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John Pistole: ‘I am dedicated to leading TSA to the next level’

Peter Greenberg
Peter Greenberg

As the White House’s third nominee to lead the TSA, John Pistole delivered his remarks in front of legislators during a Senate hearing yesterday.

Pistole spoke of plans to strengthen the safety of international aviation, public transportation, the advancement of TSA’s mission and collaboration with Congress. His extensive background and involvement in fighting terrorism, he explained, have prepared him “lead the TSA to the next level.”

During his questioning, Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins touched on areas like collective bargaining for airport security and the poor level of customer service provided by these officers. In regards to the mistreatment by TSA officers, Pistole promised to work to improve this issue through training initiatives.

The current deputy director of the FBI told the committee members of the importance of the protection of human rights.

“We should be judged not only by our ability to defend our nation from terrorism, but also by our commitment to defend the rights and freedoms we all enjoy. If confirmed, safeguarding the civil liberties and privacy interests of all Americans will remain a top priority,” he said.

The TSA has not had an administrator for 18 months. The hearing presented no evidence that Pistole’s possibility of confirmation should encounter any obstacles. There was indication that both the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Commerce Committee would vote for his confirmation by next week.

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