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Column: Ex-TSA Official Says Document Scandal “Not The Worst Breach of Security Since 9/11”

Ellen Howe served as Assistant Administrator for Strategic Communications & Public Affairs at the Transportation Security Administration from March 2006 until January 2009.

Ellen Howe/security debrief photo

Ellen Howe/security debrief photo

By Ellen Howe
Security DeBrief

Certainly the posting of the Transportation Security Administration’s screening procedures on the Internet was not the agency’s finest hour, but it was not the worst breach of security since 9/11, as I heard last night on CNN.

While some were quick to pounce and ridicule, most of what was in that document can be deciphered by studying procedures at the checkpoint, something terrorists are known to do before they execute an attack.

TSA is a complex organization, and its people and policies should not be underestimated. The agency bases its operations on intelligence, and the document that was revealed does not account for constant updates and tweaks made based on current intelligence.

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