9-11: Potential Jackson weakness exposed



Thompson on Monday called on Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner to "dig deep and get answers" to questions the series raised.

In a letter to Transportation Security Administration Assistant Secretary Edmund "Kip" Hawley, Thompson on Wednesday also called for Mississippi Federal Transportation Security Director Larry Rowlett to be suspended pending such an investigation.

The Clarion-Ledger's findings are disturbing. Transportation Security Administration workers told the paper that TSA management used inside information to warn security screeners of undercover tests for improving airport security.

They also told of a lax atmosphere allowing dangerous items or questionable passengers to slip through security, sometimes over screeners' objections.

The point is not to vilify Jackson or any individual, but to shore up weaknesses in the nation's defense against terrorists.

Our nation's airways, as 9-11 showed, are as vulnerable as the weakest link.

How devastating it would be if there were another 9-11 type event and it was found that Jackson was the point where security was lax, allowing tragedy to occur.

Thompson should push the probe. An equal test of vigilance should be given every air entry point in the nation, with Jackson not immune from the sharpest scrutiny. Lest we forget 9-11, lax security is a luxury this nation can ill afford.


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