Nine days ago, I posted this piece about the absurdities of the TSA.
So, now, we have a genuine terrorist attack at a major American airport. And, shock, the TSA had no deterrent effect, let alone catching the guy before the plane left the gate.Miami Herald on September 5:
The reason, according to a criminal complaint filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.
R-i-g-h-t. Alani was charged with sabotaging the plane's navigation system. Fortunately, the flight crew aborted the takeoff when something was amiss. Here is the - ahem - revised story today.
AMERICAN AIRLINES MECHANIC HAS POSSIBLE ISIS TIES, PROSECUTORS SAY: “Prosecutors presented evidence in court that defendant Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has a brother in Iraq with potential ties to ISIS and lied about visiting him in the country in March. A search of Alani’s phone by prosecutors turned up a “disturbing” ISIS video of someone being shot in the head. Alani allegedly sent the video to someone along with a message that Allah should take revenge against non-Muslims, but it’s unclear if the video was texted, emailed or transmitted by another electronic method.”
At the beginning of the month, the story was framed as Alani being arrested “on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard before it was scheduled to take off from Miami International Airport earlier this summer. The reason, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.”
It is long past time to abolish the TSA and go back to non-governmental screening. Why?
Some airports that opted out of TSA-staffed screening did so in part because airport officials did not believe the nation’s transport security regulator should also be the one providing that service, viewing the dual roles as an inherent conflict. “You’re essentially regulating yourself,” Fredrick Piccolo, president and chief executive of Sarasota-Bradenton International, said of TSA-staffed checkpoints. “When you run into issues, how do you criticize yourself?” The Bozeman airport also saw that arrangement as problematic, Sprenger said.
Airports like San Francisco and Kansas City have never had TSA screening. They have private contractors. Feel any less safe flying through there? I don't. But, I have noticed the screeners are more friendly and less arrogant.
TSA example, Huntsville, September 12:
Screener 1 to me (inside the nude-o-matic): Put your feet on the orange footprints.
Me: They are (put a jiggled them a little to make her happy).
Screener 1 to me: No, put them on the orange footprints.
Me: They are (I couldn't see any orange sticking out but I jiggled them again).
Screener 1 to me (I had, per their request, taken off my belt): Pull your pants up to your waist.
Me: They are (and, they were).
Screener 2 to me (still inside the nude-o-matic): No, we don't want your feet on the orange footprints, spread your legs apart as far as possible. And, don't keep your pants on your waist, pull them up as far as possible.
The nude-o-matic showed I had 'something' improper just above my naval. Really. I was wearing a t-shirt without an undershirt. One visual glance could show there was nothing there. Still, I qualified for a pat-down.
They were doing this, I noticed, to every male who went through the machine, including the three in front of me. It is harassment, nothing more. What could this possibly have to do with keeping flights secure?
It is fine with me if the TSA were to get serious and monitor the people actually conducting airport security. But, their "security theatre" has got to go.