Government Incompetence Update: TSA Cannot Verify Employees’ Criminal Histories

Disclosure: TSA Cannot Verify Employees’ Criminal Histories – Washington Free Beacon


Government oversight officials informed Congress on Wednesday that the Transportation Security Administration continues to operate in disarray, failing to record basic security details for thousands of employees and not tracking official IDs and badges that allow access to the most sensitive areas of an airport.

Lawmakers described the security agency as operating “in chaos” and expressed frustration with Obama administration officials as they informed the House Oversight Committee about a range of security shortfalls that continue to endanger the nation’s 450 commercial airports.

TSA’s inability to properly screen and track employees has been well documented for years. However, the administration has failed to enact multiple reforms aimed at tightening security and making it more efficient, lawmakers said.

TSA still cannot verify their employees’ criminal histories and immigration statuses, according to disclosures made by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general.

“Even 15 years” since the 9/11 terror attacks, “we still see a system that has not complied with the laws we have passed multiple times… and we see failures,” said Rep. John Mica (R., Fla.), chair of the House Transportation Subcommittee.

Following the discovery last year of 73 aviation employees who also were listed on the nation’s terror watch list, TSA has struggled to implement reforms aimed to remedy these security gaps, Mica said.

“TSA employees are not properly vetted,” he said. “We’ve found that tens of thousands of incomplete records are even lacking full names. They [TSA] had 14,000 immigrants listed in the database that did not have alien registration numbers and 75,000 of these records lacked passport numbers. This is not acceptable.”

Officials additionally could not account for “hundreds and thousands of IDs” that had gone missing, including TSA security badges, airport identity badges, and officer identification.

“Everything you can imagine stolen, or missing, or unaccounted for,” Mica said. “Here we are in 2016, 15 years after 9/11, and we don’t know who’s going in and who’s going out. There’s no way to ensure it.”

John Roth, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, provided a list of security flaws and inefficiencies in the TSA’s employee screening process.

In addition to still not having full access to the U.S. terror watch list, TSA is incapable of verifying employees’ criminal records.

“TSA is considerably challenged when it comes to verifying workers’ criminal histories and immigration status,” Roth said. “TSA does not recurrently vet airport workers’ criminal histories after they are initially cleared to work, but rely on individuals to self-report disqualifying crimes.”

Most employees do not follow this policy, he said.

“TSA cannot systematically determine whether individuals have been convicted of disqualifying crimes,” Roth said, noting that commercial airports also do not hold onto these records. “Due to the large workload involved, this inspection process looked at as few as one percent of all aviation workers applications.”

Additionally, the records TSA uses for vetting individuals is “not reliable, as it contains incomplete or inaccurate data,” Roth said.

At least 87,000 active aviation workers, or 10 percent of the total workforce, do not have social security numbers listed in their records, according to Roth.

An additional 75,000 active employee credentials listed the worker as a non-U.S. citizen but did not include passport numbers. Of that number, 14,000 workers also did not list an alien registration number, meaning they could potentially be undocumented.

“TSA did not have appropriate checks in place to reject records from such vetting,” Roth said. “Without complete and accurate info TSA risked credentialing and providing unescorted access to secure airport areas for a worker who could potentially harm the nation’s air transportation system.”



Government Incompetence Update: 72 DHS Employees On Terrorist Watch List

72 DHS Employees On Terrorist Watch List – Washington Free Beacon


At least 72 employees at the Department of Homeland Security are listed on the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a Democratic lawmaker.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) disclosed that a congressional investigation recently found that at least 72 people working at DHS also “were on the terrorist watch list.”

“Back in August, we did an investigation – the inspector general did – of the Department of Homeland Security, and they had 72 individuals that were on the terrorist watch list that were actually working at the Department of Homeland Security,” Lynch told Boston Public Radio.

“The [former DHS] director had to resign because of that,” he said.

DHS continues to fail inspections aimed at determining the efficiency of its internal safety mechanisms, as well as its efforts to protect the nation.

Lynch referred to a recent report that found the Transportation Security Administration, which is overseen by DHS, failed to stop 95 percent of those who attempted to bring restricted items past airport security.

“We had staffers go into eight different airports to test the department of homeland security screening process at major airports. They had a 95 percent failure rate,” Lynch said. “We had folks – this was a testing exercise, so we had folks going in there with guns on their ankles, and other weapons on their persons, and there was a 95 percent failure rate.”

Lynch said he has “very low confidence” in DHS based on its many failures over the years. For this reason, he voted in favor of recent legislation that will tighten the vetting process for any Syrian refugees applying for asylum in the United States.

“I have very low confidence based on empirical data that we’ve got on the Department of Homeland Security. I think we desperately need another set of eyeballs looking at the vetting process,” he said. “That’s vetting that’s being done at major airports where we have a stationary person coming through a facility, and we’re failing 95 percent of the time.”

“I have even lower confidence that they can conduct the vetting process in places like Jordan, or Belize or on the Syrian border, or in Cairo, or Beirut in any better fashion, especially given the huge volume of applicants we’ve had seeking refugee status,” Lynch said.



100 German Hotel Employees Fired Without Notice As Government Turns Luxury Hotel Into Housing For Muslim Illegals

“You’re Fired!” 100 Hotel Employees In Germany Lose Their Jobs With No Warning As Government Turns Luxury Hotel Into Housing For Muslim Illegals – Shoebat

Stunned workers at the 4-star Maritim Hotel in Saxony arrived at work, only to be told to go home because Angela Merkel has decided to convert the hotel into a shelter for Muslim invaders. All the hotel businesses and restaurants also had to shut their doors, and none were given any notice.


While the hotel employees are rightly angry and frustrated, some Germans interviewed think it’s just fine and dandy to put 740 totally unscreened Muslim freeloaders, rapists, and worse, into luxury housing. Watch how fast that tune changes once their daughters start getting raped, their businesses robbed, and hordes of young Muslim men with nothing to do, start forming gangs.



Whole Foods To Fire 1,500 Employees

Whole Foods To Eliminate 1,500 Jobs – Bloomberg


Whole Foods Market Inc. plans to eliminate 1,500 jobs to reduce costs and fight back against rivals that are undercutting its prices.

The positions, representing about 1.6 percent of the company’s workforce, will be eliminated over the next eight weeks, with many coming through attrition, the Austin, Texas-based grocery-store chain said Monday in a statement.

Whole Foods is working to keep expenses low so it can offer its organic and natural products at lower prices and beat back an onslaught from mainstream grocers that now carry similar offerings. The company in July reported third-quarter profit and sales that trailed analysts’ estimates as the new competition restrained growth.

Whole Foods fell 1.1 percent to $30.75 at the close in New York. The shares have slid 39 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has lost 8.6 percent.

Co-Chief Executive Officer Walter Robb called the job cuts a “very difficult decision,” and the company said it is paying the workers in full during the next eight weeks.

Whole Foods, which has about 420 locations, has seen its growth slow as traditional supermarkets carry more natural and organic fare. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sells Wild Oats organic foods, while Kroger Co.’s Simple Truth line has reached $1 billion in annual sales.

The company is responding by opening a less-expensive, tech-focused grocery chain called 365 by Whole Foods Market. The first location is set to open next year in Los Angeles.



Pen And Phone Update: President Asshat Orders Paid Sick Leave For Employees Of Federal Contractors

Obama Orders Government Contractors To Offer Paid Sick Leave – One America News


President Barack Obama on Monday ordered government contractors to offer their workers seven days of paid sick leave a year and, without naming them, knocked Republican presidential candidates for advocating what he said were anti-union policies.

Obama signed an executive order on sick leave during a flight on Air Force One to Boston, where he spoke at a union event. The White House said it would affect some 300,000 people.

Starting in 2017, workers on government contracts will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Contractors can offer more generous amounts at their discretion.

Speaking to a friendly crowd without a tie or jacket, Obama said such policies were beneficial to employers.

“It helps with recruitment and retention,” he said.

Unions and organized labor are a key constituent to the Democratic Party whose support will be critical in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama, who joked that he was glad not to be on the ballot next year, made thinly veiled references to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for anti-union remarks and policies. He did not name them by name.

The executive order follows a series of measures by the White House to expand access to paid leave. In January, Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the government to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for other sick leave-eligible uses.

Obama is also pressing Congress to pass legislation giving government employees six additional weeks of paid parental leave. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said he could not say what the cost of implementing the seven-day paid leave rule would be to contractors.

“We believe the cost of implementing this rule is offset by the efficiencies that come with reduced attrition, increased loyalty, all of those things that have been documented in a number of studies of state laws that have been enacted,” Perez told reporters on a conference call on Sunday.

Obama also used the trip to Boston to renew his call for Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require all businesses with 15 or more employees to offer up to seven paid sick days each year.

According to the White House, an estimated 44 million private-sector workers, about 40 percent of the total private-sector workforce, do not have access to paid sick leave.



NASA Employees Caught Buying Child Porn, Escape Prosecution, Now Their Names Are Being Kept Secret

NASA Employees Caught Buying Child Porn From Site Which Showed Three-Year-Olds Being Abused, But They Escape Prosecution And Now Their Names Are Being Kept Secret – Daily Mail


NASA employees were caught buying child pornography from a criminal ring in Eastern Europe that distributed images of minors as young as three, it can be revealed.

An investigation by Daily Mail Online found 16 staff members from the space agency paid for pictures and videos of children in sexual situations, but were never prosecuted.

Their names have never been released because of government guidelines which protect their privacy – prompting fears some of the culprits are still employed by NASA.

The probe found that in 2010, the employees paid for the pornography using personal credit cards or PayPal while working for the government.

Their actions were uncovered during Project Flicker – an investigation by the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into American citizens buying child pornography from Belarus and Ukraine.

The investigation began in 2007 when more than 33,000 images of minors being abused flooded into the country.

Investigators identified more than 5,200 citizens across the country who had paid for a subscription to illicit websites in order to access the content.

In 2010 it was revealed that 264 of these worked for the Pentagon as either employees or contractors. Some of them worked for the NSA and had top security clearance.

But the Daily Mail Online can reveal for the first time that NASA employees were also identified in the sickening scheme in the same year.

Transactions from the space agency workers were discovered after a FBI special agent tipped off investigators.

However their names have been redacted in documents obtained by Daily Mail Online via a Freedom of Information Act request from NASA’s Office of Inspector General.

Therefore it is not known whether they were disciplined or sanctioned within the department – meaning they could still be working for the government.

When the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) investigated the Pentagon employees identified in the scheme, they only investigated 52 of the suspects and 212 people on ICE’s list were never questioned at all.

Some had highest available security clearance.

After the probe was completed just 10 were ever charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography – prompting fears some of those caught could still be working for the military.

It is not known whether any of the NASA employers were questioned, but it is clear they were not prosecuted – as their names have not been revealed.

If they had been found guilty of a crime, their names would not have been redacted in the disclosed files.

A spokesman for NASA told Daily Mail Online they would not be commenting beyond what was stated in the FOIA documents.

A spokesman from Immigration and Customs Enforcement said: ‘In 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened an investigation into the criminal network behind hundreds of child pornography websites.

‘The investigation, called Project Flicker, was conducted in collaboration with other U.S. and international law enforcement partners around the world, and identified 30,000 customers in 132 countries – resulting in hundreds of convictions in the U.S. and 16 arrests in Belarus and the Ukraine.

‘The criminal rings involved used a variety of online and traditional payment methods, elaborate defense measures and a franchise business model that provided access to images and videos of sexually exploited boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old.

‘HSI’s Cyber Crimes Center distributed more than 5,000 domestic leads to field offices around the country and shared more than 4,000 foreign leads with its law enforcement partners via HSI’s attaché offices.

‘HSI is a leading federal law enforcement agency combating the sexual exploitation of children. HSI conducts investigations under Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who possess, trade and produce child pornography; who travel overseas for sex with minors; and who engage in the sex trafficking of children.

‘HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.’

The FBI said they would not be adding to the ICE’s statement.

The latest disclosure comes after Daily Mail Online investigations unearthed shocking breaches of computer guidelines inside the Department of Education the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.



House And Senate Claimed Only 45 Employees Each, Then Signed Up 12,359 On Obamacare ‘Small Business’ Exchange

U.S. House And Senate Each Said They Had Only 45 Employees, Then Signed Up 12,359 For Insurance On Obamacare ‘Small-Business’ Exchange – CNS


Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives certified that they had only 45 employees each in order to sign up for the District of Columbia’s Small Business Exchange. But 12,359 – or 86 percent of the exchange’s enrollees – are members of Congress, congressional staff members, and their spouses and dependents, according to an appeal filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals by Judicial Watch.

The public interest law firm announced Monday that it is appealing the February dismissal of its lawsuit challenging congressional participation in the Obamacare exchange even though the D.C. Exchange Act limits enrollment to small companies with 50 or fewer employees.

“Congress obviously has far more than 50 employees,” Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha pointed out in his opening brief. “It has thousands of employees.”

Congress enrolled in the small business exchange when its previous coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan was terminated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and congressional employees stood to lose thousands of dollars in “employer contributions” if they enrolled in the District’s individual exchange.

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives both certified that they “employ 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees.”

In October 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule that provides an “employer contribution” covering about three-quarters of the premiums of congressional employees enrolled in the small business exchange starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The OPM rule “allowed at least 12,359 congressional employees and their spouses and dependents to obtain health insurance through the Small Business Exchange… These 12,359 participants represent an astonishing 86% of the Small Business Exchange’s total enrollment,” the appeal states.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last October on behalf of Kirby Vining, a D.C. resident since 1986, who objected to the expenditure of municipal funds to insure congressional employees in an exchange that was established specifically for small employers in the District.

“Congress authored the law [ACA], and is going to rather questionable lengths to avoid compliance with the law it drafted,” Vining said.

Although the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority conceded that D.C. law limits participation in the exchange to small employers, it argued in court that “the local statute must yield to the extent the federal statute or regulation applies.”

In its motion to dismiss the case, the authority also stated that the exchange “has been funded exclusively by federal grants awarded to the District to establish its Exchange, and more recently, an assessment imposed on health carriers doing business in the District.”

In dismissing the lawsuit, D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon ruled that Vining had no standing to challenge the OPM rule because he “has not demonstrated a reasonable inference that municipal taxpayer funds have been appropriated to defendant exchange authority to establish a cognizable injury to maintain standing to bring his underlying complaint.”

However, in a budget report submitted to Congress, the Exchange Authority’s actual budget for Fiscal Year 2013 ($10.9 million) and FY 2014 ($66.1 million) was identified as ” ‘municipal monies’ as originating from the District’s General Fund. No monies are identified as Federal Funds, Private Revenue, or Intra-District Funds,” according to the appeal.

“In Fiscal Year 2015, the Exchange Authority’s budget was reclassified from the General Fund to a newly created fund, separate and distinct from ‘Federal Funds’,” it continued.

Dixon also ruled that the OPM rule preempts the D.C. Exchange Act, noting that “allowing members of Congress and their staff to participate in the District’s small business health options program is authorized by federal regulations.”

But Judicial Watch argues in its appeal that the D.C. law cannot be preempted because it is “completely consistent and entirely compatible” with the federal law and in fact its “sole purpose is to implement various provisions of ACA.”

“In reality, the court ruled that a determination by a federal bureaucrat – in this instance, the director of OPM – trumps the 50-employee limit of the Exchange Act, at least with respect to Congress,” the group’s appeal brief stated. “No lawful regulation – much less a regulation that purports to delegate such authority to an agency head – can do that, and the Court cites no legal authority whatsoever for their astonishing conclusion that it can.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that allowing Congress to enroll in an exchange meant for small businesses is both “unlawful and unethical.”

“It is an abuse of District taxpayers to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress,” Fitton said in a statement. “It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud.

“The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.”