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New reports suggest the TSA fails to detect weapons the majority of the time

The efficacy of the American security and policing state is rarely seriously addressed. The government often claims to have stopped terror attacks, while presenting no evidence that an attack has been stopped. The continual deference to security has continued from 9/11 through to Donald Trump, with massive agencies and bureaucracies obtaining extremely high levels of control over sects of civilian life. But what if these agencies, like the TSA, NSA and Department of Homeland Security, are fatally flawed and do not even work?

A new report from ABC is chronicling undercover Department of Homeland Security agents who test TSA procedures, equipment and screenings in airports around the nation. In over half of these tests, the TSA failed to locate contraband materials, including weaponry.

ABC news asked the Department of Homeland Security if the failure rate was around a staggering 80 percent, and their source replied that "You are in the ballpark".

Representative Mike Rogers said "This agency that you run is broken badly, and it needs your attention" to TSA administrator David Pekoske. Indeed, a failure rate of eighty percent is pretty worthless. If I failed eighty percent of the time, or if any worker or company in America failed anywhere near eighty percent of the time, society would crumble. If the TSA is failing that often, and planes are still not suffering terrorist attacks en masse, then what use even is the TSA?

I mean, seriously. If you fail more than half the time, basically flipping a coin on your airplane security, and you remain safe year after year, it seems that the terror panic is greatly overstated in the United States. How could it be any other way? If the TSA isn't even needed to stop terror, then we've been conned out of our rights and freedoms for free. Great.

The inspectors said that they "identified vulnerabilities with TSA's screener performance, screening equipment and associated procedures". The TSA has been trying to get full 3-D bag scanners, but the installation is slow. Still, the response of modern bureaucracy is always just to toss more money and more technology at a problem. That doesn't seem to be the issue here - the drastic failure rate means that the whole TSA is barely doing anything to stop terror, as attacks would be occurring if they were really essential and kept failing.

That much is obvious, but don't expect your lawmakers to notice an obvious argument when they see one.

Representative Bill Keating towed the establishment line: "We have the technology and resources to do it, but we're not doing it because ... we're paying for a wall."

What an absolute load! He just admitted that the TSA has the resources, but still can't implement 3-D scanners because...of the wall? Oh really? Is the wall also why there have been no major plane attacks despite the systemic failure of the TSA?

Administrator Pekoske gave a pretty vanilla statement:

"We take the OIG's findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints. We are focused on staying ahead of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures and new technologies."

Sure. I won't hold my breath for the TSA to become useful.

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