The Transportation Security Administration has taken quite a beating in the news cycle so far this year. In late April, screeners were caught taking bribes to allow drugs to pass through Los Angeles International Airport. Recently, a 4-year-old was detained, yelled at, patted down and otherwise terrorized for hugging her grandmother, who hadn't completed screening yet.
In April, the TSA made us safer by terrorizing a 7-year-old with cerebral palsy. CBS DC reported that Dina Frank cannot use metal detectors because she walks with crutches and leg braces. The thorough pat-down of the 7-year-old caused the family to miss their flight.
No doubt such incidents will prompt people to call for the TSA to be streamlined, for the administration to adopt "new procedures" or for other Band-Aids that will create the illusion of decisive action.
This is insufficient. The TSA should not be streamlined. Administrators should not "review screening procedures." Screeners don't need additional training. The TSA doesn't need to be tweaked. It didn't "go too far" in these specific instances. Its very existence goes too far. The TSA never should have been created in the first place, and it should be abolished now. Immediately. Without hesitation.
The TSA's existence is an assault on American liberty and simple human dignity, as anyone who has had his or her genitals touched during an "enhanced pat-down" can tell you. Some still say we should be willing to trade off a little bit of liberty in order to get security, but this is a false trade-off. The TSA does not provide security. It provides what security expert Bruce Schneier calls "security theater." The TSA only exists in order to give people the illusion of safety. Someone in an airport somewhere in the U.S. is being subjected to an unreasonable search by a gloved TSA screener right this minute. The cruel irony is that he or she is being stripped of liberty and dignity and is being made no safer for it.