Wed, Apr 20, 2005
House Aviation Chief Says They'll Do Better Than The TSA
Airports are no more secure today than they were before the 9/11
terrorist attacks. So said Congressman John Mica (R-FL), chairman
of the House Aviation Subcommittee.
Mica told reporters Tuesday that, after seeing reports from the
General Accountability Office and the DHS Inspector General, he
would ask President Bush to hand airport screening back into the
hands of private industry.
"Three and a half years after those horrific terrorist attacks,
there is still a vital need for immediate aviation security
improvements," he said, quoted by Reuters.
lot of the details
surrounding the two reports are classified. But Mica told reporters
that, in spite of a $20 billion taxpayer investment, in spite of
50,000 screeners who wear government badges and in spite of more
than three years worth of chances to get it right, airport
screeners simply can't get it right.
"This annual multibillion-dollar system has received its second
poor performance report card," Mica said at the news
That assessment was quantified by the General Accountability
Office, which earlier in the week said tests involving security
contractors at five airports proved the private sector is better at
screening than the TSA.
It was a vindication of sorts for the private industry. Prior to
9/11, the airlines ran security at terminals in 429 airports
nationwide. Those screeners were blamed for allowing the 9/11
hijackers to board four aircraft and eventually crash them into the
World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in southern
Pennsylvania. But no one on Capitol Hill has forgotten the events
that contributed to the terrorist attacks. Many are asking, if the
government isn't going to do this and the airlines have proven they
can't, then who will?
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