#1 By: Cory Doctorow, October 17th, 2013 23:56
#2 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, October 18th, 2013 00:15
So, a tentacle of the federal government has admitted that it is totally useless and it hasn't been hacked off by deficit hawks? Is defunding something only fun when it struggles?
#3 By: Jeff, October 18th, 2013 00:25
I can only hope nobody made any obscene profits from this lack of actual problem.
That would have been unethical.
#4 By: technogeek, October 18th, 2013 00:59
Remember, the folks most interested in defunding are also the folks who created the Homeland Security Theater Agency in the first place. Maintaining a state of bogus terror in America serves their political goals.
I really wish the Democrats had the guts to stand up and say "This is a witch-hunt".
#5 By: robotmonkeys, October 18th, 2013 01:11
#6 By: Spocko, October 18th, 2013 01:18
aH ha! BUT Just if we STOP then they will start again! We need to be in a constant state of alertness! Our very living, er I mean lives depend on it!
#7 By: David Forbes, October 18th, 2013 01:44
Not that this statement will have any effect on the billions being wasted by the TSA.
#8 By: He who must not be named, October 18th, 2013 02:44
TSA looks like a waste of money, money is tight... kill it. Also, for the next terrorist attack on a USA aeroplane, you don't need a bomb, just an ADS-B transmitter in a briefcase in the hold. The plane flight information is transmitted unencrypted and unsigned, it's simple to hack and screw with the autopilots and land a plane 200 feet short of the start of the runway on a foggy day.
#9 By: technogeek, October 18th, 2013 03:07
It's easier than that, Danegeld. Now that we've set up Homeland Security, all they need to do is threaten an attack and we'll (continue to) damage ourselves worse than they ever could.
As the title of an SF story a few years ago had it: Weapons of Mass Distraction.
Can't beat it for cost-efficiency.
#10 By: AlexG55, October 18th, 2013 06:50
Tiger-repelling rocks, anyone?
#11 By: gilbert wham, October 18th, 2013 07:00
No, they'd possibly be useful; in the event there were a tiger, you could throw the rock at it and run away...
#12 By: AlexG55, October 18th, 2013 07:04
Also true of TSA agents- they might be harder to throw, but you'd have more time to run away while the tiger chows down...
#13 By: gilbert wham, October 18th, 2013 07:04
Good point. So... the solution is 'get lots of tigers'? Well, okay.
#14 By: AlexG55, October 18th, 2013 07:07
Also effective against terrorists!
#15 By: Tw Shiloh, October 18th, 2013 07:26
I hate to defend the TSA but the implications of this document aren't as big a deal as you're claiming. The fact that terrorists are not currently 'actively plotting against aviation' is not the same as terrorists do not have the intent and capability to target aviation. It just means that as the time of that assessment the TSA (or whoever was doing their assessment) saw no evidence that there wasn't an ongoing plot or targeting against aviation.
So, for example, there are a whole lot of terrorist groups out there (AQAP, AQ Central, Chechen separatists, etc.) that have targeted aviation in the past AND appear to continue to have an intent to attack aviation BUT they may have other priorities at the moment causing them to focus their energies elsewhere. Broad security policy isn't something one can just flip on and off like a light switch so (I'd hope) decisions of what security measures to use can't rely solely on who's planning to attack a target right now but rather have to take into account who is likely to target aviation currently and in the near future.
I find the shoe nonsense just as ridiculous as you do but this isn't the 'smoking gun' it may appear to be.
#16 By: Another Kevin, October 18th, 2013 07:46
The problem with the argument that "they've attacked us in the past, shown willingness to attack us again, and will attack us as soon as their attention isn't turned elsewhere" is that it's unanswerable - forever. In our imperfect world, we shall always have enemies. Does this mean that there is no way to roll back the security state; that temporary incursions upon our freedom are, in fact, always permanent?
#17 By: Bodhipaksa, October 18th, 2013 07:47
I presume the TSA would argue that terrorists are not (or were not) plotting against aviation because of their security precautions. And despite my belief that there are probably next to no real terrorists in the US, the TSA would almost certainly be at least partly right.
#18 By: toyg, October 18th, 2013 07:51
Like Democratic candidates weren't getting the same kickbacks from Rapiscan and friends. One of the worst supporters of totalitarian security is one Ms. Feinstein, Democratic Senator from the most Democratic state in the country.
This is not a problem you can fix with regular politics, there's a very difficult cultural shift to be enacted across the whole of society.
#19 By: toyg, October 18th, 2013 07:56
The economic angle is interesting, in these days of meagre resources and ballooning deficits. It's why drug legalisation are getting a lot of traction: the prospect of a new source of public revenue is more appealing now than ever.
#20 By: IMB, October 18th, 2013 08:02
In order for anything to be handled and financed honestly, campaign financing and lobbying, as it stands today, needs to be disbanded and tossed in the can. Throw the money out and you 'll be slightly closer to politicians serving the people, instead of themselves. It's at a point where people only go into government to make big money and lucrative connections. The waters are so muddied, no one stands out as a glaring example of greed and collusion because they all are involved in cronyism, shilling and planning for their own wealth after retirement from government.
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