TSA Dodges Congressional Investigation of Breach

Osama bin Laden has approximately 53 half-siblings. Last week, ABC reported that 12 of them have FAA pilot's licenses, making them “eligible to fly aircraft anywhere in the United States.”

While this is indeed an eye-opener of a headline, Osama bin Laden’s high-profile siblings and the FAA are a small concern compared to the threat posed by thousands of would-be foreign pilots routinely granted pilot licenses thanks to the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

Last year, in my Pajamas Media article "Flight School Fiasco: No Lessons Learned After 9/11," I wrote that the TSA, not the FAA, has the final say on who gets to fly airplanes in the United States -- including bin Ladens. This remains true today. TSA is in charge of the Alien Flight Student Program, which insiders say is a disaster waiting to happen.

Between 2002 and 2008, as many as 8,000 foreigners had been granted their pilot's license without having been properly vetted. Said TSA official Richard A. Horn in 2005:

Thousands of aliens, some of whom may very well pose a threat to this country, are taking flight lessons, being granted FAA certifications and are flying planes.

Outraged by this news when it broke a year ago, Senator Charles Schumer called for an audit of TSA. No comprehensive audit happened. According to interviews with Homeland Security employees, the TSA’s vetting process has not changed.

One year later, the TSA continues to play Russian roulette with the nation’s safety and security on airplanes. The security holes keep getting bigger.

Last week, I wrote that the public recently learned that the TSA had given al-Qaeda its playbook after a subcontractor inadvertently posted the agency’s most sensitive security document online. The 93-page document was a veritable handbook on how to beat airport security.