The Blaze (Dec 25) — In a blistering takedown of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s approach to airport security, the former chief of security for Israeli airports described an agency riddled with incompetence and wastefulness and that, despite large infusions of government money, may never have actually stopped a single terror attack. The TSA may even be inviting a deadly attack on airline passengers due to poor planning, he charged.
Though his analysis was posted on the humor website Cracked, airline security expert Rafi Sela detailed serious flaws in American airport protection, ones he contrasted starkly with his own experience in Israel.
For one thing, Sela said the notion that standing in a security line and stripping off one’s shoes is a “necessary precursor to safe flying” is “bullsh**.”
“The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6-year-old with a water balloon,” Sela wrote.
Sela told TheBlaze that despite posting the article on a humor site, it is serious and accurately reflects his analysis of the dire state of American airports, which he shared in detail with Cracked writer Robert Evans.
“There is truth in every parody,” Sela told TheBlaze in an email. “I think when we get to a stage where Congress has been made aware of the issues and decided not to act even on a pilot basis and continue to waste billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money to make the big industries bigger, it might be a good idea to just joke about it because NO ONE is taking this seriously anyway.”
He said that after years of “trying to get the attention of the U.S. Senate … White House, airlines and airports,” he has decided that “the USA is no longer a leader in security.”
’Hiding things is so easy to do, it isn’t even funny’
Sela told Cracked that “Ben Gurion [International Airport, near Tel Aviv] is probably the most threatened airport in the world. It has between 50 and 70 incidents every day. Nobody hears about those because we handle them.”
While the Israeli airport drills its screeners seven times a day, Sela said TSA agents are drilled only once or twice a year. With the high turnover rate in the agency, many operate without having been tested.
“Security can’t be treated like a fast food company. These people are tasked with finding bombs, not flipping burgers,” he told Cracked.
Sela made a strong case for profiling – not racial profiling, but behavioral profiling.
“[I]f you only check luggage and you don’t check the person behind the luggage, how do you know he hasn’t camouflaged something into the luggage that you can’t find? Trust me: Hiding things is so easy to do, it isn’t even funny,” he said.