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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Phase II

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On July 31, I blogged about the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) and mentioned its 3 phases. The first phase (August 3 – 9) included more than 10,000 unique participants. The second phase is right around the corner and will be August 31 – September 9.

The second National Dialogue will focus on these six study areas:

-Counterterrorism and Domestic Security Management
-Securing Our Borders
-Smart and Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws
-Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters
-Homeland Security National Risk Assessment
-Homeland Security Planning and Capabilities


The QHSR is a congressionally mandated review of the nation’s homeland security policies and priorities that will guide homeland security for the next four years. Some of the discussion will be web-based and we invite you to participate.

For all you need to know about the QHSR including a video message from Secretary Napolitano , you can go to the QHSR Homeland Security Dialogue page .

Thanks,

Blogger Bob

TSA Blog Team

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Comments

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Puppy Post.... Nah, I think this is great, it gives a decent share of info among contributing partners. Good stuff!

Submitted by Anonymous on

There are rumors flying that TSA is going to start checking powders at checkpoints.

Is this true?

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Will the lethality of four ounces of water be discussed under "Counterterrorism and Domestic Security Management" or "Homeland Security National Risk Assessment"?

Submitted by Helen on

Why is TSA still refusing to let 8 year old John Anderson of Minnesota on a airplane? And why have they been doing this since he was 3? Doesn't this agency have any means at their disposal to correct obvious errors? How many other harmless Americans are being mistreated this way without due process of law?

When did a free America become afraid America?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
There are rumors flying that TSA is going to start checking powders at checkpoints.

Is this true?

I'll let Bob answer that one. Do you know why TSA wants powders looked at more closely though? I suppose you think that powdered explosives dont exist and that if they do exist they are too unstable to ignite or something silly like that...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Four ounces of water isn’t dangerous, but, four ounces of liquid explosive is. I wonder what liquid explosive looks like… hmmm… like water, wow! Add a little food coloring and they look like any kind of drink. Add a little creativity and they can be mixed with any substance. Sounds like this should be discussed as part of the Homeland Security National Risk Assessment.

Submitted by Anonymous on
I'll let Bob answer that one.

Do you know why TSA wants powders looked at more closely though? I suppose you think that powdered explosives dont exist and that if they do exist they are too unstable to ignite or something silly like that...

August 27, 2009 11:09 PM
.................

But you didn't Anon!
Submitted by NoClu on

First, I hope that there are a reasonable number of people who hold a critical opinion of current HSA and TSA implementation invited to the reivew. Otherwise it's just more group-think tripe.


Anon said...
"Four ounces of water isn’t dangerous, but, four ounces of liquid explosive is. I wonder what liquid explosive looks like… hmmm… like water, wow! Add a little food coloring and they look like any kind of drink. Add a little creativity and they can be mixed with any substance. Sounds like this should be discussed as part of the Homeland Security National Risk Assessment."

Then my two 3.4 oz bottles of "water" should be dangerous. This rule is a ridiculous waste of time and energy.

I was also disappointed to see apx. 400 16.9 oz bottles of soda being run through the x-ray at OMA airport on Tuesday. Why should those be allowed and my single bottle be confiscated?

I repeat, a ridiculous waste of time and energy.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why does TSA refuse to post online and at airports strip-search machine images that are of the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of the machine?

Why is TSA incapable of being honest with the public about these strip-search machines?

Why does TSA persist in the absurd mandatory shoe carnival, when no other country in the world does so and has suffered no ill effects as a result, just as the US suffered no ill effects when shoe removal was optional prior to August 2006?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Four ounces of water isn’t dangerous, but, four ounces of liquid explosive is. I wonder what liquid explosive looks like… hmmm… like water, wow!"

Maybe to someone with poor training, or who lacks the knowledge, skills, intelligence, or equipment to tell water from a liquid explosive. In other words, some clueless security bumbler who doesn't find anything wrong with the concept of hassling millions of innocent people.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Doesn't this agency have any means at their disposal to correct obvious errors?"

What, admit a mistake?
Anyone with real problem solving skills can make a far better living in private industry, and be appreciated for it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm not taking my shoes off, and I'm not leaving my water bottles at home. I, and a great many other Americans, will continue to find our way around the pointless systems constantly being foisted upon us. The TSA really just needs to be abolished.

Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from Anonymous: "I'll let Bob answer that one. Do you know why TSA wants powders looked at more closely though? I suppose you think that powdered explosives dont exist and that if they do exist they are too unstable to ignite or something silly like that..."

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a way to try to skirt Fofana and still search for drugs under the guise of looking for explosives. That way, they can still make a Bit Catch® and claim success. I'd hope a judge would see right thru that though.

Robert
Submitted by Anonymous on

"I suppose you think that powdered explosives dont exist and that if they do exist they are too unstable to ignite or something silly like that..."


"Four ounces of water isn’t dangerous, but, four ounces of liquid explosive is. I wonder what liquid explosive looks like… hmmm… like water, wow! Add a little food coloring and they look like any kind of drink. Add a little creativity and they can be mixed with any substance. Sounds like this should be discussed as part of the Homeland Security National Risk Assessment."

These two points are moot until the following happens:

1. screen EVERYBODY who is airside. TSA, ramp workers, caterers, McDonald's fry cooks. We all know they have "background checks" as TSA has pounded this into our heads. If these background checks are so thorough how did they not catch the TSA drug kingpin in Orlando, or the TSA baggage thieve in Hawaii??

2. 100% cargo screen. Why bother blowing yourself up when you can ship a bomb as cargo?

Sickening that the public is treated as criminals at each security checkpoint but SO many items and people continue to go unscreened.

Security Theater at its best.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Honest question here. Has TSA (guidelines, personnel, regulations, etc) ever actually prevented any kind of incident that wouldn't have been caught by pre-TSA authorities? Strip searching grannies in wheelchairs doesn't count.

On a side note, liquid explosive could be smuggled in just as easily by employees or suppliers (either knowingly or unknowingly).

Submitted by Bob on

Hey folks, stand by, It was my little girl's 5th b-day today and I haven't moderated over the weekend or today. I'll be back in the office tomorrow.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I'm not taking my shoes off, and I'm not leaving my water bottles at home. I, and a great many other Americans, will continue to find our way around the pointless systems constantly being foisted upon us. The TSA really just needs to be abolished."

Yeah! Glad you like using Greyhound...

Submitted by Anonymous on

If these background checks are so thorough how did they not catch the TSA drug kingpin in Orlando, or the TSA baggage thieve in Hawaii??

OH DEAR! Two rogue TSO's out of tens of thousands hired!?! You have a serious point there. However, you need to contact whomever is contracted to these background checks(I think it's Lockheed Martin but not entirely sure on that) if you feel that theyre not doing a job up to your standards. Also, who would screen TSO's everyday? I bet you dont have a reasonable answer for that huh?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
I'm not taking my shoes off, and I'm not leaving my water bottles at home. I, and a great many other Americans, will continue to find our way around the pointless systems constantly being foisted upon us. The TSA really just needs to be abolished.

August 28, 2009 5:53 PM

Isn't protesting great? Just dont get mad at the TSO doing their job by keeping your now concealed prohited item off the airplane. Cheer up too, theres a lot to be thankful for.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I've been flying for 15 years. I get to the front of the security line yesterday and am told by the TSA woman doing the ID check that my "ticket and ID must match exactly." My name is Jeff. I've been buying tickets as "Jeff" for a decade. But my license happens to say "Jeffrey A" I am rejected and told to go to the airline desk. Fortunately, the airline was happy to change the ticket to appease the mindless TSA ID reviewer - there were 6 other people in the airline desk line similarly inconvenienced. The passengers and the airline were all shocked. There were several Kate/Katherine, Robert/Bob, Tom/Tommy, etc, scenarios.

I understand the need for exact names for your various watch lists, but this is ridiculous. And, with zero notice. Zero guidance. For a frequent business traveler like me, this is a silly policy unacceptably executed.

Finally, my state drivers license has only a middle initial, but my passport has my full name spelled-out. When traveling internationally, do I have to use my full middle name?

Really guys? I mean, really? Is this really helping anything? TSA is becoming the common enemy - to the frequent traveler and to the airlines - for downright silly, anti-business policies and mindless execution that has little to no security benefit. My tax dollars demand better.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, the blog list three moderators. What keeps all of them from approving post?


The long periods of stoppage really impact the flow of thoughts and makes it look like TSA has little interest in continuing this endeavor.

Perhaps not continuing is close to the truth.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Regarding liquid explosives: the facts have been posted many times. Yet when a reasonable answer rolls around it seems to get ignored. A perfect example is a post by an Anonymous TSO towards the end of the thread discussing the Minnesota incident.
If a Bomb Appraisal Officer with hands on experience with such things, laughs at the statement that liquid explosives are not a threat, THEN gives me examples of what can easily be done to take them aboard a plane... I'll laugh right along with him and continue doing my job.

We do have ways of testing liquids to be sure they are not dangerous. Hopefully one day we'll roll out a technology to make this process fast enough so that EVERYONE can take their liquids. For now, would you, the passengers sacrifice another 3 or 4 hours of wait time, in order for us to take out each bottle of water, soda, and 100's of other liquids for each and every passenger in order to do the test?

I would think the majority on this blog would say no.

You may ask, who would stop a group of people from bringing in their 3-1-1 bags, then mixing them on the other side of security?
The point of 3-1-1 (I believe) is not to completely eliminate the threat, but to help limit the potential of it being used as a form of attack. Chances are, someone will notice a group of people taking out numerous bottles of liquid, then combining them before boarding their plane.

Again, this is just the way I interpret the policy. Then again, I could just be another "clueless security bumbler" who "lacks intelligence"

Have a great day!

Nick TSO/ORD

Submitted by Bob on

Anonymous said... Bob, the blog list three moderators. What keeps all of them from approving post?
The long periods of stoppage really impact the flow of thoughts and makes it look like TSA has little interest in continuing this endeavor. Perhaps not continuing is close to the truth. September 2, 2009 1:03 PM

----------------------------

Three mods are listed, but I am currently the only person moderating comments. It is not mandatory, but I often moderate on my own time, after work or on weekends.

Please don’t expect this to happen all the time. There will be times when your comment will not be approved right away due to other work obligations I have, or when I choose not to moderate after hours or on the weekends.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Three mods are listed, but I am currently the only person moderating comments. It is not mandatory, but I often moderate on my own time, after work or on weekends.

Please don’t expect this to happen all the time. There will be times when your comment will not be approved right away due to other work obligations I have, or when I choose not to moderate after hours or on the weekends.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

September 3, 2009 9:50 AM

...................
So what is the function of these so called Moderators? What do they do other than nothing?

Are they not trusted by TSA to approve comments?

Looks like another sham TSA operation.

Submitted by Bob on

Anonymous said... So what is the function of these so called Moderators? What do they do other than nothing? Are they not trusted by TSA to approve comments? Looks like another sham TSA operation.
September 3, 2009 10:06 AM

--------------------------------

Hmmm... A classy question deserves a classy answer. The two volunteer mods have other full time positions that keep them extremely busy. I'd be willing to bet they accomplish more by 9 AM than you do in an entire day. They are used when I am gone for long periods of time.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by USA on

Thanks Bob for keeping us updated! And belated wishes for the little one! :D

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Bob wrote:
I'd be willing to bet they accomplish more by 9 AM than you do in an entire day.

On the contrary, most commenters here work in the private sector and thus accomplish more by 9 AM than the TSA accomplishes in a decade - they actually produce something a sane person would actually pay for.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hmmm... A classy question deserves a classy answer. The two volunteer mods have other full time positions that keep them extremely busy. I'd be willing to bet they accomplish more by 9 AM than you do in an entire day. They are used when I am gone for long periods of time.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

September 3, 2009 10:20 AM

.................
And a real professional response from Bob. You should be proud of this one.

By doing nothing I meant what do they do for the Blog. My question was poorly worded I admit.

It seems to me that they have no function. Why can't they approve postings? If this is all volunteer wouldn't their help be appreciated?

I guess you would rather have total silence on the blog for several days instead on having that personal control.

Bob, you have no idea what I do or when I get it done. To suggest otherwise discredits you Bob.

You seem to be doing more of that lately.

Submitted by Earl Pitts on

I'm curious as to why TSA linked a letter to the editor from a Fairbanks, AK newspaper on its webpage to try to cow respect for TSA. How is that the latest news?

It was just a gushy, feel good piece to try to garner respect for TSA that people rightfully tore apart.

Respect is earned. TSA hasn't earned it, but HAS done a lot to earn disrespect.

Is TSA about security or is it about propaganda? Maybe that should be reviewed in your quadrennial fatherland security review.

Earl

Submitted by Anonymous on

Your rules are ridiculous!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"OH DEAR! Two rogue TSO's out of tens of thousands hired!?! You have a serious point there. However, you need to contact whomever is contracted to these background checks(I think it's Lockheed Martin but not entirely sure on that) if you feel that theyre not doing a job up to your standards. Also, who would screen TSO's everyday? I bet you dont have a reasonable answer for that huh?"

1. I have no need to contact Lockhed Martin, TSA hires the background checks contractor, they are liable. Besides, they don't work, as I've illustrated. Background checks only show your past and have are not predictive of the future. I have a spotless record, but if my family were held at gunpoint and would be killed if I didn't accomplish xxx, I would move heaven and earth to keep that from happening. Again background checks can not predict future behavior.

2. 2 rogue TSA, that have been caught! is 2 too many. They are in a position of public trust and should be held to a higher standard. But I guess if your luggage was stolen from you'd laugh it off, after all it was just ONE rogue agent...

3. Yes, unfortunately TSA would screen their own. At the very least they should have to feel like criminals when they report to work, the same way I feel like a criminal when I fly.

4. Noticed you didn't touch the 100% cargo screen, interesting.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "2. 2 rogue TSA, that have been caught! is 2 too many. They are in a position of public trust and should be held to a higher standard. But I guess if your luggage was stolen from you'd laugh it off, after all it was just ONE rogue agent...

3. Yes, unfortunately TSA would screen their own. At the very least they should have to feel like criminals when they report to work, the same way I feel like a criminal when I fly.

4. Noticed you didn't touch the 100% cargo screen, interesting."

The odd rogue TSO is going to happen even with a TSBI clearance, and a strip search entering work. It is simply the law of averages catching up to the organization. I agree we should be held to a higher standard, and we are. There have been rogue people in all organizations at all levels. When we find said rogues, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, period.

I have never felt like a criminal entering work regardless of the screening. I have no problem with screening upon entry. If it is decreed that we screen on entry - no problem.

Cargo screening is still on track to be 100% by the congressional assignment date.

Submitted by Checkrec on

Homeland Security needs to change their policies being that it seems that their employees as well as employees of other government institutions get by on fake diplomas!
http://www.abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=5487221&page=1

It amazes me as well that the security provided by TSA is far more stringent than the security provided at our borders-but then again, we don't fly with illegal aliens at 30,000ft.