WASHINGTON – As a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement after attending a hearing yesterday to examine the lessons and implications of the Christmas Day attack on an airplane headed to Detroit, MI.
Sen. Carper said: “This holiday season travelling with my family, I was struck by the overwhelming number of people moving through our nation’s airports. It is easy to see what a monumental job it is to know who everyone is, what everyone is carrying and what, if anything, they may be trying to conceal.
“Having said that, the men and women whose job it is to keep our planes and airways safe have done a remarkable job for more than eight years. Unfortunately, on Christmas Day 2009, mistakes were made.
“At yesterday’s hearing, I was impressed with all three witnesses who helped the Committee identify areas of weakness in our security measures, including both human and technological errors. Moving forward, we will make sure people are held accountable for mistakes and that they continue to strive for excellence. As I learned as a naval flight officer, if it isn’t perfect, make it better.
“My final question for the witnesses was not just what can you do to improve safety for travelers, but what can Congress do as your partner in this effort.
“I look forward to working with Secretary Napolitano, other member of the Administration and my colleagues in the Senate to continue to improve our national protections against people who wish to do us harm.”
Testifying at the hearing were Janet A. Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence; and Michael E. Leiter, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
A second hearing on the topic will be held on January 26, 2010.