UPDATE: 01-07-2010 TSA NOMINEE MAY HAVE LIED TO CONGRESS
In a very troubling scenario, the TSA Nominee appeared to tell one story about a serious privacy issue which resulted in an FBI censure approximately 20 years ago. In that version of the story, he had asked a friend to use offical resources to invade the privacy of another individual without probable cause. Unfortunately, he may have lied to Congress. When questioned about the event by someone who apparently had more infomation about the previous event, the TSA nominee sent a letter to clarify his remarks and admited his original testimony to Congress was, to be charitable, erroneous. In the new version, the nominee admitted that he, himself, had accessed official records; not once, but twice. One might forgive a previous ethical lapse that occured 20 years ago, but a current ethical lapse involving lying to Congress is unforgivable. The nominee's credentials do not make up for a serious character flaw which may render him susceptible to doing political favors involving information contained in classified databases. Or possibly leading to the harassment of members of the opposition party. Since one cannot be sure that the nominee is completely trustworthy, he should not be confirmed by the Senate. -- steve
Original Blog Entry ...
History has been replete with examples of organized crime infiltrating unions, sometimes those unions involved with personnel performing airport or port security. Other examples exist where a union’s control over critical government infrastructure poses a clear and present danger to the public welfare.
Why was the TSA lacking leadership?
The Los Angeles Times is reporting …
“Vote urged to confirm TSA chief”
“A GOP senator had blocked Obama's nominee over concerns he would let screeners join unions.”
“In the wake of the botched Christmas Day airliner attack, industry groups, airport workers and others have renewed calls on Congress to confirm President Obama's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration.”
Could Rahm Emanuel be capitalizing on the current terrorist “crisis” to direct Congressional democrats?
“The confirmation of Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent and the top law enforcement official at Los Angeles World Airports, has been pending since September. Trade groups and pilots union leaders say the latest incident heightens concerns that the agency still does not have a permanent leader.”
“Aviation and security experts made clear that Southers' confirmation as administrator would not have prevented a Nigerian national from allegedly smuggling explosive material onto a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit and trying to detonate it.”
“"The TSA has been rudderless, but it's hard to blame them, personally," said Bruce Schneier, a security expert and author.”
The real issue: unionization …
We have all seen the questionable activities of both ACORN and their sister organization, Andy Stern’s SEIU (Service Employees International Union) which appears to be headed by a far-left Marxist who is fond of promoting the old communist slogan, “Workers of the World Unite!”
“Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the ranking member on the aviation subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has led the opposition to Southers' confirmation by raising questions about whether he would allow TSA security screeners to unionize.”
"’During a time when security is so important, we need to push politics aside,’ said Steve Lott, spokesman for the International Air Transport Assn., a trade group that represents most of the world's largest airlines.
We should never push “politics” aside when considering issues that involve our nation’s security infrastructure. Especially in an age when it appears that the democrats in Congress and the Administration are touting a far-left ideology that seemingly provides aid and comfort to those who do not wish us well, both foreign and domestic. It is expected that the true threat facing the United States will come from within our borders and that our nation will implode rather than explode.
"’We will suffer by not having a leader,’ he said. The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union representing government workers, made the same plea three weeks ago when the TSA inadvertently posted classified airport screening information on the Internet. ‘This incident further illuminates the urgency of appointing a permanent leader at the agency,’ the group said.”
Dual allegiance, conflict of interest?
It is of the utmost importance that those who serve the United States in functions dealing with security issues have an allegiance to the United States of America and have absolutely no conflict of interest that will compromise their security mission. There is no doubt in my mind that our enemies have infiltrated all of our government institutions, sometimes to the highest levels. Spies in the CIA, FBI and other government and military agencies are not unknown.
Jim DeMint protecting America …
“An interim chief has been running the TSA since January. Obama nominated Southers in September to fill the position. A Senate committee forwarded the nomination to the full Senate in November, and DeMint then put a hold on the nomination, a procedural move that can block a vote.”
“DeMint said he was troubled by Southers' refusal to answer questions about whether he would recommend that TSA workers unionize.”
“In a letter to DeMint, Southers said he would consult with employee and industry groups before taking a position and would not pursue any action ‘that would potentially compromise the safety and security of the flying public.’"
By splitting the loyalty and allegiance of unionized security workers, often enforced with peer-pressure and union thuggery, we would be compromising the security of the United States by allowing unions to control our security apparatus. One needs only to be reminded that unions have brought mediocrity and higher costs to government functions while protecting the jobs of employees who are technically incompetent or who perform poorly. We have seen criminals hired into positions of responsibility as a favor to union bosses where companies and the government does not want the hassle resulting from alienating a politically powerful union leader.
“But DeMint said Monday: ‘The attempted terror attack in Detroit is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA and allow our airline security decisions to be dictated by union bosses.’"
Senator Harry Reid, who appears to be the clueless cheerleader for the far-left who want to drive this nation into financial collapse and hasten the onset of a benevolent form of socialism weighs in on the issue …
“Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), noted that the Senate wanted to confirm Southers and nominees for other posts by unanimous consent before the Senate recessed on Christmas Eve, but DeMint's hold on Southers blocked the plan.”
"’Hopefully, in light of this recent incident, he'll relent and allow the Senate to confirm Mr. Southers,’ Manley said. ‘The American people have every right to have a nominee in place at the TSA. The only thing Sen. DeMint is trying to do here is try to score cheap political points.’"
Yes, we should have a competent qualified leader of the TSA, one that places the protection of the public over party politics and the self-protection of the agency itself. A person who swears to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States – not to bring about greater inefficiencies and costs by allowing a strategic security force to be unionized. And, one may ask, just what is the union protecting these employees from? Especially considering the various levels of government review and their ability to take their issue to any court of competent jurisdiction.
One may also ask, can we trust Harry Reid’s opinion – especially since he represents a state where corruption, unions and crime were said to go hand-in-hand? Considering that Harry Reid has lied directly to the American people on issues such as spending bills, healthcare reform and cap-and-trade, I think Reid and his democrat cohorts – many of whom are directly beholden to the unions for campaign funding and voter support – cannot be trusted in matters of national security.
The lack of common sense …
“Meanwhile, Friday's incident has renewed calls for upgraded security. Mike Karn, an American Airlines pilot and security chairman for the Coalition of Airline Pilots Assn., criticized the decision for air traffic controllers to immediately issue alerts only to airline crews that were crossing the Atlantic, rather than to all airborne U.S. crews.
‘The rest of the flights over the rest of the world had no clue,’ he said. At the time, no one was certain if the attempted terrorist attack was part of a larger, coordinated effort to bring down other planes,’ he said. ‘Had other airline crews been notified, they could have taken steps to limit access to cockpits in their aircraft, restrict passenger movement and been more vigilant about suspicious activity in the cabin,’ Karn said. ‘This is an example of not doing what common sense tells you to do,’ he said.”
Union people are known for slavishly following the book and being unable to “think outside the box.” They are risk-adverse and extremely protective of their co-workers; even in instances of clear violations of policy and wrong-doing. We need people who can put two-and-two together, to connect the dots, so to speak. We need exceptional people on the front lines; well-trained and well-supervised – not jumped-up, self-important security guards who like the feeling of power. Especially if they come from “powerless” backgrounds.
I call bullshit …
“The incident also raised questions about the limited use of whole-body scanning devices, which some security officials believe could have helped detect the incendiary material allegedly strapped to Abdulmutallab's body. The security screening device, which creates a type of detailed nude 3-D image of a passenger, was not used on Abdulmutallab when he boarded the plane at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The U.S. Travel Assn., a nonprofit group that promotes the U.S. travel industry, said more testing of full-body scanners is needed to ensure that the devices strengthen security.”
“Before more invasive methods of airport screening are used, the Obama administration should establish oversight mechanisms to ensure that the measures aren't abused, said Frances Townsend, a former domestic security advisor to President George W. Bush.
’There are privacy concerns, and, frankly, the case has to be made that it's necessary and effective and that there are oversight measures in place that will assure people that their privacy and civil liberties will be appropriately protected,’ Townsend said. ‘I don't think people have that sense.’"
Heaven spare me from the so-called experts who tout “privacy and civil rights” when matters of life-and-death security are involved. Is there no more fundamental violation of your human and civil rights to be ignominiously killed by a terrorist with an explosive device?
One needs to recognize that there are lobbyists pushing the research, development, funding and employment of these millimeter devices on behalf of the equipment makers. They are overpriced and extremely profitable for the manufacturer. And, truth-be-told, can easily be circumvented by anyone that wants to stuff a body cavity with explosives. Or swallow explosives, to be retrieved aboard flight by using a powerful laxative. Does anyone wonder how drugs and other contraband continually manages to find there way into secure prisons under the so-called watchful eyes of unionized prison guards? Ask someone about “suit-casing.”
“Prison suitcase: Process of hiding/smuggling things by hiding them in one's rectum or vagina.”
Civil libertarians … aiding and abetting our enemies?
The far-left socialists, Marxists and communists have become quite adept at forming non-profit organizations to collect funds from do-gooders to be used to assault our institutions by using our own laws against us.
We are not being attacked by blonde, blue-eyed Norwegians, we are being attacked by mostly male Muslims of a certain age. And yet the civil libertarians prevent our law enforcement personnel from “profiling” the very people who wish us dead. We know that certain nations support state-sponsored terrorism, yet it would be a “diplomatic” embarrassment to cut off all travel from these areas to the United States. And it is even worse when we accept the proposition that we can’t deal with Muslims from Saudi Arabia – especially after learning of the Saudi link with the 9/11 terrorists and the fact that most of the militant Whabbist Mosques preaching Jihad are funded from Saudi sources.
And while we are pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia and our nation’s tolerance of their covert actions – why is it that the democrats join the environmentalist to continually refuse to make a rational energy policy featuring clean, cost-effective, sustainable nuclear energy which would make us both energy independent from Islamic Middle Eastern nations and reverse the outflow of oil money out of our country. Money which further feeds the Middle East conflict and their expansion of jihad to the remainder of the non-Muslim world?
Bottom line …
We need to be extremely vigilant over the continuing unionization of our government infrastructure, especially those linked to providing security and safety from terrorism.
We need to be extremely vigilant over the current crop of corrupt and complacent politicians who seem willing to sell out the American people for a pittance in campaign funding and voter support.
But most of all, we need to remain vigilant that the United States is not attacked from within – as promised by various communist and socialist leaders – thus leading to a takeover of our nation and the sacrifice of our freedom.
As we enter 2010, we must vote the democrats and the complacent republicans out of office. Take back our government and move towards those leaders that exhibit common sense. Perhaps one reason why the far-left and the democrats hate Sarah Palin. One, she has bucked her own party to root out corruption. Two, she has bucked big oil to win concessions for her Alaskan constituents. And three, she has a well-grounded sense of morality and ethics that is often lacking in both parties. To those who claim she lacks foreign policy experience, I ask you: what foreign policy experience came from Arkansas (Clinton), Georgia (Carter) or Texas (Johnson)? Nobody enters the Presidency with that type of knowledge – and hopefully they will have advisors who act as honest brokers to defend the Constitution and American people.
Start now by considering the issues facing our nation and discussing the matter with your family, friends and colleagues. Politics is not a team sport and we are not fighting over bragging rights – we are fighting to save our nation from politicians who want to rule, not govern, into perpetuity.
Reference Links …
Vote urged to confirm TSA chief -- latimes.com