TSA foes rejoice as Napolitano resigns

Critics of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are rejoicing at the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The TSA is a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Both agencies have been sharply criticized by several lawmakers for airport security tactics that were put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

Procedures Napolitano advanced after a failed terrorist attack in 2009 have also brought controversy, winning her the "Big Sis" nickname from the news website the Drudge Report.

Former House Transportation panel Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said on Friday that Napolitano's departure "comes not a minute too soon." 


"Now is a good time for Congress to consider dismantling the monstrous Department of Homeland Security and replacing it with a smaller security focused entity that is realistically capable of connecting the dots of threats posed to our national security,” Mica said in a statement.

Mica helped write the legislation that created the TSA in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He has since emerged as one of the agency's most vocal critics in Congress, referring to the TSA on several occasions as his "bastard child."

Mica has argued that the TSA has strayed from its core mission and become a bureaucracy that invades airline passengers' privacy. The TSA has been criticized for its X-ray scanners and "pat down" hand searches of airline passengers.

The agency has also come under fire for its prohibition on liquids and requirement that passengers remove their shoes before going through security checkpoints, which were added after thwarted terrorist attempts. Critics have argued that the TSA's procedures are reactionary, and some have called the agency's techniques "security theater."

Napolitano said on Friday that she was leaving the Obama administration to become president of the University of California system.

She said in a statement on Friday that she was proud of her work at the DHS, despite the criticism the agency has received

"The department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity," Napolitano said.