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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.

Therefore, either:

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.”

One thought on “Congress Passes Law Requiring Unneeded Maintenance Of Airport Security Machines”

  1. Bruce Nappi says:

    J,
    Furthermore, there haven’t been any other “terrorist” attacks of the type the TSA is screening for outside of airports either. My conclusion is that the true terrorists are just sitting back making fools out of US.. If they are planning something, they will just avoid the places the U.S. is protecting.

    This is not the first time the U.S. has addressed a terrorist problem. But people who won’t take the time to understand history are stuck repeating it. To actually be “SAFE” there are a huge number of places that we would need to defend. If we put walls and guards in all these places, what we’d discover is that we created a country that looked like the inside of a prison (which isn’t far from the case of visiting government buildings.)

    This problem was understood 200 years ago when the U.S. was being attacked by another form of terrorism: PIRATES! Our forefathers, who obviously were a lot smarter than we are, realized it was impossible to achieve safety by defending everything. They found out trying to build forts everywhere. Way too costly. They also realized that those causing the direct terror on our shores were small in number. So, what did they do? They declared war on the terrorists – but in an intelligent way. They got EVERY OTHER COUNTRY to join that war, and the terrorists were destroyed. That’s why, U.S. citizens today have so many structures without walls, fences and guards. We should learn from this. As much as it may cost to destroy the terrorists, it is way less costly than defending against them. And our actions in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are precisely the WRONG way to do it.

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