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Former Newark Airport TSA screener says the job does little to keep fliers safe

When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.” ( More...

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Bruce Leonetti 12
Perhaps if the political elite who move about the country on government jets had to fly commercial like the common folk, things would improve!
Department has become an area for persons who can not pass basic background checks, educational levels less than private security and a place where retiring from one gov. Lets you go to another sleeping post. Again it's probably the public and airline personnel that keep flying safe with their eyes looking for problems rather than feel good visual acts, the same protect yourself or call 911 and hope help arrives in time.
Bruce Leonetti 3
I don't need to read an article about how bad the screeners are at Newark. Incident after incident has been reported over the years and regular NY area flyers know what a sham takes place there. There are several airports throughout the US where these folks are very professional and actually do what they are mandated too. Newark is not one of them!!!!!!!!
Dean Kennedy 2
I had the "pleasure" of flying through Newark several times last year and I think the Blueshirts there, at least in the Delta terminal, are sociopaths. One time I went through the peep show and then got felt up. I asked the groper why I had to do both and he just walked away like a true, surly, government union employee. Easily the worst of the worst among the Blueshirts.
Richard Judy 3
I always knew that the TSA screeners were the bottom of the barrel, but I never knew it was THAT bad. Thanks for sharing...maybe we can put these doofs out on the street and get some real screeners.
David Stark 3
Maybe instead of trying to "improve" TSA, we should shut it down completely.

United Flight 93 left KEWR on September 11, 2001, carrying armed terrorists on a mission to destroy something on the ground.

The next terrorist attack originating from KEWR was, let's see.... Oh, yeah, there hasn't been another one! Once again America blows gazillions of dollars and inconveniences thousands of people because something bad happened one time. You'd think the country was being run by lawyers.

Oh, wait, it is.
Fritz Steiner 3
Right on, David!

It's like frisking everybody walking along the street because one of them might not be a nice person.

I'm a 78 year old Caucasian, bald, slightly overweight American male, I've served my country well and honorably both in and out of the armed forces. I've have had a command in the US Navy. I've passed so many background investigations for high level security clearances that I can't count 'em. Why should anybody with that kind of curriculum vitae be considered a potential terrorist? The answer, of course, is so as not to hurt the feelings of people whose appearance, ethnic and religious backgrounds are similar to those of the 911 murderers. Perish the thought. EVERYONE MUST BE SEARCHED to avoid offending ANYONE.

TSA thing become another bloated, bureaucratic control organization. It's there to control of YOU. You must endure without complaint -- or else.

The milk sop defense for TSA is that: "If TSA can stop just one terrorist, it's all worth it." That's specious nonsense. If the speed limit were 10mph we'd have less fatal accidents, too, -- but would that be worth it? Of course not.

TSA exists because the 911 hijackers passed through security with box cutters -- which were perfectly legal at the time. The Director of the FBI couldn't have legally stopped those murderers from passing through security, but there was a frenzy to DO SOMETHING -- et voila! TSA was born. Now it's like Herpes Type II. It's here to stay because nobody under 21 remembers its ever having been any other way.

Btw, TSA inconveniences MILLIONS of people, not just thousands. It does the latter at large airports every day. Has it stopped any terrorists from highjacking an airplane? NO. but it's hard to prove a negative.
Eric Spittle 2
Well said sir.

The only terrorist attacks that have been attempted and failed on American soil/airspace since 9/11 have failed not because of screenings but because of incompetent terrorists. They keep sneaking bombs onto planes in more creative/obvious ways and failing because of luck/stupidity. In that way we actually can prove a negative: these idiots are encouraging terrorists to keep trying more and more creative things.

The sad part is eventually they will succeed and instead of seeing the obvious failures of the TSA our wonderful government will decide we need more security.
joel wiley 1
And eventually, another airliner will crash- unrelated to terrorism.
If you try hard enough, and long enough with enough financial backing, you are likely to succeed on occasion. I don't think that is a justification for current TSA policies.
Eric Spittle 1
I agree. They're not stopping bad things from happening they are just overreacting to a problem with no solution. The fact is you're much more likely to die on the drive to the airport than by terrorism in the air. Bad people will always exist, and bad people will always do bad things; you need to be safety conscious but at a certain point you end up at a net loss with too much safety. Think of what the billions in lost time and wasted money at airports could do for things that might actually help people.
joel wiley 1
Well put. Thanks Vet.
joel wiley 2
Now wait a minute. In TSA's defense, there has not been a single episode of exploding an elephant at the security checkpoint. Give them SOME credit.
katty wompus 1
No planes have been hijacked either.
Eric Spittle 1
This must be the TSA's doing, the "let's have solidly locking doors on a cockpit" policy surely isn't to thank. Making a plane harder to hijack surely must involve groping innocent people/children.
Chip Hermes 3
We all knew this anyway but it's good to see actual TSA employees finally admitting it.
Actual!!!???? You mean a former TSA employee. Ask that individual why they are no longer employed by the Dept of Homeland Security? This former disgrutled employee could have told them that he/she was from Mars and they would have ran with the story. I noticed that Fox News is really putting a spin on it. Follow the money trail and you'll get to the truth. Who stands to benefit from the private contracts?

Come on Chip! You are better than this. I expected even you to see thru this smoke screen. It's not the first time an airport (Federal or Private screeners) has failed a Federal test. So, you have to ask yourself, why are they concentrating on this one? Also, why don't they publish the results when an airport pass a test? Ahhhhhhhhhhaaaaa, you smell that Chip? Follow the money trail?

Why didn't they report about the Private Screeners failing test?

America, The Greedy!!!!!!!
Toby Sharp 2
SJ.......TSA has been terrible all along, can you not see through the "smoke" screen you keep mentioning?
cmp5n 1
Screening is a waste of time. No one can enter the cockpit anymore, which is the biggest post 9/11 safety improvement. The rest is worthless. Remember the United 747 that had the whole side rip off because of a faulty cargo door that opened in flight? That aircraft still landed safely. Even if you could do that much damage in the back of the plane, you still couldn't bring down a 747. Boeing makes them pretty strong.

The flying public and smart competent screeners who will provide actual security will stand to benefit from private contracts.

The incompetent TSA is being protected right now by the Obama administration who doesn't want increase unemployment by firing over 50,000 of America least qualified employees. The airlines want to keep the TSA around too, that way the airlines don't have to accept any responsibility for screening passengers.

Steel Jaw, you are a hysteric. Calm down and use your brain.
cmp5n wrote; "Screening is a waste of time. No one can enter the cockpit anymore, which is the biggest post 9/11 safety improvement".

Well cmp5n, ask the Airline crew outside the cockpit if screening is a waste of time? Dahhh, you don't have to enter the cockpit to crash a plane. Surely you know this,right? No, you probably don't. WHO else on this site don't know that??? Don't be afraid step forward and raise your hand??????

TSA is being protected by the Obama administration. What drugs are you smoking??? If getting rid of the TSA or any other agency will make the Preisdent look good and boost the economy, every Prisedent would do it.

Where did you get this 747 crap from? Everybody knows that after the DC-10 door failures that most commercial airplanes where built to withstand a cargo door failure above 10,000ft.
D.M. Street 2
It's been my experience traveling by air that the TSA has the best folks (polite, efficient, thorough) at the smaller, feeder airports as opposed to the bigger hubs. Exception: Tampa - never have any complaints when flying from there.
Mark Lansdell 2
Hmmmmm. Could it be a reaction to a rude flying public? It makes sense that there would be more friendly people at smaller and rural facilities rather than at the larger hubs. Do something considerate in the Bos-Wash corridor and see how many people say thank you, less than half. perform the same courtesy in Tampa and you see a jump to 90% or more. I had hands full of McDonald's the other day, exiting the store. Three young people tried to go through from the other side when I opened the door.
Eric Spittle -3
I sure hope somebody was nice enough to feed you your bottle and put you down for a nap after your traumatic experience of three young people walking through a door.
Mark Lansdell 3
I guess I write in Greek, you never learned to read at all, or you don't see anything wrong with barging through a door some one else has opened. I can hold my own when need be.
Eric Spittle -1
Neither, mainly if I see others coming toward a door and I get there first I will hold the door for them and allow them through. I then proceed to not complain about the half second inconvenience on the internet. I find that, along with not eating the junk that comes from McDonald's, makes my life much happier. I recommend trying both.
Mark Lansdell 3
Out of visual range. Enough time spent on nonsense
209flyboy 1
And the government is going to supply new uniforms to TSA at $1000 a pop at taxpayer expense. No one bought my uniforms, it was out of my pocket!!!
John Hale 1
sounds like we all should work for the tsa with the pay and benefits they get.
Anyone surprised?
Dana Levin 1
Was on a flight with a flight attendant who was dead heading to EWR that sat next to me. This person said that TSA is a joke there and that colleagues of this attendant have the same view, just a big dog and pony show trying to convince the public that our flights are safer since 9/11. One can argue there's been no major incidents of flights originating in the US, but anyone who flies frequently or reads forums like these know TSA is not the brightest group of people.
euronorb 1
When the bad guys are ready to do another "9/11" It will happen, with or without TSA.
And what a stupid Idea to allow small knives on aircraft again, who came up with that one ?
Mark Lansdell 1
The airlines were happy to give up security at airports as a dead expense. With the latest tollerance of small knives the FAs, at least are ready to take the responsibility back. On a recent trip from JAX, I mis placed my toilet kit in my carry on. In it was an inexpensive bottle opener you might find in any restaurant to open wine, soda, beer, eyc. A TSA glomm asked me to stand up from my wheel chair so he could get up in my face, less than 3" between noses, to ask me if I wanted to mail it to myself. He was visably upset when I yeilded title of it to him rather than spend $5.00 to mal it.
Eric Spittle 1
The biggest threat to people's safety: spreading butter with a plastic knife. Now that we are allowing butter knives on airplanes I am surprised planes aren't running into buildings left and right. I fear for my life anytime I am in a building greater than two stories now, what if the butter knife terrorists strike?
Dean Kennedy 1
The decision to allow knives is pretty simple. The Blueshirts and the idiots who herd the Blueshirts (known as management in the private sector but not worthy of the title in government) know that the Blueshirts can't stop squat. So when too many knives get by the prying eyes of the Blueshirts while they flag the scary shampoos that are too big, instead of being accountable for the failure the answer is to simply legalize the stuff. Then when Akmad and Co slits some throats the Blueshirts can say "the knife threat was not known to us, so we need another $5 trillion in our budget to make air travel truly safe." When private sector businesses fail (auto, airline and other business dominated by unions excepted) they disappear. When government fails, it gets bigger. Makes sense, right?
Thank you euronorb! This is the most logical post yet. The fact is; there are people outside our country who are brain washed from birth to hate Americans. It doesn't matter if you are Black,White,Hispanic,European,Muslim,Asian,or any race. If you live in America, you are the enemy. With, or without TSA, they are going to strike. They are just waiting for us to fall asleep. It really doesn't matter if it's Private Security or TSA. The standard operation procedures and policies for airport screening and hiring are mandated by DHS. I also agree that the idea to let small knives back on airplanes is a bad idea. It's not just knives but other prohibited items are being allow back on planes too. You will hear about these soon.

D.M Street, you are probably right about the more professional and rational screeners being located at the medium to small regional airports.
David Stark 1
For the past 50 years, Americans have been brainwashed starting at a very young age to hate America and Americans. If you don't hate yourself, then you are a "racist."
Mark Lansdell 1
It's past time to close down the congressional air force. Andrews Air Base has as many congressional and VIP flights as military, very few of which are combat or defense missions. If they got rid of the congressional flights they would be hard pressed to justify a tower.
TJ Kozma 1
It's a government agency. Is anyone really surprised by this?
Alan Tegel 1
I agree with you ... having flown out of their multiple times, they are unprofessional and inconsistent. The best encounters I have had interestingly enough was with IND. I had a nice discussion with the Indiana TSA Director after I wrote a letter about service times at the gates with the body scanners and they actually implemented a suggestion I made ... I was amazed.

El Kabong 1
Sounds like they interviewed this guy:
The tsa employee states their pat down is incorrect and the way a law enforcement officer performs a pat down by entering the pockets or clothing is correct. Well his or her supervisors including the head of home is correct. To enter the clothing than becomes a search past the lower level of pat downs and probable cause. The whole homeland security d
JetMech24 3
Law enforcement doesn't make you empty your pockets and walk through a metal detector prior to their pat down. They pat you down while you are in handcuffs and by then they have their probable cause, apples and oranges.
Bruce Leonetti -1
paul hart 0
Perhaps if we sent this article to the President and every member of the House and Senate something might happen.


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