Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Test: Bombs Built in Government Buildings

A test of security at 10 federal government buildings in America ended with a perfect score. In all 10 cases, agents successfully carried bomb parts past building security, assembled devices in restrooms, and walked into several offices with the bombs in briefcases.
"Plainclothes investigators sent to test security at federal buildings in four U.S. cities were successful in smuggling bomb components through guard posts at all 10 of the sites they visited, according to a government report.

The investigators then assembled the bombs in restrooms and freely entered numerous government offices while carrying the devices in briefcases, the report said.

The buildings contained offices of several federal lawmakers as well as agencies within the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security, which is responsible for safeguarding federal office buildings....
" (CNN)
Two of the buildings were leased by the feds, the others were government buildings. All 10 were being protected by the Federal Protective Service, or FPS. These weren't low-value targets, either.
"...They included offices of a U.S. senator and House member, as well as offices for the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, the GAO reported...." (MSNBC)
The tests were made last year, the report released more recently. The Obama administration plans to reorganized the Federal Protective Service soon: this news won't hurt that effort, I think.

The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, conducted the tests.

It's Not Fair?

It's possible that the GAO security test had something in mind other than just doing its job. Anonymous "security experts" haven't always approved of the GAO's actions:
"...In the past, security experts have criticized some GAO investigators for publicizing sensational findings or 'sting' operations that are not based on intelligence-driven risk assessments. Investigators for the Congressional auditing agency stress however that they followed generally accepted government standards with this round of testing...." (MSNBC)
A few points to remember, though: This test was planned and conducted during the previous administration; Somebody needs to do quality control on government services; Fewer people get hurt if a GAO test finds gaping holes in security, than if a real terrorists puts a gaping hole in a building.

It's been 14 years since the Oklahoma City bombing and almost eight years since 9/11. People trying to use airlines have had to change their habits and submit to inconveniences - at best. Maybe it's time for the feds to do the same: before more people get killed.

Related posts, mostly about common sense and national security: In the news:


Anonymous said...

They should have set them off...
and then covered it up, just like the government is used to doing.

Paul said...

Does anyone really think this is a SHOCK?

1st - They are government employees, or course they are found sleeping on the job. Just like our elected officials.

2nd - I'm sure the quality of the security personnel is Top Notch and go through rigorous screening and excellent training.

3rd - Other then the people working at these office, you think the american population gives a rat ass about a government building blowing up. Damn - Maybe it would actually cause them to step up and do something.

I bet nothing becomes of this. Oh yeah, it will be made a top priority and then get lost in the laziness of our government employees.

Where can I get one of these jobs. I'd love to sleep all day. And to think of all the unemployed individuals that would actually give a damn.

Anonymous said...

Fact of the matter is that most of these "Security Guards" are just unskilled people looking to get as much as they can from doing as little as they can. These are $9/hr people who are told they can retire with full pension and health care after 15 years of "service to your government". These are the people your tax dollars put to work. Sorry, they're just not that bright...

Anonymous said...

Is this a surprise to anyone out there?? I worked at the FDA building for a few months and came to a few conclusions. MOST- Federal Government Employees are simply useless. Try firing a govt employee. Lazy pieces of dung!! They should all get minimum wages and pay for their own health care. Just like most of our congress, out for themselves and useless liars. Fire them all and have them re-apply!!

Anonymous said...

Quote from Paul: "1st - They are government employees"

Actually they are not government employees. They are private contractors working for a government office.

Brian H. Gill said...


In the alternate reality of Berkeley, you're right.

Brian H. Gill said...


Details that you mention are in the news articles I linked to.

Among other things, liquid explosives were taken past security.

Dan's recommended course of action, detonating the explosive devices, would have resulted in damage to the buildings: and, in all probability, casualties.

As to not disclosing the results of the tests: The 'national security' aspects of keeping information from the American public have, in my lifetime, been replaced by a concern for having an informed public.

Brian H. Gill said...


It's been a few decades since I was shocked.

As to your attitude toward government employees, I've encountered, and worked with, a rather wide range. A close examination revealed that they were human beings: with the failings and potential that goes with it.

Brian H. Gill said...

Anonymous #3,

You raised a point of fact: well done.

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In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.