Damage Control

Napolitano: System Did Not Work

On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano drew criticism when she said that the aviation security system worked the way that it was supposed to, despite Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's recent alleged attempt to bomb a Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit. However, on Today Monday, Napolitano argued that her words had been taken out of context. "Our system did not work in this instance," Napolitano said, adding that the Obama administration has ordered an investigation into why Abdulmutallab was able to board a U.S.-bound flight while on a terrorist watch list. A new security-screening device that uses so-called milimeter waves to create an image of a passenger's body underneath the clothing could have helped catch Abdulmutallab, but only 40 machines have been installed at 19 airports across the U.S. Privacy advocates are trying to slow the technology's introduction, and there is pending House legislation that would prohibit the equipment for routine passenger screening.