I don’t know anyone who likes the TSA…except maybe Gloria Allred, for creepy reasons. It’s an organization that costs us taxpayers $7 Billion annually so that we can be stripped, searched, and sometimes prodded so we can feel like we’re safe, as we hurriedly put back on shoes and belts like a one-night stand walk of shame participant.
I put an emphasis on “feel,” because the TSA is rather inept when it comes to serving its purpose. Just over a year ago, Homeland Security “red teams” posed as passengers and attempted to sneak bombs and weapons through. TSA failed to detect the weapons a whopping 95% of the time. If an employee fails to do his or her jobs 95% of the time, they’d be fired post-haste. This logic doesn’t apply to government organizations. In fact, it results in them just getting more money.
But aside from it being a useless waste of billions of taxpayer dollars, there are the horror stories that too often pop up. Complex has a great list of them here, including one where a cancer survivor had to remove her prosthetic breast, a 3 year old had to receive a full body search, and a woman who had her breasts exposed to the public during a search, which the TSA agents laughed about.
But while these are bad enough, the latest nightmare story to come out of the TSA is one that had me fuming.
A teenage girl named Hannah Cohen from Chattanooga had a tumor on her brain stem, and had been making a flight to St. Jude’s hospital for treatment for the better part of 17 years. Hannah, says Channel 3 in Memphis, is partially deaf, blind in one eye, and easily confused. Still, she had succeeded in her fight, and was at the end of her treatment.
When she set off a metal detector at a TSA checkpoint at the Memphis International Airport, TSA agents surrounded her and wanted to do a more thorough search. Hannah, confused and unsure about what was happening, was reluctant to allow them to touch her.
Hannah attempted to escape, and was promptly thrown to the ground where an agent hit her head on the floor. “There was blood everywhere.” said Hannah’s mother, describing the scene.
Instead of celebrating the end of her cancer treatment, Hannah was booked and locked up in Jail East.
The family filed charges on the airport, airport police, and the TSA. Instead of apologizing, or releasing a statement acknowledging that the situation was poorly handled, the TSA essentially blew off the incident by stating “Passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation.”
All I can think about is what would happen if that was my disabled daughter being thrown to the ground, and head smashed against the floor, then hauled off in cuffs, all because she didn’t understand what was happening. Furthermore, all of that was being done by an organization that ultimately useless, and overly authoritative.
I realize that many of the TSA agents are good natured people just trying to do their job, and that for every 2 decent TSA workers there’s that one who thinks he or she is Judge Dredd. But everyone has a story about the one with varying degrees of intensity.
In this instance, the one – or maybe several – hurt a confused girl.
We don’t need this. The TSA is a waste time and money, and only “protects” us from the way we were attacked during 9/11. Should the terrorists learn the screening process – which I’ll remind you fails 95% of the time anyway – then it wouldn’t be too hard to devise new ways to harm us.
All in all the TSA is just a very expensive, harmful show.