Last week four screeners for the Transportation Security Administration were arrested at Kennedy and La Guardia airports for stealing money, jewelry and other valuables from checked bags. The agents were caught in a sting operation after a torrent of complaints about luggage thefts. These arrests likely represent only a fraction of the abuses nationwide.
In some ways, the thefts are not surprising. The transportation agency has done an abysmal job of managing its workforce. In June 2003, the agency admitted that it had failed to screen its own screeners and fired more than 1,200 employees after they failed criminal background checks or other internal investigations.
President Bush said in 2002 that the law that created the T.S.A. "greatly enhanced the protections for America's passengers.'' But it takes more than long lines and delays at airport checkpoints to defeat terrorist threats. Is it wise to trust the T.S.A. to make air travel safe when it has a hard time protecting Americans from its own agents?
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Turns out that not only is the TSA not making us much safer while we fly, they are stealing us all blind. From today's New York Times: