TSA – No Commitment = Incompetence

TSA - No Commitment = Incompetence

Written on 6/2/15

“We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.”

The latest nail in our federal Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration’s coffin is yesterday’s revelation by the DHS that TSA agents at dozens of our nation’s busiest airports failed to miss inert explosives and weapons concealed by undercover DHS “Red Team” agents 67 out of 70 times. This equates to a 96% failure rate.

I don’t know about you, but as a retired cop and a police/security expert who lives in airports and travels between 8,000 – 12,000 miles a month on airplanes for business and pleasure, I for one, am not surprised.

The DHS’s confession has revealed a massive, system-wide failure of another federal agency of 50,000+ strong that has been in existence since the 9-11 attacks of 2001. After 14 years this agency and our government still haven’t gotten it right. Although the President has already dismissed TSA Director Jeh Johnson and DHS promises “sweeping changes,” don’t expect any monumental improvements. In fact, don’t expect much of anything to change at all, because the system was broken before it began operation. Why, you ask?

First, we live in a society that has become too complacent and “politically correct.” We can’t commit to anything regarding our national security. Fighting the so-called “War on Terrorism.” How’s that been going for us since 9-11? Keeping known terrorists we captured on the battlefield locked up at Gitmo. Nope. Trading terrorist commanders for a traitorous deserter? You bet ya. Muzzling proactive police officers who positively impact a soaring crime rate? Count on it.

This federal government administration is literally on the wrong side of a security mindset at every level of local and federal security. It’s an endemic problem that will not go away because the feds don’t want to change it. In fact, their complacent mindset and ignorance in the face of a growing terrorist threat at home is now ingrained.

I have never been a proponent of the TSA and the ridiculous way that they do things because I know something about crime, criminals and terrorism. I am a behavioralist. I look at behavior which is the foundation of all crime. Until we start training people to act upon observed behaviors, reasonable suspicion and probable cause, we will never be safe. Presently, millions of innocent true American citizen travelers continue to be inconvenienced and mistreated by a bunch of $12 an hour “wannabe” security guards playing at being police officers.

While there are probably many TSA security employees and supervisors who want to do the right thing in protecting us; there are far too few to turn this serious problem around. They just don’t have the education, background and skill sets to do it. Further, our federal government is just too “PC” to commit to learning how to accurately identify and deter terrorist and criminal behavior. In fact, they can’t even search potential suspects their own systems have identified.

In the DHS report, a TSA undercover agent who had an inert bomb actually strapped to his back and even set off an alarm, could not even be properly searched by a TSA agent who missed the bomb. Really?

Until our government’s leaders have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with themselves; stop the meaningless “We’re protecting you all” security rhetoric and actually commit to changing their PC mindset about what we really need to do to protect American citizens at home; we are simply waiting for the next airport to be attacked and the next jetliner to be blown out of the sky.

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist and police/security practices expert who directs a forensic investigations team at www.martinelliandassoc.com

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