Have American citizens proved that spending billions on security is futile?

World Trade Center, Freedom Tower

In the post 9-11 world, we spend billions of tax dollars out of fear that we will one day see another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil. While no Americans want to see another attack, some Americans have proven that the majority of our post 9-11 security systems wouldn’t have stopped the attacks, and may not be likely to stop a future attempt.

In 2007, it was revealed to USA Today that investigators had managed to smuggle fake bombs past airport security. USA Today reported that during tests where investigators conceal these fake bombs, they succeeded in getting 75 percent through security at the Los Angeles International Airport, 60 percent through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and 20 percent through San Francisco’s International Airport.

Although the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been reportedly bulking up security at an almost constant rate, ABC News reported in March of 2013 that the TSA was still failing to uncover concealed fake bombs. According to ABC, an undercover was able to plant a fake bomb on himself, getting through both a metal detector and the secondary pat down at a New Jersey airport. The TSA refused to disclose how often their workers fail to identify the fake bombs in these scenarios.

One TSA official did comment, saying, “We do this all the time, and all the time, we have successes and failures.”

The TSA has reportedly spent nearly a billion dollars on a security program to identify “suspicious behavior” in hope of identifying potential terrorists, but the program has yet to catch a single person with ties to terrorism.

In February, Business Insider reported on the New World Trade Center, dubbed the Freedom Tower, saying that it will have “security like you’ve never seen.” Business Insider revealed that the New World Trade Center will have infrared and thermal cameras to look for explosives or materials emitting radiation, facial and retinal scanners to identify those on watch lists, and even “behavior monitoring” security measures looking for things as miniscule as unusual movement. The security was expected to cost “tens of millions of dollars,” being the most advanced security system in the country in light of the past two terrorist attacks on the location.

Despite all of this security, 16-year-old Justin Casquejo discovered that America’s top target for terrorism doesn’t have a single security camera working yet. Around 4 a.m. on Sunday, March 16, Casquejo made his way through a hole in the fence surrounding the Freedom Tower, in hopes of climbing his way to the top. Casquejo not only made it into the building through layers of security, he also had an elevator attendant take him all the way up to the 88th floor. He then took the stairs to the 104th floor of the building, passing a sleeping guard who was supposed to be guarding the roof.

Once on the roof, the branded daredevil climbed the antenna on top of the Freedom Tower. He spent two hours on the roof, taking several pictures and tweeting from his phone, “A long way from home.”

Casquejo has a history of chasing an adrenaline rush, doing what is known as parkour, a type of freestyle running, jumping and climbing. He has posted several pictures online of himself doing life-threatening feats, so it’s no surprise that the teenager would want to climb the tallest building in the country, standing at 1,776 feet tall.

Luckily, Casquejo is only a curious teenager. Even though the Freedom Tower is not quite operational yet, he revealed a major hole in security and could have caused devastating effects if he had intentions to harm anybody or send a message to the country.

The TSA and new security at the Freedom Tower aren’t the only places bulking up security in the post 9-11 world that have been proven to be somewhat futile.

This year’s Super Bowl was boasted to have some of the most intricate security we’ve ever seen. Good Morning America boasted the security system as “An army of law enforcement and military.” According to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, the security included helicopters, New York State Police, NYPD, specialized FBI units, and even SWAT teams. Security measures also accounted for the possibility of a biological attack through subway systems or even being distributed through the food, water, or alcoholic beverages. Guards were positioned in the bathrooms and snipers were even lined up across vantage points throughout the stadium.

Although there were over 3,000 security guards and claims that security could have the entire stadium on lockdown and any potential threat neutralized in less than three minutes, one man was able to slip through security unnoticed to get his message out.

Matthew Mills, 30, broke through every layer of security at the Super Bowl, even finding time to record his actions on camera. Mills used just two simple tactics to dupe one of the most advanced security setups in history.

Using a press pass from an old music festival, Mills said, “I just said I was running late for work and I had to get in there. It was that simple.”

After hanging around in the corner of the press room on his phone, Mills saw Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith begin to give his speech after the game. Mills then ran up to Smith, grabbing his microphone to say, “Investigate 9-11. 9-11 was perpetrated by people within your own government.”

After asking viewers if they were alright, Smith jokingly said, “Check his press pass.”

It’s not clear whether Smith knew that Mills had a fake press pass, but it was revealed shortly before the Super Bowl that Smith’s coach, Pete Carroll, is also a 9-11 skeptic. Smith may also have his own questions, considering the fact that during a speech he gave the next day, he wore a shirt featuring the “all seeing eye,” typically used to represent the Illuminati.

Regardless of how harmless Mills comments were, what’s truly wrong with this situation is that he was so easily able to break through one of the most advanced security setups we’ve seen in New York since 9-11. Once again, the country is lucky that it’s only been well-intended Americans breaking through these multi-million dollar security systems. These three situations have outlined how flawed even the most advanced attempts at security can be.

“I didn’t think that I’d get that far,” said Mills. “I just kept getting closer and closer. Once I got past the final gate and into the stadium, I was dumbfounded.”



The Arthurian Answer is written and edited by Tim Arthur. Arthur has a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Foreign Affairs with a minor in Communications. He spent his last semester at Walsh University writing and doing layout design for The Walsh University Spectator, the school’s newspaper. He has also done several pieces of original and groundbreaking research, one of which he has presented at the All Politics Is Local Conference at Walsh University, as well as the Ohio Association for Economists and Political Scientists conference, both of which were held in 2013.


  1. mirageseekr says:

    The reason why there are faults in the “security” is because protecting us from any harm is not it’s true purpose. We are being conditioned through fear to accept a police state. Boston was a prime example of how to put a city under martial law, even removing citizens by gunpoint without a fight. Americans best wake up and fast.


  1. […] The CIA’s response is easily discredited in this matter. Barlow’s own writing in Forbes suggests a modest relationship with the CIA, at a minimum. In this article, Barlow spoke frequently of the incompetence of America’s intelligence agencies, something I have previously written about here. […]

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