Saturday, January 2, 2010

Erroll Southers Lies to Congress: Congress Knew Southers Lied

President Obama's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lied to Congress. His confirmation to the office has been moved-up to tomorrow (just kidding - but probably). Not only did he lie, but some in Congress knew he lied before advancing his nomination in November 2009. See video below.

Erroll Southers

Unfortunately, the names of the Senators privvy to the lies, who voted for him anyway, are not in print. TSA is a division of Homeland Security. If Southers' confirmation is successful, he is scheduled to take the position in January 2010:
Southers, a former FBI agent, has described inconsistencies in his accounts to Congress as "inadvertent" and the result of poor memory of an incident that dates back 20 years. He said in a Nov. 20 letter to key senators obtained by The Post that he had accepted full responsibility long ago for a "grave error in judgment" in accessing confidential criminal records about his then-estranged wife's new boyfriend.
Southers gave a sworn affidavit in October 2009 - and apparently lied.
Southers first described the episode in his October affidavit, telling the Senate panel that two decades ago he asked a San Diego Police Department employee to access confidential criminal records about the boyfriend. Southers said he had been censured by superiors at the FBI. He described the incident as isolated and expressed regrets about it.

The committee approved his nomination Nov. 19. One day later, Southers wrote to Lieberman and Collins saying his first account was incorrect. After reviewing documents, he wrote, he recalled that he had twice conducted the database searches himself, downloaded confidential law enforcement records about his wife's boyfriend and passed information on to the police department employee, the letter said.
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has opposed Southers' nomination, saying Southers intends to allow TSA workers to unionize, and he points out the danger in doing so:
"Today, the TSA has flexibility to make real-time decisions that allowed it to quickly improve security measures in response to this attempted attack," he said in a statement sent to Sphere by his staff. "Yet, many Americans aren't aware that the president's nominee to lead the TSA appears ready to give union bosses the power to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports."
 An "aviation security consultant Rich Roth says DeMint's concern is not  valid because the White House and the head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, will make the final decision about unionization.

Democrats intimate had Southers been in place at the TSA, the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber may have been thwarted. DeMint says Obama took 243 days to nominate a candidate for the position:
"President Obama did not make this a priority, waiting 243 days in office before making a nomination, and Harry Reid has been too busy trading earmarks for votes on health care to schedule debate on the nominee."
This report from Bill Wilson at Americans for Limited Government, places blame on Senator Harry Reid and Barack Obama:
“Harry Reid’s own compulsive obsessive behavior in ruthlessly, recklessly pushing through his government health care takeover is what prevented Southers from being confirmed,” Wilson said. “And if any political action opened the door to a terrorist walking unmolested onto a domestic airline, it was Barack Obama’s laissez faire, politically correct attitude towards Islamic radicalism, not Jim DeMint following Senate rules.”
In the video below, you'll hear DeMint explain that collective bargaining (unions) has never been allowed inside the TSA. DeMint says there is a good reason for this and gives the example that when an emergency happens, we can't wait for union bosses to decide whether or not a worker can be moved from one place within an airport to another. Obama will win this one, and of course, TSA workers will be unionized.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Senator Jim DeMint - Erroll Southers (video)

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