As has been the case since the agency's inception, its agents missed the overwhelming majority of "red team" attempts to smuggle weapons past its checkpoints: 67 out of 70 this time.
In part, this is because the TSA is staffed by clods and jobsworths who are capable of maintaining the solemn pretense that breast milk and nail files are existential threats to the aviation system.
Much more important is the fact that it is neurologically impossible to remain vigilant for things that never happen. If you ask yourself to maintain vigilance for incidences of common water bottles (which your adversaries persistently try to smuggle past you, both deliberately and accidentally) and incredibly rare, nearly unheard-of, statistical outliers of weapons and bombs and such, your brain will get very good at recognizing water bottles, largely by de-tasking and commandeering the neural stuff that's meant to be looking for AKs and plastique.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests.
“Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,” the DHS said in a written statement to ABC News.
TSA failure: Investigators able to smuggle weapons past airport checks in 95 percent of tests [Justin Fishel, Pierre Thomas, Mike Levine and Jack Date/Newsnet 5]
(Image: Steampunk gun - raygun, Alexander Schlesier, CC-BY-SA)