All that security we’re paying for…


Apparently it is OK to miss 75% of the test runs in Kip-ley land. Or, more specifically, it is OK if the tests are harder than they used to be.

A recent test run at LAX, SFO and ORD revealed that screeners in LA missed the dangerous goods 75% of the time. Chicago was a close second at 60%, while San Fran showed a respectable 20%. Back in ’99 – in the pre-TSA days – the average was 40% missed. So all those millions are providing a lower level of security. Top notch.

Particularly entertaining is the quote from Kip Hawley justifying the misses:

[T]he tests often include bomb parts the size of a pen cap rather than fully assembled explosives. We moved from testing of completely assembled bombs… to the small component parts.

And another great quote from the PR folks over at TSA:

We want to have higher failure rates because it shows that we’re raising the bar and the tests are harder. You might score more points against a high-school team, but your skills are going to be improved if you’re playing against an NBA team.

Here’s a friendly reminder that on 9/11 the security worked perfectly – everything brought on each airplane as part of the hijackings was 100% legit. And yet we’ve overreacted so far as a country that we’re now celebrating the fact that we’re worse at security than we used to be.

More discussion on the topic here.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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