Worried about government screening for terrorists? You should be

  • 19 November 2015
  • NormanL
Worried about government screening for terrorists? You should be

As debate rages about what should be done with Syrian refugees who may be coming to the United States, we are learning that all refugees are rigorously screened, checked, and double-checked before being located anywhere in the country.

That's a good and necessary thing. So everything will be fine, right?

Regrettably, the federal government is not exactly good at vetting people, even those who appear on terrorist watch lists,  as we saw earlier this year:

A recent U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) report found that 73 aviation workers, employed by airlines and vendors, had alleged links to terrorism.

The report, published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General on June 4, blamed bureaucratic mistakes. Though the TSA says it frequently cross-checks applications and employee lists with the DHS’s “Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist,” both are incomplete.

The TSA’s employee lists, which consist of thousands of records, “contained potentially incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and missing social security numbers,” the report found. The DHS Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist was also incomplete because “[TSA] is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watchlisting policy.”

We're already aware of the TSA's penchant for harrassing the aged, the sick, the very young. Little did we know it is also a huge national security risk in and of itself, allowing those who should never be allowed near airports to get jobs -- with security clearances -- in them.