Expert: TSA Screening Is Security Theater

TSA Head Disputes Claim, Tells <b>60 Minutes</b> Measures Are Necessary Because "This Is A War"

Experts say that one thing that has made air travel safer is something the airlines did: harden cockpit doors.

As for TSA's high-priced technology and its 50,000 screeners, Bruce Schneier thinks there are more effective ways to spend the money. "We take away guns and bombs so the terrorists use box cutters. So we confiscate box cutters and corkscrews and they put explosives in their shoes. We screen shoes and they use liquids. We take away liquids, and they're gonna do something else."

"So what do you do? What do you do? You just throw up your hands and…?" Stahl asked.

"Well, most security has to happen before the airport. You think about the liquid bombers who were captured in London. They were captured because of investigation and intelligence. If you want to deal with the terrorist threat, you've gotta do it before they get to the airport," Schneier said.

But Kip Hawley at TSA says we have to do both: intelligence work and screening at the airports.

"You have said some alarming things to us today. You've said, 'America is under attack,'" Stahl pointed out. "You've said, 'They're out to kill us.'"

"Some people will say that you're saying those things to scare us and to justify all the things that TSA does," Stahl said.

Hawley told Stahl that's not true.

"That what you do at the checkpoints is not really making us safer. It's just making us feel safer. It's almost like theater," Stahl added.

"Yeah, this isn't theater. This is war," Hawley said. "We understand the American public doesn't have 9/11 in the front of their mind. But it's why the TSA was created: to never forget. And that's what we do every day every shift every checkpoint is never forget. And it's our pledge to the public and our commitment to ourselves. Stop those attacks."


Produced by Karen Sughrue
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