Big Picture

Should We Fire the TSA?

After Umar Abdelmutallab nearly managed to set off a bomb on a Christmas Day passenger flight, Gizmodo’s Joel Johnson makes the case to “stop pretending the TSA is making us safer,” by eliminating the federal Transit Security Authority entirely. In the piece, he lambastes TSA airline-security measures—such as banning passengers from having anything in their laps for the last hour of a flight—as inefficient, a waste of taxpayer money, and demoralizing for passengers, calling them a “failure” and a “farce.” Johnson points to such measures as evidence that the TSA “can’t prevent terrorists from getting explosives on airplanes,” and quotes security expert Bruce Schneier as saying, “Only two things have made flying safer [since the 9/11 attacks]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.” Given what Johnson views as the “wildly irrational response” of the TSA to the recent terror attempt, he urges Barack Obama to depart from the agency’s current methods and to divert funding to other programs such as intelligence.