VodkaPundit

Security Theater Isn't Even for Show

Hands up, don't work. (Shutterstock image)

Hands up, don’t work.
(Shutterstock image)

The TSA has spent $160,000,000 on full-body scanners which somehow fail to detect bombs or weapons:

The TSA, which recently disclosed the costs to members of Congress probing the agency, on average spent over $150,000 per unit of body imaging technology since it first began purchasing the scanners in 2008.

The acting TSA head was reassigned in June after a security audit revealed that the agency’s devices failed to detect fake weapons and explosives 96 percent of the time in secret tests.

Members of Congress from both parties who have been probing the government agency are concerned with the costly but largely insufficient TSA body imaging equipment.

Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said that the scanners are so unsuccessful—“These things weren’t even catching metal,” he warned—that they should be preceded by metal detectors.

“If you really want to keep using those, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, at a minimum we should put a metal detector on the other side,” Johnson said. “Why not go through two? You’ve just gotta use common sense.”

If we were using common sense, we wouldn’t be relying on body scanners or metal detectors — or politicians or bureaucrats. Common sense would dictate we adopt something closer to the Israeli model, which identifies threats rather than merely locating objects.