Reports abound of arbitrary and abusive treatment by overzealous agents, a litany of intimidation that includes attractive women singled out for extra "examination," unnecessarily aggressive pat-downs and, perhaps most commonly, verbal abuse toward passengers who exhibit any sort of indignation for what they perceive as harsh or unnecessary measures.
The worst fears of many air travellers were confirmed last week in a court finding related to a 2011 incident in Norfolk, Va. A former agent of the Transportation Security Administration, a federal department founded shortly after the 9/11 attacks, pleaded guilty to stealing $520 from a passenger. The theft, of course, is bad enough (and all too common, as we'll see in a moment). But according to statements from the agent, John W. Irwin, he did so partly as a means to punish a traveller he felt was giving him attitude. ...
As for the outrageous theft by the people who are supposed to be ensuring our security, it apparently goes on all the time. Not only cash, but phones, iPads and laptops frequently fail to make it back into passengers' luggage. Since 2003, nearly 400 TSA agents lost their jobs due to theft.
Of course, TSA lying propagandists like "Blogger Bob" would have you believe that the TSA is run by angels making our lives safer and better each and every day.