Some folks think that creating a new security czar would make us safer. But creating new departments of security don’t always make us more secure.

Take airport security. By many measures, Newark airport (search) — one of the three airports used by the 9/11 hijackers — has done a lousy job of tightening security since the government took over airport security in 2002. Newark was one of the last airports to ensure that checked luggage was being screened properly for explosives. It’s had a significant and consistent turnover of employees. Checkpoint lanes are often left undermanned. And this summer, the Star-Ledger (search) newspaper reported that federal screeners missed one in four explosives and weapons that agents tried to sneak past checkpoints.

But despite these problems, it was just announced that the security director for Newark got a $20,000 bonus last year, the largest possible bonus offered to federal airport chiefs. Would a private company award a manager a big bonus if things had actually gotten worse? Apparently the government doesn’t measure success the same way normal folks do, even when it comes to our security.

And that’s the Asman Observer.

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