Nothing demonstrates more the governments lack of concern for American lives than the fact that the agency in charge of airport security does not have a boss almost a year into Obama's presidency.
Two federal agencies charged with keeping potential terrorists off planes and out of the country remain without their top leaders.Too many lists. Are they any good? And is anyone actually looking into them?
The Obama administration took more than eight months to nominate anyone to head the Transportation Security Administration and the Customs and Border Protection agency. Those two agencies will be at the forefront of discussions as security policies are reviewed in the aftermath of the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack on an international flight bound for Detroit.
But the Senate hasn't set a date for hearings on the Customs position, with other matters such as health care dominating the agenda. Former U.S. attorney Alan Bersin is Obama's nominee for the post.
Meanwhile South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has placed a hold on the president's choice for TSA, police detective Erroll Southers, over his concerns that Southers might let TSA screeners join a labor union.
The man accused of trying to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner was not flagged in Britain as a potential terror suspect — he was merely put on a standard watch list of people whose visa applications were rejected, British officials said Monday.So what now? No one is saying it. Does airline security in future ask everyone to take off their underwear? And if not, why not? And doesn't this show stupidity of having people taking their shoes off at airports? Demand a explanation. And while you're at it, ask some politician why don't we have an agency/department that will prevent, investigate and spy on terrorists. Clearly neither the FBI or CIA are up to the job.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian who had graduated from a London university last year, had his subsequent visa application denied in May 2009. Government officials said the school on his application form was not a government-approved institution.
[...]Home Secretary Alan Johnson said U.S. authorities should have been informed that Abdulmutallab had been placed on the U.K.list and believed all procedures had been followed correctly.
Looking back, analysts say there were many aspects of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian charged with trying to blow up the plane, that could have raised red flags. He had no checked luggage, and he paid for his ticket with cash. Mr. Abdulmutallab’s name had already surfaced on the National Counterterrorism Center’s database of known or suspected international terrorists, but that information was never made it to US airlines.
“Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, this is someone who makes it on one list only to disappear into a bureaucratic black hole,” says Bruce Hoffman, a professor at the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University in Washington. "Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, it’s a compound failure in intelligence and physical security. Once again, valiant and alert passengers are the last line of defense.”
The incident, which ended when passengers tackled the suspect and put out the flames of his failed bomb, is refocusing attention on Capitol Hill. The question is whether the post-9/11 reforms, including the creation of a Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence, are working as Congress intended.