Breaking: White House Press Room Evacuated During Televised Conference (Video)

The White House press room was evacuated Tuesday after reports of a bomb threat during the daily press briefing, according to authorities.

According to The Washington Post, reporters and staff were evacuated out of the James S. Brady briefing room around 2:10 pm ET and taken to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB). Secret Service agents entered the room with K9-units checking for bombs before the media was cleared to enter the room around 2:40 ET, at which point the briefing resumed.

The Post gives the details after the media re-entered the press room:

Taking his place at the lectern for a second time, (White House Press Secretary Josh) Earnest said that shortly before 2 p.m. a bomb threat for the White House briefing room was phoned into the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, which reported it to the Secret Service.

Out of precaution, the agency made the evacuation and checked the room, which was found to be secure, Earnest said.

The evacuation of the Brady room came just hours after the Dirksen Senate Office Building received a bomb threat of its own.

“The [United States Capitol Police] received a phone call reporting a suspicious package in room SD-340 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building (DSOB),” Capitol Hill Police wrote in an email around 12:30 ET, according to Roll Call. “Several floors in the D‎SOB have been evacuated as a precaution while the USCP continues to investigate.”

Floors 2 through 4 were closed off to staff and visitors, while the first floor continued to screen staff and visitors entering. At the same time, investigators were checking on a suspicious package in the nearby Russell Senate Office Building courtyard which turned out to be an unattended cooler, according to police.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider gave the “all clear” for the bomb threat around 1:20 ET. The evacuation cut into a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hearing, according to Roll Call.

Does this news unsettle you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Another TSA Scandal: 73 Airport Workers Revealed To Be On Terror Watchlist

One week after it was reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) failed 95 percent of tests involving the smuggling of firearms through airport security checkpoints, a startling bit of news reveals that dozens of employees in the airline industry were actually on the terror watchlist.

According to a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s report released last week, the agency’s screening system failed to flag 73 airport workers, even though they were “linked to terrorism.”

“The TSA did not identify these individuals through its vetting operations because it is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watch-listing policy,” the report said.

Fox News explains how these employees fell through the cracks:

To test the accuracy and effectiveness of TSA’s terrorism vetting procedures, the National Counterterrorism Center was asked to match more than 900,000 records of active aviation workers against its Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database.

According to the report, the TSA had been unable to find 73 individuals ‘linked to terrorism’ because the information the TSA received from the Department of Homeland Security Watchlist Service and used for vetting did not contain the terrorism ‘codes’ associated with the 73 individuals. In other words, TSA did not have the entire terror watchlist.

Some parts of the IG report, including codes, were redacted.

Overall, the report concluded, the vetting and re-vetting procedures that TSA used were ‘generally effective’ in identifying workers with links to terrorism. Since 2003, the agency has advised airports to deny or revoke 58 airport workers as a result of its vetting process for credential applicants and holders.

Last week, ABC News reported on TSA security failures “at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports” which enabled “undercover investigators… to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials.”

In the wake of the report, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reassigned Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway to the department’s Office of State and Local Law Enforcement. Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield will take over the TSA until a new acting administrator is appointed.

Are you troubled by what is going on at the TSA? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

WATCH: Judge Jeanine Buries ‘Ego’-Driven Obama Beneath A Crushing Pile Of Critical Failures

We already seen syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer take President Obama to task for his assertion that, thanks to the efforts of his administration, America is once again the “most respected country on Earth.” As Western Journalism reported last week, Krauthammer ripped apart Obama’s boast during an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor where he said, “You wonder what world, what planet he’s living on.”

Now, on her Fox News show Justice, Judge Jeanine Pirro has taken Obama to the woodshed and given him more than a dozen hard swats for the “most respected” claim that she showed to be without any merit.

“With all due respect, Mr. President, I’m not sure if you’re delusional or you just think that we are,” Judge Jeanine said. “We’re the most respected country on Earth because of you? And you say this why?”

Pirro then went on to list well over a dozen reasons why Obama’s boast made no sense; failures ranging from the faulty “reset” with Russia to the continuing “string of victories” for ISIS to the president’s “trashing” of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast.

By clicking on the video above, you can watch Judge Jeanine present her compelling evidence against Obama’s claim that his administration has elevated the United States to “most respected” status on the world stage.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Watch: Shocking New Report On The TSA Will Make You Wonder What The Agency Is Really Good For

For years, Western Journalism has reported on the many issues and problems plaguing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the massive federal agency created to keep the traveling public safe in a post-9/11 world. Its stated mission — “protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce” — is supported by a staff of screeners numbering in the tens of thousands and an annual budget approaching $7.5 billion.

Recently, we told you how the TSA came under fire for the misbehavior of agents who worked at Denver International Airport — agents who were investigated and then given the boot for conspiring to grope male passengers they found attractive. On a more fundamental level, there are those who question the very authority of the TSA to conduct searches on a routine basis, without citing “probable cause” for the screenings and pat-downs.

In a Western Journalism post on April 3rd of this year, writer Jake MacAulay examined what’s known as the TSA’s checklist for Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT. This scoring system for ranking travelers according to their supposed “threat level” is just one of many tools at the disposal of TSA agents.

Yet, despite SPOT and the very expensive and supposedly sophisticated technology-rich equipment available to screeners nationwide — including those controversial full-body imagers — a new undercover investigation has revealed widespread TSA security failures “at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports.” ABC News reports that “undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials….”

The network news report reveals that undercover operatives for the Department of Homeland Security, working in so-called Red Teams, repeatedly beat the system, finding that many airport screenings were virtually worthless.

“In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.”

By clicking on the video above, you can watch the ABC News report that raises this reasonable question: Given the shocking failures at critical TSA checkpoints across the country, what does the massive agency really accomplish?

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

What This Hacker Claims He Did To An Airplane With Just His Laptop Is Alarming

Image for representational purposes only.

A search warrant issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says that cybersecurity professional Chris Roberts told an agent he was able to control an airplane engine from his seat by gaining access to the computer system.

According to BBC News, the document asserts that Roberts, of One World Labs, was able to make the plane “climb” and “move sideways” with his laptop while seated. Roberts tweeted the following ahead of the flight:

05182015_Chris Roberts Flight Tweet_Twitter

IFE stands for “In Flight Entertainment.”

Wired Magazine gives the details of what happened after Roberts took a United flight from Chicago to Syracuse last month:

The Feds were waiting when Roberts landed in Syracuse. As passengers stood in the aisle to deplane, a flight attendant instructed everyone to take their seats. Two Syracuse police officers and two FBI agents boarded the plane. Before they even looked at him, Roberts knew they were after him. ‘Shall I get my luggage?,’ he asked.

He spent the next four hours in an airport conference room on the business end of an interrogation. Before he left, agents seized his company-issued laptop, backup disks and other electronics without a warrant.

When Roberts attempted to board another United flight to San Francisco days later, he was barred by the airline and had to book a flight with Southwest.

Roberts is now being represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The FBI noted that Roberts “exploited” IFEs in airplanes between 2011 and 2014.

Wired Magazine noted that due to the incident, both the FBI and the TSA have issued warnings to passengers:

  • Report any suspicious activity involving travelers connecting unknown cables or wires to the IFE system or unusual parts of the airplane seat.
  • Report any evidence of suspicious behavior following a flight, such as IFE systems that show evidence of tampering or the forced removal of covers to network connection ports.
  • Report any evidence of suspicious behavior concerning aviation wireless signals, including social media messages with threatening references to Onboard Network Systems, ADS-B, ACARS, and Air Traffic Control networks.
  • Review network logs from aircraft to ensure any suspicious activity, such as network scanning or intrusion attempts, is captured for further analysis.

“Over the last 5 years my only interest has been to improve aircraft security…given the current situation I’ve been advised against saying much,” Roberts tweeted Saturday.

Still, Roberts has a sense of humor about the incident, retweeting the following photos:

05182015_Barrel Roll Tweet_Twitter

05182015_Chris Roberts Flight Tweet 1_Twitter 05182015_Roberts Retweet 1_Twitter
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth