TSA Screeners Miss Gels And Liquids

5:51 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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  • (AP)

ARLINGTON, VA (WUSA) -- There are disturbing new details about the failure rate for those TSA airport searches anyone who flies has to suffer through.

A confidential internal report finds TSA screeners at at least one airport are missing far more oversize gels and liquids than they're catching.

Newark was re-named Newark Liberty in honor of the victims killed on 9-11, when terrorists took off from here and other airports. Now the secret report from the TSA itself suggests its screeners are failing to do what their supposed to do to keep America safe.

John Banzhaff's a law professor at George Washington University. "Any of my students who get less than 75, I fail them. Here the TSA itself says its agents failed 80, 95, 100 percent of the time. Everybody should be scared and outraged.

The TSA secret shoppers found screeners caught prohibited items and took appropriate action less than 25% of the time.
That they followed proper pat down procedures less than 17% of the time. And that they failed 100% of the time to tell people they could opt out of of a full body scan and go with a pat down.

"The TSA says most of its people failed the test most of the time," says Banzhaf. "And all the terrorists have to do is get through once."

The TSA has been experimenting with something it calls behavioral detection. Instead of physical pat down, it's a verbal chat down. And Banzhaff says this study proves it's a complete waste of time. "This study says they can't even do the simplest things right. The idea that they're going to be trained to look for my micro-expressions, or the tremor in my voice because I'm a terrorist. That's crazy."

The Newark investigation is the only one leaked publicly so far.
But if it's that bad at Newark, a lot of people worry about failures at other airports too.

A TSA spokeswoman says the agency constantly evaluates its workers in hopes of improving performance.

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