Video Shows Why a Billion-Dollar Airport Screening Program May Have Been a Waste of Money

Critics of the program say money should have been spent on dogs and bomb-detection equipment.
2:19 | 11/13/13

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Transcript for Video Shows Why a Billion-Dollar Airport Screening Program May Have Been a Waste of Money
storm about a nearly billion dollar gamble by the government that apparently didn't work. We're talking about airport security, the tsa. Taxpayers paid a lot of money to help security officials learn how to spot potential terrorists but the report finds the results were no better than guessing. Here's pierre thomas. Reporter: They're at the major airports, 3,000 of them. Special tsa officers trained to detect criminals and terrorists by studying the behavior of passengers. Are they acting suspicious, sweating, nervously looking around. How do they respond to questions. The cost $200 million a year, nearly a billion spent so far and now word that it's money possibly flushed away, that the security project may be worthless. For a program to have operated since 2007 without any real success and for someone to try to continue it is an absolute waste of taxpayer's money. Reporter: Congressional investigators offered this stinging assessment, 400 studies from the past 60 years found that the human ability to accurately identify deceptive behavior is the same as or slightly better than chance. Even tsa officers acknowledge their analyses is subjective and vary from location to location. Tonight tsa officials are calling the report misleading. They say behavior detection is one of the many layers of security and as a common sense approach used by law enforcement across the world. Among them israel. The approach can work according to a former security official. The concept is correct. It would be a great pity if we let it go. Reporter: He says the iz lees do more detailed background checks of passengers and tougher interviews. Critics say the money should be spent on proven methods. We need more training, additional personal at some check points. That's proven to work. Reporter: Tonight travelers may be asking how the government could spend so much money and not know for certain that the program works. Diane? Pierre thomas reporting in. Thank you, pierre.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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