For years, Western Journal has reported on the many issues and problems plaguing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the massive federal agency created to keep the traveling public safe in a post-9/11 world. Its stated mission — “protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce” — is supported by a staff of screeners numbering in the tens of thousands and an annual budget approaching $7.5 billion.
Recently, we told you how the TSA came under fire for the misbehavior of agents who worked at Denver International Airport — agents who were investigated and then given the boot for conspiring to grope male passengers they found attractive. On a more fundamental level, there are those who question the very authority of the TSA to conduct searches on a routine basis, without citing “probable cause” for the screenings and pat-downs.
In a Western Journal post on April 3rd of this year, writer Jake MacAulay examined what’s known as the TSA’s checklist for Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT. This scoring system for ranking travelers according to their supposed “threat level” is just one of many tools at the disposal of TSA agents.
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Yet, despite SPOT and the very expensive and supposedly sophisticated technology-rich equipment available to screeners nationwide — including those controversial full-body imagers — a new undercover investigation has revealed widespread TSA security failures “at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports.” ABC News reports that “undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials….”
The network news report reveals that undercover operatives for the Department of Homeland Security, working in so-called Red Teams, repeatedly beat the system, finding that many airport screenings were virtually worthless.
“In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.”
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By clicking on the video above, you can watch the ABC News report that raises this reasonable question: Given the shocking failures at critical TSA checkpoints across the country, what does the massive agency really accomplish?
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