Michelle Malkin

Why bother paying 50,000 TSA screeners at more than 420 U.S. airports to stand around, confiscating scissors and baby nail clippers in the name of homeland security, when any computer geek with proficiency in Adobe Photoshop can sweet-talk his way on board a plane with help from a gullible airline employee?

How many toddlers and grandmas were stopped for random checks at the boarding gate while Benati and his pal whizzed right by?

Where was the Transportation Security Intelligence Service (there's an oxymoron) to stop this faker and his partner from perpetrating brazen identity fraud?

And if one con artist such as Benati can game the system so easily, how can TSA claim to be defending us effectively against any more of Osama bin Laden's airborne warriors?

Customs records show that Benati had flown into Miami at least one other time last fall from Brazil, which highlights troubling, terrorism-related loopholes. Terrorist operatives facing security crackdowns in the Middle East may undoubtedly find South America an easier point of departure to the United States. Miami International Airport is a major crossroads for flights from Latin America, where terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas have established lucrative bases -- and where al Qaeda is suspected of gaining a foothold in the tri-border intersection of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

(The problem of impostors in the air is further compounded by the TSA's disastrous acceptance of the matricula consular card, a Mexican government-issued photo ID that has been used by dozens of non-Mexican illegal aliens to board domestic flights, according to my law enforcement sources.)

Last fall, Miami International Airport's TSA workers made headlines when a snoozing security employee allowed two passengers to slip by metal detectors and luggage X-ray screening. It's difficult to determine when the TSA stooges undermine homeland security more: when they're asleep on the job -- or when they're awake.

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

©Creators Syndicate