So much for whistleblower protection…
The mission of the TSA is to "protect the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce." You would think that when someone brings to their attention a security flaw, they would be grateful. But plainly the TSA doesn’t take kindly to those that fail to parrot the party line.
A pilot, whose name and airline have not been released, was deputized by the TSA to carry a handgun in the cockpit as a Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO). The FFDO program is run by the TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Service and was created after 9/11 with the goal of allowing select pilots of commercial airline flights to carry firearms.
In a series of six videos posted on YouTube (now removed), the pilot highlights the irony of allowing ground crew to access secure areas of airports with the swipe of the card while pilots and flight attendants must go through standard TSA screening. In one his videos he states "As you can see, airport security is kind of a farce. It’s only smoke and mirrors so you people believe there is actually something going on here."
That was apparently a bad choice of words. Within days of the videos appearing on YouTube, federal agents stormed his house in Sacramento and demanded he relinquish his firearm and California-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon.
An investigation is currently underway.
A couple of points merit mentioning. First, he filmed his video clips at SFO, where airport security is run by a private company. Second, SFO officials have vociferously protested, claiming the pilot’s clips are misleading and the employees were merely accessing an employee break area, not a sensitive area.
Both points should fail to persuade you. First, although SFO security is run by a private company, it is closely supervised by the TSA and follows the same protocols that the TSA does. Second, SFO officials have not denied that ground employees are able to avoid security screenings by simply swiping a card to access a secure area.
This is yet another story that illustrates that the TSA and DHS are more concerned with their own image and power than actually keeping us safe from those who would do us harm.
I leave you with this, the definition of terrorism:
S: (n) terrorism, act of terrorism, terrorist act (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear)
Think about it…