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TSA, Border Patrol Heads – Both Vacant

A grudgingly reporting Associated Press:

Key security agencies lack permanent leaders

By Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press Writer

December 29, 2009

WASHINGTON – Two federal agencies charged with keeping potential terrorists off airplanes and out of the country have been without their top leaders for nearly a year.

It took the Obama administration more than eight months to nominate anyone to lead the Transportation Security Administration and the Customs and Border Protection agency.

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of U.S. security policies following the failed Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam. He vowed Monday to "do everything that we can to keep America safe."

The acting heads of the TSA and CBP — both created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — will be at the forefront of these efforts.

Bogged down with health care reform, the Senate has yet to set a date to hold hearings for the Customs position. And Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has placed a hold on the president’s choice to head the TSA over the senator’s concern that the new leader would let TSA screeners join a labor union. This has some Democrats blaming politics for the vacancy.

Former U.S. attorney Alan Bersin is nominated to run CBP, and former FBI agent and police detective Erroll Southers is the president’s pick for TSA…

On Christmas Day, alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian who spent time in Yemen, was able to sneak an explosive device aboard his flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, only to be thwarted by the device’s apparent failure to work as designed, and aggressive action by other passengers…

"The president is looking for answers on this," Denis McDonough, chief of staff of the White House National Security Council, told reporters Monday in Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is vacationing. McDonough said officials have begun to assemble information related to watch list procedures. As yet, no one has been named to oversee the watch list review, he said

We were mildly surprised to see the Associated Press report this news.

Until we saw that they managed to blame it on Republicans.

The Washington Post doesn’t bother to be so subtle about it:

Republican senator DeMint holds up nomination for TSA chief

By Margaret Talev
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An alleged attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration — if there were one.

Instead, the post remains vacant because Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has held up President Obama’s nominee in an effort to prevent TSA workers from joining a labor union.

DeMint, in a statement, said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s alleged attempted attack in Detroit "is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA."

For now, DeMint said, the TSA has "flexibility to make real-time decisions that allowed it to quickly improve security measures in response to this attempted attack." He said that if organized labor were involved, union bosses would have the power "to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports." …

By the way, the thought just occurred to us: imagine the TSA in charge of finding your cancer.

(Thanks to Franco and Confucius for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “TSA, Border Patrol Heads – Both Vacant”

  1. proreason says:

    I thought that Urination Management was the magic bullet to defeat Global Terrorism until I read this article.

    Now I know that, in addition, we plan to unionize TSA.

    I’m not worried anymore.

    We’re in good hands.

  2. Confucius says:

    From AP:

    Key security agencies lack permanent leaders

    By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON – Two federal agencies charged with keeping potential terrorists off airplanes and out of the country have been without their top leaders for nearly a year.

    It took the Obama administration more than eight months to nominate anyone to lead the Transportation Security Administration and the Customs and Border Protection agency…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091229/ap_on_go_ot/us_airliner_attack

    So you see. Our vacationing demi-god of a president is not the problem.

    It’s the Republicans. And in particular, Jim DeMint.

  3. Yarddog1 says:

    For Rome it was a fiddle.

    For us it is the shaft.

  4. proreason says:

    TSA should be renamed TSV. Transportation Security Validation.

    If a plane somehow manages to land safely, the TSV validates that the system worked properly.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    It’s good to see Houseboy Hussein keeping up his golf game. Lord knows, his people are doing the best they can (idiots) while we are under attack.
    We truly are lucky to have the “GREAT ORATOR” getting some O.J.T. while on his 9th vacation in 11 months.
    Whew………………being a leader (HA) must be tough!!

  6. aprilnovember811 says:

    He can’t find anyone with any credibility to work for him.

  7. Petronius says:

    We don’t need a new chief for the border protection agency.

    America has gotten along just fine without border protection for nearly fifty years.

    And we don’t need any more transportation security.

    The present system works fine. So long as the detonators don’t detonate. And so long as we put a young, tough Dutchman on every airplane.

  8. Chuckk says:

    As if putting a professional politician or career bureaucrat at its head will make the TSA suddenly competent.

  9. MinnesotaRush says:

    Most government agencies are “vacant” – even the ones with chiefs!

    Matches the administration – VACANT!!!

  10. U NO HOO says:

    Obama is spending more time at his Tee Party in Hawaii than he did when his grandmother died.

    Hey, with two vacancies who is liberally interpreting the Patriot Act and tapping phones. No wonder crotch rocket boy got on the plane.

  11. joeblough says:

    Personally I’d just as soon that Red Hussein didn’t make these appointments at all.

    He would just put in more nazi union hacks or other sorts of traitors.

    A less active Obama is a less destructive Obama (or Soetoro or whatever his name is).

  12. swee says:

    I suspect these unfilled positions have been purposely overlooked. It’s all by design, and part of a bigger plan. Right, Rush?


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