5 TSA Workers Fired, 38 Suspended, for Not Doing Their Jobs; No Added Risk to Travelers Says TSA


Psst, if you're a terrorist, don't read this story.

Five Transportation Security Administration workers at Southwest Florida International Airport have been fired and another 38 suspended after an internal investigation found they failed to perform random screenings last year.

The 43, a combination of front-line screeners and supervisors, represent about 15 percent of the roughly 280 TSA employees at the airport. The number of workers involved makes it one of the largest disciplinary actions TSA has taken in its 10-year history, TSA spokesman David Castelveter confirmed.

But travelers and all other people shouldn't worry, because it doesn't really matter that they don't follow procedure:

"It's the random secondary that did not happen," [a TSA spokesman] said. "At no time was a traveler's safety at risk and there was no impact on flight operations."

I'm not sure which is supposed to less of a relief: That gold-bricking workers finally got the heave-ho or that 15 percent of an airport's TSA crew could be goofing off without effecting security. Either way, it seems, we—the tax-paying traveler—lose.

Hat tip: Philippe Lacoude.

Reason on TSA.

ReasonTV's TSA vid playlist. Spoiler alert: Intermittent groping ahead.

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  1. Don’t worry about being in too much grave terrorist danger if you fly from this airport, the AFGE union will have these loads back on the job in no time.

  2. “It’s the random secondary that did not happen,” [a TSA spokesman] said. “At no time was a traveler’s safety at risk and there was no impact on flight operations.”

    Apparently, the “random secondary” searches contribute nothing to security. Pure theater, and the TSA is now on record as confirming it.

    1. It’s an amazing admission.

      1. I think they meant it as ass-covering more than an admission but, yeah, if not doing X doesn’t put travelers at risk what’s the point — other than theater and head count — of doing X.

        1. Make work jobs. Same as 99% of what the govt does.

    2. That was what I took away from the article as well.

    3. So why not fire all of the TSA workers?

  3. “It’s the random secondary that did not happen,” [a TSA spokesman] said. “At no time was a traveler’s safety at risk and there was no impact on flight operations.”

    That is nothing short of awesome. “The lack of an epilogue should in no way have negatively affected your theater-going experience.”

    Maybe the workers were just really randomizing. Like, a few weeks of nothing and then a few months of solid, around the clock secondary screenings.

    1. It’s not our fault, we’re just listening to this random number generator!

    2. They were just giving the terrorists a false sense of security.

  4. In a related story, a large group of TSA workers lamented the lack of attractive women flying through their airport.

  5. *affecting

    (pet peeve)

      1. You ain’t been around long, have you? Because as far a grammar Nazis and reason.com, I’m the least of ’em.

        1. Because as far a grammar Nazis and reason.com, I’m the least of ’em.

          WIth this kind of record, let’s fucking hope so. I have higher expectations for our grammar nazis.

          1. WIth this kind

            No kidding.

            1. When I’m using my smartphone touch screen I don’t really even try any more. I’m happy enough just to be able to hit submit before the message gets lost. Editing is a luxery I save for when I have an actual keyboard.

              1. Which, I believe, is the real point: let’s just get off our high-horse on spelling and grammar.

                If you feel the need to demonstrate that you can speak the King’s English, have at it. But now that texting and IMing have become so mainstream, it’s clear that you have to mess up pretty badly (say, via, auto-spell on your phone) that grammar and spelling obfuscate the actual intended meaning of a message.

                Let. It. Go.

                1. Correcting grammar/spelling isn’t always about being on a high horse. Sometimes the mistake being corrected can generate genuine confusion, and I think this is one of those cases. The author’s sentence is a valid sentence. There is no clear grammatical mistake. But the sentence means something very different from what (we assume) the author actually wanted. Basically, if you have to re-read the sentence and use your context clues to figure out what the author meant, then the mistake is worth pointing out.

  6. I’m not sure which is supposed to less of a relief: That gold-bricking workers finally got the heave-ho or that 15 percent of an airport’s TSA crew could be goofing off without effecting security.

    Nick, I’d like to introduce you to Grammar Girl.

    1. Ima say this one’s in a gray (grey?) area. I mean, little security is being effected — brought about — anyway.

      1. Exactly.

        Whether they are goofing off or not, it doesn’t appear that they are effecting security.

        1. But, according to the article, the fact that they are not effecting security, does not affect security at all.

  7. it doesn’t really matter that they don’t follow procedure

    Exactly. Can we abolish this abomination *now*? Or at least, since we’re at war, start executing treasonous enemy-abettors?

    1. “Homeland” Security, eh? I don’t see anything that says it has to be my homeland. I suggest we send these people to places that really could use some more homeland security. Afghanistan springs to mind.

  8. I got patted down this weekend, flying out of our rinky-dink airport. It was not the erotic odyssey I was led to believe it would be. Me and my unmolested junkular area moped onto to the plane. 🙁

    1. Sorry, man.

      Did you at least get radiated?

      1. Yeah, but my balls already glow int he dark, so what’s the point, you know?

        1. Maybe if you go through judiciously, you can get ’em to glow port and starboard.

          1. Actually, they both click on and off, like the warning lights on a train crossing. If I think about it real hard, I can get them to alternate.

            1. Ding-ding-dingaling!

            2. Ding ding dingaling!

            3. Let’s just hope that the school bus doesn’t stall on the tracks.

              1. Tim, that makes no sense whatsoever. We are trying to have a serious discussion here, Rich and I.

    2. Bluegrass Airport has what I’d call “security.” That said, they definitely do “random” checks.

      1. They also do “random” checks to see if they are on the correct runway.

        Too soon?

      2. I’ve never really had much of a problem with them, but I will note that we have Rapey-scan, and LaGuardia does not. Because Lexington is a hot bed of terrorist activity.

        1. Rape machines? Fuck. That’s another airport I’ll have to bring sanitary wipes to cleanse my jock after being molested by those fuckers.

          I only had one problem at LEX. It was a trip I was traveling with no bags at all. I had a pair of underwear in a cargo pocket and they “randomly” pulled me aside for a pat down. They did the same to a fried of mine who was also traveling sans bags of any sort.

      3. All of the second tier airports take security very seriously compared to the big boys. Try flying through Sacramento or Boise or Duluth and you’d think terrorists were poised to find just one weak link where they could enter the country and wreak havoc with their evil plans. Fly through LA or Dallas or Chicago and see hundreds of TSA agents who are just glad they have a job.

  9. I consider these TSA workers to be heroes. Think of how many people escaped secondary molestation due to their brave inaction. We need more like them.

    1. Yeah, can we build a monument to lazy government workers, who keep the government from inflicting more harm by their dereliction of duty?

  10. Southwest Florida International Airport employs 280 TSA agents?! What is that, Fort Myers? Naples? Orlando or Tampa shouldn’t even have that many agents. I could see Miami APPROACHING that number with all of their international flights, but that is just astonishing…

  11. I want to know how the guy getting his toe scanned got that drink through security.

    1. I think that’s his ticket/boarding pass. He’s bending it, so it kind of looks like a fast food soda cup.

  12. In other news, Al Quaeda announced the termination in Yemen of over 200 terrorist trainees who were found not to be terrorizing anyone.

    1. 🙂

  13. “It’s the random secondary that did not happen,” [a TSA spokesman] said. “At no time was a traveler’s safety at risk and there was no impact on flight operations.”

    So basically they’re admitting that the random secondary screening doesn’t actually do shit to improve security. I guess they do occasionally slip up and tell the truth.

  14. Whenever I go through airport security, it’s amazing how many of the TSA workers are standing around apparently doing nothing. Perhaps there’s something I’m not seeing.

    The private screeners at SFO seem to be a bit better.

  15. Actually this helped traveler security, since it spared many of them from having TSA hands shoved into their butt cracks. Those workers should get a medal.

    Maybe they were Oath Keepers?

  16. RSW has always been my favorite airport. Short lines, fast trips to the gates. Maybe this was why.

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