Petition to Abolish the TSA is Doomed to Fail

tsa patdown.jpg
If you take a little gander at the White House website today, you'll notice a petition regarding the TSA. Specifically, regarding the possible abolition of the TSA, which is very unlikely to happen. The petition is titled "Abolish the TSA, and use its monstrous budget to fund more sophisticated, less intrusive counter-terrorism intelligence," and nearly all the signatures seem to be coming from Reddit.

The Transportation Security Administration has been one of the largest, most expensive and most visible blunders of the post-9-11 homeland security reformation. It has violated countless constitutional rights of average Americans, caused miserable and expensive delays in an already-overburdened air travel system, and allowed multiple known instances of harassment, theft, extortion and sexual abuse by its employees. It has failed approximately 70% of undercover efficacy tests, and for all its excesses, has been unable to catch even a single terrorist since its creation. In our current economic situation, we can no longer afford to continue wasting taxpayer dollars on this kafkaesque embarrassment. Let us instead invest in saner, more effective solutions.

Good luck, Reddit. Any petition with "kafkaesque" in it is not going to have wide popular appeal. Also, what do you propose replacing the TSA with? It's not that we like the TSA -- they're always groping people -- but, you know, you'd need to replace them with some other kind of security system otherwise people would get very, very upset. And it's going to take more than 6,000 signatures, though we commend the signatories for surpassing their goal of 5,000. But anyway! Godspeed.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.


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31 comments
Paul Select
Paul Select

I cannot believe that there are actually people around who justify the existence of the TSA AT ALL!! To condone teaching our children that it's okay for strangers to grope them, not to mention every single person in the United States being treated like a terrorist because they desire to fly, is just over the top. But here's my argument for completely disbanding the TSA and getting the Federal government out of it altogether:

Imagine that tomorrow you show up at the airport and there is no security whatsoever. What then? All those sleazy child molesters and grandma gropers have been sent home to get jobs wherever they can. What do you suppose would happen? Well, people are still gonna want to fly, right? But maybe they're a little nervous because of the guy in line behind them wearing a turban with a lit fuse sticking out of it. The airlines, anxious to compete for your custom, would try to find ways to convince you that their planes are safe, would they not? Each airline would institute their own separate security protocols in an effort to convince you that they are the ones that you should be flying on rather than the other one. Maybe one of them has previous TSA screeners set up in a line where you can, if you wish, go through, get a full body scan, take your shoes and shirt off, have your privates fondled, and have your shampoo taken away. That would be just fine for you TSA advocates. Me, I wouldn't fly that airline if I had a choice. Another airline might say something like: "Fly us. You can take your loaded guns on board with you, and if anybody tries to hijack the plane, you can shoot them. All we ask is that you use fungible ammo so you don't blow the plane out of the sky.," Most likely, airlines would adapt some sort of sane policy in between these two extremes. But if I had to bet, I would be willing to bet that the number of people who would prefer to be groped and subjected to partially disrobing and full body scans as opposed to being treated like valued customers whose humanity is respected would dwindle to such a tiny few that any airline that kept those policies in place would go out of business within a couple of weeks. The stupid and mindless ideas of the TSA would give way to the ingenuity of the marketplace and airlines would find ways to convince their customers of the security of their flights without universally subjecting them to insulting and humiliating procedures. They would have to, in fact, because passengers, given a choice, simply would not tolerate it. My guess would be that instead of hiring hordes of incompetent morons who couldn't hold a minimum wage job, they might advertise the professionalism of their security people and actually HIRE professional security people. What a concept, huh? Also, the utter ridiculousness of the vast majority of the TSA's policies would disappear overnight. Furthermore, since each individual airline would have its own separate and distinct security procedures, penetrating airport security would be much more difficult than it is now, where it can be penetrated at will. The only reason more planes haven't been brought down since 9/11 is because the objective has been accomplished: They have succeeded in destroying our freedoms and have turned our own government against its citizenry.

Reggiee
Reggiee

I guess my last comment won't be published because I gave a website address to a petition

Reggiee
Reggiee

Go to Whitehouse.gov, "We The People" and sign the petition to abolish the TSA. There are over 23,000 signatures. The petition must be signed before October 22, 2011

Reggiee
Reggiee

I no longer fly as a direct result of the TSA. If given the chance I would choose to fly on a plane where the screening consisted of a metal detector and a metal detecting wand. If a terrorist were discovered on the plane I firmly believe the passengers would be the ones causing damage to the terrorist and not the terrorist causing damage to the travelers. The money that would be saved from the nonsense that takes place at the airports could be put to use gathering intelligence and monitoring terrorist activity. For all the cowards who believe they must be groped and radiated prior to boarding a plane because the government is protecting them let them go on another plane because I don't want them on mine. The cowards would be happy and so would I.  

Wimpie
Wimpie

Looks like Bo might be worried about his job!

Michael Akers
Michael Akers

The signatures are now over 22000 in just a few days. So rather than being completely unsupportive of this attempt to rein in the TSA's rabidly unconstitutional behavior, why not just sign the damn petition?

And I'm not on Reddit.

Guest
Guest

Information about this topic has been censored by amazon askville, open discussion is being shut down on the net."We have suppressed your recent content to protect our members.Please review our Good Neighbor Policy "

Outland10
Outland10

Rosie, replace it with airline screeners like existed before. Cockpits are hardened--what happened on 9/11 can't happen today. Baggage screening and walkthrough metal detectors are enough--certainly for the incredibly small risk the TSA addresses. Nothing is served by violating passengers. We need to reject the manufacture of security terror and the industry it supports, and be a free and brave nation once again. This petition has enormous public appeal.

JeffNJ
JeffNJ

Rosie - sure, the government won't eliminate the TSA, but this petition points out the illegal strip searches without reasonable suspicion, the criminal sexual assaults (state of Alaska, for example, has confirmed that TSA agents are committing a sexual assault under any other circumstance), and the profiling of medically-impaired US citizens. Not to mention that the "risk" is extremely miniscule.

The petition is getting signatures because it shows the TSA is turning America into "Amerika" by following East Germany Police tactics and it was the first one there.....

The answer, as already pointed out, is go back to standard metal detectors, figure out a way to treat medically-impaired people with respect, and regain our 4th amendment.

Regards,

Jeff PierceCo-Founderhttp://fttusa.org

AE_Linden
AE_Linden

Hey there TSA apologist. Perhaps an update to this blog entry is in order. The petition currently has almost 19000 signatures.

NikhilChaundry
NikhilChaundry

Wikipedia on reddit demographics "According to Google DoubleClick Ad Planner's estimate, the median U.S. Reddit user is male, 35-44 years of age, has some college education, and is making a middle-range income of $25,000 - $49,000 USD. The analysis also shows that the top audience interests of the site are development tools, scripting languages, and C and C++, suggesting a computer savvy demographic and culture."

NikhilChaundry
NikhilChaundry

Wikipedia on reddit demographics :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

"According to Google DoubleClick Ad Planner's estimate, the median U.S. Reddit user is male, 35-44 years of age, has some college education, and is making a middle-range income of $25,000 - $49,000 USD. The analysis also shows that the top audience interests of the site are development tools, scripting languages, and C and C++, suggesting a computer savvy demographic and culture."

NikhilChaundry
NikhilChaundry

Wikipedia on reddit demographics :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

"According to Google DoubleClick Ad Planner's estimate, the median U.S. Reddit user is male, 35-44 years of age, has some college education, and is making a middle-range income of $25,000 - $49,000 USD. The analysis also shows that the top audience interests of the site are development tools, scripting languages, and C and C++, suggesting a computer savvy demographic and culture."

NikhilChaundry
NikhilChaundry

AGAIN To the ignorant author Rosie Gray: ive noticed that you people who think the TSA is completely reasonable FAIL miserably at thinking beyond your experience with being randomly selected and think of the people that might be effected profoundly.This includes RAPE VICTIMS (1 in 6 women in the Us has experience some form of sexual violence), people with MEDICAL IMPLANTS who set off detectors have to get the crotch treatment every time(I have an implant by a major manufacturer-every time I fly I get a full gross crotch search,not once in the history of of my experience as a flier) AND foreigners and tourists,especially those from very conservative cultures. AND what about combos ?WHAT ABOUT A FEMALE RAPE VICTIM WITH A SPINAL PAIN PUMP FOR FIBROMYALGIA? They would have to quit any job that required travel now.MOST IMPORTANTLY it doesn't make us safer,since i have an implant I get to see how functional they are more regularly- I've made it on the plane once with razors and a bottle of water in a suitcase because they were focused on the Patdowns.

Wimpie
Wimpie

How would I set the standards for screening?  Start by refreshing the memory on what the Constitution and laws say.  Sure, we need security.  But what the TSA is doing now is absurd.  We are the ones flying.  So shouldn't we determine how we are to be protected?  Let the airlines supply security.

Seriously, if people are so terrified of all these terrorists that they allow a stranger to look at them naked and/or touch their private places just to travel, they need to stay home, cower in a corner, and suck their thumbs.  Let me and others like me continue to live our lives FREE and UNAFRAID.   You do realize that you're FAR more likely to get killed in a car wreck than to die in a terrorist act, right?  What happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Many people have quit flying because of these "enhanced security procedures".  And there's something wrong when people are fleeing the very organization trying to protect them.

Fisher1949
Fisher1949

TSA would like everyone to believe that people are happy to let them molest their kids. Over 10,000 signatures in less than a day indicates quite the opposite. We'll see what it looks like on Monday and how widespread support really is.

Whoever hopes to occupy the White House in 2013 had better be paying attention to this. Most of us intend to keep our rights despite the best efforts of DC to strip them away.

Sommer Gentry
Sommer Gentry

How about replacing the TSA with something constitutional?  Like, maybe, get a freaking warrant if you want to take naked pictures of me?  Like, find some probable cause if you want to put your hands down my pants?  I'm all for replacing the TSA with police work, intelligence analysis, and good old investigative crime-fighting.  Heck, we could start by replacing the TSA with a system that doesn't involve low-wage employees dosing children with ionizing radiation! Let's just stick with metal detectors and police work.  Metal detectors and police work will be more than enough to lower the risk of terrorism until it's less likely to kill someone than, say, peanuts.  What's that you say?  Terrorism is already less likely to kill someone than peanuts?  Then why on earth are we giving up cherished American freedoms documented in the Bill of Rights?  Because people are bad at math?  Yup, if you're afraid of terrorists, that's a sure sign you're not very good at counting.  You should spend your time being afraid of choking to death on your own vomit or drowning in your bathtub... both are far, far more likely to kill you.

Bo58886
Bo58886

.did you get turned down by the TSA.?....because of your background check..i think so..Don't be a hater..

Bo58886
Bo58886

You are so full of S--t. You are lying..period

Bo58886
Bo58886

You imbecile...more people fly now then ever before..airline traffic has increased each year since 9/11..also the airlines did supply security pre 9/11 and paid $6.50 /hr for those poor souls who put up with the ungrateful, whining public that has become the United States

Bo58886
Bo58886

It will look like 10,000 or more idiots whose signature is on a piece of worthless paper...DUH

Bo58886
Bo58886

Yeah, tell that to the over 3000 people in the Twin towers, pentagon and the families who were left wondering if I'd just eaten a peanut...what a twit

Johnathan
Johnathan

How did you know, I was so dissapointed when my background check came back perfectly clean.  With a record like that the TSA would not even look at me.  They had explained ahead of time that they only hire someone if they have a criminal background in one or more of the following areas:  theft, assault, rape, child abuse (physical, mental, or sexual), murder, or drug trafficing.  I heard that people with three or more of these requirements get put into management.

See, I can be an insulting and condesending without resorting to direct name calling.  I must admit that you do vary your insults covering the following: twit, idiots, imbecile, loser, and hater.

Wimpie
Wimpie

$6.50 / hour is what this job is worth. It must be nice working for TSA, especially if you're a pedophile or homosexual.

Wimpie
Wimpie

More like 23,000 now.We'll see how worthless this paper really is.

Dude
Dude

It is clear Bo that your knowledge of what happened on 9/11 is in accordance with the bullshit propaganda that the government pushes to cover its own actions that day. 9/11 was an inside job, and all this TSA nonsense is to ensure the american people swallow that story like a rape victim. 3000+ people died by the hands of orders originating from within our government structure, as a ways to propel wars in the middle east for tactical & economical gain. Please take the time to wake up and learn about whats going on before you accuse someone of being a twit... ignorance is what keeps this country in fear... please come out of your ignorance and learn the truth... www.prisonplanet.com

Johnathan
Johnathan

Bo5886,

One incident does not mean that the long term statistics that Sommer posted are incorrect.  I am perfectly comfortable telling the injured and surviving relatives from 9-11 that even with 3000 deaths the probability of dying in an terrorist attack on an airline is less that having a leathal reation to peanuts.  The reason I am comfortable saying this is that it is absolutely true.

What do you say to the 60,000 people who are sexually assaulted by TSA employees every day.  That adds up to over 20,000,000 people every year.  Do you believe that the sexuall assault of 20,000,000 people per year will bring comfort to the victims of 9/11?  I will happily risk the minute possibility of being killed or injured by a terrorist on an airplane in exchange for avoiding a 3% chance of being sexually assaulted.  In fact I have boycotted comercial flying outright, resulting in me having to drive long distances further increasing my chance of being injured or killed.  I will still take that risk over being abused by an unchecked government employee granted blanket amunity for their actions.  I guess they only get amunity when what they do is in accordance with the SOP, that the public is not allowed to know.

Reggiee
Reggiee

And what do we tell the relatives of the Fathers, Sons, Mothers and Daughters who lost their lives or were maimed fighting for our Freedom and civil rights??????????????????

Bo58886
Bo58886

Please don't buy any more of those lottery tickets with your unemployment check..You know you can't win..you have a better chance of dying in a terrorist attack, loser... ,

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