Tuesday, May 03, 2011

TSA, go away, don't come back another day...

Borepatch muses on security theater and offers up a Hail Mary scenario that might work, if the right person were to pull it off:
There is a solution, that I modestly offer here. A bold (read: media whoring) Governor should federalize airport security in his state. He should send in the State Police and arrest any TSA agent that engages in sexual assault. He can have the security outsourced to a company that will actually be responsive to the market.

The TSA, of course, will have a cow. They will threaten legal action. Andrew Jackson's dictum will prove popular: The Supreme Court has made its ruling. Now let it enforce it. It's unlikely that this visible battle royal will make the Governor less popular; on the contrary, the TSA is at best ignored and at worst despised by most of the country. Our Governor will be seen as a hero by many registered voters.
And that's just the opening gambit: RTWT.


Anonymous said...

How does a state federalize something???

Shootin' Buddy

Mossyrock said...

That sounds like a Christy, Perry or Brewer move right there.....

Crotalus (Dont Tread on Me) said...

Never gonna happen. If a governor has TSA agents arrested, Napolitano won't bother with courts and lawsuits. She'll send in the National Guard to clean house (read: make war) in that state.

Besides, Osama's dead, but al Qaeda's not. This snake is more like a hydra. There'll be a new leader, maybe not as charismatic as Osama, but still effective. The government will still be able to "justify" TSA.

So, sing with me now:

Ding-dong, bin Laden's dead!
We killed his ass,
We shot his head!
Ding-dong, Osam' bin Laden's dead!

Just don't expect TSA to go away. There is too much power over the people involved for the Feds to ever give it up.

Tam said...

Shootin' Buddy,

I think he meant "statealize" but, you know, forget it. He's rolling.

Anonymous said...

Did we give up when the Germans federalized Pearl Harbor?

Shootin' Buddy

staghounds said...

That is my laugh of the week, Belushi/Matheson are still hilarious.

Lovely idea.

Dropping fantasy for reality for a moment if I may.

I'm an actual State prosecutor. There is an actual airport in a nearby State. It is staffed with actual TSA screeners. They actually screen. I've seen a hundred or so pat downs here and maybe 400 elsewhere while going through it myself.

There's a link to the the actual State criminal code of sexual offenses in that State on my post about this.

In the actual world, which crime can I convince a jury of twelve, unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt, that an actual screener commits when screening/patting down?

This is a serious question, I'd like to know what commenters here see as the crime GIVEN THE ACTUAL LAW, not fantasy law.

And if you please, copy them over at my blog, follow this link or the one above.

Joanna said...

Feh. I'm waiting for Cracked's security ideas to be implemented.

1) Issue every passenger a gun upon boarding.

2) First one who draws is the terrorist. Everyone else who draws is Everyone Else.

3) Problem solved!

It's a darn good thing I like road trips.

Tam said...


"This is a serious question, I'd like to know what commenters here see as the crime GIVEN THE ACTUAL LAW, not fantasy law."

It'll be interesting to see if HB1937 goes anywhere in the Texas legislature.

Free-range Oyster said...

Shootin' Buddy,
I believe he meant federalize as in "an implementation of true federalism" rather than "the endless growth of Leviathan."

WV: drili. I drili like to see a governor use this idea.

Borepatch said...

Shootin' Buddy, the original meaning of the term was essentially cooperation between different entities. In the Tech field, it's still used that way (i.e. DNS is run in a highly Federated manner).

Crotalus, Napolitano could send Federal Marshalls, but the Texas National Guard reports to Perry. As to al Qaeda, yes they (and others) are still around. But the TSA is doing precisely nothing that would be effective in stopping them.

I replied to Staghounds in a comment at his (and my) place. IANL, but this isn't a *LEGAL* issue. It's a political one. It seems that someone could make political hay out of TSA Agents groping young girls.

The most interesting comments over at my place have been from Texas people who seem to be less impressed with Perry than I am, and say he's not up for the job. I simply don't know about that. Don't think that the Georgia governor is, although Zell Miller could have pulled this off.

harp1034 said...

If Rick Perry thought he could pull it off, he would. However I think he is just a big blow hard.

Ed Rasimus said...

Borepatch, I need to drop Texas seeds over at your place. Perry is very much up to the job and the recent election showed once again that Texas agrees. The real election was the primary where 18 year Senate incumbent Hutchison tried to sell that 10 year incumbent Perry was too long in place and out of touch! The opponent in the general election was a no-show in polls except for a few deep metro areas. But you are right on about National Guard. The DHS isn't in command anywhere in that chain. As I understand it, it is an option to privatize airport security and get the TSA gone from an airport. The questions of sexual assault are headline fodder, what is really at issue is efficacy. Does their kabuki dance really do a damned thing for security?

Borepatch said...

Does their kabuki dance really do a damned thing for security?

Ed, since TSA/DHS has caught precisely ZERO terrorists in nearly a decade, I'd say the answer is "no".

Every one that's been caught or thwarted was either the result of quick-thinking passengers (shoe bomber, Christmas bomber), or intelligence work (London attack using liquid explosives in IIRC 2006).

TSA can't produce any metrics showing effectiveness against terrorists. None.

staghounds said...

It's the perfect government program, even better that "the Arts" or "Education"!!!

When you say "arrest", and "a crime", you define a problem as a legal one.

This is still America. We don't threaten charging people for things that aren't crimes to "make hay", our enemies do that.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"TSA can't produce any metrics showing effectiveness against terrorists. None."

Sure they can! They currently have a negative effectiveness rate.

They haven't caught a single terrorist, they have a high failure rate against test runs, and at least two* real (though thankfully unsuccessful) terrorists have completely slipped through without getting caught and had to be stopped by the passengers and crews of the flight they were on.

* Counting the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, both of whom were only caught because their bombs failed to detonate. There may be more that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Ed Foster said...

Once again, Ed Rasimus wins. There is NO requirement, NONE, that any given airport hire TSA, as long as they have something comparable, be it private or state.

I personally thing Homeland Security should be a minor bureau of the National Guard, who, along with the various State Police forces, would run the (sadly) needed security services.

But as long as Ahab the Camel Stabber is exercising his Arab inferiority complex while financed by rich Wahabis, we'll need something.

Something a hell of a lot more efficient than what we have, with frequent flyers and obvious low risk types getting a pass while the boys and girls in uniform practice some good old fashined ethnic profiling.

A quick thought. If every Moslem in America to whom Arab dress and old country mores were important was forced to undergo extensive scrutiny or fly on an Arab flagged airline, most of the bombs would be planted on Arab planes. I wonder how long that would last?

Borepatch said...

We don't threaten charging people for things that aren't crimes

Staghounds, the former Miss USA feels like a crime was committed. I must say that there are a lot of parts of this country where, had this been done to her by someone she was dating, the Gentleman in question would have had some quality time with the local Po-Po.

Are we a nation of Laws, or of Men?

I understand your point, but this looks like a case of the TSA is just like us, only better.

That has to stop.