We have breaking news from Capitol Hill, where liberal and moderate Democrats have reached “broad agreement” on a health care bill. That’s what Democratic leader Harry Reid said just moments ago in a news conference. Will Democrats drop the government-run insurance option and open Medicare to those under the age of 55? We’re working our sources and we'll give you the latest developments, tonight on 360°.
Meanwhile, there’s a big embarrassment for the Department of Homeland Security. A 93-page manual for airport security screeners made it onto the internet for the world to see, including terrorists.
“As Americans make travel plans for the upcoming holidays, this shocking breach undercuts the public’s confidence in the security procedures at our airports,” said Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine., of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The TSA operating manual went online in March on the Federal Business Opportunity site, as part of a posting for contract work.
However, those who were computer-savvy could undo the blacked-out sections, making the security playbook no longer secret.
The TSA, which has been in charge of protecting America’s airports since the September 11th terror attacks, released this statement:
"The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has become aware that an outdated version of a Standard Operating Procedures document was improperly posted by the agency to the Federal Business Opportunities Web site wherein redacted material was not properly protected.
TSA takes this matter very seriously and took swift action when this was discovered. A full review is now underway.
TSA has many layers of security to keep the traveling public safe and to constantly adapt to evolving threats. TSA is confident that screening procedures currently in place remain strong.”
The agency also said the manual posted online, dated May 2008, was outdated and was never implemented. Six newer versions have been issued since that one, a TSA official said.
Tonight on 360°, we’ll be digging deeper into the controversy.
We’re also following developments in the battle for Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzi said today he’ll need help from the U.S. for 15 to 20 years.
"We hope that the international community and the United States, in particular the U.S., as our first ally, helps us reach the ability… sustain a force that can protect Afghanistan with the right numbers and the right equipment, " Karzai said at a news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates by his side during an unannounced visit to the war zone.
Just last week, Pres. Obama announced he wants U.S. forces to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in 18 months.
But today, Pres. Karzai asked for patience. He laid out his own timeline.
The Afghan leader wants his Army to have control in parts of the country within two years, and total control in five years. There’s also the request for U.S. assistance for 15 to 20 years.
Secretary Gates pledged the U.S. “will never turn our back” on Afghanistan.
“The president has been very clear that will begin this process of transitioning in July of 2011… I would hope we not only could meet the timelines President Karzai has laid out… but as more afghans are trained that we will be able to beat those timelines,” Gates said.
“We expect this is a several year process, ” he added.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!
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