Thursday, November 23, 2006

TSA Up To More Sh*t...

Associated Press reported on Nov 17 that TSA officials and a private security company at San Francisco International Airport cheated on undercover tests of screeners at passenger checkpoints.

A report from the DHS Office of Inspector General said:

Security officials would notify screeners as the agents approached checkpoints, radioing in their physical descriptions and sometimes even the agents' methods for concealing contraband.... The TSA last month awarded Covenant a four-year contract worth more than $300 million to continue screening at the airport.

Covenant Security, based in Illinois, claimed the initial whistle-blower complaint was '"unsubstantiated" and the product of one "disgruntled employee.' Turns out that quote was, to remember the Nixon era, "inoperative". The OIG investigation clearly demonstrated that Covenant and TSA officials were conspiring to cover up the cheating.

Given the fact that the word "covenant" is generally used these days in terms of its religious meaning ("a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel")*, I would tend to believe that the company is another one of the fundie wingnut corporate crowd cashing in on george w bush's "faith-based" operations.

The Transportation Security Administration was the first agency set up in response to the 9-11 terror attacks, and was later subsumed in the creation of DHS. I've cited before TSA's remarkably poor performance, especially in the integrity area; this is just one more shining example of how they are keeping us safe. Not.

In all fairness, however, I do have to credit the DHS OIG for, first, investigating these complaints, and second, for releasing the results. We've all seen how bushco suppresses findings that aren't favorable to the administration, and here is their 'brightest star' in the GWOT (Global War On Terra) criticizing its 'brightest child'.

*See, for example, Covenant Transport, a "Christian" trucking company based in Chattanooga, TN. Covenant, despite claiming adherence to "Christian" principles, has a crappy reputation among truckers. Just one more example of Christianist hypocrisy.

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