“The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6 year old with a water balloon”

Rafi Sela, former head of airport security in Israel does a serious take-down of the U.S.’s safety measures.

“Ben Gurion [International Airport, near Tel Aviv] is probably the most threatened airport in the world. It has between 50 and 70 incidents every day. Nobody hears about those because we handle them.”

While the Israeli airport drills its screeners seven times a day, Sela said TSA agents are drilled only once or twice a year. With the high turnover rate in the agency, many operate without having been tested.

“Security can’t be treated like a fast food company. These people are tasked with finding bombs, not flipping burgers.”

As our Erin noted, he calls bullsh*t on the practice of having people stand in line with their shoes off, literally. “Instead of checking intent, they check luggage. And they don’t even do it well,” he said of the TSA. “I have orthopedic insoles in my shoes made from composite material. On the machines, that composite looks identical to plastic explosives. I put them on the belt every time, and no one — NO ONE — ever questions my shoes. Some security experts suspect that the TSA has never once caught a terrorist at a checkpoint.”

Of Israeli screeners, he explained, “We interview every single customer several times, but we don’t really care what you have to say. We’re paying attention to your behavior.”

“At Ben Gurion Airport, we get travelers from their car to their gate in 25 minutes. When was the last time that happened to you in an American airport? Probably never, because a dozen 747s worth of cranky travelers can’t take their shoes and coats off, pull their laptops out of their luggage, and queue up for pat downs without chaos,” he said.

“It’s different in Israel” where passengers are not required to take off their shoes. “You come in, we ask you questions, and we have well-trained people determine if you have any harmful plans. They look at your eyes and your body language, not your loafers. We have threats in the airport, but nothing deadly has happened to us, thank God, in the last 40 years.”

“The TSA conveniently packs hundreds of travelers together in cramped security lines. Terrorists love crowds because they can inflict the most harm that way … So what does American airport security do? It gathers folks together in long lines BEFORE they’ve been scanned at all.”

That’s also why he gets nervous waiting for his luggage at the baggage carousel: “[T]here’s no sort of scrutiny around who gets to walk in there. It’s like the TSA thinks the terrorists have some sort of death grudge against planes. So if we can keep them from getting on one, they won’t bother murdering a bunch of people clustered around baggage claim.”

He took issue with the copious amounts of glass used in the construction of U.S. airports, including Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport in the nation’s capital.

“Now all that glass is lovely, and it saves a bundle on lighting, but have you ever wondered if it’s all … y’know, explosion-proof? Because it totally isn’t. Which makes each of these lovely airports a build-your-own shrapnel bomb kit (just add gunpowder!),” Sela said. “In Israeli airports, the security checks are done in a small, blast-proof area with a few people in it at a time. So if there’s a bomb, we only have to evacuate one room. Not an entire terminal full of drunken businessmen and sleep-deprived families on vacation.”

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3 responses to ““The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6 year old with a water balloon””

  1. Lynne says :

    There is mostly the illusion of security here in the US, but this is a huge place. Most people think that tragedy will not strike them; it will happen in a distant place and not to them. It would take a complete change in mindset to create the demand for effective security. TSA should know better but TSA is a bunch of loser bureaucrats, just a hopeless lot of incompetents.

  2. Erin Rawls says :

    Ha….I believe we said the same thing as this guy yesterday. People just don’t get it. I follow the Jerusalem Post and receive their posts through facebook. If the average american read some of the comments made by the hamas supporters regarding the story and/or towards the pro-Israel followers’ responses I think they would get a HUGE wake up call as to the kind of anger and hatred there is in the world. It still shocks me. Now I comment back, but for a while I was just stunned by the viciousness of it all. The other night one of the anti-Israel/anti Jew responses if I depended on CNN for the news when I commented that hamas uses their civilians as human shields. Any person with any true desire to know what is going on in the middle east knows better than to depend on CNN. Sheesh! 😉 Lol.

    • Lynne says :

      Erin, too many people, maybe a majority of them, believe anything that they hear reported on the news, and they tend to avoid anything that challenges their point of view. They don’t know how to check sources or to read/view widely for a more balanced point of view. Also, the mainstream media tends to use tactics like burying stories and facts by not reporting on them at all or minimizing the stories, or they often absolutely LIE directly or by omission. MSNBC, CNN, etc. are totally corrupt…the BBC just vile…. makes me sick
      But in regard to security: In Israel, there was a near tragedy on a bus because most of the passengers were NOT observant and aware, the one who found the package opened it and fiddled around with the wires. the bus driver did not stop immediately but proceeded to the next stop to let the passengers off at a time when if it was a bomb every second counts. The Israeli public obviously needs a refresher course on what to do when taking transportation and how to spot suspicious behavior and what to do about it. I hope that this topic is getting coverage in the news there. Honestly, we cannot afford to be complacent and clueless.

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