The TSA Has Assaulted Us For 20 Years With Nothing To Show For It
In the U.S. where we are fighting invasions of privacy and the destruction of our First Amendment rights in about 900 different ways every day, most of us have stopped talking about how insane and offensive airport security still is.
To begin with, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that airport security stops terror attacks. As Darryl Campbell reports in The Verge, “the reality is that TSA has played next to no role in the biggest counterterrorism stories of the past two decades. According to the think tank RAND, intelligence and security services manage to foil nearly two-thirds of terrorist plots in the planning stages.”
Of course, U.S. law enforcement also helps create almost all of the “terror attacks” they thwart. Back in 2013, a review of planned terror attacks found, “Only 1 percent of ‘terrorists’ caught by the FBI are real.” The vast majority – over 90% – are people either pushed by or helped by the FBI.
Sidenote: If the FBI are involved in over 90 percent of planned terror attacks, doesn’t that make them the most active terrorist group in America? Like no one else even comes close.
Not only is almost all terrorism planning stopped before it gets to an airport – and there’s not much to begin with – but on top of that, the main thing that stops another 9/11 from ever happening is strong, locked cockpit doors – not some underpaid TSA agent flicking you in the balls to make sure they’re real. Yet, we have spent billions and given away all our rights on this breathtakingly stupid system.
Campbell continues, “Actuaries measure the cost-effectiveness of an intervention with a metric called ‘cost per life saved.’ This calculation tries to capture the total societal net resources spent in order to save one year of life.”
For example, the nerds in the nerdery have found that seat belt laws have cost $138 per year-of-life saved, which is pretty good. I’m willing to pay that to save a life. On the other hand, “The most generous estimates of the cost-effectiveness of the TSA’s airport security screening put the cost per life saved at around $15 million.”
I am not willing to pay that. Sorry, I don’t know you.
But it gets worse. That $15 million number assumes airport security is 100 percent responsible for stopping all terror attacks, which we know is not true. So when you take that into account, “Less optimistic assessments place the number at $667 million per life saved.”
That’s insane, especially considering that in the U.S., we don’t actually care about each other. We could save millions of lives by having universal healthcare, universal basic income, or simply banning Taco Bell’s “Taco Tango Pork & Mystery Meat Milkshake.” But we don’t do it! Because we don’t care!
To put it a little more bluntly, “Empirically, we know that the TSA does little to stop massive terror plots or even the occasional airport shooting.” They could save way more lives if they were screening for a lump instead of a gun while cupping your balls.
Watch the full report above.
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines’ new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.