“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

TSA 100% Effective with Blue Haired Ladies. Down Hill from There.

Waiting for the pat down and cavity search.

Most fake bombs missed by screeners
75% not detected at LAX; 60% at O'Hare

By Thomas Frank

WASHINGTON — Security screeners at two of the nation's busiest airports failed to find fake bombs hidden on undercover agents posing as passengers in more than 60% of tests last year, according to a classified report obtained by USA TODAY.

Screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed about 75% of simulated explosives and bomb parts that Transportation Security Administration testers hid under their clothes or in carry-on bags at checkpoints, the TSA report shows.

At Chicago O'Hare International Airport, screeners missed about 60% of hidden bomb materials that were packed in everyday carry-ons — including toiletry kits, briefcases and CD players. San Francisco International Airport screeners, who work for a private company instead of the TSA, missed about 20% of the bombs, the report shows. The TSA ran about 70 tests at Los Angeles, 75 at Chicago and 145 at San Francisco.

The report looks only at those three airports, using them as case studies to understand how well the rest of the U.S. screening system is working to stop terrorists from carrying bombs through checkpoints.

The failure rates at Los Angeles and Chicago stunned security experts.

"That's a huge cause for concern," said Clark Kent Ervin, the Homeland Security Department's former inspector general. Screeners' inability to find bombs could encourage terrorists to try to bring them on airplanes, Ervin said, and points to the need for more screener training and more powerful checkpoint scanning machines.

In the past year, the TSA has adopted a more aggressive approach in its attempt to keep screeners attentive — the agency runs covert tests every day at every U.S. airport, TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe said. Screeners who miss detonators, timers, batteries and blocks that resemble plastic explosives get remedial training.

The failure rates at Los Angeles and Chicago are "somewhat misleading" because they don't reflect screeners' improved ability to find bombs, Howe said.

TSA chief Kip Hawley, responding to previous reports about screeners missing hidden weapons, told a House hearing Tuesday that high failure rates stem from increasingly difficult covert tests that require screeners to find bomb parts the size of a pen cap. "We moved from testing of completely assembled bombs … to the small component parts," he said.

Terrorists bringing a homemade bomb on an airplane, or bringing on bomb parts and assembling them in the cabin, is the top threat against aviation. "Their focus is on using items easily available off grocery and hardware store shelves," Hawley said.

A report on covert tests in 2002 found screeners failed to find fake bombs, dynamite and guns 24% of the time. The TSA ran those tests shortly after it took over checkpoint screening from security companies.

Tests earlier in 2002 showed screeners missing 60% of fake bombs. In the late 1990s, tests showed that screeners missed about 40% of fake bombs, according to a separate report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

The recent TSA report says San Francisco screeners face constant covert tests and are "more suspicious."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The TSA operates like any other Federal Agency, why would one expect otherwise?

  3. Great picture and caption, Duece, LOL

  4. I nominate the Board of Directors of the EB to patriotically volunteer their time to do cavity searches on the younger set.
    (We await a Photo with Bait-Scented Breath)

  5. Immediately after the news was broadcast on the radio and television, striking protesters in the port city of Le Havre shouted,

    “Cecilia, we are like you! We are fed up with Nicolas!”

    What Turkey Wants From Iraq -- and the US

    By Jürgen Gottschlich in Istanbul

  7. "The left-leaning Liberation, which had taken the position that it would not report on the story as long as it was only based on rumors, shifted course in a special report in today’s newspaper with a front-page photo of the couple and the headline, in English,
    “Desperate Housewife.”

    I volunteer to do a Homeland Security Cavity search if she seeks asylum on the island.

  8. Give Ms Pelosi to them for a Sacrificial Beheading.
    (with a hood, of course, to spare the poor Turks the ugly scene)

  9. Anybody met Jürgen Gottschlich?

  10. "Most fake bombs missed by screeners
    75% not detected at LAX; 60% at O'Hare
    Maui's a negative number:
    We've treated all the young Wahines to a Luau, and haven't got back to the Airport yet.

  11. Why are Fake Bombs a
    Big Deal,
    Wish all our men in Iraq had only Fake Bombs to deal with.

  12. The EB Imperative:

    "Abandon all burden, ye who enter here."
    The underlying concept is that social tensions and certain environments can cause stress, resulting in a feeling of alienation. Gemütlichkeit is an active way of preventing such negative influences by going to places and/or meeting with people that are regarded to be gemütlich.
    A gemütlich person again is one that takes part in this lifestyle and knows about the tensions he/she is able to cause, and thus tries to avoid these things actively. This way an agreement is established to make an "environmentally cosy" site (Heuriger, garden, cellar, backyard restaurant, living room...) "socially cosy".

    One characteristic of a gemütlich situation is that one could blot out everything else (past, future, other places and absent people) and yet everything would be fine
    (an eternal "now and here").
    Germans describe that as "leaving everything at the doorstep" (though a gemütlich place doesn't necessarily have to be inside a house).

  13. Speaking of Women

    There was an article the other day about how easily drugs are brought through the baggage handling areas in the airports. Whole system leaks like a sieve.

  14. A bottle of bourbon, Doug, is all that's needed, to get that gemutlichkeit feeling.

  15. "The ruthless mobster used the inside tips about the identities and whereabouts of suspected rats and rivals to rub out at least four victims in the late 1980s and early 1990s, authorities said."

    Gotta love that writting--look at all those 'r's!

    Rub out

    Ruthless rival rubs out rats with rod.:)

  16. Ah, I got so excited I put the cart before the Horse

  17. Chicommies want to set up commie Cells in space.

    There is a wonderful quote by Lyndon Baines Johnson--"I don't want to go to bed by the light of a communist moon."

  18. Report on the nukes the Air Force flew between bases on the B-52.

  19. There is a wonderful quote by Lyndon Baines Johnson--"I don't want to go to bed by the light of a communist moon."

    Who is actually communist these days?

  20. I don't know, T., Cuba I quess. Who has ever been? It always ends up a closed secret clique at the top, slaves below. North Korea, under this definition, qualifies.

  21. A moment of silence is in order. The last Rat is dead.

  22. Welcome home, Bhutto. Boom. Said it before, dead woman walking.

  23. Bishop was still working a few months ago!
    I thot for sure he was broadcasting from the Big Apple, not Newport Beach.
    You Can take Joey out of the City But...
    You Can't take the city out of Joey.
    ...well, none of US could.

  24. The Army, Navy and Air Force unwittingly advertised for recruits on a website for gays, who are barred from military service if they are open about their sexual orientation.


  25. Direct from the Onion, Higher Quality Bullshit.
    Bullshit '08

  26. It may be her goofy truck on the right, Doug, but it's John Paul II, Come Again in flames to the left, for sure.

  27. Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Two bombs exploded in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, killing at least 125 people near the truck in which former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was traveling during a celebration for her return from exile. Bhutto was unhurt, according to an aide.

    At least 200 people have been injured and taken to various hospitals across Karachi, and 12 policemen are among the dead, Rizwan Edhi who runs Edhi Foundation, the country's largest ambulance service, said in a telephone interview. ``Several have been critically injured, there are severe burn cases and the death toll is sure to rise.''

    Pakistani Taliban Commander Baitulllah Mehsud threatened to carry out suicide bomb attacks against Bhutto, Daily Times reported on Oct. 5. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the explosions.

    Bhutto, 54, arrived in Pakistan yesterday afternoon to lead her party in national elections, after President Pervez Musharraf agreed to withdraw corruption cases against her. Bhutto, who has held the post of prime minister twice, landed at Karachi's Quaid- i-Azam International airport from Dubai, ending eight years of self-imposed exile. Hundreds of thousands of her supporters gathered outside the terminal to welcome her back to the country.

  28. Doug 6:44.......hula head nails it.

  29. Aloha Akbar!

    Oil is at $90+ for first time.
    FOX News

  30. The next cnn video is the Dolly Llama visits Ideehoe!

    Hope Craig makes the show!

  31. At BC:
    "But the brave, as yet unnamed officer was unable to stop the wildly swinging computerised Swiss/German Oerlikon 35mm MK5 anti-aircraft twin-barrelled gun. It sprayed hundreds of high-explosive 0,5kg 35mm cannon shells around the five-gun firing position. By the time the gun had emptied its twin 250-round auto-loader magazines, nine soldiers were dead and 11 injured."

  32. Self-Deportation
    The scumbags will stay, guys like this leave.
    (after doing the paperwork to become legal)
    Sorry Charlie: Good guys finish last with ICE.

  33. Oh, Shit; I laughed my (dare I say it?) fucking ass off.

  34. Too Bad Compassionate George would rather be dead, than well said.

  35. What I don't understand, Doug, is why they spent all that money on a robot? One of Rat's Blackwater Guards with an M-60 could have given the same result.