February 23rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Gov't hasn't installed one airport scanner with stimulus $$$

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our government is broken. The Department of Homeland Security still has not installed a single airport scanner paid for by Pres. Obama's economic stimulus bill more than one year ago.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/art.tsa.jpg caption="Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA)"]
$25 million was set aside to buy the kind of screening machines that would be able to detect the explosives that the Christmas Day bomber carried on him.

Politico reports it took Homeland Security seven months just to order the 150 screening machines. Seven months. The company that builds the scanners says they've since delivered more than 100 of them to the transportation security administration - and now they're sitting somewhere in storage.

By way of an explanation, Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa says they're "very actively working on a deployment plan." A deployment plan? Like put them at the airports?

TSA spokesman James Fotenos says it is "In the process of accepting delivery of the initial 150 units purchased," and that it is "staging for their deployment," whatever the hell that means. He also says they're "working closely with airports to install these units."

Some of the nation's busiest airports still don't have these scanners, including New York's JFK and LaGuardia, Chicago's O'Hare and Washington's Dulles. The machines are in storage.

Here's the height of government arrogance and dysfunction. To mark the anniversary of the stimulus bill, Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano inspected a scanner at Washington's national airport. They've been in use there for more than a year.

She also trumpeted the $25 million spent on the 150 additional scanners - but failed to mention of course that not a single one of them is in use yet.

Late this afternoon, in response to the embarrassing nature of this story, a Homeland Security official said they think they can get these scanners installed by the end of June.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if the government hasn't installed a single airport scanner paid for more than one year ago with stimulus money?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Edward in Maine writes:
It means no one is serious about security. They can do laughable things like make little old ladies take off their shoes but real security takes effort. The real problem is apathy brought on by the fact no one will be fired if it doesn't get done.

Parker in West Hartford, Connecticut writes:
Jack, Our country is in shambles. If we had a terror attack, all they would do is point fingers… I'm sick of it. This is not the kind of government that I wanted. Hopefully we'll see some change after the election.

Laurie writes:
Just another example of why we don't want the government to run health care. Each government entity is so quick to commit to spend America's money but there seems to be no follow through. In this case, Janet Napolitano should be terminated. The buck has to stop somewhere.

Tom writes:
What does it mean? It means nothing has changed, regardless of the word "Change" being shouted from the mountaintops of Washington throughout 2008 and 2009. It's gotten to the point where I'm actually considering Ron Paul as a viable option, which speaks volumes for our situation.

Julia in Dallas writes:
It means business as usual in Washington. Never finish anything and what’s worse, not care whether it is finished or not. The only one coming out ahead on this deal is the storage company getting rental payments.

JC writes:
This is the same administration that wants us to trust the national health care system and job creation programs in their hands. Simply astounding.

Peter writes:
Yesterday you asked if the government was broken beyond repair. This story is your answer.

Filed under: Government • Stimulus
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Hany

    Is this the same government that is going to manage our healthcare? Just asking....

    February 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  2. Howard

    As Harry Truman, used to say "the buck stops here," where's Obama on this topic, Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano for him, if he is a real chief executive he should be ALL over this.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  3. So. Cal. Tom

    Disgusted but not surprised. Seems that no matter what party is in office, very little gets done. How do we fix the sloth-like speed of our governmental agencies? If I worked this slow, our business would fail.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  4. Bob

    Jack, this is what happens when Government is so big that one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. If this wasn't so sad it would be laughable.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  5. Pa

    Jack, you sound like my grandkids on Christmas morning after unwraping the Video Game Console, “Plug it in Pa, plug it in.” It took time to make room over the DVD player, under the satellite receiver, and next the Wireless Surround Sound System to plug it in, so be patient! Also, I can see why kids eagerly awaited the games but why would anyone be eager to surrender our dignity just to claim we are winning a war? Sounds like a sick game to me!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  6. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    It doesn't appear to be a priority for anyone.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  7. Tim Maxwell

    Covington, LA.

    Their job is to get money from the government.. They got the money. Installing them is work. That's not their jobs.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Dave

    The government is just doing its predictable bureaucrat job by being over-managed, under-achieved, incompetent and disorganized. With regard to actually installing the scanners, the government is simply in transition of over-spending, mismanaging their installations and, of course, under-performing the time of their ultimate activation. It's our hard-earned government dollars at work! I can hardly wait for their health care program.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  9. Bev

    If they are paid for, then the Airports must not be doing their job. President Obama can not stand over everyone and make sure they are getting things done. That is why they hire people to do those jobs.
    I have a Fridge that has been plugged in for 2 years, but the icemaker has never been hooked up. Shall I blame Obama or my husband, whose job is it? Loosen up, everyone of your questions are against Obama, as usual.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  10. Ryan

    It means that there better be a darn good excuse as to why the scanners were not implemented. If the excuse is unsatisfactory, it is time to look into new leadership for that department.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  11. Henry Bundy

    What is scandalous is that the government spent any money at all on this worthless technology which can be easily defeated by hiding explosives or other contraband in body cavities. Drug runners and suicide bombers have done it many times before.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  12. Ed from Canton, Michigan

    We install hardware and software into plants in multiple states and we do not rollout the new hardware unless we have it all ready to go. But there should be a lead airport to trial the product at.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  13. Tim in Syracuse


    It means not only is our Government broken at the top but at a hundred little places all the way down the line. One YEAR later and still not deployed? The next thing we'll be hearing is that "we have them at the locations but can't use them because the screeners require training". Add another year to the tally while they 'plan' who is being trained, where and by whom.

    Meanwhile the badguys are training to circumvent these things and we'll continue to be one step behind. Good job Bureaucrats.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  14. randy drzewicki

    Mr. Cafferty,

    just another valid reason why we should be expanding our federal government! They sure can spend our money, this just do not know how to actually USE our money

    absolutely apalling!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  15. Doug

    It means the Obama administration is just as out of touch on this as it is on fixing the economy. Interesting how the President's #1 priority keeps changing and yet nothing happens. Security? I was patted down 3 times after going through the screener at the Miami airport – any more excitement and I'd follow Cheney into the hospital!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  16. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    It means someone wants the program to fail.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  17. Tom L.

    I'm sure this comment will be repeated often...and people want this same government to run our healthcare?

    February 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Matt

    It means that those responsible for "deploying" the scanners are spending too much time thinking about doing and not enough time doing. We're talking about equipment that detects explosives at airports....that we've already paid for. Bureaucracy is a given in this day and age, but one would think that given the potential threats we face, this would be a priority. If no one in Washington is willing to step up and get the job done, I'm sure I can round up 150 pick-up truck owners around the country who'd be more than willing to spare a Saturday to ensure our safe air travel.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  19. ken

    I just recently took a trip from Iowa to Phoenix.I left the cedar rapids airport.As we left I had a mountain dew in my coat pocket. I also had in my coat a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. They took my mountain dew (that maybe have 2 or 3 ounces left in a 20 ounce bottle) and made a point to tell me and everyone standing there that I couldn't have it.No big deal except my lighter when through.I laughed ad told my wife who was traveling with me.We I decided to have a little fun, so I kept my lighter in my pocket just to see if any of the other airport would notice the lighter. We went through Denver twice (coming and going home)and through Phoenix. No scanner detected the lighter. needless to say our home land security stink and I don't feel safe. It is a shame to have people ay they are going to do something and then not do it.I hope people take notice and start changeing who is in office so we can feel safe.
    Ken from Cedar Rapids Iowa

    February 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  20. sfo

    there is one in SFO. creepy.
    i asked for the 'alternative' and the airport security tried to hassle me about it.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  21. Nate B

    It means that President Obama needs to fire someone, right now, not a year from now. I nominate Janet Napolitano and the head of TSA along with all of their flunkies. I know a few people who are unemployed who could do better.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  22. teaparty4ever

    Duh, does this suprise anyone? Our government wasting money and sitting on it's hands. Hire a private company, and pay an early completion bonus, then stand back while it's finished.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  23. Ron

    Well Jack,

    Congress works the same way. All the partisan bickering back and forth does one great thing for our government; it keeps your average American from looking too hard at the corrupt and overly bureaucratic mess our government has become.

    Ron, Chicago IL.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  24. Matt--Springfield, MO

    It means that those responsible for "deploying" the scanners are spending too much time thinking about doing and not enough time doing. We're talking about equipment that detects explosives at airports....that we've already paid for. Bureaucracy is a given in this day and age, but one would think that given the potential threats we face, this would be a priority. If no one in Washington is willing to step up and get the job done, I'm sure I can round up 150 pick-up truck owners around the country who'd be more than willing to spare a Saturday to ensure our safe air travel.–Matt, Springfield, MO

    February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |

    I far as I see it were at war . Screening machines (Scanners) should be on our front lines of Defence. Suggestion contact General Honoré and give him list of locations By Friday a week from today the Scanners be delivered. My Guess is that Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano couldn't drive her self from Regan National Airport to the Capital Building.........

    Paul Cape Coral Fl

    February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  26. Ken from Chestefield, VA

    It means you should ask Michele Bachman and the other Republican who passed legislation blocking the installation of the scanners.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  27. Todd Stockwell

    It mean they don't work, have not been able to resolve whatever issue(s) they are experiencing, and can not openly admit it.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  28. Richie

    Richie - Hillsboro Oregon

    These scanners are not going to make America one bit safer. I will not fly anymore because I will not subject myself to this nonsense. I'm driving everywhere. Screw global warming.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  29. Dwight

    It means the government employs a bunch of morons that do not know how to get things done. Jack, if you were that productive, we would be fired. But taking a year to install 150 cameras does not surprise me; look at congress, they come to work, do nothing and get paid. Yet the members who do the least keep getting re-elected. There's something wrong here!

    Staunton, Va.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  30. J in Iowa


    Did you check, are they being sat on by the "party of no" ? Maybe they didn't want them deployed so they can whine and complain about something else?

    February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  31. Bibo

    No wonder, I am one of the majority who think the government is broken when this kind of government inaction goes on. And, this is for protection of the US airline passenger. What can these people be thinking ? But, that is the problem – they are not thinking. Who do they think they are working for. And, we could go on with the FDA and such. They should quit using the alphabet soup letters and use the real names to remind them what they are about !!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  32. Alex in Gig Harbor

    It means bureaucratic inertia is alive and well. It is sad to see that Homeland Security is so slow in providing security for the homeland. People responsible for security need to develop a sense of urgency.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  33. Julia/Dallas

    It means business as usual in Washington. Never finish anything and whats worse, not care whether it is finished or not. The only one coming out ahead on this deal is the storage company getting rental payments.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  34. Daniel Ficula

    I am not surprised at all at the "incompetence" of Janet Napolitano! Anyone who can't even call a "terrorist" a terrorist needs to resign immediately and, tell Obama to get someone in there that knows something about protecting the America people. This Whitehouse is as incompetent as the people they hire to protect us!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  35. C. Howitt Fealz

    Why are they showing a picture of a CBP officer with this piece? TSA will be mishandling the scanners and not CBP, correct?

    February 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  36. Dan

    While I do find it a little strange that the machines have not been deployed yet, a "deployment plan" can't be as simple as "put them in the airports." Did the stimulus money include funds to train officers how to use them, or did DHS have to dig into its own operating budget? I'm no fan of the TSA, and I don't think they actually do anything worthwhile to make us safer, but episodes like this aren't ALWAYS simply a case of inefficient government. Can't rule that out, either.

    –Dan, Philadelphia

    February 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  37. Bug

    What it means is a complete lack of urgency. Whether it is because it is no longer useful to a politician or the agency isn't in any hurry to roll them out, it doesn't really matter. I won't be surprised if these units sit in a warehouse until they are obsolete.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  38. Dr. Elwyn Martin

    What this says is simple.....our governments interest are simply not where they should be, which is on us the people.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  39. Pat

    It is predictable that government at its highest level is wasteful and slow. The argument shouldn't be "why haven't these been installed?". It should be "why were they ever purchased?" or "what is the point of these bureaucracies?". It is the government's job to protect our boarders from these people and provide for a national defense. It is the airlines job to protect their personal property (planes) and ensure the safety of its passengers. Government do your job and let the airlines do theirs'. I bet they do a better job of it.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  40. J.C. Horton

    This is the same administration that wants us to trust the national health care system and job creation programs in their hands....simply astounding.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  41. Robert Johnson, Northern MN

    It means it is a sad joke, just like the rest of the so-called stimulus bill. 90% of jobs supposedly saved or created are government jobs that do not aid the economy.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  42. Jack NYC

    We don't need ots of body scanners. We need more securtiy people. Intelligent security people. We need to do as they do in Israel. Interview passengers. More staff could accomplish this. Let's get personal, Jack. Technology will is not the magic cure.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  43. Cliff

    So much for security being a priority.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  44. Brian

    What does this mean to me? This mean that Government has it's collective head up you know where. I swear these guys couldn't figure out how to take a piss unless they sit down strategize, form a committee, write a plan, and the consider all the alternatives. Obviously we need these scanners in the Airports now and there should be no exceptions for anyone about being scanned. I believe everyone should be put through these scanners no matter their age or religion.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  45. Doug

    It tells me this.

    "Same BS, different day." I sure wish I had $25,000,000.00 I could just let sit around in storage.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  46. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, having spent 22 years in the USAF I can vouch for the fact that it easily takes two to three years to get something out and working once the need is approved and funded. And these are simple things, like desktop computers. Unfortunately it's the nature of the beast.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  47. WastedYears

    writing from NEW YORK.

    do you know how many airplanes take off and land safely everyday? thousands.

    you are more likely to die from a car accident than terrorism, yet everyone rushes to give up their rights for "security"

    i wont go through a scanner, i wont let tsa thugs swab my hands, and am sickened that my fellow countrymen are treated as criminals when no crime has been committed.

    orwell was right.

    amerika .. land of the thief, home of the slave.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  48. bruce that old former Republican from North Adams, Ma.

    It means there are too many "talking heads" who do not have a clue.

    The best thing is to hire some managers who know how to design and manage a critical path, insist its followed, and do the job.
    Asking if not "what the hell are we doing and why are we doing it".

    Further... the TSA needs to get the mentality of being a para military
    unit. The present attitude and management are greatly lacking, they
    look to be part of the IDGAS company.

    Time for this country get its act together, probably past time to reinstate the draft but at least two years of service to country in
    the military would improve much...

    Bruce that old retired guy from Ma.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  49. Matt R. from TX

    I think we all misheard. They aren't installing them at airports to check our underwear, they're installing them up our (well, what our underwear covers) for when we go to the airport. It will be installed at our mandatory check up when the government takes over healthcare. Can't you hear Obama snapping on the latex glove?
    Matt R., TX

    February 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  50. Gigi Oregon

    It means in the real world, our government is broken because of incompetency.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  51. Jeff, Washington, DC

    The delays are inexcusable, but let us look at this from another angle: 150 additional units for over 375 "primary airports" in the U.S. as defined by the FAA are woefully inadequate.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  52. Hernan Hernandez

    I voted for Obama, and I am still in his corner. But what would we have said if such a thing occurred during the Bush administration? That he was blundering, non-caring, inept, out-of-touch, nincompoop?

    The constant blundering of government makes it more and more difficult for those of us who believe in the necessity of GOOD government to argue against the growing legions of right-wing, libertarian extremists.

    They will look at this and ask: How can you place health care in the hands of government if government can't even get something this simple right.

    And I don't have a good answer in response.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  53. Shaun N

    That we're at the third of 4 stages of demoralizing this country: crisis. We've already seen Demoralization and Destabilization. And finally we'll come to "Normalization" when all of this let down of our government comes to and end and feels "normal". Can we turn it around. God help us.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  54. Marlena

    Jack - It takes a LONG time to procure, inspect, and deploy equipment like this, especially under the usual government procurement/vendor RFP competition laws and procedures. Give it a rest.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  55. W. Camp

    Stay on their butts, Jack. You're doing a great job. Apparently just good old money doesn't light the fire, maybe imbarassment will.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  56. Brian

    Well Jack, you already stated it in your piece, the Homeland Security Office (you know, the one that did such a great job with Katrina), much like every other government bureaucracy, is dysfunctional!! Now, it does not matter what party is in charge at any particular time. You can change the President, every Senator and Congressmen, the heads of every government agency and the bureaucratic infrastructure culture will continue to motor on. That is, it will continue to waste taxpayer money and be highly ineffective in its duties. When we hear about these types of things, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Very frustrating!! You do remember the last line from the famous Who song………..”meet the new boss….same as the old boss”!!

    Brian from Melbourne, FL (Space Coast about to lose 7,000 jobs – thanks NASA)

    February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  57. Jerry Deerfield Beach

    Simple answer. The TSA are afraid that when field tested by TSA personnel the scanners will show that there craniums are not only empty, but located in the wrong part of their anatomy.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  58. Gov'ment employee

    I work for an engineering station under the department of defense. There are too many proceudres and too much oversight to the point where it bogs down the system and makes trying to be productive frustrating. I wouldn't be surprised were this the case in all situations involving the federal government. There is no way a private company would ever do business the way we do it. Makes me wonder why things have worked this way for so long.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  59. Chris Krapf

    It means the obvious: somebody got paid for the equipment and money exchanged hands, but its primary function - keeping the flying public safe and safety in general - once again takes a back-seat to PROFIT.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  60. Russell F

    While there is much to complain about in government - I think you need to give them a break here. With something this sensitive (being able to see through so much) - you have to get the deployment right or there will be some high profile embarrassment that occurs and Jack you would be asking a different question like "Has the government gone too far by using scanners that see through so much?".

    February 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  61. Garrett, Oakland, CA

    On the face of it, yes, it does seem odd that none of the scanners are online. But then again, I suppose they can't just be plugged in and operational. There has to be space planned for them as well as training for the TSA personnel. Each airport is unique and each probably needs its own plan. Or am I being too fair?

    February 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  62. Cem Gokcen

    And they expect us the trust the government with our health!
    We will all be six feet under before getting our ailments cured.
    Greenville Ohio

    February 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  63. Mike

    Louisville, KY
    It means that we should all move to Canada! If I treated my customers that way, I'd be out of work. We have to hold them accountable!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  64. jitsuman

    Jack, are you perhaps missing something? No one wants (if this is the nude scanner) to have naked pics of them floating around, with a bunch of perverted TSA agents with high-school diplomas staring at our junk.

    It would be political suicide right now to move on this. people wont stand for it, and it's a shame you completely left the issue of basic human privacy out of the equation.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  65. Bill (Hauppauge, NY)

    As is typically the case, the campaign rhetoric of 'Yes We Can' has turned into the governmental reality of 'We Will Not.'

    Let's face it, it is easier to campaign than it is to govern......

    February 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  66. Susan, Anaheim, CA

    I means I can hardly wait to see how efficiently they handle the massive "healthcare" plan they are working on.

    Those who are suggesting they tackle one part at a time to see how it goes are right. If they can't deliver the machines to the airports.....I'm not sure why they think they can handle something of the magnitude of complete heathcare reform.

    Is there anything sadder than the incompetence of government run anything?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  67. Mike on LI

    Just another example of government at it's finest! In the private sector, such incompetence would lead to firing, in the government this will probably lead to someone being promoted. Typical of D.C. to just give half truths on how the funds were spent, yes, our hard earned tax dollars, so the protection we so desperately need, can sit in storage. Good thing you wrote this article, as the government can expedite the delivery and get these installed in ANOTHER four months. Only in America.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  68. Brandyn Austin

    This story tells me the same thing every other story about crooked stimulus spending and non-existent districts getting millions of dollars of the stimulus. The money isn't going where it's supposed to and nobody with any answers seems interested in sharing them with us.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  69. Linda in Arizona

    It means (to me anyway), that Janet Napolitano should resign. She's a disaster, and has been from the first. Another crappy appointment by O'brahma. What were her qualifications again exactly?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  70. Lou


    It means we apparently haven't learned a damn thing since 9/11 when it comes to preventing terrorists from potentially boarding our airplanes! A better question should be why did we create yet another bloated governmental agency like the Department of Homeland Security if it's going to be managed by an incompetent bureaucrat like Janet Napolitano and allowed to operate without any apparent oversight! How many underwear bombers do we need to board our planes before our government decides to act?

    Lou from the Land of Lincoln

    February 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  71. uiloyal

    What the heck is wrong with people in management????? Get those scanners operable! ! I am getting more and more discouraged with big business, like millions of other people. But yet they want us to use their products. Well, guess what ! I am buying less, traveling less, spending less and watching my bank account balances go up. If I did choose to fly, I wouldn't care if they wanted to do a finger wave if security thought it was gonna keep me safe from some idiot. Too many radicals of all sorts out there.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  72. Steve

    It means that the government is so slowwwwwww.
    If they make a decision and it's wrong they get criticised. If they don't make a decision there is no consequance, they're safe. That's the way government operates. Just think if they took over the health plan. It would be a disaster. Keep after them Jack.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  73. Josh B from Ohio

    It means Congress is not doing it's job. If one of those scanner's was to be delivered to an airport in my district or state and I had not received one, I would put all my efforts into making sure it got there. And if the most effort less thing I had to do was to approve an executive branch nominee, then so-be-it and on to more important matters... right!
    But, considering the Senate finally confirmed 27 executive branch nominees 12 days ago, instead of a year ago, I'm not really surprised or outraged about it. I know who is stalling, they all have little (R)'s stuck to their names. I believe one nominee was an undersecretary for Homeland Security. That may answer your question Jack!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  74. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, it means business as usual for the government. Spend money, wrap everything up in a huge buracratic bundle, cause numberous delays, screwups, and accomplish half of the job for twice as much money, and call it a victory. Think this bad, just wait until they drive health care down your throat.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  75. Dave

    Not suprised at all! Isn't it customary for the federal government to "deploy" at a snails pace? i.e. the deficit, healthcare, jobs. Good story Jack!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  76. Steve

    Obama is much more comfortable with working on legislation than in running the government. He should stop being a senator and start working on being the President.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  77. Frank Kramer

    Frozen leadership, or no leadership. Probably someone in charge of installing the scanners is afraid of criticism from "prudes" about invading their privacy.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  78. Skeptical in NJ

    Our government has become the most bloated, useless and ineffective organization in the history of mankind.

    Wasn't Ms. Napolitano the one who said "The system worked" before President Obama said it didn't?

    And these people now want to take over health care??? Imagine that – 1 year to get scanners that were delivered 6 months ago into airports I shudder at the thought of them handling my colonoscopy!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  79. Jackie in Newark,NJ

    It might mean that the President needs to replace some of his staff and cabinet asap, beginning with the Homeland Security Secretary .I fear that Obama has one thing in common with Bush- putting loyalty ( don't want to hurt any feelings by firing someone) above competence.Good grief, this is not high school. It is the welfare of America we are talking about.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  80. Scott Stodden

    They'll tell you it takes time to install these scanners and all that political talk but Jack what are we supposed to do wait until hundreds if not thousands of people die in an airport or in the air? This is outrageous and we need to immediatly get these scanners installed at all airports right now not in June Mr Obama in June it will in my opinion be to late, Iam demanding that all citizens of this country speak out about this and demand that these scanners be installed right now!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  81. Marlena.

    Jack – This comment is a retry. It takes a LONG time to request/evaluate bids, procure/fab, acceptance test, and deploy equipment like this, especially adhering to the laws and procedures for Federal Government. Give it a rest, please.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  82. southerncousin

    I am sure that as part of it, the liberals insisted that they have them installed by some sort of scummy union (the only type really) and they just have not been able to get off their breaks to do it.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  83. gstreet

    Government is very good at buying things, but often don't bother putting them into use....that would require common sense...which they have never had.

    Gary from South Dakota

    February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  84. VegasRouleur

    What's the point? The terrorists achieved their goal: another knee-jerk reaction that costs us lots of money, makes us look like fools, and doesn't make us any safer. They will simply prick us in a different place next time. Forget the scanners. They probably don't work. Even if they did, we've seen enough fake bombs and guns carried through security by news teams to know the system is prone to human error anyway. Face it America, if you fly, you buy your ticket and you take your chances.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  85. Scott

    Well Jack, maybe the workers sent to install them couldn't get through the existing security with their tools...Or their still waiting in line to get through.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  86. Glenn


    This is nothing new. The Government has always worked this way! I've heard frequently of new PCs being warehoused because of some bureaucratic tangle until, of course, the employee finally receives their new, outdated, obsolete PC.

    We spent hundreds of millions of dollars on an FBI software that never got completed and their system is still not fixed.. Why? Because the idiots in charge treated the project like a moving target! They kept changing the specifications while the project was already in production.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  87. steve- virginia beach

    It means "Yer doin' a heckuva job Napoli".

    February 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  88. John in Washington

    Really, what do you expect? All this administration cares about are the numbers. They don't have a concern in the world whether money spent is actually doing any good... All they care about are the numbers so they can report that; because these so-called news agencies don't hold them accountable to anything else. Have you ever once asked how they came up with the number "saving 2 million jobs" like the president and vice president like to spout? Have you ever asked to see this model and its variable calculations? No...

    February 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  89. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I recall a number of years ago reading one of those marquees you see out in front of churches that carry those witty sayings, it said: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    Bureaucracy is one of those roads.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  90. Virtual Bob


    It does not matter either way so it doesn't mean anything. These scanners are not going to actually make us safer. They may make travelers relax a bit but a determined person will find a way around anything.

    I think the $25 Million could have been better spent and of course the "deployment" will mean another huge cost to the taxpayers as some firm gets a sweetheart deal to install them. Waste!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  91. joe m

    sadly, it means that sooner or later, and probably sooner, someone else will slip through the gaping holes that is our security system and when that happens the outcome may be worse. i'd like to say that i'm surprised by this report, but it really does not. this isn't just inept, this is complete and just total incompetence. why buy these things at all if there was not a plan on how to deploy them? if they wait a little longer these units may just be obsolete enough for them to justify asking for more money to purchase better and more up to date machines. good luck to all of us.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  92. Virtual Bob - Peoria, IL

    Hey Jack,

    It does not matter either way so it doesn't mean anything. These scanners are not going to actually make us safer. They may make travelers relax a bit but a determined person will find a way around anything.

    I think the $25 Million could have been better spent and of course the "deployment" will mean another huge cost to the taxpayers as some firm gets a sweetheart deal to install them. Waste!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  93. G. Wilburn

    This is the same government that the Democrats would have us turn over 18% of our economy to via ObamaCare??

    February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  94. Michael Levinson

    These are the same people that want to run our Healthcare. You can put them in charge of somebody else's not mine. I guess the system worked.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  95. Manny McKnight fm Chicago, il

    Jack I think that its absurd that those scanners have already been paid for but not a single one has been installed...this might have something to do with the fact that they haven't confirmed the boss over there at the TSA

    I think they (meaning senate congress/senate) should get off their rear ends and get the peoples business done.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  96. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    It means the Homeland Security Dept needs a new Secretary, one with a sense of urgency.
    Isn't it interesting that Washington Reagan Airport (where most members of Congress fly in & out) got their scanners installed more than a year ago. I know I'll sleep better tonight knowing our DC flying public (Congressmen & their staffs) are better protected.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  97. Bob O.

    The TSA simply doesn't want to deploy these machines. The reason may be from within the agency where a few may be concerned that with discovery of weapons and explosives will come responsibility for dealing with those who carry them – work, in other words – training, planning, etc. Or maybe it is resistance from a few politicians or VIPs who don't want to deal with complaints about lack of privacy during or after scans, especially if they are found to be violating security rules themselves. Get over it!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  98. Karen (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

    It means that they are big on promises but short on follow through. Same old, same old, nothing's changed.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  99. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Getting off the subject Jack, but I would like to know what the hell Chaney thinks of government run health care, since the American taxpayers are footing the bill for his excellent care at a government run hospital

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  100. Manny McKnight fm Chicago, il

    Jack I think that its absurd that those scanners have already been paid for but not a single one has been installed...this might have something to do with the fact that they haven't confirmed the boss over there at the TSA

    I think they (meaning congress/senate) should get off their rear ends and get the peoples business done.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  101. Devin

    It means exactly what 86% of polled Americans think. Our government is broken and the two-party system is an outdated and particularly biased form of government. We need complete overall of our system, preferably done by the most intellectual of our society.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  102. Matt

    It means exactly what it looks like Jack. Everyone knows that security at the airport is not about making us safer, it's about making us feel safer. The fact the scanners were paid for and ordered can be trumpeted from the podium, never mind the scanners aren't installed. They aren't designed to make us safer, just make us feel safer. It's like giving a hypochondriac a sugar pill. It's just supposed to make you feel better, not actually do anything.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  103. Corey Chapman

    Jack i am not surprised it seems to me that the money from the stimulus package did nothing for a lot of people. What they need to do is sit back and think about how money is being spent.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  104. Bob


    Did you really think that any government agency (regardless of administration) can get things done quickly? The answer is no.

    Why? Lack of leadership willing to take responsibility and be held accountable. In this instance, it is a pretty high priority need. With that said, why was a deployment plan not worked out prior to or during the procurement. Lack of leadership.

    Republican or Democrat, the days of finger pointing, down to and inside an organization has to stop. Fast-paced, thought out decision-making is primary, especially when it comes to National Security.

    So one should be fired over this!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  105. Johnny

    Maybe it will come down to putting in new seats in all airplanes that make the passanger keep their arms comfortably placed in arm rests but are latched apart on each side. It sounds rediculous I know but I'd rather be safe knowing there's not some idiot trying to take the plane down with his arms free. I'd sacrafice keeping my arms seperate during a flight if it would increase the chances of keeping me and other passengers safe.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  106. Randy in PA

    Well, let's see. I guess it means that all our government knows how to do is spend/waste money.
    Sometimes I can't seem to understand why these people are sooooo stupid. My God, chimps could run our government more efficiently.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  107. Devin


    It means exactly what 86% of polled Americans think. Our government is broken and the two-party system is an outdated and particularly biased form of government. We need complete overhall of our system, preferably done by the most intellectual of our society.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  108. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    I do not know Jack! Scan their brain for an answer!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  109. David

    two words: RED TAPE

    February 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  110. Karl from SF, CA

    Calm down Jack, this isn’t a Mr. Coffee that you set on the counter and plug in; it’s a sophisticated piece of machinery that needs proper installation and training of the operators to ensure our safety. Having seen what disasters our government can create when they do things without a “deployment” plan, I’ll take waiting a while.. I’d rather know that we are protected when they are installed, then find out down the road they weren’t set up properly and weren’t working at all.
    Janet is like the Republicans: she takes credit for buying the scanners but fails to mention they aren’t installed like the Republicans take credit for stimulus money funding projects and jobs at home and fail to mention they voted against it in Washington.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  111. Jay from Ashtabula

    It means that the federal bureaucracy is inneficient and should be overhauled. If the wheels of bureaucracy turn too slowly it's from either lack of regular maintenance or due to poor design from the start. And if they can't even deploy these 150 new scanners a year after they were authorized chances are they aren't even adressing the scanning of checked baggage in the cargo hold of those planes.

    Almost makes me feel lucky I can't afford to fly anywhere.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  112. Pat Evans

    That's why we need to throw all the bums out! Pat Evans Reno, NV.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  113. Denis Duffy

    Promises from Obama are like the lyrics from the Disney movie. " Some day my prince will come."
    Why is it with Obama, that it is always next year, five years, ten years.
    Change you can believe in, just not in my life time.

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  114. Frank

    Unfortunately the government is more concerned about securing a safe tunnel route for turtles in Florida and studying the promiscuity of freshmen co-eds at Syracuse University than keeping us safe from terrorism.

    Toledo, Ohio

    February 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  115. Peter

    Yesterday you asked if the government was beyond repair. This story is you answer.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  116. Aaron

    Not installing these scanners, means that the government isn't putting security first.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  117. Ed

    It just means there are no jobs created- there still in storage 🙁

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  118. Bill in Naples

    Jack, this is just another reason why the name of Washington DC, need to be changed to Disney Land East. It would better suit our Senators, Goofy, Daffy, and Dumbo.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  119. Tom J

    What does it mean? It means nothing has changed, regardless of the word "Change" being shouted from the mountaintops of DC throughout 2008 & 2009. It's gotten to the point where I'm actually considering Ron Paul as a viable option, which speaks volumes for our situation.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  120. jimmy in greenville, north carolina

    It means everything is right on the government schedule. Got to get the right forms filled out and find a place to plug those babies in. Let's not be getting in a rush.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  121. Edwin, Nova Scotia, Canada

    That is just plain wrong! Here in Canada we had to use our stimulus money to install the scanners in our airports to satisfy your country's security rules. Really Jack, if you people cannot be bothered, why should anyone else? Could it be that these are rules for the sake of making rules? Maybe the perception of safety is enough for your government?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  122. Corey from Atlanta

    It means what we've always thought..........that our government is a farce! The fleecing of America will continue indefinitely until we grow a backbone.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  123. Ken in Beaverton

    This is Obama Administration SNAFU. Someone should be fired starting at the top. It's obvious that Obama Administration doesn't give a damn about joe the plumber, joan the secretary, etc. Although, Napolitano just inspected the one that has been in place in the DC Airport. Obiously, politicians are the most important flyers.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  124. Pat DuLaney

    that the government does not and cannot manage the programs that they are currently responsible for and no new programs (health care, jobs, education......) should be created. This is not unusual, if the citizens of this country had any idea of how our government offices and programs really run, there would be a revolt that would throw everyone out of office.
    By it's political nature, government agencies are mandated by Congress to try to be everything to everybody and end up not being able to get out of their own way. Common sense is in short supply inside the beltway.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  125. Jay

    What it means Jack is government business as usual. No one is holding these jokers accountable for their actions, and until someone does it will continue in this same way. Face it, there's no incentive for politicians to do things any differently.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  126. Gerald

    Jack,and they want to pass a health care program,when they can,t even get this done.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  127. jim Blevins

    It means our government has its priorities straight. Unless you are a total paranoiac, these are nothing but more pointless airport hassle. However, having spent the money to buy (and build) them has stimulated the economy. Far, far, far more people die from lack of health care than are blown up in planes.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  128. Tom

    This is a common condition for all large bureaucracies.

    This is why you do not want the government to run your health-care.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  129. Howard

    Did the government ever hear of firing anyone for incompetence?
    Start at the top and don't stop...

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  130. Tom in Florida

    Well, they just blew the warrantee as well!!!

    Hope nothing goes wrong when they try to install them.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  131. Bruce R. Gary

    It's just business as usual under the leadership of Janet "Clueless" Naplitano. She proven time and again, she couldn't manage an outhouse full of flies, much less the TSA.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  132. Bill Borchert

    Hard to make excuses for this sort of thing....but it would be easier to hold the current administration accountable if Obama's nominee to head Homeland Security hadn't been held up by Senator Shelby for almost a year.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  133. Cordwainer

    KC, MO
    It means the government needs pay for performance. Goals get set; don't meet a goal, don't get paid. This would be a simple, achievable goal. Install scanners in airports using huge sum of money provided.

    Of course, I also believe congressman and senators should be paid by the hour. ONLY hours spent in their house or senate office, or the house or senate chambers would be payable. Not eating dinner, not campaigning, and not on a trip of any kind.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  134. mike

    OUT OF SITE OUT OF MIND: it's just not a priority to prevent such things, otherwise it would have been at least half-way done. Lets all read up on Orwell's " Animal Farm" and we'll see the pecking order.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  135. Sandy Denny

    Unbelievable....and people want the government to get their hands into health care? All the top terrorist honchos say that a terror attack is eminent within the next 6 months, so shouldn't we expedite the installation of hi-tech screening equipment! By the time it is installed it will be obsolute.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  136. Joe

    This should be yet another indicator of how well the government would handle public health care. If they can't manage this, how bad do you think they would mess public health care?????

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  137. Pamela holt

    Foley,al. For fear of repeating myself, may I say it again? iNCOMPETANCE!!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Otto

    Good question Jack but is that the right question?
    You say the government hasn't installed a single scanner over the one year they were ordered and paid for. Sounds to me that the government are not the ones installing these things.
    I'll bet they are done by private companies and the politicians are all fighting over the spoils. Maybe the contract was not awarded to "XE" AKA Halliburton.
    Blaming the government is only one part of the puzzle. The government is a bureaucratic nightmare of which we awake and scream HELP!
    Do you see what's happening in Washington? Would it not be easier to give these guys boxing gloves or baseball bats so that they can bash each other? Oh, yes; while the tax payers are left hanging out to dry. Let's bring back the days when it was fare to fight each other with loaded guns; you remember that part of history, right? Sorry, the government is just a lazy set of carpet baggers.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  139. Mort

    Jack, it means that we have successfully allowed the terrorists to infiltrate key areas of our government so as to severely slow down the deployment of these devices and thus make it easier for their next terrorist plans. Perhaps we should add some key government names to the terrorist list because they are effectively helping the bad guys?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  140. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The company that makes airport scanners C.E.O. was the same person who was head man at Homeland Security ,maybe they need more stimulus money?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  141. The Broker.

    "They are still on paper jack. If anything is expensive! High profile? They need the money before it goes into production. There is no proof they work anyways. How do you go about about servicing something like that, when they don't have enough qualified tech's available. This is really 'High Tech stuff'. Toyota don'e enough Techs either or there would not have their problem. After-service on sales, is always a let down.."

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  142. Jeff

    I want to know how installing airport scanners will stimulate the US economy. This is just another case of the government wasting money by not getting things done on time. While the government takes their time getting airport scanners installed it appears to the public that they are putting our safety at risk.

    Jeff in NJ

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  143. George

    Come on Jack: its not the govt that hasn't installed the scanners, it is the Executive Branch, more accurately, the "Administration". It is the Obama Administration that decided to provide civilian trial for KSM, not the "govt" as CNN keeps reporting. The govt has 3 branches. Lay the blame precisely where it belongs, with the present "Administration". Thanks. Love your work. George

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  144. Gary Lee Las Vegas

    Why should this be any different than anything else the government does? The government can't run this stimulus any better than they run anything else. If the country could run off of hot air, we would be in great shape.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  145. Mark in NJ

    I guess spending the stimulus money on new park benches out in the midwest is more important. What is Homeland Security doing for us?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  146. tom

    they need to get to work. If they want some jobs higher some people to put everything into place. it is a securety risk not to have them in place and it is a waste to have them seting around while people are looking for work

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  147. Dave Eikelberg

    I'll tell you what it means. I work in government and I can tell you that the Federal Acquisition Regulations have gotten so convoluted trying to be fair to everyone... that it no longer properly serves anyone. You can't get anything done in less than a year and this is also what is hampering Washington from getting ARRA money out into the economy. Most government employees are hard working people like anyone else and want to get things done.

    Orlando, Florida

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  148. Inkfink

    The government can pass rules, regulation and laws but the key that IS NOT covered by the media is IMPLEMENTATION!!! This is a perfect of example of this.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  149. Vijay M

    Politics as usual -arrogance & beurocratic maze at work again...have a safe flight folks..

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  150. Kevin

    And you want this government to be in control of health care?

    Hasn't anyone realized if you want something done right, then don't get government to do it?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  151. Joan

    Could it be because of all those people who are so up in arms about their privacy?
    Probably the same ones who blame the government when these same privacy rights allow the torrorists to slip through the security systems.
    What is the big deal about privacy unless you have something suspicious to hide?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  152. kevin

    Since the Gov. bought them with our money, How can I get mine back in order to put it on E-bay so I can make my next house payment

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  153. Rusty Taylor

    Jack "We the People" have everything in the world promised by BOTH parties in Washington,,,,the ONLY thing Washington politicians CAN deliver on is lying. It means you cannot trust the people up there ,,,,from what I gather the machines do not work anyway,,,,,,so what does it matter if they haven't been installed, the machine sounds a lot like a fraud to me , just like Homeland security,,,Just a waste of taxpayer money.Thanks Jack, Rusty from Odessa Texas.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  154. Wm in PA

    Do these US based scanners detect bombs being carried onto airliners in: London, Cairo, Dubai, Amsterdam or Paris? Or just in the airports where they are installed?
    There has not been any big rash of bombs being taken aboard flights originating in the United States. But, we continue to enjoy the carnage of our highways where 44 thousand Americans die each and every year. Half of these deaths are human persons (corporations are exempt from death) who were innocent and following the traffic laws while the other half were breaking: electronic traffic control?
    Sorry Jack it is not about safety – just which corporate persons get the government cash.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  155. Pete - Georgia

    Jack, we could solve this and a dozen other gridlock problems in Washington by simply replacing EVERY useless bureaucrat in government with American housewives who have more common sense in their little fingers than all the over educated, over paid leeches combined.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  156. Joe

    Obviously you've never worked in a company that had to deploy equipment. After all the steps of doing a proof of concept, they then need to find a locations in the airports, run power, network cables, train people on their use, create a maintenance plan and deploy spare parts... I've worked for several major retailers and it can take well over a year to deploy a new PC to a store if it hasn't existed there previously. If very efficient companies can't do it quicker with simple PCs why would you think a specialized piece of equipment could be done quicker. Sounds like you need to actually research your stories before inciting people to get mad at government...

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  157. Karl

    Easy: WE elected a bunch of high school debate champions who managed to convince the American people they were smart.

    What they don't have is experience. At ANYTHING, much less national security. They are RANK Amateurs who are out to prove their political ideas, not secure the country. They STILL don't believe we have enemies. That is the basic reason for the lack of urgency.

    Oh by the way, we could have stopped this guy long before he got on the plane, if we actually had experienced operations guys in charge instead of DC lawyers recommended from the party circuit. No Scanner needed. It is just another system to beat.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  158. Aaron Stutts

    Wow it's time to just flush everybody out. and put all knew people in. you have to drain the water out of your bathroom because it gets dirty. same is true with DC

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  159. steve- virginia beach

    Napolitano is a political cronie who is unqualified for the job. We reap what we sow.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  160. Just MEa

    So they ordered 150 machines. Did they order maintenance contracts on thee machines? Did they order training for the personnel who will be manning those machines? Did they even HIRE the personnel to use the new machines? Did anybody figure out if the airports had enough power to support plugging them in? Are there safety issues which require modification of the installation area? I'd be interested to know how many of the seven months it took for the TSA to even receive the $$.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  161. Eric L

    Jack, I'm going to form a committee to look at this. When we figure out an answer this summer sometime, we'll stage it for deployment – got a few months?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  162. Noel

    Our government has proven over and over again that they are liars and cheats, only out for their own interests or the interests of those they are in bed with. The members of this kakistocracy have lost all of my faith in them to perform their sworn duties with any integrety.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  163. gregpry erato

    just another example of federal heel dragging Jack. our money is in outer space as far as i am concerned -they had better get those detectors installed a.s.a.p

    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  164. Ruthie

    There are TSA screeners around the country who know me (i.e., my body) better than my doctor. I really have to get myself psyched up to keep my big bazzoo shut every time I go through airport security. I really would like to know just what profile I fit– I'm a 66-year-old WASP widowed grandmother from San Diego. I think our airport security is totally wrongly directed. We need to profile. Sorry, but I don't think that's any more intrusive than having screeners around the country asking if my bra has underwires!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  165. Sean

    Politicians seem to think they are royalty, out of touch, indifferent, scandalous and petty. How do we fire these idiots????, in the real world they would be. I have a budget proposal, pay based on performance.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  166. Aaron in Dallas

    This is a fine example of our government hard at work. They are spending more time finding a place to store these scanners and coming up with explanations as to why this situation has developed than they would be to solve the problem. This cannot be that hard of a problem to solve and if the problem is getting through the red tape then find a $20,000 pair of scissors to cut through the tape.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  167. Ron from Minnesota

    I am sure that Napolitano is getting a salary more than she is worth. If she had a position like that in the private sector, she would have been fired long ago. Next fall "We the People" will take back this dysfunctional government that we have now. I just wonder what Obama's legacy will read like in 3 more years. That's scary!!!!!!!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  168. Ken in NC

    It shows how our government thinks. They passed a bill to buy and pay for the machines but didn’t allocate funds for installation and no decision was made where to place them. Now Congress will have to debate or filibuster those two issues over the next 3 years.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  169. Marc

    I would rather them not put these in at all. These machines can be abused and have been in the past, just ask Indian Actor Shah Rukh Khan who autographed his own scan after airport officials printed his image out. Until they know for sure that they can't be tampered with I'll take the pat down.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  170. Terry

    It means that the government has not changed one bit. It just keeps getting worse. Call it what you like but it probably is not "change you can believe in". I don't really blame the President. I'm sure he actually thought he could change things buts it is way beyond just one man.
    It really does beg the question how can they can administer governmen tcontrolled health care when they can't get scanners in the airports!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  171. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Be afraid Jack, be very afraid. Personally, I'm sick and tired of everyone being treated as potential criminals or terrorists because of a few. Israel does it better and cheaper. Why can't we do the same?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  172. Hooker Jay (Monroe, Michigan)

    Jack, it means that these scanners are being held hostage in an undisclosed location by terrorists, and the sooner they get to stuff their office freezers with the ransom money ... well ... you know the rest.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  173. charlie

    It means that they are slow and insufficient. What else is new? When have the people in charge of this country ever came through on time? I'll tell you when, it happens when whatever they implement directly affects them personally(i.e. pay raises, contracts with a kick back etc). Evidently this is of little importance to them as the ball has stopped rolling. That means our safety is not of the slightest concern or there is no threat to america. You pick.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  174. Coral Anderson

    Homeland Security is another bloated bureaucracy that is too fat to function. It needs to lose weight in order to run fast and efficiently. If the dept. was made up of 10 people instead of thousands, the scanners would have been installed within a month of funding confirmation

    February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  175. Eric in Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I guess more people will have to sadly perish before we "GET IT" or at least DHS or someone in government does. Like you I shake my head in disbelief and at the gross inefficiency within government. Based on the single scanner in DC, and the rest in storage...I'd say there is a distribution problem wouldn't you say?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  176. Siera

    At least it is getting done now - The Bush Administration did NOTHING!!
    The fact is, it were not for Obama's Stimulus Package, there would not have been any money allocated to do this at all !

    February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  177. Mark, New York City

    This country is honeslty a mess. To hear that over 100 of these machines are cllecting dust is a serious problem. I find it hard to believe this is the fault of Congress. President Obama the buck stops with you, or at least with the incompetant Homeland Security Team you put in place.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  178. Si Daugherty

    Will Rogers said that the biggest contribution is that it gets the 500 biggest liars in the country and put them in the same place. My Dad, God rest his soul, said that FDR ruined the country by inflating the government, filling it with everyone who could not get a job anywhere else. What a plan for disaster. And we have no one to blame but ourselves for setting up such a system. What do we expect ?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  179. william

    Jack, does this have anything to do with Congress being unwilling to grant many of President Obama's appointments? Isn't the TSA official one of those ground up and spit out by the dysfunctional sausage maker?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  180. Chris

    No was died in a airplane attacked by a terriost since 9/11. Unfortunaly, it will take the loss of more lives, before the sense of urgency comes back. How quickly we forget


    February 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  181. Scott in Alamogordo

    It means the humongous agency the Bushies created-the one that couldn't stop the Underwear Bomber even with years to practice, and warnings from his father-can't even manage something that is more of an engineering project than a terror issue. What do you suppose will happen when they start to worry about other forms of travel, or infrastructure?
    The govt is broken–too bad Obama didn't come along about 30 years ago.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  182. Chris - Sarasota, Florida

    Dear Jack,
    It simply goes to show how faulty our government is. This is comparable to the visas that the federal government sent the 9/11 pilots to let them stay in the country longer after, they just killed nearly three thousand people and not to mention... they were dead. The government does this kind of thing all the time. I don't think it shows that the stimulus isn't working, there's other evidence for that; it just gives us another example of how slow and faulty our government is.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  183. Mike in Manila

    I suspect that installing such devices in the already congested departure area is not as simple as opening a Krispy Kreme kiosk in a terminal. It's not exactly plug and play! Our nation's busiest airports are the ones least prepared to handle such quick reconfigurations. While 7 months of waiting to order seems long, if they had done it quickly, ala the handheld bomb detectors, you'd be jumping up and down at how the were so quick to waste tax dollars. Exposing this delay is important but casting aspersions on a difficult system is not.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  184. Dave, Cedar Rapids, IA

    Sorry Jack, delivery is extra.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  185. TommyC

    It means we're wasting our money.... and time... and now breath.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  186. lynn

    Jack why in the hell didn't you ask some of these same questions when GW was in office?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  187. Walter

    Well Jack, this government can't seem to do much right. They won't simplify a healthcare package that could reduce costs. They want to ram something, appears anything, down our throats. They want Green Anything, so that we can pay more in the name of doing good and creating jobs that won't come on line for another decade. The only thing they want to do, for sure, is tax us so they can spend more, not reduce anything. They talk a good game about protecting us, but it sounds like the same lip-service. It is frustrating. Their arrogance is amazing. But they all claim they understand our pain and concern. They understand nothing. Once upon a time we had leadership, now we have self-serving and payoffs. And they will wonder why the next attack happened. Probably form another commission or two. Georgia

    February 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  188. Don B

    And some people wonder why we're so fed up with what's broken in Washington. Napolitano needs to be replaced. PERIOD!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  189. Peter Thorpe

    The government is flat out inept and only does something if it makes them look good. Spending the money on the scanners looked good....installing them – well that doesn't make for good press. Besides, it's common sense that once you buy something, you put it into use, not storage...right?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  190. Liz, Los Angeles, CA

    It means they're asleep at the switch. After all, wouldn't the drastic move of installing those machines "save or create" some jobs? Give Americans a break from this rampant stupidity, please.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  191. Jim M

    This is not administration policy. It's beurocracy, pure and simple. It's individual Americans who are more interested in their little empires, rather than doing their jobs. Heads need to roll, starting with Ms Janet, if she cant follow through, along with all those put in charge of this deployment. Remember, most of these people are career beurocrats who didnt all vote democrat..

    February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  192. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Unfortuantely, the only way this would have been surprising is if you told me all 150 scanners were up, running, and functional. When it comes to government inefficiency and waste of taxpayor dollars, we really can't set the expectations bar any lower than they already are without going subterranean. In the private sector if you spent $25million on something you never used, you'd lose your job. If you work for the government, like Napolitano, you get a raise and a promotion. And DC thinks we need more government to solve our problems, yeah, that's the ticket.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  193. Tim

    This is proof that big government programs are doomed to fail. I get the idea of a deployment plan. They need to sequence the installs, make arrangments with all of the airports to have them installed, have a backup plan in case they don't work when installed, etc. Of course, I'm not sure why they couldn't have been working that out in parallel to the procurement process.

    For matters of national security, we are stuck with what our government can do. But can you imagine if this is the type of response the government has when running national healthcare?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  194. Sarah


    This is government as usual in America. If our federal government has a rival for most lethargic, unresponsive, unaccountable, and fiscally irresponsible, it undoubtedly could only be a state government – no private company could survive with this magnitude of mismanagement.

    The wasteful entity is being expanded at an alarming rate, and will continue to do so until at least 2012.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  195. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It means the scanners have reached their deployment destination, in storage.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  196. Nick from Vancouver B.C.

    It means that you are safe from us crazy Canadians because we have those scanners here in Vancouver. We must pass through them only if travelling to the U.S. Funny how your government can get other governments to do things without doing it themselves. Isn't that the arrogant "do what I say not what I do attitude?" Isn't the U.S. always the last to act. We have had good universal health care here too, which you still don't have. Yes Jack ..this is a typical example of how you're government is broken. Instead of telling others what to do, maybe its time your Government starts getting their own house in order.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  197. Jeanette Moore

    Government employees don't have to work hard or efficiently or on time or in the best interest of the public. Do yo know why? THEY CAN'T BE FIRED! It would take world war three started by a government employee for the government to change the "firing" rules. They are untouchable.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  198. aroth

    It means that someone, somewhere actually has a brain. We didn't need these scanners a year ago, and we don't need them now. Hopefully they will never get deployed.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  199. tony in ga

    I have to wonder what was the last thing the gov. got wright any body know. Keep up the good work!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  200. Scott


    Relax. We don't need them yet, just like we didn't need levy reinforcements in New Orleans or bridge maintenance in Minnesota. They will be installed AFTER the next big airport disaster happens so everyone can relax until then.


    Los Angeles

    February 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  201. Moe Dallas TX

    We have the money in China in a savings account to pay off the National Debt with the interest..

    February 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  202. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Well Jack, seems like par for the course to me. These are the idiots we have working for us at TSA. And you are telling me that this government and federal employees want to oversee Health Care? This is just another fine example of your government at work for you!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  203. Clark1b

    how about this:
    1. the federal government doesn't have the ability to prioritize items that need to be accomplished.
    2. the federal government loves creating laws, legislation and regulations ... but never attempts to delete the old obsolete or dysfunctional laws, legislation and regulations ... or even the conflicting ones.
    3. we have managers at every level of government but very few leaders.
    4. our politicians are more parochial minded and less big picture minded.
    5. the voters don't do their homework when voting for candidates ... they just like their ears tickled by nice sounding rhetoric or their visual senses stimulated by nice looking politicians .

    February 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  204. Monica in Jacksonville

    Hey Jack,
    Remember the stink in the Clinton days about uber-expensive haircuts and toilet-seats?
    I wish this were that trivial.
    How is it that Washington DC has had this machine, while other major cities do not?
    It is the one airport that EVERYONE in Gov has to deal with leaving. Not really very funny.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  205. Keith

    I have worked in large businesses for most of my carreer. I have seen many a rollout and deployment phase of projects take long amounts of time. We just never had to share the plans with CNN.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  206. Eddy

    Simply because we deserve the best and anything we do has to be perfect. And one of the prices you pay to achieve perfection is... you have to wait a "little" longer.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  207. James Florida

    Dear Jack

    It means nothing more than failure.
    Just like the American Citizen approval rating of Congress, Failure.

    The United States Constitution clearly states.

    If the Government is not doing the will of the people the people have a right for a REDRESS and the People have a right to ABOLOISH the Government for not doing the will of the People.

    When are we as Americans going to stand together and let the Government that they are FIRED.
    It is our Constitutional right as Americans.
    The Government is not broken.
    It is Corrupt just like the Banks and Corporations.

    Let the Second American Revolution begine.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  208. Hal

    It means the same thing as it does that the Greenlane/ Maritime Security act set aside funds to inspect 100% of cargo at our nations sea ports "not later than December 31, 2007." It's not happening. I know; my company builds the machines to do it. Here's why: These machines sound alarms - CBP/DHS must train people and respond according to a working ooperation plan. In other words, if they deploy the machines, then they become responsible for a breach. Bureaucracies don't take responsibility. And besides, politicians love having those un-spent funds to redirect to defense programs we don't need and the military doesn't want...

    February 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  209. Don

    Obama has delivered everything he stated he would do in his
    campaign. Transform America, "Change you can believe in".
    TRILLIONS of additional deficit and nothing to show for it.
    You were all fooled but I don't know why. Your getting what was promised.
    Thank God he wasn't able to rush through a government run health care plan before people understood the ramifications.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  210. Frank Young

    Our BUREAUCRATS countinue to make wrong decisions!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  211. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    Trailers sit vacant from Katrina until they rot, money spent on stupid pet pork projects, now the scanners sit idle. Jack this is government that "WE THE PEOPLE" keep sending back to office year after year, because we want our share of the pie, but think the rest of the nation should go bulimic. I am just glad that once I retire from the military I know my check can go to a Costan Rican or Tahitian bank!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  212. Linda in Oklahoma

    Big government moves at a snail's pace, but it is amazing how that pace quickens when the media shines the spotlight on its excesses and inefficiencies! Keep up the heat, Jack. Maybe we'll have those scanners by Christmas!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  213. jeff jackson, alabama

    Jack, it means that this administration does
    not take the war on terror the least bit serious.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  214. John, Minneapolis

    You need to BACK-OFF. This Administration is still cleaning up and taking credit for ,Bushs' mess.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  215. Kevin

    Well, the "dowsing rod" type of scanner is just a con-artist hoax and the "puff box" type of scanner, while working just fine under "laboratory" conditions (ie in a "clean room", perfect conditions etc) havent really panned out when actually put to "real life" use in the field (airports etc).
    They have no real way to deal with the amount of dust and pollution found in an airport and the few that have been installed are "down" more then they are working, and when it *is* working, there is no way to tell if they are actually correctly calibrated.
    In other words, they are as useful as a politicians empty promises.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  216. steve- virginia beach

    Since our 9/11 wake-up call, there were zero attacks under Bush and three under Obama. Maybe we need an actual anti-terror expert heading DHS? Just maybe?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  217. Sam

    Let's see, these explosive detectors are deployed in D.C. but not to the rest of the country. I think this shows where our lawmakers hearts are. Certainly they aren't terribly concerned with the safety of their constituents.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  218. Mark in Arkansas

    What does it mean? It means Government is acting "normally".

    February 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  219. Lynda from Greenville, NC

    I'm really not surprised – it takes the government forever to do anything, there are so many levels of red tape to go through! Of course you embarassing them might speed things up a bit, so thanks!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  220. Jim Rowland

    Now, with the Highest Court in the land giving "BIG BUISINESS and Foreign Governments" the go ahead to fund our political system, what does one expect! If you haven't noticed "BIG BUISINESS" got the Simulus $$$. The "Tax Payers" are lucky they got something(scanners, in a warehouse waiting for the warranty to expire; yet) for their money, in most cases we do not see it, we just hear about it.

    Broken, we are beyond broken!

    So, what are our choices: vote for a change in government ? Ah yes, vote in a new official again supported by "BIG BUISINESS". I wonder how this works? What about a Tea Party with the "Tea" donated by, yes you guessed it, "BIG BUISINESS".


    February 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  221. james brummett

    Jack-All employees should be fired for not moving the airport sensor project forward.They only care about the paycheck. Napolitano is first in line.-Jim

    February 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  222. MARCUS123 Flanders

    blame it on bush

    February 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  223. tom kauycheck

    stimulus money like every other program the goverment runs is a waste of our money. if goverment want to stimulate the ecomony
    it would be to cut the goverment spending be 20% in all dept.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  224. Patrick

    Here's a simple solution: Privatize everything.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  225. Rose

    If you want to witness first hand just how incompetent and a waste of money the TSA is just pay a visit to bush Alaska. My small (pop.2200) community has two jets (alaska airlines) a day. There is eight to ten TSA screeners on duty at an average salary of $34,000 who works an 8 hour shift but is actually only in the Airport Screening area for approx. 3 hours per day. The rest of that time is spent going for long walks or watching t.v. knitting & playing cards in their very comfortable private building next to the terminal, which the Dept. of Homeland Security Rents for an obscene amount of money. 80% of those that they actually do screen are personal friends and family members of the Screeners. This is common for all the landlocked communities throughout Alaska.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  226. K. Nemeth

    Wow, just another case of misappropriation of funds on behalf of the US Government there’s a shocker! Some people might say “Good enough for government work”. I think they should get a raise. Raises for not doing your job seems like the norm.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  227. Stewart in OR

    It means no follow up Jack. We should require officials like Janet to give us an end date the she would report back as to if the deadline has been met. She should schedule a press conference for end of July to publicly report on the status. If this were a for profit company, she'd be collecting unemployment.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  228. Jason From Dallas

    I didn't want those stupid things anyways, they invade peoples privacy. Not to mention that money could be spent on getting the record number of people that are out of work some jobs? Or maybe the homeless some homes?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  229. Would never go through these scanners

    No problems with dogs, which would be much more effective. These scanners are a complete invasion of privacy and have NO PLACE in a "free" country. I fly more than 100K miles per year so i have continual exposure to the dangers of terrorism in the air. No need to essentially strip search me like I am a criminal. The fact these scanners are even being considered is disgusting.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  230. Brad

    There is no need for them. Just ask Janet. There isn't a terrorist problem, there are just "man made incidents". That is what she calls them. As a resident in AZ, she is the worst pick ever for "homeland security". She is the open border queen!!!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm |