We’re in the Best of Hands: Security Checkpoint at Dallas Airport Left Unattended for 90 Minutes

Do you feel safe with the Transportation Security Association?

The Transportation Security Administration has launched an internal investigation after a security checkpoint at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was left unattended and unsecured for 90 minutes earlier this month.

Three agents have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The agency said the agents left the checkpoint at Gate E8 from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 16. Personnel from the airport’s Department of Public Safety discovered the gate was not secure during a routine patrol, the TSA said.

TSA spokeswoman Andrea McCauley called it a “serious and unacceptable security failure.”

“An immediate review of closed-circuit television tapes verified that no passengers or items entered the sterile area while the gate was unsecure,” the TSA said in a statement.

But Dallas-based aviation security expert Denny Kelly said an hour and a half is too long. It could have put thousands of travelers at risk, he said.

“When you leave a gate like that open, they can go anywhere they want all over the world and never have to be checked again,” he said.

Denny said the airport should have been emptied and rescreened passengers.
“They want to talk about our security, how good it is, but it’s not good,” Kelly said.

What is even more worrying is that TSA employees want to unionize, which means security will be even less effective. Unionizing the TSA will encourage its members to be more lazy and less vigilant. Imagine being in an airport security line with employees who refuse to do any jobs or tasks that are outside what has been outlined in their negotiated contracts.

Even worse, the government won’t be able to fire them. We all have heard stories about union members at automotive plants doing all kinds of brazenly fireable offenses, such as clocking in and then going to the bar across the street from the plant (that happened in Toledo a lot) or sleeping on the job. No matter how egregious, the union runs defense for these folks and keeps their jobs secure. If the TSA unionizes and if a terrorist successfully blows up one of our airplanes, you can be sure that the union will make absolutely certain that the blame gets shifted to everyone else in the government but its members. TSA is the last line of defense in preventing explosives from getting on board airplanes. If the TSA unionizes, the US government will rue the day.

At this point, I don’t have much confidence in the US government’s abilities to keep America’s flying public safe, which is a real shame. When President Obama came into office and appointed DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, they decided that political correctness and national security went hand in hand with protecting us from terrorists. Abulmutallab’s terrorist attack proved them wrong. (See Jay Tea’s post below for even more about how Obama set the tone that allowed the bloomer bomber to slip through the cracks)

What will Obama do now? If he and his national security team are smart they will do what former President Bush should have been done after 9/11 and that is implement real security measures like those at EL AL.

Atmospheric CO2 levels have not increased
Mission Accomplished