Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Un-Dependable: TSA

Within 10 weeks of the creation of TSA, it was already clear to me that they were not hiring "the best and the brightest." To confirm my judgment, it later emerged that TSA's recruitment "contractor" was incompetent--or worse.

Now comes a Ph.D. student who creates a website from which anyone could create a fake NWA boarding pass--which gets you past initial screeners and right into the 'free zone' of an airport. His case is not my interest here--Malkin's "rest of the story" is, however.

She quotes a senior TSA official:

"The website in question has the potential to promote illegal activity," said TSA spokesman Christopher White. "Submitting fraudulent documents to airline security is illegal. But the site will not aid anyone in circumventing security, since a boarding pass offers entry into a TSA security checkpoint and TSA ensures that every person and their property is fully screened."

That wasn't real smart, Christopher.

Screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport failed 20 of 22 security tests conducted by undercover U.S. agents last week, missing an array of concealed bombs and guns at checkpoints throughout the hub's three terminals, federal security officials familiar with the results said.

The tests, conducted Oct. 19 by U.S. Transportation Security Administration "Red Team" agents, also revealed significant failures by screeners to follow standard operating procedures while checking passengers and their baggage for prohibited items, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is against TSA policy to release covert-test results...

... The poor test results at Newark come after heightened security procedures that the TSA put in place at U.S. airports in August, after authorities in Great Britain said they foiled an attempt by terrorists to blow up trans-Atlantic flights using liquid explosives.

One of the security officials familiar with last week's tests said screeners at Newark missed fake explosive devices that were hidden under bottles of water in carry-on luggage, taped beneath an agent's clothing and concealed under a leg bandage another tester wore.

Additionally, the official said screeners failed to use hand-held metal detector wands when required, missed an explosive device during a pat-down and failed to properly hand-check suspicious carry-on bags. Supervisors also were cited for failing to properly monitor checkpoint screeners, the official said.

"We just totally missed everything," the official said.

One would think that TSA would sue the living crap out of the "recruitment contractor" for misfeasance, malfeasance, and fraud, fire all these morons, and start over again.

Wanna bet?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Re the above:

Um..., I don't think we're in Kansas any more!