Undercover Report: Airport Security Misses 95 Percent of Weapons and Explosives
In a report given to ABC News, TSA screeners failed to detect 67 out of 70 tests at dozens of airports throughout the country.
Flying home from a friend's wedding on Sunday, the TSA confiscated a couple items from me at their security checkpoint: a tube of Crest toothpaste and a small bottle of hair gel. I admit to being ignorant of the agency's carry-on regulations because they are so haphazardly enforced: Not only did I travel to the wedding with those same items, but also the very TSA team that took them neglected to seize four additional toiletry bottles that, let's face it, were dangerously large.
Even so, I was surprised to learn that undercover agents were able to smuggle mock explosives and weapons through 95 percent of airport checkpoints in the United States. In a report given to ABC News, TSA screeners failed to detect 67 out of 70 tests at dozens of airports throughout the country. I admit that immature outrage still strikes me whenever my common sense is contradicted by draconian policy, but really, TSA, I had smelly breath for half a day and lost a good chuck of change when you took my nice hair product.
"In one test, the network said an undercover agent was stopped when he set off an alarm at a checkpoint, but that TSA screeners then failed to find a fake explosive device taped to his back when they patted him down."
The report on mock weapons and explosives is an embarrassing one, and it stings even more when Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, defends his record by saying that this year the TSA "seized a record number of prohibited items." Yes, Mr. Johnson, your TSA officials have been seizing our regular-sized toothpaste tubes in record numbers. Double marks for diligently keeping statistics on the matter.
Christopher Chabris, associate professor of psychology at Union College, explains how airport security officials easily miss the forest for the trees. In 2004 he was the co-recipient of an Ig Nobel Prize for his now-landmark experiment "Gorillas in Our Midst," which demonstrated that when subjects focused their attention on one thing, they often failed to notice something as conspicuous as a woman in a gorilla suit.
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.
- July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
- Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
- NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
Pugs and bulldogs are incredibly trendy, but experts have massive animal welfare concerns about these genetically manipulated breeds.
- Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade.
- Higher visibility (usually in a celebrity's handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997's Men in Black may be the cause.
- These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.