Today is a solemn day. Fourteen years ago, three hijacked jet planes changed our lives and our nation forever. As we remember the more than 3,000 American souls – firefighters, moms, dads, police officers, uncles, nieces, friends – who lost their lives at the hands of terrorists, we keep alive their memories and celebrate their spirits.

One of the visible outcomes of 9/11 was our government’s response to security in the air: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). What was envisioned as a comprehensive security agency to protect air travel, beef up airport security, and prevent aircraft hijacking has become a dysfunctional agency which fails to do its core responsibility and sometimes targets passengers for unspeakable wrong-doing.

As we know, the TSA failed 67 out of 70 tests to identify fake guns and explosives –what the agency is expressly created to do. The agency has failed to track how often someone on the “no fly list” was allowed to fly after slipping through security undetected according to a report. And there have been security lapses such as a woman who boarded a plane in San Jose without a ticket.

Instead, TSA agents are abusing their power such as the pair of agents caught targeting attractive men for extra fondling – or pat downs- in Denver Airport. Just last week, we discovered that a TSA agent is being investigated for allegedly molesting a teenager in New York.

And now it appears, that TSA agents are learning that using the internet to post pictures of security keys is a dumb idea. A group of lock-picking and security enthusiasts published files that anyone can use to 3-created 3-D printed TSA’s master keys—the ones the agency can open with its own keys during airport inspections. Within hours, at least one 3-D printer owner successfully printed one of the master keys and published a video proving that it opened his TSA-approved luggage lock. Yikes!

The $7-billion agency that employs about 47,000 officers can’t keep up. It can’t keep up with technology or even with misconduct of its workers. Instead, passengers are herded like cattle through invasive body scanners, touched intimately in the open –even if by same gender officers, and in some cases harassed. Not every TSA agent is out to get us, but like many big government agencies that run on bureaucracy, the focus is on the process not the outcomes.

It is despite – not necessarily because of – the TSA that we haven’t had a repeat of 9/11. Richard Reid,  the so-called “shoe bomber,” boarded in Paris rather than the U.S. But he is still a reminder that security agents miss threats.

So what can we do? Is dismantling this behemoth agency feasible? It might in the long run be the best way to go, if we follow up with a privatized security operation.  One business travel consultant has some recommendations worth thinking about in The Business Journal:

The only practical solution is to overhaul the agency. I may be a cockeyed optimist, but fixing the TSA isn't too tough a task…

Stop treating us like the enemy

The "original sin" of the TSA is that it treats every passenger as guilty until proven innocent to fly. That may (or may not) have been justified in the first, frightening weeks after the 9/11 attacks, but it certainly isn't appropriate 14 years later…

This fix must come from the top:  … they should design a security regimen to screen and clear the vast majority of daily flyers quickly, politely and efficiently…

Run PreCheck as a business

The solution: Run PreCheck like a business. Staff the lines at all times and keep them exclusively for frequent flyers and travelers who've paid to participate. That will ensure the program gets the critical mass it needs to survive as well as guaranteeing that low-risk passengers are processed quickly, allowing the TSA to focus on the real risks.

Dump the nude-o-scopes

… These so-called nude-o-scopes are too finicky and too unreliable. Part of smart management is knowing when you made a mistake. The full-body scanners were a mistake.

Shorten the contraband list

… the TSA's list of contraband items is too long…

Part of effective rulemaking is keeping the rules simple enough so that the user (in this case, flyers) can understand them. No one understands why a 3-ounce tube of toothpaste is safe, but a four-ounce one is contraband. It smacks of bureaucratic tomfoolery and must stop.

Post a bill of rights

The TSA should be required to post a bill of rights for passengers at every checkpoint. And a named person, an ombudsman, must be on duty at all times to hear passenger complaints and inform flyers of their rights.

Jettison the badges

… there are enough TSA agents who are drunk on their little bit of power. The TSA not only enables that arrogance, it re-enforces it by giving employees fake badges as a way to convince flyers that the TSA is a law-enforcement agency. It is not, TSA agents have no policing power of any kind and they certainly don't have the training to fake it.

It's a symbolic gesture, but the TSA needs to jettison the badges. It sends the wrong message to flyers and employees.

Our security is paramount, but the TSA has shown that it’s not particularly adept at the task. These outlined reforms may or may not be the best, but it’s worth asking what can and should be done to really protect us as we fly and not deputize those who are themselves looking to harm us.