Maybe The TSA Was Always Security Theater

In the midst of the caterwauling freak show that is the Trump administration, sometimes the smaller policy proposals get lost in the shuffle. But this seems interesting (boldface mine):

Security checkpoints would be eliminated at more than 150 smaller U.S. airports under a plan being considered by the Transportation Security Administration. Passengers would instead be screened when they arrived at larger airports after their initial flight.

The idea was first floated by the TSA two years ago and was seen then by critics as a transparent effort to get Congress to spend additional money on the agency…

The proposal raises questions about whether would-be terrorists could penetrate the nation’s air system at the airports lacking screening or commandeer smaller shuttle aircraft and use them to damage buildings or other infrastructure.

In September 2001, two hijackers began their travels in Portland, Maine, in an effort to escape notice. Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari flew on a commuter plane to Boston, where they boarded an American Airlines Boeing 767, took control of the jet in flight and crashed it into the north tower of the World Trade Center, causing the deaths of more than 1,600 people on Sept. 11.

This story is probably right in that this is a negotiating tactic–’give us your money or we’ll let terrorists kill you.’ But what if the TSA proposal is actually…right? Maybe we don’t need security everywhere? Maybe we can slide the security rachet back a notch or two, not because of cost savings, but because the new normal sucks.

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