Safe and Secure

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Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 10:23am

TSA reports thousands of airport security breaches over past decade.


Despite billions being spent on security, critics in congress charged today that the nation's airports are still vulnerable to terror attacks.

The Transportation Security Administration came under particular fire with some congressmen wondering whether the agency is worth the money.

Armed with a report showing some 25-thousand security breaches at the nation's airports since 9-11, a congressional committee went after the beleaguered Transportation Security Administration.

Even bomb sniffing dogs were brought in to make a point that they're just as, if not more, efficient than TSA's body imaging equipment.

"You take a thousand people and put them into a roomIi'll give you ten whole body imaging machines. You give me five thousand people in another room. You give me one of his dogs and we will find that bomb before you find your bomb," said Representative Jason Chaffetz.

TSA Assistant Administrator John Sammon defended the agency, saying the number of breaches is misleading and represents only a fraction of the 5.5 billion people screened since 9-11.

"TSA's goal is to work with airport authorities to stay ahead of evolving terrorist threats while protecting passengers privacy," said Jason Sammon, TSA Assistant Administrator.

Still, airport directors like Charlotte's Jerry Orr called the TSA arrogant and bureaucratic.

It was at Charlotte's airport last year that a teenager slipped through security, stowed away and died in the wheel well of a passenger jet bound for Boston.

"Congress should continue to support, its support of allowing airports to opt out of using tsa," said Jerry Orr, Aviation Director at Charlotte International Airport.

Included in the breaches cited in the report are some 6,000 travelers who made it past government screeners without proper scrutiny.
 

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