Please Remove Your Shoes

June 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Please Remove Your Shoes (2010)Please Remove Your Shoes is a documentary about the FAA and TSA. I mentioned it briefly in my last article. It highlights the time prior to the original 9/11 terrorist attacks, through the creation of the TSA and just afterwards.

What the documentary shows is the abysmal denial of top management to take any action to secure true safety for air travelers. This is a carry over of managers who went from FAA to TSA.

There are a number of whistle blowers who attest to the fact that they tried on many occasions prior to 9/11 to warn top-level people in the FAA that terrorists were going to use planes at some point in a terrorist-planned event. The warnings by these individuals were ignored. When 9/11 occurred, these same managers who ignored warnings claimed they had no idea.

It quickly became apparent to these individuals that if you rocked the boat, you were ignored. If you continued to rock the boat, you were often demoted. Some were even intimidated.

During many tests at various airports, TSA inspectors often focused on minutiae instead of the real problem. For instance, as part of a test, an unloaded gun or “bomb” would be placed in a carry on (inside a box). Of course, there were other objects in the carry on as well and on top of the gun or bomb, a bottle of water would be placed. Too often, the TSA inspector would see the bottle of water, remove it, then allow the carry on to continue on unchecked.

Just this morning, my wife (who is returning from out of town) told me that the guy in front of her had loose ammo in his carry on. You would have thought the world ended. TSA had to call people, check the manual, and general go through a variety of things just to figure out how to handle the loose ammo. There was no gun and ammo by itself is useless, unless of course you use it to throw at someone. You could try to hit the base of it with a hammer, I suppose, but no hammer was found either.

My wife talked to the guy afterwards and he said that he thought it was great that TSA did what they did to keep the public safe. That’s the image they want to project, but I’ve talked to people who have worked in the FAA for years and they laugh at the efforts of the TSA because they know what’s going on behind the scenes. We are not safer. We are merely being seriously inconvenienced.

But then, we need to ask the question whether or not terrorists are going to try to use airplanes again to create another terror event? The answer? Extremely doubtful. As one whistleblower noted in the documentary, the TSA is now trying to keep something from happening that already happened.

Please Remove Your Shoes highlights the fact that the TSA routinely changed things to make it easier for employees. Air Marshalls originally were rigorously tested and had to pass a specific shooting test (the TCP test) to qualify and to remain on the job. It was a very difficult test that allowed little to no room for error. After TSA came on board, their managers could not pass the test so rather than trying to improve their performance, they simply eliminated the test.

The TSA also routinely leaked sensitive information to the public about Air Marshalls. They were to board the planes first and wear suits. As one ex-Air Marshall pointed out, if passengers knew who we were (and they did because they would shake their hands and tell them how much safer they felt), so did terrorists. In fact, it became a running joke among Air Marshalls that they would be the first ones killed by terrorists because their identity was known. At one point, the entire TSA safety manual was accidentally uploaded to the ‘Net.

The other problem is that the surprise checks and inspections were always known to TSA inspectors. Upper management would leak the information to the TSA managers on the ground, at the airports. Why? So they would be prepared and let their people know so that scores would be higher. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

Besides all of this, the TSA has spent billions of dollars on technology that doesn’t work. Machines that are supposed to “sniff” out explosives were about 20 to 30% effective. So, they sit in warehouses while technicians try to figure out what’s wrong.

The problem with the TSA is that it is a severely bloated government agency that only appears to create safety. For all of its activity and movement, it does really nothing to ensure the safety of the flying public. It wastes millions upon millions of dollars and seems to cater to airlines who want passengers to move through security quickly.

When I go to the airport, I know that the people who are in charge of my security are minimum-wage, off-the-street people who have no experience in law enforcement. This makes it a huge joke. We are taking orders from people who have no real world experience with safety protocols. They order us around because they can and even though they look official, they are no more real law enforcement than I am. They have no power to arrest, detain, or even physically hold someone until real law enforcement arrives. In short, they pretend to be people who know what they’re doing and have an air of authority because of their fake (but expensive) badges.

This is truly the case of pretending to be a law enforcement official. If you or I dressed up like that (except for a Halloween party), we would go to jail for illegally impersonating a police officer.

Please Remove Your Shoes is a great documentary. But don’t be surprised if it makes you never want to fly again.

Entry filed under: Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: , , , , , .

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