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Friday, April 1, 2016

The CIA Accidentally Left Explosives on a Bus, with Children, for Two Days

One More Reason to Home School?

In “you’ve got be kidding me” news, a terse, 191-word press release from the Central Intelligence Agency quietly acknowledged yesterday that a CIA team left real explosives on a school bus in Virginia last week. The explosives were part of a training exercise for the CIA’s K-9 unit, using Loudoun County school buses.

However, apparently, the training did not cover the importance of not leaving your explosives on school buses after you’re done using them, or of keeping track of your explosive inventory. The bus was used to transport students for two days before the explosives were found by a mechanic doing routine maintenance. It’s not clear if the CIA ever would have missed them if they hadn’t been discovered and reported.

Naturally, the CIA assures us that nobody was really in danger from their really colossal screw up. Maybe so. But you have to wonder if any non-government employee left explosives on a bus with children for several days, whether they’d skate by with an “ah, c’mon, it’s not like they were rigged to explode or anything.”

Incidents like these remind us that government bureaucrats are not magically more competent just because they work in secret. And also if the CIA wants to borrow your bus, just say no.

Here’s the press release in full:

Statement from CIA on K-9 Training Incident in Loudoun County, VA

31 March 2016

LANGLEY, VA – CIA K-9 units regularly participate in training with K-9 units from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Last week, a CIA K-9 unit conducted a routine training exercise with law enforcement officials in Loudoun County, VA. During the exercise, explosive training material was inadvertently left by the CIA K-9 unit in one of the buses used in the exercise.

On Wednesday, March 30, CIA was notified that the explosive training material was found when the bus was undergoing routine maintenance. CIA coordinated closely with local authorities and recovered the training material. According to Loudoun County officials, the bus transported students on March 28 and 29. CIA and Loudoun County explosives experts have confirmed that the training material did not pose a danger to passengers on the bus.

To prevent such incidents from happening again, CIA has taken immediate steps to strengthen inventory and control procedures in its K-9 program. CIA will also conduct a thorough and independent review of CIA’s K-9 training program. CIA performed a full inventory this morning and accounted for all the explosive training material used in the K-9 training program.

Hat tip: Adam Bates.

  • Daniel Bier is the executive editor of The Skeptical Libertarian.