Today's Blogs

Bombs Away

Bloggers are exasperated by more bad news about airport security. They also tweak the State Department’s inspector general for failing to disclose that his brother was a Blackwater board member and wax skeptical about Georgia’s power of prayer.

Bombs away: The Government Accountability Office reports that its agents were able to smuggle all the parts needed to make a bomb through 16 TSA airport security checkpoints.  GAO’s revelation doesn’t surprise bloggers. 

“Air security checkpoints are more about providing the veneer of security rather than actually providing security,” writes Lawhawk at A Blog for All, offering a grim prognosis. “Terrorists determined to penetrate such security may be able to do so as these tests show. That they haven’t to this point is more luck than skill on our part.” And it’s “what we long suspected,” saysTime’s news-roundup blog Ag. “Airport security is pretty much useless aside from being a repository for bad attitude.”

Annie Jacobsen first wrote about airport security in this controversial “Terror in the Skies, Again?” piece in 2004 and started Aviation Nation one year ago. She responds to TSA’s defense of the breach with the analogy that airport security “is like a combination lock. If you get through one layer of security, it doesn’t mean you get through all layers of security.”  Jacobsen alleges TSA “assumes all passengers are stupid, or not paying attention, and don’t realize the obvious: that TSA’s security checkpoint for bombs is the last line of security. After that, you’re on the plane!”

Finance-focused Money and Such’s Shadox asks, “Do you think that they are likely to stop making you take off your shoes, relinquish your tooth-paste or search your grandmother? Not by a long shot. Here is what I foresee as the likely outcome: be prepared for more stringent and completely meaningless security measures Musing’s Musings proposes: “The answer is to get serious about what we’re looking for, what we need to worry about, and who is likely to carry it.” Read more blogger comments on to the GOA report.

A tale of Cookie and Buzzy: State Department inspector general Howard Krongard has recused himself from “all Blackwater-related issues” after revealing that his brother served on the security firm’s advisory board. Krongard previously denied his brother’s involvement with Blackwater. Bloggers don’t buy his excuse that he wasn’t aware of his brother’s position there.

TPM Muckraker’s Spencer Ackerman declares, “Howard ‘Cookie’ Krongard … has some explaining to do. Yesterday he told Congress that his brother, A.B. ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, never told him that Buzzy joined the advisory board of State Department contractor Blackwater. Only Buzzy told me that he told Cookie precisely that in a phone conversation about two or three weeks ago. It’s going to be a fun Thanksgiving for the Krongards.” Dave Lindorff, blogging at, seethes: “So now we see that the Krongard brothers have a level of integrity that is down in the sewer, with one working for a murderous mercenary outfit that has been slaughtering innocent Iraqis in the course of providing ‘protection’ to State Department officials in Iraq, and the other pretending to investigate the activities of that private firm.”

Jon Ponder at liberal Brad Blog snipes, “The White House is probably busy right now dusting off a Medal of Freedom—as well as complete and full pardon—for Howard ‘Cookie’ Krongard, their inspector general (IG) at the State Dept.” Lefty Mercury Rising’s MEC joins in the Bush-bashing, “Howard Krongard has been accused of interfering with investigations into fraud and mismanagement by State Department contractors—i.e., doing exactly the opposite of what an inspector general is supposed to do. Considering that he’s a Bush appointee, I have no difficulty believing the accusations. Wouldn’t that be why Bush gave him the job?”

Read more blogger reaction to the Krongard scandal.

Power of prayer: Georgia’s governor called a prayer vigil Tuesday at the state capitol in Atlanta to pray for rain to relieve the state’s water shortage. Last night, about a quarter inch of rain fell across the city. Most bloggers balk at crediting the divine.

Frenchman in America SuperFrenchie wonders, “what’s the difference between the Georgia governor leading an official prayer for rain, and a rain dance in some primitive culture? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something as ridiculous in all my years living here.” The predictably snarky Wonkette contributes, “Wow, God really must love him, eh? One other thing, though: They have on most local news shows, as well as on the Internet, this thing called an ‘extended weather forecast’ that can tell you when a major ‘cold front’ bringing ‘moisture’ is coming. Did God direct Perdue to that, also?”

South Dakota-based Christian blog Dakota Voice speaks up for the faithful: “I believe it was in 2006 that Governor Mike Rounds declared a day (or week?) of prayer for rain in our parched state of South Dakota. And within days the rain began to fall, and the worst drought areas in the state were downgraded and it even began to green up in August out here in the dry West River area. … God or coincidence, both here and in Georgia? You be the judge for yourself … but my money’s on God.”

Read more bloggers on Georgia’s prayers for rain.