Newark Airport security failure explained away by TSA blogBy PHILIP MESSING and DAN MANGAN
New York Post
March 14, 2013
The TSA whined yesterday that it’s just too darn hard for agents to find bombs — unless the terrorists use explosives straight out of a Loony Tunes cartoon.
That was the agency’s sorry excuse to explain how Newark Airport screeners were completely outmatched by an undercover fed who stuffed an IED in his pants and slipped through two layers of security.
“It’s not like they’re using a cartoonish bundle of dynamite with an alarm clock strapped to it,” Bob Burns of the TSA Blog Team posted on the agency’s Web site.
“The items are extremely hard to spot.”
The Post exclusively revealed last week how the screeners colossally failed a Feb. 25 test at the Terminal B checkpoint, allowing a fed to get an improvised explosive device through a magnetometer and a secondary pat-down.
Burns argued that “this specific covert test was only testing one of the 20 layers of security.”
TSA boss John Pistole is scheduled to testify today to the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, and likely will be grilled about the failed Newark test, according to Capitol Hill sources.
But he also has a bigger headache to deal with.
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who heads the powerful Government Operations Subcommittee and helped create the TSA, said Burns violated national security protocols by disclosing details of the Newark test on the blog.
“The first thing I have to do is investigate how much they’re paying for their blog team,” Mica told The Post.
“Here you have some guy on a blog, which is a questionable expenditure of that agency, confirming that it was a failure. That’s the last thing TSA should be doing on a blog or publicly . . . This [blog] should be a primary candidate for sequestration.”
Mica — a former head of the Aviation Committee who once directed similar drills at airports and was always forbidden from publicly disclosing results — said, “It’s unbelievable.”
No one was disciplined for the failure at Newark — the same airport where 9/11 hijackers were able to smuggle boxcutters onto Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania before it could reach Washington.
Rep. Peter King has demanded “immediate answers” in a letter to Pistole.
The TSA blog also took on a Sunday Post story about a former Newark TSA screener who blasted silly policies and lazy workers, calling the charges “uninformed generalizations painted with a wide brush.”
A reader of that blog noted in the comments section: “I (and others) noticed you didn’t address any of the specific issues raised by the ex-employee.”
The TSA did not respond to requests for comment by The Post yesterday.