In a year-end message to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff, the agency praised itself for a “very good year” in airline security, despite repeated security failures. But, as ABC News notes,
The message made no mention of TSA snafus during 2009, including several highly critical reports by the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security and the inadvertent posting on the Internet of confidential documents revealing airport security procedures.
Recently, a Nigerian terrorist nearly managed to blow up an airliner, after being allowed on the plane despite being on a terror watch list. He set fire to explosives, but was thwarted at the last minute when vigilant passengers put out the fire. Amazingly, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed that the episode showed that “the system worked.”
The Obama administration is now trying to unionize the TSA., which will make it even more cumbersome, slow-moving, and bureaucratic. The Washington Examiner explains why that is a very bad idea that would undermine travelers’ safety. Union-mandated “collective bargaining would cripple the TSA,” stripping the TSA of “its flexibility to move people . . . and change protocols when it believes there is a terrorist threat,” requiring “TSA managers to share sensitive intelligence information with union negotiators . . . increasing the possibility of damaging leaks,” and restricting managers from rewarding “high-performing screeners or fire those unable or unwilling to perform their duties in an efficient manner.”
The TSA is now reportedly planning to impose additional pointless restrictions on airline passengers, such as limiting access to blankets, and requiring passengers to stay in their seats during the last hour of flight, even though it was a passenger who got out of his seat during the last hour of flight who thwarted the recent attempted terrorist attack by putting out the fire the Nigerian terrorist had set to the explosives he carried on the plane.
For more on the TSA see here.