TSA administrator says screening process will not change anytime soon

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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The head of the Transportation Security Administration John Pistole said there would not be any immediate changes made to the TSA’s screening policy, but the administrator has been slowly walking back his defense of the invasive screening process since releasing a statement Sunday night.

“In the short term there will not be any changes,” said Pistole on CNN Monday. “But what I’m looking at is how we will best use the information we have with the intelligence from overseas … that coupled with the thoroughness that we believe is appropriate … we’re looking at there to see if there’s any basis for any way we can modify yet provide that level of security.”

Pistole made the rounds of all the major early morning shows less than a day after a short Sunday statement in which the administrator said the TSA would work to make pat-downs “as minimally invasive as possible.”

Although Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended TSA’s new procedures last week, both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently acknowledged that the public firestorm will most likely affect TSA’s screening policy.

Throughout his appearances, Pistole continued to defend TSA’s screening process, saying it was necessary to protect against would-be attackers like the 2009 Christmas Day bomber who would have been detected earlier with a pat down.

“The threats are real. We are facing a determined enemy … so that’s the bottom line for me,” said Pistole on MSNBC.” How can work in partnership with the American people to provide the safest travel possible.”

Unlike Clinton or Obama, Pistole said he had been through the screening process and had indeed received a pat-down.

“I felt it was thorough,” he said.