Report leaked on massive airport-checkpoint failures
The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that he is investigating the leak of classified information from an undercover operation in which investigators were able to slip through airport security with weapons and phony bombs more than 95 percent of the time.
“We have started an investigation to determine where the leak was,” Inspector General John Roth told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
The information received widespread attention in the news media and on Capitol Hill. Roth told the panel that he had briefed top officials about his findings without the information leaking to the public.
“I was as disturbed as anyone that this information got into the media,” he said.
He declined to discuss in Tuesday’s public hearing any aspect of the investigation, in which auditors from his department were able to carry weapons or bomb-like material through airport-security checkpoints in 67 of 70 attempts this year.
“What we’re doing clearly isn’t working,” said Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “We need to think outside the box.”
Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway was forced from the job last week after reports of the airport-security issues became public. U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger is awaiting Senate confirmation to become TSA administrator.
Asked whether security at any one airport proved to be more lax than at others, Roth said, “The results were consistent across airports.”