Coming Soon…

In the Insider’s TSA Dictionary, I defined Permament Emergency, former TSA head Kip Hawley’s tell-all memoir about his first-hand experiences with the formation of the TSA, as a “terrible book.” But I take that back. I am reading Permanent Emergency for the third time right now, and have realized that it’s not all that bad. Or, at least, the bad parts are not the fault of Hawley or his ghostwriter: they did their best, they really did. Taking a subject like the Transportation Security Administration and attempting to make a page-turner of a thrill ride out of it was an impossible task, and so it shouldn’t have surprised me that some of the book comes off as hokey. The first couple times I read it, I neglected to consider this fact, and was angry that I had to deal with 272 pages of Transportation Security Administration matters superimposed over a political-thriller template. But now, reading it this third time, a light bulb went off in my head.

At times, Permanent Emergency reaches levels of corniness that transcend any mere book detailing the formation of a lumbering bureaucracy that pats down people’s crotches and forces them to surrender their bottles of water. Reading it the third time, a tingly sensation began to creep up my spine. A smile escaped me as I turned one page– then a giggle– then a hearty guffaw– and in my mind a symphony swelled to a crashing crescendo as the full glory of the possibility spread over me like a billowing revelation…

Permanent Emergency possesses that magical formula, often sought after, rarely attained: Permanent Emergency is at times so bad…that it’s really fucking good.

Here’s one of the reviews on Amazon (more than half of them were written by people who apparently created an Amazon reviewer account just to review Permanent Emergency. We won’t even get into the controversial world of fake Amazon “sock puppet book reviews” here, but suffice to say, there may be just a little of that going on with Permanent Emergency).

“Kip Hawley does an amazing job of pulling back the curtain on aviation security. The book takes a never before seen look at a relevant, timely, and important subject – the safety of American air travel – in an unparalleled way. You’ll read about the terrorists who are constantly plotting to bring down airliners and the operatives, at home and abroad, who are dead set on stopping them. Permanent Emergency is a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about what really goes into keeping the traveling public safe, or those who think they know all there is to know. Hawley and Means do an excellent job of weaving together a compelling narrative that will blow your doors off. Expect a movie out of this one – it’s that informative, entertaining, and compelling.”

And now, an excerpt from the book…

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This is the story of the people who took up the challenge: the task of reimagining our aviation and transportation security. On the day of the attacks, some of these people were already deeply involved in America’s security and government network. Others were retired, working for private industry, even attending college or playing in bands. But over the next eight years, their individual contributions would be irreplaceable. In a breathtakingly short period of time, they created from scratch an agency that was simultaneously ambitious, flawed, inspired, ridiculed, innovative, and entirely unique within the federal government…

The Transportation Security Administration.”

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Ladies and genn’men, sometime within the next couple weeks, I am going to be presenting you with the proposed outline of a screenplay for…

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