Not “IF”… but “When”


About the author: Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb i ... [read 's FULL BIO]

Over 3 years ago I wrote about the TSA and called it “window dressing”, now on the heels of knives being allowed back on planes and a fake bomb making it through security, a former TSA agent has come forward and stated what I’ve known all along.
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Remember the “Current Threat Level”, you know, the red, orange, yellow, blue and green color bar that the Department of Homeland Security uses to keep the public up to date on the U.S. terror threat? Bet you have no idea what color it is today.

The government website Terror-Alert explains the system,

The Homeland Security Advisory System is a means to disseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist acts to federal, state, and local authorities and to the American people.

In case you’re interested, we are currently at ‘yellow’ and incidentally we have been at “yellow” since September 10, 2007. The last time the color or level changed was back on June 30, 2007.

The system was created by a Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3 on March 11, 2002 and was unveiled on March 12, 2002. The original system was phased out on April 27, 2011, and replaced with a new system called the National Terrorism Advisory System.

I’m happy to say that it serves its purpose today about as well as it did when I wrote my article “Why is Our Government Hiding the Truth About Our Safety?” back on February 21, 2010 three years ago.

Interestingly enough I had written about the TSA in that article,

Since 9/11, since the creation of Homeland Security, since the changes in the TSA and since our supposed increased National security, I have been saying that we are not any safer today than we were on 9/10. Everything our Government has done is nothing more than window dressing.

Today the NY Post published an exclusive titled “Former Newark Airport TSA screener says the job does little to keep fliers safe” in the article the former TSA agent states,

“We’re [the TSA] not any big deterrent. It’s all for show.”

Well, you don’t say! At the cost of approximately 8 billion dollars annually, according to TSA News, it is one hell of an expensive show. The budget cuts and sequester didn’t seem to affect the show too much either as the TSA just ordered 50 million dollars in new uniforms.

CNS reported on March 5,

The impending sequester did not prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from acting in late February to seal a $50-million deal to purchase new uniforms for its agents–uniforms that will be partly manufactured in Mexico.

The TSA employs 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals and managers. That means that the uniform contract will pay the equivalent of $1,000 per TSA employee over the course of the year.

Well at least the TSA will look good while groping us if nothing else.

Just last week the TSA made the news because an undercover TSA inspector got a fake bomb through security at Newark Liberty International Airport. The fake improvised explosive device was stashed in his pants and he cleared two different layers of security and managed to be cleared to board a commercial flight.

CBS New York reported,

The incident was part of an undercover inspection at Newark and followed an abysmal performance on an audit last October.

The audit found that Newark TSA agents:

* Followed proper pat down procedures just 16.7 percent of the time.

* Confiscated banned items from carry-on luggage just 25 percent of the time.

What’s worse is that the TSA evidently didn’t catch 3 out of 4 fake bombs. The NY Post reported,

Only one member of the four-man “Red Team” that purported to bring explosives onto planes on Feb. 25 was caught, according to the report. That actor was detected with an IED hidden inside a doll, though sources told the Post that it had wires sticking out of it and was quite obvious.

I have written 10 different articles on the TSA over the years and spoken about the “joke of security” that it is. I have stated time and time again both on my radio program as well as in my lectures “it isn’t a question of if we will suffer another terrorist attack but rather when.” Once again I must refer back to the NY Post interview where the former TSA agent stated,

“What are the chances of you being on a flight where something happens? We always said it’s not a question of if terrorists get through — it’s a question of when. Our feeling is nothing’s happened because they haven’t wanted it to happen.”

That sounds familiar. What I found to me one of the most disturbing things in the interview was where the former agent explained,

“These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.”

He explained the education level needed to work as an agent as well,

“Did you know you don’t need a high-school diploma or GED to work as a security screener? These are the same screeners that TSA chief John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refer to as a first-class first line of defense in the war on terror.”

“First line of defense”? That is a joke. As my friends and family know I hate to fly, if I can drive there I’ll opt for the car ride rather than being in the air. It’s not due to a fear of flying as much as that I know the truth behind our so-called security.

2 Years ago when I flew out of LaGuardia I entered the passengers only “secure area” and boarded the plane with no security check at all. I wasn’t attempting to side step security as I had done in the past, no, I just was never checked.

The line that I chose, along with everyone else, just walked right in, no metal detectors, no scanners, no TSA agents, we just walked right through while those in other lines were checked as usual. Oh, and we didn’t even have to take off our shoes. Apparently the area where the line formed was just forgotten about and no TSA was there at all. Yeah, that was a fun flight.

More recently in January, I flew in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with a stop over each way, a total of 3 airports in each direction. I wore my DHS (Department of Homeland Security) jacket which I had received as a gift for a class/lecture I gave to members of the DHS on terrorism. Needless to say, the TSA agents were more interested in what my job was than checking me properly. Questions and comments such as,

“You work for DHS, what do you do, I want to work for them too, how can I move up?”

This is just another example and backs up what the former TSA agent said in his interview with the NY Post,

“Most TSA screeners know their job is a complete joke. Their goal is to use this as a stepping stone to another government agency.”

I was told on two occasions “We’re on the same team, come on through.” This was only due to my jacket, for all these TSA people knew I had stolen it; they had no idea who I was or ever asked me for my credentials, they assumed if I had the DHS jacket I was safe.

Now knives will be allowed on planes once again. What could possibly go wrong there? As a Wall Street Journal article explains,

Sen. Charles Schumer wants the Transportation Security Administration to reverse its newly announced plan to allow passengers to bring small knives and other items, like golf clubs and hockey sticks, onto planes.

“While it’s true that pilots are safe, locked behind cockpit doors, these dangerous items still pose a significant hazard to the flight crew, other passengers, and even the integrity of the plane,” said Schumer.

As pointed out however by the former TSA agents interview,

“Incidentally, the flap over the new rule allowing small pocketknives is overblown. Most of the public doesn’t realize it, but you are already allowed to bring scissors, screwdrivers, tweezers, knitting needles and any number of sharp instruments on board.”

What in the hell does someone even need a screwdriver on a plane for anyway, do they plan on detaching their seat to make more leg room?

Once again, you don’t have to take my word for it. Next time you fly remember the words of the former TSA agent,

“Anyone boarding an aircraft should feel maybe only a teeny tiny bit safer than if there were no TSA at all.”

Yes, it’s “a teeny tiny bit safer”, after all as of April 25 you’ll be able to carry your pocket knife for protection.

Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and
counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after
surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning
to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high
schools and colleges. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Frontpage Mag,
Family Security Matters and dozens of other sites. He can be heard every Thursday night
at 8PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.

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  • Dan Hecker

    Great article, Jan!



    • They know. They don’t really WANT to be safe. Just appear to be safe and spend money and abuse our freedoms.
      Want to see a real idiot. See the travelers who spout about “as long as we are safe, I will be happy”.

    • Dr. Evil

      And, for the most part, they know who to search. If you meet the criteria, you get searched (as one of my co-workers found out). And when they get done with you, you know you’ve been searched. – Oh! and by the way, that should be “Americans are too stupid”.



  • The best proven way is how the Israeli’s do it. Observe no uniforms and make sure you check the arabs in coming from other countries that is were all the problems have come from not from here.

    • Our muslilm president does not want to offend or stop the terrorists, really. He just wants to appear to be doing something that actually violates a Constitutional Amendment, (unreasonable search) and to SPEND money as fast as he can.
      You see, we are not going bankrupt fast enough. He has got to keep spending and make sure that ANY cuts are highly visible and preferably, on essential services.

      • Yes you are right. To Obama little white children in a wheel chair = terrorist.

        • Alex M

          If it were the case that all little children in wheel chairs were admitted to a flight without being searched, where do you think the observant terrorist is likely to chose to secrete a weapon or explosive?

  • Zepp

    Well as an airline pilot I can honestly say I fear for my life doing my job anymore. Drones being spotted on final approach into JFK, bombs being sneaked through TSA and now passengers can stab the flight attendants. Only a matter of time before a disaster happens from this. Thank God I’m behind locked doors with my crash ax!

    • If only they would hire the Israelis to implement their screening system, THEN flyers would be safe. But that is profiling. And as we all know, it is more important NOT to profile than it is to be safe. Yes bring in the Israeli system and fire ALL TSA gropers.

      • irish7_1sg

        How about if we just ask El Al officials for some advice? They have not had any problems since way before 9/11!

    • Dr. Evil

      Sounds like you are a good candidate for a CCW and a 1911 (unless of course you are based out of Chicago).

  • Duncan

    While I agree TSA is a joke, I’m not alarmed about the decision to allow me to take my knife along…as I’ve snuck it on twice already. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Consider the fact that the world is a different place post 9/11. It’s a small comfort to me to know that the knives are in the hands of the patriots, and we’re not going to allow a repeat.

    • I’m with you, Duncan. Had there been people with knives on the flights of 9/11 there may have been fewer planes hijacked, at least by hijackers with box-cutters.

      • you guys are dreaming: the names of the supposed hijackers were not on the flight manifests. read my lips, the government is lying to you. don’t be a schmuck.

        • Duncan

          Les, I think you’re missing the point. If WE good guys have knives, we’ll attack the bad guys and there won’t be a hijacking. Passengers were unprepared to mount a defense, in a way that won’t be repeated. We don’t care if their name is on the passenger list or not. If you reply, I hope you’ll have the decency to forgo more immature name calling

    • When the GOOD are disarmed, the BAD will find a way to be armed. So DON’T disarm good people. That is just logical.

  • ga41

    i predict another disaster so the powers that be will have the excuse to strip more of our civil liberties all in the name of protection

    • Then scream at the top of your lungs. IT IS THE PEOPLE —- BAD PEOPLE. NOT THE WEAPONS.

  • Woodstockwillie

    bam bam is giddy at this point, seeing his grand plan taking shape. Very soon we will be a nation at war with itself. All of these new orginizations were nothing more then a knee jerk reaction. If we wanted increased security it should have been a Military program, just as border security should be. I am guessing that TSA is one of the countless goverment branches that is stockpiling ammunition, weapons and food supplies. Everyone has been focusing on the massive government purchases of ammunition, but has failed to look at what else they are buying. If you READ the procurement order, you will see it includes Kevlar vests and holsters.

    • Too many patriots in the military. He would not be able to give the order to fire on civilians and count on them doing it.

      • JJM123

        That’s why he’s building his DHS army of lemmings.

  • armedandsafe

    In 1981, I boarded a plane in San Diego and was required to check my pocket knife, with its belt scabbard into baggage. The only box the lady could find was a rifle box. We taped the little 3 inch knife inside the box and sent it through. Upon arriving in Washington DC, I retrieved my knife and proceed on to 5 days of installing computers and teaching classes to government agencies with that little knife on my belt. I did not have to check it flying out of DC back to San Diego.
    What was most ammusing about the whole thing was that I was allowed to take my briefcase tool kit on board.

    • Like the Connecticut shooting, it is all about appearance and not about truly rational ways of dealing with violent people.
      And Americans have yet to rise up and demand that the dictatorial bureaucrats and elitists BACK OFF.

  • granny

    I would have to say that Americans are trustworthy & think there is good in people, while the israel nurds don’t trust a friggin soul. That is what separates we humans from the inhumane.muslim jihadists.

    • Your thinking is backwards. Being groped is not an indication that the government thinks we are good people. And the Israelis seem to be able to secure their flights without the sexual contact. Why do you exempt muslim women in burkas from search? I assure the Israelis would not. But TSA will strip search a 3 year old or a 90 year old in a wheelchair, and they will have a shapely woman go back through the scanner two or three times to get a good look at her. Now what do you define as “human”?

  • granny

    We know that the WH Nurd wants to perform jihad on We The People. He wants his own private army just like Hitler and a form of the SS. Thus the uniforms.

  • reggiec

    Maybe security is lax because they want another disaster. Then the TSA can really violate us.

  • kirk

    I remember as a kid flying back and forth between parents, Watching men get on the plane with rifles. They would open the action and give it to the stewardess to put in the coat closet. There has been on hijacking attempt up here. That ended when the stewardess beat the crap out of hijacker. The no knife policy only means that those who are not a problem don’t have a knife. The weapon is not the problem. It is people with evil intentions. Being so worried about the knife when we have such poor security is a clear case of not seeing the forest because of the trees.

    • I will translate: Focus on the people, particularly bad people. Weapons are ONLY a problem when in the hands of bad people.

  • A very eye opening and interesting article, sir. Thank you.

  • After billons of dollars spent TSA has not caught 1 terrorist. So they need to lure them back onto planes so they can catch something.

    • Rosie46

      The terrorists will strike somewhere else — they are not stupid enough to go back on planes, though with the incompetence of the TSA they would have no trouble. TSA is a waste of taxpayer money and like one writer pointed out — just a training and recruiting ground for Obama’s private police/military contingent. Anyone with half a brain would use our returning military and veterans, have them trained by the Israeli security force and use them where they are needed. TSA is a joke.

  • 12 Years of TSA and no terrorists captured, apprehended, or identified, of course it’s all a show. Just like the whole turban wearing terrorist thing is a show, when the US Government has proven they are 5x the terrorists(using terror for political gain) than Iran, Iraq, or Syria. But the biggest show is the show of stupidity and submissive behavior by an American people that would have embarrassed Jefferson to tears. Not long ago I saw a poll that polled Americans before they boarded a plane. 35% of those polled said they would be willing to go through an anal cavity search to board a plane(I suspect this number would be higher in San Francisco), and in another poll 35% of those polled said they would wear electric shock bracelets for the duration of their flight. I guess it really does go back to the old Benjamin Franklin quote, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    • Many years ago, Australia disarmed the good people. The criminals still have guns and use them in the commission of crimes. But the people have been so indoctrinated that they no longer think about the possibility of arming themselves for self defense.

      • Alex M

        Stony ground, I’m sure, but Australians never had a constitutional right to carry arms, and had a low firearms ownership rate anyway. The death rate from firearms in Australia has now fallen to around a third of that which existed prior to the buy-back program.

  • Al

    To anyone in the Aviation industry or who travels for a living—TSA is basically a puppet & a scam—for the U.S. GOVT. Anything for the Govt. to spend MEGA $$$ on!! Just another worthless -classic abuse of the taxpayer’s dollar!!

  • aeronca7acnc85057

    I did airport security in the days before TSA. I have a 22 suvival rifel that we took through the xray after hours. We stoped the belt and looked for it but could not see it.
    We also had FAA security smugle a revolver through security. after passangers boarded she told us there was a gun in the lower right hand corner of her suitcase. We stoped the belt and looked but could not find it. she pointed it out and said see there is a part of the triger guard.
    TSA is just to fool you into thinking someone is looking out for you.

  • I’ve carried a pocket knife all my life. I’ve never hurt anyone with it. Why punish me? Zepp, you are a wuss. Put your battle ax down and fly this airplane safely to my destination, thank you !
    I have over 4000 hours flight time, and have never been hijacked. Especially by grandpa with his pocket knife.

  • Good article…well said! Our country is not only blind, but also stupid!

  • irish7_1sg

    I am reading more and more on the internet about the TSA expanding their roles, operating traffic control points and other duties along America’s roadways. Can’t hardly wait for them to go rifling through your car, can you?

  • Sagebrush6

    The TSA agents are people who couldn’t buy a job. These are the idiots off the streets who would normally be setting on 1st street begging for coins with their faithful mutt, Jeff.

  • Whoopee ! I get to carry a little knife w/ a 2-1/2″ blade. Good enough to sharpen my pencil or open my paycheck… Big Deal !
    The 9/11 Terrorists used box cutters to overpower the passengers & crew of 3 aircraft. Thank God for cellphones or they wouldn’t have taken down the terrorists on plane #3 !

  • The TSA was an experiment to see just how much totalitarian police state the sheeple would put up with and it passed with flying colors – no pun intended! It is nothing more than intimidation and harassment procedures meant to make it burdensome on you sheeple that haven’t the smarts nor discipline to boycott flying , as I have, until these draconion measures are lifted! They will be expanded to highways and train and bus depots, this I can assure you, baa, baa, baa, we want Obaa-baa-ma say the insane sheeple!

  • Tomtom

    Benghazi, we will find out the truth and Obama will be shown as the treasonist slim bag behind it !!!!!!