Besides a huge and enormous growth in national security and secret intelligence operations, the most visible change Americans have seen is at the airport: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA screens us, forces us to remove our shoes, and place our laptops in a screening basket.
Now comes the news today from Seattle. The Post Intelligencer writes:
And we are to trust TSA officers or their supervisors who testify against alleged "criminals?"A security supervisor at Sea-Tac International Airport has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $20,000 worth of items from checked luggage. Randy Pepper, a 50-year-old Spanaway resident, pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges related to the string of thefts, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office at Seattle. Hired by the Transportation Security Administration in 2007, Pepper was fired in July 2009 after the thefts were discovered. In pleading guilty, Pepper, a supervisory transportation security officer, admitted to taken money and jewelry from luggage he was inspecting at Sea-Tac. Authorities began investigating Pepper after another TSA employee reported seeing him removing items from luggage. According to the statement, most of the items stolen by Pepper could not be recovered because they were melted down.
The meltdown of federal law enforcement officers, from the TSA to the DEA to the FBI, has grown out of a culture blessed by the Rove Cheney Bush Administration with this motto: be arrogant, be in absolute control and screw anyone who gets in your way.