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May 13, 2006

Complacent Stupidity In Its Finest Hour

Now, isn't this just dandy...

An airline employee spoke with 6News about what he claims are serious breaches in security at Indianapolis International Airport.

The employee, who spoke with the station on condition of anonymity, said workers have been able to put weapons through secure areas and that packages can be put onto planes without proper security checks. The employee also said that workers don't undergo physical screenings.

The worker told 6News' Jeremy Brilliant about two airports -- the public side, where every bag is screened, every person is checked and some undergo more detailed random searches, and the back side, where ground crews work with no regular inspections and no physical checks of individuals or their belongings.

Now, far be it from me to tell the experts at the Transportation Security Administration{TSA} how to do their job, provided they are actually doing it. I don't mean doing most of it, I mean doing all of it.

Using a hidden camera, he recorded himself boarding two planes to illustrate how easy it is for a worker to walk onto aircraft unchecked.

"There is a hole and there is a breach. Employees breach security every single solitary day," the employee said.

Employees must swipe their badges to get access to the secure area of the airport.

The employee said workers encounter no metal detectors or guards. Airline employees are able to bring with them just about anything they want, the employee said.

"(We can bring) handguns, hunting knives, just a variety of things like that that they were able to bring out onto the secure area, or what they call a secure area, with no detection," he said.

This doesn't sound like they are doing the whole job to me, it sounds more like the people who strategize and implement security measures at airports are being complacent, lazy, budget-cheap and verrrrry stupid.

For example:

Indianapolis TSA Federal Security director David Kane said physical inspections aren't necessary, because employee names are continually checked against terrorist watch lists, and the workers undergo extensive background screening before they are given entry badges.

"It's a layered system. So, it's not just what you see at the front door and that's where it ends. It's not that at all," Kane said. "As long as we're making sure that people don't have the motivation, the predisposition, to commit crimes against the transportation system, the rest of it to me is a relationship between that person, their employer and their personal integrity."

...making sure that people don't have the motivation...

What an ass! What a pompous ass that guy is! What qualifies him to determine what's going on in the minds and personal lives of thousands of airport workers?

...employee names are continually checked against terrorist watch lists.

Terrorist watch lists?

What if some ground crew member with no previous terrorist association agrees to help his second cousin's friend by stashing some goodies aboard an aircraft, conveniently in the pockets of a list of seats provided him?

... the rest of it to me is a relationship between that person, their employer and their personal integrity."

Is this David Kane joking, or what? I'm sure Osama bin Laden would see the humor in all this, but I certainly don't. No Physical Security professional I've ever known, and I know several, including myself, would even dream that statement.

A Security organization is not supposed to assume anything where an "employer-employee relationship" or anyone's personal integrity is concerned. It is not supposed to be trusting in the areas of human goodness, honesty and benevolence. It is there to protect.

You can't, in any conscience, say you're protecting a principal by barricading the front of his house while leaving the rear and side doors open. In the case of the TSA, the principals are passengers and air crew, ultimately millions of people who look to the Transportation "Security" Administration to protect them. Protecting other people is one of the noblest of callings and it is one that engenders serious, inescapable responsibilities, tenacity and thoroughness among them.

An aviation report card issued by a national pilot's trade association gave the industry a failing grade for ground crews, because they aren't screened.

"If they had evil intent in mind and they're not being monitored, they could do just about whatever they want to do inside a wheel well of an aircraft or inside the cabin itself," said Jay Norelius, of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association.

This doesn't sound like security, it sounds like Swiss cheese, and not screening these employees all but negates all of the front end efforts. Just go around the back, the door's unlocked. Great.

The worker told 6News he made his superiors aware of what he perceives as a threat months ago, but he said they shrugged it off.

"They pretty much just said ... it was unrealistic -- that yes, they're aware that something maybe could happen, but the chances of that happening were very slim," the worker said.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!?

... they're aware that something maybe could happen, but the chances of that happening were very slim.

Maybe something could happen. Chances very slim.

How slim were the chances that terrorists would hijack four commercial airplanes and crash three of them into heavily populated buildings? Do those incompetent, lazy bean counters need to wait until an airplane or two explode in midair or crash into nuclear reactors or petrochemical plants before they get up on their hind legs and do their job?

Posted by Seth at May 13, 2006 10:00 AM


Seth, this is really scary. It's bad enough that the Dems are whistling in the dark regarding the possibility of more attacks, but it seems that those who are supposed to be watching aren't.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot indeed!

Posted by: GM Roper at May 14, 2006 05:09 PM

Scares the shit out of me, too, GM.

Hell, what CARE would probably call "activists" for the "religion of peace" have already demonstrated that they are capable of meticulous planning, as we saw on 9/11, and they have all the time in the world to implement any strategy they wish. There are always new recruits who haven't made the dubious honor of appearing on "watch lists" who would have no problem getting jobs at airports.

While the government allows its time to be taken up by social issues and other special interests that were never intended to be part of their job description, their primary responsibility of "protecting us against enemies, foreign and domestic" is being addressed in a half assed manner, in large part because the left half of the equation is playing politics with our lives and because the people commissioned to do the job are overly budget conscious political appointees rather than serious protection experts.

Between one issue and another, I don't think the American people have gotten a bi-partisan screwing, by the government, of this magnitude ever before.

Posted by: Seth at May 14, 2006 06:24 PM