The TSA is failing, and flailng.
It told Congress last month that it was desperate for money, and running out of people; managers have no ideas about why the agency is hemorrhaging its people, except that they must not be paying enough to crony recruiters and advertisers and, probably, pressgangs that find TSA material in the halfway houses and rehab joints of major metro areas. The Daily Caller:
More than 100 of the Transportation Security Administration’s 48,000 airport screeners quit each week, and whistle-blowers told congressional investigators that “we remain an agency in crisis.”
The personnel losses affect airport screening times across the country.
“Many airports are complaining that TSA is getting worse, not better,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
Is that even possible? Is Chaffetz trying to suggest that, having hit rock bottom, the TSA bums have started deep-shaft mining?
So is the problem not enough accountability? Some of the line dogs think so.
TSA staffers testified Wednesday that senior employees are often not held accountable for misconduct and the TSA office created a hostile work environment by intimidating personnel by abusing integrity testing.
“These leaders are some of the biggest bullies in government,” Jay Brainard, a TSA security director in Kansas, told committee. “While the new administrator of TSA has made security a much-needed priority once again, make no mistake about it, we remain an agency in crisis.”
No surprises there. Although Brainard would go on to surprise us. We’ll get back to him in a few.
One really bad place right now is Chicago. (Well, it’s a really bad place all the time, but now the airports have made even leaving to go someplace better an ordeal). USA Today:
At Chicago Midway, a flier’s video showing an agonizingly long Thursday line at the checkpoint there has gone viral, racking up more than 2.1 million views since it was posted.
“I got to the end, (and) I was like, holy (expletive), people would probably like to see this,” Sean Hoffman says about his video in a Monday story in the Chicago Tribune.
Hoffman says he barely made his 7:50 p.m. flight, despite arriving nearly 3 hours early.
“People were missing their flights,” he tells the Tribune. “I could see some panicked people who had to be somewhere.”
Midway’s the little airport. It was better at O’Hare, right? Uh, wrong:
American Airlines says it rolled out cots on Sunday night because about 450 of its passengers missed their evening flights after getting stuck in long TSA queues.
“Got here two and a half hours before my flight and security took two to three (hours) to get through,” Kevin Revis, a stranded traveler, tells ABC 7 of Chicago.
Things hadn’t improved much by Monday morning, according to ABC 7. The station says “video shot at 5 a.m. Monday shows hundreds of passengers slowly making their way through an hours-long security line in Terminal 3 at O’Hare.”
He waited so long for TSA….
Remember, this is not American Airlines delays. This is not Chicago delays. This is exclusively and solely TSA mismanagement delays. And it’s not like you’re even getting any security for the huge waste of time and money. (Imagine the staggering economic cost of tens of thousands of productive people standing waiting for TSA’s mongs to get smart, which is not going to happen). It’s not just Chicago: in Atlanta, WSB-TV warned travelers to be at least three hours early, because two of them would be spent in the line. The AJC, the local paper, published a Line Delay Survival Guide. In Phoenix, a TSA computer failure sent thousands of passengers on their way without their bags, which TSA then dumped on the tarmac. Even tiny Ketchikan, Alaska has been dealing with three-hour TSA delays.
Funny that this all crops up around the time they’re begging for more money.
One thing that seems universal in these delay stories, too, is TSA managers lying about how long their lines are.
Airports have had it and are considering firing TSA and reverting to contract security. It can’t be worse. Phoenix, Seattle and and Atlanta are now running the numbers. The reason more haven’t done it is that they will continue to have to support some TSA overhead presence — the retired-on-duty upper layers of management, most of them idle double-dippers retired from another .gov job — as well as the contract people. But unlike TSA’s lazy, thieving, groping human crime wave, the contract folks can be held responsible for what they do.
Back to the Congressional hearings, it seems like what Brainard was complaining about was, actually, agents being held responsible for helping themselves to travelers’ stuff. His point was, and we are not making this up, that if the item a passenger lost or had stolen was some de minimis value,
Brainard explained that integrity testing kicked into high gear after a news story came out regarding TSA employees stealing passengers’ expensive items like iPads. The TSA Office of Inspection would send an investigator out to an airport and send through TSA like cash, credit cards, DVDs, etc., and leave it. The federal security director would later get a call to recover the items that were left.
“One of the items that they are notorious for planting in an airport is a pen. They will throw a pen on the floor, let’s say in cue and TSO picks it up and doesn’t turn it in they will fly back out a couple of investigators and they will literally interrogate them and push for resignation or they will propose a removal for theft for a pen,” Brainard testified, noting there was a Transportation Security Officer who picked up a planted pen and threw it in the garbage.
“He didn’t think it was worth any money. It was a $200 Mont Blanc pen.”
“We’ve got people picking up pens, and they are sending out these criminal investigators for non-criminal matters. Oh, and by the way, it’s commonplace for them to threaten people with criminal prosecution,” Brainard said. “They are doing people for pens while you got people at our headquarters that are abusing their staff members.”
That is, indeed, Brainard’s position: TSA agents shouldn’t be fired for just stealing pens. Is there any wonder none of your stuff is safe when you travel by air?
Meanwhile, a member of the committee investigation this caprine reproductive act of an agency has a bleak prognosis:
Oversight Committee Member Florida Republican Rep. John Mica again cautioned, “[TSA Director] Neffenger is well-intentioned. He has tried to correct the situation with more training etc., but TSA can’t recruit. They can’t train. They can’t retain. They can’t schedule. They can’t schedule and it can’t manage the huge bureaucracy that’s been created. That’s part of the problem. And it won’t be corrected.”
You know, one might even conclude that no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. Might he not?
So how stupid are TSA mongs? So stupid that they need an iPad with a “randomizer” app to send people randomly left or right. That’s pretty stupid, just about at the level of brain stem function. But not as stupid as TSA managers, who, unaware that there are many free random binary (aka coin toss) generators for download, spent $1.4 million on the randomizer app.
Wait till they get their PowerPoint bill from Microsoft.