With a new book about his time at the TSA out today, former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley is making the talk show rounds to offer solutions for the "unending nightmare" that airport security has become.
In an appearance on CBS This Morning, Hawley tells Charlie Rose and Gayle King that many security measures hastily set up in the wake of 9/11 are no longer needed, adding by way of explanation that "you can't take over a plane with a knife."
In the interview, Hawley points out that bombs are the current, biggest threat against the nation's aviation security.
Earlier this month, Hawley penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal headlined "Why Airport Security Is Broken," in which the former security chief called airport screening "a national embarrassment."
"In attempting to eliminate all risk from flying," he continued in the essay, "we have made air travel an unending nightmare for U.S. passengers and visitors from overseas, while at the same time creating a security system that is brittle where it needs to be supple."
The book itself, "Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security," is a fast read at a little more than 200 pages, and was co-authored by Nathan Means. It tells the story of the creation of the agency, Hawley's role in its creation, the foiling of the 2006 transatlantic liquid bomb plot, the creation of the TSA Blog -- and offers suggestions for the future of the TSA.
Among Hawley's suggestions: Allow small knives and other previously prohibited items on board so screeners can focus on finding dangerous explosives. Eliminate bag fees so that checkpoint lines will move more swiftly. And, encourage innovation among front-line checkpoint staff, the real security experts in Hawley's estimation.
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