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Weaknesses found in federal security

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July 8, 2009

Investigators were able to smuggle bomb-making materials past security at 10 federal buildings, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

Once GAO investigators got the materials in the buildings, the report said, they constructed explosive devices and carried them around inside. For security reasons, the GAO report did not give the location of the buildings.

Security at these buildings and a total of about 9,000 federal buildings around the country is provided by the Federal Protective Service, a target of the probe.

The report was made available to The Associated Press in advance of a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"The findings of covert security tests conducted by GAO investigators are stunning and completely unacceptable. In post-9/11 America, I cannot fathom how security breaches of this magnitude were allowed to occur," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the committee. "These security lapses and others show a disturbing pattern by the Federal Protective Service of poor training, lapsed documentation, lax management, inconsistent enforcement of security standards and little rigor."

The GAO found other problems with guard training and reported that in one check of security, investigators found a guard asleep on the job after taking the painkiller Percocet. In another, they found a guard failed to recognize or did not properly X-ray a box carrying handguns at the loading dock of a facility.

"As we approach the eighth anniversary of 9/11, and 14 years after Oklahoma City, it is simply unacceptable that federal employees working within buildings under FPS’ protection, and the visitors who pass through them, are so utterly exposed to potential attack by terrorists and other enemies," Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in reference to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Gary Schenkel, director of the Federal Protective Service, said in prepared testimony that when he arrived at the agency in April 2007 "it was apparent FPS was experiencing some serious challenges."

Schenkel said after he learned of the GAO findings he instructed regional directors to increase their inspections and report what actions they would take to address and correct problems with contract guards.

Earlier government investigations have raised similar concerns about the quality of security provided to federal buildings. FPS currently has a budget of about $1 billion, 1,200 full-time employees and about 13,000 contract security guards.

The Washington Post first reported on the GAO probe Tuesday night on its Web site.

7 Responses to Weaknesses found in federal security

  1. almandine

    July 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Could it actually be that the number of supposed bombers of federal buildings has been GREATLY exaggerated? Surely, the terrorists know that the everyday federal employee is a functionary – a bureaucrat – a mere employee – whose value to the people is overly limited by the structure of the bureaucratic process and whose death means as little to the government as might be imagined.

    The best thing the terrorists can do is NOTHING, since the financial and efficiency costs of the security apparatus is causing the demise of the system without any help from them. Hell, just look at TSA. Just sit back and let it implode, eh?

  2. woody188

    July 8, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    I have to agree. If terrorists were even a little effective we wouldn’t have lots of buildings by now. Just reminds me of the war on drugs. Lots of money and manpower to fight it, no results.

  3. oceanika

    July 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Another artifact from GWB’s great war on terror. Just like the national joke that’s supposed to be airport security; remove your shoes and conficate your tweezers.

  4. douin

    July 9, 2009 at 12:18 am

    It is really pathetic that after all the billions of dollars that have been wasted on this phony security racket contrived by our government, we now know that it was all a farce. So a Billion dollars was allocated to FPS– and all it accomplished was to make an ass of the very ones that were supposed to be Guarding those Federal Buildings. But why does it not surprise me that it was Federal Buildings that had the asleep-on-the job workers ? They obviously knew that they were there for Show only.
    Anyone with even half a brain knows that 911 was an inside job, contrived for the sole purpose of having cause to Attack Iraq and Afghanistan. Not having any cause, one had to be contrived. The American people would never have supported an unprovoked attack on another country. The sadistic Zionists Neocons, with the full knowledge of our very own government, planned that black flag attack on the Towers. There is no way on this earth that such an attack could have been planned and carried out by a few Cave Dwellers on the other side of the earth. The very stupidity of such a conclusion is ridiculous in it’s absurdity. ( Course, some people will believe anything at all, if told convincingly enough.) All that was needed was to invoke God’s Name and mention Christianity a few times ! That crowd would have followed Bush over a cliff in broad daylight, expecting a Band of Angels to catch them on the way down.
    Until the USA realizes that it has been Had, there will never be an end to what these monsters have created. How can any sane peoples expect that the people we have harmed will not seek retribution ! That would be an insane assumption.
    We must force Congress to quit appropriating our tax dollars to continue such a foolish course. Fire them all …every last one. They are all guilty of going along to get along, so they cannot say they Did Not Know. They know very well and all of their hands are Dirty. None of them have done the job they were sent to Congress to do. But they have sure let the American people down and destroyed our faith in our Government. Who would believe anyone of them now ? They should all be burned at the stake.

  5. woody188

    July 9, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Fire them all. If 9/11 is an inside job then what makes you think your vote has the power to fire anyone at all?

    If they are evil enough to attack their own country then simple vote fraud is certainly within their power.

    Ohio 2004 changed my world more than 9/11.

  6. douin

    July 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Yes, it is a fact that evil people will never stop doing evil and will always find a way to continue on their evil way. But that has been true since these monsters were thrown out of God’s Kingdom and will be true until time to throw them in the fire already prepared for them. In the meantime, all that is needed for evil to flourish, not just continue, is for good men to do nothing.

    The first step in changing anything is to become aware that there is a problem. That much has been established–finally. Now if knowledge is like a honed sword, progress has already been instigated. Expose anything to the light of day and it will lose it’s strength. This has always been true. The more people become aware of the truth, the less power these evil people will possess to continue. They have been set back countless times throughout time. This is why vigilance has to be continually maintained. Just throwing up our hands and saying, ” What’s the use ?” is exactly what these evil people are expecting us to do.

    What we can do, at this point, is to keep exposing them for the sadistic evil ones that they are. Once enough people become incensed enough, there will be an eruption that cannot be contained. They are well aware of this . Why do you think they have gained control over almost all of our means of communication. Why do you think they are now going after our Internet, the only media outlet we still maintain some control over. You see, the only power they have is in their ability to weaken us by keeping us from the Truth of their true intentions, which is complete control of this World. This country is their only obstacle. As they see it, if we fall, there goes the rest of the world.

    Exposure has to be our most potent weapon at this time.
    Our vote does have power. Else, why do they bother to steal it ? We must become as watchful as the so-called Third World countries, and storm the gates as their people are doing. Remember, there are a lot more of us than there are of Them. That is what they know and are afraid of. That is why they have set up secret detention camps all across this nation. They know that eventually the pot will boil over. Their plan is to keep us in ignorance until it is too late to save ourselves.

    They know the story very well of the frog and the boiling water. ( Put it in cold water, gradually turn up the heat and it will stay there until it loses the strength to jump out.) Simple analogy, but just as true with all mankind.

    You ask who is the “They” I refer to. It is the Zionist, the evil ones that have gained so much power in our government while we slept. The AIPAC Lobby wields the power in our government. Look and see for yourselves. They hide in broad daylight.

  7. bogofree

    July 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Years ago I picked up an airplane at Hanscom Field and while there I saw a Raytheon facility. It was labeled off limits and had posted security. I had on a flight jacket (non military) and walked right in. Talked some of the techs doing missile research. No one questioned me. No one asked a thing. Walked out when I got bored. This was 1971. This was Viet Nam era and the Cold War.

    The big joke is airport security. Just observe. Plenty of ways to get something on board. A kid did it a few months ago without a boarding pass. They are the fed version of mall cops.