Oh yes, they did, and if you are a frequent air traveler that should not surprise you one bit. Airport security is completely impotent. They are very capable at disrupting traffic, randomly searching 80 year old ladies and making business travelers take off their shoes and laptops. As we all know, shampoos pose a mortal threat to civil aviation and hence the common police saying:
" Investigators with bomb-making components in their luggage and on their person were able to pass through security checkpoints at 19 U.S. airports without detection, according to the Government Accountability Office."
So as explained above the good folks at the GAO just proved that airport security is completely ineffective. Do you think that the TSA now understands the error of their ways? Do you think that they are likely to stop making you take off your shoes, relinquish your tooth-paste or search your grandmother? Not by a long shot. Here is what I foresee as the likely outcome: be prepared for more stringent and completely meaningless security measures.
"Sir, put the head-and-shoulders down and step away from the vehicle."
Here is a hint of things to come (quote from the same article):
And here is an even better quote from the article, from venerable TSA chief Kip Hawley:
"Although it would not discuss the specific nature of its recommendations, the GAO said it recommended establishing special screening lines based on risk and passengers with special needs. The TSA should introduce more "aggressive, visible and unpredictable" measures to detect concealed items and develop new technology for screening at checkpoints."
Yes, and my amazing success at keeping pink elephants from invading my living room is the result of my formidable defensive efforts, the special kind of screening process I inflict upon my guests, and the numerous pink elephant traps that I have strategically positioned around my drive way. Give me a break.
"Our ongoing success is a result of the tremendous power in the reinforced, multiple layers. Truly, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts -- and together, they are formidable."
Before you label me as a crank and an unrealistic idealist who is "anti security" (which is almost as bad these days as being pronounced a communist or a liberal), do I have a better solution? Hell, yes. For one thing, how about we start using some common sense here. Your 80 year old grandma or three year old boy that I saw going through a pat-down during one of my trips are NOT terrorists. Yes, use your chemical sensors to look for explosives. Use your explosive sniffing dogs. The politically correct should now cover their ears: how about we use profiling to assess high risk passengers? There are intelligent things you can do to actually increase security. Real security, not the pretend kind.
Leave my laptop, shoes and shampoo alone, you buffoons.
It was Ben Franklin himself who said: "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither, and Will Lose Them Both." I am humbled by his eloquence.