Thursday, August 11, 2011

End the TSA

Today I toured the USS Constitution, the Navy's longest serving ship (from the early 1800s to today). Because it is considered an active military site, to enter the dock at which the ship was located, all tourists were required to go through security.

In the course of a couple of minutes, literally hundreds of visitors had their ID checked, had their belongings x-rayed, and passed through a metal detector. At any major airport in the US, I cannot guess how many times longer it would take the TSA to process the same number of passengers.

The TSA has an important job to preform in the nation. They screen millions of fliers in order to protect us from our enemies. However, they are civilians, basically trained and put into one of the most stressful positions in the nation. They are like the mall cops of the sky; and this is the reason why infants and wheelchair ridden grandmothers are put in positions where they are evaluated as an equally potential threat as a young man displaying signs of nervousness and unwillingness to interact with others.

The military is trained to perceive potential hostility and nervousness in strangers. They are taught how to spot potential enemies from a group and how to determine what seems to be out of the ordinary. The military's primary job is to defend the US from attack, so why shouldn't they take over for the TSA?

The military already has proven to be one or the most efficient and proficient parts of the government. It seems the rational thing to do would be to relieve the TSA of screening passengers at airports with expanding military personal obligations. This handover of duties would slash screening times, reduce personnel (and therefore costs), and put more expertly trained men and women in the position of protecting the nation from threats that might only be found by a militarily trained official.

The TSA has not allowed another 9/11 to occur on their watch (thank God). Their service and dedication is to be applauded and thanked. However, the same agency has continued to create horrendous delays and cost billions in tax-payer money. I think it's time for the military, a proven security force, to once again answer their call to duty and serve another security role for the American people.

Jeff with current events

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