Sunday, January 01, 2012

Like any organism, it has the will to survive...

When I read over at Joel's place that the TSA admitted that its "Viper Teams" (Seriously? "Viper"? Why not backronym "C.O.B.R.A." or "S.P.E.C.T.R.E."?) were just for show, I was not surprised.

They come out and admit that they haven't foiled any terrorist plots of which they're aware, but they "argue that the random nature of the searches and the presence of armed officers serve as a deterrent and bolster public confidence."

In other words, you don't see any elephants around here, do you? So the elephant repellant must be working! Also left unexplained is how the public's confidence is supposed to be bolstered by getting their crotch randomly sniffed by that noted Fourth Amendment legal expert, Fluffy the Uberhund.

I have no idea why they're even bothering, since the agency also recently came out and admitted that the whole airport security thing is a sham, anyway. The minute I heard that parental outcry had caused the TSA to allow parents to grope their own toddlers at airports, I immediately heard a voice in my head saying "No, there is no Semtex in little Achmed's diapers!"

I am reminded of the joke about the guy stopped by the soldier who demands to inspect the contents of the trunk. Because he has no handbrake, he asks if the soldier will get behind the wheel and hold it steady on the hill while he gets out to open the trunk. The soldier does, the guy goes and opens his trunk, announcing loudly "There is nothing in here!"
"Very well," calls the soldier from the driver's seat "You may go on your way."

Obviously, the only purpose behind the TSA anymore is to prove Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy.


tickmeister said...

The TSA has one major accomplishment in my life. It has kept me from flying since its inception. If I can't drive to something, to hell with it.

Murphy's Law said...

TSA as C.O.B.R.A. or S.P.E.C.T.R.E. ?

I'm thinking more like K.A.O.S., complete with Siegfried and Shtarker.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I spent too much time working on projects and programs with DHS and their red headed stepchild TSA. From the top down there seems to be a culture of when in doubt, fake it. The folks from DOE and DOJ would just shake their heads at the newly minted subject matter experts.

Then on the jet home from DC, some dolt would tell me how the grope and delay made them feel so much safer.

Excuse me Miss, can I still get a drink?


Divemedic said...

The Bill of Rights is dead. The First Amendment is dead, killed by political correctness.
The Second is dead, killed by the NFA and GCA '68, and all that followed.
The Third is dead, killed by the Patriot Act. After all, who needs to quarter troops in your home, when a wiretap will suffice?
The Fourth died with the TSA and the patriot act.
The Fifth is dead now that the military can detain or kill you without trial, merely by claiming that you are a terrorist.
The Sixth is a prisoner at Gitmo.
The Eighth is being waterboarded.
The ninth and tenth have been ignored for decades.

Is the seventh the only one left?

Kerodin said...

Seventh is dead, too. Try getting a jury trial for that red light camera ticket.

Everything TSA is doing, especially the VIPR Teams, is designed to condition the public that they are subject to inspection at any time, anywhere.


Kristophr said...

Not relevant, but interesting ....

An entire nation faking tears in order to be allowed to continue living ....

Jac said...

Divemedic, the 4th was already killed by the drug war; they just staked it and cut off its head with the Patriot Act. Y'know, just to be sure...

JC said...

I'm thinking "Vital Intellectual Property Rescue" is for overdue library books. Don't tink that would be Breda Approved, though.
WV" BOLOAXA. Probably can't carry that on a plane either.

Tremaine said...

"the random nature of the searches and the presence of armed officers serve as a deterrent and bolster public confidence."

If by "Bolster public confidence" they mean "Making sure people drive rather than fly" then they're doing their jobs well.

Thanks to "security" I personally have not gotten on an airline since 9/11 and will not unless my trip involves crossing expanses of water that I cannot swim.

Aaron said...

Well, they've been really effective in stopping any Amtrack train from being hijacked and driven into the Empire State Building.

You can't argue with a 100% prevention rate like that after all.

The Freeholder said...

The TSA bolsters this portion of the public's confidence.

The confidence that it is all theater--and poor theater at that.