TSA Draws Rage for $50M Uniform Deal, Knives Policy
Agency accused of being tone-deaf, making flight attendants 'sitting ducks'
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2013 6:05 AM CST
A TSA employee advises travelers that liquids are not allowed through the gate at at the Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Just a week before the sequester kicked in, the TSA signed a deal to spend $50 million on new uniforms, reports Politico. The agency calls the uniforms a necessity, but for many on Capitol Hill it was just another sign of the TSA's cluelessness. "When we’re losing essential services and they’re closing down or threatening to close down all sorts of important government activities, to have them cut the deal on $50 million for uniforms is absolutely outrageous,” complains a Florida Republican.

The TSA's recent announcement that it will allow small knives on flights—but still not full size shampoos and toiletries—is also angering many, including the families of people killed on 9/11, reports the AP. "I'm really disgusted by this latest news," said a woman whose firefighter son was killed at the World Trade Center. Given that the 9/11 hijacks used simple box cutters, others suspect the next rules were made more for TSA screeners' convenience than safety. The agency's employees "have a difficult time seeing these knives on X-ray screening, which lowers their performance testing rates," said a woman whose brother was pilot on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Also upset, according to the Consumerist: Air marshals and flight attendants, who are both appealing the decision. "Flight attendants are going to be sitting ducks," says a top air marshal.

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Mar 13, 2013 9:21 AM CDT
The U.S. got along very well for many years with just the U.S. Marshal's Service. Now we have dozens of alphabet soup agencies, and are we safer for it? Many western countries still do just fine with one or two national law enforcement/intelligence agencies. Australia (AFP) and Canada (RCMP) come to mind. Why do we need the DEA, the FBI, the CIA, the DSS, the TSA, the Secret Service, the DIA, the NSA, the Postal Inspection Service, and God knows how many more we've never heard of, each with its own mandate and budget? We're living in a de facto police state, and paying dearly for the privilege.
Mar 11, 2013 9:45 AM CDT
Two words: Corrupt Union. TSA became unionized June, 2011.
Mar 7, 2013 11:27 PM CST
I don't care as long as they are made in the United States of America, by American Workers.