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More From My Favorite Federal Agency

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IG report: TSA failed to identify 73 workers ‘linked to terrorism’

On the heels of Transportation Security Administration workers flunking a security test at airport checkpoints, the results of a new audit show that — while the agency keeps a robust system for screening commercial airport workers — it still failed to flag 73 airport workers “linked to terrorism.” 

Apparently, TSA does not have access to all the terror watchlist information it needs to make those judgments. 

“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 June 4 Inspector General report stated.

So, the TSA doesn’t have the needed access to vet employees of airlines and other companies working at airports. Great security there folks. Well, not really. More like great Security Theater.

My impression is that when I got to my local gun store to buy a new gun, the background check run on me is deeper and more detailed than that on people who might be in a position to slip a bomb onto an airplane. Or hand one off to someone who has passed through security and stops to buy a pack of gum or cup of coffee. I can think of several ways that sort of thing could happen and apparently it’s luck that it hasn’t.

Last week, news broke that undercover federal agents had a 95 percent success rate at sneaking fake bombs and other banned weapons past airport security checkpoints during multiple tests.

Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway was re-assigned less than 24 hours after the report went public. The Senate homeland security committee plans to hold a hearing on the TSA security issue on Tuesday. 

Notice that Carraway was not fired, not forced to resign or retire early. We can’t be holding people accountable and firing them, not at all. Remember folks, the primary job of every federal employee (outside the military) is to protect their job and their pension. That is why there is endless and redundant paperwork required any time you deal with the federal government. Carraway should be fired, his boss should be fired, and HIS boss should be fired.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. wrote last week,

“Until last week, Americans were led to believe that jihadi terrorists could never again weaponize commercial airliners. After last week, it is time to rethink that.”

Not mincing words, he wrote, “We are not safe. It is time to start effectively protecting U.S. flights from those hell-bent on killing us.”

Anyone who believed until last week that the terrorists were held at bay by the TSA was naive at best. Hopefully Senator Sasse is smarter than that. The TSA is a sad and dangerous joke. More worried about protecting their jobs, building their empire, and of course not offending any Muslims than they are protecting Americans.

We could abolish the TSA and be just as safe.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

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