By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
While members of Congress and women fume as airport screeners poke around their breasts for hidden knives, guns, and bombs, Jim Blair, assistant administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration, is providing terrorists a road map of how to make a successful attack by telling them where not to go.
In a December 22 memo to all FAA area directors, Blair announced which airports would become "model" and "pilot" sites for new technology to spot trace explosives: "Technology is one of the key elements necessary in our ability to enhance our passenger and baggage screening processes. As new and better components of technology have become available, sites have been selected to test these enhancements for the ultimate betterment of all our airports." Then he told the world that the airports include LAX, JFK, Chicago O'Hare, and Dallas-Ft. Worth, along with Miami, Baltimore-Washington, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Atlanta, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Gulfport, Mississippi.
In picking these sites for beefed-up screening equipment, Blair said, "Variables such as proximity to the manufacturer, stated congressional interest, checkpoint configurations, and site suitability were some of the additional considerations that were used in the selection process."
Additional reporting: Nicole Duarte