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    TSA Tag

    It's been too long since we talked about how TSA is easily one of the worst government agencies in existence, but this story is a great reminder. A forty-two-year-old mom with breast cancer said she felt 'violated' after TSA agents attempted a body cavity search in public at the Los Angeles airport. Her crime? She informed agents she was traveling with a medical cream in her bag, like she had done numerous times before without issue. In order to continue traveling with the cream, she had to suffer a pat down 'with pressure', said the agents. Denise Albert notified TSA of her chemo port in advance. They made her remove her shoes (treatment caused sores on her feet) even though she's a PreCheck flyer, she removed her wig so they wouldn't ruin it, and blue-gloved agents insisted on feeling up her port to "clear the area".

    I hate the TSA. HATE. My disdain for the tax-payer funded, blue-gloved, theater players has been well documented throughout the years. This though... this is a new low. Last summer, 19-year old Hannah was headed home from her last brain tumor treatment when she set off a metal detector at a TSA security checkpoint in Memphis. What should have been a celebration resulted in a night in jail. Her parents have filed suit.

    Last fall, Kemberlee Kaye reported on the continued incompetence of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and suggested that a smart presidential candidate should add become a “strong proponent of defunding the TSA.” Now, as one party has a presumptive nominee and the other is still fighting over the matter, it turns out that things have already changed at the TSA! Changed as in gotten far, far worse, as airlines report that some 4,000 passengers have missed flights at O’Hare Airport because of the long wait times since February, and there have been reports of screening hold-ups, delayed baggage transport, and difficulties at many other airports.

    As Americans begin counting down to the beginning of 2016, the Transportation Security Agency is beginning its own countdown for its enforcement of Real ID Act Rules. Starting January 10, Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Washington would be out of compliance with requirements for state-issued driver's licenses used as identification at airports. Despite the deep concerns about privacy and fears over potential misuse of the national database that is to be created from information collected during the license compliance process, the TSA is now going to strong-arm states to comply.
    ...The federal government cannot force states to adopt these identification standards, but it can gain compliance in other ways. In October, it began requiring that visitors to military bases, nuclear plants and federal facilities produce a driver’s license from a state that complies with the law, or show another form of government ID, like a passport.

    The TSA is terrible. Probably one of the worst organizations we pay for. Even worse is that collectively we've decided to tolerate wandering barefoot through nudey scanners and randomized government sanctioned, blue-gloved molestation. Evidently, there exist those who still believe putting mascara in a plastic zip-loc bag makes it less terroristy. Enter College Humor. In one of their latest videos, they challenge the misconception that TSA fulfills its sole raison d'etre -- stopping terrorist attacks.

    I hate the TSA. Hate, hate, hate. Not just because they reached into my purse while I was waiting to board a plane. And not because they've lectured me about tooth paste on five, yes -- five separate occasions. My hatred of TSA is not even a result of their oft pervy-handed ways. I hate the TSA because they're painfully incompetent. Last week, the acting head of the TSA stepped down after a, "news reports that undercover security agents had penetrated airport security on 67 occasions," according to the Washington Post. That amounts to a 96% failure rate. As if a 4% screening success rate wasn't bad enough, a new audit found the TSA accidentally hired 73 workers who were listed on their own terror watch list. "This is totally unacceptable... we need to revamp the TSA process," said Texas Representative Michael McCaul in an interview with Fox News. "Most importantly, it puts Americans at risk."

    Last week, an Inspector General report revealed that the TSA failed to flag over 70 airport workers with ties to terrorism. Auditors found that, although the TSA employs procedures to check employees for potential red flags, the agency was not using the complete terror watch list in its screenings. Another study revealed last week showed that screeners missed a staggering 95% of fake bombs and other banned items that undercover federal agents attempted to smuggle through security. Today, a Senate committee played host to TSA whistleblowers who offered testimony that should make any traveler's skin crawl:
    Earlier, Rebecca Roering, an assistant TSA federal security director at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the agency suffers from low morale. She said this is in part the result of agency leadership, composed of too many former commercial airline executives “placing more emphasis on customer service and passenger wait times than on security and detection rates.”

    That's pretty much the evidence presented in this article by a former TSA employee, Dear America, I Saw You Naked: And yes, we were laughing. It starts with the absurd:
    I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying. Once, in 2008, I had to confiscate a bottle of alcohol from a group of Marines coming home from Afghanistan. It was celebration champagne intended for one of the men in the group—a young, decorated soldier. He was in a wheelchair, both legs lost to an I.E.D., and it fell to me to tell this kid who would never walk again that his homecoming champagne had to be taken away in the name of national security.... I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.
    .... and goes on to the disgusting:
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