Friday, March 17, 2006

21 US airports fail bomb screening test

Gee, I'm real glad I have to take off my shoes, unpack my computer, get patted down and have things like my shaving cream confiscated when I go to the airport.

And that is nothing compared to the horror stories that have been reported about people being detained indefinitely without charges, being molested by TSA employees and other disasters.

All in the name of "keeping us safer", right.

Yeah, right.....

As reported earlier today on Good Morning America, we find that undercover tests at 21 US airports resulted in a big fat F for the TSA and its molestation tactics when it comes to actually finding bomb parts. According to the test:

Government investigators conducting undercover tests at 21 U.S.airports were able to get bomb materials through screening machines at all of them, ABC News has learned.

The investigators sent through components of an improvised explosive device, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress.

These tests were actually ordered by Republican Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who said he wanted to see "how penetrable the passenger screening system is to explosive devices."

Don't worry, says the TSA, because noone would think of smuggling bomb parts onto a plane or try to blow up a plane. And why try to address the colossal failure of the only thing that is being done at airports when you can just brush it aside as if there is nothing to see:

"While random items commonly found under a kitchen sink could conceivably be concocted into an IED, there are so many things that could go wrong with this hypothetical scenario that we find it highly implausible," [the TSA] said.

"Detecting explosive materials and IEDs at the checkpoint is TSA's top priority." The agency also said screeners are now receiving added training to help identify these materials.

But at least the TSA people were doing their job and that these materials still got through, right? Um, guess again:

In all 21 airports tested, no machine, no swab, no screener anywhere stopped the bomb materials from getting through. Even when investigators deliberately triggered extra screening of bags, no one discovered the materials.

Ok, maybe not....but at least the materials won't be able to do much damage or if so, they are too voluminous to not get noticed, right? Um....nope sorry:

Lee Hamilton, the vice chairman of the 9/11 commission, says the fact that so many airports failed this test is a hugely important story that the American traveler is entitled to know.

NBC News asked a bomb technician to gather the same materials and assemble an explosive device to determine its power. The materials for the bomb that exploded a car's trunk fit in the palm of one hand. NBC News showed the results to Leo West, a former FBI bomb expert. "Potentially, an explosion of that type could lead to the destruction of the aircraft," said West.

Homeland security. Protecting We the People.....more like protecting their own asses. What a joke, except that the joke is on us and none of us are laughing.

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