"The Boyd Group" on the TSA Incident


Apparently a "terse" writer
Staff member
\"The Boyd Group\" on the TSA Incident

October 20, 2003

Screener Tests Doctored. Failures At Logan.
Concerned Citizens Expose TSA Incompetence
Time To Say It Again.
TSA Remains A Threat To Aviation Security

Yes, TSA fans, a threat.

It is a total misfire when it comes to making the skies safer. The events of
the past three weeks make it more imperative than ever that Admiral Loy and
his staff be sacked and the TSA completely re-structured. But, forget it.
Congress and the Alphabet organizations that feed off the TSA's political
droppings will defend the agency to the death. Which is just what they did
with the FAA's negligent AVSEC before 9/11. To the death, literally, of
3,000 people.

Untrained Screeners. Missed Weapons. No Plan. Facts are facts, except, of
course, inside the Beltway. The TSA's incompetence cannot be denied. Its
lack of senior management integrity is proven. And by maintaining bad
security, the TSA stands in the way of making airports and air
transportation safer. In a very real sense, the TSA's performance is holding
the door open for future terrorism. We need professional security. What we
have is a bureaucratic Romper Room run by patronage-appointees who have no
compunctions about not telling the truth and whose first mission is to
protect themselves. But it seems the only thing concerning congress is to
make sure that nobody's held accountable when TSA screw-ups are discovered.

In the real world, what's come out about at the TSA over the past six months
makes Watergate look like a minor spat at the local PTA. In Watergate,
nobody got killed. With the TSA, their incompetence is putting great big
bulls-eyes on the air transportation system. The revelations just keep
coming. Screeners hired without proper background checks. Screener tests
doctored to assure the applicants could pass. (That's dishonesty, friends.
Blatant lying that has put unqualified screeners at airports around the
nation.) Repeated breaches of security, including at Boston, which is
supposedly a poster child for the TSA's expertise. (Unfortunately, it is.)
Common citizens finding it easy to get through airport perimeters. Finally
we have the Southwest Airlines incident, where some kid put fake bombs and
box-cutters on at least two aircraft, leaving a note to point out how easy
it was to do.

In short, the TSA is an open-ended mess.

But this isn't the real world. It's Washington, the Fantasy Island of
political correctness, where truth isn't appreciated and the measure of
right and wrong is often based on what connections one has. The Southwest
fake-bomb incident again illuminates what a fraud the TSA really is, yet
congress and the Alphabet groups will ultimately circle their wagons to
protect Loy and his Peanut Gallery empire.

So here's the program: The kid who pulled the Southwest stunt will be
punished. Meanwhile, Loy and his negligent hacks get kudos from the Alphabet
groups for the "great work" the TSA's doing. At some point, even the most
dimbulb TSA supporters will be able to see the truth: This bureaucracy is a
failure, and doing nothing to fix that failure threatens aviation.

Congress Will Now Huff And Puff And... But, rest easy, TSA fans.
Congressional dragons of the fearful likes of Rep. Mica and Rep. Rogers and
Senator Schumer, are on the case. They're going to take action. Real action.
They're calling for, yes, hide the children, the ultimate weapon. That's
right, they want to hold hearings to look into the matter.

"Oh, nooooo, not that," the TSA will respond, dripping with crocodilian
fear. "Whatever you do, don't hold hearings!" The translation comes from an
old Disney kids show: "whatever you do, please don't toss us into the briar

Loy and the TSA know they have more to fear from an outbreak of acne than
from congressional hearings. To get a better picture of just how effective
these "hearings" are, let's all whip out our Funk & Wagnell's and look up
the definition:

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS. Meetings held in big rooms where nobody listens and
speeches are made that say nothing. Also see: Kangaroo Court. Also see: Hot
Air. Also See: Waste of Time. Also See: Communion of Dunces.

Congressional hearing have more protocols than High Tea at Buckingham
Palace. In particular, there are things that the august congress members are
never to say to those who testify, regardless of how true they may be.
Examples of what you'll never hear in a hearing:

"Admiral Loy, exactly who did you fire over the Southwest and Boston
"Admiral Loy, how come airport perimeters are still left wide open?"
"Thanks for the response. Now, would you please answer the question?"
"Where's all the money we gave you last time?"
"How come Admiral Loy ducked out and sent a lackey like you to these
To Robert Johnson (the TSA's former Baghdad Bob) - "Gee, guy, your nose just
grew three more inches..."
Or, what we really need to hear, but won't:
"You should be fired, you politically-appointed moron."

No, straight talk is prohibited. In the case of any hearings on the TSA, the
process is to air the failures, absolve the guilty parties, shift the blame
to inanimate issues such as funding, and maybe hear a congressman or two
perform an angry speech for the C-SPAN cameras. But the cardinal rule is to
never, never, illuminate or embarrass the TSA bozos whose incompetence
continues to threaten the public. Worse, the protocol is to congratulate
them, as Rep. Harold Rogers, R-KY, did last week, telling Loy what a great
administrator he is. Then Rogers went on the record outlining the TSA's
repeated failures. The message was telegraphed to the TSA at the start of
the hearings: Don't worry, it's all for show.

Next, The TSA Groupies Chime In. After the committee members finish
releasing enough hot air to levitate the Hindenburg, and after the TSA gets
done with its varsity line-up of presenters, the hearings typically continue
with the the TSA's rhythm guitar section, a.k.a. the leaders of Alphabet
groups such as the AAAE, a couple of labor unions, and a few other
Washington hangers-on. They read carefully-worded testimony that seems to
denounce poor security, being careful to paint the TSA as the guys in the
white hats. The real point of this silly tableau is for the Alphabets to
line up and show their loyalty to the TSA, expressing their sycophant love,
devotion, and support for the TSA's nincompoop leadership. See, their
political connectivity is based on playing suck-up, and if that means
ignoring the truth, they'll do it in a heartbeat. Being able to schmooze
with top officials, even if they're guilty of near-criminal negligence, is
more important than standing up and demanding security be more than a
political show.

When the dust settles on this hoe-down, the only result is that Loy and his
TSA walk out of the room painted as innocent victims. But the real truth is
that regardless of the PR the TSA's putting out, the facts are clear - we
have screeners that are not qualified, and in some cases not
background-checked. It's easy to get weapons on aircraft. We have no
anticipative security program in place. And there is no accountability for
failure, for negligence, or even for outright dishonesty on the part of the

The events of the past few months keep proving it. We're not safer. We have
a no-account TSA that has created a security system that's a terrorist's

And a security nightmare. Too bad congress, the Administration, and the
Alphabets don't care.

© 2003 The Boyd Group/ASRC, Inc. All Rights Reserved.