Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee told a House Homeland Security subcommittee hearing that the passage of a law which allows the nation’s airports to replace TSA screeners with private security personnel could cause a new 9/11-style attack.
Reacting to the Senate’s approval of the measure, which defies attempts by the Transportation Security Administration to block applications from airports attempting to replace TSA screeners, Lee stated, “My comment: we are looking forward to returning to 9/11.”
The Democrat’s statement is of course completely glib, ludicrous and without foundation. Replacing TSA workers with private security personnel will if anything increase the safety of traveling Americans because better trained screeners will be able to concentrate on genuine threats to security, and not 85-year-old women’s colostomy bags, baby’s diapers, and veterans with surgical implants.
Indeed, the TSA has cultivated a reputation of being proficient when it comes to harassing and abusing innocent Americans at checkpoints, while falling down on the job when it comes to missing loaded guns, swords, knives and other weapons.
On top of this, TSA workers have also been caught stealing cash, jewelry and expensive electronic items from travelers’ carry on bags on innumerable occasions.
Replacing TSA workers with privately hired screeners will not eradicate all these problems, but it will certainly be a step in the right direction.
A greater number of Americans will also be more willing to travel in the knowledge that they won’t be treated like criminals and have their genitals fondled by uniformed goons.
“Some airport executives have argued that contract security personnel are more courteous than government workers,” reports CNN. “It was felt that a private contractor would provide friendlier customer service to the traveling public,” the head of a Roswell, New Mexico, airport wrote to Congress.”
Not to be outdone, Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) also waded in with his own stupid remarks in response to the bill’s passage.
“I think if we’re going to start contracting out the security of the flying public, then why don’t we contract out the FBI or DEA or Secret Service or Capitol Hill Police?” he said in an interview.
Costello makes out as if the TSA has been securing the nation’s airports for decades. In reality, the agency has only been in existence for 10 years, and airports were using private screeners for a far longer period beforehand.
“Security is, in my judgment, a function for professional law enforcement officials and should not go to the lowest bidder and that’s what you have when you contract out,” he added.
If Costello believes that TSA screeners resemble anything approaching “professional law enforcement officials,” given the epidemic of criminality that characterizes their behavior, he is living on a different planet.
The passage of the bill now provides America’s 450 U.S. airports that currently use TSA screeners with the opportunity to ditch them in favor of privately hired personnel.
This is undoubtedly a watershed moment in peeling back the executive power grab that has enabled the TSA to become a literal occupying army, running thousands of internal checkpoints at bus depots, train stations, on highways and even at high school prom nights.
The federal agency could also about to be embroiled in another fight. If elected to the 2013 biennial legislature, Texas State Rep. David Simpson has promised to resurrect the Traveler Dignity Act, a bill that would have made invasive TSA groping a criminal offense in Texas.
After a contentious political battle, the bill was eventually defeated last year when the feds threatened to enforce a no fly zone over the lone star state.