James Woolsey, former director of the CIA, said in a somewhat shocking statement Friday on Fox News that many of the nation’s airport security staffers are not subjected to full vetting.
Many, in fact, come from overseas locations and are hired through the same process used to employ farm workers, he said.
In other words: they’re not subjected to background checks that could alert to terror ties.
“They used to be vetted,” Woolsey said in an interview on “America’s Newsroom.” “Now, quite a few of them are foreign nationals who have just worker visas. They’re treated like agricultural workers.”
The comments came in a discussion about the Oct. 31 downing of the Russian jetliner over Egypt that is looking more and more like a terrorist attack. British intelligence has already determined a bomb most likely downed the craft.
Woolsey warned of a “reasonably good chance” of the same happening to an American flight, especially because of the poor vetting now conducted on airport workers.
He said such workers could do “a lot more damage in the baggage handling area of an airline than you can if you’re a terrorist, than you can do in the middle of a wheat field.”
Woolsey acknowledged he didn’t know if the Transportation Security Administration actually hired foreign workers. But he said a private company that provides security at more than a dozen of the nation’s ports has hired “lots of foreign workers that are not vetted.”
The company, which serves in Phoenix and Detroit, is “in charge of baggage handling areas,” Woolsey said.
“It’s just not a sound policy to treat workers in a really dangerous area where they could commit … a lot of danger,” he said.
“It is not right to treat them as if they’re agricultural workers, but that’s what the Obama administration is doing.”