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WashingtonPost:TSA official grilled at House hearing on budget, foreign-made uniforms

WashingtonPost:TSA official grilled at House hearing on budget, foreign-made uniforms

Old Apr 21, 13, 8:43 am
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WashingtonPost:TSA official grilled at House hearing on budget, foreign-made uniforms

Joe Davidson, the current Washington Post Federal Diary columnist, has written another article about another TSA grilling at a house hearing:

Washington Post
The Federal Diary: TSA official grilled at House hearing on the agency’s budget, foreign-made uniforms

By Joe Davidson, Published: April 18, 2013


A short quote:

The Transportation Security Administration has been a favorite target of House Republicans, and John W. Halinski had the unfortunate role of playing their patsy Thursday.

It was hard for the agency’s deputy administrator to take cover from some of the rapid-fire questions shot at him during a hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security. And in some cases, Halinski didn’t help himself when the Marine veteran could not perform up to the Boy Scout standard of “Be Prepared.”
and

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the full committee, set the Republican tone with stinging opening remarks.

“There has been a pattern of acquisitions of products that don’t work, warehouses filled with equipment that was bought and not used, contracts that promised to do one thing and a billion dollars later they don’t do what they claim to do,” he said.

Issa did not blame TSA’s “hardworking men and women,” yet said the initials could stand for “thousands standing around.”
FWIW, the online article linked to Issa's opening statement, posted on youtube:
ISSA OPENING: Prioritizing Security over Administrative Costs at TSA (Youtube)

Last edited by RatherBeOnATrain; Apr 21, 13 at 9:30 am Reason: typos
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Old Apr 21, 13, 8:55 am
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Halinski comes across as one of TSA's pizza box commandos.
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Old Apr 21, 13, 9:54 am
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I'd like to think Issa is really trying to reign these guys in... ...but... ...it would be really nice if the "you're wasting billions" and "grossly infringing on our freedoms/rights" and "you're a bunch of bungling idiots" and "you really are thousands standing around" messages didn't didn't watered down with the "I'd like the uniforms to be a little cheaper" crap.

Beyond niceties, it burns my a.. that Issa repeats the bogus claim that airport security failures were a key reason for 9/11.

[Insert standard Spiff sentiment here.]
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Old Apr 22, 13, 4:42 am
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Recognize that Issa's committee is not the authorizing committee for the TSA. In the last Congress, Mica and Chaffetz really went after the TSA, but the Homeland Security Committee chairman, Blowhard-in-Chief Peter King, made it absolutely clear that HIS committee was the only committee in charge of the TSA.

Note that Pissy doesn't appear before Issa's committee, which is why he sent the Village Idiot. It doesn't matter one iota Halinski that he wasn't prepared or got "grilled."
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Old Apr 22, 13, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
...In the last Congress, Mica and Chaffetz really went after the TSA, but the Homeland Security Committee chairman, Blowhard-in-Chief Peter King, made it absolutely clear that HIS committee was the only committee in charge of the TSA...
The chair is now Michael McCaul. I don't know his opinion of TSA right now. An article about him from November 2012 is not conclusive. Additional cursory research indicates that he is in favor of giving DHS more funding to address border security, wants DHS to develop some sort of plan and performance measures re: border security, and is pro-CISPA. Regarding the Boston Marathon incident, he said on April 15:

While we have made it more difficult for terrorists to carry out attacks from overseas, the attack on the Boston Marathon is indicative of the shift in terrorists' tactics in recent years to inspire people who are living in the United States to strike. While several plots of this nature have been thwarted, this is the first to succeed. Americans must not back down in the face of terrorism, and we will continue to look for those would attempt to do us harm. In the coming weeks the Homeland Security Committee will begin to ask how this happened, and how we can prevent it from happening again.
There are several interesting statements in that quote, IMO. Who discovered/decided that terrorists have shifted tactics in this manner? What other plots have been thwarted? How could an attack like this one be prevented? It seems like now would be a good time to send him a letter or an e-mail asking for more details and expressing our concerns about TSA.

I'll have to check out the April 18 video of Napolitano's 2014 budget testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee.
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Old Apr 22, 13, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by Schmurrr View Post
The chair is now Michael McCaul. I don't know his opinion of TSA right now. An article about him from November 2012 is not conclusive. Additional cursory research indicates that he is in favor of giving DHS more funding to address border security, wants DHS to develop some sort of plan and performance measures re: border security, and is pro-CISPA. Regarding the Boston Marathon incident, he said on April 15:



There are several interesting statements in that quote, IMO. Who discovered/decided that terrorists have shifted tactics in this manner? What other plots have been thwarted? How could an attack like this one be prevented? It seems like now would be a good time to send him a letter or an e-mail asking for more details and expressing our concerns about TSA.

I'll have to check out the April 18 video of Napolitano's 2014 budget testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee.
You're right -- King (fortunately) moved on according to House rules about "term limits" for Committee chairs. Unfortunately, he laid down the basic culture that the TSA only reported to him and his committee. I haven't seen that McCaul or the House leadership is in a big hurry to change.

It sounds as if he's gearing up for a bunch of "What did you know and when did you know it?" hearings.
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