JUDICIAL WATCH: Persistent misconduct by managers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) often goes unpunished and whistleblowers who report it as well as airport safety risks are penalized by senior officials, a bipartisan congressional investigation has concluded. The multi-billion-dollar government agency created after 9/11 to secure the nation’s transportation system operates under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has around 65,000 employees. For nearly a decade Judicial Watch has reported extensively—and uncovered records—about its serious transgressions and failure to adequately fulfill its mission. The TSA is charged with securing transportation by adequately screening luggage, passengers and properly vetting foreign flight students. Instead, the agency is best known for its shameful security lapses and efforts to cover them up. In this case, DHS obstructed the federal probe by withholding documents and information from Congress.
For the last three years a probe led by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has primarily focused on retaliation against TSA whistleblowers who report malfeasance within the ranks or security lapses. Among the preferred methods of punishment are cumbersome reassignments up to thousands of miles from home. Earlier this year three TSA supervisors punished with relocation after exposing airport safety risks received compensatory damages and two were allowed to return to their original location. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the agency charged with protecting federal employees from retribution for whistleblowing, represented the supervisors who worked as deputy federal security directors in Hawaii before getting shipped off to California and Washington State. The TSA supervisors had reported mismanagement and distressingly lax airport security protocols. MORE HERE