Monday, December 16, 2013

Media finally catch on to TSA pre-check scam

Some people in the media are finally catching on to what we here at TSA News have been saying for two years: Pre-Check is a joke. We’ve been pointing out the facts about this program from the beginning.

Two of the latest “Gosh, who knew?!” articles are in the Jacksonville Business Journal and the New York Times. Some of our readers have already commented at the former. The latter isn’t accepting comments, though I wrote to the author, Joe Sharkey, last week. It’s my second time writing to him about a TSA-related article. I’ve never gotten a reply.
At the Jacksonville Business Journal, travel columnist Joe Brancatelli discovers that — horrors! — the great unwashed are being shunted to Pre-Check lines when things at the checkpoint get too crowded, thus ruining the experience for the Special People. Since the whole point of Pre-Check was to play Divide-and-Conquer, as we wrote two years ago, the dismay of the Special People was predictable. After all, they’ve forked over $85 in protection money for this extortion racket, and now the hoi polloi are horning in on the action:
“More and more often, the PreCheck line is being used for overflow from regular screening,” notes Jerry Scott, the frequent-flying president and chief executive of Elmer’s, the West Coast restaurant chain. “Now we have the interesting debacle of inexperienced fliers partially undressing in the PreCheck line before realizing that they don’t need to. PreCheck is losing its advantage for those of us who must traverse a security line several times weekly.”
But more important than the disappointment of the Special People is the gaping flaw in logic of this whole program. If the Special People have been vetted as to their security bona fides — in other words, they aren’t Big Scary Terrorists — then why are the supposedly risky unvetted allowed to go through the Pre-Check line? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of Pre-Check?

Reader Jeff Pierce has pointed this out many times, here at TSA News and elsewhere, including at that Business Journal article. Here’s one of his comments:

Simple logic says if the TSA is willing to let “overflow passengers” use a metal detector without any reason other than “the line is long”, then clearly we don’t need the illegal scanners and criminal pat downs in the first place!
But when did logic make any difference? This isn’t about logic. And it isn’t about security. But again, we’ve only detailed this hundreds of times.
As for the article in the New York Times, Joe Sharkey writes that there’s a lot of “confusion” over Pre-Check. He details many of the same complaints Brancatelli does.
Neither reporter points out the fact that, as the TSA itself admits, Pre-Check doesn’t guarantee anything. Nor do they point out the flaw in logic that Jeff Pierce keeps trying to hammer home.
Oh, well. I guess it’s too much to expect that the media be skeptical. It’s apparently easier to do the work of authoritarians for them.
(Photo: ARF Trooper via Flickr Creative Commons)
Cross-posted at TSA News.