Tales from the Trail

Could there be two John Pistoles?

USA/RTXUQYN_Comp-150x150Could John Pistole have an identical twin who helps him run the Transportation Security Administration — a John Pistole and a John Pistole, maybe?

Here’s why…

John Pistole appeared over the weekend on CNN’s State of the Union to say that TSA’s highly invasive airport security screening procedures are here to stay. Those would be the ones that give travelers the choice of having their physical accouterments inspected either by sight or by hand — but always by complete strangers.

“No, we’re not changing the policies,” he told CNN.

Then on Monday, John Pistole showed up on NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America with the news that TSA is rethinking its methods of operation.

“What I’m doing is going back and looking at: Are there less invasive ways of doing the same type of screening?” he said.

But at the same time, John Pistole was in front of the cameras again, this time on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he defended full-body scans as USA/safe and patdowns as effective at preventing people from boarding airliners with bombs.

A long slog gives way to a ‘good week’ for U.S. Justice Department

After months of trying times, U.S. Justice Department officials are walking with a little spring in their step, describing it as a “good week” after the terrorism suspect accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in the heart of New York’s busy Times Square was nabbed only two days after the failed attack.

TIMESSQUARE/The department has been under fire since last fall over issues ranging from Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to prosecute the accused plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks in the heart of Manhattan to closing the military prison at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

And when a Nigerian man was able to sneak a bomb hidden in his underwear aboard a U.S. commercial jet, the dull roar of anger became white hot rage by both Republicans and President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats about how the administration handled the situation.

Attorney General Holder in virtual shouting match over Christmas bomber

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder rarely raises his voice. But at the very end of a three-hour congressional hearing on Tuesday he was in a virtual shouting match with Virginia Republican Representative Frank Wolf.

Wolf, questioning whether valuable intelligence was lost, was furious about the initial hourlong interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man captured after trying to ignite a bomb aboard a U.S. commercial jetliner on Christmas Day last year. USA/

“There were so many things that were missed,” Wolf said during the hearing.