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Tom Tangney

TSA can keep expanding, just don't make us wait in line

Would you have a problem if it was the TSA checking your bags at a music festival or sportiong event? (AP Photo/File)

It must be hard being a TSA officer. The Transportation Security Administration is oft despised for its slow security lines at the airport, and its practices deemed invasive with pat-downs and full-body scans.

But what if the TSA didn't just make our airports secure? If you thought a music festival lacked a pat-down, or a bag needed to be checked a second time at Seahawks games, you might be in luck.

The TSA is expanding.

It makes sense to KIRO Radio host Tom Tangney that TSA authorities would start checking trains. It's that the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team, (those are the guys that will be working outside the airport,) are going beyond protecting passengers from terrorists.

Since the expansion first began, there have been instances of transit police arresting people not for terrorism, but on outstanding warrants for prostitution and minor drug possession. The legality of the searches in those instances was disputed.

"We give all sorts of allowances to government agencies to let them 'take care of us,'" said KIRO Radio host John Curley, referring to the lack of outrage over the information recently publicized by NSA-leaker Edward Snowden.

"I think there are legitimate concerns how expansive (it is)," John said.

But aside from arrest warrants, John thinks how you really feel about the TSA expansion has everything to do with your how long you have to wait. If that line at the airport moved more quickly, we might not even have a problem with the TSA's invasiveness.

"Most people have no problem opening up a bag. I think that most people would not have a concern that they want to look in there [...] but it's when it's an inconvenience," said John.

It's when you dutifully get to the airport an hour and-a-half early, you get the ticket, and then you run into this entire line of people moving like cattle through the ineffective TSA screening.

"But if you got there and there was no line, and you screened through it in 15 or 20 seconds, you wouldn't care at all about the TSA," said John. "It's the ineffectiveness and the stress that comes out of it."

That's why, if the TSA decides to show up at a Seahawks game this fall to do additional random bag checks, Tom won't mind. That is, until the screening takes so long he misses the first quarter of the game.

Tom Tangney on KIRO Radio

  • Tom Tangney on KIRO RadioJoin Tom Tangney and the rest of the radio crew every day KIRO Radio.

About the Author


Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at MyNorthwest.com. She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.

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