TSA Defies Audit and Expands Program

The TSA is supposedly under the authority of others within the Federal Government. That is how it should be because we don’t vote for TSA policies or get to elect the person in charge of them. The TSA is supposed to answer to others because we vote for them.

We already know what happens when a Federal agency becomes a law unto itself. We are witnessing the real-world consequences of the NSA and then the IRS refusing to be held accountable to Congress.

But they are not the only federal agencies misbehaving in that way. It seems likely, though no one is saying so directly yet, that the TSA lied to Congress.

From The Washington Times:

The government’s chief auditor has urged TSA to cut its behavior screening program, but the agency instead quietly expanded it last month on passengers at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

Under the “targeted conversation” checks, which began March 5 and will run through April 28 as part of a test, Transportation Security Administration officers try to strike up conversations with passengers and airport employees in an effort to snoop out would-be terrorists, according to documents obtained by Democrats in Congress.

But those Democrats said TSA’s behavior detection programs are a waste of money, have failed to screen out suspected terrorists and violate the rights of regular passengers.

Even worse, the lawmakers said, TSA officials may have misled members of Congress about how they would use the expanded checks.

“This [program] represents an intrusion into the privacy of the flying public through a process TSA has not scientifically validated,” the lawmakers said in a letter signed by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, joined by three other high-ranking Democrats.

Personally, I would consider it more of an intrusion if the process had been “scientifically validated.” But we can put that issue aside for the moment and ask why the TSA is acting like an autonomous kingdom that sets its own policy?

The TSA is a tax-fed organization. We fought a war over the principle that there should be no “taxation without representation.” But if the TSA is no longwe answering to Congress, then we have no representation in the TSA. They are a tyranny.

As far as I can tell, the TSA is trying to develop a form of national security theater that inspires less resistance and anger than the nudie-scanners and the pat downs. Congress has realized that the “behavior screening” does not work. They don’t understand why the TSA wants to use it.

They want to use it because the TSA has always been theater. They want to do something that allows them to claim they’re keeping us safe.