January 5th, 2010
11:20 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Keeping them Honest – Airport Security

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Today President Obama will meet with agency heads in the Situation Room to discuss the ongoing reviews of the Christmas Day airline-bombing attempt. The group is expected to discuss security enhancements and intelligence-sharing improvements in our homeland security and counterterrorism operations. Sec. Clinton, Robert Gates, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder as well as the directors of National Intelligence, the FBI and the CIA.

Senior officials say that today’s meeting will be a combination of reviewing what went wrong and talking through what can be done to ensure something similar doesn’t happen again. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which was closed over the weekend due to security concerns, will reopen today. Yemeni authorities have helped the U.S. with additional security precautions at the site.

Tonight we’re looking into security screening at airports. The Obama administration has transferred dozens of names from a broad terrorism database to watch lists that are more closely monitored in an effort to plug security holes revealed by the terrorism attempt. What names were transferred and what happens now if you’re on the watch lists?

With the new TSA rules going into effect, Randi Kaye takes a first-hand look at whether the increased security measures will make a substantive difference in keeping us safer. So what exactly do the x-ray, the puffer, pat-down and the full-body imaging scanners actually show? We’re keeping them honest tonight.

The bodies of six men were found last week in the north-central Mexican state of Durango, including a California educator. The relatives of the Californian man say their bodies were found just hours after they had been abducted from a nearby restaurant. So why was this man and five of his companions murdered? Relatives say they were eating when armed men barged in, forced everyone to the ground and abducted all six men. We’re digging deeper tonight.

Iranian state media reported today that the country’s Intelligence Ministry has compiled a list of 60 groups – several of them based in the U.S. – that it considers to be “soft-war” agents against the country. U.S. philanthropist George Soros’ Open Society Institute, Human Rights Watch and the Brookings Institutions are only a few of the Western-based organizations that made the list. Iran’s deputy intelligence officer urged Iranians to avoid any “unusual relations” with the groups and with foreign embassies and nationals. What do those groups have to do with Iran and why were they pegged with the “soft-war” label? Meanwhile, Sec. Clinton said the Obama administration remains open to negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, despite intransigence from Tehran.

And this week we’re running a special series that explores the upcoming decade. What’s next? We ask people for their informed – and maybe even entertaining – predictions. We are asking smart people what we can anticipate in the next 10 years. We talk to leaders in science, human health, the arts and technology about their predictions for what might unfold. Tonight we hear from Dean Kamen, one of the leading innovators of the 21st century. He’ll tell us what he’s working on and we’ll get his take on some of the top projects and challenges for the years ahead.

Stay warm out there – there’s an arctic chill across most of the United States today. What are you following today? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Tim Gibson

    I personally am not very encouraged by our lack of national security at any level. Aside from airport security, why would a large crowd be allowed in the national mall when a "credible" threat level existed without be properly warned by our leadership.

    Even airline employees, are required to advise individuals traveling into certain regions of "threat" levels as a warning. In essense handing out red flags at check-in. Could anyone be so entranced with the staging and grandstanding to endanger the public by withholding information relating to public safety. I think we all know the answer to that now don't we.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  2. Michelle D. Fonthill .Ont

    Hello Eliza and 360 bloggers !

    I wouldn't want to fly no with all the screenings and hassles it's too much .The extra measures being taken with ex rays here they said the cat scans and ex-rays were not good for us is there a difference in this technique ? The long term effects of people who fly all the time what does this mean for them and all the ex-rays and scans that are done ?

    Thanks for the buzz

    It's still cold and snowing here brrr...

    Michelle D.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:33 am |