THE COLUMN: To Save America, Abolish the TSA

Michael Walsh22 Jan, 2024 5 Min Read
Fascism, pure and simple.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Nevertheless, like so much else in the Bill of Rights, those sentiments are no longer valid, especially when you're shuffling your way, shoeless and beltless, through the sheep pens of the Transportation Security Administration, George W. Bush's gift to the American traveling public.

In retrospect, it's clear that Osama bin Laden emerged the victor of 9/11. He brought down the Twin Towers and took a chunk out of the Pentagon, severely wobbled the American economy, destroyed the freedom of the skies, set the American government haring after all sorts of villains but not a single enemy it would name, and made himself a martyr. Worst of all, because of the actions of 19 Muslim hijackers, most of them Saudi nationals but all of them members of the Islamic ummah, he panicked the U.S. government into presumptively criminalizing more than 300 million American citizens with the passage of the Patriot Act and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and of the TSA, a mortal sin that will live in infamy.

What about safety? Surely you jest. To previous generations of Americans, the idea of trading liberty for safety would have been laughed out of court, but a fearful, feminized society won't even hesitate. Curtail your freedom of movement and subject yourself to intrusive, sometimes bodily, inspection every time you wish to travel by plane? Why not? If it saves just one life...

Feel safer yet?

More than twenty years later, it's clear to everyone who flies that what we have is not safety, but safety theater -- the illusion of safety, conducted by uniformed government employees of last resort whose mission as it has evolved is not to provide the phantasm of "security" but to obstruct, hamper, harass, and hinder Americans as they attempt to go about their lives. "The Transportation Security Administration marked another year of progress," reads a blurb on their website. You can bet more "progress" will be forthcoming in 2024.

And was this unconscionable violation of the plain language of the Constitution met with the universal opposition, disdain, and outrage that it deserved? Of course not. From 1968 to 1972 there was a spate of airplane hijackings by Cuban radicals; "On to Cuba!" became a punch line on late-night comedy, and the introduction of metal detectors at airports and the presence of sky marshals put an end to it. After 9/11, the appearance of one failed "shoe bomber" has meant your shoes come off forever. And while the new, improved, intrusive TSA might manage to scoop up some weapons inadvertently packed in luggage from those parts of the country where guns or knives are part of everyday life, it misses many, many more -- up to 70 percent. Possibly it has discouraged a few terrorists from attempting to emulate the late sheikh of Araby, but why bother? After all, why hijack a plane when you can just walk across the undefended, roundheeled southern border, get free transport -- no ID necessary! -- into the interior and there bide your time?

Note that the ongoing "unarmed" (so far) invasion from the south is referred to as a "humanitarian crisis" in the Soviet Newspeak jargon of the news media, when in fact it's an... unarmed (so far) invasion from the south and thus a national-security matter. Not to the Biden administration, however, especially as personified by the hapless, malevolent, and soon-to-be-impeached Alejandro Mayorkas, the current Secretary of Homeland Security.

The late Robert Conquest's Three Laws of Politics (the second of which was actually coined by The Pipeline's founding editor, John O'Sullivan) read as follows:

  1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
  2. Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.
  3. The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.

Except there's nothing secret about the cabal of enemies that now controls the American government. The enemies of the state are now out and proud and in charge of nearly every level of government. Players of the long game, they are content to win imperceptibly but steadily, moving the Overton Window of acceptable discourse steadily and stealthily leftward with the aid and enforcement of a collaborative media. What the wholly inadequate Bush II began, succeeding Democrat presidents have enthusiastically built upon, and the lone succeeding Republican president did absolutely nothing about: the Surveillance State.

This means you.

One byproduct of Big Brotherism has been the creation of "protected classes," against whom no voice can be raised. Their numbers include (hang on to your hat): "age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or any other bases under the law." Thus, in the name of equality -- now redubbed "equity" -- the U.S. has become a profoundly anti-egalitarian nation with a two-tiered system of justice that stands in open violation of every Constitutional principle.

Dismantling the Surveillance State and its bureaucratic accretions like Homeland Security is, alas, the work of years, decades -- if it even can be done. The guiding principle of all toxic amoebas, even those as gargantuan as a federal department, is self-preservation. Once birthed, they aspire to immortality. The western Roman Empire maintained the fiction of consuls right to the end. But we have to start somewhere, and the noxious TSA is as good as place as any.

So let's be blunt: the TSA not only does little to no good, but it is actively harmful to the nation-as-founded. It presumes guilt, or at least malign intentions of everyone who falls into its clutches. There is no probable cause, much less a warrant; an order from one of its minions is not subject to due process or any judicial scrutiny. The attitude of far too many of its functionaries is hostile and adversarial. Its very existence has added hours to travel time for zero compensation. Worst of all, it has made dutiful serfs of formerly free citizens and thus opened the door to subsequent enormities, including the disastrous Covid hoax and its concomitant diminution of freedom.

"Secret cabal of its enemies," my foot. We have met the enemy and he is us. Now, what are we going to do about it?

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022, and of the forthcoming Against the Corporate Media. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis


See All

7 comments on “THE COLUMN: To Save America, Abolish the TSA”

  1. Perhaps you have forgotten that the TSA, while ostensibly created to foster domestic security while flying was actually intended to become a vast new source of voters for the democrat party, just like every other federal agency or authority since the onset of "The Great Society" back in the '60's. No politician will get elected on a platform including reduction or elimination of a single federal agency. We reached that tipping point a while ago. Have you seen the latest 'employment" numbers offered by the BLS? If not, here's a sample of the official Comments:
    "Employment continued to trend up in government, health care, social assistance, and construction,
    while transportation and warehousing lost jobs. Payroll employment rose by 2.7 million
    in 2023 (an average monthly gain of 225,000), less than the increase of 4.8 million in
    2022 (an average monthly gain of 399,000). (See table B-1.)
    Government employment increased by 52,000 in December. Employment continued to trend
    up in local government (+37,000) and federal government (+7,000). Government added an
    average of 56,000 jobs per month in 2023, more than double the average monthly gain of
    23,000 in 2022.
    In December, health care added 38,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in
    ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+15,000). Job growth in health
    care averaged 55,000 per month in 2023, compared with the 2022 average monthly gain
    of 46,000.
    Employment in social assistance rose by 21,000 in December, mostly in individual and
    family services (+17,000). Social assistance employment rose by an average of 22,000
    per month in 2023, little different than the average increase of 19,000 per month
    in 2022."
    We shall soon be a nation of government "workers," beholden to the government for our very existence.

  2. I think any presidential candidate who promises to abolish the TSA will win in a landslide. They create negative value, and they destroy the whole flying experience. If we need a jobs program to keep unemployables off the street, it's even better to have them dig ditches and fill them up again.

  3. The answer to the security problem is not to privatize bureaucratic security or have better Federal security (air marshals). It is to empower the passengers who are always there and definitely have skin in the game. Remember how the Flight 93 passengers stopped the hijackers using a beverage cart. Remember also how passengers mobbed the shoe bomber. Even a French guy participated in that one. If this can be done with makeshift weapons or none at all, imagine how much better it would work if passengers were actually armed.

  4. Sometimes, and more often with Mr. Walsh, a columnist comes up with a solution so brilliant is screams for immediate implementation. Unfortunately such response would require common sense of which we find very little in our bureaucratic skill set.
    So tut to be sure, an immediate reassignment of sixty thousand (yes, 60,000) TSA agents to the southern border would be fantastic, but to be realistic more for the entertainment from the backlash than any possibility of improved performance.

  5. Obviously, the federal government spends far too much money, partially from having far too many employees and doing far too many things. You could take a step in the right direction toward solvency by going back to private security at airports, terminating over 99% of TSA employees and then hiring about 50 part time temporary TSA workers that would try to sneak bad things through security at airports. Temporary so that the security firms couldn't learn who they are and then look for them. And then maybe having about 100 or so to hire and supervise the temporary workers, train them and figure out how they should be trying to sneak things through airport security. It can't work any worse than the current system, and it would also get the federal government out of the business of training Americans that it's fine if the federal government molests you as a condition of air travel.

  6. The TSA is a direct result of the failure -- or refusal -- to learn and understand that 9/11 was, above and beyond all other considerations, a failure of immigration policy. None of those people had any business being in the USA to begin with. We are going to be taught that lesson again and again in the years to come and yet we are all but officially forbidden from talking about it or learning it.

  7. “…to pay the Debts and and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 2) must be the most or among the most subjective of all delegated powers in our Constitution and has been a central culprit to all diminutions of individual liberty. Progress will come when the intellectuals of our society come to recognize and successfully argue that the “general Welfare of the United States” is conceptually NOT equivalent, neither is it a logical corollary to, the “general Welfare of the PEOPLE of the United States.” Only a collectivist conflates these two separate concepts; only a collectivist legislates as if they were one and the same. The battle is always philosophical but philosophy is the most important subject that no one knows anything about.
    Seek Objectivism. Learn it. Practice it. Teach it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *