TSA Takes Military Turn


A lot of the debate about how to handle the threat of terrorism, actual terrorism and the results of terrorism in the U.S. has been about whether it’s a military or justice issue.After apparently leaning the other way initially, President Obama now seems to think a military mindset is what is needed or, perhaps, is what is wanted in a Transportation Security Administration leader.Certainly, retired Maj. Gen. Robert Harding has the credentials for a job that should be one of prevention rather than retribution. What’s not clear is how his mix of experience, most of it as a military man, will play out in the varying constituencies (of which GA is only one) in practical terms.After the failed attempt to nominate Errol Southers, a civilian, to the job and the heat he’s taken about the housing of terrorist suspects in prisons on home soil, Obama appears to be taking the politically expedient route in nominating Harding.Although an evening spent surfing the Internet hardly qualifies as an in-depth review of Robert Harding’s qualifications, the scarcity of information available on him doesn’t give us a lot to go on.But it would be unusual if he didn’t bring a military bias to the job and that’s not a good omen for GA. A military perspective has given us most of the things we hate about GA security and most of the things that just don’t make any sense.On the other hand, it could be that Harding is one of the two listings on the FAA Airmen Registry (all information is blocked on both of them) that match his name, and he may well have a good handle on the place GA has in the overall security scheme.After he steps out of the shadows, there will be some questions waiting and we can’t wait to hear the answers.