Federal Terrorist

Right now I’m pretty wiped from finishing a six hour test for a potential job, so pardon the brevity of this post.

They are armed only with $150 worth of materials and temperaments as cool as ice. As they approach the security checkpoints at different federal buildings, they have to stay calm. Deep, controlled breathes. At all 10 check points, they make it through with their homemade bomb materials, but not explosions go off.

That is because the people smuggling the bombs were part of a sting operation set up by the Government Accountability Office.

Despite the creating of the Department of Homeland Security and the investment of billions of dollars after Sept. y11, 2001 into preventing more terrorist attacks from happening, members of the GAO were able to sneak bomb making materials through 10 check points in federal buildings.

According to several reports, the GAO sting team was able to penetrate “level 4” buildings. The only level that has higher security is level 5 and that includes facilities like the White House.

The checkpoints penetrated are monitored by the Federal Protective Service. 1,236 ful-time employees and about 13,000 privately contracted security guards. The findings of the GAO were part of an audit of the FPS that will be coming out later this year.

If today’s reports are any indication, the GAO’s conclusion will be we are not safe considering who is standing watch.

The following is a list from the Chicago Tribune of additional findings of the GAO. Some of the latter ones are astounding.

* In one region, the agency has not provided the required eight hours of X-ray or magnetometer training to its 1,500 guards since 2004.

* In another region, 62% of contract guards had expired certifications in at least one of the following areas: weapons, CPR, first aid and baton use.

* At one high-security facility, an armed guard was found asleep at his post after taking the painkiller Percocet.

* In one major city, an improperly trained guard sent an infant in a carrier through an X-ray machine.

* A guard who was supposed to be standing watch was caught using government computers to further his for-profit adult website.

* A guard failed to recognize or did not properly X-ray a box containing handguns at the loading dock of a facility.

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