While most Transportation Security Administration employees are busy groping people or taking naked pictures of them, the cops say one of those employees was putting fliers' electronics down his pants.
The Broward Sheriff's Office says 30-year-old Nelson Santiago stole around $50,000 worth of electronics over the past six months from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's Terminal 1.
Again folks, these are the people who allegedly are responsible for our "security." This is a "good program" and has "caught many people who intended to do bad things" (although the government won't tell us how many, what things, or who was caught, of course. Nor, I might add, can I seem to find all these alleged federal prosecutions for all these bad things either..... I wonder why that is?)
For all those iPads and laptops that were stolen? Too bad - for you, the traveler that is.
Incidentally, it was exactly this issue - the refusal of the TSA to accept liability for my luggage from the time they receive it until I debark on the other end - that led me to originally call the post-9/11 "security enhancements" utter and complete crap.
The problem is evident to anyone who has more than two firing neurons in their head. You cannot claim that we are "more secure" when the very agency that claims to keep us secure will not guarantee, in writing and without limitation, that whatever you hand them on one end of a journey will be returned to you unmolested on the other with precisely the same contents it had when you gave it to them, when the entire period of time is spent in a "sterile" area under their supervision.
Such an assurance is made every day in criminal courts across this nation when it comes to police evidence lockers. And when it is violated, convictions are routinely unavailable with good reason - without the integrity of evidence the case against a person is nothing more than "He did it - I swear!"
Many years ago I flew into Las Vegas for a technology confab (Networld/Interop) and had my suit bag containing two Hickey Freemans' shredded to ribbons by the wonderful baggage handlers. The airline refused to pay for the damage, despite it clearly being their responsibility, and I was forced to buy a $1,500 suit and pay for "emergency" tailoring at the forum shops in Ceasar's so I could proceed to my meeting in the morning. I was not amused. Anyone who has spent the amount of time in the air that I have over the years has some sort of similar story where something of theirs has been either lost without a trace, pilfered or destroyed.
But today it's even worse. We've always had to contend with mishandling and idiocy in the airlines when it comes to luggage.
But theft is not an accident or idiocy - it is a crime, and a serious one.
The question nobody wants to ask, even though it's the obvious one, is this: If a TSA employee can open up bags and steal iPads and other electronics, then successfully get them out of the terminal without getting caught to fence/sell after committing the act, he can also get a bomb in through exactly the same procedure and put it in your bag, blowing you and everyone else on that plane to bits.
So not only are you told to consent to being groped, your 90+ year old grandmother can't wear an adult diaper through a checkpoint without being harassed and effectively strip-searched for 20 minutes, but in addition to the rank violations of the 4th Amendment TSA employees commit acts that make clear they could easily be bribed to stick an explosive device in your bag, killing you and everyone else on board.
This crap - all of it - stops the day you refuse to fly.
It's time to refuse and snap your wallet shut.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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