Friday, February 11, 2011

Jerry Orr and the TSA - Brothers in Incompetence

Imagine for a moment, if you will, standing in line at the Airport, shoes in hand, pockets emptied, ticket and boarding pass, along with your drivers license at the ready, next in line to be electronically scanned, or sexually assaulted, in order to board the plane for which you have purchased a ticket. You have no criminal record and no ties to any terrorist organizations. All is well.

Suddenly, crashing through the window of the terminal comes a taxi cab, laden with explosives, detonating in an enormous blast which forever changes your life, as well as the lives of all the people who were, just moments before, standing in line with you.

Sounds a bit crazy, doesn't it? But it's not so far fetched. At least not here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte-Douglas Airport, a major hub for air travel in the United States, has had it's share of troubles as of late. First, there was the boy in the wheel well of a plane, who managed to gain access to the tarmac, and fly to Boston, where he fell to his death. As of this writing no changes have been made at the airport in regards to the safety of the runways. And no one is responsible for that breach of security. I know this for a fact. I have called the TSA at Charlotte-Douglas Airport. They informed me that it was the provence of Charlotte Douglas Airport and it's Director, Jerry Orr, to deal with external security measures. Naturally, when I called the airport, they were not allowed to comment, due to security reasons.

Now we have some more fascinating news from Charlotte-Douglas Airport, regarding security, and once again a surprising lack of interest, or understanding, upon the part of the TSA.

This latest problem stems from the fact that Jerry Orr, Director of Charlotte-Douglas Airport, has awarded a contract to 2 cab companies, Royal and King Cab, both of Charlotte. There seems to be nothing unusual about this, until you scratch the surface. Two owners of the companies, who are brothers, have both served time for a felony. Okay, Jerry Orr takes the position that these men have served their time and are thus free to participate in all aspects of society again, including negotiating, and obtaining, contracts to run cabs out of Charlotte-Douglas Airport. Again, there seems to be nothing wrong with this scenario, until you once again, scratch the surface.

Just what was the crime that the brothers, Javed and Naheed Kashmary, were found guilty of in Federal Court in 2007? They conspired to obtain 40 phony driver's licenses, a tool which is indispensable if you are planning to drive bomb laden cars into the airport.

I'm not saying that the brothers Kashmary are planning any type of terrorist act. And even if they were, they would just be doing their jobs. But the task of the TSA, and the mandate of Jerry Orr, as Director of Charlotte-Douglas Airport, is to look beyond the surface and do more than just go through the motions of doing their jobs. The primary goal, for which they are paid, is to protect you and I. To that end, they are both failing.

Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon gets it. He has called for a delay on the awarding of the contracts to the Kashmary brothers. He wants it put to a vote of the Charlotte City Council. He is to be commended for this stance. Call him and let him know that you agree with his measured approach to this sensitive issue. Here is his number: 704-336-3380.

The other contact numbers which I used in preparing this article are as follows;

Terry Stanton of the TSA. His number is 704-916-3328.

Terry Burgess of the TSA. He is the Assistant Director of Security Compliance. His number is 704-916-3322.

Jerry Orr, Director of Charlotte-Douglas Airport. His number is 704-359-4013.

For the record, I was unable to obtain any logical, or sensible answers to my questions. And remember, we pay these people. Now, if I disappear suddenly and without warning, you will know why.

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