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Dec. 31 2009 - 3:33 pm | 64 views | 1 recommendation | 1 comment

TSA Gets Bad Timing Award

About five hours before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded a plane in Nigeria that would eventually take him to Detroit where he would be arrested for blowing up that plane, Gale Rossides, the acting administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, sent out a congratulatory, year-end note to all employees..

“Your dedication is second to none, and your professionalism will be on display once again as you ensure that passengers get to their destinations safely,” she wrote. “Thank you for all you will do in the coming days to keep operations running smoothly.”

Now, of course, there was no way Rossides could have known what was headed her way — and the fact is most TSA employees are probably hard working people.

But, wow.

“We’ve come a long way in just the eight years since TSA was created,” she added. “Our stakeholder and Congressional relationships are strong, we are respected internationally for our security work, and we are on the cutting edge with out technological advancements. For this, we can all be proud.”

Of course, there is quite the list of things maybe they’re not so proud of.

For instance, the leak earlier this month of their standard operating procedures manual.

And then there’s the fact that yesterday, while maybe they should have been busy working on improving airport security, they were sending agents to the doors of two bloggers who had posted copies of the new security directives after the Christmas attack.

Chris Elliott and Steven Frischling both posted details about the visits they received. The Associated Press now has a story up on the visits.

Rossides closed her message by saying:

“Whether you’re on the front line, at headquarters or stationed throughout the world, I ask that you all remain vigilant this holiday season and in the year to come. The security of our transportation system depends on you.”

I would add that maybe employees spend a little less time harassing bloggers and more time focusing on actual security

In the meantime, maybe Jim DeMint could remove his hold on the nomination of Erroll Southers to be the permanent head of TSA so the agency could finally start moving ahead.


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    An award winning journalist twice nominated by his editors for a Pulitzer Prize, Miner is the former City Editor of The New York Sun. He has also written for The Washington Post, The New York Post, The New York Times and The Oregonian. His reporting has freed from prison a man wrongfully convicted of murder and another time helped send a corrupt politician to jail

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