TSA’s latest move is a puzzler

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Transportation Security Administration, commonly known as TSA, was created in the weeks following 9/11, and when it came into being, few questioned the need for such an agency.
In the more than 11 years since, the agency has made its fair share of questionable moves, perhaps none more so than the recent announcement that the TSA will again allow small pocket knives and other potentially dangerous item to be carried onto airplanes. The move, understandably, has been met with much criticism.
Criticism is nothing new to the agency — almost every new security measure is met with outcries from the traveling public. But the outcry usually dies down after a while because Americans have seen first hand the devastating effects safety breaches can produce.
And that is what makes this latest move so puzzling.
Still in place are restrictions on the amount of liquid that can be brought onto an airplane because of an ill-conceived and botched attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas day in the skies over Detroit in 2009. Another similarly botched attack now has every traveler removing his or her shoes as they pass through security.
But perhaps the most controversial security move has been the introduction of screening machines that virtually allow TSA workers to see travelers naked.
Yet despite the outcomes of these various breaches, the TSA has decided to allow items similar to those used by the 9/11 hijackers back aboard.
And it is exactly this seeming lack of logic, allowing knives but not bottles of water aboard aircraft, that has made the general public react with cynicism and even outrage at just about every move made by the TSA.
No one argued against the need for increased airport security in the wake of 9/11, but it is exactly moves such as this that have made many wonder if air travel is indeed any safer or if the next attack may be just around the corner.