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Security update: Shorter no-fly lists; air cargo won’t be screened, “for your safety”

Two updates on the airport security front. One good, one bad.

First, the no-fly list is being revised. Downward! While the actual length of the list is a secret, TSA chief “Kip” Hawley told a Congressional oversight committee that the list was to be cut in half. Considering how often you hear complaints about people being on the list by mistake, and then trying in vain to get their names removed, it’s good to hear that something at the TSA is moving in the right direction.

…And then there’s the bad news:

Hawley also came out in opposition to the bill approved by the House of Representatives which would mandate inspection of airplane cargo. As it stands now, your suitcases are screened, but other cargo isn’t.

Hawley commented: “If you spend all your resources opening boxes and not applying your resources more generally, that opens up another vulnerability,” Hawley told the Senate Aviation Subcommittee. “The adaptive terrorist will go there.”

The “thudding” sound you may hear in the background is me hitting my head against my desk. If cargo isn’t being screened at all NOW, isn’t THAT where “the adaptive terrorist” will try to stash the bad stuff? Why would the head of the TSA effectively declare that cargo is something the TSA does not intend to screen? It’s an invitation, nay, a dare, to potential terrorists seeking to actually smuggle a bomb (or even themselves) on board.

In the meantime, the TSA is thankfully searching passengers for contraband pies.