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TSA acknowledges impracticality of 100% cargo screening; Ed Markey calls for even more of it

U.S. still attempting 100% air cargo screening – USATODAY.com

Fantastic article by Bart Jansen in USA Today about the state of air cargo security. Jansen gives an overview of the congressional mandate to screen 100 percent of not just domestic air cargo but also international air cargo. Certain members of Congress continue to demand that the U.S. government, via TSA, somehow force other governments to follow U.S. regulations. TSA Administrator John Pistole skirts having to state the obvious — that mandating other governments to do what the U.S. Congress says to do isn’t practical — but does touch on that other question of practicallity:

TSA Administrator John Pistole says all domestic cargo is being screened and that TSA is negotiating screening agreements with 20 countries that send 80% of the cargo heading to the USA. “The question is: What can they practically do that doesn’t put a halt to the global supply chain?” he says.

The International Air Transport Association does go on the record to assert the impracticality of trying to physically screen 100 percent of every piece of cargo that enters the country. Simply put, according CEO Tony Tyler: “You just can’t do it.”

What does Congressman Ed Markey think? Why, let’s screen even more. He calls for extending the same regulations beyond passenger airlines to all-cargo aircraft as well. Who didn’t see that coming?

Read Jansen’s story for the full details. It’s worth five minutes of your time.

Chris Battle founded Security Debrief as a forum for the homeland security community to discuss pressing issues and current debates in national security, counter-terrorism and law enforcement. After a long fight against kidney cancer, Chris passed in August 2013. Read More