Saturday, April 16, 2005

Well duh.

Millions of dollars spent to find out what anyone who's taken a plane in the last 4 years already knows.

Screening at U.S. airports is no better now than before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who was briefed Friday about an investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office and one by the Homeland Security Department.

"A lot of people will be shocked at the billions of dollars we've spent and the results they're going to see," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House aviation subcommittee.

So the billions we've spent on largely symbolic reforms, designed to give people a false sense of confidence when they fly and thereby prop up the failing, hopelessly outdated air travel industry haven't actually made us any safer? Who would have thought? Well, now that we know, things are gonna change, right?
Earlier investigations also found security problems.

On Jan. 26, the Homeland Security Department's acting inspector general, Richard Skinner, told a Senate committee that "the ability of TSA screeners to stop prohibited items from being carried through the sterile areas of the airports fared no better than the performance of screeners prior to Sept. 11, 2001."

Skinner said the reasons screeners failed undercover audits had to do with training, equipment, management and policy.

A year ago, Clark Kent Ervin, then-inspector general of Homeland Security, told lawmakers the TSA screeners and privately contracted airport workers "performed about the same, which is to say, equally poorly."

Clark Kent Ervin? Jesus, if even SUPERMAN HIMSELF can't save us, what chance do we have?

Seriously, we're suffering from a tremendous lack of fore-thought and imagination when it comes to homeland security. We're stuck fighting (and badly I might add) a phase of the war on terrorism that's probably already over. Airport security resources are poured into making sure little old ladies don't carry nail-clippers on airling flights. Does anyone think that a terrorist armed with a box-cutter is ever going to take control of an airplane again? No chance, he'd be dragged down and beaten senseless before he took three steps toward the cockpit.

Meanwhile, undercover agents are smuggling fake bombs onto planes, our ports are wide open, our chemical and nook-yoo-lar facilities are unguarded, and Wyoming is getting more homeland security funds per capita than New York. What's gotta happen before we pull our heads out of our asses?

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