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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Like I said - new TSA screening equipment all about the money

Feds: Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Ore.

Even before the new TSA porno scanners and groping policies there was enough security to deter any would be terrorist already in the U.S. from trying to blow up a plane.

First we had the Times Square bomber and now the Portland Christmas tree bomber. Thankfully both attempts failed but it should be noted that both selected targets with little or no security. That's two more terrorist attempts in the U.S. than there have been on about 80 million domestic flights since 9/11. In fact, there have been zero attempts on domestic flights since 9/11. Both the 'shoebomber' and the 'underpants bomber' boarded international flights into the U.S. That's where tight security is needed.

Any potential terrorist already inside the U.S. has plenty of tempting targets where there is no or minimal security such as sports events, concerts, shopping malls and anywhere that people gather. Even with the previous less obtrusive security no one intent on terrorism already within the U.S. would even try a domestic flight of which there are over 27,000 a day or over 9 million a year.

It's all about the money. Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security campaigned for the new porno screeners without revealing he was being paid by the manufacturer, Rapiscan. They have also spent about $4.5 million in lobbying efforts, far exceeding their previous spending. Last year the company recorded revenue from government contracts of $17-$20 million. In the first six months of 2010, they have already booked $40 million in government contracts.

At the same time rep John Mica (R-FL) is pushing for privatizing airport security. Needless to say he has been the beneficiary of donations from private security companies. Not that privatizing airport security would change anything for passengers. It will only increase the cost to government so the private companies can profit.

That money spent on lobbyists has more than paid off. Returns on money spent on lobbying pays off far better than investing in jobs, equipment or innovation for corporate America.

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