According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful slipping simulated explosives and bomb parts through Los Angeles’s LAX airport in 50 out of 70 attempts, and at Chicago’s O’Hare airport agents made 75 attempts and succeeded in getting through undetected 45 times.
Yeah, these are older data, but the problem is …
Ervin said a combination of factors is likely to blame for the persistent failures on the part of screeners. Low pay, poor training, and the monotony involved in watching bags pass through x-ray machines are a recipe for trouble, Ervin said.
“To be fair to screeners, it’s very difficult work,” he said. “After so many hours of seeing things that are innocuous, there’s really a limit for the human brain to process something anomalous.”
The Walmartization of security.
Last month, TSA Chief John Pistole told ABC News that the poor performance during undercover tests helped convince him that airport screening needed to get that much tougher — and a desire to do better helped give rise to the controversial new regimen that includes enhanced pat-downs and back-scatter machines that can see beneath a traveler’s clothing.
So … they seem to have not noticed that these new techniques and machines … don’t really help.
Our tax dollars at work.