"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.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.
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)
"...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:
- "Statue of Liberty's Crown: Happy Birthday, America"
(July 4, 2009)
- "Department of Homeland Security No Longer Fears American Veterans?"
(May 14, 2009)
- "President Obama and State Secrets: It's Different, When You're in Charge"
(April 13, 2009)
- "Change in Homeland Security: Don't Worry, Be Happy"
(February 24, 2009)
- "Muslim Family Talks Safety, Gets Booted From Flight"
(January 2, 2009)
- "Maryland State Police to 'Terrorist' Nuns: Oops, Our Bad"
(October 11, 2008)
- "TSA: Our Tax Dollars at Work: Protecting the Flying Public from Nipple Rings"
(March 27, 2008)
- "Peach Bottom Nuclear Plant: Security was the Pits"
(February 28, 2008)
- "Pipe Bomb at Palo Verde Nuclear Reactor"
(November 2, 2007)
- "NASCAR Cooties and Federal Intelligence"
(October 12, 2007)
- "Bomb parts smuggled into 10 federal buildings during test"
CNN (July 8, 2009)
- "Investigators made bombs in federal sites"
MSNBC (July 8, 2009)
- " 'Shocking' Security Breaches at Federal Buildings"
ABC News (July 8, 2009)
- "GAO: Major security flaws found at federal buildings"
USA Today (July 8, 2009)
- "Report: Probe found weaknesses in federal security"
The Associated Pres (July 7, 2009)