Charles Engelke's Blog

August 13, 2005

The TSA Making Sense?

Filed under: Personal — Charles Engelke @ 12:08 pm

I never thought it was possible! But an article in today’s Washington Post (registration or bugmenot required) shows them apparently thinking about actual security instead of security theater. The new TSA head (Edmund S. “Kip” Hawley) told his staff to review air security screening procedures, and on August 5, they responsed very sensibly:

The staff’s first set of recommendations, detailed in an Aug. 5 document, includes proposals to lift the ban on various carry-on items such as scissors, razor blades and knives less than five inches long. It also proposes that passengers no longer routinely be required to remove their shoes at security checkpoints.

Hawley still has to approve it, and might fall back on the typical bureaucratic impulse to never change anything because that way you can’t be blamed. But there seems to be a chance he’ll stick his neck out to make security screening less obnoxious and more effective.

More effective? But you’re reducing screening, so how can that be? Simple: all those resources now spent looking for scissors and Swiss Army knives that can’t actually threaten a plane in any way aren’t looking for the real threats. Now that cockpit doors are closed and strong, that means bombs, not knives.

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