Former TSA Head Says Airport Security Searches Largely A Waste

If you think that security searches for pen knives and razor blades is a waste of money and your time, you have agreement from the man who should know: The former administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.

“More than a decade after 9/11, it is a national embarrassment that our airport security system remains so hopelessly bureaucratic and disconnected from the people whom it is meant to protect. Preventing terrorist attacks on air travel demands flexibility and the constant reassessment of threats. It also demands strong public support, which the current system has plainly failed to achieve,” former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley wrote for the Wall Street Journal.


“The crux of the problem, as I learned in my years at the helm, is our wrongheaded approach to risk. In attempting to eliminate all risk from flying, we have made air travel an unending nightmare for U.S. passengers and visitors from overseas, while at the same time creating a security system that is brittle where it needs to be supple.”

Hawley’s main point is that TSA inspectors are searching for items that could be used to gain entrance to the cockpit. But the cockpit doors have all been reinforced with steel and no one is going to force their way in with a penknife.

Instead of worrying about banned items – many of which TSA inspectors miss anyway – Hawley, who served from 2005 to 2009 – says TSA inspectors should be given wider latitude and spend their time doing random searches, looking for actual weapons, and interacting with passengers.

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3 Comments on "Former TSA Head Says Airport Security Searches Largely A Waste"

  1. totally agree !!! the enemy has and is figuring out how to beat the system,as for every day people it is another form of control ,if you desensitize the public you can control them better,i think the public is finally figuring this out,better late than never….plus i think it has only caused more problems,who IS really watching the security workers and how can you really trust them,you do not know who is who any more ,especially in this day and age where right is wrong and wrong is right ,i could go on and on ,but i think my point was made….

  2. Willa Nemetz | April 17, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    I flew back to Hartford from Phoenix last week. A small jar of jam was confiscated from my carry-on. Fair enough: I should have packed it in my checked baggage. However, once I got on the plane I noted four women knitting. How is it that knitting needles were allowed? Seems to me they could do a lot more damage than jam!

  3. my point!!!! whoops only word i could think of !!!!

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