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View Full Version : TSA loses 1400 badges and uniforms


banyon
05-27-2006, 03:51 PM
May 24, 2006, 2:47PM
Report: ID badges, uniforms stolen from TSA workers


Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- More than 1,400 identification badges and uniform items have been reported lost or stolen from Transportation Security Administration employees since 2003, according to documents obtained by a San Antonio television station.

WOAI-TV received the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Los Angeles and Chicago airports topped the list of missing items.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport led Texas with 42 items gone, followed by Houston's Bush International with 18, the station reported.

Terrorism experts said the information showed an undeniable threat to security. The Department of Homeland Security has previously warned that stolen badges and uniforms were used by terrorists to stage attacks overseas.

Saul Wilen, a San Antonio-based terrorism prevention consultant, called the issue a very serious problem.

"If you have a badge and a uniform, you are invincible in terms of the system," he said. "Not only can you get in and get around, you can get known and become a regular that becomes more and more recognized, so the next time you are less liable to have to go through the system's security, and the next time even less."

In a statement, the TSA denied that stolen badges could lead to security breaches.

"Transportation security officers, regardless of credentials or uniforms, are screened each time they enter the checkpoint," the statement read. "Badges and uniforms, used individually or collectively, would not allow access to a person with ill intent."

The television station countered that statement with footage of employees bypassing or being waved through checkpoints in San Antonio and Miami.

But the TSA noted that employees are required to have a second, airport-issued badge which is deactivated when reported lost or stolen, consequently prohibiting access to secure areas.

A TSA spokeswoman said staff members know their co-workers and are informed when new employees will be starting, so unfamiliar people would be noticed.

But Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, said the missing badges and possible screening lapses are "a clear and present danger to homeland security."

"We are dealing with people criminals who are smart people and will go to great lengths to take advantage of any loopholes in our security," said Smith, who sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security.

He said he has introduced legislation to safeguard TSA badges and uniforms and wants airports to begin issuing heavy fines to TSA employees.

"When we start imposing fines and start holding people accountable for their identification, I promise you, fewer will go missing, fewer will be left in unlocked cars to be stolen and that will help our homeland security, as well," Smith said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3885779.html

Reaper16
05-27-2006, 04:16 PM
Well... that's not good.

Sully
05-27-2006, 04:42 PM
Why does the headline say stolen, but the article says "lost, or stolen?"

banyon
05-27-2006, 04:48 PM
Why does the headline say stolen, but the article says "lost, or stolen?"


I take it that some were reported lost, others were reported as stolen.

So the headline would still be accurate, but perhaps a twinge misleading.

KCChiefsFan88
05-30-2006, 01:59 PM
Our government really is amazing

HC_Chief
05-30-2006, 02:14 PM
Our government really is amazing

ly stupid.

jspchief
05-30-2006, 02:22 PM
So the headline would still be accurate, but perhaps a twinge misleading.I'd say the headline was sensationalistic. Besides leaving out "lost", they also make it sound like was in one fell swoop or something, rather than small numbers all over the country.

Overall, this doesn't particularly frighten me. I think the safeguards in place, in conjunction with employees' abilities to recognize their own co-workers makes this relatively minor.

Taco John
05-30-2006, 03:09 PM
... in conjunction with employees' abilities to recognize their own co-workers makes this relatively minor.



ROFL ROFL ROFL


Is that a joke?

jspchief
05-30-2006, 03:23 PM
ROFL ROFL ROFL


Is that a joke?No, it's not. If you read the article, it describes how employees are screened like everyone else. The ones that are getting waived through are recognized co-workers. I have no reason to believe that a new face would receive the same treatment as a long standing employee.

banyon
05-30-2006, 03:26 PM
No, it's not. If you read the article, it describes how employees are screened like everyone else. The ones that are getting waived through are recognized co-workers. I have no reason to believe that a new face would receive the same treatment as a long standing employee.

That's not what the Trouble Shooters found when we went in undercover at the San Antonio International Airport. We captured video of several TSA employees not going through the security checkpoint. Instead, they bypass the checkpoint by going through the exit using only their uniform and their badge.

TSA also refused to watch our undercover video, but they now tell us the employees on our video are screeners who went through security at the beginning of their shift or supervisors who are allowed to avoid screening.

It's not just happening in San Antonio. We also obtained video of TSA employees going around security in Miami back in 2003 from NBC affiliate WTVJ. The station's hidden camera caught the TSA screener manning the checkpoint simply waving them past the checkpoint.

Saul Wilen says he also witnessed the same thing at JFK airport in New York back in 2004.

"All of a sudden," Wilen recalls, "three people went around security and in. All of them had badges, but they certainly did not go through security."

"All that is a clear and present danger to homeland security," agrees U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, of Texas. Congressman Smith sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security.

http://www.woai.com/troubleshooters/story.aspx?content_id=68AFBD75-1075-487D-A746-FB72D592E77F

jspchief
05-30-2006, 03:34 PM
A TSA spokeswoman said staff members know their co-workers and are informed when new employees will be starting, so unfamiliar people would be noticed.

jspchief
05-30-2006, 03:37 PM
...they now tell us the employees on our video are screeners who went through security at the beginning of their shift or supervisors who are allowed to avoid screening.

I think we have to be realistic about the notion that a TV crew understands the inner workings of airport security enough to understand whether people were getting through due to familiarity or negligence.

Taco John
05-30-2006, 05:04 PM
No, it's not. If you read the article, it describes how employees are screened like everyone else. The ones that are getting waived through are recognized co-workers. I have no reason to believe that a new face would receive the same treatment as a long standing employee.



http://www.mvps.org/st-software/Movie_Collection/images/10603f.jpg

jspchief
05-30-2006, 05:21 PM
http://www.mvps.org/st-software/Movie_Collection/images/10603f.jpg

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/ali2.jpg

No question that we are opposite ends of the spectrum on these things Taco.

Like I said, this isn't particularly frightening to me. I guess you finding it so ridiculous is comparable to my feelings on your 9/11 theories.

banyon
05-30-2006, 05:29 PM
No question that we are opposite ends of the spectrum on these things Taco.

Like I said, this isn't particularly frightening to me. I guess you finding it so ridiculous is comparable to my feelings on your 9/11 theories.

Why is it unreasonable to believe that after a couple of years of enforcing TSA standards, people would start to get lax and nonchalant about things in the absence of actual attacks. This is to be expected IMO.

Taco John
05-31-2006, 11:27 AM
No question that we are opposite ends of the spectrum on these things Taco.

Like I said, this isn't particularly frightening to me. I guess you finding it so ridiculous is comparable to my feelings on your 9/11 theories.


Hey, I'm not saying that anybody should stay up at nights worrying about these things. I'm just saying that going off the word of a company spokesperson if stupid. Of course they're going to say whatever puts their organization in the best light. Not to mention the fact that I've worked for large companies where you wear uniforms, and the idea that everybody knows and recognizes everybody else is stupidly laughable.

I don't know what any of this has to do with 9/11.