Time to shut down the TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently celebrated its 20 years of making air travel worse – never mind more secure.
Rather than wishing the TSA a happy 20th, J. D. Tuccille called for its immediate abolition. The reason? It’s pretty bad a its job:
What the TSA is good at is high-visibility groping, scanning, and confiscating. Making people drop their pants, take off their shoes, and surrender their shampoo annoys people in a way that says “we’re doing something” without actually accomplishing anything. It’s what [Bruce] Schneier calls “security theater.”
But being very bad at one’s job usually isn’t enough for the government. The agency has changed, its proponents say. It’s really much better now, and not at all sketchy, weird, or incompetent. No, just kidding:
…the TSA has become better-known for stealing money from travelers. In September, news reports called out the case of TSA working with other agencies to seize $27,600 from a Texas man, apparently because he was traveling to Oregon where marijuana is legal in conflict with federal law; he was never charged with a crime. Last year, the Institute for Justice reported that TSA and its sister agencies at Homeland Security “seized over $2 billion in currency at airports” between 2000 and 2016.
“Law enforcement agencies routinely seize currency from travelers at airports nationwide using civil forfeiture—a legal process that allows agencies to take and keep property without ever charging owners with a crime, let alone securing a conviction,” noted author Jennifer McDonald.
After 20 years of failure, the Transportation Security Administration continues to waste resources, harass travelers, and actively mug air passengers. It is far more of a threat than the dangers from which it supposedly protects us. At long last, let’s put the agency out of our misery.
Pull the plug, privatize airport security and, while we’re at it, break-up the bureaucratic monstrosity that is the Department of Homeland Security.