Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Indiana's Melvin Carraway Bounced From Job Heading TSA

Melvin J. Carraway
Obviously nobody did any background check on former Indiana State Police Supt. Melvin Carraway or he would have never landed the job as administrator of the Transportation Safety Administration ("TSA"). Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson removed Carraway from his job after media reports revealed that checkpoint screeners failed to detect mock explosives and weapons in 95 percent of tests carried out by undercover agents.
. . . Johnson said in a statement that Melvin Carraway would be reassigned to serve in the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at Department of Homeland Security headquarters, while TSA Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield would lead the agency until a new acting administrator was appointed.
Airport screeners, who are employees of the TSA, did not detect banned weapons in 67 of 70 tests at dozens of airports, ABC News said, citing officials briefed on a report by Homeland Security's inspector general.
Johnson, whose department oversees the TSA, was briefed last week on the trials, which were completed recently, ABC News said.
In one test, the network said an undercover agent was stopped when he set off an alarm at a checkpoint but that TSA screeners then failed to find a fake explosive device taped to his back when they patted him down.
Johnson issued a statement on Monday saying the results of the security checks were classified but that he had directed the TSA to revise screening procedures "to address specific vulnerabilities identified" in the undercover operation. He also ordered training for all TSA officers and supervisors across the country and testing of airports' screening equipment . . .
It is common knowledge Carraway only landed the job heading the Indiana State Police because he's a cousin to Ice Miller lobbyist Lacy Johnson, who is renowned for boasting about his clout in law enforcement and intelligence communities. One must surmise that Johnson's clout played a key role in landing Carraway the top job at the TSA. Recall that Carraway was at the center of a serious ethics probe from the time he served as ISP's superintendent. Here's a WTHR report on that ethics flap back in 2005:
The former leadership of the Indiana State Police is now under fire for how they handled agency money. A 72-page audit of ISP now goes to the prosecutor and grand jury. The audit found widespread money and accountability problems at the top of the State Police force.
The State Police Memorial is a place to honor those killed in the line of duty. The audit questions how State Police paid for it and the running of this museum. The audit says State Police set up non-profits counter to state law. It also says they transferred a $93,000 donation to the pension fund and $47,000 from specialty license plate fees to the memorial foundation, again without proper authority.
The audit also found lax oversight on credit card purchases and employees given inappropriate cash advances for meals on trips.
The questionable practices occurred when former superintendent Mel Carraway and former assistant Cody Johnson ran the department under the Kernan administration. It was new Superintendent Paul Whitesell who requested the audit.
ISP's Dave Bursten said Whitesell wanted to have a better understanding of "where things were on the books so he could better understand the issues." Bursten said Whitesell began taking corrective action before auditors finished the report, such as hiring a full-time controller.
While he won't comment on specific findings, he says the report in no way should reflect badly on officers. "There's not a question of anyone stealing money," Bursten said. "It's more an issue of how things are accounted for."
Attorneys for Carraway, Johnson and Major Phillip Parker issued a statement in their defense Wednesday. "An objective review of the evidence clearly shows that at no time did any of these gentlemen engage in any improprieties or illegal or unethical conduct...These allegations of misconduct simply do not hold up under any level of scrutiny."
This is just another example of what a fraud the entire Patriot Act/National Security regime has become post 9/11. As luck would have it, Carraway's ethics case was turned over to former Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi to investigate, who never met a public corruption case he would prosecute. He was too busy using his friendship with Ponzi schemer Tim Durham to live the life of a playboy and brokering deals with his political cronies to make money off insider real estate deals.


Anonymous said...

TSA is about harassing the citizens, instituting martial law, and creating a mentality in Americans that they are not free to travel.

TSA doesn't have a thing to do with explosives or hijackers.

If TSA sucks at finding explosives, it's because they have no interest in looking for them. TSA merely seeks to degrade and delay every traveler.

We had metal detectors on 9/11. Every person who flew on or prior to 9/11 had to go through one. Security was exactly the same on 9/11 as it is today. People are merely humiliated now every time they travel.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, the fact that we've had no airplane terrorist attacks since 9/11 is not due to the TSA's security theater, but to the fact that terrorist attacks have moved to other targets.

Otherwise the TSA's inability to detect "threats" would mean something.

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy. Our association with Brizzi is just a gift that keeps on giving. His professional failures come back to haunt us with depressing regularity. Just like that guy Massillamany, who keep getting cited for drunk driving. We elevate the weakest, sorriest chumps to positions of power. Garrison on the radio preaching to us about Jesus and moral backbone while beating down innocent homeowners in the street. Township trustees who steal all the poor money. Judges that don’t have their own act together. Drunk, speeding cops. Local politicians on the take. Developers who are really crooksters. Slush funds, tif zones. Teachers and coaches who are trying to get laid. I’m really getting tired of people in trusted positions betraying our trust and then assuming their privilege will keep them out of jail, that they’ll keep their jobs, and that their pensions are secure. I don’t think this guy ought to be running the TSA. I don’t think Brizzi should have kept his law license. I don’t think Garrison has anything left to say. And I think we need politicians and developers who are in collusion to be prosecuted. I’m not happy about the way our taxes are being spent. Indianapolis is going down the toilet. And these big law firm movers and shakers screw us over time and time again. I wonder if it will be any different under Hogsett.

Anonymous said...

There were no terrorist airplane attacks on 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Mel Carraway was an outstanding Police Superintendent. These are political shots and the TSA problem was not created by him but he is the scapegoat. I had the pleasure of working with him in Indiana and he is the consummate professional.

Sir Hailstone said...

"I wonder if it will be any different under Hogsett."


Oh I just laughed so hard I nearly .... oh never mind.....

"the fact that we've had no airplane terrorist attacks since 9/11 is not due to the TSA's security theater"

DING!! Reinforcing that cockpit door prevents intrusion to the pilot controls. That plus arming pilots would have been the way to prevent future hijackings. Of course Obama had to backdoor ban armed pilots (he spiked an armed pilots test program).
Now how to prevent a pilot from going off the rails and turning the aircraft into a lawn jart like what happened to the Lufthansa subsidiary ... can you prevent that? You can have pilots undergo all the expensive psych exams and a determined liar can fool anyone.

The Spanish attack was against trains - and anyone who rides Amtrak knows there are no security barriers to go through to board Amtrak. If DHS/TSA were really serious about transport security, there would be airport style barriers at train stations. But since TSA's whole premise is a gentle pat on the head with a "there there it's all okay now" combined with a "Papers, please" mentality it is not.

Unigov said...

Anonymous at 11:09 - the consummate professional? Maybe at pushing paper locally, but he's in over his head by a mile with the TSA.

TSA exists solely to mess with Americans. Riddle me this - why do I have to show ID to board a plane? When I first started traveling for business in the 1980's, I had to take the place of a co-worker at a conference. I just used his ticket. Easy peasy - just like a friend giving me a concert ticket. So why can't I do that now with airlines? Meaning, if I pass security screening, what the heck difference does it make who I am? OK, ok, I'm not Fred SMith, but you can tell I'm not carrying a bomb, wtf does the government care?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Nobody needs an on-board hijacker anymore. A sophisticated computer hack can take control of an airplane remotely and fly it like a drone.

Eric Morris said...

All the security theater in the world yet no one accepts the obvious.


Anonymous said...

Has nothing to do with Carraway and everything to do with "perception".

'No, the TSA and its so-called “security circus” — which seems so much more like a carnival in the bright glare of the red team revelations — is meant to make us feel safer. That’s the real job of the TSA,' writes Christopher Elliott. "It’s a $7 billion-a-year show put on for you.'


Anonymous said...

hey eric....if you're reading anything from Salon you're getting it wrong. If you enjoy spin, lies, conspiracy, trash, and liberal ignorance, salon is where i'd start.

Eric Morris said...

Anon 1131: Ignorance is bliss, right? It is merely a report by Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald about U Chicago Prof. Robert Pape's study showing that suicide bombings have a little to do with foreign occupations. For more direct understanding of Osama's reasons for 9/11--though I am not fully convinced it was not a Mossad/CIA/Saudi job--read his fatwa. US bombing of Iraq, US use of military bases in Saudi Arabia, and US support of Israeli occupation of Palestine. Sun Tzu says know your enemies. I happen to think my own personal enemy is the US government because of its meddling in the affairs of the Middle East and its meddling with my private parts when I fly.

Anonymous said...

11:09 please tell us, Oh Learned One, what Mel Carraway did as ISP Superintendent that was "outstanding".

He was a token. What about the corruption scandle with his buddy, Mr. Johnson???