[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]
Welcome to the Firedoglake Book Salon. For the next two hours, we’ll be talking to Kip Hawley. Hawley was the TSA administrator from mid 2005 to early 2009. He has a new book, Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security, that chronicles his time at the TSA. For most of us, the TSA is our only contact with the “war on terror,” and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of talk about that.
I’m Bruce Schneier, and I’ll be your host. I’m a security technologist and author who has written extensively about airline security, terrorism, and security in general. Hawley and I have debated several times in the past, most notably in this Q&A from 2007 and in The Economist earlier this year. Hawley reviewed my latest book, Liars and Outliers, on his blog earlier this week.
I have just finished reading Permanent Emergency, and I learned a lot about the TSA and their approach to airport security — stuff I had never seen before. I can’t even begin to summarize it here; perhaps the best thing you can read to get up to speed on Hawley’s thinking is his op ed for The Wall Street Journal from last month. My commentary on it is here.
Please ask away. Probing is good. Challenging is good. We’re not the mainstream media and we’re not going to limit this to softball questions, but I’d like the conversation to remain civil. I have some questions prepared to get things started but we’re counting on you.