While many people were being convinced that the expiration of the Patriot Act had suddenly left them vulnerable to terrorist attacks and other threats to their safety, a more immediate line of defense was truly leaving them exposed to danger.
It turns out that during a series of tests by undercover members of the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration agents failed to detect 95 percent of the weapons and banned items that the undercover investigators were smuggling in.
Everything from a bomb strapped to one man’s lower back to loaded weapons being concealed on the agent’s person, easily made their way past security. Had the carriers of such weapons not been undercover agents, it means such items would have been nestled within the group of passengers on what could have been a tragic flight.
The troubling results of the trial have now sparked a widespread overhaul of the entire TSA. Jeh Johnson, the U.S. Homeland Security secretary, has now ordered that the necessary steps are taken to improve security at airports.
That first step is to reassign the top TSA official to another position.
A public statement revealed that acting administrator Melvin Carraway will be reassigned while deputy acting administrator Mark Hatfield will take over to lead the TSA until a new acting administrator has been appointed, Johnson revealed in the statement.
It won’t end Carraway’s 11-year run with the TSA but it will certainly serve as a huge blip on his record considering just how badly the trial runs went.
“The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security,” Johnson added. “We take these findings very seriously in our continued effort to test, measure and enhance our capabilities and techniques as threats evolve.”
So far President Barack Obama has nominated coast guard Vice Admiral Pete Neffenger to be the next TSA administrator and he is pushing for the Senate to confirm that nomination quickly.