The Transportation Security Administration’s nearly $7 billion budget is a waste, Jeffrey Goldberg reports in the Atlantic. With the help of a security expert, Goldberg has, at various times, gotten through airport security using counterfeit passes, carrying potentially dangerous objects and liquids—not to mention a Hezbollah flag and an Osama bin Laden t-shirt—and acting as nervous as possible.
“The whole system is designed to catch stupid terrorists,” the expert says, arguing that the ones who succeed aren’t apt, for instance, to try to bring knives aboard jets, and that resources would be better spent catching terrorists before they arrive at airports. Naturally, the TSA disagrees: “There are vulnerabilities everywhere, in everything,” the agency’s head says. “The question is not ‘Is there a vulnerability?’ It’s ‘What are you doing about it?’”