A while back in discussing the future of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and the security changes implemented after 9/11 I termed the mutli-billion dollar expenditures a “giant public funded placebo.” The worst part of the placebo is that it’s been something of a shell game. Airport security, while no better, is more inconvenient than before, but security for transportation workers at all levels has not been tightened with the same gusto as has passenger security.
Jim Kouri reports today another in a recent string of raids on those who service our nations infrastructure, reporting on illegal aliens found working, fully badged, on U.S. military shipyards. In March more than two dozen illegal aliens, including 4 from countries on DHS’s watch list for terrorist activity (Sudan and the Philippines), were arrested at TIMCO Aviation in North Carolina. The illegal aliens worked on commercial airliners, and many had signature authority to return planes to active service.
It’s heartening to know that there are operations examining the employment practices of transportation associated industries, since we are only as safe as the weakest link in our defenses. Depending on how you look at it we’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate) to have been paying little public notice to these security lapses in the 3 1/2 years since 9/11. Had more attention been payed to the rest of the security spectrum outside the airport screening lines, we all might have decided long ago that the TSA’s “increased security” was placebo all along.