Now, the knee-jerk reaction is to scold the government agency for its oversight and to crack down on passengers with added vigilance at Albany. Make passengers empty their bags fully before sending them through the scanner. Frisk them and maybe even include a full-body cavity search before they get on planes; who knows what kind of explosives the terrorists could be stowing internally. After all, there’s nothing too invasive to ensure security, right?
Well actually, wrong. Very wrong. The TSA is so determined to find minutia that they often forget the more glaring items passengers may be bringing on board. Simply put, the flight restrictions have gotten too restrictive. They’re now functioning to make the security checkpoints less effective.
Some might counter this postulation by arguing there’s no way to get too restrictive when hurling several hundred people more than a mile high in what amounts to a pressurized tin can. But when it comes down to a choice of screening a bottle of Avion or a ticking bomb, this argument doesn’t hold much water.
The bottom line is that flying is a dangerous endeavor, much like the many unnatural things folks do on a regular basis that weren’t necessarily written into Mother Nature’s guide book for human beings. When someone boards a plane, they do take risks, such as the damn thing might blow up for whatever reason, be it some self-destructive freak with plastique tarred to his shoe or a malfunction somewhere in a tank containing several hundred gallons of jet fuel; accidents happen.
And to think that the hyper-imaginative heavy-handed TSA and its regulations will add even an ounce of safety aboard a flight is about as short sighted as it gets. The only screen the TSA's ramped up 2006 regulations have provided is a gigantic smoke screen; a false sense of security to justify what can only be considered invasive searches of an already timid-to-fly public.
What these regulations do achieve is millions of dollars worth of spending on everything from high-paid security consultants and studies to training programs and manuals. Hell, even the airport consignment shops are cashing in on the gig, seeing as though passengers must otherwise fly parched or without the comfort of basic items they stow on their person for travel. These regulations have little to do with safety and more to do with the bottom line: fleecing the public of its money, freedom and dignity.
Frankly, security checks such as the one conducted in Albany and another in Newark, N.J., show the ineptitude of this fledgling governmental organization. Like many of the knee-jerk governmental agencies established since 9-11, the TSA has done little, if anything, to justify its own existence. Since its creation in November 2001, the TSA hasn’t documented a single case where their security check points thwarted a plot to take down a domestic or international flight. Not a single one.
The TSA has shown its ability to intimidate passengers or steal their personal belongings. The TSA has shown its wasteful spending practices and overall ineptitude. The TSA hasn't shown its ability to make the skies safer.
Still, the flying sheep contine to board planes without make a bleat; they continue to sacrifice their liberties for a forged sense of safety the TSA and the government can never provide. Hopefully, there will one day be a ground swell of frequent fliers that protests to these Stalinesque security checks and urges the government to focus on what really matters: getting passengers safely from one place to the next.
So here’s iSaratoga’s charge to you, the authoritative reader. Do tell your most ludicrous outing with this generally useless governmental entity. Or conversely, how the TSA has somehow made you feel safer flying.