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Government Accountability Office agents were able to enter 10 Federal Buildings in four cities with bomb parts, assemble the bombs in the restrooms, and carry them in briefcases into offices without detection.

Bomb parts were purchased on the internet for $150 and were of the type that terrorist are known to use.

Security at Federal Buildings is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. They have used 1200 trained federal law enforcement officers to supervise 13,000 contract security guards. Many of contract guards have not completed the required training course.

Red Flag: Homeland Security Created by Bush
Red Flag: Contractors, Probably friends of Cheney

"No Smuggling Necessary"  Check out the photo of the sleeping on-duty guard.

The GAO agents also documented a case where the safety mechanism on an X-ray machine was disabled. An infant in a carrier was inadvertently sent through this detection devise.

Sen. Lieberman [I-CT] was quoted saying that this was unacceptable. Will Joe get a ticket to the talkers circuit? Will Fran Townsend join him to give her expert advice while slamming Napolitano?

Sen. Collins [R-ME] says, "poor training, lax management". Duh, Dubya

Will Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly take it to the Rethugs for their "weak on security" legacy?

Let's hope that Napolitano posts a NOW HIRING link on the DHS website quickly.

Originally posted to deMemedeMedia on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 02:41 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Teh Usual (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The GAO said that FPS has taken several steps to improve oversight of the guard program in response to the GAO investigation.

      Specifically, the FPS has authorized overtime to conduct guard post inspections during off-business hours and is conducting its own tests. It has also moved to standardize inspections of guard posts across the country.

      Ah. What's we're overpaying for isn't working so we'll spend more money.

  •  No smuggling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sceptical observer, JaxDem

    What does that mean?

    I always thought it would be the plant watering crew.

  •  Why the hell (3+ / 0-)

    are we using contractors for this basic function?  You would think that one thing that would be clear in the post-911 world is that security is not the sort of thing you can just wash your hands of.  Outsourcing janitorial or foodservice work, while I'm not a fan, is at least understandable.  Outsourcing security makes no sense at all; surely there is no greater concentration of security knowhow anywhere than within the US federal government.  Why contract out to ignoramuses when you already have zillions of experts on staff?

    Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

    by shenderson on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 03:00:54 AM PDT

    •  the Contractors: the on-the-cheap Rummy-Cheney (3+ / 0-)

      gang of thugs. Such a waste as they and their buddies get richer.

      Can you classify these 'security guards' with the MERCS that have been hired for security around the world?

      "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

      by deMemedeMedia on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 03:09:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no outsourcing janitorial or food either. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Outsourcing janitorial service is a real good way to end up with spies in the building after hours, not to mention people who can bring in bomb parts etc. in their work materials. *

      Outsourcing food service runs the risk of the food being tampered with in some manner, for example contaminated with salmonella.  


      * Speaking of bringing in bomb parts, this makes me wonder about something.  Consider all the CT about 9/11, saying that WTC 1 and 2 showed signs of being demolished in part by the effects of explosives or incendiaries, notably thermite.  Normally the CTs claim that the deed was done by some shadowy force connected in some way to the Bushies.  I've always been highly skeptical of this stuff, but something else occurs to me...

      What if Al Qaeda had managed to get operatives in the custodial and maintenance departments for these buildings, who smuggled the materials for thermite bombs in, months ahead of the attack, and planted them in critical places where they would be set off by the fires from the aircraft?

      A few packages of thermite with igniters, properly placed, could weaken critical points in a structure such as to make it more susceptible to damage from a large fire.  The question is, how much thermite or other serious incendiary material would be needed to do the job, and where in the buildings could that material have been hidden during the months preceding the attack?

      I'm going to guess that the logical place to plant the hypothetical packages of incendiaries, would have been adjacent to the elevator shafts, since it could easily be anticipated that heat and fire from the aircraft hit would propagate via those shafts to set off the devices' igniters.  And wouldn't you know it, janitorial and utility closets are typically adjacent to elevator shafts.  If there are drop-ceilings in those closets, then the packages could have been placed above the drop ceilings, disguised in some way.  

      Since there would be no way for the AQs on the custodial crew to know where the airplanes would hit the building (or even that an aerial attack was planned, as opposed to merely setting a large nasty fire using the incendiaries alone), they would have had to have planted devices at regular intervals, for example every five to ten floors or so within a given range of floors, to be sure that some of them were likely to be ignited and have an effect.

      Frankly I think this has a reasonable chance of being a plausible hypothesis, that would take the "9/11 truth" groups' most substantial point into consideration (claims about the physics of the building collapses), within the context of the attack being purely the work of AQ.   I've been highly skeptical of the "9/11 truth" material, but I know a few people who believe it, so I'm going to ask them the "how much and where" question, and see what comes up.  

      And as for how this relates back to the Bushies, wasn't it also the case that a Bush-connected firm was providing security for those buildings?   If it turned out that Al Qaeda had people in the custodial department, who were able to circumvent security and bring those materials in, then any report of their success at that task would be an(other) enormous red mark against Bush and his cronies.  It wouldn't be evidence of complicity, but it would be an embarrassment they would seek to avoid by pooh-poohing anything other than aircraft alone as the cause of the collapses.  

      Hmm.  OK, what do y'all think?

      •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

        it's not unreasonable, although it would be hard to get all of them to go off at once simply by waiting for a fire ... But what's the point of topics that the truthers beat to death? It would make an interesting spy novel.

        Did you happen to go look at the brainstorming blog put up as part of Obama Admin's trying to figure out how to create more open gov't?

        Maybe 200 birfers going nuts posting screeds long and short about BO's birth certificate.

        As if that's an issue, much less an issue underlying better gov't transparency. It's clear most of them have n clue what open gov't actually means. They just had a drum to beat (ungrammatically and in some cases in ALL CAPS).

        Those 200 pretty much clogged the airwaves and others like me got to the point where it was neither intersting nor a productive use of time to participate.

        That being said, the attack is history and lessons, for good or ill -- mostly ill -- have been drawn from them by our gummint.

        Speculation is less important than correcting the craptacularly bad decisions made by Donny Rum, Deadeye Dick and the Smirking Chimp, and their congressional and cabinet minions.

        •  agreed, Job One is sweeping up eight years of (0+ / 0-)

          elephant shit from every nook and cranny of government.  

          As for "over and done," hardly.  The Bushies obfuscated the Saudi connection for whatever reason, and that deserves to be dealt with.  There are still interesting financial issues such as the massive shorting of airlines on the stock market the day before the attack, that need to be fully investigated.  There are a few other angles to Al Qaeda that need to be dealt with more thoroughly, some of which directly bear upon issues related to purely domestic terrorism.  

          And if there's a chance that AQ could have committed some kind of sabotage from inside WTC that would have acted synergistically with the aircraft hits, that also deserves a look.  

          I'm not committed to any particular hypothesis about 9/11, and I laugh at the conspiracy nonsense when I run across it.  The idea that AQ could have smuggled something into the buildings ahead of the attack just occurred to me while writing that posting.   It's just another hypothesis to check out, and if it proves to be garbage, so be it.  Facts are what they are, I believe in scientific method, and I'm not attached to my own speculations.  

          So, I'll look into this casually, and that's no big deal.  

      •  Check out the Mythbusters episode (0+ / 0-)

        in which they used thermite to try to cut a car in half.  There's probably video available on youtube or their website.

        Once you have an idea of how much thermite it would take,  you'll understand that the CT is completely insane.

        •  oh, the CT is already completely insane. (0+ / 0-)

          This isn't about CT, this is about a few more Al Qaedas than we already know about.

          The reason it's even plausible to me that there were more AQs around, is that there were also a few more AQs in the Washington DC suburbs. I know something specific about this that I'm not going to discuss in public.  Suffice to say that the FBI had that information within a couple of days after the attack, but the AQs in question had already left the country a few days before the attack so it was largely moot.  

          So, maybe a few more AQs in New York?  Who knows?   As I said above, I just thought this item up as I was posting it, and I'm not committed to my own hypotheses.  If it turns out to be garbage, so be it.  In any case the baddies I'm looking to put away these days are the domestic variety, so I have no time to go chasing down stuff from 8 years ago aside from the possible implications for domestic terrorism now.    That is, if baddies can get on a cleaning crew and sneak incendiaries or explosives into a building, that's a hole that needs to be plugged.  

          As for thermiting a car in half, I'm highly skeptical that the conditions pertaining to an automobile sitting on the ground, have a whole lot of relevance to the conditions pertaining to structural steel that's under enormous compressive load in a building.  Softening steel that is under load requires far less energy input than cutting steel that is not under load.  The quantity of thermite needed to weld railroad track is surprisingly small, this according to someone I knew who was in the rail industry and had to do it more than once.  

          That entire subject is pure Newtonian physics, and fairly easy for a structural eng to calculate.  If the engs say that the heat of a fuel-air mix with lots of paper etc. added is sufficient to weaken structural steel, fine.   If they say it ain't, but a few hundred pounds of thermite in the right location might be enough to tip the proverbial scales, fine, whatever.  

          But in any case, let's at least be clear that I have nothing to do with the CTers, and no desire to promote horse shit.  

  •  Will KO name them the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "worst persons in the world"?  How will Rush manage to blame it all on Obama?

    Great post deMM - I would've missed this otherwise.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 03:20:47 AM PDT

  •  Fire the contractor! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    DONATE! McCain=Bush 3rd Term--US worst nightmare; Stop Republican obstructionism- Elect a Democratic Majority.

    by timber on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 03:21:28 AM PDT

  •  The truth is that great security is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not easy or cheap in the US.

    The general public is fairly happy with unarmed security and probably for good reason.

    I've worked with more than one Fortune 500 company who took security fairly seriously and yet it was always easy to see the holes in the system once you considered it for a while.

    I even had the opportunity to work with someone who was inspired to go into the security field after growing up around the children of a former US President.  

    He was an interesting guy.  Not very lighthearted.  Yet even under his command I knew that every possibility couldn't be controlled.

    •  This falls below minimum standards... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, A Voice

      I have worked with and relied on security. I know that security also involves all employees being aware and participating at some level.

      I also know that shit happens and am probably more accepting of that than the average bear. Again, this is money spent for a false sense of security.

      "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

      by deMemedeMedia on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 03:29:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One quibble... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The general public is fairly happy with unarmed security and probably for good reason.

      the security officers at GSA buildings under FPS contracts are all armed.

  •  It's a disgrace. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After all of the money they've spent and the inconveniences they've foisted off on us in the name of security, not to mention the civil rights violations, and the best they can do is this?

    Just goes to show, if you want a program designed to work, never let a Republican administration design it.
    I know that's a stretch but it was still satisfying to write it. The concept was flawed from the beginning and will probably never work under either party.

  •  Terrorist attacks = $$$$$ for bigger(defense) (0+ / 0-)

    If a terrorist attacks happen, then other, bigger contractors(defense contractors like Halliburton etc.)also get gigs.
    Kickbacks between security and defense contractors? It would be typical private sector.

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The GAO also... detailed an instance in which a woman placed an infant in a carrier on an X-ray machine while retrieving identification. Because the guard was not paying attention and the machine's safety features had been disabled, the infant was sent through the X-ray machine, according to the report.

    The FPS dismissed the guard, who, as a result, sued the agency for failing to provide X-ray training. FPS lost the suit because it could not prove that the guard had been trained, the report says.

    There is just so much wrong with that, I can't even start.

  •  The security's been terrible since 2001 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans were let into federal buildings on a massive, unrestricted basis, with no inspection of the destructive ideas, connections, and commitments they were carrying in plain view of everyone.  They were waved right in!  

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 05:26:25 AM PDT

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