Nightly News | April 26, 2012
>>> there is new concern tonight about the security pat downs at the airport and what's more, the man who used to run the tsa now says he agreed with the many americans who say the system is broken. john yang is live at reagan national airport . good evening to you.
>> good evening, savannah. kip polly ran the tsa for 3 1/2 years. he gave us the plastic bags for our liquids and gels. but he said that ban should be reversed because it's one of the things eroding a key ingredient to a effective security system , broad public support. frequent flyer john brennan spoke for a lot of flyers when he stripped naked at a tsa station in portland, oregon. outrage has been fueled by parents' anger over patdowns of children like a 6-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and a 4-year-old girl in new york. in both cases, the tsa said their officers followed proper procedure. the agency's reputation took a further hit this week when officers in los angeles were charged in a drug running operation. passengers today at chicago's o'hare airport.
>> we still might be a target, and i feel safer knowing that it's not going to happen here.
>> i'm not so sure it's not just window dressing.
>> kip polly said the system is broken. he ran the tsa from 2005 to 2009 and has written a new book. he argued animosity toward the system is hurting security.
>> the result of this compounding security measure over ten years has driven the public crazy. and created a huge separation between tsa and the public.
>> he says most frequent flyers checkpoint horror stories could be eliminated if officers were allowed to use common sense rather than being threatened with discipline for not following procedures to the letter.
>> the effect after three or four years to tell the officers who came to tsa to stop terrorist attacks, we welcome you here but you may not use your brain.
>> technology exists that could eliminate the need for the measures that are most annoying, taking shoes off, limiting liquids in a separate back, and number one on the list, the pat down. he said all could go away by memorial day without effecting safety.
>> you do owe it to the public to pull it out as soon as you come up with a better way.
>> in a statement, the tsa said it's using new technology and revising practices to prove away from one size fits all screening to progress toward improving both security and passenger experience. he said that progress could go a lot faster, but a big obstacle is political reluctance to take away any security measures. savannah?
>> john yang in washington, thank you.