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It's the week before the busiest holiday travel season, and the TSA continues to

prove it is an inept agency in search of a a mission. Department of Homeland Se


curity (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano justifies intrusive policies with simpl
e-minded platitudes "It's all about security," and "everybody recognizing their
role." When did it become the role of a TSA employee to don gloves and grope pa
ssengers?
I doubt most TSA screeners envisioned this part of their job description, and MO
ST don't want to be the groper. What do I and most airline customers want? We j
ust want to visit Mom for Thanksgiving and not be hassled.
But the TSA must be doing a great job since there have been no hijackings since
9-11, right? Wrong. The whole paradigm of how to act if your plane is hijacked
has changed. The "system" taught us for decades to just comply with a hijacker'
s instructions and the plane will land safely in Cuba.
Now, no self-respecting planeload (read cattlecar) of travellers will ever let a
terrorist, a ne'er-do-well, or anybody else take over a plane again. Not withou
t a fight anyway. Bad guys know it, I know it, you know it, but Napolitano and T
SA chief John Pistole are determined to give you and me a choice between the hig
h-tech scanner (think of the ads for xray glasses that accompanied the mini comi
c strip inside the double bubble wrapper), or the low-tech molestation.
Billions of our dollars have been flushed down the drain called "security." It'
s a brilliant strategy by the Bin Ladens of the world if you think about it. Th
ey can't win by force, but they can watch and wave as the United States spends i
tself into more economic woe.
In the weeks following the 9-11 attacks President Bush boldly re-drew the lines
on government organization charts, creating DHS by simply renaming the people al
ready on the job, adding more layers of bureaucracy, and more political position
s.
Secretary Napolitano and Mr. Pistole, your first duty is to respect the Constitu
tion and the dignity of both the travelling public AND TSA employees. Do the bes
t you can within reason, to deter evil-doers. But stop hassling us.