Cravaack: airport ground security 'a joke'
- Blog Post by: Kevin Diaz
- May 16, 2012 - 4:23 PM
Minnesota Republican Chip Cravaack, a former airline pilot, told Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials Wednesday that ground security around airplanes is a “joke” and that the next terrorist attack “is going to come from the shadow of the airplane.”
That chilling prediction came in a hearing of the transportation security subcommittee of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee. Cravaack, questioning TSA assistant administrator John Sammon, cited “sources” – pilots and ground personnel – who have been telling him about security problems around planes parked at the gate.
“I’m going to tell you that I feel the next breach that will occur is going to come from the shadow of the airplane,” Cravaack said, “coming from the ground hooking up to a passenger who comes in through clean through the airport.”
Cravaack also seized on a series of Channel 2 Action News reports in Atlanta that led U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., to call for the resignation of TSA chief John Pistole. The TV reports uncovered alleged security lapses at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, including whistleblower reports of unsealed catering carts being loaded on planes.
Sammon dismissed the reports, saying that TSA has “had a running contention with that reporter [Channel 2's Aaron Diamant] in terms of his understanding and reporting on what the law says and what the regulations say.”
Cravaack was having none of it. “I’m going to tell you right now,” he repeated, “the next incident is going to come from the ground. It’s going to come from the shadow of the aircraft. It’s not going to come through the passenger terminal. I’m telling you that.”
Here's the exchange:
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