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Congress Blasts 'Outrageous' Security Breaches at Nation's Federal Buildings

The Government Accountability Office released a report detailing how investigators carried liquid bomb-making materials past security at 10 federal buildings in 10 cities.

FOXNews.com

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Members of Congress on Wednesday blasted "disturbing" and "outrageous" security failures in the nation's federal buildings after government investigators smuggled bomb-making materials past the police agency charged with protecting those buildings.

The Government Accountability Office released a report detailing how investigators carried liquid bomb-making materials past security at 10 federal buildings in 10 cities -- a shocking exposure lawmakers said shows the country's vulnerability eight years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and 14 years after the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, blamed the Federal Protective Service Security for failing to provide adequate security and proper training to its 13,000 security guards during a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The agency, which is responsible for providing security at about 9,000 federal buildings around the country, has 1,200 full-time employees and roughly 13,000 contract guards.

"In short, GAO has found that the Federal Protective Service is not doing enough to make sure its 13,000 guards are qualified and trained for their jobs -- and doing what they're required to do," said Lieberman, who was joined by Susan Collins, R-Maine., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio.

Lieberman, I-Ct., said the GAO's probe included such troubling findings as a report that 73 percent of FPS contract guards lacked valid certifications and a report that one security guard allowed a baby to pass through an X-ray machine -- breaches in security he said make the country vulnerable to terrorist attack. Lieberman said the guard, who was later fired, filed a lawsuit and won after FPS could not provide sufficient proof that he had been properly trained. The GAO report found that a vast majority of security guards received no X-ray or metal detection training at all.

The undisclosed buildings at the center of the probe were all labeled "Security Level IV," or high-risk.

Collins said the report also found that the state of Maine has only two FPS inspectors to officiate over security at federal buildings and conduct the necessary inspection at the state's 24 points of entry.

"The findings of covert security tests conducted by GAO investigators are stunning and completely unacceptable. In post-9/11 America, I cannot fathom how security breaches of this magnitude were allowed to occur," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the committee. "These security lapses and others show a disturbing pattern by the Federal Protective Service of poor training, lapsed documentation, lax management, inconsistent enforcement of security standards and little rigor."

"We taxpayers are simply not receiving the security we pay for and should expect FPS to provide," she added.

The GAO found other problems with guard training and reported that in one check of security, investigators found a guard asleep on the job after taking the painkiller Percocet. In another, they found that a guard failed to recognize or did not properly X-ray a box carrying handguns at the loading dock of a facility.

"As we approach the eighth anniversary of 9/11, and 14 years after Oklahoma City, it is simply unacceptable that federal employees working within buildings under FPS' protection, and the visitors who pass through them, are so utterly exposed to potential attack by terrorists and other enemies," Lieberman said.

Gary Schenkel, director of the Federal Protective Service, said in prepared testimony that when he arrived at the agency in April 2007 "it was apparent FPS was experiencing some serious challenges."

Schenkel said after he learned of the GAO findings he instructed regional directors to increase their inspections and report what actions they would take to address and correct problems with contract guards.

Earlier government investigations have raised similar concerns about the quality of security provided to federal buildings. FPS currently has a budget of about $1 billion, 1,200 full-time employees and about 13,000 contract security guards.

The Washington Post first reported on the GAO probe Tuesday night on its Web site.

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Added: Jul-8-2009 Occurred On: Jul-8-2009
By: bellava
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Tags: Congress, Blasts, 'Outrageous', Security, Breaches, at, Nation's, Federal, Buildings
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  • The government cannot protect themselves and they CANNOT protect you. Let's give up the notion of trading our liberty for safety. It's an illusion.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • Obama inside the Oval Office is the real national security breach.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • I'd like to blast Congress for outrageous breaches of the US Constitution...for a start...

    Hypocrites.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Benjamin Franklin wrote:
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    He was a very wise man way ahead of his time.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • Oh only worried about gov buildings,how about bridges and the shit hole new orleans has turned into?

    Posted Jul-9-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • We should put the Government in charge of health care. They seem to do everything so well!

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • Yeah, it's VERY smart to tell the terrorists on TV that liquid bombs are US-federal-building-compatible. Jesus Chrysler, wouldn't a bit of SECRECY be adequate??? Unless you want to escalate the security costs infinitely...

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • She talks a little slow.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • Dumb asses. Freedom and security is impossible. Faux News makes you so skeered. You need MORE gunz!!!! That is the only way to retain your freedom!!! GUNZ!!! You guys crack me up. Of all the freedoms we are supposed to have, the only one you care about is gunz. All your gunz won't make a hill of beans. Bullets won't stop uranium in your milk, beef and water. Bullets won't stop your breathe from inhaling the toxic chemicals. The same chemicals that are bi-products of your gun manufacturers More..

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • I would rather be blown up by thousands bombs a thousand times than have to obey a power tripping dork any day of the week.

    We know that 911 and Oklahoma bombing were false flag terrorism and will not fall for keynoter false flag attack.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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  • All terrorism is CIA funded

    I dare any of you stupid people who don't know this to look up Oklahoma city bombing and 911 attacks.

    Look them up god damn it. If you do you will see that all bombings are connected to CIA.

    Posted Jul-8-2009 By 

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