Thursday, January 31, 2008

U.S. to GIs: F.U.! (DOT CYA)

Want to lock our troops out of your airport terminal? No problem, says the Department of Transportation:
The Oakland International Airport did not break any laws or regulations when it denied 200 Marines and soldiers access to the passenger terminal during a layover last year from Iraq to the troops' home base in Hawaii, the Transportation Department says.
Calvin L. Scovell III, the department's inspector general, blamed the mix-up on security concerns and a communication failure between the Defense Department and the Homeland Security Department.
A "mix-up"! Just a harmless glitch, y'see.
The contract to allow military layovers at the California airport "did not require that military personnel have access to the airport terminal; it only required that military personnel be allowed to deplane and stretch their legs on stops lasting over one hour," said a report released yesterday to House lawmakers who requested an investigation into the matter.
The Sept. 27 layover was the last stop for fuel and food, but the troops, who were returning from a tour in Iraq, were denied access to food and bathroom facilities.
A Marine reported the incident to Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and said it "felt like being spit on."
Airport officials were concerned that the flight's ground staff could not provide "an\ adequate level of escort and control of such a large group of military personnel in or around the terminal area," the inspector's report said.
There is nothing so predictable in life as the inability of government bureaucrats to act in accordance with common sense.

Equally predictable: When a glaring screwup like this happens, no one in the bureaucracy will be held accountable.

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