In 1999, Diane Kleiman, a U.S. customs special agent, blew the whistle on the U.S. customs agency. Diane claimed they knew about drug overdoses by customs employees, drug trafficking and money laundering by employees of a major airline and lack of proper background checks for airline employees.
Kleiman brought the incidents to the attention of her bosses, but she says the agency was more worried about their potential embarrassment if word got out about the security breaches rather then the security breaches themselves.
Kleiman said the defining moment came later in 1999 when she was asked to commit perjury by her supervisor to conceal drug smuggling activities by airline employees.
Kleiman outright refused and was fired. The U.S customs agency said they fired her for sharing information with the drug enforcement administration which happened to led to the arrest of an individual with 46 pounds of cocaine.
In 2002, Kleiman filed charges against the U.S customs agency saying she was the victim of violations of her privacy, fair employment, whistle-blower protection rights and workplace harassment, including being called a "Jew bitch" by fellow employees.
When Kleiman decided to become a whistle blower she revealed some shocking statements regarding the lack of security at America 's airports.
Kleiman states, "In January 1999, I had seized about $30,000 taped to the belly of a baggage handler who worked for American Airlines and who was an illegal alien."
Kleiman says. "Upon doing a background check, I determined that this very same employee had been stopped only three months earlier for attempting to smuggle about the same amount of money."
"My boss refused to allow me to report this employee to security at American Airlines and at the time of my firing, he was still employed at the airlines."
"..After this incident, I started driving my unmarked government vehicle on the ramps. I was in plainclothes in completely restricted areas; I was never stopped and questioned as to who I was and what I was doing there,"
"I realized that whether day or evening, I could drive my vehicle up to any of the planes, which were unattended, and could place bombs and weapons on these planes. I reported this to my boss as well and was told to keep quiet."
Kleiman also reported that six months prior to the attacks on September 11 th 2001, she warned the US Attorney's office that a tragedy would occur because of the lack of security at American Airlines.