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Friday, December 17, 2010

Awesome: TSA misses loaded Glock pistol in computer case; 'It happens all the time'

ABC News reports that a Houston-based Iranian American businessman left a loaded Glock pistol like the one pictured in his otherwise empty computer case. The case got through security at a Houston airport as his carry-on bag without being found by the geniuses from TSA. And we're told 'it happens all the time' (Hat Tip: Gershon D).
According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful slipping simulated explosives and bomb parts through Los Angeles's LAX airport in 50 out of 70 attempts, and at Chicago's O'Hare airport agents made 75 attempts and succeeded in getting through undetected 45 times.

Despite the results, there is no sign that the numbers have changed as the screeners have been tested year after year, former Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin told ABC News.

"Those reports were classified but it's sufficing to say that reports, both classified and unclassified, are concerning. Too often guns and knives and fake explosives get through the checkpoint," Ervin said. "And what is particularly concerning is that nine times out of 10 the checkpoint is the most critical layer of aviation security."

Ervin said a combination of factors is likely to blame for the persistent failures on the part of screeners. Low pay, poor training, and the monotony involved in watching bags pass through x-ray machines are a recipe for trouble, Ervin said.

"To be fair to screeners, it's very difficult work," he said. "After so many hours of seeing things that are innocuous, there's really a limit for the human brain to process something anomalous."
And many of them are barely high school graduates and they have not even been trained properly.

Remember how when I was discussing the Israeli system last month, all the US reports said it was 'too expensive'? How much is saving lives worth?
Last month, TSA Chief John Pistole told ABC News that the poor performance during undercover tests helped convince him that airport screening needed to get that much tougher -- and a desire to do better helped give rise to the controversial new regimen that includes enhanced pat-downs and back-scatter machines that can see beneath a traveler's clothing.
But with all the political correctness, they're finding random people and not potential terrorists.

Let's go to the videotape.

But Mrs. Incompetanto will tell us that the system is working since Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab was eventually caught.

What could go wrong?

P.S. I'm in Boston where it's not the Sabbath yet.

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At 10:17 PM, Blogger D said...

Howdy from Seattle, USA. I read an article about how airport security is done in Israel. Professionals are employed who have a wide experience in screening / intelligence. A few dozen security/screening professionals are in the airports watching for suspicious activity, zeroing in on who needs further screening. These Israeli security officials are highly trained and very well paid who know what they're doing. They're not $12 an hour high school graduates who decide on a TSA job or a job at Costco. Wholesale groping on passengers a la American Style isn't done. All American passengers are SUSPECTS the second they set foot on airport property.


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