The DHS and TSA like to tell us that what they are doing is making America safer, but a new report by the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee shows that little to nothing has changed in security to prevent breaches from occurring.
The breaches — amounting to about seven a day, or about five per year at every airport — include everything from people who accidentally leave a bag on a checkpoint conveyor belt to those who purposefully evade security and get onto airplanes without proper screening.
A TSA spokesman did not contest the figure, but questioned its significance, saying all breaches are investigated and resolved. The agency said it did not have a breakdown of breaches by severity.
This is the spin that the TSA puts on a real problem. They dismiss it by saying that it’s not significant because they’ve been investigated and resolved. It doesn’t address the original problem of preventing security breaches to begin with. These breaches occur in places where they should never happen in the first place.
— 14,322 breaches into secure entries, passages or other means of access to the secure side of the airport.
— Approximately 6,000 breaches involving a TSA screener failing to screen a passenger or a passenger’s carry-on property, or doing either improperly.
— 2,616 instances involving an individual getting past the checkpoint or exit lane without submitting to all screening and inspections. Some 1,388 of these have occurred at the perimeter areas of airports.
None of these breaches should even be possible if the people the TSA hired actually did their job. There is no excuse. For the TSA to simply say that they don’t matter because they’ve been investigated and resolved confirms to many people that the TSA is incompetent and should no longer exist as a force to protect airport security.
TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball said the figures represent a “tiny fraction of 1% percent of the more than 5.5 billion travelers at the more than 450 airports nationwide that we have screened effectively since 9/11.”
It doesn’t matter if it is a tiny fraction. The TSA is often quick to point out that new procedures that have included taking off your shoes and full body scanners, are put into place precisely to catch that tiny 1% that might do something wrong. You cannot use that 1% to defend intrusions of privacy and then dismiss them as trivial and still expect to be taken seriously. Either that 1% is important or it is not.
25,000 security breaches. 0 terrorist attacks prevented. Those two facts illuminate just how ineffective and unnecessary the TSA really is.