50% of the TSA’S Em­ploy­ees Have Been Ac­cused of Mis­con­duct

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Air­port travel is less fun these days. The TSA is mak­ing it worse.

If you fly com­mer­i­cal air­lines any­where in the U.S., you have seen them and ex­pe­ri­enced the silly rit­u­als they im­pose on pas­sen­gers in the name of se­cu­rity.

Take off you shoes so they can be X-rayed. There might be a bomb in your shoes. Don’t carry more 3.4 ounces of any liq­uid, in­clud­ing salsa or yo­ghurt for your lunch.

Don’t ques­tion the agents — the Con­sti­tu­tion does not ap­ply in an air­port or wher­ever else there might be TSA agents. You are al­ways un­der sus­pi­cion for be­ing a ter­ror­ist — es­pe­cially if you are a young child or a lit­tle old lady in a wheel chair.

Don’t com­plain when you are ex­posed to harm­ful ra­di­a­tion from their scan­ners or the agents line up to view the re­veal­ing scans of your gen­i­tals. Don’t worry when an agent cops a feel of your pri­vates.

Wel­come to sur­real and in­sane TSA-LAND where the lo­cals are not quite wor­thy of our re­spect and more of a threat to our se­cu­rity than nearly all of the pas­sen­gers

Half of them mis­be­have, prob­a­bly more act un­pro­fes­sional on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The statis­tic is some­thing no or­ga­ni­za­tion would be proud of. Out of 30,000 em­ploy­ees and dur­ing the years 2013 to 2015, 15,385 of the 30,000 Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TSA) em­ploy­ees have been ac­cused of mis­con­duct: 6,195 have two com­plaints, 2,778 have three, and a whop­ping 2,480 have four or more.

True, they do not re­ally have much to do. Not usu­ally, any­way. Most of the time they are scan­ning your car­ryons for po­ten­tial bad stuff, star­ing at IDS and pass­ports, and mak­ing sure no­body sneaks on the plane with a large tube of tooth­paste.

So it is bor­ing work. But it is a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar agency, and one would think the most such te­dium would cause is a few TSA agents fall­ing asleep on the job ev­ery now and then.

Far from it, how­ever. Be­tween charges of in­ap­pro­pri­ate pat-downs, hope­lessly slow lines, con­fis­ca­tion of per­sonal goods with no due process, and out­right theft (with sev­eral rings of TSA agents lift­ing some of the good stuff peo­ple put in their carry-ons dur­ing a “‘ran- dom search”’ ac­tu­ally trig­gered by what they saw in the X-rays), the TSA is on its way to a record of mis­be­hav­ior that goes be­yond that of al­most any other fed­eral agency. (Congress is the lone ex­cep­tion, but that or­ga­ni­za­tion does not gen­er­ally keep track of its mis­be­hav­ior.)

And it is get­ting worse. Al­le­ga­tions of TSA mis­con­duct have gone up by 29% over the last three years. Strangely, how­ever, open in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the charges have gone down by 15% dur­ing the same three years. Which, be­cause the bad things hap­pen­ing are not looked at, means even more unchecked bad be­hav­ior is go­ing to hap­pen.

Why the TSA will not in­ves­ti­gate the prob­lems in its own camp is es­pe­cially strange. The agency claims the right to have com­plete con­trol over its poli­cies, as well as the abil­ity to block out­side re­quests for in­for­ma­tion, and it uses the ex­cuses that they must re­view case files man­u­ally be­fore turn­ing them over to out­side watch­dogs. All of which means that even when con­gres­sional over­sight over an agency like the TSA is not war­ranted, and even with thought­ful, well-mean­ing staffers driv­ing the over­sight, the data is just not avail­able.

So the truth about the TSA stays hid­den, ex­cept for the top-level count­ing of cases of al­leged mis­con­duct by its em­ploy­ees. This is not how gov­ern­ment is sup­posed to work.

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