Take even a casual glance at American airport security and it’s clear that the TSA doesn’t care about passenger safety. Even the name “TSA” stands for “Transportation Security Administration,” having nothing to do with travelers and having everything to do with the objects that transport them; their behavior reflects this through the enigmas that are American Airport Security Checkpoints.
For people that travel outside the USA, American airports are really funny. When I travel in the Philippines – a country which really began having terrorist problems starting right around 9/11. They see a dozen attacks a year and their airports are crawling with security; you can’t even get through the outer doors to check in without showing your ID and ticket at a turnstile. These are actually pretty nifty security devices as they not only stem the flow of crowds but also register information. Check out this turnstile at Daosafe for example. When you’re there you also find yourself having everything x-rayed, and walking through a metal detector. Outside that, where people are arriving and departing, there’s security everywhere. Inside the airport, there’s less security than in the USA. Because they actually have to deal with terrorist attacks, so they actually secure the airport, not just the airplanes.
Let’s Talk About Why We Even Have Security
Americans worry about terrorism, but they really don’t understand terrorism; both of these conditions are based in the same thing: American lack of experience with terrorism.
In the 13 years before 9/11, the USA experienced 16 terrorist attacks, none of which had anything to do with transportation.
In the 13 years after 9/11, the USA has experienced 23 terrorist attacks, none of which had anything to do with transportation.
The reason for this isn’t our best-of-the-best airport security, whose preventative security procedures weren’t much different before or after 9/11. Terrorist attacks have increased 30% since 9/11, but no attacks before or since have been aircraft-related. The reason planes aren’t attacked in the USA is the reason is the same a reason you rarely see airplanes attacked, anywhere: airplanes don’t make very good targets.
Planes are pretty hard to attack, especially from within the plane itself. Outside of smuggling a functioning bomb onto a plane and blowing it out of the sky, which last happened in the USA in 1962, all you’re really left with is hand-to-hand combat. In the last 20 years, there have only been 30 total plane hijackings (attempted or successful), worldwide, out of over one billion different flights. Imagine how hard it would be to hijack a bus full of people. Now imagine it’s ten times the size, twice as cramped, and 30,000 feet in the air. It’s much easier for the angry people we’ve been bombing for decades to try to attack soldiers with IEDs, which is the real reason we’ve got troops deployed overseas: to give potential terrorists local targets, so America stays safe. But that’s a rant for another day.
Despite the fact that airplane security breeches are as uncommon as being bitten by a shark while being struck by lightning, airlines are pretty touchy about the financial implications of the explosion/hijacking of their aircraft, lawsuit settlements, and public relations nightmares.
A new 767 costs $200million; 300 dead people costs $1.8billion. That’s a $2billion loss, before everyone stops flying that airline for a good long time.
It’s something to avoid at all costs and, if possible, avoid completely by putting the entire issue out of your hands. The easiest way to do that is to lobby the government to make that type of safety the government’s responsibility. The airlines said “We’ll comply with that FAA regulation stuff, but that means that same FAA gets to handle airplane security, too.” And that was that.
Here’s How You Know The TSA Doesn’t Care About Passenger Safety
With the lack of actual airport security, even a child can see all the potential points of attack inside an airport. See, the position of the TSA is that they handle airport security, when they actually handle airplane security. While the TSA pretends the security exists for the safety of passengers – they frequently refer to “passenger safety” at the one security checkpoint people must pass through to get to the planes – the safety of people is obviously not a real concern for them (and neither should it be, for us).
Have you ever stopped to think about when you have to go through security at the airport? When security finally cares whether or not you’re a threat?
It’s not when enter into the terminal to check in, where thousands of other people are closely-confined.
It’s not when you need to enter baggage claim, where countless more people than just passengers are crammed together, just waiting like cattle.
The only time the TSA is concerned with a potential threat to “the airport” is when people are going to the airplanes, themselves. The TSA doesn’t care, at all, about the security of baggage claim, check-in, or even the security line itself!
There are as many people standing in line, before security checks them through to the gates, as are on a single aircraft. If someone wanted to kill a few hundred people, that’s a way better (and easier) time to do it than on the plane. That’s why no one blows up planes! The biggest body count of all would be baggage claim, where friends and family await loved ones: if you want to send a scary terrorist message to people, you do that, not blow up a plane! The only reason we have airport security is because airlines are worried about their airplanes and want a way to prevent any blame from coming back at them, if anything were to happen.
But, isn’t that what lawyers are for? I’ve heard that many airlines look for an aviation law firm when they want to learn more about what they can and can’t do when it comes to making sure they’re adhering to the relevant laws. They also come in pretty useful if the airlines have any activities that they want to carry out such as financing for new aircrafts and aviation infrastructure, amongst a large list of other things. It’s always a good idea to make sure that you have the relevant protection because you don’t know when you will need it the most.
That’s why we all think US airport security is a joke. Because it is. Most TSA staff aren’t even employed long enough to have even run a single security drill! It’s all for show, to make passengers feel safer and to help airlines limit their liability (and, originally, to get them to more-easily agree to FAA compliance). The government, too, needed something for the public to look at and say, “Our hero!” after 9/11 because we now know they had other — more important — things in the works.
In the end, it’s things like TrapWire and PRISM that cut the global airplane attack rate in half after 9/11, but those programs were never meant to become public. So we’re left with a Transportation Security Administration tasked with securing American transportation, to make the American public believe that the government has airport security checkpoints for citizens’ safety in the same way that it bombs people in other countries for citizens’ freedom.
Sure enough, despite the obviousness that the TSA doesn’t care about passenger safety, we all happily believe what we are told rather than what we see.
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