Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 22, 2007 / 10 Mar-Cheshvan

Airport security heading backward, but where's the outrage?

By Mitch Albom


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This should make you furious. This should make you angrier than you have been over almost anything since Sept. 11 — and that includes the war in Iraq.


A recent test showed that 75 percent of fake bombs or bomb parts got past TSA security at Los Angeles International Airport, and 60 percent got past TSA screeners at Chicago's O'Hare.


Those are two of the busiest airports in the world. Those are two of the juiciest targets a terrorist could desire.


Seventy-five percent? Three out of four times? We are constantly hearing the tired and misguided phrase "fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em here."


They needn't bother with us over there. With a 75 percent chance of success, why would they go anywhere BUT here?

THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Now, the reason this news should have you outraged — and, more importantly, why our president and his national security team should be outraged — is this failure draws a straight line to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania six years ago.


Unlike Iraq, which had nothing to do with the actual explosions of Sept. 11, airport security was at the heart of that tragedy. Tighter security, from passenger identity to spotting box cutters, could have thwarted that day.


Can you imagine how our lives would be different if those 19 hijackers had been stopped? Think about every security issue you now face in daily life, think about the economic drain on this nation, think about the war, the lives lost, the political hate and arguments, and all of it goes back to how those men got on those planes.


So you would think, before throwing hundreds of billions at a conflict in Iraq, the first, the biggest, the most obvious use of money and effort would be at the real ground zero of the Sept. 11 terror plan — the airports.


Instead, six years after the fact, we still have disinterested agents. We still have equipment inferior to what is actually available (thanks to politics and budgets). We still have more emphasis on stuff rather than interrogating people (the way Israelis do).


And we still have federal officials making excuses. The latest comes from the TSA chief Kip Hawley, who, in response to these bad results, blamed harder tests.


According to published reports, Hawley told a House committee, "We moved from testing of completely assembled bombs to the small component parts."


Yeah? So? You expect terrorists to put a completely assembled bomb in an empty briefcase and slide it on the belt?

A FLAWED SYSTEM
Don't laugh. That, in fact, is actually how they used to test agents, by putting fake bombs in empty suitcases. You know what? There were still failures.


This time, they packed things like detonators or batteries inside a toiletry kit, or they hid watch-timers is carved-out books. And because of that, our TSA chief is justifying these unacceptable numbers? This is like a kid saying, "Well, of course I failed the math test. You wanted me to add AND subtract!"


The fact is, there is no excuse. None. And President Bush, who vows to keep this nation safe, should be the loudest and harshest critic.


After all, it was the government who insisted on taking over airport security after 9/11, saying we couldn't trust such critical work to lowly paid private screeners. So the Transportation Security Administration was formed, and we tripled the pay, and what do we get? We get 75 percent at LAX and 60 percent at O'Hare. Meanwhile, the same tests showed that the San Francisco airport — which employs private screeners — allowed only 20 percent of the fake bomb equipment through.


And private screeners are what we had before the TSA.


We're going backward. I travel more than most people, so I am not shocked. Sadly, many of the TSA people I see seem more interested in when their break is coming than what or who is going through security. I often see dazed looks, bored postures, shared jokes between agents.


The TSA should be ashamed. And if — or when — there is another attack involving airplanes, and everyone, as always, goes looking to blame someone, we can go back to these pathetic results, we can go back to 75 percent and 60 percent.


And we can blame ourselves.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

MITCH'S LATEST
"For One More Day"  

"For One More Day" is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Sales help fund JWR.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2007, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles