Congress Passes Law Requiring Unneeded Maintenance Of Airport Security Machines
Anthony Kimery, Editor In Chief of Homeland Security Today, described a Homeland Security Department audit two months ago by writing that, “US airline passengers appear to have been in potential jeopardy to terrorist attacks for nearly a decade ‘because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not properly been managing the maintenance of its airport screening equipment.'”
Let’s unpack that statement.
For nearly a decade, airport security machines have not been maintained in full working condition according to manufacturers’ specified procedures.
Despite the lack of what the manufacturers say is necessary maintenance of the airport security machines, there have been absolutely zero terrorist attacks that took place in the United States because of failures in airport security.
A) The supposedly substandard maintenance of airport security machines as it has been practiced for the last decade has actually been effective; or
B) We don’t need airport security machines to protect us.
You know what Congress did in response to the audit, of course. They passed H.R. 2770 yesterday. It’s a new law requiring the Department of Homeland Security to develop a plan for following the plan of maintenance that it was already supposed to follow, but proved to be unnecessary – and not one member of Congress had the guts to vote against the silly bill.
In Australia, the direct cost to travelers of unnecessary airport security is estimated at about two billion dollars per year – and that’s not counting items lost and confiscated by security agents, nor the salaries of those security agents, nor the cost of their equipment – or its maintenance. Who knows how much expense is being caused by airport security in the United States?
Back in September of last year, professors John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart gave it a shot. They calculated that, for U.S. spending on Homeland Security to be cost effective, there would have to be 1,667 attempted terrorist attacks in the United States every year. “In an important sense,” they write, “the most cost-effective counterterrorism measure is to refrain from overreacting.”