I was on the Alyona Minkovski Show on HuffPost Live last night with former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley and EPIC Administrative Law Counsel Khaliah Barnes to talk about the TSA’s VIPR teams. The show was prompted by an article in the New York Times the other day alerting the public to what some of us have been writing about for years — that it was only a matter of time before the TSA’s unwarranted searches and harassment of passengers would spread from airports to every other transportation hub. I don’t know why it took the NYT so long to catch on.
Hawley was head of the TSA from July 2005 to January 2009, and has since written a book about the agency. He was happy to help craft and implement the TSA’s boneheaded policies — such as the Magic Bomb-Proof Plastic Baggie — for years, and got religion only after he left. How convenient.
Though he comes across as reasonable and avuncular, claiming that in the battle between civil liberties and security, he comes down on the side of civil liberties, he still defends the TSA and VIPR to the hilt, repeating debunked assertions about the TSA’s infamous voodoo practitioners, and even going so far as to claim that had VIPR teams been at the Boston Marathon, they would likely have prevented the bombing. Never mind that there’s not a shred of evidence to show that VIPR is anything but window dressing; Hawley simply clings to the “I know super secret stuff and you don’t” argument.
Anyway, HuffPo video link here.
(Cross-posted at TSA News)