TSA – Why pat-downs are ridiculous and after 9 years – they still can’t spell R*I*S*K management. Follow the money.

Every fifteen minutes, the media is full of images of children being patted down at the airports. The media is stirring up the porridge on this story.  But think for a moment – TSA is spending 90% of it’s budget, resources and energy on passengers who are not and will never be a threat.  And that leaves only 10% to spend on legitimate and potentially dangerous travelers.  This raises several questions.

First – why?  When the DHS espouses it’s emphasis on RISK MANAGEMENT – it’s clear that they don’t follow it.  The private company that runs the screening programs makes substantially more money by screening everyone, if they only had to screen real suspects – their income (which is over $8 Billion per year) could be cut in half!

By applying the risk management principles that are in their charter – they would be able to spare the poor traveling public and spend more time and more resources on checking and double-checking the potential terrorists. 

Most rational people can watch an airport scanner line for two hours and realize it is an enormous waste of resources for very little results and testers can routinely smuggle in knives, lighters and whatever else they want.

The inability of TSA to adopt a rational approach to airport screening – and remember – they still don’t’ screen the cargo riding on the same plane – is just lining pockets including the lobbyists who have been pushing the extra-expensive full body scanners.

The justification for this big expenditure is that is avoids the dreaded “profiling”.  We should be profiling – we should be checking people who like to visit Yemen for Easter.  We should be doing intense screening of young men between the ages of 18 and 30 who have recently traveled in or out of Pakistan.

 Here’s a partial list of who we shouldn’t waste time and resources screening:

 Children under 10
Active and Retired Military
Civilian Federal Employees
Civilian Federal Partners
Members of a ‘Preferred Traveler Program’
Individuals who opt for an intensive background check
Senior Citizens over 70

But you know what they say – Money Talks… and it’s talking to me this Thanksgiving week.

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