A program that allows airports to replace government screeners with private screeners is being brought to a standstill, just a month after the Transportation Security Administration said it was "neutral" on the program.
TSA chief John Pistole said Friday he has decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports, saying he does not see any advantage to it.
Clever program design there, allowing the TSA to stop its competitors in their tracks. Oh, and guess what, the TSA labor cartel is on board as well:
A union for Transportation Security Administration employees said it supported the decision to halt the program.
"The nation is secure in the sense that the safety of our skies will not be left in the hands of the lowest-bidder contractor, as it was before 9/11," said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees. "We applaud Administrator Pistole for recognizing the value in a cohesive federalized screening system and work force."
The TSA seems remarkably tone deaf here. I suspect that a quiet strategy of delay and discouragement, rather than a very public confrontation that allows the Obama administration a chance to show that it can actually say no to a labor union in the context of a program that the public hates would have been more clever. We'll see.
My view: if we must have security theater, let's at least do it as cheaply as possible.