The TSA will protect us from terrorists! Or so we’re told. What happens when the terrorists just attack the security line itself? Maybe we need a security checkpoint to get into line to go through the security checkpoint.
Jesse Walker from Reason explains:
Since 9/11, the emblem of airport safety has been the security line. Hordes of travelers queue up with their carry-on baggage, and everyone is scanned for bombs and guns and knives and GI Joe toys and large tubes of toothpaste and other tools of terror. Then they can head to their departure gates feeling secure.
Those screeners don’t do a good job of catching actual weapons when undercover officers smuggle them through as a security check. (When such tests were conducted last year, the TSA had a failure rate of 95 percent.) But even if the system perfectly protected the planes and gates from attackers, critics have regularly raised another question: Couldn’t a terrorist target the line itself? Or, more broadly, the vast area on the pre-entry side of the security perimeter?
That’s what happened today in Brussels, where one of this morning’s attacks killed at least 14 people at an airport departure hall and injured many more. Someone could certainly do the same thing in the U.S. So what do you do then? Move the queue outside? That merely moves the target again. If an ISIS sympathizer or a neo-Nazi or a neo-Weatherman or just your average alienated asshole of the Adam Lanza variety decides to attack at the curbside instead, there’s not much to physically stop him.
Just remember next time you are waiting in line to be molested by the TSA how completely pointless the whole charade really is. The government has poured billions of dollars into tricking us, and by and large people have accepted it as legitimate. Maybe now we’ll wake up and recognize the truth.
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