~ Christopher Liu ~
~ TSA Whistleblowing Patriot Pilot ~
Much has happened in the past two weeks, since George Warren of Sacramento News 10 first broke this story on December 23, 2010. Since then, it has become a world-wide news story and has been discussed on countless television programs and in most major English newspapers around the world. Both Chris Liu, the Patriot Pilot and his aviation attorney, Don Werno, have given countless interviews to the news media, some of which can be viewed through the "Press" link above.
Thanks to you, the American people, it has also appeared to have had a profound effect on the Director of Homeland Security who, on January 4, 2011, visited Israel to review the security procedures they use to protect their citizens. The real question is what took her so long to do so? Intuitively speaking, it would have made sence to have reviewed the security procedures of airports throughout the world before deploying the billion dollar system that is currently in place. If we had, our system would no doubt have worked a whole lot better. According to a January 4, 2011 FoxNews.com story about her visit, it was reported that "the head of security at Ben-Gurion gave Napolitano a tour of his airport's system and a 'comprehensive briefing' on Israeli airport security that 'covered the spectrum from intelligence to the perimeter security of the airport to checkpoint screening and everything in between". It sounds like she got a Security 101 lesson from the Israelis. Hopefully, despite the fact that Ms. Napolitano was quoted as saying "Israeli-Style Security Won't Work for U.S.", that she did get some helpful tips, like the need to actually examine the items that ground crews and people having access to commercial aircraft bring onto the airport property. Just implementing this one, single step will vastly improve our stunningly lax aviation security system.
Sadly, TSA continues to refuse to admit that the Emperor has no clothes by trying to convince us, the American Public, that they have a system in place that actually works and that will protect us. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we know the truth. TSA states on their own web site that "We use layers of security to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation's transportation system. Because of their visibility to the public, we are most associated with the airport checkpoints that our Transportation Security Officers operate. These checkpoints, however, constitute only one security layer of the many in place to protect aviation. Others include intelligence gathering and analysis, checking passenger manifests against watch lists, random canine team searches at airports, federal air marshals, federal flight deck officers and more security measures both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt." Click here to view the TSA Layers of Security web page. Unfortunately, as the following news articles illustrate, those "layers" of security simply aren't working.
On December 30, 2010, yet another news report highlighting the ongoing failure of the TSA airport system ran in The Bay Citizen. In that article, it was reported that "Federal authorities allege that over an eight-month period in 2008 the group of six trafficked at least 80 kilograms of cocaine. According to court documents obtained by The Bay Citizen, the skycap repeatedly helped smuggle the drugs into the airport by swiping past TSA security lines." Hmm. Skycaps are ground personnel, with access to commercial aircraft and bombs are a whole lot smaller than the 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of cocaine allegedly smuggled by this skycap alone. This is the very type of problem that the Patriot Pilot is trying to raise awareness about. Drugs or bombs, it doesn't matter -- security, layered or not, is not working because we are not searching ground personnel when they enter the "secure" area of the airport. Click here to view the Bay Citizen article on the Oakland Drug Trafficking Skycap.
You might say, well, this is only one airport and it was two years ago... If so, read on...
On September 16, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that "Federal prosecutors charged 23 people, ..., with operating a smuggling ring that shipped thousands of pounds of cocaine in suitcases on flights from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland. ... Smugglers allegedly recruited members of the airline's ground crew at San Juan's international airport to ensure that drugs loaded onto aircraft avoided detection during shipment to several U.S. cities, according to a grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico. The smugglers allegedly transported more than 9,000 kilograms of cocaine". Click here to view the Wall Street Journal article on the September 16, 2009 Drug Bust. By the way, 9,000 kilograms of cocaine is 19,841 pounds of cocaine! But wait, there's more...
An article dated October 15, 2010, reads "In a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office of the Eastern District of New York, the government says that the Bourne's group was responsible for importing 150 kilograms of cocaine on American passenger flights and over 5,000 kilograms of marijuana on cargo vessels. 'The use of commercial aircraft to smuggle narcotics creates a serious threat to both national security and public safety,' said ICE Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes. 'As the investigative arm of the U.S. Dept Homeland Security, HSI is committed to bringing to justice individuals directly involved with these criminal enterprises and those who are complicit in furthering their schemes.'" Click here to view the October 15, 2010 news article discussing additional drug smuggling aboard commercial aircraft.
If, as Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes said that "The use of commercial aircraft to smuggle narcotics creates a serious threat to both national security and public safety," then why is the Transportation Safety Administration STILL not adequately screening ground crews at major airports and why does Janet Napolitano need to waste her time kibitzing in Israel when screening the ground crews here in the United States should be her first priority? The answer? Because TSA is all about smoke and mirrors and praising the Emperor's new clothes. It's time we contact congress and demand a positive change -- that actually works. We have already wasted billions of dollars and the best TSA has been able to come up with is groping Grandma and taking near nude silhouettes of your wife and my sister. Their technology is not going to discovery explosives in a body cavity or in a ground crew member's lunch box, nor is it a fair, balanced and effective security system and most of all, it's not working.
To add further insult to injury, on December 25, 2010 Michael C. McCarron, Director, SFO Bureau of Community Affairs, attempted to discredit the Patriot Pilot, Chris Liu, despite the truth which had been shown. Click here to see the December 25, 2010 SFO Press Release. A careful analysis of Mr. McCarron's News Release reveals a substantial amount of fluff, including the almost obligatory restatement of the TSA "Multiple Layers" of security comment. The heart of Mr. McCarron's release can be found immediately below:
"Specific elements of SFO’s program include the use of 1,400 cameras connected to a Security Operations Center, smart camera technology to detect intrusions into unauthorized areas, biometric access controls systems, and 100% in-line screening of baggage to detect plastic explosives (the first completed system in the U.S.). The Airport also has a badging system tailored to maximize security and to provide only the appropriate access required for specific employees. Any employee with access to the Airport’s airfield and other secure areas must first be sponsored by his or her respective employer, and then pass a comprehensive 10-year FBI background check, followed by formal classroom training. Access to the airfield and other secure areas is further restricted by employer location and job duties. Any employee needing access to Federal Inspection Services (FIS) areas of the International Terminal is additionally vetted by Customs and Border Protection. Pilots, flights attendants, concession employees and TSA security screeners must all pass through security screening checkpoints as their badges do not allow them to bypass security screening checkpoints."
Great, so what does this mean to you and I? First, SFO has 1,400 cameras to record what just happened. Hardly a proactive system... Additionally, SFO has "biometric access control systems". What does that mean? It means that they use a fingerprint or an iris scan in place of a card swipe in some areas of the airport -- that way they can figure out who a terrorist might have been - after the fact... Great. Additionally, SFO has a badging system, people must be sponsored, 10 year background check, blah, blah, blah. So what?
Unfortunately, SFO, in its December 25, 2010 press release proves Chris Liu's point - exactly. It is what SFO does not say that makes their security both arrogant and vulnerable. SFO does not say that they examine each and every person and every bag, lunch pail, tool box and container that a ground crew member brings onto the airport! It's great that they screen passenger bags for explosives. We would expect that. Unfortunately, we now know, all too well, that TSA has wasted billions of dollars upstairs in the terminal - without wasting much, if any, real expense downstairs on the tarmac where the real threat of terrorism now exits. Sadly, SFO might meet "and in many cases, exceeds every federal security requirement as promulgated and regulated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)", but that is hardly a point I would be proud of. How about meeting a substantially higher standard - one that actually protects the American public?
SFO also attempts to discredit the Patriot Pilot by saying that the door shown in his YouTube video "provides access only to an employee lunchroom. A second card swipe and biometric access reader farther down the same hallway provides a higher level of access to secure areas of the Airport for specifically designated employees." Ok, boys and girls, let's examine this statement carefully. Step 1) Swipe a card, gain access to the hallway leading to the lunchroom; and a turnstile through which you can access the tarmac. Step 2) At the turnstile, swipe your ground crew card again and scan your finger (or eye or other bioimetric body part). Viola - you now have access to a whole ramp of aircraft and all without having anyone search you or the things that you are bringing onto the tarmac - be it drugs, bombs, tools or simply your lunch. Now I ask you, who is trying to mislead whom?
If you, like us, feel that now is the time to demand that some way smarter people take a new look at an entire airport security package, not just one with gee wiz scanners that take near naked pictures of grandma, then do something about it. Chris has... America, the ball is in now your court.
You can contact Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the incoming chairman of the subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations to tell him how you feel about this issue. Click on the following link to send him an Email message through his own Email communication system. Unless we continue to take affirmative action, nothing will get done, other than to continue to waste our money on technology that does not work. Click here to Email Congressman Jason Chaffetz.
~ Some Quick Statistics ~
As of December 31, 2010, a mere eight (8) days after this web site was first created, there were more than 300,000 hits! Clearly, this is a story that the world is following and you are helping to make history.
Prior Web Page Content Follows ---
To the thousands of patriotic Americans who have contacted us or shown support for the Patriot Pilot who exposed the major TSA security flaw at the San Francisco (SFO) and other airports throughout the United States and perhaps the World, via YouTube, we say thank you. The Patriot Pilot is an average man, like many of us, who simply wanted to make sure that the American public was truly safe when flying the 'friendly skies'.
Unfortunately, some in the Government, such as TSA, have worked overtime to try and convince us that we are safe, when we, in fact, know that we are not. How can TSA claim that air travel is safe when they can't even keep thousands of pounds of marijuana and hundreds of pounds of cocaine off our commercial aircraft as shown in the arrest in Puerto Rico in October 2010? They can't and punishing the Patriot Pilot is not going to make the sky's any safer, either. Punishing the Patriot Pilot only serves to remind each of us that we are not free to seek redress from our Government as provided for in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. If we were, then the TSA would be asking for the help of EVERY American and especially the tens of thousands of professional pilots who are flying into literally every airport in the World on a daily basis. What do they see that could make our safety system even better?
How much better could we make the system if TSA actually worked with us and not against us?
In a stunning turn of events, Janet Napolitano made absolutely no mention of the complete lack of security at the San Francisco and other airports throughout the United States when she appeared on a program broadcast Sunday, December 26, 2010. Information on the Director of Homeland Security's appearance and comments can be found here. What is truly sad and absolutely remarkable is the fact that Director Napolitano, rather than debunk the alleged security problems I exposed in my YouTube videos, instead chose to try and explain away the fact that on a December 23, 2010 broadcast of World News with Diane Sawyer, when Ms. Sawyer asked James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence a question about the arrest of 12 terrorists in Britain earlier that same day, he was clueless. It was an embarrassing moment no doubt, but hardly a good use of Ms. Napolitano's time, given the clear and present danger that currently exists in the aviation safety system as exposed by my YouTube videos. Perhaps she did not attempt to rebuke the security problems I exposed, because they really do exist, despite weak attempts by others in the TSA to mislead the American public otherwise. This has become a worldwide news story and Ms. Napolitano's silence speaks volumes.
The Patriot Pilot would like to sincerely thank Sacramento News 10 Reporter George Warren for bringing this critical story to the American public so that we can finally force TSA to start an intelligent dialog about a real and complete security system and not one that hassles pilots going through the terminal, who will be in complete control of the aircraft a few minutes later anyway. Pilot's are not our enemies, the terrorists are and we need to do a much better job of finding them before they strike.
For our country to truly have a safe aviation system, we need to create a security zone around the airport and check everyone and everything that comes into that security zone, without exception. The current system, as exposed by the Patriot Pilot, allows ground crews far to much unsupervised access to the aircraft and only invites another terrorist attack or mass air disaster. Let's plug the hole, NOW.
Where do we go from here? Who knows. Unfortunately, all we can do as Americans is try and exercise our First Amendment rights. We need to call our elected representatives and ask, neigh, demand that they take action. Ask Congress to hold hearings. Ask Congress to invite Don Werno and I to talk with them. We will make ourselves available like the proud Americans that we are. The Emperor has no clothes and his stark nakedness is just not pretty. The terrorists were working on Christmas and planning jihadist celebrations for the New Year. Is TSA working on solving this problem or just on spin control? Your Congressman can be found by following this link. You need to act, now. Your Senator can be found by following this link. You can also reach Congress by calling (202) 224-3121 and the White House at (202) 456-1111 or at (202) 456-2461 by fax. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Please join us in contacting your congressional representatives to ask that Congress hold hearings into TSA's compete lack of oversight in the aviation safety system, especially since we, the taxpayers and the flying public have already spent billions of dollars to make the sky's safer, only to find out that the security system is, as the Patriot Pilot stated, "just smoke and mirrors." Congress should ask the Patriot Pilot to testify about his treatment and what he thinks would make the system safer.
Email the PatriotPilot your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org