I was stunned to hear talk radio host, Andrew Wilkow, announce that Congress is considering a bill to expand TSA’s authority to mass transit on the ground.
Because the TSA has been plagued with mass firings due to incompetence, unnecessary groping, and criminal activity, it’s alarming that democrats would want to expand its role. Just this month, 43 TSA agents were fired or suspended in Ft. Myers, with congress threatening to investigate a coverup.
From Ft. Myers CBS-affiliate News:
43 TSA workers at Fort Myers airport fired, disciplined FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s one of the largest disciplinary actions the TSA has ever taken in it’s ten years. 43 employees, including a top supervisor, have either been fired or temporarily pulled off the job at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.
Every day, nearly 2 million air travelers rely on the TSA to help keep the nation’s skies safe. But last year – at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, officials say dozens of screeners failed to do their job.
Mark Rosenker/CBS news transportation analyst: This is a big deal. When five TSA screeners are fired and 38 put on suspension, this is a huge deal.
An internal investigation revealed that over a two month period, 43 workers didn’t perform required secondary checks on as many as 400 people after the passengers went through security.
Mark Rosenker/CBS news transportation analyst: The TSA themselves admits that this is an important part of the screening process.
The punishments were handed down last Friday. In a statement Monday, the TSA said the disciplinary action, “…reaffirms our strong commitment to… the safety of the traveling public…”
But Florida Congressman John Mica has written a letter to TSA administrator demanding more answers.
Rep. John Mica: If necessary we’ll subpoena the documents and find out who knew about what, when and why it took a year, a year to take, disciplinary action.
This is just the latest embarrassment for the TSA. Last year, 48 screeners in Honolulu were either fired or suspended for improperly checking bags. In Newark, 10 workers were punished accused of stealing or sleeping on the job. Last week in San Diego, a man fresh out of jail boarded a flight to Los Angeles – without a ticket – before getting caught.
Rep. John Mica: TSA cries out for reform, totally out of control. This nonsense with TSA has to stop.
The TSA made similar mass firings in the past year in cities such as Honolulu and Charlotte, North Carolina.
This is not an isolated case, there have been several over the past year. But never the less, a democrat in congress has put forth a bill to expand the TSA’s authority to mass transit on the ground.
The Transportation Security Administration already shares intelligence it collects with airports. Now a House billwould expand TSA’s intel sharing to local mass transit systems as well.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), the bill’s sponsor, said the legislation is a “common sense approach” to fighting terrorism. The House passed the bill May 30 and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is now considering the bill.
In an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp, Speier said the bill creates “fusion centers,” where TSA can provide intel to local law enforcement and emergency management officials.
“We have put in place through TSA a very elaborate system [in airports]. We all go through those metal detectors and those secondary searches. And we’ve put a lot of focus on the airlines for good reason. But we have neglected the mass transit components, generally speaking,” she said. Read More
While Rep. Speier indicates transit riders probably won’t see any TSA agents in subways or at bus stops because the expanded role falls more on analysts, Andrew Wilkow pointed out that a pilot program already exists in which undercover TSA agents are on public buses in Houston. Progressive Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee helped initiate this program in her district!
A new program will place undercover police officers on METRO buses to curb crime, even terrorism, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said Friday.
“If you think you’re going to be a bad actor on buses, get ready. You are going to have a short-lived time frame,” Jackson Lee said.
The TSA, METRO, and the Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 7 are collaborating in the effort labeled Bus Safe. Read More
Let’s not be so shortsighted as to give up our civil liberties under the guise of security. The real threat is that it looks like democrats intend to follow through with the creation of a “civilian national security force”, which Obama spoke of during the 2008 campaign. Listen while the mindless obamabots enthusiastically applaud, Obama introduces his brownshirt program:
This bill should be dead on arrival!