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We're in the Best of Hands: Security Checkpoint at Dallas Airport Left Unattended for 90 Minutes

Do you feel safe with the Transportation Security Association?

The Transportation Security Administration has launched an internal investigation after a security checkpoint at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was left unattended and unsecured for 90 minutes earlier this month.

Three agents have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The agency said the agents left the checkpoint at Gate E8 from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 16. Personnel from the airport's Department of Public Safety discovered the gate was not secure during a routine patrol, the TSA said.

TSA spokeswoman Andrea McCauley called it a "serious and unacceptable security failure."

"An immediate review of closed-circuit television tapes verified that no passengers or items entered the sterile area while the gate was unsecure," the TSA said in a statement.

But Dallas-based aviation security expert Denny Kelly said an hour and a half is too long. It could have put thousands of travelers at risk, he said.

"When you leave a gate like that open, they can go anywhere they want all over the world and never have to be checked again," he said.

Denny said the airport should have been emptied and rescreened passengers.
"They want to talk about our security, how good it is, but it's not good," Kelly said.

What is even more worrying is that TSA employees want to unionize, which means security will be even less effective. Unionizing the TSA will encourage its members to be more lazy and less vigilant. Imagine being in an airport security line with employees who refuse to do any jobs or tasks that are outside what has been outlined in their negotiated contracts.

Even worse, the government won't be able to fire them. We all have heard stories about union members at automotive plants doing all kinds of brazenly fireable offenses, such as clocking in and then going to the bar across the street from the plant (that happened in Toledo a lot) or sleeping on the job. No matter how egregious, the union runs defense for these folks and keeps their jobs secure. If the TSA unionizes and if a terrorist successfully blows up one of our airplanes, you can be sure that the union will make absolutely certain that the blame gets shifted to everyone else in the government but its members. TSA is the last line of defense in preventing explosives from getting on board airplanes. If the TSA unionizes, the US government will rue the day.

At this point, I don't have much confidence in the US government's abilities to keep America's flying public safe, which is a real shame. When President Obama came into office and appointed DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, they decided that political correctness and national security went hand in hand with protecting us from terrorists. Abulmutallab's terrorist attack proved them wrong. (See Jay Tea's post below for even more about how Obama set the tone that allowed the bloomer bomber to slip through the cracks)

What will Obama do now? If he and his national security team are smart they will do what former President Bush should have been done after 9/11 and that is implement real security measures like those at EL AL.


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Comments (20)

Napaliatano will comment th... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Napaliatano will comment that the system worked as intended. After all the error was discovered and dealt with and noone died.

Now when we get a body count of hundreds or thousands then she will say that we are looking into what happened.

Aptly described as 'Securit... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Aptly described as 'Security Theater'. As long as you can maintain a facade of 'effectiveness', it doesn't matter what the REALITY is. We can't look askance at anyone who might be suspicious, we must treat everyone the same lest someone take offense. Yeah, like we've got a real rash of aged grannies taking bombs on planes. But it plays well with the critics - and isn't it more important the TSA get good reviews than actually be functional and efficient?

Now, behind the scenes, we find the actors doing what actors do when they're NOT on stage. Isn't it a surprise to find they're not taking their roles seriously?

And yet...

"An immediate review of closed-circuit television tapes verified that no passengers or items entered the sterile area while the gate was unsecure," the TSA said in a statement.
If there WERE folks who went through, would they admit it?

If the TSA were a private company, nobody would stand for the delays and shoddy performance. But instead, it's a government agency with all the efficiency THAT implies.

"Unionizing the TSA will en... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Unionizing the TSA will encourage its members to be more lazy and less vigilant."

Good Lord! Is that possible?

I can't wait to see if any of the three suspended TSA workers has a muslim background.

my sister-in-law used to a ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

my sister-in-law used to a District Attorney. She once told me: "We only catch the stupid ones!"

alQueda is evil but they are not stupid. They see the cracks, and working to exploit them. But for a young Dutch film student we'd still be sifting through the wreckage in a Detroit suburb looking for clues amidst the hundreds of dead!!

And the Nigerian himself screwed up the procedure for igniting the bomb. We can't count on too many strokes of luck.

tic...tic...tic...

Not to fear, Barry's on the... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Not to fear, Barry's on the job; while golfing, playing tennis, snorkling, playing hoops.....

Left unattended for an hour... (Below threshold)
914:

Left unattended for an hour and a half? The Agents must have been doing something more important like watching up until recently, one of Barrys daily impromptu self indulgent speeches about what a great job Hes doing..


dum asses

Wow. The GOP spaz-out over... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Wow. The GOP spaz-out over this incident sure has come back to bite them in the ass.

Keep up the good work.

The hits just keep on comin... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

The hits just keep on coming.

Errol Southers - Brocko's Affirmitive Action pick to keep us safe. He may be corrupt, but hey...he's properly 'diverse':

"HONOLULU -- President Obama's pick to lead the Transportation Security Administration has provided Congress inconsistent reports about -- and regrets for -- running background checks on his then-estranged wife's boyfriend two decades ago..."-via Fox News

Heckuva job, Barry!

"Wow. The GOP spaz-out over... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Wow. The GOP spaz-out over this incident sure has come back to bite them in the ass."

Care to explain how that is? Maybe all you idiotic libs are happy with the performance of the TSA these days, but nobody else is.

This s not a GOP issue this is an issue for everyone who doesn't care to be the next victim of islam.

Yeah, I'd give the TSA a g... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yeah, I'd give the TSA a good solid B+ here.

"Wow. The GOP spaz-out o... (Below threshold)
914:

"Wow. The GOP spaz-out over this incident sure has come back to bite them in the ass.

Keep up the good work."


Yo' Adri ann,

Barry's number's slummin in the lower 30's, Jobz, nowhere in sight accept for new Homeland security and TSA positions..

I think its You and Seizer that are getting thier ass chewed.

So where was the imperail s... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

So where was the imperail storm troopers of EMPORER PALPATINE OBAMA and DARTH BIDEN? Taking a coffee break?

Just remember, these people... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Just remember, these people want to run our health care.

"Just remember, these peopl... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Just remember, these people want to run our health care."

Hey, I work in health care! Does that mean that I will get guaranteed pay raises regardless of how crappy a job I do? And I get to loaf around and take frequent breaks?

Heck, I'm going to have to reconsider this ObamaCare thing. It sounds like a pretty good deal.

After all the nice thing about health care is that if you bother me with a lot of complaining I can just let you die. That'll shut you up.

If the TSA unioniz... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
If the TSA unionizes and if a terrorist successfully blows up one of our airplanes, you can be sure that the union will make absolutely certain that the blame gets shifted to everyone else in the government but its members.

Obama is pushing unionizing the TSA, so the blame for its failure should fall on him. If that wakes up the American people to the dismal job Obama and Napolitano are doing then at least there's a chance at fixing the real problem come election day 2010 and 2012. New bumper sticker "It's the leadership, stupid".

I know what your saying Mac... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I know what your saying Mac. But when I look around at Barack, Joe, Rahm, Nancy, Harry and the cabinet, honestly the thought that seems more appropriate to me is, "It's the stupid leadership."

"What is even more worrying... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"What is even more worrying is that TSA employees want to unionize"

Sure they do. You can't cover your incompetent ass unless you have a union.

Hurry up and unionize these... (Below threshold)
Jeff Shaw:

Hurry up and unionize these poor agents. Wouldn't want anyone to lose his/her job for incompetence.

If the TSA is unionized thi... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

If the TSA is unionized this will happen continuously because they have to have their breaks. Right now at any given moment at Bradley airport in Windsor Locks CT you will find 3-5 TSA agents eating in the food court. It's never less than 3 at a time, and it seems to go on non-stop.

In light of recent events; ... (Below threshold)
Jer:

In light of recent events; NW 253, Newark Liberty lockdown and all the other cumulative harassments and now this... and as much as I used to like flying, those days are over. I am not paying for the privilege of putting up with any of this crap any longer.




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