TSA Gets An F
FAILING AT EVERY LEVEL: A Security Blanket Full of Holes
The TSA's pre-screening process is under scrutiny. And for good reason.

We wait in long lines, in crowded security checkpoints, shuffle along in our socks, remove our belts (what does the TSA have against belts?)  and ordered around like jailhouse perps.

 

Then there's the physical contact with TSA agents that, under different circumstances, would justify a slap or a lawsuit.

 

In return, we long-suffering passengers merely ask that the TSA, and its staff of 50,000, do its job: keep people with weapons off airplanes. 

 

Then a report leaked out earlier this month revealed investigators from the Department of Homeland Security could easily slip weapons and fake bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time. 

 

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Commission, pointed out the obvious: "After spending over $540 million on baggage screening equipment and millions more on training, the failure rate today is higher than it was in 2007. Something is not working."

 

The Question Becomes, Who's Protecting Us From TSA? 


Investigators also found that TSA approved PreCheck expedited screening status to people on government watch lists,  including the infamous "no-fly" list. 

 

And that's just the beginning: U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska said there's even worse information yet to be made public, stating, "Millions of families will soon fly to summer vacations, but if moms knew what members of Congress have learned behind closed doors, they would march on Washington demanding an urgent, top-to-bottom reevaluation of airport security."

 

But what's already pubic is plenty worrisome.

 

It's A Stroke Of Luck We Haven't Had Another Hijacked Plane Since 9/11

 

The GAO also published a report showing that TSA failed to screen even its own employees against its own terrorism watch list.

 

The Guardian reportes that TSA failed to identify 73 people with terrorism-related category codes being employed by "major airlines, airport vendors, and other employers".

 

Investagators warned that the Pre-Check program could be the weakest link in what seems to be a dangerously vulnerable network of security protecting U.S. airports and travelers. 

 

"The TSA did not identify these individuals through its vetting operations because it is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watch-listing policy," the GAO concluded.

 

One of the biggest findings of the commission on 9/11 was that there was no inter-agency communication. It seems that is still the case here. Why wouldn't the TSA management have access to the latest information available for those on the terror-watch list? This shows another government breakdown. 

  

"TSA is handing out PreCheck status like Halloween candy in an effort to expedite passengers as quickly as possible," Rebecca Roering told a U.S. Senate Committee earlier this month.

 

Roering, who worked at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport as a TSA agent, said she was threatened with the loss of her job when she went to her supervisors with some of the problems she found in the Pre-Check program.

  

Perhaps TSA Should Be Branded As A Terrorist Organization?

 

These recent exposures show a federal agency that has clearly lost its focus - if it ever had one.


Statement by FlyersRights:

 

TSA lapses are shocking, and need emergency attention - either lack of training, incompetence and/or cover ups are apparent.
 
Heads need to roll at TSA and airlines need to adopt emergency provisions before terrorists launch a new offensive against US airliners, which I would suspect they are planning after reading this report and listening to the hearing last week.
 
FlyersRights should also be on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee.  I was on it 1997-2007 and was not allowed to stay on after I criticized TSA/DHS for releasing a report on its web site that gave details of how watch list and no fly list names were chosen, allowing terrorists to avoid being included.  
The report was quickly taken down.  

In 2013 we criticized the TSA for letting knives back on planes and successfully worked to reverse that decision.  We also supported other measures to reduce passenger hassle and invasive searches and eliminate bad technology, and to beef up airport security without arming TSA officers.  
 
If you cannot prevent something, at the very least you need to keep the enemy guessing.  Aviation security effectiveness needs independent review but sensitive details cannot be publicly released or no security will be effective.  
 
Paul Hudson
president, FlyersRights.org

A Call To Action! Speak Up And Help FlyersRights Get Back On The Committee:

Write To:  ASAC@TSA.DHS.GOV
 
Tell Them We Need FlyersRights There As The Voice Of Airline Passengers!

Announcing The Interns

Johannes Munter and  Andriana VanderGriend have joined FlyersRights for the summer working in Washington DC, drafting legislation and securing sponsors for our proposals.

Johannes hails from Finland, whose career encompassed freelance Journalism from London to Tunis. He's pursuing a law degree from The George Washington University Law School.

Andriana VanderGriend, is a Juris Doctor candidate at  The Catholic University of
America, Columbus School of Law. She earned a private pilot's license in Californa.

 
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Kendall Creighton: kendallc@FlyersRights.org
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