Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Jason Harrington is a former Transportation Security Administration agent who spent years doing stupid, degrading things to passengers because his superiors demanded it. He deserves credit for blogging about his experiences even before leaving TSA, and for eventually coming clean under a byline.

You can read Harrington’s lengthy account for Politico of how TSA agents routinely behave:

  • They target beautiful women for pat-downs.
  • They target passengers for “random” security checks not because they manifest themselves as security risks but merely for saying something that rubs them the wrong way.
  • They perform all kinds of often humiliating “security” measures that they know are pointless.

All this by routine.

When the multi-million-dollar, ineffectual body scanners were in regular use, agents laughed it up over bodily defects exposed by the scans that they review in a separate room. These scanners weren’t even good at detecting guns or plastic explosives. The problems with them were known even as they were being installed.

All history attests that when people are given petty power to abuse others as “part of the job,” they use that power (and virtually every ordinary use of power in such a context must also be an abuse of it). Employees who refrain are, obviously, “not doing their jobs,” and get fired. So who’s left?

Those who enjoy that sort of thing, or at least assent to it.

So let’s not give anybody this kind of power. We can start by shutting down the TSA.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    The government has no authority under the Constitution to operate the TSA nor to authorize them to search Americans.
    The airlines can, as private companies, set any kind of requirements they desire for people to ride on their planes. Having the government in the loop allows airlines to illegally duck the liability and the security operating costs.

  2. Jay says:

    If there was NOT so much PC, AND PROFILING WAS ALLOWED, I think that there would be less problems. Note, El Al, the Israeli airlines, routinely use profiling, and they have one of the, if not the, best records of not having planes hijacked; shootings, etc. (I believe the last El Al hijackings were in the 1960’s).

    yes, innocent people who fit the profile might be inconvenienced, but better then being dead, along with other innocent people. My views

  3. Jay says:

    As to Drik’s comment–at the time the Constitution was written, there were no airplanes; and as to other areas and views of the Founding Fathers-in the 1770’s, it took months to cross the ocean. Now it is hours. There has to be modifications and allowances for changing times and technology.

  4. Drik says:

    Private companies can set whatever rules they want.
    The government can’t.
    The government does a lousy job at almost everything it does and has no competition, therefore no consequences, therefore becomes courrupt.
    That hasn’t changed in 250 years.

  5. MoreFreedom says:

    If there is a good example of Republicans who don’t respect the Constitution, it would be those in the Bush administration and Congress who voted to create the TSA.

    If they had respected freedom, then they would have given the airlines the capability to deny travelers a ticket if they refused to allow their bags or person to be searched, and the airlines would be doing their own searches. Some with more and some with less, letting the market figure out the right balance of security vs. inconvience and embarassment of being searched. And they’d allow the airlines to profile as well.

    But instead, they decided a solution with more government, not less, was better. Less government would mean transportation providers doing their own security, without government prohibiting it.

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