unless all these successful attempts are being covered up by propaganda and planes are actually exploding in midair and smashing into the Statue of Liberty constantly…I put forth for your consideration that maybe these things just aren’t happening and this BS security theater is just a money pit and social manipulation. Obviously we know this, that last line was just in case stupid people are reading this page thinking it was motherjones or whatever.

    1. avatar Adub says:

      I’d blame a cover-up, but the only planes that seem to crash or disappear are Malaysia and European airliners. We haven’t covered anything up since TWA 800. Huzzah!

  14. avatar doesky2 says:

    We should aim for an Israeli-style bad guy spotting team of experts and … wait for it … allow Americans to carry guns on planes.

    I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking through the scenarios but I think I’m satisfied with the idea of just the pilots carrying. Any big terrorist attempt in the cabin can be resolved by the pilots depressurizing the cabin.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      The focus for terrorism going forward is going to be blowing the plane up or shooting it down from the ground. They’re not idiots, they know hijacking the plane and flying it into a building was a one-shot deal. The 100+ passengers on the plane aren’t going to let a couple dudes with knives (or even guns) take over the plane and crash it anymore. Arming passengers (which I don’t really have a problem with, actually) isn’t going to stop a bomb, and that’s the threat, not another 9/11 style attack.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      ” Any big terrorist attempt in the cabin can be resolved by the pilots depressurizing the cabin.”

      De-press the cabin and the O2 masks deploy automatically.

      Now they have 20 min. for Fun-n-Games…

      Like ‘Passenger Execution Bingo’.

  15. avatar Gecko 44 says:

    95% — that’s almost an A+, right?

  16. avatar stateisevil says:

    The terrists gonna getcha unless you disarm and take your shoes off. Theres terrist under your bed.

    1. avatar Jordan says:

      There’s an easy way to deal with terrorist under your bed. Ref the movie Major Payne w/ Damon Waynes.

      Tiger: :”He’s back.”
      Payne: “You wanna see nurturing?”
      Payne: walks to closet door and points “He’s in there?”
      Tiger: shakes head yes
      Payne: “He still in there, he ain’t happy.”

  17. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    You can call me jeh…what the h$ll kinda’ name is J? Not surprised…67 outof 70 fails. I haven’t flown in quite awhile and hope nothing bad happens to some close relatives several hundred miles away. Pathetic..

  18. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    “allow Americans to carry guns on planes.”

    Not gonna happen. Airlines, even with all their bailouts, are private companies with private insurance companies providing their “oh shit” backup plan. Lloyds of London isn’t going to be giving out a half a billion dollar+ line of insurance if the airline allows the cattle to carry.

    1. avatar Automan says:

      Along that line, maybe the airlines should be responsible for security for their own airlines as I’m sure both them and their insurance companies don’t want terrorist blowing up planes and killing passengers; bad for business and what insurance company wants to payout?

      1. avatar Joseph says:

        Thats what air marshals where for but they where part of the budget cuts. It’s cost the government to much to maintain that program. It was less then half a million a yr and the bean counters have to be especially trained to count in increments less then a million.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Actually, it was the failure of management for a proud airline (Pan American/Pan Am) that resulted in the Lockerbie tragedy. The checked baggage screening machine in Frankfurt did not work; management knew. Management also refused to go to 100% physical screening of checked baggage. Decided on-time departure was more important, and the security risk nil. Pan Am was out of business in about two years, as a result. At the time, there were shouts from all quarters that the national governments takeover baggage and passenger screening. Then we had 9/11; result is history.

  19. avatar Please Explain says:

    Why are you all pounding dems and libs on this post? TSA was created under the Bush administration.

    1. avatar The Original Brad says:

      100% correct but the Dems and Libs have done nothing to reverse that. Despite their rhetoric of being all in on civil rights, they preferred to take the cowardly path and keep the status quo because in the end, they are more worried that if an incident does happen, they’ll be portrayed as the party/group that “weakened” America by disbanding the TSA.

      1. avatar Joseph says:

        The Bush administration created the tsa for the dems and libs. Expect the fearful cowards to turn off the only light in a dark room?

    2. avatar Joseph says:

      Just because greedy dems and libs are republicans, like all the libs in my rep family…

  20. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I used to fly 4 or 5 times a year. Since the TSA started Ive only flown when due to time constraints and there is no other way to get from point A to B. As an aside when being screened one time. The TSA saw 2 pills I had in my watch pocket. If they can find those. I have to wonder why they cant find fake destructive devices??

  21. avatar Ridetoshoot says:

    I think you have it backwards. The TSA is not there to stop terrorist, it there to look like they are doing something so when a terrorist gets through they can say “we did or best to protect you” otherwise known as CYA. OSHA safety classes are the same thing, so when you get hurt on the job the company can say “He was trained so it must be his fault not ours”

    the only thing that has been done to improve safety is the bullet resistant door but even that doesn’t help when the pilot goes to the head and leaves a suicidal copilot behind. At least we know the door works.

    1. avatar Joseph says:

      We can fix that for less then $10, 5 gal buck w/air tight lid and a trash bag. The only reason it almost costs 10 bucks is for the pressure value for the bucket. So it it don’t pop it’s top and/or we can open it to empty the bloody can. Hehehe

  22. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Mr Jobnes, I’m going to have to ask you to lift your sack and cough for me. Or the terrorist will win.

  23. avatar The Original Brad says:

    “I said it before, I’ll say it again. The TSA is nothing more than security theater.” – AMEN!!!

    I’ve been saying that from the begining. Nothing the TSA does has changed the level of safety and security for modern air travel except for reinforcing the cockpit and arming pilots. All the full body scanners and confiscation of tweezers and nail files has not only been degrading, but expensive and valueless as a real security measure. I work with the TSA on their intel side and they do have a purpose in that regard, but their physical security side is nothing but security theater. Of that much I am sure.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      but everyone has a right to FEEL SAFE and if it does that, even if it actually accomplishes nothing else, then it’s WORTH IT.

      1. avatar Joseph says:

        Worth 7.3 BILLION tax dollars??? You really didn’t just use your outside typing did you???

        1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          I think your sarcasm meter needs calibration.

        2. avatar Joseph says:


  24. avatar Ian says:

    Me, I always pack a bomb in my luggage for safety. I mean, what are the chances of there being TWO bombs on one plane? Never going to happen!

  25. avatar jrod says:

    Got to have TSA – it’s another Federal affirmative action work program. Where else could the intellectually challenged find work in the 21st century?

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Based on the general quality of service I see every day from waiters, retail employees, auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians, IT guys, etc, I’d say there’s no dearth of employment opportunities for dolts and retards.

  26. avatar Sian says:



    Good Job TSA!

  27. avatar jans says:

    After 9/11 a friend of mine said that what should be happening on planes as you’re boarding is, “Here’s your knife. Here’s your knife. Here’s your knife. Here’s your knife.”

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Fly El Al.

      Meal service includes actual steak knives when the menu is steak.

  28. avatar Tomyironmane says:

    Keep the overweight dopey goons. They make better ballistic shields and can’t run away as fast.

  29. avatar GenghisQuan says:

    The Liam Neeson film “Non-Stop” is a good illustration of this, actually. It’s worth a watch, unless you’ve been boycotting Liam Neeson due to his opinions on guns. Pretty sure you can find a Chinese bootleg copy somewhere though. Unless you’re also boycotting China, in which case I can’t help you.

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    I don’t mind it when the TSA nitwits pat down my junk, but I do insist that they buy me a drink first.

  31. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Homeland Security agents posing as passengers were able get weapons past Transportation Security Administration agents in 67 out of 70 tests — a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials. Just another typical day with your government in action furnishing another valuable service for the general public.

  32. avatar Fuque says:

    This pic needs a caption of the day…

  33. avatar Silver says:

    TSA is like the gungrabber crowd. Ineffective, staffed by morons, and only meant to support a delusion.

  34. avatar Sprocket says:

    Every time I’m in some giant cluster____ of a cattle pen in front of an airport screening area, I can’t help but wonder what they’re going to do; when some derka derka wheels a rolling bag full of PETN and ball bearings into the middle of one of those areas. Traveling abroad, and seeing how other countries handle security, really clarifies what a phantasmagoric joke the TSA is.

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