TSA and Barn Doors

The Future of Air Travel?*

If airports had barn doors, TSA certainly would have closed the one in Newark, with great certitude and force, on Sunday. As it is, they simply shut down the entire airport, resulting in the delay of 65 flights and cancellation of another 100—after an unidentified suspicious woman had not only already boarded her flight in Newark, but had also already landed at her destination.

I guess inconveniencing thousands of travelers, with who knows what result—children left without care when a parent failed to return on time; missing the last chance to see a loved one; losing out on an interview that could have been crucial to finally landing a job in the midst of this economic debacle—is of no concern to these Keystone Kops who not only have the power to traumatize innocent victims of sexual assaults with intimate contact, but can shut down the transportation artery on which we all depend as a result of nothing but their own gross incompetence.

As you may recall, the most recent prior such shut-down occurred at New York’s JFK Airport when a TSA agent noticed that his screening machine was unplugged—for nobody knows how many hours.

And in case you’re wondering, the horse—er, passenger—that got away from Newark on Sunday was never identified, and no one knows why she set off the explosives detector. No doubt had she been a terrorist with explosives that had brought down the flight she boarded, TSA would have offered a great excuse, no one would have been fired, and passengers would henceforth be ordered to strip completely as a condition of their “privilege” of flying.


* Image via FOX KPTV, Portland

Mary L. G. Theroux is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute.
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