The Department of Homeland Security plans to spend a total of $1 billion on a controversial airport security program that, despite being in use for at least seven years, has yet to nab a known terror suspect or thwart a potential attack.Some TSA stooge tried to pretend the program worked in the apprehension of a suspect, but that story quickly fell apart.
The U.S. government has already spent approximately $750 million on the Screening of Passengers by Technique (SPOT) program, which in part trains airport security officers to look out for "micro-expressions" of travelers that may betray nefarious planning, and plans to add another $254 million to the program in 2012, according to a report published today by the Government Accountability Office's Director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues Stephen Lord. ABC News previously reported critics' concerns with the unproven science behind the SPOT program.
In a hearing today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator John Sammon was asked if the program has ever been successful in thwarting a potential terror attack. Sammon recounted the story of an Orlando man who was spotted due to irregular behavior before he was able to place a bag with explosives on the checked bag conveyor belt.So they're willing to openly lie to Congress, except in this case someone saved him the embarrassment. Close call.
"So, one?" asked subcommittee member Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX).
But before Sammon could answer, Lord, who was also a witness, interjected and told the subcommittee the Orlando man was actually reported by other travelers and a ticket counter employee and had nothing to do with the SPOT program.