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Majority of airport security breaches committed by airport employees

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A local Texas NBC TV news affiliate found that the vast majority of airport security breaches — 75 percent of them — are committed by those people with airport security badges.

TSA-Agent
Is it safe? Photo credit michaelkonik.com
NBCDFW-News5 investigated security at the nation’s fourth busiest airport — Dallas-Fort Worth — as a follow-up to one done in March at Newark airport by the New York Post.

While the New York Post concluded that Transportation Security Administration agents provide window dressing to make passengers feel secure without providing any real security, the NBC5-News investigation concluded that most security problems are created by those who should know better. They include pilots, government officials, airline and security executives, even the TSA agents themselves.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, humans do some really stupid things,” said Larry Wansley, an airport security consultant according to NBCNews5.

Airline and airport employees are issued security badges that allow them to bypass security checkpoints . They are personal to that individual only, and may only be used as a part of their job. Nonetheless those holding the badges often use them on personal business and to sneak family members through.

“You sign a piece of paper when you get your badge that says I have read and understand the rules,” said Dallas-Fort Worth Airport spokesman David Magana.

And what of the real reason we employ TSA agents — to prevent another 9/11, a “shoe bomber” or “underwear bomber?” How good a job are we doing there? The New York Post report found the following:

An agent got through Newark last week with an improvised explosive device? That’s not even news to anyone who works there. It happens all the time. The failure rate is pretty high, especially with federal investigators, and the pat-down itself is ridiculous. As invasive as it is, you still can’t find anything using the back of your hand on certain areas.

When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.”

Remember Nazi-dentist Laurence Olivier’s repeated question to grad student Dustin Hoffman in the 1976 thriller “Marathon Man?” “Is it safe?”

H/T Business Insider

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