ABC News ran a sting against dirty TSA inspectors by leaving behind iPads (with tracking spyware) at ten airport checkpoints known for theft and following them electronically. One iPad, left at an Orlando checkpoint, moved 30 miles to the home of Andy Ramirez, a TSA inspector at the airport. Initially, he denied stealing the iPad, then he blamed his wife. He has since been fired from the TSA.
I'm sure that he was the only crook working in the entire agency and now we're all safe. Thank goodness.
According to the TSA, 381 TSA officers have been fired for theft between 2003 and 2012, including 11 so far in this year.
The agency disputes that theft is a widespread problem, however, saying the number of officers fired "represents less than one-half of one percent of officers that have been employed" by TSA.
...Ramirez produced the iPad only after ABC News activated an audio alarm feature, and turned it over after taking off his TSA uniform shirt.
His explanation for the missing iPad in his home was that his wife had taken it from the airport.
"I'm so embarrassed," he told ABC News. "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home," he said.
... No TSA official, including director John Pistole, would agree to be interviewed by ABC News about the issue of theft and what steps TSA has taken to address the long-standing problem.
In its statement, the TSA said it "holds its employees to the highest ethical standards."
Republicans have promised to fix this problem by firing the unionized federal workers and replacing them with private contractors. Because private contractors -- not directly accountable to the government, insulated by layers of contractor/subcontractor relationships -- would never, ever abuse their authority. Which is why mall security guards are the pinnacle of policing efficiency.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.