Thursday, November 18, 2010

TSA Officers Are Not Screened for Psychological Problems

“I want to do patdowns on airplane passengers. What would TSA need from me before I have authority to do whatever is required to check people’s pants?”

That’s how my conversation with TSA’s Human Resources department began. I wanted to know how much the Transportation Security Administration vets these low-wage officers before giving them full range — and federal backing — to decide exactly how much to touch airplane passengers before the officers are satisfied with their precautions.

TSA doesn’t require much at all, it turns out. This government agency-gone-wild performs a background check to weed out applicants who are convicted felons, but TSA does not test at all for applicants’ psychological soundness.

These are low-wage government employees granted full authority to touch passengers however they like. There is no indication that TSA agents have selectively abused their authority, but as with all government programs: If there are no checks in place to limit power, authority will be abused. Forget racial profiling; if there no limits to officials’ power, what would stop them from claiming the most attractive powers need a more thorough patdown?

Safety is important. Yet as long as TSA does not test to determine whether agents are psychologically sound, and as long as this runaway government agency has full authority over any person who enters an airport, individuals are not safe from TSA’s propensity to abuse their power.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Pat!

    The TSA's new Program to Examine Random Voyagers (PERV) attracted a lot of slimy characters to work for them - SHOCKING story at:

    Peace! :-)