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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 19, 2013 7:00am-9:01am EST

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>> fortunately alex had recently exercised and i commend administrator john pistole, they did an exercise for this type of situation just weeks before this event. i'm pleased that tsa will be undertaking a review to see what lessons can we learn from lax i look forward to discussing those results. i encourage tsa to fully engage stakeholders as part of its review, private industry has a role to play when it comes to securing airports and airplanes from bad actors. in addition, today's hearing is an opportunity to also examine some of the findings in gao's most recent report on tsa's screening passengers by observation techniques program, commonly referred to as spot. i had the opportunity to observe this program firsthand a few years ago during a visit to boston logan airport on the anniversary of 9/11. i'm a fan of this program.
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don't get me wrong. i've seen it work firsthand. i've been a strong advocate for this program. however, we have had results of a gao study that are less than favorable. gao recommends that tsa limit future funding for the program so an accurate study is completed using behavioral indicators to identify -- based on tsa's own plans it will be at least three years before they can begin measuring the effectiveness of spot. i'm that tsa disagrees with the gao's findings and i look forward to hearing that. and also argues that spot is risk-based, which i think it's a good premise. i would like to hear tsa's explanation and information used to support this. frankly, i am disappoindisappoin ted with the findings in the report because i believe, as i said, there's value in assessing behavior in aviation environment.
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they are our century-old techniques and tools law enforcement and other security organizations, including israel. many people pointed israel as a model. that will allow individuals to assess behavior. but if this program isn't working, we need to find something that will more effectively. i'm concerned he is a will continue to so-called spin its wheels while this program, with his programs for developing a more effective and efficient approach. i hope i'm wrong on that point but, unfortunately, discussing gao and dhs i.t.'s recommendations for this program that also whether there are better ways of integrating behavior analysis into aviation security. wraps a reinforcing local law enforcement and other alternative approaches. i look forward to discussing the elements of tsa's review of the lax shooting. the bottom line is when he did all we can to protect our
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aviation system into involved -- evolver safety measures just as the threats against us are evolving. and let me just close by again, to john pistole, i admire what you were doing. it's not easy representing an agency that comes under so much scrutiny. it is sometimes the face of homeland security, and i think you're doing a good job making that face a better face. across the country, making it more passenger friendly and targeted towards the terrace but i do believe this program, i don't live as some would say, i got asked on the nightly news last night, do you favor scrapping this program, and i said no, i don't. i believe he taking behavior can be so important in stopping the threat but i do believe that it could be more effective and efficient for the american taxpayer. i think that's what we're here -- what we're all here to do.
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esther chairman, thank you for indulging that i know my remarks with a little over and i appreciate you holding this hearing. >> thank the chairman. pitcher now recognizes ranking minority of the full committee, the gentleman from this is -- from mississippi. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for holding this hearing today. at the outset i like to join my colleagues in spreading condolences to officer hernandez's wife, children, friends and family, and all the employees of the transportation security administration. today, i will be joining chairman mccaul, chairman hudson, treachery and congresswoman waters in introducing a resolution condemning the shooting at lax and expressing condolences to officer hernandez is namely. unfortunately, it appears that the majority leaders protocol will not afford for the resolution to be considered on the house floor.
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to administrator pistole, please know and take back to the workforce that this committee stands with the agency in this trying time. the shooting that took place at lax was a tragic and senseless act of violence. all evidence points to a shooter with extreme antigovernment views who intentionally and exclusively targeted tsa employees. these are some of the federal officers responsible for protecting our nation against terrorist attack. i hope this incident will result in less rhetoric about and the demonizing of transportation security officers. it's also my hope that tsa takes a comprehensive look at how such an incident can be prevented, further mitigated in the future. i applaud administrator pistole for taking the initial step of announcing that he will conduct a review of security procedures at checkpoints. i also applaud the administered
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for conducting outreach to a wide variety of stakeholders before defining the scope of his review. this review should serve as an opportunity to examine not only tsa's partnership and coordination with local all enforcement, but also of tsa's policies, programs and partnerships affecting checkpoint operations. today, in addition to discussing the initial lesson from the shootings at lax, we will examine reports issued by the government accountability office and the department of homeland security's office of inspector general regarding tsa screening of passengers by observation techniques program, commonly referred to as the spot. gao's report pulls no punches when it comes to this behavior detection program that cost taxpayers more than $220 million per year, recommending that
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congress considered the lack of scientific evidence to support the program when making funding decisions. inspector general's report released in may concluded that tsa could not provide evidence of the cost effectiveness of the s.p.o.t. program. given the limited dollars available for transportation security activities and we do not have the luxury of spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year on programs for which tsa cannot prove the effectiveness of our scientifically validate. since 2007, tsa has spent nearly $1 billion on this misguided program. even tsa admits that it will be years before the agency may be able to display the effectiveness of s.p.o.t. program. that means hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars will need to be spent just to find
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out whether the program is effective. it's no secret that i've been a critic of the s.p.o.t. program since its inception, and expansion prior to being validate. in june of this year i offered an imminent on the house floor to prohibit tsa from using funds from the s.p.o.t. program. even if -- even if i was the most vocal proponent of would not be up to justify continuing to fund the following my review of the gao and dhs ig report that would be examined today. to be clear, i have no doubt that the men and women working on the front lines of this program, the behavior protection officers, are performing as instructed and believe in their service. but we cannot continue to fund programs with the hope that they will work. we must prioritize limited funds
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for programs that have been proven effective. the s.p.o.t. program does not fit that description. you can't have a program validated without science. i have requested that validation on a number of occasions, and all reports say as there is no science in it. sigh of relief concerns about it. there are people who talk about other models, that you talk about countries where civil rights and civil liberties are not a part of the protocol. so you can do behavior detection in countries where civil rights and civil liberties are not part of the protocol, but in america you can't profile people without protecting their civil rights and civil liberties. so i'm concerned about that. i also just want to thank each
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of the witnesses for appearing before the subcommittee today. i look forward to your testimony and the responses to members questions. i would also like to thank all my colleagues on the minority side for attending this hearing. obviously, it is of importance to a lot of us as well as majority members and i look forward to the testimony, and i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. mr. thompson, other members of the subcommittee are reminded that opening states may be submitted for the record. before we continued i would like to ask unanimous consent to insert a statement into the record from the gentleman for south carolina, mr. duncan. without objection so order. we are pleased of a distant bell of witnesses before us today on this important topic. the witnesses full written statement will appear in the hearing record. our first witness, the honorable john pistole, has been the administrator of the
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transportation sector the administration at the department of homeland security since 2010. as tsa administrator he oversees the management of approximately 60,000 employees. acidity operations of more than 450 federalized airports throughout the united states, federal air marshal service, and the secretive for highways and railroads, ports, mass transit systems and pipelines. you have a big job, and i commend you for the job you did and appreciate you being here today. the chair now recognizes mr. pistole to testify. >> thank you, chairman hudson, ranking member richmond, and other distinguished members of the committee. appreciate the opportunity to be here today. let me start off by expressing my deep appreciation to you, chairman and other members of the committee, who have expressed condolences on behalf of the transportation sector to officer gerardo hernandez and his family, and the two other officers were shot and wounded on november 1 there. there was a great outpouring on tuesday at the memorial service
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held in l.a. by the city of los angeles, by the local police. the law enforcement community pulling together and demonstrating support for officer hernandez's family and the two other officers and their families. so thank you for that comment expressions and condolences. the bottom line is there are challenging times right now for members of tsa employees, especially those at lax n-terminal three who been directly affected by this who've lost a well-liked and well-respected colleague and so there's a lot of grieving going on. but i do want to commend the actions of the officers, tsos and others at the checkpoint that day for their actions in helping move passengers away from the point of danger and, in fact, the two officers who were injured, tony grigsby and then a screening training instructor were actionable and because they
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probably stayed too long at checkpoints helping an elderly gentleman away from the checkpoint and they were shot as they were leaving the checkpoint as the shooter came up onto the upper level. we've had this tragic incident and the question is what is our response. let me outline five things we have done since november 1. during the shooting we convene a crisis action team meeting by senior leadership among senior leadership at tsa to assess what was going on even during the lockdown after the shooting. and challenge the senior leadership team to come up with recommendations both short-term and long-term and what can be best done to protect transportation sector the officers at checkpoints around the country. we coordinate close with airport law enforcement around the country to deploy uniform
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officers in and around checkpoints in a much more visible way in the hours and days following that and that is continuing. third, we've redeployed a number of our viper teams to airports again for that response to and just the notion of having additional security officers protected with this additional show of force. fourth, we have committed, communicated frequently with the workforce regarding the events because the absence of information is a concern, and we have listened to their concerns, particularly at lax where i visited twice that in the last 10 days to hear their concerns and provide grievance counselors who, hundreds of tsos have availed himself of those service. and then fifth as was mentioned last thursday, we convene a meeting at headquarters, stakeholders both from the
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aviation sector writ large, law enforcement agencies, representatives of 30 different agencies including the advisory council, basically to listen, to hear their views on what may happen or what may be some of the solutions as well for. so that review is ongoing and i look forward to updating the committee, ma and, obviously, getting input from all of the committee on possible steps that we can take. second, the other issues that we're here for today is on the behavior protection officer programs, s.p.o.t. if you for to get the contacts have been referred to but let me just emphasize that. so over the last several years both in the subcommittee, the full committee and from the american people there is been called for tsa to use more common sense in how we go about doing things. to be less invasive. fear pat downs, fear of the imaging machines that provide
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the graphic images. we've done those things so that what risk-based security is all about. we've taken the 15 steps including project which was mentioned, a known criminal a pilot an and flight attendants,e announcement was made yesterday expanding the program, partnership with dod to allow the of the members to go through screenings around the country now. 75 and older, 12 and younger, all these initiatives to bring more common sense into the process. one of those things is managed inclusion and as part of that our behavior detection officers serve a key function. for example, on monday this week we had over 80,000 passengers around the country goes for expedited physical screening because of behavior protection officers observing no suspicious behavior. 80,000 passengers in one day but the other part of this is under risk-based security, we for the last 10 days we have met or exceeded the goal 25% of the traveling project -- public
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going to physical screening on any given day. the last 10 days we have met or exceeded that goal. in closing, the gao has done several studies recently on the bdo program. the 2010 review was very helpful to us in terms of recommending 11 different steps to take to strengthen and improve the program it with integrated 10 of those. we are still working with gao on the 11th but we recognize the significant work they've done. the most recent study we do disagree with conclusions but recognize from the valid points. so we can and will strengthen the program. i commit to doing that. this initiative though is the one that looks at intent, motivation rather than a prohibited item. so that's important. so defund the program is not the answer, and i would just say if we did that, if congress did that, what i can envision is
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that would be fewer passengers going to expedited screening. they would be increased pat downs, there would be longer lines and more frustration by the traveling public. so i'd like to work with the subcommittee and the full committee to strengthen the size of the program. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, administrator pistole. dr. daniel gerstein is the acting undersecretary for science and technology at the department of homeland security. dr. gerstein gain extremes in the defense sector while surfing increase positions in civilian government, uniform and private industry. before joining dhs, he served in the office of the secretary of defense. dr. gerstein, i have to say i'm disappointed that you failed to comply with the committee rules are not submitting a written testimony, a written statement for the record. i believe it's the first, this is your first appearance as acting secretary for s. and t. i'm willing to waive this requirement in consultation with the ranking member rather than bar you from giving oral
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presentation here today. but again, please know that we are making a generous exception for you, and failure to submit a written statement impedes the oversight role of this committee that prevents our ability to prepare and plan ahead, and so i would just ask for your cooperation in the future getting those written statements in a timely manner. but at this point, the chair does not recognize you to testify. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sorry for that indiscretion. good morning, chairman hudson, ranking member richmond and other members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today with administrator pistole to discuss the collaboration between tsa and science and technology directorate. this collaboration occurs across a broad range of projects including tsa's behavior. let me emphasize that all of our efforts are ultimately designed to support tsa and their efforts improve security effectiveness
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and passenger experience with transportation screen. in my opening remarks i'll develop three overarching themes. first, the spot program is part of a layered security system, and must be considered within the context. it does not exist in isolation and, therefore, must be considered in terms of its incremental contribution to improving the overall probability of protection of persons that knowingly and intentionally attempt to defeat the security process. relying on any single process, technology or capability is not an acceptable strategy. and this latest secure the system consists of several opportunities to screen passengers and verify travel documentation. checks are done when a passenger person -- behavior detection officers and k-9 units checked for hostile threatening material respectively. carrying items in checked bags are also screened for their allowed in, a. pacifistic tsa has unpredictable
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protocols on planes, federal air marshals and trained flight crews -- route to mitigate any incidents or threats. the focus of all this activity is to increase the probability of detection of a person trying to defeat the security process. second, the underlying concept employed in the spot program or based on scientific research and represent the best practices from defense, intelligence and law-enforcement organizations. these practices have become accepted based on years of experience in attempting to identify persons that shouldn't receive additional scrutiny. with a s.p.o.t. process does that has not been done previously is methodically identifying and assess a broad range of behavioral characteristics, and provide a school system that adds a structure to the intuitive and highly objective processes that many have relied on in the past. as part of a s.p.o.t. effort in
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2009, snp of the request of tsa initiate a research program to assess the validity of existing screen protocols indicated. s. and p. contract with america institute for research or ai are one of the nation's largest nonprofit behavioral research organization to design and execute an independent assessment. and the primary finding was that the s.p.o.t. identified high-risk travelers at a significantly higher rate on average, nine times more often than random screening. enhancing the use of behavioral indicators it is worth noting the number of other governments, australia, canada, france, switzerland, uk community are developed and deployed behavior detection screening protocols. i have personally toured the facilities and received briefings on the use of behavior detection in australia and israel. we do recognize that the results of the study must be considered in the context of limitations that are described in detail in the s.p.o.t. validation report.
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we identified many of these limitations. nonetheless, we believe the sampling measure others that are side are due to limitations and a relatively minimal given the study's design features that include a large sample, multiple outcomes, around important population estimates. smt does agree with the context of the study design limitations and recommendation for additional research. furthermore, additional research efforts could be conducted would include a more extensive examination of the underlying behavioral construct, an indicator of optimization study, comprehensive reliability study and an empirical comparison of s.p.o.t. with other screening programs. some of these efforts are ongoing at tsa today, although s&t is not involved in the study efforts. my third and final point
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concerns current collaboration between tsa and s&t. in this regard our relationship has never been stronger. this can be seen to objective measures as well as anecdotal information. in fiscal year '13, s&t conducted r&d supporting tsa requirements on 19 projects for a total of $108 million. additionally, we continue to work with tsa on examining checkpoint operations in order to determine how combinations of technological developments, use of knowledge products, business process reforms and other capabilities can holistically be employed in a synergistic manner to enhance checkpoints two to three times the capability over the next three to five year period. this could significantly enhance security operations, boost effectiveness, efficiency, and substantially improve customer express at checkpoints. finally s&t appreciates the opportunity to work with tsa, the gao industry on questions rent the behavioral detection
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program, and more broadly improving performance of existing and emerging operational screening programs. i thank you again for this opportunity to be before you today and for allowing me to present oral remarks. >> thank you. mr. stephen lord is mentioned rector of the forensic audits and investigative service team at the government accountability office. in his capacity overseas high quality forensic audits, investigations of fraud, waste, and abuse. we are pleased to have you before the full committee again mr. lord. picture that recognizes you to testify. >> thank you, chairman hudson, ranking member richmond as well as ranking member thompson. i'm really happy to be here today to discuss the fight of our new report just released yesterday on tsa's behavior detection programs. recent events at lax provide unfortunate reminder of the important role that tsa place in providing secured at airports, and i would first like to preface my comments by noting
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that i do agree with mr. pistole into important areas. it's important that tsa adopt a risk based approach to ensure resources are focused in the area of the highest need and also focusing on screening for potential bad actors and moving away from screening for prohibited items and objects, or ensuring sufficient resources are devoted to the. the question i'm hoping today's hearing to answer, what's the best way to do that? tsa has been $900 million on the so-called spot program since 2007. today i would like to highlight two important issues from a recent report. first, research supporting the use of behavior indicator to identify threat, and secondly whether tsa has the data necessary to really assess effectiveness of its program. the first key point is the research completed today, both
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public and nonpublic, does not include a show whether behavior indicators can be used to reliably identify threats to aviation security. that is, to identify deception or malintentioned hundreds of studies we reviewed completed over the last six years showed an ability in humans to identify deception based on behavior, the same are roughly, essentially the same as -- slightly greater than chance, 54%. moreover, dhs is 2011 validation study of the program, while we viewed as a very important initial step, as several design limitations. therefore, you have to be very cautious about using any of the findings. in fact, the study itself made 13 additional recommendations to ensure reliability and the liturgy moving forward. also, the study relied on a database that we found on our point work was unreliable for
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conducting a statistical analysis of association between behavior and desired outcomes. one key weakness was the database allowed, only allowed bdos to enter a certain number of behaviors, even though as you probably know every detection officers are trained to identify 94 separate indicators. in addition when we visited airports we interviewed the behavior detection officers and they wholeheartedly agreed some of these indicators are subjective and difficult to interpret. this is quite evident in the data we reviewed. for example, we found the passenger referral rate, that's the right passengers are pulled out of line for subsequent screenings, range from zero to 26 passenger referrals per month for the average behavior detection officers. and the average rate on overall basis was 1.6 referrals a month. so anyway we saw this variation, it would raise questions in our minds about the usefulness of
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these indicators and whether the officers can consistently interpret them. we also found that tsa has limited information to buy what they practice program. the good news is they are taking major steps as they to help them craft better performance measures. the good news is they plan to develop a 40 metrics, 40 performance metrics with in three broad categories. i think this will help them gain valuable insight in the program, ma and a special underperformance of individual edo's and also ensure you are more consistently applying these techniques across passengers. the bad news is of course they wanted three more years to do this. this is something we discussed in more detail in our report. in closing it does not appear the behavioral indicators can be reliably used to identify individuals who might pose a threat to aviation. that continues to concern us.
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also tsa is still in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of the program, i think it's important to know they first started deploying this in 2007. and typically you validate a concept first, then deploy. cshos, which free to choose, strategy which i deem high risk, they deployed at the same time they were validating. and this is one of the reasons for recommending that tsa limit future funding to the program so they can develop additional empirical evidence that these indicators can use in a reliable manner. and i'm no tsa believer strongly in the program. we interviewed people at all levels of the agency. been working hard to make it work. they have faith it works. they have hope it works, but begin from a gao standpoint the program should be based on sound empirical evidence and not hope and faith alone. mr. chairman, this concludes my remarks but i look forward to any questions you have. thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. lord. finally, mr. charles edwards is the deputy inspector general of the department of homeland security. mr. edwards has over 20 years of expense and the federal government, has the leadership positions. the chair recognizes mr. edwards now to testify. >> good morning, chairman hudson, ranking member richmond, ranking member thompson and distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me to testify today. i would like to take a moment to express my condolences on the tragic shooting incident at los angeles international airport and the death of tsa officer gerardo hernandez was killed, and other tsa officials were wounded, one of whom is a behavior detection officer. since 2007, tsa has spent an estimated $878 million on its screening of passengers by observation techniques program, commonly called s.p.o.t. as of fiscal year 2012, the
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program is operating in 176 airports, and employed more than 2800 behavior detection officers. however, tsa has not been limited a strategic plan to assess or inshore the program's success. mike castle today what does the need for improvement in two areas. first, management of the effectiveness of the s.p.o.t. program, and second, the training program for bdos. we reported in may of this your tsa is unable to accurately assess or evaluate the progress of s.p.o.t. program because it does not have a finalized strategic plan that identifies the mission, goals and objectives needed to develop a system of performance measures. the program standard operating procedures indicate that its purpose is to identify high-risk individuals who may pose a threat to transportation security. that tsa has not developed performance measures for the program.
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instead program staff collects activity output data such as the number of passengers, but the data do not provide a measure of programs effectiveness. for example, tsa document identification of prohibited items, and declared currency and illegal aliens, but the s.p.o.t. program has not defined how these outputs support achieving the s.p.o.t. program goals. to identify potential high risk individuals who are engaged in some form of deception and fear of discovery. additionally, our testing showed data collected was not always complete or accurate. although acknowledging that observation skills are perishable, tsa did not start
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providing the training for currently certified bdos intel may 2011, five years after the start of the program. of the 88 because we contacted during our audit, 65 or about 74%, had not yet received the training. bdos have not received recent refresher training may be operating at varying levels of sufficiency. furthermore, tsa does not have a program to provide training to ensure these instructors continue to have the knowledge, skills and the bill is to instruct bdo classes. in response to our report and recommendation, tso officials have taken numerous steps to addressing these issues. for example, officials have provided verification that competence of measures have been implemented to ensure completeness, accuracy, authorization and ability of data collected to we have
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develop and implement a plan to provide training for bdo instructors and refresher training for the bdo workforce. lastly tsa officials have completed the bdo communication plans which contains a number of workforce engagement tools designed to help the program office aid selection, allocation and performance of bdo's. in closing without implantation of the s.p.o.t. strategic plan that contains appropriate performance measures, tsa cannot evaluate the performance of the program to ensure that passengers at a u.s. airport are screened and objective manner or assure that the program that the program is cost effective, or reason to justify the program's expansion. mr. chairman, this concludes my prepared statements and i welcome any questions that you are the members may have. thank you. >> thank you. we appreciate you all being here. i not recognize myself for five minutes to ask questions.
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administrator pistole, when we spoke after the shooting i was extremely pleased to learn that tsa personnel at lax had recently trained for an active shooter situation, and i think we agree that training will certainly help, held that response to the after shooting situation, that probably lead to saving life. they knew exactly what to do, and certainly saved lives as result of however as chairman mccaul indicated we've also heard that the condition between police and tsa, when shots were fired may have broken down, could've been done better. you agree is one of the areas you need to reduce the? yes. >> thank you. during the time of the shooting at lax, were there any bdos employed in terminal three when the shooting took place? if so, you know if they witnessed behavior of the
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shooter before the incident took place? >> there were bdos deployed in terminal three. the area that the shooting took place was on a lower level for the actual checkpoint, and so the initial officer, officer hernandez, that the shooter encountered, that was his just seconds after the shooter entered the terminal after being dropped off at curbside so there were no bdos down at that level. the bdos were stationed, in fact tony grigsby who was injured was one of those upper helping passengers after the shooting took place. >> could you explain for us the protocol that bdos follow whenever for a person to local law enforcement, how that -- >> sure. is not an isolated incident and if one bdo makes an observation, they confer with her partner to see if that is accurate, if that's what they observe. and then if they confer on that, then depending on what the suspicious behavior is, they may
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engage the passengers themselves, most likely would be the first to respond, and to get a sense of that person's, just as they are inhibiting. if it warrants a law enforcement response because of something that goes beyond the norm, particularly if they have referred to that person to secondary screening at the is an issue there, which is often, sometimes the case, that's what law enforcement officers are called in to help resolve the situation. >> are they able to contact the local enforcement through radiocommunication? how does that communication take place? >> it depends on which airport and what the communication apparatus is there. they have radios, people at checkpoints have radios that they can call into a command post, which is coordination center, depending on where you are. that is staffed either by tsa
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employees and/or the airport police if they are on site. so it depends on which airport. so they can make that request now, a number of airports do have airport police on site at a podium at the checkpoint. so again, it depends on which airport, will be the normal response protocol. >> and is the local law enforcement required to respond? if so, how quickly as local law enforcement required to just be present, to respond to that referral? >> generally law enforcement governors about 330 at the airport that there is a law enforcement reimbursement where we help pay for the cost of those police officers to be present. in those airports under the aviation security's program that tsa has with the airport, there is an agreed upon response time which is typically five minutes. but now for example, in some of the smaller airports in rural areas where there is no dedicated presence, it maybe 15
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or even 20 minutes because it's a sheer's deputy who was not actually stationed there. so again it varies by airport but typically five minutes and is done by agreement between the airport police are those first responders and tsa. >> do you think this response time is sufficient? >> again, that was designed, it would be the idea that you may find somebody would not causing intent to harm innocent of somebody has a gun or something else, prohibited item. so given the shooting we are evaluating that, and clearly, even though los angeles airport police responded and neutralized the target within four minutes from the first call, that obviously, if they should have intent to cause much greater harm, there are dozens of passengers that he could have shot that he just walked right past her to watch videotape of all this taking place in literally people right at his feet and he goes back to shoot
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officer hernandez the second time. there are literally passengers laying on the floor right by him. so clearly five minutes was too long in this case and that's something we're looking at as part of our review. >> i appreciate that. my time has expired. but you're not recognize the ranking minority members, the gentlemen from louisiana, mr. richmond for any questions you may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me just start with mr. lord and mr. edwards. in your report, and i don't remember the numbers, i hope you can give it to me, how many bdos did you find it never made referral to police? >> i don't have a specific number the tip of my fingers, but it was, it was more than 20 as i recall. perhaps 25. >> i think i'm being told some around the number of 70-76, somewhere around there.
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how do you critique or judge someone objectively when all other thing you would judge them by our in their own head? how do you -- i don't understand how we even monitor the program to judge its effectiveness? >> that's a difficult proposition, obviously. that's one of the reasons they work in pairs. they like to confer and make sure they're both in the same thing, but some of the indicators they are honing in on, it's quite frankly subjected. so it's difficult to measure whether they are consistently honing in on the same behavioral indicators. in fact, that's what you see the great variation across bdos. we saw an average of zero-26 referrals per month on average across different screeners. >> mr. tester, first of all, thank you for your service. let me ask you, did any of the
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referrals by our officers result in arrest that indicated a terrorist plot or something of that nature? >> not to my knowledge. they were for other criminal offenses, whether it's an outstanding work, drug trafficking, money trafficking, being in the country illegally, things like that. but to my knowledge, there's not been a single attempted terrorist to interviews airport, aircraft since 9/11. >> any human trafficking? >> yes. there was an incident, for example, last year in miami where they were two men with a young woman, and the bdo observed their situation and interceded, which resulted in the arrest of those two individuals, and whether wretched that woman from human trafficking or what, released at that time.
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>> let me ask you another question but before ask the question i want to say, and thank you for your leadership. and when i talk about leadership, it's sometimes the hard part of leadership is when you go down and then you realize it's not working, that it may not have been the best decision to reverse it. that's the hard part of leadership. so thank you for your decision with all of that. my question would be, can you find a place within your agency to better spend 200 plus million dollars a year than on this spot program? >> thanks for that question. i've given a lot of thought. given the concerns that's been raised, both by gao and the ig, and look at rbs. we are achieving efficiency. we are a small agency that we were a year ago and i believe that with continued to attrition. now that we are linked off but
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my concern with those efficiencies is that if we move one full layer of security, that being the videos, again least invasive and looking for intent rather than items, then that gives us an exposure to essentially tears that we don't have. the risk reward equation is difficult as gao and ig have pointed out. given my experience in law enforcement, in national security, i know behavior protection works. and so i'm a strong advocate because i don't want to take away a layer of security that may identify the next terrorist and may decide they want to get into an airport here in the u.s. to do something bad. >> well, i would love to have at least a statement or analysis on our return on investment on the $200 million to let me just say
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this. in my final few minutes because, few seconds, because i know that we made a lot of statements about the incident at lax, and you and i talked on the phone. when we talk about response time, when you talk about what could've been done to do things differently and prevent loss of life, i think the other side, my colleagues on the other side all the time remind us that we can be everything to everybody because we don't have the money to pay for it. it's unfortunate that this happened at a checkpoint, it happened within the airport. but if we can take a moment to think, if it happened in a parking garage we wouldn't be here. if it happened curbside, we may be there. so at some point we have to thank the people that put their lives on the line, and do it knowing that they're putting their lives on the line.
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but also that we just don't have the capability and we don't have the resources to make sure that we are on every street corner, every parking garage, and everyplace else. with that in mind, thank you for the very thoughtful and methodical in where we place people and there will be lessons to be learned from this incident in communications and all those things we need to do better, but we have to look at other things besides what happens when somebody is holding a gun to prevent them from having it in the first place, or the rage to do those things. thank you for what you do. we as a society have to work more on the underlying factors because we just can't be everywhere. thank you spent thank the gentleman. chernow recognizes the ranking member of the full committee, mr. thompson for any questions you may have. >> thank you very much,
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mr. hudson. administrator pistole, can tsos at lax communicate with the los angeles police department at the airport by radio? >> yes. >> so that is -- >> yes. >> i want to at some point provide you information that says that is not the case, and i want to make sure that we are on the same wavelength with that. i'm talking radio, not telephone, not panic button, but radio spent yes, and that may go through the coordination center or tsa with the police as opposed to, if your time is there an officer or around the corner that they would have direct contact to, maybe we can
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clarify that spent i think the question is, if an incident occurs, who understand -- due tsos have a radio at checkpoints? >> the manager, yes. >> supervisor or manager on duty? >> yes. >> did that supervisor or manager call on the radio? >> no. the supervisor picked up a dedicated line, literally a red phone to call in, and as they're getting ready to speak, in watching the video, she drops the phone and runs because the shooter is coming up the escalator, having just fired additional rounds. and so she did not -- >> so the radio was not communicated, all right. dr. gerstein, this validation report you referenced, are you comfortable with the results of
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that contract for validation? >> yes, sir. we have looked at the validation study. we believe that the findings are nine times greater, the detection over random is important. when i say nine times, people forget that means 900% better. that's an important statistic. >> so you stand by the validation report? >> the s.p.o.t. validation, indeed, yes. >> mr. lord, what's your analysis of? >> unfortunately, i will have to respectfully disagree with mr. gerstein. in fact, i think it's important to look at the report itself. it was couched as an initial first down, and they made recommendations going for to improve the living reliability. the technical advisory committee report that was associate with it raised some similar concerns. so again, it was useful.
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it provided some insights on the program but we don't think it should be used to establish the effectiveness of the program. i could be one little example. the indicators can't even though we had concerns about the reliability of the data, we replicated the results and we did find some positive association between behaviors and high-risk individuals. s-vhs did. but we also found some negative associations. that means the bdos potential in honing in on some behavior more, associate with low risk passengers. in fact, 20 indicators. so we are concerned that that wasn't included in the report. so it appeared they perhaps are highlight the positives and not accentuating the negatives. >> so in essence as you say, you disagree with this report? >> yeah, i don't think it can be used to conclude its nine times more effective than random. >> mr. edwards, can you speak
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about him how training and evaluation of bdos is important? and i had a concern that we have a number of people who are bdos who never made a single referral. and i would assume they are considered successful employees. can you explain how people who don't do referrals or anything for the committee? >> well, thank you, sir. tsa has to take a number of steps, including collecting reliable data them but regarding training, five years after the program came into existence they started refresher training. out of the folks that we've interviewed, you know, out of the 88 people that we interviewed a number of them, out of 713 out of the 2800 bdos were ready for the
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refresher training in two years, and the other problem is this refresher training is held in a classroom and the bdos are not able to practice that what they are learning in class. and tell the comeback to the home airport. and not having this consistent refresher training across the board, not everybody is referring with the need to refer because the varying levels of turning that one has gotten or not gotten. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chair. >> thank you mr. thompson. the chairman will not recognize other members of the need for question they wish to ask the witness. i plan to wreck the the members were present at the start of veering by seniority. those coming in late will be recognized in the order of arrival. at this time the chair will recognize the gentlemen from indiana, ms. brooks, for any questions you may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing in such a time -- on what i want to speak you administrator pistole and offer
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my condolences to your officer and to those who were injured, and to the entire workforce. and applaud the fact that you reminded us that since 9/11 we have not had an incident, a terrorist incident at an airport or on any of our aircraft in large part, not that there haven't been a tense occasion on aircraft, but that tsa has been doing what it was founded to do. i was u.s. attorney at the time tsa was started, and want to talk to you and a couple of other panelists about behavior, the behavior detection, which is part of law enforcement, whether you're a local enforcement officer or whether you are, which is what tsa is really all about, is it not, abou that behr detection, whether they're coming through checkpoints, whether they are informing airport, airport police
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officers, and with the fbi background prior to tsa, can you talk a bit more about behavior detection and its importance, not only for bdos but also what are the tsa officers and the supervisors, you know, if we were, if, i believe it's hard to study because i believe it is something that, but it is the heart of what these officers are trained to do. you know, i'm interested in hearing more about the importance of behavior detection, how you were training on it as has been discussed, but yet how officers learn over time, and based on the time that they are there, can you just talk about behavior detection specifically in law enforcement, but in the tsa, not specifically law enforcement? >> thank you, congresswoman brooks and thank you for your kind words. sure, some of this is frankly
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commonsense that is just human nature, what people do every day in accessing others that they come in contact with. is that other person demonstrating stress, fear, or deception in some way? it's just human nature, and, of course, with a law-enforcement that got a lot of this discussion is difficult to quantify to say what does your gut tell you about that person talking to or that you are observing, and i could give a number of examples from fbi days. but it becomes a survival skill, particularly for front-line police officers who are engaging people. and so what we in tsa has done, is taken that basic training, look at what the israelis did, continue to do in terms of their assessment of people through behavior detection officers and say how can we provide that an airport environment and then train, again within the budget
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everything to say, here's what we will do to equip our officers on the front line for making that noninvasive, non-intrusive and assessment that can either help identify someone who may be high risk such as the human traffickers, not that they are terrorists, but what we are doing under risk-based security is also making the other side of the equation, identifying low-risk individuals. 80,000 passengers on monday alone went through expedited training. that's because behavior detection officers did not detect suspicious behavior. so how do you quantify that? which return on investment? if you ask those 80,000 people they would say i appreciate those bdos making a judgment about me that i got through expedited screening. basically project. that's one of the things, and the gao didn't have a chance to address that because that's an evolution of rbs, just a different manifestation. but it really is one of the key
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enablers for us as we transition from one to risk-based intelligence driven and how can we employ all the tools. so the concern is, if you think of a web or something, why would we take one of those layers of security off that would allow possible terrorists to go through if they have either an underwear bomber or, you, there's been in the past -- technology probably won't pick up. so we rely on our bdo to make assessments about people who may manifest those suspicious behavior sticks of that's all part of the background. >> thank you very much. very briefly, dr. gerstein, its latest in the customs and border also utilized, is that s. and t. involved in assisting those agencies with developing their behavior detection tools and techniques? >> we have a number of ongoing initiatives with both -- primary
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customs and border but none of them to my knowledge are directly related for analysis or operations. but we go where we are asked by our partners, and so if that's an area that they want to get into we certainly would assist with the. >> at this time the chair will recognize that gently from texas, ms. jackson lee. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman to let me thank the chairman and the ranking member for holding this hearing it and as i indicated previously, publicly, again my deepest sympathy to mr. hernandez family and the entire community, and to thank the law enforcement community of that area for the most passionate and dignified tribute to him.
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it was enormously heartwarming to see the law enforcement community, oath at the airport and surrounding area, come together and technology the service of mr. hernandez as a law-enforcement officer. which again i join with my ranking member, mr. thompson, to acknowledge that i hope it concludes for ever any comment that tsos are not first responders or dat two with the security of this nation and put the ideas of privatization as a substitute for professional federal workforce. so let me thank you again for that. ..
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>> with respect to the perimeter security which i think has been put off on airports. i think it's a question of no one knowing who's responsible for it. one of the issues i think is important to the chairman is the idea, the concept of reimbursement for added security in the perimeter area. as a frequent traveler, i view the perimeter area in meeting the external and ticketing areas leading up to the secured area where our tsos are. my question to you is what proposition could you put before with respect to funding on
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reimbursement to local law enforcement for enhanced security that many of the tso tos -- all of them that you've had a chance to speak to -- have suggested that should occur? >> thank you. the first, congresswoman, for your gestures of con doll lens and for your call. appreciate that and pass that on, obviously, to mrs.-- officer hernandez's wife. what you addressed is one of the things that this working group that we established internally and then in discussing with the aviation security advisory council and the broader community what would those costs look like? i don't have that for you right now, but that's something we're looking at. if we, for example, reduce the response time from five minutes to three minutes, how much would that cost and how much should be borne by the federal government in terms of we call it the reimbursement agreements and how
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much would be borne by the local airports? and, of course, budgets are tight everywhere, so the question is how do we best buy down risk, and part of that discussion that we had last week was how do we ramp up the unpredictable, random patrols by armed officers at and through checkpoints that may now be doing other things? so there's a number of things that i'll have to get back with you on that. >> let me make a formal request that the reimbursement structure be put in place. it is no doubt that the quicker response of armed law enforcement is part of the solution. certainly, the solution is not armed tso officers in the very small areas that they have to deal with innocent traveling passengers. let me quickly ask gao, did you detect any racial profiling in the be work of the bdo, and are you not suggesting that the 12 points that they're finishing
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would improve it? are you suggesting that there should be other improvements, and are you also suggesting that the program should be slimmed down? i think mr. pistole makes a point on layering, but i would be appalled and in great opposition if there was racial profiling. and i think one of the issues of the bdo is that the overall impact is not immediately detectable because it is sort of a floating, floating issue, if you will, of whether or not there's safety. so could you answer that and then say the enhanced training, would that have an improvement? and i would be willing to look at enhanced training, slimming down the program to get where gao thinks it needs to be to be able to have it as a complimentary layering of security at airports. >> chair's happy to let mr. ford answer that even though the gentlelady's time has expired. >> i thank the chair for his
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generosity. >> in terms of our racial profiling, of course, you're aware the ig did a separate study of the allegations involving boston logan, and found in their study there was no evidence of racial profile, and i believe they interviewed all the behavior detection officers on site. although they did note, which is one interesting thing, they did note some cases there was what they termed appearance profiling. so i'm not sure to what extent that overlaps with racial profiling or how they define that, but that was one notable finding perhaps mr. edwards can respond to. in terms of limiting funding and our recommendation, we, obviously, as i said in my opening remarks, i believe there is value in focusing resources on screening for potential bad actors also the airport through behavioral detection techniques. the question is how do you go about it, and i think as part of our review of spot, we believe it's a very complicated scoring
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process. we believe it could be streamlined, simplified, perhaps focused more on passengers deemed high risk. i mean, some passengers come to the airport, they're already preselected for secondary screening, and tsa is developing on this new risk methodology to supplement that. so perhaps that may be a way to do it rather than trying to do it on this mass standoff surveillance basis which is very difficult, because as our report notes, each passenger on average is screened for 30 seconds or less. so that's really difficult to do that to every single person coming in the airport without interacting with them. we think there's a way to make it more interactive, more risk based, more simplified and that's, essentially, what we're referring to in to our report. thank you. >> thank the gentleman. thank the gentlelady for her questions. >> thank you.
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>> the chair will now recognize is the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford, for any questions he heavy. >> yes, sir. i appreciate the testimony of each of you. gordon sullivan, retired general, wrote a book a long time ago into it willed hope was not a method. and it just seems to me when i look at the fundamentals of the spot program, it seems built on that foundation. it seems to be a cart out before the horse because you do have employment before effectiveness. so the whole idea of having 3,000 folks employed in this endeavor while from a statistical standpoint the results are about 50/50 seems to be, a, not a good use of taxpayer money, but i want to zero in on what my associate, bennie thompson, was touching on a moment ago, i think there's a similar component to what's going on here that i think is a real challenge. and i tell my boys all the time, guys, have the wisdom to know
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what you don't though. and mr. richmond was touching on this notion of how do you get inside somebody's head just a moment ago. i think it's a very difficult place to be. so you have a system set up wherein as i read here in the notes you can look for behaviors that indicate stress, fear or deception. but i would ask you, mr. pistole, you know, if you were a young kid that maybe got off the track at an earlier age, you served some time but you paid your price to society but you do have a criminal record, if a law enforcement fellow was standing before you asking you questions, do you believe you would exhibit stress or fear? >> it all depends on the individual. yeah, sure, potentially. >> okay. what if you were a staunch right-wing conspirator with very strong anti-government leanings, you'd posted some things that probably weren't the best to post on the internet, but you
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had the security of the internet be, now you have law enforcement asking you probing questions. would you exhibit stress or fear? >> again, depends on the individual, but sure. >> if you're an immigrant who came here illegally, would you -- >> all situational again. >> say you're, you know, a wife whose husband is beating her, and you're just trying to get on an airplane to get the heck out of town, would you exhibit stress or fear? >> again, situational. >> which i think raises the question which the gao report has brought and with which mr. lord testifies which is, again, entirely situational, but the difference with a front line officer who's there on the street, you pull up to a car, you don't know what they've got in the car, you don't though who they are. you have nothing that influenced you as an officer, and you better be queuing in on
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nonverbal cues. you send tear equipment through -- their equipment through radar detection, i think from a civil liberties standpoint, given those tests that have been made with regard to, you know, who this person is, do you in addition have to go through a screening process based on somebody's interpretation of what they think might be inside your brainsome. >> i mean, you raise good points, congressman. let me address a couple things. i would have loved to have add behavior protection officers on christmas day 2009 to see 40 abdulmutallab would have appeared, we don't have that on -- >> but what if he'd been a cool customer -- >> that's what i'm saying. >> you wouldn't know. >> and that's -- but that gives us another opportunity. so there's no perfect science, there's no perfect art of this. >> well, i would, i mean, to your point, how many underwear bombs have been detected with these 3,000 officers?
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>> zero, because i believe they have served what we have done in the tsa and u.s., has served as a deterrent. i know we have a classified briefing next week where we can talk in more detail -- >> we've got to look at cost effectiveness. >> how many surgically implanted bombs have you found? >> so if we look at that in the context of this has been over seven years and we have screened by observation over four billion passengers, it actually comes out to less than 50 cents in some instances, 25 cents per passenger is the cost for bdos to observe. so you're right, we can -- >> or you could say a billion dollars with no results. >> well, i would say there's a result from the standpoint of deterrence. >> i see my time's coming to an end, and i think we could argue that point, but i think that there is a bigger civil liberty point which is whether there has or hasn't been deterrence, gao raises questions on.
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they say it's flip of a coin. but on the opposite side of the equation in addition to possible redeployment of those 3,000 folks and the taxpayer costs associated with that, there's a big civil liberty question of to get on an airplane does it require more than, in essence, undressing and have all your equipment checked but now a second level of screening based on somebody's -- >> gentleman's time has expired if you want to briefly respond. >> yeah. thank you, chairman. so there's only a very small percentage of people that are referred for additional screening by bddo. all those things are designed to address those concerns about the invasiveness ask intruceness of the one size fits all approach. the idea is how can we work collaboratively to have multiple
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layers of security without ever profiling? so the notion about profiling i agree strongly with the ranking member that we will not tolerate in tsa if we find any person, any employee who is profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, we'll take appropriate action. >> i've run out of time. but i think mr. lords raised the question of the type of profiling that does occur. a guy in a business suit is not going to be -- >> unfortunately, i need to cut this off. we will do a second round of question, but like to move on to other members. like to recognize the gentleman from nevada, mr. horsford, for any questions he may have. >> thank you very much to the ranking member of the full committee, mr. thompson, for allowing me to participate in this hearing today. thank you to the panelists. i just want to associate myself with the comments of the ranking members and the other panelists who have talked about the need to both protect our national
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security while preserving americans' right to privacy and our civil liberties. and to underscore the statements by the prior representative who asked, you know, what's the return on investment for a billion or dollars and to somehow suggest from the gao report that that there is not profiling, i think, deserves some more analysis. and review. administrator pistole, i also want to extend my personal condolences to the tsa officer, mr. hernandez, and to his family for giving his life in the protection of the american public. the tsa forms the front line of our nation's aviation security, and tear work is not only -- their work is not only critical,
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but also appreciated. and i think in light of the recent tragic events at the los angeles airport, airport security is once again in the fore. and based on the review that we've received and that your agency conducted, it's my understanding that the shooter entered through the exit lane. of that airport. and so i'm concerned that the actions and policies adopted by the tsa may have some unintended consequences, particularly because they are being made without the input of stakeholders who may have particular expertise on the topic. i recently offered an amendment to ranking member thompson's bill, the aviation security stakeholder participation act, which will form the aviation security advisory committee, and my amendment added the issue of exit lane security to the scope of the advisory committee's responsibilities. and this was done prior to the
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tragic events at the las vegas -- los angeles airport, excuse me. so, administrator pistole, isn't it true that your plan to transfer responsibility of exit lanes from the tsa to local airport authorities has been met with near universal resistance from local airports? >> first, congressman, thank you for your kind words earlier. so the context for the exit lanes are that airports currently in the u.s. provide exit lane staffing in two-thirds of all the airports in the u.s. where tsa has a presence. so we're only talking about one-third of the airports. there's 155 approximately of airports that tsa provides some type of staffing. we will still do the staffing as it relates to screening of law enforcement officers, known crew members, pilots, flight attendants and things like that. we will still do that crooning function. the issue with the exit lanes is
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on access control. >> right. >> which access control is, the exit lane is one of dozens of access control points around the airport that tsa does not provide any -- that's an airport function. so in shifting this responsibility, i understand the concerns that airports have expressed because of the costs associated with this, the bottom line for us in a time of reduced budgets for tsa, we have to find cost savings to focus under risk-based security approach on the security screening functions as opposed to access control. >> and i respect that. however, it can't be done in a vacuum. >> agreed. >> and you've got to do it with the input of your stakeholders and with congress which signed legislation putting this responsibility under the tsa. we haven't changed that from a policy standpoint, and so to have the tsa take this up without direction from congress
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i also think pay be inappropriate from a regulatory standpoint. one of the other issues that i have is with the tsa procurement procedures for both vendors and airports because they assume tremendous risk when they begin the process of adopting think technologies. new technologies. the airport closest to my district, mccarron, recently won approval from tsa for a technology solution to the problem of exit lane monitoring for which i'm, you know, very excited. but my question is, how does tsa expect airports to take the risk of designing, purchasing and installing these technologies within the time frames presented and without tsa preapproval of that technology? >> gentleman's time has expired, but i will allow the administrator to respond, if he'd like. >> thank you, chairman. so we're not dictating to the airport how they do the exit lane security. if they want to staff somebody
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be, put a person there as tsa has, that's fine. we just ask the airport authorities to work with the local federal security director to have some acceptable solution. if it's a technology solution, that's great. we just ask that we be given insight into what that is, and then we review and presumably approve if it meets standards, but we're not in the business of dictating, saying this is what you'll do. we're just saying we are out of that business -- >> i just clarify, can you approve a preapproved, quaffed vendor -- qualified vendor list so that once they are selected, they know the project can go through fruition? >> we have not taken that approach for various reasons. >> and we will do a second round if the committee so chooses or so desires. now recognize the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell, for any questions he may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome to our witnesses.
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and administrator pistole, i first want to thank you for engaging with me and members on this committee during the knives on planes discussion. i really appreciate you working with the asac on that and continuing to engage with me, and i appreciate the policy revisions that were made. i also want to express to you, administrator, how sorry, deeply sorry i am about the shooting at lax. i want to pass along my condolences to the family of officer hernandez. i am the son of a police officer and the brother of a -- i'm the son of a retired police officer and the brother of a police officer who serves today, and i want to wish well the transportation security officers who were shot, james spear and tony grigsby as well as passenger brian lud,mer. as far as federal workers, tsos in the federal work
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force, the transportation security officers, they are some of the newest employees we have in our federal agencies. you know, they've been around now since right after september 11th, but i think it's easy to forget that they are relatively new compared to how many federal employees we have. and they're still learning their job and growing in their job, and we shouldn't take that for granted. and they are among the last lines of defense between a person who wishes to do harm and passengers and crew on an airplane. in ways, as mr. hernandez and the ohs who were shot, they are heroes, but too often unsung. unfortunately, i think too many people -- and i have seen this in this congress -- continually attack and denigrate the work at the tsa. recently in 2012, the republican national committee's platform called for federalizing or
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defederallizing the tsa and privatetizing the tsa, and i think we all need to take a step back in our comments about the tsa and just attacks in general on the federal work force. these folks are doing a public service. they're doing it oftentimes as much less money than they would receive in the private sector and, again, they are the last line of defense. and i don't think our comments are well served. i think they can create a culture of hate toward people who are working in very stressful environments dealing with the passengers, myself included, who are not always on our best behavior as we are rushed trying to make our planes. it's a very difficult job, and i hope we can all just be mindful of that job. in light of that, administrator, i do want to talk about ranking member thompson had some concerns with his questioning about radio communication capability between t,sos and
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law enforcement personnel, particularly armed law enforcement who are at the airport. so my question to clarify, at lax and most of the airports across the country is there radio communicationing that can take place -- communication that can take place between a tso and law enforcement percent knell, or is it only -- personnel, or is it only phone communication? >> yes. and thank you for your kind comments, congressman. it depends airport by airport, so out of the 450 airports, i don't have the figures here in front of me which i will get, most of the communication would be with between the tsa employees and a coordination center which may be joint lu staffed depending on which airport, but there's a coordination center. i'm not aware of ones where it is a direct link into a radio contact into the police, but i'm sure there's some, i'm just not aware of those offhand. >> do you think that could have helped with what happened at lax
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and for future scenarios that you could envision or training you've gone through? would it be better if we had a radio system where police and tsos are on the same channel? >> well, i think that's clearly one of the things we're looking at as part of our review. but, for example, if you're at lax and you call 911, that doesn't go to -- >>chp, right? >> yeah. that goes elsewhere. you have to dial 7. so there's some quickers in there that go beyond -- quackers that go beyond tsa -- quirks that go beyond tsa. it really does come down to airport by airport. >> okay, thank you. and as far as behavioral or behavior detection, what have you learned from what happened at lax, and, you know, the behavior detection officers? is there anything that they could have detected? and i know you're still investigating, but, you know, clearly this was a situation that happened and unfolded
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rapidly, and a behavior detection officer was one of the officers that was shot. is this something that you believe under prime circumstances the behavior detection team could have detected this person earlier? >> the gentleman's time has expired, but i'll allow the witness -- >> thank you, chairman. again, possibly given the configuration at lax with the document checker on the lower level and then escalators up to where the checkpoint be is, there were actually just two tsa employees there, and so there were no bdos that would observe. but the shooter, again, from the time he was dropped off at the curb to the time he walked literally -- i watched this on tuesday -- walked a few steps and then took out his assault rifle and opened fire be, i mean, it's just a matter of seconds. it's possible that a bdo officer would have seen something. you actually see on the video an airport employee pointing at the
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gunman. you don't see the gunman in the video, but you see a person pointing and then the shots are fired. so somebody could have and somebody did, but given that configuration, there were no bdos present at that actual point. >> i yield back my time. thank you, chairman. >> at this point the chair will recognize mr. payne for any questions he may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i, first, would like to acknowledge our condolences to your organization for its loss and just want to bring light to a few things that i'm sure being last i'm probably going to ask somethg that's already been asked, but i teal it's important -- but be i feel it's important. you know, the gao report
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released yesterday sacrifices an incident where bdo manager and few work liberty international -- newark liberty international airport which is hi home airport gave inappropriate direction regarding profiling of passengers and made racial comments. it's my understanding that that bdo has been fired. it's also been with brought to my attention that the bd os have been promoted based on the number of referrals they've made which have encouraged bdos to racially profile to increase their referral rate. so what degree of confidence do you have that other bdo managers are encouraging or directing racial profiling through the spot program? >> thank you, congressman payne. so our clear instruction and one of the lessons learned from these multiple reviews that have been done is we could have done a better job in terms of training and retraining and
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insuring that this is no notion of profiling taking place. in fact, as part of our retraining that we've done since these reports have been done is to require every bdo to take a pledge against profiling which i have and share with the subcommittee to insure and every bdo other than those out on extended leave or something have taken that pledge to insure that they understand that profiling has absolutely no place in a bdo's work. it's not good law enforcement, it's not good security work from our perspective, and it's unconstitutional. so anybody who's found to be profiling will be investigated and dealt with appropriately. so we put that message out very clearly. i can talk about the newark situation in detail if you'd like, but that being said, anytime there's an allegation -- in fact, that's what happened this many boss to on the last year. the -- in boston last year. the allegations came into us, i
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take them very seriously, so i asked the inspector general to conduct the investigation be rather than tsa because this was national news in the "new york times." so they conducted the review and, obviously, you heard from mr. edwards in terms of their findings there was mom discrimination that was found or profiling, so we take it very seriously. and i though from my background that that's just unacceptable, so anybody violation of somebody's civil rights or civil liberties is a significant, significant issue for us and just undermines the entire program, so that's why we don't tolerate it. >> i hope, you know, it's not a culture that has been created. because let me say i don't know if it's the right word, but i'm sensitive to this issue. being from a state where my uncle is the author of the racial profiling bill in new jersey, we've had many instances where this problem is just out of proportion. so to see this here, it hearkens
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back to issues that we've been dealing with in new jersey and now in this at newark airport is troubling. and, you know, to mr. horsford's point, you know, that there needs to maybe be more analysis of whether or not this is going on the, what steps has tsa taken to begin collecting racial information on passengers in order to be able to measure quantitatively whether racial profiling has occurred? >> yeah, that's been a challenging issue for us because we in collecting the information does it then promote either the actual or the appearance of profiling? so we've been with doing a tease be about study to assess that. of course, when an individual is referred to law enforcement, they collect that data, but that's not necessarily passed back to us. so that's part of our challenge, is it the appearance of somebody and, of course, that's an
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imperfect art of defining somebody. so those are some of the challenges we are working through. but i'm sensitive to the point you're making. >> yeah. and, you know, you know, the point of bdos being promoted based on a number of referrals -- >> yes. >> i, growing up, i went to school in a town that had somebody who worked for the board of education who would go to homes to make sure people actually leved there. and what i found out years later is every person he could prove didn't live there, he was paid. so these referrals kind of hearken to that type of thing. so i'm very concerned about that. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> chairman, may i respond? >> sure. >> from the standpoint of i think there was a perception among some wdo tos and i
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believe -- been dos and i believe the inspector general found this in boston that bdos may be promoted more readily if they made a higher number of referrals. that was not the case, but there was a perception. we've gone bang to retrain and -- back to retrain and clarify. >> thank you for that answer. at this point we'll start a second round. i've just got one question. i don't plan to take my entire five minutes, and maybe we can get through this round pretty quickly, but i appreciate the indulgence of the witnesses here. my question is for both mr. gerstein and mr. lord. in your testimony you said there were several foreign countries who have implemented this type of behavioral detection programs. in fact, i visited ben-gurion airport myself and have seen firsthand how they implement that program. so my question to both of you or anyone who wants to respond, is
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there a body of scientific studies that support the effectiveness of some of these foreign programs? and if so, how can this information be better leveraged and used as we examine what we do here? >> well, i guess i can start. you typically hear the israelis operate a similar system. yeah, i think it's rely important to note that there's as many dissimilarities as similarities in their system. first, you are allowed to racially profile under their system as mr. pistole explained. that's prohibited under our system. and also their system is much smaller in scale. you know, one major international hub. a number of aircraft is -- the number of aircraft is less than 100 in their national fleet, and they essentially will take the time and interview every single passenger getting on an aircraft. we can't do it under our system with 1.8 million passengers a day. the entire system would come screeching to a halt. so i think you have to be really
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careful about drawing parallel with the israelis. also this be our report we did cite a country report, as a country it's considered sensitive security information, but the phase one of the study found some merit in the use of behavior indicators, but they did another follow-up study, same country, same process, phase two found that there was no, you know, they changed the conclusion and concluded there was not a really effective use of their resources. so there is some other country studies out there, but i think you have to be really careful about citing them as evidence to support the use of behavior detection. >> i would agree with mr. lord with respect to us reel. i think, you know -- israel. you know, they rely on it heavily, but it's a difference in scale. it's certainly not something we would want to engage in here. on the other hand, when i went to australia, i taught their ram is very robust. we walked what i call the last 200 meters, if you will, from
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the time somebody goes through their passport and then goes through and gets their luggage and is finally checked out, and they have a very robust system. the one thing that i did not see in comparing it to ours was the same sort of checklist scoring of the indicators. but, you know, they rely on this heavily, and they think it works. i would also like to say that we have evidence that many of the indicators that we have within the tsa methodology on spot have been validated through department of defense work. for example, person-borne ieds. and so they've looked at it, and they came up in one of the studies that 24 indicators that have been identified in tsa overlap with what was in this department of defense-sponsored study. and, you know, likewise there
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was a recent workshop -- well, somewhat recent, 2011, with federal, local law enforcement, dod, private sector in which they found 33 of the indicators were overlapping. so there is work ongoing to try to better understand the questions that surround behavioral science and to try to get better at it. you know, the one thing about this program i think is really interesting though is most of what we do when we talk screening is base bed on capabilities. in other words, can i x-ray be or is there an explosion e? do i put somebody through a magnetometer or an ait machines? spot is the premiere program for trying to get at this question of behavioral issues and you identify people who are in stressful situations and, therefore, should be brought aside for secondary screening. i would add that that's a very
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low risk outcome. to be secondarily screened. thank you. >> i appreciate that. at this point i'll recognize the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell, for a second round. >> thank you, mr. chairman. administrator pistole, yesterday the committee received a letter from a behavior detection officer, actually officers at boston logan airport expressing concerns about retaliation for exposing profiling to follow up on gentleman from new jersey's question. can you assure our committee that employees who come forward and report any wrongdoing or the suspicion of wrongdoing in the behavior detection program whether it's profiling or otherwise that they would be protected against retaliation? >> >> absolutely. >> great, thank you. i yield back. >> would the gentleman yield? >> oh, i'll yield to -- if it's okay -- the gentleman from nevada. >> without objection. >> thank you.
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i'll defer to the gentlelady, i just had some additional questions, but -- >> well, i'm happy to get to the gentleman in order. the gentle lady's next, i'm happy to recognize you for five minutes. >> that's fine. >> okay, i'll recognize the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. >> i thank the gentleman from nevada for his courtesy. i wanted to pursue the line of questioning that goes to whether we keep or whether we do not keep the spot program. so let me first go to this issue, mr. lord, that you indicated this your past report -- in your past report, though i will not hold that as the final answer. you saw no racial profiling, but we've just heard of concerns from boston. but you saw the idea of attire. so i guess, mr. lord and mr. edwards, what do you mean by that, ask and how is that not --
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and how is that not effectively profiling if someone is wearing a head dress, someone is wearing braids, someone is we wearing tr hair natural, how does that not fall into the category of profiling? >> thank you, ma'am. we have looked at the investigation, and mr. pistole had asked me to look into it and we interviewed the bdos, the bdo supervisors, we also interviewed some passengers not to go on a fishing expedition, but we interviewed some passengers as well. and what we found was there was not racial to filing -- profiling, but in the interviews some of the bdos alleged patterns of appearance probe filing. >> right. so my question is you found that, what does that mean, and how do we fix that or how do we improve that? because it is certainly, i think, very much connected. >> so in general terms
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appearance profiling, you know, identifying individuals exhibiting certain types of characteristics that may be different from the general population. i can comment in a nonpublic setting and explain to you my understanding of what this appearance profiling is. i'm just uncomfortable elaborating this at this public setting. >> right. mr. lord, did you find any form of discriminatory, um, assessments being made by -- >> well, first of all, we started our review, we always coordinate with the ig. since they were looking at these racial profiling allegations in boston, we deferred to them on this issue. but as part of our work since we'd already started the work, we did interview 25 behavior detection officers across four airports, 0 of the 25 -- 20 of the 25 said they had not
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personally witnessed any racial profiling, but five of them indicated there was in their view based on personal observation some profile. and, again, that's a very small number over 3,000 behavior detection officers, and we try to substantiate it looking at the data, hallmark of how we do our work. and at the time tsa didn't have the data systems that would allow us to substantiate that. but as mr. pistole just noted, they have a pilot feasibility study underway. >> thank you so very much. mr. pistole, let me conclude with you, please. several constructive points, think, have been made at this hearing. would you go back and look at the program, this service as it may be better refined through streamlining, through looking at the at risk concept that i think you add ear to, through the -- adhere to, through the idea of -- i even like the idea because of the lax tragedy of
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expanding in the outer areas in an area surrounding the perimeter so as passengers enter, it might be an appropriate executive fix. are you willing to go back and look at this program constructively? >> yes, congresswoman. and that's part of our review. clearly, we want to make sure we are deploying bdos in the entirety as they work for us in the highest risk, most return on investment places, times and situations. so that's clearly what we're doing, and as part of the bdo program we're looking at refining the number of indicators, is it too complicated, is it confusing, how can we streamline, to your point, how can we simplify the whole process to give the greatest return on investment. >> mr. chairman, if i may just put a question on the record, let me thank you and the ranking member for this hearing. i would offer a thought based upon mr. edwards' comment and some more pointed questions i'd
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like to ask that we have a classified briefing on the bdo pursuant to or in light of lax and a lot of our concerns about the exterior meaning -- when i say the exterior, there's the perimeter of seem driving up, that's one issue, but i'm talking about the lead-up to the tsa area, the ticketing area, people walking up which is where this gentleman was. so he had to walk somewhere, and the question was, was there some officer other than law enforcement who deals with the actual activity of violence or activity, but someone. watching that area. -- but someone watching that area. again, no determinations here, no commitments here, prefer not in open setting, but i would like to have the opportunity if we could to have that discussion. >> happy to work with you on that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you very much. and, again, thank you for your service. thank the gentleman from nevada as well. >> at this point i will remember recognize the gentleman from nevada, mr. horsford, for five
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minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to ask the administrator if he could go ahead and answer the question about the tsa not being able to have a preapproved vendor list, what the challenges are to implementing the process. >> we looked at doing a qualified product list to say we would recommend or we would accept if you bought these particular pieces of technology from these manufacturers, we wee trying to be open to all vendors, all providers. so it's not like we are preselecting, say you must go with this one. so mccarron may have contact with a vendor that has one solution, lax may have contacts with another vendor with a different solution. so we tried not to be prescriptive in that regard, tried to be completely open to whatever vendors ask -- and solutions that airports would provide. so what we've done is provide a template to say here are some
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recommended solutions, and then the you work within those parameters, just make sure you coordinate that that with your l security director, these more than likely would be approved as opposed to saying here's the exact product you have to use. of. >> so i'd like to ask, if i can follow be up with you and someone from your office in that regard to make sure that that process is clear to the local airport -- >> sure. >> -- directors. thank you. >> yep. >> also, administrator, in fiscal year 2014, tsa reduced the number of airports where the spot program operates from 176 airports down to 121. a reduction of 55 airports. so the agency did this despite your own analysis that said you actually needed to increase the number of behavior detection officers. so first my question, are the airports where the pot -- the
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spot program removed less secure today because they don't have the bdos, and if not, why not? >> yeah. this goes back to, actually, the 2010 report that recommended that we assess our e do employment of -- our deployment of bdos across the risk landscape, my words. so under a risk-based security approach, what we've done is looked at those 175 is and made a judgment that our return on investment in terms of being able to see and observe the greatest number of passengers in the highest risk airports would be better suited by reducing the footprint from across the country, basically, the peanut butter approach, just spreading resources equally around the country to those higher risk and higher passenger airports. ..
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based on our budget and so that's why we have made that to coincide with the gao recommendation. >> on that issue which i raised earlier with you, your point was you guys can't afford it so you're going to shift the burden to local airports. local airports have budget constraints, too, so all i would ask is you not make these decisions in a vacuum, that you involve the local stakeholders so that they can help you inform how to best maintain security. we can't make the federal budget problems local and state problems. i was a former state senator
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before coming to congress, and so shifting the burden down isn't a solution either. so i would just ask that you continued to get their input. can i just ask one final question lacks maybe to mr. edwards or mr. lord. is there any data of those passengers who have been screened of the race, ethnicity, religious -- is any information like that captured? >> yeah, there is some, but it wasn't systemic or sufficient for us to do a good analysis. for example, when they make a referral that ultimately goes to a law enforcement officer. the law enforcement community does, in some cases, does demographic data. there is some data out there. >> that's something we need to follow up on.
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it is done more effectively in law enforcement outside of of te airport, and if we're going to continue to have these type of profiling strategies, we need to make sure that it is not disproportionately impacting, you know, based on race, ethnicity and religion. you don't know that unless you collect the data. >> to tsa's credit, they are very sensitive to that and they have a project underway to gather their data to help answer that question. >> i thank the gentleman, and i think the witnesses for their testimony. members questions today. and members of subcommittee may have some additional questions if they want is that in writing. we ask the witnesses that you do respond to these. and without objection, subcommittee stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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>> several lifetimes to tell you about today on our companion network c-span3. beginning with a hearing on the response to the typhoon in the philippines. that's at 10:30 a.m. eastern. at 330 eastern, a senate banking subcommittee examines digital currencies like bitcoin. also outgoing federal reserve chairman ben bernanke speak of the national economists club. our live coverage on c-span3 is at 7 p.m. eastern. >> in a few moments more of her coverage of the washington ideas forum hosted by the newseum, the as the institute and the atlantic. speakers included david brooks of "the new york times" and francis collins. and in little more than half hour, heart of the georgetown university forum on the future of afghan women.
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that included comments from hillary clinton and laura bush. now, david brooks. >> some going to talk about our souls, so it should be short. [laughter] i can't even see your faces. i'm going to start at an elementary school in a town where used to live in bethesda, maryland, just outside washington. if you go to an elementary school at three in the afternoon in bethesda you will see the kids coming out, the third graders with the 80-pound backpacks, the wind blows and over. they are like beatles stuck on the ground. you will see lines of cars pulling up outside the elementary schools. in bethesda, maryland, it's socially acceptable to have a luxury car, that belongs to hostility was for an country. there's a creature that comes out of these schools, who comes
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out of the cars that i've written about called the over moms who have taken time off to make sure all the kids can get to harvard. you can usually tell these over moms because they weigh less than their own children. [laughter] sorted out the moment of conception doing but exercises, taking so many formulas, these babies, 13-pound toothless defensive lineman. the mom is having flashcards so they get into harvard. by the time the kids are graduating from high school, the kids have started for companies, participated in three obscure sports like fencing, frisbee golf and snowball of all, the sort of sports the kids with actual athletic ability don't do. then they get to college. i teach them. i teach at yale. i only teach at schools i couldn't have gotten into, so at yale, i'll talk to my students as to what you doing over spring break and they would be like,
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i'm unicycling across thailand while reading to lepers, that sort of thing. and they have mastered incredible skills as professional students. have a talent for showing talent. they are able to dominate classroom discussion, even though they have never done any of the readings. they have the ability to look at you with admiration and attention even though they are sound asleep. and so these are the kids we all know that grown up in the achievement culture. they move to washington where they provide their congressmen and other bosses with policy advice and sexual tension. [laughter] they come here and they stay. and they stay and those of us who are here, we're basically those kids a few years later. washington is a town of the children, that we were not the kids to put the cat in the dry. with the kids who paddled on the kids who put the cat in the dryer. [laughter] and so we are products of this,
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and a lot of us, your products of the line. it's a line that encourages strategic thinking. it encourages us to be tacticians, strategists, be professional and when we think about ourselves. and when you have lived this kind of life and when you're a columnist on leave and give a lot of time to think about this. been a columnist is actually great because you don't have to write columns every day. and so you start thinking, what are the character challenges of this kind of life, of growing up this way, working in a strategic way, of thinking in a strategic way? and then having to compete against some of the best in the world, in a world where if you take time off, do other things, you are at something of a competitive disadvantage. and so i sat around thinking what are the character challenges of this life. i would say the first one is
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shrewdness. that you turn into a shrewd animal, that you begin to lack a certain moral vocabulary and develop monopolies to claim the utilitarian vocabulary. christians that as a sociologist who went around to colleges and asked college students canyon in your last moral dilemma? he found two-thirds of the kids couldn't name a moral dilemma. they would say, well, i want to rent an apartment but i didn't have enough money. he would say that the problem, it's not a moral dilemma. they were good kids. they just hadn't been given the vocabulary to understand what a moral dilemma was. they hadn't been given moral vocabulary. but they do have that potential for much of it. they know what reading they do have to do. they know how to work up a resume. they know how to do the extracurricular. and so there is a shrewdness i think the culture today where we talk in a language of economics and someone who is only had language of economics, opportunity costs, where we rely
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on data, we'll be talking a shrewdness over safety news. i think that's one character jobs for those of us in this sort of life. second is exclusivity. of any of our people like ourselves, of having socialized based on our career status, of joy which michael the caring aristocracy, a very exclusive people get together in places like the clinton global initiative, ted, even aspirin, to tell each other how much they care about the people who are not invited. [laughter] i'm sure you'd been at dinners where the subject is poverty and social mobility, and the only people who really know the subject and know what they're talking about are the signed ones caring the dishes to and from the tables. i'm sure you've heard really successful people, this is become a pornography of sort, celebrating failure. people telling important it is to fail. steve jobs giving commencement on how important it is to fail. if the steve jobs -- pretty easy
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to some pathetic if you lead a life of -- there is less exciting. i'm sure you have been a do-gooder, at do-gooder events where everyone is skimming the cream. i was at a table in a bunch of people who do you good but there was somebody from teach for america which is so hard to get into, it was somebody social entrepreneurship with a pic of the best entrepreneur's and invest in the. it was somebody picking up star student from cambodia and bring them to the universities a. there was somebody else picking up star urban kids to be ambassadors for scholarship recipients. this is a charity model based on the idea of the admissions process. you take out the stars and you move on. most religions say you serve the lowest of low, you serve the poorest among us. ticking up the stars and doing
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the cream skimming is by that standard him by any religious standard, not okay. and the third character challenge i would say is a sort of spirituality. one thing i've noticed in washington and in new york and some of the precincts i circulate in common is that you come across somebody you think is completely secular. and then when you get to know them really well you discover the actual have a secret spiritual and religious life. maybe they go to services every week. they are involved in a small bible study group. they do something else to work on that part of the character which is what gets described in a eulogy. and so it's not a part that is related to the grid and shrewdness but it is important to them. but what's striking about our culture today is that so much of this happens underground in small groups and is only talked about privately. and some of the biggest character challenges we have i think is we underplay the most
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essential part of our nature, which is the part that gets talked about at the eulogy. some just going to try to talk about that. and i'm going to do it with a frame, and the friend comes from a guy named joseph, a prominent rabbi who in 1955 ago called a lonely man of faith. he said we are two sides of our nature which he called adam one and add them to. adam one is the career and achievement adam what he called majestic adam. adamonis wants to build, create, produce and discover things. adam one wants to win status, to win victories, and build companies, to achieve success. adam two is the internal adam. adam two wants to embody certain work always to be honest, compassionate, brave and virtuous, not to do good but to be good. adam two wants to have a serene inner character, a quiet but solid since of right and wrong. so while adam one wants to conquer the world, adam two
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wants to abate a calling and serve the world. while adam one favors his own accomplishments, adam two sometimes renounces worldly success for the sake of his own sacred purpose. adam one's moderate is achievement. adam two's moderate is charity, redemption and enunciation. joseph argued this contradiction in the character between the two is irreconcilable. we live lives of perpetual self -- between the achievement side of our nature and the internal side of our nature. the hard part of this confrontation is that the two have different logix. adam one, the creating building achievement adam lives by pretty straightforward logic which is like the logic of economics. input leads to output, effort leads to reward, not just makes perfect, maximize your utilities. adam two lives by an inverse logic, and


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