The New York Times reports

The New York Times reports that expensive screening machines get little use. Even as the Transportation Department races to install million-dollar machines in airports to screen checked baggage, most of the devices are operated less than two hours a day, and some hardly screen any bags at all, two congressmen said today. ..Citing figures from the inspector general of the Transportation Department, Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and James L. Oberstar of Minnesota, both Democrats, said in a letter to the domestic security director that only 4 of the 155 machines installed in June were even screening at what the inspector called “minimum capacity,” or 125 bags an hour for 10 hours. “You’d think they’d be increasing their efficiency as we get close to the deadline, so the gap won’t be so enormous,” Mr.…

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Passenger Questioned At

Passenger Questioned At Oakland Airport because his name was similar to one on the FBI watch list. It was a false alarm, and doesn’t instill confidence in procedures: The law enforcement response was part of normal airport procedure and such name matches are “not necessarily a daily occurrence, but it is somewhat routine,” (Airport Spokeswoman Rosemary) Barnes said. Even a match of the first three letters of a passenger’s name with a name on the FBI’s list could trigger a security alert, according to Barnes.

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Another victory for pressure on

Another victory for pressure on Mineta. The TSA will end “random” screenings at airplane gates. This means an end to the practice known as Gate Rape. These screenings were not random — frequent flyers learned just not to be first in line, and to walk onto the plane right after a screener had tagged someone else. These screenings were not effective, so this is good news. For some reason TSA thinks that dumping out our passengers’ underwear at the gate after it has already been dumped out at the security screening checkpoint makes TSA look like they are on top of things,” (Continental Airlines Chairman Gordon) Bethune said in a speech to the Wings club of New York in June. This good news comes after another idiotic measure was withdrawn — passengers may now carry…

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