Interview with TSA Administrator John Pistole
He’s more realistic than one normally hears:
So if they get through all those defenses, they get to Reagan [National Airport] over here, and they’ve got an underwear bomb, they got a body cavity bomb—what’s reasonable to expect TSA to do? Hopefully our behavior detection people will see somebody sweating, or they’re dancing on their shoes or something, or they’re fiddling with something. Our explosives specialists, they’ll do something – they do hand swabs at random, unpredictably. If that doesn’t work then they go through (the enhanced scanner). And these machines give the best opportunity to detect a non-metallic device, but they’re not foolproof.
We’re not in the risk elimination business. The only way you can eliminate car accidents from happening is by not driving. OK, that’s not acceptable. The only way you can eliminate the risk of planes blowing up is nobody flies.
He still ducks some of the hard questions.
I am reminded my own interview from 2007 with then-TSA Administrator Kip Hawley.