Is the TSA Really Listening to Us, Or Just Waiting Us Out?

| November 21, 2010 | 4 Replies

The TSA has been under a lot of heat recently as travelers have told story after story of abuse — and there really is no other word to describe a system that leaves a cancer survivor weeping and soaked in his own urine — at the hands of those who work for us. TSA Administrator John Pistole has remained adamant, even as late as this morning, that his agency will continue the invasive searches, even if doing so results in the humiliation of small children and women with prosthetic breast implants, or the arrest of otherwise harmless citizens (who, admittedly, may have been out to make a point).

That all may change, though. According to a statement from Pistole reported by Politico this afternoon, the invasive searches could be on their way out (via rdbrewer). Perhaps.

We welcome feedback and comments on the screening procedures from the traveling public, and we will work to make them as minimally invasive as possible, while still providing the security that the American people want and deserve. We are constantly evaluating and adapting our security measures, and as we have said from the beginning, we are seeking to strike the right balance between privacy and security.

This may be a genuine reaction or it could simply be a political smoke screen. It wasn’t all that long ago that DHS Secretary Nepolitano told us, essentially, to suck it up. The TSA is getting cover from inside the Democratic Party, most notably from Senator Claire McCaskill, who called the searches “love pats”. The public has yet to truly engage on the issue, though, and it’s entirely possible (and, as you can guess, it’s my suspicion) that the TSA thinks it can wait out the furor that, at this point, mostly lives on the Internet. Then again, perhaps the reports of public approval is premature.

We’ll have to see, as we enter the busiest month for airline travel, whether the TSA thinks this is a real problem it needs to address with real changes or if they’re just blowing smoke.

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Category: The Long War Here At Home

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