Feature

TSA's 'spectacular' snafu

The government mistakenly released top-secret screening tactics. Should Americans be worried?

In what is being called an "appalling and astounding breach of security," the Transportation and Security Administration inadvertently posted a 93-page screening procedure manual on the Internet. Secrets exposed include the percent of bags actually checked by security (20%), the countries meriting extra scrutiny (there are 12 of them), and rules for government officials (many are exempt from special screening). TSA officials insist the foul-up won't compromise national security, but many experts are questioning that. Does the blunder make fliers less safe?

This is a national disaster: This screw-up could easily qualify as "inadvertent treason," says Rick Moran at the American Thinker. The release of this "blueprint" guide to our security puts American lives in grave jeopardy —in fact, "it has the potential to absolutely destroy domestic air travel." After this, will anyone feel comfortable enough to fly the friendly skies?"TSA leaves online love note for al Qaeda"

These "secrets" don't seem terribly surprising: Why would anyone be "amazed" to hear that the TSA only checks 20% of bags? Frankly, "I'm sort of surprised it's that many," says Helen Anders in the Austin Statesman. "If the TSA had to hand-inspect every bag, we'd all have to show up at the airport 5 hours before our flights." Chances are the biggest consequence of this gaffe will be tighter security—just in time for the holiday travel crush. "Uh-oh: TSA puts its security manual online"

The TSA has punked us: Average Americans are expected to jump through countless hoops in the name of "national security," writes Jo-Ann Armao in The Washington Post's PostPartisan blog. Now those same officials have done something that "renders all those steps meaningless." Will we ever trust the TSA the same way again? "Not likely." "The intolerable TSA"

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