Why One Security Expert Chooses NOT to Fly
By J. R. Roberts, Security Strategies LLC
I fly an average of 40 segments on commercial airliners each year. Like most Americans, I have watched with increasing alarm and dismay the disjointed, draconian and ineffective "security" measures put in place by the inept powers to be at the TSA.
Unlike most Americans, I have spent the last 35 years of my adult life training security personnel and assessing security weakness and vulnerabilities across the United States and for a wide variety of environments.
On October 20th I was subjected to the new "pat-down" procedure not once-but twice prior to boarding my flight. The TSA officer who conducted the pat-down obviously had no prior experience conducting a physical search. While reciting a memorized list, the guard ("officer" implies a degree of training and professionalism) failed to make eye contact with me once, never listened to my responses to his questions, never observed my body language.
At the conclusion of the examination, a supervisor stepped in and told him to "do it again" which he proceeded to do, while a third TSA representative removed my wallet from my pocket and walked away with it without a word. When I turned to see where the guard was taking my wallet, I was told to "keep my eyes front". When I informed them I wanted to keep an eye on my wallet I was told "nothing has ever gone missing". Remember the date? October 20th? In less than an hour, the news would report multiple indictments of TSA representatives including a supervisor for theft.
Capricious searches that have no foundation in either intel or observed
behavior continue as crying children, embarrassed nuns, and humiliated
senior citizens are subjected to clumsy, painful poking and prodding
with no defined or discernable value by improperly trained guards while
the overwhelming volume of luggage and cargo is loaded into the belly
of the plane without evaluation, review, or inspection.
The TSA continues to ignore the advice of experienced security experts like Rafi Ron with a proven track record for making airports and airliners safe and secure. Indeed, when I spoke at length with the TSA supervisor after my free medical exam, I was stunned to discover that he had never seen a presentation by Ron or any other number of experts who had practical experience in operating effective, incident free airport facilities.
The myriad "holes" in current airport security are glaringly obvious to a trained professional and it would be unethical and improper for me to list them here. Suffice it to say, that current measures implemented by the TSA are "eyewash" security ie: measures that have little or no real or substantive value, but are rather, intended to reassure an uninformed public that all is well.
A comprehensive "tiered" approach to security is critical in order to protect the perimeter, exterior and interior of our transportation hubs, as well as reasonably reducing the probability of a terrorist event in flight.
Until such time as meaningful and effective strategies and measures are put in place to protect the traveling public, I choose to avoid flying whenever possible.
J. R. Roberts -
Security Strategies - Savannah, Georgia
By J. R. Roberts Google
© J. R. Roberts, Security Strategies