Reason’s Balko to Obama: Revamp the TSA, Let Cato Run It

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On, Reason‘s Radley Balko offers Unsolicited Advice for Obama. Most of it’s good, but he says we should revamp the TSA. Me, I’d say abolish it. Balko–a “former policy analyst with the Cato Institute, who voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004–also thinks we should appoint a Cato guy to head up the TSA:

Revamp the Transportation Security Administration. And by “revamp,” I mean “start over.” Most security experts agree that the rigmarole we go through at the airport is mere security theater, designed not to make us safer, but to make us feel safer by making it increasingly inconvenient to fly. TSA’s approach to security is too reactionary — too set on preventing attacks and attempted attacks that have already happened. And please, whatever you do, resist the temptation to let TSA workers unionize. Security from terror attacks should not be a federal jobs program. You need the authority to fire underperforming screeners quickly and effortlessly. Three game-changing possibilities to head up TSA: security guru Bruce Schneier, Cato Institute security and technology scholar Jim Harper, or Ohio State University’s John Mueller.

10:41 pm on November 17, 2008