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2012 Survey: How Effective is the Transportation Security Administration?

2012 Survey: How Effective is the Transportation Security Administration?

Old Aug 19, 12, 9:03 am
  #76  
 
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Pre-Check Experiences

My opinion of TSA is based on recent experiences with the pre-check lane at DCA. The first time I arrived for an early flight only to find the lane wasn't open yet because TSA agents didn't show up for work on time. I had a choice of waiting (and missing my flight) or using normal screening. The second time it worked fine. The third time I was told I was randomly selected for full screening. So that's a 33 1/3% success rate so far. Not good at all.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 10:11 am
  #77  
 
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Sorry WillCAD, I respectfully disagree with your thoughts when you say "interest in attacking US aviation was minimal. It still is." The terrorists have demonstrated their continued interest in blowing up airplanes. I'm not saying passenger screening is the ONLY reason it hasn't happened again, but I'm saying it is PART of the reason. I also am not saying we should not have checks and balances with regards to what is permitted. However, we yield "rights" every day in the name of safety, and it's not just in the area of air travel. Can the TSA be improved? Sure. Should it be? Of course. Is passenger screening worth-while and something that I am willing to go through as part of a plan for safe air travel? Absolutely.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by dc3 View Post
The people who believe the TSA is doing a good job also believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and give the US Congress a 99% approval rating.
Ad hominem attacks do nothing to further your argument (belittling a person or their beliefs in an attempt to invalidate their argument).
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Old Aug 19, 12, 11:35 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Suggestion: Grow balls. Stop being so afraid of terrorism that you're willing to sacrifice the fundamental rights and freedoms of millions of people just to make yourself feel a little less terrified of some big bwown Muswim bogie-man.

Besides, being a Briton, you don't exactly have a lot of dogs in this fight, do ya? It's not YOUR way of life that you're willing to sacrifice, since you don't have a written Constitution that protects your rights and freedoms and the British don't seem to have as firm a belief in such rights and freedoms as Americans.
Whooo hello!

1. I am not in the least 'afraid of terrorism', so don't try hanging that one me, Sir/Madam.
It's just that millions of us in UK lived with it on the streets for nearly 40 years. I guess we have a slightly different perspective. You in the US had the "Big One" we had hundreds of "little ones". OTOH, you in the US have thousands of "little ones", but of course you all have the right to bear arms under the much-misused "Constitutional Right" for an 'armed Militia', so that's OK.

I'll play the hard-ball here as well as so much IRA activity was US-funded. So please take your "freedoms" and stick them somewhere dark. Feel free to fund terrorism elsewhere. Apologies if that's hard, but read a bit of history.

2. No, we don't have published "rights and freedoms". We have Law, and Lawyers, and a fairly well established Democracy with a long history. Really quite long, actually. Somehow we survive. Amazing, isn't it? Curiously we have the same beliefs as [the average] American " Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I have all three: I just don't get all antsy about being checked at an airport - which happens in UK and in most civilised Nations.


Apologies to any Mods who are offended by this response.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 11:42 am
  #80  
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post

2. No, we don't have published "rights and freedoms". We have Law, and Lawyers, and a fairly well established Democracy with a long history. Really quite long, actually. Somehow we survive. Amazing, isn't it? Curiously we have the same beliefs as [the average] American … " Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I have all three: I just don't get all antsy about being checked at an airport - which happens in UK and in most civilised Nations.
I don't get all antsy about being checked at a UK airport - or at any airport anywhere in the world (first world, third world). I've been patted down at many airports.

I have never encountered the rudeness and disrespect I encounter in the US anywhere else.

I've never had a screener stick hands inside my clothing or touch my genitals anywhere else.

I've never had a screener threaten me for asking a question anywhere else.

I've never felt threatened anywhere else.

The friends I have from the UK talk about the many smaller (than 9-11) attacks that took place over the years. Every single one of them will shrug and say 'well, you just pick yourself up, dust yourself and get on with it, don't you? You can't spend the rest of your life hiding from shadows.'

Same attitude I get from Spanish friends - you can't stop riding the underground, and no one wants to wait in endless queues getting groped and bag-searched either. You just get on with it and hope the intel services do their jobs, because that's the only way to prevent these things, really. And sometimes it's going to get away from you, but that's life. You could get hit by a lorry whose driver ran on the sidewalk because he was drunk, how do you stop that?
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Old Aug 19, 12, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by rabtech View Post
Sorry WillCAD, I respectfully disagree with your thoughts when you say "interest in attacking US aviation was minimal. It still is." The terrorists have demonstrated their continued interest in blowing up airplanes. I'm not saying passenger screening is the ONLY reason it hasn't happened again, but I'm saying it is PART of the reason. I also am not saying we should not have checks and balances with regards to what is permitted. However, we yield "rights" every day in the name of safety, and it's not just in the area of air travel. Can the TSA be improved? Sure. Should it be? Of course. Is passenger screening worth-while and something that I am willing to go through as part of a plan for safe air travel? Absolutely.
Which terrorists?

How have they demonstrated their continued interests in blowing up airplanes in the US? Can you cite some examples?

Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Whooo … hello!

1. I am not in the least 'afraid of terrorism', so don't try hanging that one me, Sir/Madam.
It's just that millions of us in UK lived with it on the streets for nearly 40 years. I guess we have a slightly different perspective. You in the US had the "Big One" … we had hundreds of "little ones". OTOH, you in the US have thousands of "little ones", but of course you all have the right to bear arms under the much-misused "Constitutional Right" for an 'armed Militia', so that's OK.

I'll play the hard-ball here as well … as so much IRA activity was US-funded. So please take your "freedoms" and stick them somewhere dark. Feel free to fund terrorism elsewhere. Apologies if that's hard, but read a bit of history.

2. No, we don't have published "rights and freedoms". We have Law, and Lawyers, and a fairly well established Democracy with a long history. Really quite long, actually. Somehow we survive. Amazing, isn't it? Curiously we have the same beliefs as [the average] American … " Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I have all three: I just don't get all antsy about being checked at an airport - which happens in UK and in most civilised Nations.


Apologies to any Mods who are offended by this response.
So, you lived with it for 40 years and we didn't.

Yet, you seem to be arguing that our massive, panicked over-reaction to the one big attack we've suffered is justified because you know what it's like to live in constant fear and we don't?

I would think that, having been through more of it than us, you'd have the opposite opinion, that turning one's country into a repressive police state to fight terrorism is a ridiculous over-reaction which does more harm than good.

IRA funding came from the US? I never heard of that, though of course it's not impossible. How is that relevant in any way to a discussion of how the US government is currently abusing its citizens and visitors with invasive searches that violate not only common decency, but the most important principals upon which our country was founded? Has the IRA somehow joined the TSA? Or is the TSA sending some of its massive budget to fund current IRA activity? I'm having trouble seeing how the two are even remotely related.

To be clear, I'm not "getting antsy" about "being checked at the airport." I'm getting outraged over having my rights violated, my freedoms curtailed, and my body violated by my own government before I can get onto a plane. Most civilised countries (including yours) don't stick their hands in your pants before you can get on a plane without some just cause.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 1:03 pm
  #82  
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May I recommend the primary solutions, which will achieve a lot more than posting here.

1. Write to your Congressman.

2. Hire a Lawyer.

Or ...

3. Chain yourself to the White House railings.

Excuse me, there's a programme on TV I really want to watch. Honest.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 2:13 pm
  #83  
 
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Whooo … hello!

1. I am not in the least 'afraid of terrorism', so don't try hanging that one me, Sir/Madam.
It's just that millions of us in UK lived with it on the streets for nearly 40 years. I guess we have a slightly different perspective. You in the US had the "Big One" … we had hundreds of "little ones". OTOH, you in the US have thousands of "little ones", but of course you all have the right to bear arms under the much-misused "Constitutional Right" for an 'armed Militia', so that's OK.


I'll play the hard-ball here as well … as so much IRA activity was US-funded. So please take your "freedoms" and stick them somewhere dark. Feel free to fund terrorism elsewhere. Apologies if that's hard, but read a bit of history.
1. Why would you live with it for so long?

It's not much-misused so much as under-utilized. One armed law-abiding citizen at that theatre in CO might have been able to thwart all that bloodshed and tragedy.


2.The bit of history I have read showed that the funding flowing to the IRA was coming from organized Irish expats sending money back to Ireland. Certainly not state-sponsored funding.

Also, I'm sure you Brits did nothing at all over the past few centuries to antagonize your island neighbour.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 9:09 pm
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by Rondall View Post
1. Why would you live with it for so long?
Because the cost of preventing it was too high. We could have rounded up all the Irish and locked them away in camps. We could have groped everyone coming into the country looking for old ladies and their knitting needles. We didn't though.

Of course, it did eventually stop, and a lot of the credit has to go to John Major, Tony Blair, and especially Colin Parry.

We took some precautionary measures (removing and replacing litter bins which became shrapnel when U.S. backed Irish terrorists killed 2 kids in 1993), we paid attention to abandoned lorries, but on the whole we just got on with it. it's the British way, has been since before the Blitz (Americans do tend to overreact -- look at Pearl Harbour!)

It's not much-misused so much as under-utilized. One armed law-abiding citizen at that theatre in CO might have been able to thwart all that bloodshed and tragedy.
Really, the average person out on a Friday night cinema expedition is Jack Bauer, has perfect aim in the dark and smoke, and can easily pick off the gunman rather than all the other wanna-be Jack Bauers that are also trying to shoot the gunman?

2.The bit of history I have read showed that the funding flowing to the IRA was coming from organized Irish expats sending money back to Ireland. Certainly not state-sponsored funding.
Noone said it was. They were American citizens that openly funded Irish terrorists that maimed and killed innocent civilians as young as 3 over decades. What would the reaction be if said Americans funded Al-Qaeda?

And while your government was happy to allow it's citizens the freedom to sponsor terrorism, it went further. Your president was happy to meet and shake hands with Gerry Adams.

Also, I'm sure you Brits did nothing at all over the past few centuries to antagonize your island neighbour.
I'm sure we did. It might even have been as bad as what America has done over the years to the middle east, but in the early 20th century the bulk of Ireland got it's independence (When the U.S. had a similar disagreement about part of the country declaring independence 50 years earlier, there was a civil war.)

Later, there was a referendum in the north, but the north is split so it wasn't going to work particularly well, and ended up being boycotted by one side.

The UK and Ireland eventually "solved" the troubles, or at least toned it down, by getting everyone talking, compromising, and forgiving.

Of course the U.S. responded to 9/11 by invading 2 countries, one of which harboured the ring leader, the other of which had nothing to do with it.

Guess which approach works?

Still, I was naive 10 years ago. I (based on Hollywood thinking) believed the CIA and Navy Seals, not to mention the full resources of the U.S.A. - at the time greatest country on Earth, and a fully sympathetic world that would do anything to help, could hunt down and capture (not kill) one man without screwing up half the planet.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
Because the cost of preventing it was too high. We could have rounded up all the Irish and locked them away in camps. We could have groped everyone coming into the country looking for old ladies and their knitting needles. We didn't though.
That wouldn't have prevented it, anyway. Fortunately, as you state, your government hasn't over-reacted as badly as our has to 9/11.

Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
Really, the average person out on a Friday night cinema expedition is Jack Bauer, has perfect aim in the dark and smoke, and can easily pick off the gunman rather than all the other wanna-be Jack Bauers that are also trying to shoot the gunman?
No, but here are some average Americans getting the job done:
http://youtu.be/1t5f5AwkkiY
http://youtu.be/dTX7hqeNyQ0
http://youtu.be/GGOmtyTJ2f0
http://youtu.be/9UH6pPrkvn8
http://youtu.be/_But23A9A0k
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Old Aug 20, 12, 5:10 am
  #86  
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Our grocery and liquor stores are dull places in comparison.


Anyway, can we get back to TSA?

I understand that a lot of Americans are upset by the entire process, for a range of reasons including, but not exclusively, an assortment of 'rights'. So can I repeat the question I posed up-thread?
Hey here's a concept. Scrap the whole of TSA and CBP and just let folks get on with whatever happens. Saves billions, avoids endless Internet whining and reduces lines at airports.
Any takers? No cherry-picking, mind
Is that what you want? What you really, really, want?
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Old Aug 20, 12, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Hey … here's a concept. Scrap the whole of TSA and CBP … and just let folks get on with whatever happens. Saves billions, avoids endless Internet whining and reduces lines at airports.
Is that what you want? What you really, really, want?
No.
And the false dichotomy (either "TSA as it is today" or "no security whatsoever") has been discussed and dismissed many times before in this forum. So I'm not going to go into all the argument again.

What I want is security that balances risk with response. For many of us on this forum, that means reverting to 9/10/01 security: a WTMD to find the guns and larger knives, x-ray of baggage, and perhaps a random ETD to deter people with explosives. (OT: I got a random ETD on both my flights in Australia today. ) Use a hand-held wand if there's an alarm on the WTMD. Apply a discrete, professional patdown if that doesn't resolve the issue. That's it. That's all.

And for that matter, that's what the other 199 countries in the world, more or less, do for airport security. And you'll notice that there aren't planes falling out of the sky in Australia or Switzerland or Japan.

The ID check adds nothing to the security process: it doesn't matter what someone's name is. The shoe carnival is pointless; anything that could conceivably be hidden in a shoe could equally be hidden in the mouth or a body cavity. The war on liquids is pointless: the possibility of combining two stable liquids post-checkpoint to create a viable explosive is so remote that it's not worth worrying about. The body scanner is (a) invasive, (b) slow, (c) ineffective (it misses things), (d) inefficient (it has a high false-positive rate) and (e) expensive. And people can steal your stuff while you're standing there with your hands in the air getting scanned. So far it's found lots of pleats, sweat stains, hair clips, zippers, and non-existent "anomalies" and not one actual terrorist threat. Stop it already. Finally, strip-searching elderly women, people with prostheses, toddlers, and - for that matter - anyone else is an over-reaction. Stop it already.

No one here is arguing for no security. There have been previous threads that canvassed this opinion. We just want sensible security, where the action is based on risk, not on some Bruce Willis Hollywood movie plot.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by RadioGirl View Post
No.
And the false dichotomy (either "TSA as it is today" or "no security whatsoever") has been discussed and dismissed many times before in this forum. So I'm not going to go into all the argument again.

What I want is security that balances risk with response. For many of us on this forum, that means reverting to 9/10/01 security: a WTMD to find the guns and larger knives, x-ray of baggage, and perhaps a random ETD to deter people with explosives. (OT: I got a random ETD on both my flights in Australia today. ) Use a hand-held wand if there's an alarm on the WTMD. Apply a discrete, professional patdown if that doesn't resolve the issue. That's it. That's all.

And for that matter, that's what the other 199 countries in the world, more or less, do for airport security. And you'll notice that there aren't planes falling out of the sky in Australia or Switzerland or Japan.

The ID check adds nothing to the security process: it doesn't matter what someone's name is. The shoe carnival is pointless; anything that could conceivably be hidden in a shoe could equally be hidden in the mouth or a body cavity. The war on liquids is pointless: the possibility of combining two stable liquids post-checkpoint to create a viable explosive is so remote that it's not worth worrying about. The body scanner is (a) invasive, (b) slow, (c) ineffective (it misses things), (d) inefficient (it has a high false-positive rate) and (e) expensive. And people can steal your stuff while you're standing there with your hands in the air getting scanned. So far it's found lots of pleats, sweat stains, hair clips, zippers, and non-existent "anomalies" and not one actual terrorist threat. Stop it already. Finally, strip-searching elderly women, people with prostheses, toddlers, and - for that matter - anyone else is an over-reaction. Stop it already.

No one here is arguing for no security. There have been previous threads that canvassed this opinion. We just want sensible security, where the action is based on risk, not on some Bruce Willis Hollywood movie plot.
this! ^^^

...and not a miserable experience for any person with or without any sort of disability to worry about or endure.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by RadioGirl View Post
No one here is arguing for no security. There have been previous threads that canvassed this opinion. We just want sensible security, where the action is based on risk, not on some Bruce Willis Hollywood movie plot.
It drives me crazy when the anything for safety people (who probably don't fly) think that people who are against the TSA want no security at all. We still want security, just not the security the TSA currently provides. I would be fine with pre-9/11 with random ETD testing. I could even see using the AIT as a secondary method.

It also drives me crazy when people say there haven't been any attacks since the TSA was established, so they must be effective. The TSA would not have stopped 9/11. The box cutters were permitted items at that time and everybody was told to comply with hijackers at that time too.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 10:28 am
  #90  
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Thanks to those who have responded. That was my question … if not "TSA Today", what is the solution?

You obviously have determined the answer previously on FT.

So … a "lean and mean" and focussed TSA Security process. OK, that's one way ahead.

That presumably allows a British Senior Citizen free passage, because I pose no pre-determined risk? OK, I'm happy with that: I had no plans on changing my religious affiliation anyway, and with my back 40 virgins are no use anyway.

I've never been strip-searched, so my views might change if that happened. Since I put everything metallic on the belt for screening, I don't have a problem: I was never really into the idea of piercings in odd places anyway.

I have been selected for a secondary wanding a couple of times in UK … Oh! The agony and indignity! As I said to the gentleman who did it, "I assume this is the random double-check?". That cost me 10 seconds of my life, and I still have sleepless nights remembering the indignity.

Can you folks understand I'm being both light-hearted and sarcastic? I do hope so.
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