Our patience with the TSA is almost up

Ints Vikmanis / Shutterstock.com
Ints Vikmanis / Shutterstock.com
Let’s give the Transportation Security Administration one last chance.

After the release of a Government Accountability Office report that revealed widespread TSA employee misconduct, including screeners involved in theft and drug smuggling, public sentiment is squarely on the side of a top-to-bottom overhaul that could privatize or dismantle the agency assigned to protect America’s transportation systems.

But today, just a few days after the 9/11 anniversary, is not the time to talk about the end of the TSA. This is the moment to take account of the failings of one of America’s least-loved agencies, and to say: Our patience has its limits; it’s almost up.

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The TSA as we know it is dead — here’s why

If you don’t believe the TSA is doomed after watching yesterday’s House Aviation Subcommittee hearing, then you’ll have to at least agree that the agency as we know can’t continue to exist as it does.

For starters, TSA Administrator John Pistole refused to testify before the committee on the innocuous subject of “common sense” improvements to America’s airport security, reportedly because the committee has no jurisdiction over his agency. (That’s odd — I always thought Congress funded the federal government, but maybe I wasn’t paying attention during government class.)

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Is this the only way to change the TSA?

Here’s a question everyone should be asking after last week’s stunning verdict against Andrea Abbott, the Nashville mother who tried to stop TSA agents from patting down her teenage daughter: Where do travelers turn when they have a legitimate grievance against the agency charged with protecting America’s transportation systems?

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Is the TSA worth saving?

TSA: End it -- or mend it? / Photo by jurvetson - Flickr
If you’re upset by the TSA’s clumsy efforts to protect us from airborne terrorists — and let’s face it, who isn’t? — then you may have missed the good news last week.

Big changes could be coming to America’s least favorite federal agency.

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TSA reform is high on legislative agenda for 2011

Washington may be about to offer air travelers who are frustrated by the Transportation Security Administration’s new screening techniques a little relief.

Several initiatives to reform the beleaguered TSA will be on the legislative agenda when the 112th Congress convenes on Jan. 3., according to experts.

Perhaps the most high-profile of the proposed bills is Ron Paul’s American Traveler Dignity Act of 2010, which would deny immunity to any federal employee who subjects a person to any physical contact or scanning.

“Enough is enough,” Paul, a Texas Republican, told Congress when he introduced the bill last month, adding that federal employees should be held to the same standard as everyone else, when it comes to touching another person.

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