A few months ago, top TSA officials were forced to hand over their plastic badges and report for bin-stacking duty after it was discovered that 95% of the time, fake, planted “bombs” and “firearms” were able to make it swiftly through security at a bunch of American airports (just don’t wrap your face powder up in your underwear or they’ll spill out the contents of your luggage across the “security screening area” with abandon, before testing you and your laptop for exploses, because obviously you’re a terrorist, boarding a flight to that high-impact target Cleveland at an ungodly morning hour…not that I’m bitter).
Anyway, the malfeasance inside the TSA extends throughout the agency, apparently, from line workers, to top brass and even to HR. According to a report released this week, the TSA had 73 “aviation workers” on its payroll who also happened to be on the terror watchlist, something the TSA, in its extensive screening process, failed to discover.
A recent U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) report found that 73 aviation workers, employed by airlines and vendors, had alleged links to terrorism.
The report, published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General on June 4, blamed bureaucratic mistakes. Though the TSA says it frequently cross-checks applications and employee lists with the DHS’s “Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist,” both are incomplete.
The TSA’s employee lists, which consist of thousands of records, “contained potentially incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and missing social security numbers,” the report found. The DHS Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist was also incomplete because “[TSA] is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watchlisting policy.”
Well, that’s weird: the TSA, which is supposed to be the front line in protecting American travelers from terrorists, but has no access to the full terror watch list. Granted, the terror watch list is also overly inflated and has a bunch of names of ‘persons of interst’ who are relatives, close friends, roommates and other associates of actual people being watched for terror-related activities, but still. If you’re that close to someone with designs on blowing parts of America sky high, you probably shouldn’t be running the bodyscanner at your local airport. No offense, it’s just a thing.
The best part of Newsweek‘s coverage of the incident is the final paragraph of the story, where the writers of a major publication throw up their hands and claim that they have no idea if anything will even be done to correct the situations, whether people will be fired, or if anyone actually cares. Comforting!