TSA Chief Opens a Can of Worms

July 16, 2010

John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, is just asking for it. Really.

Last month, Pistole began a new Web site, "Talk to TSA," on which people can post feedback about TSA operations at airports around the country. The feedback, provided through an electronic form, will go to a specific airport’s customer support manager.

But that’s not all. In a post on TSA’s blog, Pistole promises to review the feedback personally on a regular basis and respond to commonly asked questions and themes through the TSA blog.

“So send us your ideas, suggestions and feedback,” Pistole writes. “I’m listening.”

In less than two weeks, Pistole’s post received 169 comments, many of which raised concerns about airport security screening policies, such as full-body scanning.

“Why does TSA refuse to publish sample images from its strip-search technology that are the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of these machines?” writes one of many commenters signed as Anonymous.

“Why is the liquid state of matter considered dangerous by the TSA unless contained by ziplock baggies?” Bubba writes. “What does the TSA define as a liquid? Why is canned pie filling a liquid but not filling on a pie?”

Many readers posted questions, some of which were answered by TSA employees, writing under the first name or initials, but many of which were not.

“Does the TSA, or the elusive Mr. Pistole, ever intend to reply to the questions on here? I think sadly we already know the answer to that by now,” writes — you guessed it — Anonymous.

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