Homeland Security Latest

Monday, December 28, 2009

After the failed plane bombing attempt in Detroit over the weekend, the President has ordered a review of homeland security and TSA screening procedures. Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), member of the Homeland Security Committee, discusses the latest.


Bill Pascrell

Comments [51]

Amy from Manhattan

GAAAH! **Consorting**, not "cavorting"!!! (This one really did start w/Condoleezza Rice, so I can legitimately blame the preceding administration.)

I know, that's trivial compared to the seriousness of the subject, but it get on my nerves. OK, a serious question: do we tend to focus on preventing an attack like the previous one, like the tendency to "fight the last war"?

Dec. 29 2009 12:39 AM
Anon from Staten Island

You can be sure that no matter what "new & improved" security measures are taken, we the travelers will get hit *again* with the tab. Rather than fining those who dropped the ball, we will yet again give airlines and airports incredible amounts of money so they will do the job they should already be doing.

And rest assured not only will this be laid on the taxpayers, but the airlines will use this as yet another excuse to rake in more money for "security" fee add-ons to fares. How can THEY lose with so many giving them additional money (which they do NOT deserve)? And why *should* they learn from their failures when failing is advantageous for them?

Dec. 28 2009 12:09 PM
Carl from East Village

I just flew on United from Dulles (Washington) to LGA (New York) yesterday. I bought a one-way ticket on Saturday. Even though I'm a dark-skinned person, I didn't see any changes in security (I think that's a good thing).

Dec. 28 2009 11:58 AM
Estelle from Austin

Why is it that there are special restrictions during the last hour of the flight? Is the crew or plane more vulnerable in some way during the last hour?
Not having heard any other explanation, it seems to me it just seems to be related to the timing of the Christmas day incident--which makes the new measures seem kind of arbitrary, like we might as well ban everyone wearing the same color shirt as he wore.
Anyone know?

Dec. 28 2009 11:54 AM
Ann from Riverdale, Bronx

I am an international flight attendant. Passengers who buy a one way ticket with cash are supposed to raise a red flag, especially to the person at the check-in counter. In some countries US carriers do not have their own employees handling the check-in process, rather it is handled by employees of another carrier, or by local airport employees. The investigation must go back directly to the person handling his check-in, and why that person did not request security officers to question him further. Screening people's underwear is absurd. He should never have gotten beyond the check-in counter.
I have been pulled aside and patted down while traveling, in uniform, from Syracuse to LaGuardia, because I had a one-way ticket, traveling on an airline discount.
The person who allowed this terrorist to go beyond the check-in process must be thoroughly questioned.

Dec. 28 2009 11:09 AM
the truth from bkny

OK then Sophie #43 you can pick from any of the other infractions sweetie! (she says like $3000 is a natural amount of money to have in a 3rd world country!)

Dec. 28 2009 10:53 AM
MK from Manhattan

I wish the Empire State Building uses some of the technology that the congressman just said is being used at airports. I am concerned for my husband who has an office in that building and everyone else in that building because there are no metal detectors or anyway of knowing what people bring into the building. Brian, can you please just ask what methods the Empire State is using to ensure the safety of its tennants/employees/tourists?

Dec. 28 2009 10:43 AM
JK from Midtown

why dont we just take the pulses of all travelers. im sure thats the best way to find terrorists and drug mules. think of how nervous and how fast their pulses would be while on a line waiting to board.

or if not pulses, then there has to be something that security can check that is a physiologically revealing.

Dec. 28 2009 10:38 AM
Sophie from Bklyn

Too much emphasis is being placed on paying cash for a ticket, the primary method of transactions in developing countries.

Dec. 28 2009 10:37 AM
eleni from NYC

In SUPER FREAKONOMICS: GLOBAL COOLING, PATRIOTIC PROSTITUTES and WHY SUICIDE BOMBERS SHOULD BUY LIFE INSURANCE.[2009] Levitt & Dubner clearly define the typical terrorist. THis kid fit the profile down to the last detail. The fact that this particular individual was flagged by his own father to the US Embassy as a security threat should have been enough of an alert. The failure was from the beginning on the side of the US and their dysfunctional power struggles from within and among the agencies ignores or is blind to
"the 300lb. gorilla in the middle of the room".

Dec. 28 2009 10:36 AM
the truth from bkny

Good point Ann #34

Dec. 28 2009 10:34 AM
Robert Jones from Stony Brook

This is another case of politicians acting irrationally. Your guest admitted himself that "if this happened on a train, we would be talking about increasing security on trains." That statement alone should go to show the irrational thinking that goes on in our government. If you're concerned about security, then implement it. If you're waiting for an attack and THEN saying we need reform, then you're just playing politics.
Terrorists will successfully attack us again. It's going to happen. When it does, we need to remain rational. Every time we destroy our own way of life, and take away our own civil liberties, we do the terrorists' jobs for them.
Economically speaking, it doesn't make sense to waste so much money in the hopes that we may prevent another terrorist attack. How much of our policy will it be "acceptable" to violate before we have enough?
As Ze Frank said, "If we gave everyone anal cavity searches, we'd find a lot more cocaine."

Dec. 28 2009 10:33 AM
Matthew from NYC

All this talk is just more of the same.
Anyone on any watch should not be allowed in this country for any reason at any time. Any country that will not cooperate with the USA or is deemed unsafe should be denied entry to the dam planes.

Dec. 28 2009 10:32 AM
the truth from bkny

I agree with Ellen #29, well sorta 'cause they eyeballed me on my recent trip through Laguardia and it made me nervous as hell, the screener looked at me, looked at my drivers license several times but I was ok with it and if I got pulled it would have been ok with me.

Dec. 28 2009 10:29 AM
Valerie from NYC

I get wanded and patted down every time I fly because I have joint replacements. If a gray-haired 60-year-old goes through this every flight, we can look a little closer at folks who are really sketchy.

Dec. 28 2009 10:27 AM
Robert from NYC

Good point Josh [8]. I like it. lol

Dec. 28 2009 10:27 AM
Chriss from NJ

... I was waiting for it:

It was Bush's fault!!!

Must be nice to blame anything and everything on someone else.

(And wasn't Pascrell in the House during the Bush years?? But who cares!!! It's Bush's fault..... And Cheney....... And Rice.... Not Obama!! He was dealt this hand....)

Dec. 28 2009 10:27 AM
Ann Hall Every from Forest Hills

OMG!! The person in question got through the security points that would have detected the explosives on his body - but isn't it obvious that he did not have the explosive on his body until AFTER he was screened at security and had an accomplice give it to him while he waited in the boarding area?

Point: Does anyone see the stupidity of not being allowed to carry through security a bottle of water....yet once you leave security and go to your gate waiting area, you can buy another bottle of water....or have your accomplice sell it to you filled with explosive materials? No one checks or screens the zillions of pallets of food and other supplies that are delivered to vendors on the other side of the security areas.

Dec. 28 2009 10:26 AM
Lynn from Upper West Side, Manhattan

Another sign of the times. We feel that throwing hundreds millions of dollars at soon-to-be outdated and outsmarted security technology is better than human-to-human communication. If the would-be bomber's father's warning to the Embassy had been properly heeded, this event would have been avoided.

Dec. 28 2009 10:26 AM
unemployed NYU Law grad 2008 from yorkville

Did anyone watch the PBS series expose which detailed how the Bush administration did not oversee the homeland security contracting and lots of friends of the right wing republicans like accenture gots load of money for ineffective stuff?

The reason for no oversight? The 1994 republia election scared the Clintons into reinventing (i.e. cutting) all the contracting oversight personnel according to the PBS show expose.

Google it and see if you agree? It was a story on how two Washington Post reporters uncovered this scandal in HomeLand Seguridad Contracting

Dec. 28 2009 10:26 AM
Lance from Miami

Robert[2] and Linda[3]
The plane is most likely to be close to a large metropolitan area that the terrorist would be familiar with (since the destination airport is in or near that metropolitan area) during the last hour before landing.
Prior to that, the plane is more likely to be over water or over communities with relatively smaller populations.

Dec. 28 2009 10:26 AM
the truth from bkny

We need to pull the screeners on that end and retrain them!

Dec. 28 2009 10:25 AM
Ellen Novack from Tribeca

The emphases, as usual, are in the wrong places. What kind of unimaginative thinker decided that one of the solutions is to keep people in their seats for the last hour of the flight?
Our screening people need to be paid more and be better trained. My understanding is that Israelis have screeners speak to passengers individually, and they're trained to pick up signs of nervousness from the people they interview. If they do, the people are pulled from the line and questioned further. This seems to have the best results.

Dec. 28 2009 10:25 AM
the truth from bkny

Beyond the list, beyond the visa, dude paid $3000.00 cash for a one way ticket and had no luggage...duh Red flag! Human error almost caused major catastrophe!

Dec. 28 2009 10:24 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Has any progress been made on scanning/inspecting container ships?

Dec. 28 2009 10:24 AM
Patrick from New Jersey

If body-screens and more pat-downs can deter or nab potential terrorists, then let's implement them. But it's also worth remembering that we put ourselves in danger every time we get on a train, bus, our own car, or even bicycle. Even walking can result in death. We freak out whenever we are reminded of the small but real mortality risk associated with traveling.

Dec. 28 2009 10:24 AM
uos from Queens

i've heard that you can tell if someone is a terrorist based on breast or penis size..

those invasive scans will be very useful

Dec. 28 2009 10:23 AM
Andrew from Brooklyn

TSA's motto should be changed to: "Closing the barn door after the horse has gone." Once again they, and many of our leaders, are taking the myopic view of changing procedures or implementing new ones based on the specific facts of what has happened. We need more PROactive thinking to stay AHEAD of what threats are out there.

Dec. 28 2009 10:23 AM
Sean Pisano from Brooklyn

Look the bottom line is systems fail. No matter what we do, something and someone is going to get by. It's a numbers game.

Dec. 28 2009 10:23 AM
michel dematteis

I can't believe I heard you mention the nonsense published by the NYT according to which there is "another nail in the coffin" of the idea that poverty breeds terrorism, because the young Nigerian man was rich? Did you agree with that? (I can believe the NYT would say this, so sadly) So---Marx and Mao, they were from rich families too? Can you just think about this for a minute!!

Dec. 28 2009 10:22 AM
unemployed NYU Law grad 2008 from yorkville

Have you noticed that we never see Tibetan terrorists? They are limited to basques, islamists, anti-abortion literal biblists...

either political separatism or jealous monotheism...

polytheistic religiousness like tibet don't envy other gods

Dec. 28 2009 10:21 AM
Leslie Harris from Brooklyn, NY

Yes, we need to come to the point where we are all naked going through security. I am up for the body scan as long as my pic doesn't end up on the internet later. I can't stand trains, buses or cars so the inevitable is coming. I do worry however about the need for even more security on ground transportation. It is long overdue.

Another reason not to extend the war, we need that money!!
Thanks Brian

Dec. 28 2009 10:21 AM
hjs from 11211

will these naked xray pics be recorded for future reference

Dec. 28 2009 10:20 AM
the truth from bkny

HJS...only if the cage has electrical charges like on lost!

Dec. 28 2009 10:20 AM
Pliny from nyc

are these scans dangerous to our health?

Dec. 28 2009 10:19 AM
simge from NY

How did this person get a visa to US after embassy was warned about him?

Dec. 28 2009 10:19 AM
unemployed NYU Law grad 2008 from yorkville

Protect the targets which are the ones which terrorists target. Them muslims want lots of attention and airplanes get attention. No need to waste money on buses.

Mass transit is another matter because them muslims want to fear using the modern world and modern cities and modern mass transit. So city transit should be visibly protected.

However inter-city bus transit is not sexy so them muslims won't attack them.

Dec. 28 2009 10:19 AM
Chriss from NJ


Does he agree with Sec. of Homeland that THE SYSTEM WORKED???

Dec. 28 2009 10:19 AM
seth mosler from nyc

are all failures going to be blamed on Bush and all victories going to be attributed to Obama??

Dec. 28 2009 10:18 AM
Robert from NYC

Have you any idea how crazy it would be to go thru the bags and clothes and whatever else of train riders!!!

Dec. 28 2009 10:17 AM
the truth from bkny

Anyone flying international on a flight bound for the US should get a FULL BODY SEARCH after each stop! Inconvenient? Invasive? tough cookies!

Dec. 28 2009 10:17 AM
hjs from 11211

we should just build a cage around the country to keep everyone else out.

Dec. 28 2009 10:16 AM
steve from Brooklyn

All technical errors are human errors. All 'bad apples' represent structural institutional failures. Our leaders draw false dichotomies to shift their share of the blame. As always, the buck stops at the highest offices.

Dec. 28 2009 10:14 AM
Josh from upper west side

We should combine TSA and Obamacare-We can use the full body scan at airport as an annual check up. The TSA workers could be trained as healthcare auxiliary. This will save money and reduce strain on the hospitals. We satisfy the need to both reduce deficit and render screenings.

Dec. 28 2009 10:13 AM
the truth from bkny

...and certainly if you name makes it on ANY list, you should be subjected to extra screening! Not domestics traveling to grandma's for the holidays! Making us damn near undress at the screener is not the problem...I lost my darn earrings that way this holiday!

Dec. 28 2009 10:12 AM
uos from Queens

Peter King.. guy seeking higher office trying to drum up fear to get his name out there...

The failures security happened in Amsterdam... F that peter king guy...

we gonna put everyone who's reported as radical on a no fly list? i want to report peter king right now then..

Dec. 28 2009 10:10 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

On the news we just heard Sec. Napolitano state that "we know the reasons [the fellow got on a plane with explosives], and they are not satisfactory". Can you please ask Rep. Pascrell exactly what those reasons are and how body scans would address those issues specifically?

Her comment suggests that there was some existing regulation or procedure that was not adequately followed. New regulations and procedures wouldn't help if that is the case.

Dec. 28 2009 10:10 AM
the truth from bkny

We are standing in our own way...had waay too much info on this guy and yet he was not on the no fly list! Our fault!

All international travelers should be subject to fullbody xray screening, men, women and children!

Dec. 28 2009 10:09 AM
Linda from East Village

What's the point of not being able to move around the cabin during the last hour of the flight? Why couldn't a bomb be set off mid-flight?

And why take away the blankets? Couldn't a bomb be set off in the toilet?

Dec. 28 2009 10:05 AM
Robert from NYC

Interesting Jeff, I think they should pee on the floor where they are and if enough people do it they'll change the policy whereby they may have to just check out these folks. Why, I ask, would someone wait to use an explosive device during the last hour of a flight? I mean what sense does that make? Of course, I don't think like a "terrorist" (read nut) so there may be a reason to do that but then think of all the other hundreds (thousands?) of other options that you and I can't think of because we don't think that way. We need to be able to read people's minds to figure out why someone who wants to blow up a plane at any particular hour, minute, second! "Oh, I think 3 1/2 hours into this flight would be good. Yes, that's it, ,hour 3.5 into flight." I don't get it but it might be a "terrorists" thought. Go figure.

Dec. 28 2009 10:05 AM

Fact: 37,000 people were killed last yr on U.S. Highways. Get a hold of yourself.

Point: Anybody that is on that bigger list should at least go through additional security. I have not heard this pointed out?

Fact: I will fly as little as possible due to security restraints. I talked to many people the last two days and they agree.

What about older people, who have bladder problems? Are they suppose to pee themselves the last hr of flight.



Dec. 28 2009 09:34 AM

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