TSA Explanation of Screening Failures Fails to Impress

Remember the breaking the news that “the TSA failed to identify 73 individuals with potential links to terrorism who work in our nation’s airports?” Well, chill. According to news reports, “Stacey Fitzmaurice, TSA’s deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, told the Homeland Security subcommittee on transportation that TSA re-checked the workers cited in an inspector general’s report for having possible links to terrorism and found no threats.”


Of course, TSA still doesn’t have access to all the government databases that would allow the agency to make a more thorough check of suspicious characters, so it is not super clear that Fitmaurice’s assurances are anything more than cold comfort.

All this bad news for the agency comes on top of the revelation that TSA screeners routinely failed tests when “red teams” tried to smuggle bombs and weapons through screening.

There are bigger issues here. There is a real question whether Americans are getting value for money for all the dollars they dump into airport security.  Recently, a panel of security experts, including former employees of the Department of Homeland Security, took TSA apart.  Their conclusion: maybe it’s past time to admit, “Houston, we have a problem.”


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