But if the TSA Does This, What Will We Mock?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

It's taken a while, but the TSA under the leadership of John Pistole (and under the supervision of Janet Napolitano, who, when I see her, still promises me the "special" pat-down when I travel through Reagan National, and then laughs uproariously) seems ready to adopt a more intelligent airline security system:

A crucial part of the group's "checkpoint of the future" proposal, and similar plans under discussion by other industry organizations, is creating a trusted traveler program that would allow passengers to undergo a background check to gain access to an expedited security lane at the airport.

These trusted travelers would most probably pay a fee for the vetting, much like the $100 application fee for the Global Entry program operated by United States Customs and Border Protection. After submitting to an interview, a background check and a fingerprint scan to join Global Entry, members can clear customs using a kiosk instead of waiting to speak with an agent -- a model for a screening process that could offer similar benefits to domestic travelers. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/02/but-if-the-tsa-does-this-what-will-we-mock/70886/