Airports Looking To Replace TSA Screeners With Contractors

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s been a slight bit of public push-back to the TSA’s increased use of full-body scanners and invasive pat-downs at security checkpoints. And at least one airport in Florida is telling the TSA “no thanks,” opting to use a private contractor instead.

The Orlando Sanford International Airport — not to be confused with the larger Orlando International Airport — says it has done the research and come to the conclusion that it can do better with one of the five approved private screening companies.

Says the director of the Sanford Airport Authority:

All of our due diligence shows it’s the way to go… You’re going to get better service at a better price and more accountability and better customer service.

Orlando-area Congressman John Mica, expected to take over the reins of the Transportation Committee next year, recently sent a letter to the nation’s 100 busiest airports urging them to consider using contractors.

“I think TSA is overstepping its bounds,” he says.

Meanwhile, in Georgia a Macon City Councilor has declared that he wants to stop using TSA screeners at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

Sanford Airport to opt out of TSA screening [WDBO.com]

Southeast airports debate TSA vs. contractors [AJC.com]

Thanks to William and TJF for the tips

Comments

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  1. Power Imbalance says:

    Suddenly Orlando looks like a great place to visit over spring break.

  2. tedyc03 says:

    Won’t make a difference. The patdowns are the “procedure” now, and a private company is going to have to do it just like the government is doing it.

    • Pax says:

      Wrong.

      Private companies are going to be able to decide on their OWN procedure.

      The TSA doesn’t get to write laws.

      • Gramin says:

        The TSA can issue policies. It’s a government entity, not a private organization. They’re tasked with ensuring airline safety and can force contractors to abide by their policies and regulations.

        You really have no clue what you’re talking about.

        • Pax says:

          Unless the TSA has been granted the authority to craft Regulatory Law, by an act of Congress … then their policies don’t apply to private contractors.

          • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

            Are you seriously claiming to have never heard of the FDA, USDA, FCC, FTC, and other agencies created by Congress and given regulatory powers?

            • OnePumpChump says:

              The difference is those are all toothless, because they aren’t regulating regular people.

              • Southern says:

                The FDA just banned energy drinks that contain alcohol & caffiene, and they banned the sale of all “flavored” cigarettes (except for menthol) in the entire United States..

                Doesn’t sound “toothless” to me.

                • Morte42 says:

                  The TSA just announced that infringing on your Constitutionally guaranteed rights is a necessary evil and you should just get used to it, all in the hopes of preventing and act they have a 0% success rate of preventing. Seeing the difference yet?

                  • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

                    Great, so the previously existing law allowing the TSA to set these regulations needs to be modified.

                    See how much more productive that sounds than “this is unconstitutional for unspecified reasons, waaaaaaaah”?

            • Gramin says:

              DOE, Ed Dept, USPS, Treasury… to name a few more.

            • Pax says:

              Not every agency created by Congress is necessarily empowered to craft Regulatory Law.

              My question then, is: was the TSA explicitly so empowered by Congress?

          • Gramin says:

            Per the Aviation and Transporation Security Act, “the level of screening services and protection provided at the airport under the contract will be equal to or greater than the level that would be provided at the airport by Federal Government personnel under this chapter.”

            They have to do the exact same thing (or more!) as the TSA agents.

            • AnthonyC says:

              I think there’s a very good argument that not doing the scanners or pat downs *does* provide an equal level of security :-p

              Not that I expect the contractor, or the airport, to actually try to make and defend that argument, but just saying.

          • Billy says:

            The private contractors don’t get approved unless they use TSA procedure.

          • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

            The TSA was created by federal law, as was the option to replace it with private contractors. How much money would you bet that same law doesn’t require those private contractors to follow the TSA’s regulations (which is constitutional – interstate commerce, the federal government can basically do whatever the F it wants)?

      • FoxCMK says:

        If you’d read the article, you’d find the following:

        The TSA points out that even if an airport decides to use a private firm for security, the screeners still must follow TSA guidelines. That would include using the full body scanners if they are installed at the airport.

        So far nothing in the Constitution’s stopped any of their invasive, ridiculous procedures thus far. What makes you think this would be any exception?

        Don’t let this nonsense fool you, folks. It’s all an act to get people to calm down. “Hey, maybe if the blue-shirts aren’t doing the frisking, maybe people will go back to being calm, submissive wimps again.”

        • Kitten Mittens says:

          Who decides if the scanners get installed? The airport?

        • ArmyCats says:

          “That would include using the full body scanners ***IF*** they are installed at the airport.”

          Simple solution: Use contractors and don’t install a full body scanner…

      • dangerp says:

        I honestly thought this to be the case, but due to the divisiveness in this thread, decided to check for myself. It looks to me like contractors will still have to follow the policies of the TSA. I could have misinterpreted, but it totally burst my happy little bubble.

        http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/spp_faqs.shtm

      • pinkbunnyslippers says:

        Pretty sure they do, since they’re, ya know, the government.

    • M-D says:

      Exactly. It doesn’t matter it’s TSA-proper or a contractor; the contractors are expected to adhere to TSA regs. The contractor at SFO is notorious for being MORE aggressive than ‘real’ TSA.

    • Retired Again says:

      WRONG ……. there were 3 different PRIVATE solution systems.

    • Bearzooka says:

      At the very minimum, with a private contractor you’re going to have better educated, better trained, and more efficient employees. Gov’t employees are always at the bottom of the barrel compared to private companies in pretty much every category……..except pay and benefits……imagine that

      • trentblase says:

        BS. The TSA screeners working at an airport that goes private are going to lose their jobs. The contractor will then hire those same TSA screeners because they don’t need training. Same people, same procedures, just add yet another layer of overhead.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        I want this to be true, but I thought security at airports, pre-9/11, was a minimum wage gig. The TSA does have a training process, though not a great one, and the starting pay in most areas is $13/hour, which isn’t terrible for a non-construction job that doesn’t require a degree or certification.

        These private places will probably be more cost efficient, with labor costs being the first thing to go, and the pool of prospective employees will reflect that cheapness.

        “I have to touch your balls or else I won’t get my raise to $8.25!”

      • Kavatar says:

        How does it feel to just make things up?

      • kmw2 says:

        And that’s why mall security guards are the cream of the crop.

        Oh, no. Wait.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Do you remember what the security guards at airports were like prior to TSA? They were paid crap and were out-of-shape and not particularly well-trained. Most of them didn’t pass the evaluation when the TSA was created (though many didn’t have at least a green card, so were ineligible to apply).

    • Chaosium says:

      Tell that to New Jersey.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Having a procedure and how it is applied are two different things.

  3. Pax says:

    Yes, PLEASE …!!

  4. ihatephonecompanies says:

    I fail to see why having private contractors fondle you is better than government employees.

    • headhot says:

      its easier to sue a private company then the government.

      • Gramin says:

        Well, not really in this instance. You’d still have to sue the United States. The contractors will be following TSA/DHS issued regulations, and as such, are acting as agents of the state.

      • IphtashuFitz says:

        It’s also easier to fire an employee of a private firm than it is a government employee.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          That’s right-wing BS. Nothing about working for the government means not getting fired for bad behavior. In fact, there are rules to follow whereas a private company can do whatever they want.

          • healthdog says:

            Have you ever worked with or for a Government agency? It is darn near impossible to fire a non-contractor civil servant unless they fondle some….whoa

            Meta.

            • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

              Yes, I have worked for the government. I got reprimanded for dealing with an asshole in a way that caused him to whine and not pay his part. In a private business, I’d have gotten a raise for creativity ;^) Several departments were sick and tired of this guy by the time I came into contact.

    • Pax says:

      The private contractsors won’t necessarily be fondling you. That’s the difference: if an airport decides to ditch the TSA, it’ll be because they don’t like how th TSAis screening people … why then, would they hire someon who screens them the same way ..?

      • Gramin says:

        WRONG! If it’s TSA policy, then the contractors MUST abide by it. They have no choice but to follow the regulations issued by the TSA and DHS. Their pat down procedure will be the same as the TSA’s.

        • Grungo says:

          Please provide a citation for this, or we can safely assume you are making it up. Thanks.

          • ihatephonecompanies says:

            “The TSA points out that even if an airport decides to use a private firm for security, the screeners still must follow TSA guidelines. That would include using enhanced pat-downs and the full-body scanners if they are installed at the airport.”

            From the wdbo link above

            • adamstew says:

              Wouldn’t the private screening company have the option of removing the backscatter scanners?

              The regulations say “if they are installed”. Well, they aren’t installed, so they don’t have to use them.

              • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

                The TSA is continually rolling these machines out. It’s a matter of time until it’s required by TSA regulation.

                • haggis for the soul says:

                  Yep. Once a governmental ball gets rolling, it’s very hard to stop, whether it’s a stupid plan or not. “Well, we’ve dumped so many millions into this thing, we’d better not waste it.”

          • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:
            • Pax says:

              Okay, I’ve read it. Atlength. Boring stuff, but nontheless: there’s no mention of the TSA being granted the power to craft Regulatory Law that would force private companies to use the same methods.

              If you want to insist there is … cite it, not the whole document but the exact passage.

          • Gramin says:

            They beat me to it. Are you happy now?

      • ihatephonecompanies says:

        “All of our due diligence shows … blah blah blah … at a better price… blah blah….”

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        if an airport decides to ditch the TSA, it’ll be because they don’t like how th(sic) TSAis(sic) screening people … why then, would they hire someon(sic) who screens them the same way ..?

        Because I would bet the airport is having some friction with certain people in the TSA working at their site, and has no recourse to get them replaced/transferred except for kicking them out as a whole. Either that, or it’s a money/budget thing as non-union employees probably get paid less. So they are trying to save a buck using the “generic” TSA screeners.

    • VeganPixels says:

      B-B-B-Because it’s a PRIVATE bidness in teh FREE MARKET for teh SMALL bidness man and FREEDOM not gubmint and SOCIALISM.

    • Chaosium says:

      They won’t be forced to use the TSA prison-industrial lobbied technology and “enhanced techniques”, for one.

      • Dory says:

        Yes they will. Private screeners are still bound by TSA guidelines and procedures.

        • Chaosium says:

          They will be using the procedures in airports that DON’T HAVE THE DEVICES, that is to say, they will not be enhanced patting me down.

  5. ttw1 says:

    Sanford, not Sandford

  6. Tim says:

    A Republican wants to encourage government contracting? I’m shocked, shocked!

  7. Tim says:

    By the way, TSA still sets the regulations. Contractors have to do what the TSA tells them to.

    • Pax says:

      When did the TSA get the power to make laws?

      • Tim says:

        It’s not a law, it’s a regulation. Only Congress can make laws. Congress gives agencies of the executive branch (such as the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA) the power to make and enforce regulations, subject to the president’s approval. Congress can always take away that power or override it, but the point in giving the power to agencies is that Congress no longer has to go through the legislative process for the smallest government decisions. If they had to, they wouldn’t have enough time in the year, even if they worked 24/7.

        • ARP says:

          While you are correct, the end result is that you need to do what the TSA says. So, this outsourcing is more to outsource functions of government, rather than effect any real change in proceedures or improve quality.

          • Tim says:

            Exactly, that’s what I’m trying to say. So you’d still be subject to the pat-downs, it’d just be done by Pat-Down Industries Inc., not the TSA.

      • nbs2 says:

        When the legislature decided that they would delegate the specifics of legislation to an executive agency, specifically DHS and TSA. Now, while most executive agencies have a rulemaking process that they need to follow, TSA has come to realize that they don’t need to abide by the Constitution, and therefore manages its kingdom by fiat. The rules that htey have laid down are federal regulations, and have the force of law. You can learn about the contents of the federal regulations by going to the CFR, unless it is the TSA, in which case the information is SSI and you can’t know about it. Of course, just as with the law, there is a requirement for due process to be followed and an ability to appeal any ruling made by the agency acting under the regulations promulgated under the guiding legislation. Well, unless it is the TSA, as they are exempt from the court system as well.

        Or, as Johnny Pistole and friends would like to tell you, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, derpa, 9/11.

    • Retired Again says:

      NO, not correct. All skewed now as Demo’s VETO proofed against BUSH in his fight to TSA not
      being another huge federal job nightmare. Ignoring us like Post Office does.

  8. You Be Illin' says:

    Is this more of an anti-union story, disguised as part of the anti-TSA backlash. As other people have already commented, the private contractors must follow all TSA guidelines, including the scanners and gropings.

  9. shoelace414 says:

    only thing it will change is they will be cheaper. Because they will pay them less, and they will be more of a revolving door. So some barley minimum wage slave will be working the xray machine.

    • dangerp says:

      http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/spp_faqs.shtm

      “ATSA mandates private screening companies to provide compensation and other benefits to their screeners that are not less than the level of compensation and other benefits provided to comparable Federal Government personnel. TSA conducted an extensive review of the private contractors and found overall the private screening companies are providing pay and benefits that equal or exceed the pay and benefits provided by the Federal Government.”

      Took 15 seconds of google research to debunk that one.

      • Gramin says:

        Found that too. Not going to be cheaper from that perspective.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        “Not less than” doesn’t mean “will exceed”. I doubt the pay of a new hire equals the pay of a 6 year TSA veteran, and also that the partner has the same overtime/vacation pay/holiday pay/etc… rules. Some federal/state workers can literally double their salary by working overtime. That can be the difference between 50k in a budget.

      • Gramin says:

        My only problem with your quoted text is that you found it on the TSA website. If I’m an employer, it seems unwise to post something on my website stating that my competitors pay more. But maybe that’s just me.

  10. addiction.orange says:

    But that does not necessarily fix the problem of screeners saving the scanned pictures or other such issues. There is absolutely no guaranty that the private contractors would remain absolutely professional.

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I actually had no idea using TSA optional! Or that private security company’s existed. Or that there was an approved list of them!

    All sorts of learning today.

  12. backinpgh says:

    Well contractors have worked so well for Comcast, I can’t see anything going wrong here…

  13. dulcinea47 says:

    Does anyone actually know how this works? I think Homeland Security makes the rules, TSA carries them out… any other co. doing the screening would also have to follow Homeland Security’s rules, right?? Not sure.

    • FoxCMK says:

      Yes, and that’s the point. It’s an attempt to get people to shut up, and it’ll work – judging from the total ignorance displayed by some of the people commenting here.

      • dulcinea47 says:

        I see. So, no difference at all. The other factor that people seem to be ignoring is that, regardless of the rules, the individual who’s screening you could be polite or rude, smart or dumb, professional or not… and it doesn’t matter who they’re working for.

      • Gramin says:

        Hehe… some people just completely fail at doing research. It’s not just a problem that plagues Consumerist.

  14. Harmodios says:

    So you guys just copy-paste all of reddits stories? Good to know, now I have one website less to follow.

  15. areaman says:

    Orlando-area Congressman John Mica, expected to take over the reins of the Transportation Committee next year, recently sent a letter to the nation’s 100 busiest airports urging them to consider using contractors.

    In related news, said contractors make massive contributions to Congressman John Mica’s re election and committee to explore John Mica for president funds.

  16. smcclosk says:

    I was a TSA agent for 3 days a few years ago. I thought it was just a few bad apples before I got there… Nope its the whole bunch. I left. BTW – it is all a waste of time and resources. If somebody wanted to do something on a plane they could. All the security measures in the world are not going to stop it. The TSA is always two steps behind. It is reacationary not proactive.

  17. Speak says:

    So this means that it will be like it was back before the 9/11 created TSA? Private companies running the screenings following the federal guidelines on screening.
    As I see it this also means the end to them “illegally” detaining people since they are no longer government “police” workers. This will make it easier if there are issues with some bad eggs to change things and give more power to the people then they currently have. The only thing I would worry about is that it would be more likely that the naked scanner images would now be leaked, but if they were, I think the consequences to the private company would be harsh from the public, the airport it happened in, and the government.

    • Tim says:

      I’m sure they’ll either be given the power to detain people or they’ll have actual, government-appointed officers on-hand to detain people.

      • nbs2 says:

        TSA doesn’t (currently) have the power to detain you. They have the power to request that a LEO detain you.

        Of course, with Pissy on his quest to get weapons for his tin soldiers, police detention powers can’t be too far behind.

    • Retired Again says:

      BUSH fought Democratic House and Senate to STOP from being a FEDERAL “FOREVER” job.
      Demo’s made it VETO proof and now we have THOUSANDS more (TSA) fed employees ignoring us like Post Office does.

      • Chaosium says:

        “BUSH fought Democratic House and Senate to STOP from being a FEDERAL “FOREVER” job.”

        Bush fought hard to keep all jobs from being “forever” jobs.

      • ARP says:

        Cite please that Dems (and only Dems) had enough votes to override veto. They didn’t have that kind of majority in 2007.

      • kmw2 says:

        The TSA was put into place in 2001 by the 107th Congress, which had Republican majority in both houses. The 108th and 109th Congresses also had bicameral Republican majorities, as well as a sitting Republican president. It wasn’t until 2007, long after the TSA was structured and operational, that the Democrats gained any legislative power at all. Would you care to revise your view?

  18. FoxCMK says:

    Read carefully, people…

    …instead the airport will choose one of the five approved private screening companies to take over.

    Meet new boss, same as old boss.

  19. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    So instead of using the Army, we are going to use Black Water. What could possibli go wrong?

  20. Retired Again says:

    PRESIDENT BUSH yelled, stomped and tried to STOP TSA from being Federal employees. Predicted poor service, etc. Democratic Senate and House mad it VETO proof. So THOUSANDS more FEDERAL employees that ignore us like the Post Office does.

    • Chaosium says:

      “PRESIDENT BUSH yelled, stomped and tried to STOP TSA from being Federal employees. Predicted poor service, etc. “

      Actually, the service is better. The problem is the prison-industrials are VERY successful at lobbying and require this technology just as the military-industrials lobby for welfare contracts.

      The “enhanced screenings” are to punish us and make a humiliating public presence for those that opt-out.

    • RandomHookup says:

      I think we heard you the first 3 times you screamed this. As the debunkers have said, President Bush gladly went along with the federalization of the TSA and did not veto the legislation.

  21. Macgyver says:

    One way to fix all of this. Walk into the airport naked.
    Being that they can already see everything, what the hell are they gonna do?

  22. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Recombobulation Area, yay! Milwaukee represent! I was just there at the beginning of October, it’s a tiny bit of amusement as you put your shoes and belt back on …

  23. MepReport says:

    Ron Paul went on a tirade today on the House floor against the TSA, while proposing a bill barring them from committing assaults against passengers. At least it’s not as if every government official is oblivious to this.

    http://www.frequency.com/video/ron-paull-on/548868?embed=true

    • Chaosium says:

      If the Tea Party had any interest in bettering the nation, they’d band together and fix the pornoscanner/assault issue.

      As usual, they parrot Paul’s speeches but haven’t the drive or backbone/integrity to get anything done (this includes his son.)

  24. thaJack says:

    “Once an airport joins SPP, Federal screening positions are abolished. However, TSA supports provisions that assist Federal screeners potentially affected by the transition to SPP, including priority for employment with the private contractor as well as measures to facilitate movement to other TSA or other Federal employment.”

    So TSA also mandates that a PRIVATE company give TSA’s employees priority when it comes to their hiring processes. If they hadn’t overstepped their bounds before, I’d say they do here.

    Source: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/spp_faqs.shtm

    • RandomHookup says:

      That’s pretty common on transition relationships. They won’t have to hire them, just give them consideration (and the money will probably drop). The TSA did this when they were created — the outgoing screeners from the contractors had priority in hiring.

    • Chaosium says:

      “So TSA also mandates that a PRIVATE company give TSA’s employees priority when it comes to their hiring processes. If they hadn’t overstepped their bounds before, I’d say they do here.”

      Former TSA employees? Sure. As long as the policy/equipment is what changes, things are fine. The low-end screeners aren’t the problem, it’s not as if the grunts collectively demanded to touch everyone’s junk and store a stream of pictures of naked children.

  25. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    YES! YES! I’M FLYING THERE FOR THANKSGIVING THANK GOD!

  26. RandomHookup says:

    Remember that private contractors ran security before the TSA, with screeners making a massive $7/hour.

  27. Sarcastico says:

    Private. Hmmm … Like Blackwater private?

  28. banndndc says:

    I don’t see how this is any better. In fact it seems worse. The same procedures/rules would be required except now instead of the govt (which ostensibly has a duty to act in the public interest and treat everyone equally) doing it a contractor is doing it. Passing the buck from people we theoretically have a recourse against to those we don’t. Imbuing a private corporation with the power of the state is arguably doubling down on the loss of individual rights. The problem with the TSA isn’t that they’re a government agency but rather the utility and appropriateness of the procedures and regulations they’re promulgating. Privatizing the carrying out of these procedures and regulations fixes nothing while raising serious questions about the propriety of private corporations (which have vastly different incentives) acting at the behest of the state.

  29. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    I’m surprised that no one is hitting on the real issue here; that the TSA management who actually do make the rules support the use of these groping techniques (which any accused criminal is subjected to when arrested) on individuals that just want to purchase the services of the airline.

    Perhaps if the media did a better job of pointing out this fact, that the managers I.e. Napolitano are supporting the use of tactics and technologies that have been proven to not be effective we may get some real action. But then again that would be one more Obama failure and the media can’t have that.

    • Chaosium says:

      “Perhaps if the media did a better job of pointing out this fact, that the managers I.e. Napolitano are supporting the use of tactics and technologies that have been proven to not be effective we may get some real action. But then again that would be one more Obama failure and the media can’t have that. “

      Give me a fucking break, the media LOVES opining about Obama failures, they HATE talking about lobbyists like the one that introduced the Rapeyscan machines to Bush’s TSA head. I’m fine with attacking Obama, but this isn’t his problem alone. It’s just his problem to fix.

  30. InsomniacZombie says:

    I wonder if Blackwater is going the airport security route. Then if people opt out of the body scanners they’re be answered with a bullet. Let’s face it, all this crap we’re going through to be ‘safe’ proves that the terrorists really have won.

  31. cromartie says:

    The issue here is TSA policy, rather than TSA itself. But John Mica might have some interest in obfuscating the issue, such as:

    Companies that provide airport security are contributors to Mica’s campaigns, although some donations came before those companies won government contracts. The Lockheed Martin Corp. Employees’ Political Action Committee has given $36,500 to Mica since 1997. A Lockheed firm won the security contract in Sioux Falls, S.D. in 2005 and the contract for San Francisco the following year.

    Raytheon Company’s PAC has given Mica $33,500 since 1999. A Raytheon subsidiary began providing checkpoint screenings at Key West International Airport in 2007.

    FirstLine Transportation Security Inc.’s PAC has donated $4,500 to the Florida congressman since 2004. FirstLine has been screening baggage and has been responsible for passenger checkpoints at the Kansas City International Airport since 2006, as well as the Gallup Municipal Airport and the Roswell Industrial Air Center in New Mexico, operating at both since 2007.

    Since 2006, Mica has received $2,000 from FirstLine President Keith Wolken and $1,700 from Gerald Berry, president of Covenant Aviation Security. Covenant works with Lockheed to provide security at airports in Sioux Falls and San Francisco.

    Which you would know had you looked up the AP copy on this story instead (http://apnews.myway.com//article/20101119/D9JITOC01.html).

    If you don’t like TSA’s policies regarding the machines and pat downs, which are indeed invasions of privacy, that’s fine, but to give a congressman who’s on the take the time of day on privatization because of a knee jerk “TSA bad” meme is tangential without doing some basic research.

  32. cromartie says:

    The issue here is TSA policy, rather than TSA itself. But John Mica might have some interest in obfuscating the issue, such as:

    Companies that provide airport security are contributors to Mica’s campaigns, although some donations came before those companies won government contracts. The Lockheed Martin Corp. Employees’ Political Action Committee has given $36,500 to Mica since 1997. A Lockheed firm won the security contract in Sioux Falls, S.D. in 2005 and the contract for San Francisco the following year.

    Raytheon Company’s PAC has given Mica $33,500 since 1999. A Raytheon subsidiary began providing checkpoint screenings at Key West International Airport in 2007.

    FirstLine Transportation Security Inc.’s PAC has donated $4,500 to the Florida congressman since 2004. FirstLine has been screening baggage and has been responsible for passenger checkpoints at the Kansas City International Airport since 2006, as well as the Gallup Municipal Airport and the Roswell Industrial Air Center in New Mexico, operating at both since 2007.

    Since 2006, Mica has received $2,000 from FirstLine President Keith Wolken and $1,700 from Gerald Berry, president of Covenant Aviation Security. Covenant works with Lockheed to provide security at airports in Sioux Falls and San Francisco.

    Which you would know had you looked up the AP copy on this story instead (http://apnews.myway.com//article/20101119/D9JITOC01.html).

    If you don’t like TSA’s policies regarding the machines and pat downs, which are indeed invasions of privacy, that’s fine, but to give a congressman who’s on the take the time of day on privatization because of a knee jerk “TSA bad” meme is tangential without doing some basic research.

  33. Not Given says:
  34. haggis for the soul says:

    Contractors, but contracted by the TSA to carry out their duties, correct? Same shit, different all-the-power-and-none-of-the-accountability agents.