Kip Hawley, former Director of the TSA, will chat live on Milepoint Wednesday, May 2 at 9pm Eastern. Mark your calendars!
A couple of weeks ago he dropped a bombshell editorial in the Wall Street Journal where he basically repudiated just about everything that the TSA did under his watch. He protests effectively “sure I was in charge and spoke up publicly in favor of it all, but it wasn’t really my fault!”
I arrived in 2005 with naive notions of wrangling the organization into shape, only to discover the power of the TSA’s bureaucratic momentum and political pressures.
He makes some silly suggestions, like improving security by removing checked bag fees so fewer bags get carried on, forgetting that pre-9/11 passengers were allowed two carryons and a personal item through security, so it’s not really plausible that each passenger bringing through one carryon is really the root cause of bottlenecks.
But his ultimate message is at least close to right — that airport security is a “national embarrassment” and that the liquid ban (aka war on water) is stupid.
It’s very strange to see this about face, not just from his time in charge of airport security but even from his public statements last month. For example, he came out guns blazing for the overwhelming success of current approaches to airport security in an Economist debate on the topic against Bruce Schneier:
More than 6 billion consecutive safe arrivals of airline passengers since the 9/11 attacks mean that whatever the annoying and seemingly obtuse airport-security measures may have been, they have been ultimately successful.
Will the real Kip Hawley, please stand up?
I can’t wait to hear from him — and challenge him — live, online, at Milepoint! Hope you can join, too.