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Archive for February, 2021

Time to Revive Long-Delayed Plan to Build New FBI Headquarters, WP Argues

FBI headquarters, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

The long-planned construction of a new FBI headquarters languished under President Trump. 

Now it’s time to revive the plan “now that facts are back in fashion,” The Washington Post argues in an editorial. 

The Post writes:

Mr. Trump’s meddling derailed an important project that would have saved money and enhanced the security of thousands of FBI employees. Now that he’s gone, the Biden administration should revive the FBI’s relocation to a nearby suburban Virginia or Maryland site.

“The move’s rationale hasn’t changed in the decade since the federal government concluded that the J. Edgar Hoover Building, completed in 1975, had become obsolete to the FBI’s needs. Today, thousands of bureau employees, for whom there is no space at headquarters, are scattered in office buildings around the D.C. region, at significant cost to taxpayers. The danger to pedestrians posed by falling chunks of concrete is such that netting has been installed on the building’s east facade.

The Post said relocation is necessary because the current headquarters is too small to be rebuilt, suggesting a “a nearby suburban campus — of the sort that has worked well for the CIA, in Virginia, and the National Security Agency, in Maryland — would enable the bureau to consolidate headquarters staff in one location, at a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“A new suburban headquarters would also allow for the construction of other features long deemed priorities, including a separate facility for inspecting trucks and a detached utility plant.”

Read the full editorial here.

TSA Workers Authorized to Mandate Masks at Checkpoints

By Steve Neavling

TSA workers, who have been hammered by the coronavirus, can finally require travelers to wear masks at checkpoints and “throughout the commercial and public transportation system.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske signed the mandate Sunday, offering long-needed protection for TSA employees and travelers. The mandate goes into effect on Feb. 2 and remains active until May 11.

“The purpose of this Executive Order is to save lives and allow all Americans, including the millions of people employed in the transportation industry, to travel and work safely,” Pekoske’s declaration states. “I specifically direct the Transportation Security Administration to use its authority to accept the services of, provide services to, or otherwise cooperate with other federal agencies, including through the implementation of countermeasures with appropriate departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States in order to address a threat to transportation, recognizing that such threat may involve passenger and employee safety.”

Since the pandemic began in the U.S. in March, COVID-19 has infected 6,304 TSA employees and killed 14.