SPOT


#1

michellemalkin.com/2011/04/10/ts … spot-fail/

Excerpts


… do you know what Transportation Security Administration officials have been doing - or rather, not doing - lately? A federal watchdog revealed this week that TSA’s counterterrorism specialists failed to detect 16 separate jihad operatives who moved through target airports “on at least 23 different occasions.” The name of the TSA monitoring program paying for all this flying-blind failure, I kid you not:

SPOT.

Under the “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques” plan. TSA’s designated behavior detection officers are supposed to closely watch travelers who pose potential security risks and who exhibit any number of appearances or activities “indicative of stress, fear, or deception.” But long-entrenched, bipartisan American political correctness hampers the kind of effective, efficient national security profiling that Israeli airline security officials practice so well.

The result? TSA’s snoozing SPOT-ters catch nobody - for fear of being accused by the grievance lobby of singling anybody out.

"…in December 2007 an individual who later pleaded guilty to providing material support to Somali terrorists boarded a plane at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport en route to Somalia. Similarly, in August 2008, an individual who later pleaded guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda boarded a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport en route to Pakistan to receive terrorist training to support his efforts to attack the New York subway system."

The GAO noted that the TSA SPOT team uses a numerical grading system that has no basis in science or research. But TSA deployed it anyway despite the government?s lack of validation. More appalling: Nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks highlighted vast gaps in information-sharing and dot-connecting, TSA is still “not systematically collecting and analyzing information obtained ? on passengers who may pose a threat to the aviation system.”

As usual, the now-unionized TSA is clamoring for fatter taxpayer rewards for their systemic failure. SPOT took in more than $211 million in fiscal year 2010; the Obama administration wants to pour $232 million into it this fiscal year - a 9.5 percent increase in funding - to subsidize 3,350 SPOT personnel.

…separate funding of another $254 million to support 350 more SPOT officers. If they get what they want, TSA will have invested over $800 million since fiscal year 2007 in a program that is not spotting anyone. Labor bosses are too busy counting the $30 million in new dues they’re raking in.

Remember? Asked by CBS reporter Steve Kroft whether “a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Fla., would receive the same level of scrutiny as a Muslim young man from Jersey City,” Mineta responded in 2001, “Basically, I would hope so.”