Sunday, November 21, 2010


I started this weblog in November 2010 to catalog TSA abuses.

I have nothing against effective airport security. But that's not what we have: rather, we have security theater. The requirement of shoe removal and the bans on carrying liquids onto planes are insults to the American public that serve no conceivable purpose other than to lull the public into a false sense of security.  And the TSA has gone even further, with virtual strip-searches (exposing passengers not just to the loss of dignity, but to radiation with uncertain health effects) and offensive pat-down groping. You can shout about the underwear bomber all you want, but TSA didn't stop the underwear bomber, and the new detection mechanisms wouldn't do so, either. On September 11, 2001, the dynamic changed, and passengers learned that they were the last line of defense against terrorists in airplanes. And every terror attack on an American passenger jet since the first three hijackings of September 11 has been stopped by American plane passengers, not by the TSA.

My name is Ted Frank. I've visited the White House and stood within five feet of a president without anyone needing to stick their hands down my waistband, but that is not good enough for the TSA. I've wasted hours of my life standing in lines created by pointless TSA procedures; I've been groped by TSA officials; I even missed a flight once because I was pulled aside for a punitive TSA pat-down after I'd been waved through security because I dared to complain that the TSA X-ray operator was spending time joking around instead of inspecting baggage at a rate faster than one bag a minute.  And enough is enough.

Our elected officials have no idea how offensive this is: Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi don't fly commercial, and other elected officials who do, such as John Boehner, get waved through the security lines. Hillary Clinton says she'd never put up with such a search—but she doesn't have to. The people need to let their representatives in Washington know that the money we're wasting on the TSA, instead of on border security, is unacceptable.

35-minute line at IAD

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