Why The TSA (Probably) Doesn’t Give a Fuck: @Vice ‘Terminal Insecurity’ Video


In a Vice produced video, a security researcher demos how to, well, blow up airline security.

Bombs created out of Axe body spray, lighters and toy airplanes; Gun-like contraptions created from magazines, pringles cans and other items you can buy from any convenience store in the terminal.
The how-to is meant to illustrate just how unsafe we are at the airport, despite the uptick in pat downs, body scanners and shoe-less passengers endlessly weaving through serpentine lines.

On its face, this shit is terrifying. Yet the Transportation Service Authority probably doesn’t care.

In a Q&A interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution two years ago, John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and a former deputy director of the FBI, said as much.

(From AJC ‘New TSA chief wants ‘more informed’ screening‘)

I see my job and really TSA’s job as one of really managing risk. So my goal is to ensure that we provide the best possible security for the traveling public but doing it in a way that provides greater scrutiny to those that need greater scrutiny, and so we don’t use a cookie cutter approach for everybody. Right now we use somewhat of a blunt instrument to screen virtually everybody the same away. And my goal is to use intelligence in a more informed fashion so we can apply greater scrutiny to those who need it and keep up with throughput in that fashion.

That’s evidenced through TSA’s efforts with pre-check and general focus on intelligence, it most likely just doesn’t see these type of explosive devices as a priority.

In fact, it’s argued that the longer the lines are at TSA, the more time that under-manned airport security details have to focus on potential threats.

That doesn’t mean that I’m trying to make excuses for the TSA.

But, there are just too many physical holes in an airport to plug. I’d imagine that the TSA would posture that you could create as much chaos on an aircraft with your hands (choking a stewardess to death) as one of the IEDs that Vice displayed.


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