TSA and The Illusion of Security

TSA provides the illusion of security from a phantom enemy

Titanium Vulture is an author, filmmaker, and contributor to The New Modern Man.


We are not safe.

Repeat after me:  WE ARE NOT SAFE.  We never were.  Not completely safe anyway. I’d prefer to say “safer than we were a century ago.”  I think that’s better.

When I got out of the military I needed a job to tide me over while I was in film school.  Being that I was military police during my enlistment, homeland security would be a good choice.  I have experience in that sort of thing so it would be a good fit right?

I raised my right hand when I got hired to work as a part time transportation security screener for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  I was reminded of the day I volunteered to serve my country as an enlisted man.  It felt good.

I was put in training for a few days and began my stint at a South Florida airport.  Like any fresh out of school recruit, I was eager to help keep the flying public safe.  “This was merely an extension of my time in the military,” I thought.

Boy, the honeymoon sure ended quick!

Here’s the thing.  The TSA was slapped together as a response to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.  It’s not like it evolved over a period of time like the FBI or the CIA.  The government wanted the flying public to feel safe despite the dangers of these terrorist factions.  They did not train specialists in an academy over a long length of time.  I was hired and on the line working within two weeks at the most!

My coworkers were not the kind of specialists I was used to in the military.  Hell, a lot of them were former baggage handlers, flight attendants and flight line workers that lost work after the attacks on 9/11.  Many people did not want to fly in the immediate weeks after the attacks.

Many TSA workers, at the time I was there, were phoning it in.  Some screeners did not care too much for finding contraband or weapons.  If things got busy they pushed all the bags through as fast as possible.  Many times we were evaluated on the basis of “speed” instead of whether we actually caught a weapon in the X-ray machine.

I tried my best to do my job but sometimes it’s tough when the folks around you really don’t care.  I wonder if the gov overlords actually did legit background checks on some of these individuals.  Even the concourse managers and supervisors were merely doing the minimum to keep the flying public quiet.  What the fuck, over?

What was the point of me working hard if the rest of the crew didn’t give two shytes?  Eventually my brain clicked and I started to understand the truth.

TSA agents provide security theater to the masses

The Illusion of Security

It didn’t matter what the screeners did, the flying public was no safer with them than if it was still private security like before.

We were not there to keep a bomb from getting on a plane.  If someone really wants to take down an airliner they’re going to find a way to do it.  We were there to appease the masses.  

The airports and air carriers needed business.  They needed customers to fill those seats.  And those folks need to be comfortable.  It is impossible to absolutely assure safety in any situation.  The only truly safe people are prisoners!

In order to ensure a weapon would not be brought on the aircraft, every individual, man, woman or child, would need a freakin’ cavity search before getting past security.  Think about the thousands-upon-thousands of people who fly at major airports everyday.  Sorry, if someone wants to kill people with an airplane there’s not much a scanner or X-ray can do to stop it.

Thus, I propose the TSA was merely an instrument of calming the sheep.  Like the fence that “protects” your flock.  A wolf can still get in if it really wants too.  How safe are your live stock REALLY?

I soon left the TSA after only a couple of months of participating in the masquerade.  The pay sucked anyway so why give your soul for the kind of wage a server can make in a restaurant?  No thank you.

We are not safe.

Looking back, I’m glad I got to peer behind the curtain of our government on several occasions in my life.  With that experience and my time working as a TV news camera man, I’ve realised that security is not an absolute.  Things like traffic cameras, drones and security guards are merely instruments of deterrence.

If an armed guard stands in front of a bank, yes, an amateur/wanna-be-thug would not want to try robbing said bank.  But a professional crew?  Yeah, that dude is toast.

Whenever a crime spree occurs, you see more police presence after the fact.  But if more patrols were in the area from the beginning would we even be talking about the crime in the first place?

Now I’m not saying there should not be law enforcement or a military force.  I propose to our readership that it is not good to put the idea of safety over the idea of freedom.

The freedom to have a business of your own.  The freedom to carry a firearm for your security  The freedom to live your life how you want.

Providing you are not bringing harm to other people intentionally, party on!  Go to a third world country and travel by yourself.  Greet your neighbors even if you live in a tough part of town.  Fucking live life, man!

There are so many ways to die that you dodge every day.  Although the United States is not perfect, compared to other parts of the world there is not wide spread danger and mass-murder.  Despite what our friends in the media might say!

There’s no way to know whether you’ll survive the day or not.  So what’s the point of hiding behind a police force, security guard, white picket fence or whatever holds you back?

We’re not safe anyway.  So you might as well have fun.  Peace and stay focused, gents.

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2 comments

  • Oh .. this isn’t really news .. but ..

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/tsa-fails-tests-latest-undercover-operation-us-airports/story?id=51022188

    When ABC News asked the source if the failure rate was 80 percent, the response was, “You are in the ballpark.”

    Like

  • The most dangerous thing we do every day is play in the traffic. Whether you walk, bike, drive or ride it is insane how many people are drunk, stoned or incapacitated in some way to the extent they cannot perform simple stop and go maneuvers without being a threat.
    The next most dangerous thing we do is interact with government agents who love to exert authority and control over taxpayers/clients/victims.
    Be careful out there, it’s groundhog day.

    Like

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