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TSA and the law of unintended consequences

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  • TSA and the law of unintended consequences

    Not strictly a security analysis of the agency, but an interesting, quick read - basically, more people are driving to avoid the airport screening hassle, so more people actually die (in auto accidents instead of terrorist attacks). Form your own opinion...

  • #2
    The reason that September 11th cost so many lives was because of how hijackings in the past typically unfolded. It was usually a case where the hijackers made some sort of demand (such as "land this plane at X airport") and when their demands were met, no one was hurt. As a result, people and airline staff were taught not to resist them; the idea that the hijacked plane could be used as a weapon was never considered.

    People tend to blame the TSA screeners for the large amount of weapons that get through when they are tested, but the truth is that the screeners can only do what they can with the policies and other constraints placed upon them. It's sort of like blaming a corrections officer for the violence in his cell block when he's the only one available to watch 150 inmates.


    • #3
      You are correct on the why of 9/11 - no one prior to that had used commercial airliners as flying bombs. That was why the FBI didn't pay attention to one agent's reports of Saudi men training to fly planes but skipping how to land - they couldn't connect the dots.

      I think TSA does a lot of security theater, and that's what makes people angry. We have to be politically correct, so we have to frisk old people with colostomy bags and others who have never been connected with or used in an attack. I won't diss TSA employees specifically, because a lot of them appear competent and doing their job, but like all security, there is a lot of dead wood in that department. Fun fact - a lot of the private guards that got fired after 9/11 got rehired at TSA - the good ones and the bad ones.