GOP Sen. Says Classified TSA Details ‘Even Worse’ Than Public Failures, Calls For Their Release


The Transportation Security Administration is inexcusably failing to keep the nation’s airports secure and the American people have a right to know about it, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) argues.

Following the leak of results from an inspector general report, which found that TSA failed to uncover mock explosives and weapons nearly 96 percent of the time, Sasse is calling on President Obama to declassify the full report and release further information about TSA’s security lapses.

“Here is what keeps me up at night: The publicly available facts are disturbing, but the classified details are even worse. Millions of families will soon fly to summer vacations, but if moms knew what members of Congress have learned behind closed doors, they would march on Washington demanding an urgent, top-to-bottom reevaluation of airport security,” Sasse, a member of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote in a USA Today op-ed Monday.

Sasse argues it is time to reconsider airport security, especially at a time when the TSA errs 96 percent of the time and the terrorists only have to be right once. He added that he has “never seen anything so inept” as TSA.

“Washington has a lazy and destructive habit of building bureaucracies instead of setting strategies. By demanding transparency in this investigation, the American people can force Washington to break the ‘bureaucracies first’ habit, and begin a serious conversation about true, risk-based planning,” Sasse wrote.

According to the Nebraska lawmaker, with the threats to the U.S. growing, the government owes the American people transparency in those areas that need improvement.

“If the administration levels with the American people and aggressively shines light on the failure of even basic screening operations, it is then going to take bipartisan leadership to tackle these problems,” he explained. “We need the president to honestly describe the growing threat of global jihadi terrorism and the urgent need for a smart and vigilant homeland security. We need a robust debate about goals, about strategies and about performance metrics for airline safety.”

Sasse’s column was published the same day a new inspector general report revealed TSA failed to identify 73 aviation workers with links to terrorism.

“President Obama owes the public a transparent account of TSA’s failures so that together we can fix them,” Sasse concluded.