Airport security: TSA probe a public service

TSA employees told The Clarion-Ledger about problems with TSA's operations at the airport under Federal Security Director Larry Rowlett.

Among the allegations were that Rowlett routinely warned screeners when secret inspections were to take place to test security, down to detailed descriptions of the agents and the items they would be trying to sneak through.

After the Sept. 10 article, 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson called for an investigation and for Rowlett to be put on leave pending an investigation.

Rowlett has not been suspended.

The problems surfaced after it was learned Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, among others, was boarding aircraft in Jackson with guns, in apparent conflict with TSA security rules.

The TSA investigation should be thorough and independent - not to in any way impugn Rowlett, but for the safety of the public - and should extend beyond Jackson. The nation's airport security is only as strong as its weakest link. A thorough investigation is a public service.

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