After 20 Years of Failure, Kill the TSA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

After 20 Years of Failure, Kill the TSA

On this day in 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in a demonstration that the Keystone Kops are always prepared to exploit a crisis. In the ensuing two decades, the TSA has proven itself skilled at harassing travelers and freaking out over pocketknives and water bottles while steadfastly failing at its assigned task of making air transportation any safer. The TSA, in short, is an awful example of government in action.

"On the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia," the TSA summarizes in its official history. "The attacks resulted in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, designed to prevent similar attacks in the future."

The TSA launched with the passage of the Aviation and Transportation and Security Act on November 19, 2001. The new law nationalized passenger screening, which previously had been the responsibility of airlines. It's not clear why anybody saw a need for the TSA, since it's unlikely that a federal agency would have been any more successful than private contractors at predicting terrorists' unprecedented use of aircraft as kamikaze weapons. It's especially unlikely that the federal agency we actually got would have successfully diverted itself from confiscating play-doh to thwarting homicidal fanatics.

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