In the aftermath of 9/11, Congress foolishly shifted airline security screening to the inept Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has failed to detect explosive ingredients and fake bombs, in performance tests.
Now the Obama Administration is making matters even worse by undermining both airline security and railroad safety. A study found that the TSA is more than twice as likely to fail to detect a bomb as the private security firms it replaced. And TSA’s failure rate is three or four times as high as the few remaining private firms still allowed to handle airline security.
In tests, TSA failed to detect fake bombs 60 percent of the time at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and 75 percent of the time in Los Angeles. Yet the Obama administration plans to make TSA even more bureaucratic by introducing collective bargaining, which will make it even harder to get rid of ineffective employees.
Rather than take over airline security screening, the federal government should have stepped up testing of the private companies that performed it, to weed out bad companies. President Bush initially objected to Congressional demands for a federal takeover, but knuckled under for political reasons. Ironically, even in European countries run by Socialist parties, airline security and screening is generally in the hands of private companies, which are are usually more diligent, innovative, and efficient, as well as less bureaucratic.
The Obama administration is also undermining the security of railroad passengers by gutting an expert, highly-rated, anti-terror agency at Amtrak, which Amtrak’s unions hate, because it is not unionized. Political cronyism also appears to be playing a role in the gutting of Amtrak’s Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations (OSSSO). Ultimately, OSSSO’s “highly-specialized officers” will likely be replaced by unionized employees with “alarmingly low pass rates” in “basic” classes.