It Is Becoming Very Obvious That Common Sense And Government Just Don’t Mix

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has allowed migrants released from the custody of other Homeland Security agencies to board flights to other parts of the country despite the passengers lacking any of the 15 documents it states are the only acceptable forms of identification. This has been going on for six months. Didn’t we learn our lesson on September 11th?

The article reports:

A TSA spokesperson initially told the Washington Examiner migrants were allowed to board flights if they could present the document they are given when they apply for asylum. The Notice To Appear, known by DHS as Form I-862, is a paper that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will give to a person who has passed a credible fear screening and will have his or her asylum case decided by a federal judge as many as five years down the road.

TSA said the court order served as the individual’s identification because that person had already gone through a background check while in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ICE, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

However, a USCIS official said TSA’s knowledge of protocol was wrong and that the latter agency would not provide any type of travel authorization document to a person who has passed a credible fear screening. The official said the NTA has one purpose and that was to tell recipients when to show up for court.

With the pushback from USCIS, TSA said another possible document that might be used would be the USCIS employment card.

However, asylum seekers who have been released from custody cannot attain that paper until 180 days after a credible fear claim has been approved.

In its initial statement to the Washington Examiner on its own policy violation, the agency said “TSA accepts identification documentation issued by other government agencies, which is validated through the issuing agency. All passengers are then subject to appropriate screening measures.”

TSA then referred the Washington Examiner to a webpage, which still states, “You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you chose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.”

So I guess it is easier to get on a plane as an illegal alien than as an American citizen. What a mess. It would be considerably easier just to get control of our southern border.

Maybe We Are Screening The Wrong People

In early April of this year, I posted an article about security at American airports. The article was based on a Judicial Watch story and included the following:

In all of the cases, airport workers used their security badges to access secured areas of their respective facilities without having to undergo any sort of check. As if this weren’t bad enough, last month government records obtained by the media revealed that 73 employees at nearly 40 airports across the nation were flagged for ties to terror in a June 2015 report from the DHS Inspector General’s Office. The files identified two of them working at Logan International Airport in Boston, four at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and six at Seattle-Tacoma International in Washington State. Here’s the government’s explanation for letting the potential terrorists slip by; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) didn’t have access to the terrorism-related database during the vetting process for those employees. You can’t make this stuff up!

Now we learn that only three of the nation’s 300 airports—Atlanta, Miami and Orlando—require employees to undergo security checks before work, even though there’s an epidemic of illicit activity among this demographic.

Today, the Center for Security Policy posted a short discussion of the recent loss of EgyptAir Flight MS804. This is the discussion:

Frank Gaffney discussed the issue on Secure Freedom Radio with Fred Fleitz, the Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs at the Center for Security Policy. As a former CIA analyst, Fleitz has an extensive background in analyzing such matters. Gaffney asked him to break down what we know so far:

“From what I’ve heard so far Frank, it looks like this probably was not the result of technical difficulties. There’s evidence that the plane tried to make some strange right and left and 360 degree turns shortly before it fell from the air. There are fishermen who said they saw a fireball so obviously the plane exploded before it crashed so it is looking like this is an act of terror and my concern as a former intelligence analyst is that this raises real questions about whether Jihadis have found new ways to penetrate airport security, both by getting their members as employees and possibly by finding technical workarounds to ways to detect bombs placed on aircraft.”

Gaffney pointed out that many American airports have staff members in various positions who may embrace Sharia Law which obliges them to embrace Jihadi philosophy and wonders if we have “lost our minds” on this issue. Fleitz responded:

“Well, you’re raising a question no one wants to talk about, I mean Western societies, we want to be tolerant, we don’t want to tar and feather every Muslim employee as a Jihadi but we know the French and British have identified people with ISIS sympathies working at airports. This is a problem in this country. Congressman Peter King was on the radio this morning talking about how TSA is finding this is a real problem, they’re trying to ferret out people who appear to have sympathies with ISIS or al Qaeda working in these sensitive positions and these are people behind the scenes, baggage handlers and mechanics who could easily put a weapon on a plane.”

Gaffney stressed that they obviously weren’t talking about all Muslims but pointed out that there is a difference between modern post-Sharia Muslims and those who embrace a medieval view.

There is a good possibility that whatever brought down EgyptAir Flight MS804 was put on the plane while it was on the ground. The plane made numerous stops before it left Paris for Egypt. It is time for all countries to take a close look at their airport workers. Planes that are flying at 35,000 feet do not fall out of the sky for no reason. Even if you lose all power, you have a chance to glide down safely. We need to pray for the families of the victims, and we need to learn quickly from the mistakes that allowed this tragedy to happen.

The Government Just Doesn’t Do Things Better

If you are planning an airline trip to your summer destination this summer, be prepared for long lines at the security screening checkpoint at the airport. Budget cuts are blamed for the increased time, but that is not actually the case.

The thing to remember when you hear anyone in Washington talk about a budget cut is that they are not talking about an actual budget cut. The mentality in Washington is very similar to the wife who comes home from the shopping mall with multiple bags of goodies and says to her husband, “See how much money I saved you today?” She never mentions how much money she would have saved if she had avoided the shopping mall to begin with. Washington uses baseline budgeting. This totally distorts what is actually happening with spending. If Agency A spends $100 this year, it is assumed that they will need more money next year. So Agency A asks for $125 this year (a 25 percent increase in its budget). Congress reviews the request and only gives them $110. Agency A then reports that it has cut its spending 15 percent. Only in Washington is a 10 percent increase considered a 15 percent cut. The bottom line–never believe anyone in Washington who talks about spending cuts.

Meanwhile, back to the TSA. Investors.com posted an article today about the cause of the delays.

The article reports:

Blame for this disaster is said to be tight budgets and staff cutbacks at the TSA.  As The New York Times put it: “A combination of fewer Transportation Security Administration screeners, tighter budgets, new checkpoint procedures and growing numbers of passengers is already creating a mess at airports around the country.”

That is always the excuse whenever a government agency fails to its job. In this case, it’s simply not true. At $7.3 billion this year, TSA’s budget is 9% higher than it was in 2007. Its full-time workforce climbed by 4.3% over those years, according to official budget documents. (The TSA conveniently measures its current budget and staffing against the peak produced by President Obama’s massive stimulus spending.)

More important is the fact that the TSA’s gains since 2007 came at a time of declining air travel. Over those same years, the number of passengers traveling from major U.S. airports dropped 7%, and the number of commercial flights fell more than 22%, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Plus, the TSA has fewer airports to manage than it once did, since 22 — including San Francisco International, Kansas City International — have ditched the TSA and hired private security firms to do their passenger screening.

The TSA is another illustration of the fact that the private sector does everything better than the government.

The article further reports:

The Transportation Dept. ran tests early last year, and found that for all the hassle they impose on passengers, TSA agents failed to detect illicit material 95% of the time. When the inspection agency followed up later in the year, it discovered that little had changed. In fact, part of the reason for the agonizing delays at airports today is that the TSA has dramatically slowed down the screening process in a ham-handed attempt to improve reliability.

In 2010, a documentary film entitled, “Please Remove Your Shoes” was released. It is available on Amazon. I strongly recommend buying it and watching it. The TSA has not made us safer–they have created an illusion of safety that has nothing to do with reality. It is time to remove the TSA and replace them with private security. That will not only save taxpayers money–it will keep us all safer.

Common Sense Has Taken A Vacation

Yesterday Judicial Watch reported that only three United States airports require security checks on their employees. If Judicial Watch knows this, does anyone believe that people with nefarious intentions are not also aware of this?

The article reports:

In all of the cases, airport workers used their security badges to access secured areas of their respective facilities without having to undergo any sort of check. As if this weren’t bad enough, last month government records obtained by the media revealed that 73 employees at nearly 40 airports across the nation were flagged for ties to terror in a June 2015 report from the DHS Inspector General’s Office. The files identified two of them working at Logan International Airport in Boston, four at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and six at Seattle-Tacoma International in Washington State. Here’s the government’s explanation for letting the potential terrorists slip by; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) didn’t have access to the terrorism-related database during the vetting process for those employees. You can’t make this stuff up!

Now we learn that only three of the nation’s 300 airports—Atlanta, Miami and Orlando—require employees to undergo security checks before work, even though there’s an epidemic of illicit activity among this demographic. The unbelievable stat was delivered by DHS officials testifying at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this week. In the aftermath of the Belgium terrorist attacks, the hearing was scheduled to address efforts in this country to prevent attacks on passenger and freight targets that could lead to mass casualties. The head of TSA, Robert Neffenger, told lawmakers that the agency has increased the inspection of employees five-fold in the last five months but admitted improvements must be made and the nation’s airports will provide a report by the end of the month assessing their vulnerabilities.

It might be a really good idea to correct this situation quickly.

So Why Are Americans Forced To Show Identification?

Breitbart.com is reporting today that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is allowing illegal aliens to fly on commercial airlines without valid identification.

The article reports:

“The aliens who are getting released on their own recognizance are being allowed to board and travel commercial airliners by simply showing their Notice to Appear forms,” NBPC’s Local 2455 Spokesman, Hector Garza, told Breitbart Texas.

The article also includes the following statement:

“The National Border Patrol Council adamantly opposes the decision of DHS to release the illegal aliens who have been transported from the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector to other locations for processing. The lack of consequences has furthered this crisis and will only continue to do so. The fact that TSA is accepting the I-862 (Notice to Appear) as a form of identification and allowing illegal aliens to travel commercially shows just how little regard the federal government has for its own immigration laws.”

My reaction to that statement is that the government also has little regard for the safety of American airlines passengers.

The article also includes a quote from a 2012 United Nations (UN) report:

Central Americans are not the only ones being smuggled through Mexico to the United States. Irregular migrants from the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia), as well as South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, India), China, and other African and Asian states are being smuggled through Central America.”

The article also includes a quote from the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. They wrote on Somalia:

“Its porous borders mean that individuals can enter without visas, and once inside the country, enjoy an almost complete lack of law enforcement. Somalia has long served as a passageway from Africa to the Middle East based on its coastal location on the Horn of Africa, just a boat ride away from Yemen. These aspects make Somalia a desirable haven for transnational terrorists, something Al-Qaeda has tried to capitalize on before, and is trying again now.”

How many innocent Americans have to die as a result of our porous southern border before Washington decides to do something about the flood of illegal immigrants coming into the country?

Disarming A Stuffed Monkey To Make Our Airplanes Safe

Sometimes you just wonder at the level of common sense being exhibited by some people. There was an incident that I personally witnessed last week in a government office where a person’s pocket knife was declared a weapon and he was asked to leave the office. It was a small pocket knife. He made no effort to conceal it–it was clipped onto his pocket. I seem to be living in a part of the country where people carry pocket knives, but evidently you can’t take a pocket knife into a government office–even if it’s a public office. Well, a recent TSA incident tops that.

KING5.com in Washington state reported earlier this month that a women who has a small business selling unique sock monkey dolls had a two-inch toy pistol belonging to her “Rooster Monkburn” cowboy sock monkey confiscated by the TSA.

The article reports:

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.

“I said well go ahead,” said May. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”

“She took my monkey’s gun,” said May, who has retained her sense of humor.

“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” she said. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”

In the end, the agent did not call police and May did get her other sewing supplies back.

On Monday, the TSA issued a statement, saying “TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation’s transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.”

I don’t want to encourage the TSA agent, but I can think of things in an ordinary sewing kit that would be more dangerous than a two-inch toy pistol. I doesn’t say a lot about the level of common sense of the TSA that the agent thought it necessary to confiscate a two-inch plastic toy.

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Thugs

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about a raid on the home of journalist Audrey Hudson, a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter. The raid was carried out by the Department of Homeland Security and the Maryland State Police. The warrant obtained by the Daily Caller states that the purpose of the raid was to search for firearms inside the home.

The article reports:

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

But without Hudson’s knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.

There are some problems with this story. If her husband had a run-in with the law in 1986 and has not had problems since then, why hasn’t the restriction been lifted? Since the ban on his owning firearms goes back more than 25 years, why has it gone unenforced until now, and who authorized the taking of Audrey Hudson’s notes?

The article further reports:

At about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, Hudson said officers dressed in full body armor presented a search warrant to enter the home she shares on the bay with her husband. She estimates that at least seven officers took part in the raid.

After the search began, Hudson said she was asked by an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written a series of critical stories about air marshals for The Washington Times over the last decade. The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

This is not the America I know. Note that the raid took place in the middle of the night–when people are not awake enough to realize completely what is happening. That is the kind of tactic the SS used in Nazi Germany.

We need to get the current thugs out of Washington as soon as possible. We are in danger of losing our freedom of speech.

 

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