by Joseph T. Salerno
Experts increasingly agree that the TSA is inept and has not actually prevented any terrorist attacks on airplanes. Recently, Homeland Security sent a team to attempt to smuggle guns and bombs onto planes. The so-called “red team” succeeded on 67 out of 70 tries, or more than 95 percent of the time! Bruce Schneier, a security expert, reportedly found “basically zero evidence the agency has prevented any attacks.” Even in the widely publicized (by the TSA) case of Kevin Brown, the TSA didn’t prevent an airplane from being blown up, because Brown was caught trying to check luggage containing materials for making a pipe bomb. But the TSA has never touted a case in which they caught someone actually trying to bring down a plane. (They claim that this is for national security reasons, which oddly did not apply to the Brown case.)
Not only is there an absence of evidence that the TSA saves lives, there is evidence that it may actually cause a significant number of deaths. In one paper, economists Garrick Blalock, Vrinda Kadiyali, and Daniel Simon estimated that, all other factors held constant, baggage screening procedures implemented after 9/11 reduced passenger volume by 6 percent overall and by 9 percent on planes departing from the nation’s 50 busiest airports. Interestingly, the study also found that the introduction of federalized passenger screening did not significantly reduce passenger volume.