9/11 Commission Report Blasts Former FAA Administrator
Since the commission
investigating the 9/11 attacks released its report Friday, the FAA
has taken a lot of the heat and no one there has been scorched more
than former Administrator Jane Garvey.
"She was unaware of a great amount of hijacking threat
information from her own intelligence unit, which, in turn, was not
deeply involved in the agency's policy making process," the report
In other words, Garvey -- the former chief at Logan Field and
now a consultant to the Democratic National Convention in Boston
this week -- didn't pay "much attention" to the warnings she got
from her own intelligence sources.
Garvey (right) disagreed with the 9/11 commission's
characterization of the FAA under her command.
"The top secret and
classified information was coming in fairly regularly that
summer... early spring through August," she said, as quoted by the
Boston Globe. "We were aware of more activity [but] the predominant
information pointed to a concern for overseas terrorism. I think
what is important, at least from the FAA's perspective and my
perspective, is that I was receiving everything the agency was
But the report severely dinged the FAA for security lapses it
said contributed to the 9/11 hijackings. Commission members said
screeners (who worked for the airlines before the terror attacks)
failed to detect "even obvious FAA test items." When confronted
with the problem, the FAA under Garvey simply failed to act in an
aggressive way to address the problem.
"Secondary screening of individuals and their carry-on bags to
identify weapons (other than bombs) was nonexistent, except for
passengers who triggered the metal detectors," the report said.
''Even when small knives were detected by secondary screening, they
were usually returned to the traveler."
Even when the FAA did institute more stringent checks on some of
the 19 hijackers, the report said, the checks amounted to only
having their checked luggage examined. The hijackers themselves
were -- with one possible exception -- treated as routine