GOP lawmaker: TSA 'doesn't know or doesn't care' about passenger rights

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Rogers' assessment was shared by Center for Strategic and International Studies Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Director Rick Nelson.

Nelson told lawmakers on the Homeland Security subcommittee Tuesday that TSA was flawed from its inception in the wake of the 9/11 terrorists attacks.

“After Sept. 11, we cobbled together and stood up the TSA in a matter of few brief months,” Nelson said in testimony submitted to the committee. “Further, we charged this new entity with the immense responsibility of mitigating every potential risk to America’s transport system. In doing so, we created an unworkable ‘zero-failure’ construct in which no risk was acceptable.”

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Director of Terrorism, Espionage and Security Studies Richard Bloom agreed there were problems with the way TSA is currently set up.

Asked what changes he would make to TSA if he was “king for a day,” Bloom said: “I would take maybe 20 to 30 percent of the resources and put it into intelligence collection analysis and use that to apprehend and detain and neutralize more adversaries of the United States.”

The transportation security subcommittee did not hear from any TSA officials on Tuesday, but Rogers said he was satisfied with the consensus among the witnesses the panel heard from.

“I think everybody’s pretty much acknowledged that TSA’s got [at] a minimum some perception problems, and more accurately some organization problems that needed to be addressed,” he said.