The latest unsettling news from the oft-criticized federal agency that screens the nation’s airports is that only three of the 300 largest airports — in Orlando, Atlanta and Miami — screen employees.
Why only three? Well, there’s the cost factor, according to the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, which instructs the Transportation Security Administration. And besides, “no single measure can provide broad-spectrum protection against risks or adversaries.”
With that mindset, the TSA might as well unplug airport scanners and dismiss screeners.
The admissions from TSA chief Robert Neffenger to the Senate Commerce Committee follow a report last month that, in 2015, the Department of Homeland Security identified 73 employees at nearly 40 airports who had been “flagged” for possible terrorism ties, The Washington Times reports. But a TSA flack assures there’s no evidence that the employees are on the government terrorist watch list.
Then there are the reports of gun and drug smuggling by airline employees at airports including New York and San Francisco.
The TSA has come under fire for its screening lapses in the past. And advancing security in airports’ public areas after the Brussels airport bombing last month won’t close the gaping hole inside so-called secure areas.
Now that this hole has been exposed, who can ensure that it won’t be exploited?
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