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HB 1454, The Washington State Freedom Of Travel Act, uses clear and commonsense language to point out the illegal activities which the TSA is already carrying out on a regular basis and sets penalties for violations within the state.
Any commercial airport can apply to TSA’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP), which has been around since the inception of TSA. After approval from TSA and a competitive bidding process, SPP allows airports to transition to private screeners while maintaining TSA oversight and the corresponding increased level of security implemented since 9/11. So… if an airport applies and is accepted into the SPP program, they receive the same screening from a private company instead of TSA officers. That’s the only difference. All commercial airports are regulated by TSA whether the actual screening is performed by TSA or private companies. So TSA’s policies – including advanced imaging technology and pat downs – are in place at all domestic airports.
If you’ve flown out of one of these airports, you’ve experienced privatized screening from an SPP airport. Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS); Dawson Community Airport (GDV); Frank Wiley Field (MLS); Greater Rochester International (ROC); Havre City County Airport (HVR); Jackson Hole (JAC); Joe Foss Field (FSD); Kansas City International (MCI); Key West International Airport (EYW); L.M. Clayton Airport (OLF); Lewistown Municipal Airport (LWT); Roswell International Air Center (ROW); San Francisco International (SFO); Sidney Richland Regional (SDY); Tupelo Regional (TUP); Wokal Field (GGW)
As Jim White notes, the chances of a terrorism on a plane are about one in forty million. The chances of being struck by lightning, as Nate Silver points out, are one in five hundred thousand. And, as I noted yesterday, airline terrorism rates haven’t particularly gone down since we started spending billions on airline security. All this adds up to the fact that the TSA gets almost $8 billion dollars of taxpayer money annually and it does nothing which has made us safer. Over a ten year period, that’s $80 billion. That’s enough money to expand Medicare, say, or perhaps enough that if put into a dedicated fund, it would ally Joe Lieberman’s ridiculous fears that a public option would have to be bailed out.