Driving to work tonight, I was fortunate enough to tune into the Savage Nation and caught about 10 minutes worth of conversation with a whistle blower, who is still employed at the TSA. This individual paints a bleak, sometimes scary picture of aviation security. I have written quite a few pieces on aviation safety, or shall we say the lack of, which I face each and every day at a major U.S. airport.
“Bogdan Dzakovic’s story should alarm anyone who flies. He is a former counter-terrorism expert with the Federal Aviation Administration. His job was to think and act like a terrorist.” His story was not highlighted by any major news outlet, guess it did not fit their “agenda,” but was posted at SFGate.com [I recommend EVERYONE read this article]. If I had not caught this radio show, and done a bit of legwork on the Internet, then I would have missed out some excellent information, that honestly scares the hell out of me.
“Dzakovic was in charge of the FAA’s Red Team — a small, elite squad who conducted mock undercover raids as terrorists and hijackers. It probed vulnerable areas inside airports. With surprising ease and frequency during routine tests, members of his team slipped bombs, guns and knives onto aircraft.” His team was successful up to 90 percent of the time, but these findings were suppressed by the FAA. His team was ordered not to write up their reports or retest airports that failed.
After his “Red Team” was grounded due to the events of September 11 and potential findings that would embarrass the FAA, Dzakovic decided to disclose the truth with the Office of Special Counsel. The newly formed Transportation Security Administration did not reward Mr. Dzakovic, instead reassigned him to an entry-level clerks job. So much for his 14 years of counter-terrorism expertise fighting bad guys. He had been demoted in order to cover up damaging evidence in aviation security.
Bogdan Dzakovic echos some of the same thoughts I have regarding the lack of security. “There are so many obvious holes in the system that are not being closed, it is very scary. And what’s worse is that they are not being closed…” While I do not have the same expertise, much of what I identify does not require counter-terrorism training, but common sense.
One of his major beefs is that the FAA used to say, leading up to 9/11, that we must be doing something right because there has not been a terrorist attack against the U.S. aviation industry since Pan Am 103. What a scary way to operate. Here is why Mr. Dzakovic believes there is an open invitation for further attacks: “Aviation security must first and foremost ‘process’ people and their luggage as rapidly as possible, while providing at least some illusion that effective screening is actually taking place. The FAA did a great job of maintaining this fiction, and the TSA is doing the same with billions of dollars of our tax money.”
The picture he paints does nothing but get darker as you read more of his story. He discusses the “inept and outright ignorant people” who make up TSA management. Not surprising, but there were many former employees from United Airlines who jumped ship in Los Angeles for “green pastures” with the TSA who happen to fit that “inept and outright ignorant” description.
More information tomorrow…