Sunday, April 24, 2005

Is TSA doomed?

It's quite worrisome to read an article like this. The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has been taking budget cuts and Congress, especially the House GOP caucus, has been trying to move it to an oversight authority over private screeners.

Let's think about this....

Some more....

Just a little longer....

Alright, stop thinking about it now.

This is the same bullshit that got us in trouble in the first place. Private screeners failed miserably on 9/11. Considering that Russian airliners have been blown up in the past year, isn't it a safe assumption that skyjackings are still a terrorist's wet dream? Do we really want to return to the failed system of before 9/11?
The sad thing is that the media has virtually ignored this. Hell, I haven't even seen it on anyone's blog. The story I linked to is an inside-the-paper Outlook story from the Washington Post. I would think that the media would be up in arms about this, let alone the public. I'm deeply disappointed in the House that they want to continue to cut funding to a vital agency, one that made all of its safety deadlines on time. These people are some of the unsung heroes that have helped keep us safe.
I know this personally, you see. I went to the airport a couple of months ago straight from work to take a plane to see my fiancé. I had accidently left a box cutter (yeah, dumb, I know) in my rear pants pocket. It was wedged in pretty good, but they kept searching until I reached in and found the thing. Despite my profuse apologies, they pulled me aside, searched me more thoroughly, ran me through the FCIC, got a supervisor, everything. They pulled my checked bag and searched it, too (I am sore about that, though, cause they lost my favorite shirt).
The point is, they did a job that did NOT ever happen before 9/11. I'm a frequent flier, and I know the difference in security. That is the work of TSA and all the men and women who work hard at their job. If we let that agency lose more funding and/or become a air version of OSHA, then we will have failed once again at learning the important lessons. Iraq might be the alleged "frontline in the war on terror" but twice as many Americans died four years ago than have died in the entire course of the war.
I would strongly urge Congress to reinstate all funding for TSA and make sure it is a strong, well-funded agency. This has to be one of our priorities, so that it isn't the Sears Tower or the RenCen here in Detroit that becomes the next WTC, or so airliners aren't blown out of the sky.


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