Sunday, December 23, 2012


After 9/11, politicians insisted that government take over airline security. "You can't professionalize if you don't federalize," proclaimed then-Sen. Tom Daschle. The Senate voted 100-0 to create the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA.

Airport security has been federalized for a decade. So is security now "professional"? No.

Passengers complain about rude treatment. Susie Castillo, the 2003 Miss America, posted a tearful YouTube video saying she was "molested" by the TSA. A 95-year-old woman was forced to remove a soiled adult diaper for a full pat-down.

The government says such procedures are needed to keep us safe, but Florida Congressman John Mica, a Republican who now heads the House Transportation Committee, complains that the agency doesn't make us safer. He points out that Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber," was stopped by alert passengers, not by the TSA. The father of the "underwear bomber" warned the government about his son, but the TSA still allowed him to fly with a bomb in his underwear. Only passengers prevented him from detonating it.

After the Times Square Bomber's attack failed in 2010, Rep. Mica points out, the man "ordered his ticket on the way to JFK, went through TSA, [and] got on the plane."

The TSA also has become a wasteful bureaucracy. It installed nearly 100 "puffer" machines at airports and planned to install many more, for $150,000 each, to detect explosives. You won't see them at an airport today, because the machines didn't work. Rep. Mica says the TSA paid the Department of Defense $600 apiece to destroy them.

There is a better way: allow competition. That's what Israel and other European countries do. Instead of relying on a government bureaucracy, these nations let private companies compete for contracts. Those security companies try harder, because they know if they do a bad job they'll be fired. TSA bureaucrats know that no one can fire the government.

When writing the law that created the TSA, Rep. Mica added a provision that allows airports to "opt out" of federalized security. San Francisco Airport took advantage of that and hired Covenant Aviation Security, a private screening company.


Maggie Rodriguez spoke to 8-year-old Mikey Hicks and his mother Nahjlah about sharing a name with a suspected terrorist on a government watch list and how he's treated by airport security.

Good for her. that should be the policy. They can touch mine if I can touch theirs.

she did it to her cuz the tsa did it 1st if thats assaulting them then they are assaulting us

a man faces trial in albuquerque on charges of making trouble at an airport security checkpoint --- is getting attention from civil liberties groups all over the country. stuart dyson is live at the sunport with what it's all about. the case of phil mocek hasn't even made a ripple here but it's making waves with civil libertarians who say it's one of a kind. it all started i november of last year when phil mocek refused to show i-d to t-s-a officers at the sunport checkpoint - police say mocek became disruptive. they arrested the seattle man for disorderly conduct - refusing to obey an officer - criminal trespassing - and concealing his identity - his trial was set for today but is now postponed until january 20th. edward hasbrouck is with the identity project - a civil liberties group out of san francisco - he came in for the trial. " this is the first time anybody anywhere in the country has actually been arrested and placed on trial on criminal charges for anything that happens at a tsa checkpoint." police say when somebody becomes disruptive or offensive in an airport they have a responsibility to stop it - and that's what they did when they arrested mocek - civil liberties groups say that i-d requirement is what started it all. " what's really at root in this case is whether travel is a right that we have under the constitution - an ability to move about the country without having to show papers - which has been one of the defining characteristics of american freedom." when he was arrested mocek did have a valid ticket for a flight to seattle

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