“Most of my co-workers found humor in the I.O. room on a cruder level. Just as the long-suffering American public waiting on those security lines suspected, jokes about the passengers ran rampant among my TSA colleagues,” he told POLITICO.
Harrington added the TSA agents also deliberately targeted attractive women for enhanced screening.
“Then there was the infamous “guyspeak” in my “Insider’s TSA Dictionary.” One of the first terms I learned from fellow male TSA officers at O’Hare was “Hotel Papa,” code language for an attractive female passenger—“Hotel” standing for “hot,” and “Papa” for, well, use your imagination,” he explained.
According to the former screener, the agents punished those who did not display the proper attitude with enhanced screening.
“We would also sometimes pull a passenger’s bag or give a pat down because he or she was rude. We always deployed the same explanation: “It’s just a random search,” he said.
Harrington believes that the Transportation Security Administration does not stop terrorists.
“I hinted several times on the blog that a determined terrorist’s best bet for defeating airport security would be to apply for a job with the TSA and simply become part of the security system itself. That assertion stemmed from personal experience,” he said.
He noted that the US agency is a monumental waste of money and has been incredibly harmful.
“As I saw it, $40 million in taxpayer dollars had been wasted on ineffective anti-terrorism security measures at the expense of the public’s health, privacy and dignity.”
Meanwhile, the agency rejected Harrington’s remarks in a statement on Friday.
“Many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in this article are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately,” TSA said.
“TSA does not tolerate any form of unethical or unlawful behavior by its employees and takes swift disciplinary action if discovered,” the agency said.