AIN Blog: Mica Gains Allies in Goal To Reform TSA

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Rep. John Mica
Rep. John Mica wants to remove the TSA from the DHS and relocate the agency to the Department of Transportation.
December 1, 2011 - 9:00am

The self-admitted “father” of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is driving another nail in the coffin of his “bastard child.” But this time he has other House chairmen and subcommittee chairmen working with him.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who heads the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, ordered their Republican investigative staffs to review the performance of the much-maligned TSA.

Mica does not disguise his desire to eliminate the TSA in its present form and return to a lean, risk-based, adaptive agency responsible for analyzing intelligence, setting security standards and overseeing the nation’s transportation security structure.

“Unfortunately, the TSA has strayed from its security mission and mushroomed into a top-heavy bureaucracy that includes 3,986 headquarters staff, making $103,852 per year on average, and 9,656 administrators in the field,” he said. He noted that the agency has 65,000 employees and has spent $57 billion on numerous operational and technology failures.

“While we are safer today than we were 10 years ago, this is largely thanks to the vigilance of American citizens and passengers, the actions of flight crews and armed pilots, the addition of hardened cockpit doors and the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies,” Mica continued. “After 10 years, we cannot continue to rely on luck. It is time for reform.”

According to Issa, the agency has become “a backwards-looking dinosaur that seeks employees through pizza box advertising and struggles to detect actual terrorist threats.” The House investigators uncovered more than 25,000 security breaches in U.S. airports since 2001.

The report, entitled “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” was released in mid-November at a press briefing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The probe found that the agency suffers from mismanagement and failure.

“From the top down, the TSA is a troubled agency,” the congressional staffers said. “The TSA and its Administrator are buried within the Department of Homeland Security [DHS], along with 21 other agencies. Turnover in the position of TSA Administrator has been excessive, and too little priority has been placed on naming a new administrator when the position has become vacant.”

Mica wants to remove the TSA from the Department of Homeland Security and relocate it to the Department of Transportation. The report said the House Transportation Committee is preparing new legislation to reform TSA in accordance with the findings of the investigators, including an audit by a “qualified outside organization.”

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Bea
on December 2, 2011 - 10:46am

Mica is about as disingenuous as they come.
After spending most of his adult life sponging off taxpayers in Congress, he didn't know how bureaucracies "work" and that they ALWAYS "stray from ... [their] mission[s] and [mushroom] into ... top-heav[iness]"? Gimme a break!
You can't reform TSA anymore than you can reform rats. ABOLISH IT. End its war on the American people.

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Wimpie
on December 3, 2011 - 1:18pm

Just as supposedly every passenger is at some risk of terrorist attack, if every passenger were also subject to a backscatter screening, then the actual risk of deaths by cancer means the machines are "deadlier than the terrorists." (-Bruce Schneier)

Remember - You have the RIGHT to OPT-OUT! Use of the scanner is OPTIONAL - Check the TSA website. Don't take a chance on Cancer.

Remember - Government said Agent Orange was safe.
They said x-ray shoe scanners were safe.
They said Thalidomide was safe.
They said Asbestos was safe.
They said body scanners were safe.

Get the message. Scientists estimate 100 deaths per year from body scanners. But the number may be more as some have estimated the dose at 10-20 times what the government is telling. Nobody knows for sure.

How many people have terrorists killed on airplanes since 9/11 and before body scanners? How about NONE!

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Barry
on December 3, 2011 - 8:14pm

Do not stand for Mica's plans to grow his private army of jack-booted thugs. Say no to Mica's plans to let his private army strip search your kids. Say no to his plans to subvert your constitutional rights.
Remember Nazi Germany? They started by creating private army's that were not subject to established laws. That is already happening in the private Screener program. Screeners are are exempted from many of the laws that affect you and me.
Mica started the program, he was in power as the TSAgrew, now he wants to privatize his army and exercise total control as the suprreme commander. He is a very dangerous man.

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