TSA Manager Given a Pass

So last year, the TSA was found to be failing to actually screen baggage properly. The baggage handlers were fired when this was discovered, and so was the “direct manager of the workers.”

Not anymore. Since the baggage handlers “did not have appeal rights,” they “remain fired.” But the “direct manager” did have “appeal rights” and was able to take the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to an administrative court to force them to give his job back to him. He won.

“‘Management personnel said they were not aware of the checked-baggage irregularities (and) should not have been held liable for people who violated the law,’ said Kailua attorney G. Todd Withy. ‘None of these managers admitted knowing anything that was going wrong.’”

So that’s it. None of the managers knew anything (or admitted to knowing anything!) about “irregularities” so they can’t be fired? The manager in this case is not only receiving his job back, but is getting back pay for all the time since he was fired.

This situation began when TSA whistleblowers reported that luggage was being loaded on planes that had not been scanned or checked for explosives. Are baggage handlers given a pay grade commensurate with ensuring that lives are saved from acts of terrorism? No. The TSA overseers are put in place to be responsible for the safety of Americans. But, apparently, now one knows what the word, “manage,” means. A “direct manager” is supposed to be checking on employees and making sure they are doing their job so that we don’t have a plane blown up.

Yes, in this case the TSA seems to have tried to do the right thing, but quite clearly they lack the power to actually make their employees keep Americans safe. On the other hand, if you need an organization to deal with a mother who doesn’t like her daughter being molested, the TSA has all the firepower you could want. The recent conviction of Andrea Abbot for “disorderly conduct” demonstrates that the TSA will not be obstructed by parents who try to protect their children.

In the meantime, every day people who fly witness or experience for themselves the systematic violation imposed upon us by our government masters. One example just this week:

 “In the Rochester airport, I witnessed a TSA body search being done on a young woman. She had already removed her sweater and footwear. Her remaining clothing was very form fitting; it would not have concealed any significant weapon. But in plain view of fellow travelers, she was asked to stand spread eagle while a female TSA employee touched every part of her body. I was not the only one uncomfortable for her, other passengers remarked at the intrusiveness of the procedure. When I looked away I saw that nearby male officers were not so shy.”

 While no one manages the TSA, they manage us. There is nothing American about this. And it does not make us safer. It is obvious to anyone with a brain that safety is not even the purpose of the TSA. Their purpose is to remind us of our place in the order of things in the new post-9-11 United States.