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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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January 31, 2014 - 9:41 am

Thousands Standing Around. Taking Sense Away. Touching Stuff Aggressively. Whatever you want to call TSA, this former agent confirms that most of what the agency does amounts to ridiculous security theater.

We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work before they were even installed. Not long after the Underwear Bomber incident, all TSA officers at O’Hare were informed that training for the Rapiscan Systems full-body scanners would soon begin. The machines cost about $150,000 a pop.

Our instructor was a balding middle-aged man who shrugged his shoulders after everything he said, as though in apology. At the conclusion of our crash course, one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines.

“They’re shit,” he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn’t be able to distinguish plastic explosives from body fat and that guns were practically invisible if they were turned sideways in a pocket.

How nice.

Most of my co-workers found humor in the I.O. room on a cruder level. Just as the long-suffering American public waiting on those security lines suspected, jokes about the passengers ran rampant among my TSA colleagues: Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display. Piercings of every kind were visible. Women who’d had mastectomies were easy to discern—their chests showed up on our screens as dull, pixelated regions. Hernias appeared as bulging, blistery growths in the crotch area. Passengers were often caught off-guard by the X-Ray scan and so materialized on-screen in ridiculous, blurred poses—mouths agape, à la Edvard Munch. One of us in the I.O. room would occasionally identify a passenger as female, only to have the officers out on the checkpoint floor radio back that it was actually a man. All the old, crass stereotypes about race and genitalia size thrived on our secure government radio channels.

How nice. At least TSA eventually got rid of the scanners.

We paid for this systematic invasion of privacy, we’re still paying for it, and the Democrats have unionized it despite their promise not to, making it more difficult to fire those who gawk at us and mock us and are not making us any safer.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (7)
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If you want to kill any promising economic venture - tax it........ If you want to exponentially complicate any economic project and therefore drive the cost up by a factor of at least four - regulate it......... If you want to ensure an employee base comprised of the lazy, corrupt, and unqualified - unionize it. The only damn thing the government does well is, er, WAS....run the U.S. Armed Forces and they're turning even that into a laughingstock. The neo-commies always phouck up the military (like a soup sandwich) when they are in power, but this is dangerous social engineering of a criminal magnitude: why did Dear Leader choose to purge our nuclear deterrent forces? So when Iran nukes either us or Israel he can have his unqualified, incompetent, obese, queer, illterate, beard & turban wearing equal opportunity quota appointees in place to keep us from fighting back? That is just wrong, like two boys in the shower wrong....well, it used to be wrong. Thank God we still have the Navy's Boomers....for now.

Remember BENGHAZI!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The dance with the TSA morons at the airport checkpoints has little to do with security and a lot to do with a simple exercise in obedience. If the average American can be forced to defer to petty functionaries of this caliber it ultimately serves a valuable purpose. It was thus that the Jews went to the showers.

Dear NSA:
I meant that in the nicest possible way and think of you as my BFFs.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
What can you expect from a bunch of people that couldn't pass the skills test for employment at McDonalds?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can avoid most of the TSA and ICE hassle with a "Global Entry" card. You have to have a Passport, a background check, digitized photograph, be fingerprinted, and pay a hundred bucks. If you've never had all that stuff, I wouldn't do it these days, but if you already have, as I had with my Merchant Mariner's Credential, then the government already knows all about you if it wants to, so it is worth it to have the convenience when traveling.

Not all airports offer a Global Entry kiosk but if you regularly travel out of one that does, I think it is worth it to get the card. You just register your Global Entry number with the airline as you make the reservation or on your profile if you have one with that airline and when you get your boarding pass it will be marked TSA Pre-screened. You just insert the photo page of your Passport and the GE card in the machine, look into the camera, and put your fingers on the screen, and it either prints out your pass to pretty much skip Customs and TSA screening if everthing matches. You only get wanded or have to take off your coat, shoes, etc. if you set off the metal detector.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but little did the TSA realize that America saw this worthless agency for what it is without use of scanners.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone want to see me naked?
All you have to do is ask.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The TSA doesn't "ask", it demands............
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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