News & Politics

Napolitano: new, “unpredictable” airport security rules are none of our business


Apparently it wasn’t an accident that the TSA neglected to tell us how airport security rules have changed in response to Friday’s terror attempt. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced yesterday that there are new, more-restrictive security procedures for americans to comply with at airports, but we’re not cleared to know what they are.

According to Napolitano, not only are the new regulations super-secret, they’re not uniform, meaning, effectively, the public has no way of knowing whether the actions of TSA employees, who we’re legally required to obey, are appropriate or not.

What we can be fairly sure security screening will not include:$795 million worth of screening technology the General Accounting Office says we’ve paid for but never used. In the case of the explosives trace portal, which was meant to sense, say, underwear-borne plastic explosives, an untested system was deployed in 2006 and taken offline six months later.

Appearing on This Week, Napolitano didn’t quite dismiss the accuracy of the GAO report, but clearly preferred to discuss (in bullet points, bless her) the feel-good story of the passengers who overpowered the would-be bomber on the Detroit-bound plane.

Well, without going into the accuracy or inaccuracy of that particular report, new technology has been deployed, but there is a more important point to be made, which is that, A, technology is evolving all the time, it’s not a static situation.

And B, even with the most sophisticated technology, everybody needs to play a part in their security. That’s why I think the actions of the passengers and the crew on this flight deserve praise. That’s why the men and women who have been working really overtime Christmas Day, yesterday, whatever, to make sure that all other flights remain safe, why that system is so important.

Napolitano also told Jake Tapper that under the new regime, passengers will be unable to tell in future if TSA employees are doing their jobs. Apparently, that’s a feature.


Most Popular