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Tag: TSA

House Votes to Slash TSA Budget by $270 Million; Critics Say it Could Threaten Airline Safety

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — At a time of heightened concern about aviation security, the Republican-controlled House gave the nod Thursday to legislation that would cut funding for the Transportation Security Administration by $270 million, the Washington Post’s Joe Davidson reported.

“At a time when intelligence tells us that terrorists remain interested in attacking transportation, this amendment would cut TSA’s screening workforce by more than 10 percent,” about 5,000 people, TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said according to the Post.

Union leaders hope the Senate rejects the move, the Post reported. The House vote was 219 to 204.

The Post reported that in a letter to House members before the vote, Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the budget cut would “damage the traveling safety of the public and hurt Transportation Security Officers’ ability to do their jobs.”

The Controversial TSA Patdown of a 6-Year-Old Girl

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TSA Worker Busted For Allegedly Helping Drug Dealers


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Minnetta Walker of the Transportation Security Administration lost her moral compass — or perhaps she never had one, authorities allege.

The TSA behavioral detection officer at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, who is supposed to walk around and look for suspicious behavior, was arrested Tuesday and charged with providing info to drug traffickers and helping them get past checkpoints with minimum scrutiny, the Buffalo News reported.

The Buffalo News reported that the 43-year-old was arrested off-duty when she drove to the airport to pick up a suspected drug dealer returning from Arizona.

The paper reported that federal charging documents allege that Walker tipped off one drug dealer that drug agents were tailing him and escorted dealers through screening checkpoints, the Buffalo paper reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

19 Firearms Found Last Week at U.S. Airport Checkpoints

gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As part of an occasional snapshot of what’s going on at our nation’s airports, ticklethewire.com periodically publishes stats on activity at checkpoints.

For the week of Feb. 14-20, the Transportation Security Administration reported that 19 firearms were found at checkpoints along with two “artfully concealed prohibited items.”

Additionally, six passengers were arrested following an investigation for suspicious behavior or for possession of fraudulent travel documents, the TSA reported.

Airport Security Concerns Over Employee Screening

TSA Wasting $$$$ on Some Security

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration has thrown around gobbs of cash for airport security since Sept. 11, but lawmakers, auditors and national security experts are questioning the wisdom behind some purchases, according to the Washington Post.

Reporter Dana Hedgpeth reports that TSA spent about $30 million alone just on devices that puffed air on travelers to detect explosives, only to warehouse the machines later on.

“We always want the best, the latest and greatest technology against terrorists, but that’s not necessarily the smartest way to spend your money and your efforts,” Kip Hawley, who served as the head of the TSA from 2005 until last year told the Post. “We see a technology that looks promising, and the temptation is to run to deploy it before we fully understand how it integrates with the multiple layers we already have in place like using a watch list, training officers at every checkpoint to look for suspicious behavior and using some pat-downs.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

TSA Now Checking All Passengers Against Terror Watch List

tsa photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary  Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that 100 percent of passengers on flights within or bound for the U.S. are now being checked against government watchlists, fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation a month ahead of schedule.

A Homeland Security press release said that Transportation Security Administration reached 100 percent watch list matching for all domestic airlines on June 22.

Under the program called “Secure Flight”, the TSA now prescreens a passenger name, date of birth and gender against terrorist watchlists before passengers receive their boarding passes. Previously, airlines did the screening.

Authorities said the program also helps prevent passengers from being mistaken for those on the watchlist who have similar names.

“Secure Flight makes air travel safer for everyone by screening every passenger against the latest intelligence before a boarding pass is issued,” Napolitano said.

“The threats we face in the aviation sector are real and evolving, and we must confront them with strong and dynamic security measures,” added TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “Secure Flight bolsters our efforts to be more intelligence-driven and risk-based in our approach to aviation security.”

Head of TSA, John Pistole, Visits Airport to Bolster Morale

John Pistole/dhs photo

By ASHLEY PARKER
New York Times

WASHINGTON — As John Pistole strode through Concourse B of Ronald Reagan National Airport on one of the busiest travel days of the year, flanked by airport employees, a news media handler and a reporter, a bewildered traveler looked up and wondered aloud: Is a celebrity flying through?

Well, sort of.

Mr. Pistole, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, has become the unwitting face of everything Americans hate about airport security in a post-9/11 world, the most recent outcry being the agency’s new pat-down procedure, which many passengers say feels invasive and inappropriate.

He has been maligned on Twitter — ”I won’t fly in the U.S. again until John Pistole and TSA are eliminated,” reads one message — and Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized his agency’s new security measures.

But Mr. Pistole, 54, said that while he had been surprised by the ”fullness of the public reaction,” he was happy to take the heat if it meant keeping travelers safe.

”My hope is that, whatever people want to call me, they recognize that we’re simply doing everything we can to work with people to provide the best possible security,” Mr. Pistole said.

To read more click here.